Academic Historian

Will Guzmán is professor of history at Prairie View A&M University and has taught at the University of Texas–El Paso, Florida A&M, Florida State, Seton Hall, and New Jersey City universities. He was director of NJCU’s Hagan Africana Studies Center and is author of the award-winning Civil Rights in the Texas Borderlands: Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon and Black Activism (University of Illinois Press, 2015).

Guzmán and David H. Jackson are co-editing Maceo C. Dailey’s biography, Emmett Jay Scott—confidant to Booker T. Washington (Texas Tech University Press). His other forthcoming books will be on Afro-Puerto Ricans; New Jersey civil rights attorney Raymond A. Brown (Fordham University Press); and co-editing with Kwasi Densu, Florida’s Black Power Movement (University Press of Florida). Guzmán tweets at: @ebeyiye.

Frederick Humphries (1935-2021)

Frederick Stephen Humphries Sr., university president, professor, and HBCU advocate, was born December 26, 1935, in Apalachicola, Florida to Minnie Fry Henry, a domestic servant and teacher, and Thornton Govan Humphries Sr., a lumber mill worker and salter. A lifelong Catholic, Humphries was influenced by … Read MoreFrederick Humphries (1935-2021)

Bobby Wright (1934-1982)

Bobby Eugene Wright, Pan-African clinical psychologist, mental health administrator, and theorist, was born March 1, 1934 in Anniston, Alabama.  Reared in Hobson City, Alabama’s first all-Black town, by mother Myrtle M. Johnson, stepmother Zellar C. Royle, and father, Bennie Henry Wright (1904-1949), a Monsanto Chemical … Read MoreBobby Wright (1934-1982)

Alonzo Smith “Jake” Gaither (1903-1994)

Alonzo Smith “Jake” Gaither, football coach, was born April 11, 1903 in Dayton, Tennessee to teacher Florence Kyle Gaither and AME minister Jefferson Davis Gaither. Gaither attended Knoxville College, Knoxville, Tennessee in 1919 as a high school freshman and graduated with a B.A. in 1927. … Read MoreAlonzo Smith “Jake” Gaither (1903-1994)

Doxey Wilkerson (1905-1993)

Doxey Alphonso Lewis Alexander Wilkerson, communist, Marxist, professor, author, editor, and union leader, was born April 24, 1905 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri to Mattie L. Wilkerson of Kentucky (1884-1955) and Methodist minister Alphonso Wilkerson. A 1921 graduate of Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas, … Read MoreDoxey Wilkerson (1905-1993)

Jesús Colón (1901-1974)

Fabián Jesús Colón López, Afro-Puerto Rican Marxist, socialist, communist, writer, and political and community activist, was born on January 20, 1901 in Cayey, Puerto Rico (PR), to Paula López Colón (1874-1927), a domestic worker, and Mauricio Colón Coto (1863-1920), a baker, jointer, artisan, and US … Read MoreJesús Colón (1901-1974)

Valerie Thomas (1943- )

Valerie LaVerne Thomas, scientist, mathematician, physicist, and inventor, was born on February 1, 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland. Reared in the historic all-Black Cherry Hill community, Valerie’s parents were her first role models. They instilled in her the importance of education that resulted “in an inquiry-based … Read MoreValerie Thomas (1943- )

Leonard Jeffries (1937- )

Leonard Jeffries, Jr., university administrator, professor, and Pan-Africanist was born January 19, 1937 in Newark, New Jersey to Leola Smith Jeffries of Lynchburg, Virginia, an office secretary, and Leonard Jeffries of Akron, Ohio, a tailor at Irvington Cleaners & Dryers. Reared in Newark’s Roseville section, … Read MoreLeonard Jeffries (1937- )