Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

Poet, novelist, playwright, librettist, essayist, and translator, James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri on February 1, 1902, to parents Caroline (Carrie) Mercer Langston, a school teacher, and James Nathaniel Hughes, an attorney. His parents separated before Langston was born and he spent … Read MoreLangston Hughes (1902-1967)

Kelly Miller (1863-1939)

Kelly Miller, mathematician, intellectual, and political activist, was born on July 18, 1863 in Winnsboro, South Carolina to Kelly and Elizabeth Miller. Like many African Americans who took advantage of increased educational opportunities after the civil war, Miller attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. He … Read MoreKelly Miller (1863-1939)

Joseph Seamon Cotter Jr. (1895-1919)

John Seamon Cotter, Jr., a talented playwright, journalist, and poet, was born and reared in Louisville, Kentucky. The son of journalist, playwright, poet, teacher and community developer Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr., the younger Cotter’s education began with his sister Florence Olivia teaching him to read. … Read MoreJoseph Seamon Cotter Jr. (1895-1919)

Lester Blackwell Granger (1896-1976)

Lester Blackwell Granger was a social worker and civil rights and labor rights activist best known for leading the National Urban League (NUL) from 1941 to 1961. Granger was born on September 16, 1896, in Newport News, Virginia, to William “Ran” Randolph and Mary Louise … Read MoreLester Blackwell Granger (1896-1976)

Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr. (1861-1949)

Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr., the father of poet-playwright Joseph Seamon, Jr., distinguished himself as a playwright, poet, author, and educator. Cotter was born in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1861, but was reared in Louisville. He was one of the earliest African American playwrights to be published. … Read MoreJoseph Seamon Cotter, Sr. (1861-1949)

John Campbell Dancy Jr. (1888-1968)

John Campbell Dancy, Jr. headed the Detroit Urban League through the tumultuous years of the Great Migration, Great Depression and World War II.  He was born into a prominent family in North Carolina who steered him to the north to obtain degrees from Phillips-Exeter Academy … Read MoreJohn Campbell Dancy Jr. (1888-1968)