Independent Historian

Olga Bourlin is editor of The Human Prospect, a journal published by the Institute for Science and Human Values. Having grown up in China and Brazil before emigrating to the United States at age 9 has given her an abiding love of history and a relentless curiosity about cultures around the world. Her Bachelor of Science degree is from San Francisco State University. She has written for Free Inquiry, Apogee, The Secular Humanist Press, and The Examiner (the newsletter for African Americans for Humanism (AAH)).  A lifelong reader and big fan of the First Amendment, Olga was a co-founder and co-chair of the Northwest Feminist Anti-Censorship Taskforce.

James Forman Jr. (1967- )

Legal scholar and author James Forman Jr. (a.k.a. James Robert Lumumba Forman) was born in New York City, New York on June 22, 1967. His mother, political activist Constancia Romilly, was the daughter of English author and journalist Jessica Mitford; his father, James Forman, Sr., played a prominent role … Read MoreJames Forman Jr. (1967- )

Noah Webster Griffin Jr. (1946– )

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Multi-talented Noah Griffin Jr. has had a many-faceted career:  historian, writer, newspaper columnist, radio and television talk show host, law editor, press secretary, campaign manager, lyricist, and vocalist. Griffin was born in San Francisco, California, on January 31, 1946, to Noah … Read MoreNoah Webster Griffin Jr. (1946– )

Charles A. “Chuck” Harrison (1931–2018)

Charles Harrison was one of the most prolific industrial designers of the twentieth century. One of only a handful of early African American industrial designers, he specialized in creating a variety of practical household goods emphasizing form and function. Harrison’s output of innovative consumer products … Read MoreCharles A. “Chuck” Harrison (1931–2018)

George Irving Shirley (1934- )

George Shirley is an educator, lecturer, and internationally acclaimed tenor whose leading roles in 28 operas with the Metropolitan Opera (“Met”) for 11 seasons helped push open doors on operatic stages for many African American tenors. In 1956 Shirley became the first African American member … Read MoreGeorge Irving Shirley (1934- )

William James Raspberry (1935-2012)

“Image Ownership: Washington Informer” William James Raspberry, who wrote a prominent public affairs column for The Washington Post for nearly 40 years, was one of the first extensively read African American journalist commentators with a wide readership in the mainstream press. From 1995 to 2008 … Read MoreWilliam James Raspberry (1935-2012)

Mabel Alice Wadham Mercer (1900-1984)

Mabel Mercer was one of the most important jazz cabaret singers of the 20th Century. Her personal singing style emphasizing interpretation, diction, lyrics, and projection over vocal proficiency influenced numerous leading singers including Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Rosemary … Read MoreMabel Alice Wadham Mercer (1900-1984)

Port-au-Prince, Republic of Haiti (1749- )

Port-au-Prince is the capital, largest city, commercial center, and chief port of the Republic of Haiti. Some 90% of Haiti’s investments and jobs are found in Port-au-Prince. Estimated to be about 1.2 million inhabitants (and nearly three million inhabitants in the metropolitan area), the city … Read MorePort-au-Prince, Republic of Haiti (1749- )