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.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (1938- )

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was inaugurated the 24th president of the Republic of Liberia on January 16, 2006, she became Africa’s first democratically elected female head of state.  Her election reflected the hope and belief that African nations could embrace participatory democracy. Ellen Euphemia Johnson … Read MoreEllen Johnson Sirleaf (1938- )

Korla Pandit (1921-1998) (aka Redd, John Roland, aka Rolando, Juan)

Image Ownership: John Turner Korla Pandit, the first African American to have his own television show, was a composer, organist and pianist who starred in TV’s first all-music series.  He was known as the godfather of “Exotica,” a musical genre that became popular in the … Read MoreKorla Pandit (1921-1998) (aka Redd, John Roland, aka Rolando, Juan)

Louise Jones McKinney (1930-2012)

Louise McKinney (née Jones) was an African-American educator, human rights advocate, philanthropist, business woman, community activist, and patron of the arts.  She was a long-established galvanizing force of civic life in Seattle and in the State of Washington. Born Louise Jones on July 12, 1920 … Read MoreLouise Jones McKinney (1930-2012)

Robert Keith McFerrin, Sr. (1921-2006)

In 1953 baritone Robert McFerrin Sr. made history as the first African American to win the Metropolitan Opera House’s Auditions of the Air radio contest.  On January 27, 1955, in the role of Ethiopian King Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida, McFerrin made history again by becoming … Read MoreRobert Keith McFerrin, Sr. (1921-2006)

Norman Robert Allen, Jr. (1957- )

Norman (Norm) Robert Allen Jr. is a writer and secular humanist activist.  On August 31, 1989 Allen founded African Americans for Humanism, the first organization focused on the promotion of humanism and humanist ideals among people of African descent.  He was the executive director of … Read MoreNorman Robert Allen, Jr. (1957- )