Alonzo Smith

Academic Historian

Alonzo Smith is currently a professor of history at Montgomery College, in Rockville, Maryland. After graduating from Georgetown University in 1962, he served for three years as a schoolteacher in the Republic of the Ivory Coast, in West Africa, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and then as an employee of the Ivory Coast Ministry of National Education. He later earned the M.A. degree in African History from Howard University, and the Ph.D. degree in African American History from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He has taught at Los Angeles City College, the Black Studies Center of the Claremont Colleges, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Hampton University. From 1991 to 1992 he was program director and country manager for the nonprofit governmental organization, Africare, in Sierra Leone. His publications include An Illustrated History of African Americans in Nebraska, co-authored with Bertha Calloway. From 1994 to 2005 he was a research historian and associate curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where he served as one of two co-curators for the exhibition, “Separate Is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education.” His research and teaching interests include; contemporary African Studies, twentieth century African American history, and peace and social justice issues.

Howard University (1867– )

Howard University Faculty, 1950: Left to Right, James Nabrit, Charles Drew, Sterling Brown, E. Franklin Frazier, Rayford Logan and Alain Locke. Courtesy of the Howard University Archives, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center Howard University has been labeled “the capstone of Negro education,” because of its central role … Read MoreHoward University (1867– )

Wayne Keith Curry (1951-2014)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Born in Brooklyn, New York, Wayne Keith Curry’s father, Eugene, was a schoolteacher and his mother, Juliette, was a homemaker and later a secretary.  When the family moved to Cheverly, Maryland in the 1960s, they encountered various forms of discrimination, including … Read MoreWayne Keith Curry (1951-2014)

Charlotta Bass (1879-1969)

Charlotta Bass (left) Image Ownership: Public Domain Charlotta Bass was a feminist, a crusading journalist, and a major African American activist on the West Coast through the first half of the twentieth century.  Born Charlotta Amanda Spears in Sumter, South Carolina in 1879 or 1880, … Read MoreCharlotta Bass (1879-1969)

Maynard H. Jackson Jr. (1938-2003)

The great-grandson of slaves, Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr. was born in Dallas, Texas, on March 23, 1938.  His father, Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Sr., was a leading figure in the 1930s campaign for black voting rights in Dallas and a founder of Democratic Progressive Voter’s League … Read MoreMaynard H. Jackson Jr. (1938-2003)

Ernest Nathan Morial (1929-1989)

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 9, 1929, Ernest “Dutch” Morial grew up in the city’s English and French-speaking Seventh Ward.  His father was a cigar maker and his mother was a seamstress.  Graduating from Xavier University, a historically black Catholic institution in 1951, … Read MoreErnest Nathan Morial (1929-1989)

Tom Bradley (1917-1998)

Thomas J. “Tom” Bradley, five-term Mayor of Los Angeles and the first major black candidate for Governor of California, was born in Calvert, Texas, on December 29, 1917, the son of Lee Thomas Bradley, a railroad porter, and Crenner Bradley, a maid.  He was the … Read MoreTom Bradley (1917-1998)