"What did Barbara Jordan do for us?" "I need a report on Diana Ross" "Something on Frederick Douglass" "Do you have information on Malcolm X?" These are four actual questions from among the many we received in the past week! Yes, it is hard to find reliable information about African American visionaries and pioneers. Here are 26 twentieth century personalities responsible for moving the American Dream forward you need to know about (in random order): Langston Hughes Marian Anderson Thomas Bradley Dr. Ralph J. Bunche Coretta Scott King Frederick Douglass Dr. Charles Drew Sammy Davis Jr. Shirley Chisholm Jesse Owens James Meredith Ella Fitzgerald William H. Hastie Richard Wright Malcolm X Diana Ross Charles H. Houston A. Philip Randolph Andrew Young Barbara Jordan Ronald Dellums Bo Diddley Rosa Parks Duke Ellington Lena Horne Joe Louis If you'd like to learn more about these achievers, (and you've signed up for our free black history biographies via email...and have confirmed your subscription), then you'll be among the first to be able to benefit from an exciting new project profiling these African American legends coming soon.
Kwame Ture, also known as Stokely Carmichael, (1941-1998), was born in Trinidad. He grew up in both New York City and Washington, D.C. Carmichael graduated from Howard University in the nation's capitol in 1964. A member of the Nonviolent Action Group, (NAG), Carmichael also worked with SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He joined SNCC in 1960 and became Chairman of the group in 1966. From 1968-1969, Carmichael served as the Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party. Stokely is credited with popularizing the phrase, "black power." He was an advocate of the black power movement, a promoter of solidarity with Latin America, and a Pan Africanist (arising from Pan Africanism: the belief that Africa is one country despite the artificial borders created by the European powers who carved up the continent). Carmichael compared his self described "black American revolution," to the Palestinian revolution. He criticized the intention of white liberals because of his interpretation of their refusal to embrace violence to impact change. Stokely married the African singer, Miriam Makeba.
With just a few short days until Christmas, time is running out to select those last minute stocking stuffers. Electronic delivery is a great option right now, as you can avoid the malls, crowds, express shipping charges, and select great gifts instantly in seconds, 24 hours a day. One hot idea is to download software, then burn it on to a CD. You get to personalize and customize the jewel case, packaging, gift message, etc. For those on your list who will appreciate discovering a wealth of wonders about black history, I recommend the information packed DVD: Empower Encyclopedia Salute To Black History. It's a great gift. 2018 DVD update: It's no longer being distributed, but 17 copies remain. We may release it again in the future or use it for a special promotion.
The first Nobel Prize was presented in 1901. It took 49 more years for the first African American to be honored. On Monday evening, December 11, 2006, Lionel Richie will perform in Oslo, Norway to help celebrate the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. Dr. Ralph J. Bunche was the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Toni Morrison won the 1993 Nobel Prize in literature, becoming the first African American writer to be honored. Every year prizes are awarded in literature, economics, chemistry, physics, medicine, and "the peace prize." Discover more about the amazing will of Alfred Nobel from NobelPrize.org. Here's what NobelPrize.org says about their prominently featured interactive Nobel website games... "You don't have to be a genius to understand the work of the Nobel Laureates. Games and simulations, based on Nobel Prize-awarded achievements, will teach and inspire you while you're having fun!" "Students, teachers and non-professionals of all ages will enjoy testing and building their knowledge in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace and economics." I highly recommend that you check out the skill building games of NobelPrize.org.
Ground was broken this week in Washington, D.C., for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. This photo is a computer enhanced model of what of the completed memorial will look like. Here are some fast facts about the project from the official MLK National Memorial website: President Bill Clinton signed a Joint Congressional Resolution authorizing the building of a memorial for Dr. King on July 16, 1998. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial will be adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and on a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. The Memorial will evoke the memory and spiritual presence of Dr. King. The groundbreaking was contingent upon raising the estimated $100 million dollars required to build and maintain the memorial. $60 million has been raised so far. Visit the official Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial website.
Mid-term elections are over in the USA. Check your score card. Trading faces...Congress. The Democrats have the new majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Arthur W. Mitchell, (1886-1968), was the first black Democrat elected to the U.S. Congress (1934 - 1943). Mitchell studied under Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute. The Congressman, representing the First Congressional District of Illinois, received his law school education at Columbia and Harvard.
Can you identify these three famous black history people? The woman on the left was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book, "Annie Allen" in 1950. In the middle, this public figure was the first African American elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1963. He was elected the first African American Mayor of Los Angeles in 1973. On the right, he was the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1950). He was the first black official in the U.S. State Department in 1946. The answers: Gwendolyn Brooks left photo (1917 - 2000) Thomas Bradley middle photo (1917 - 1998) Dr. Ralph J. Bunche right photo (1904 - 1971) photos from Empower Encyclopedia
Coleman A. Young, (1918-1997), Detroit’s first African American mayor, got the city out of bankruptcy (1981), rebuilt business and residential housing along the Detroit River, and integrated the Detroit Fire and Police Departments. President Clinton praised Young as "not only a great mayor of Detroit, but an inspiration to so many city leaders throughout the nation." Young was elected Mayor on November 6, 1973, and reelected four times in 1977, 1981, 1985, and 1989. He decided in 1993 not to seek a sixth term. Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Young’s family relocated to Detroit when Coleman was five. Although he was the product of an excellent Roman Catholic elementary school education with top grades, he was denied admission to several of the outstanding Detroit high schools because of discrimination. Young dropped out of high school, worked for the Ford Motor Company, then the post office. He was a bombardier-navigator with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Young read about A. Philip Randolph and the union movement, and became involved as an organizer in 1951. Young founded the National Negro Labor Council. He was elected to the Michigan Constitutional Convention in 1960, and as a Michigan State Senator in 1964. He was the first African American to serve on the National Democratic Committee in 1968.
It's the Fall season featuring lots of television program premiers. In 1957, Nat King Cole, (1919-1965), became the first African American to host a nationwide network television program. He was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and raised in Chicago. A legendary pop and jazz singer, Cole had many hits including "Mona Lisa," "Rambling Rose," and "The Christmas Song." Sadly, during the 1950's, attracting commercial sponsorship to the Nat King Cole Show was a challenge for the producers. Though short lived on network television, Cole was a trailblazer preceding the many who have followed him.
Lockheed Martin has won NASA's multibillion-dollar go ahead to build the Orion crew exploration vehicle, a spaceship that will take astronauts back to the international space station, the moon, and beyond. Orion will carry cargo, or up to six crew members. The craft will travel to the international space station by 2014, and carry up to four astronauts to the moon and back by 2020. When it comes to black history people in space, one person to salute among many is Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native became the first black American astronaut in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger on August 30, 1983. He earned a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering with a minor in laser physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1978.