Helen Leichner

Student Historian

Frederica Wilson (1942- )

Democratic Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson was born on November 5, 1942 in Miami, Florida to Beulah Finley and Thirlee Smith. Wilson learned the importance of community activism at a young age. Her father was a small business owner and civil rights activist who worked to promote voter registration … Read MoreFrederica Wilson (1942- )

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Musician, composer, and conductor Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson was born on June 14, 1932, in Manhattan, New York City.  Perkinson’s mother, a talented pianist, organist, and theater director in the Bronx, named her son after the Afro-British composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Perkinson began showing … Read MoreColeridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004)

Zelma George (1903-1994)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Zelma Watson George, philanthropist, opera singer, and political activist was born December 8, 1903 in Hearne, Texas to Samuel E.J. Watson and Lena Thomas Watson. George’s father was a Baptist minister, and because of the requirements of his profession, moved frequently. … Read MoreZelma George (1903-1994)

Cherie Buckner-Webb (1951- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Idaho’s first African American State Senator, inspirational keynote speaker, trainer, and singer Cherie Buckner-Webb, a fifth generation Idahoan was born October 20, 1951 in Boise. Buckner-Webb, her family, and other members of the small black community in the state capital experienced … Read MoreCherie Buckner-Webb (1951- )

Ada “Bricktop” Smith (1894-1984)

Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith (“Bricktop”), vaudevillian actress, singer, nightclub owner, and international celebrity host, was born August 14, 1894 in Alderson, West Virginia, to Thomas and Hattie Thompson Smith. Her father passed away in 1898 and Mrs. Smith moved Ada and her … Read MoreAda “Bricktop” Smith (1894-1984)