Sophia Gillmer

Student Historian

Sophia Gillmer is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington majoring in History and minoring in Diversity. As a bi-racial black woman, she has found herself to be passionate about social justice and listening to the voices of marginalized communities. Growing up in different parts of the country, she has met people from different cultures, backgrounds, and ethnicities which has made her fascinated in the way history has influenced the different experiences of people in the United States. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and pursue civil rights law in hopes of using her voice to help speak for the different people in the United States that do not have one.

Louis E. Sturns (1949- )

Louis Sturns was the first African American to serve on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court. Sturns was born to Robert L. Sterns and Emma Sturns on August 6, 1949 in Henderson, Texas, located in Rusk County. He was raised in Rusk County … Read MoreLouis E. Sturns (1949- )

Vivienne Malone-Mayes (1932-1995)

Image Ownership: The Texas Collection, Baylor University ENTRY SPONSOR: Quintard Taylor Born February 10, 1932, Vivienne Malone-Mayes was the fifth African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. Malone-Mayes grew up in Waco, Texas, and in 1948, she graduated from A.J. Moore High School when she was only … Read MoreVivienne Malone-Mayes (1932-1995)

Wallace B. Jefferson (1963- )

Wallace B. Jefferson was the first African American to serve as a Justice and Chief Justice on the Texas Supreme Court. Born on July 22, 1963, to William and Joyce Jefferson, in San Antonio, Texas. In 1981, Jefferson graduated from John Jay High school in San Antonio, Texas. He … Read MoreWallace B. Jefferson (1963- )

Tom Colbert (1949- )

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 30, 1949, Tom Colbert was the first African American Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Raised by his single mother, Edith Colbert, with four other siblings, he grew up in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, a small town near Oklahoma City, and graduated from … Read MoreTom Colbert (1949- )

David B. Lewis (1956- )

David Lewis is the first African American to serve on the Criminal Court of Appeals in Oklahoma. Born to Sylvia Lewis on April 30, 1958 in Ardmore, Oklahoma, he graduated from Ardmore High School in 1976. He got a bachelor’s degree in Business economics at the University of Oklahoma in 1980. … Read MoreDavid B. Lewis (1956- )

Rochelle, Michael D. (1950- )

Michael D. Rochelle is a retired Lieutenant General in the United States Army who served in the military for more than thirty years. Born in 1950, he graduated from Norfolk State University with a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Language Education in 1972. At Norfolk State, Rochelle participated … Read MoreRochelle, Michael D. (1950- )