Amy Essington

Academic Historian

Amy Essington is a lecturer in the history departments at California State University, Fullerton, and Cal Poly Pomona. She is the Executive Director of the Historical Society of Southern California. She completed a Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate University and is the author of The Integration of the Pacific Coast League: Race, Baseball, and the West (University of Nebraska Press, 2018). Amy has presented, written encyclopedia entries, and completed book reviews on topics of race and baseball that include Effa Manley, the Negro Leagues, the West Coast Baseball League, and the integration of Pacific Coast League.

Alice Marie Coachman (1923-2014)

Alice Coachman became the first African American woman from any country to win an Olympic Gold Medal when she competed at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, UK. Born November 9, 1923, in Albany, Georgia, to Evelyn and Fred Coachman, Alice was the fifth of … Read MoreAlice Marie Coachman (1923-2014)

John Baxter Taylor Jr. (1882-1908)

The first African American to win an Olympic Gold Medal, John Baxter Taylor was born November 3, 1882, in Washington, D.C. He attended Central High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he ran track and was the only African American on the team. After graduating from … Read MoreJohn Baxter Taylor Jr. (1882-1908)

Charles W. Follis (1879-1910)

Image Ownership: Public Domain The first African American professional football player, Charles W. Follis, was born February 3, 1879, in Cloverdale, Virginia. The Follis family moved to Wooster, Ohio, where he attended Wooster High School and participated in organizing and establishing the first varsity football … Read MoreCharles W. Follis (1879-1910)