Erin Sullivan

Student Historian

After attending the University of Washington, Seattle, as an undergraduate for two years, Erin Sullivan transferred to Arizona State University to pursue her passion of writing at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  She hopes to obtain a degree in Print Journalism with a minor in Cultural Geography, which will allow her to explore her interest of diverse and fascinating people in other parts of the world.

Council of Federated Organizations (1962-1965)

The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) was an umbrella organization that united several groups involved in the civil rights campaign in Mississippi between 1963 and 1965. Serving as the organization behind the civil rights movement, COFO was involved in voter registration and public accommodations desegregation … Read MoreCouncil of Federated Organizations (1962-1965)

John Leslie “Wes” Montgomery (1925-1968)

Wes Montgomery was a jazz guitarist whose natural genius and distinctive sound earned him recognition as one of the most important jazz musicians of the 20th century. Montgomery was born on March 6, 1925 in Indianapolis, Indiana into a musically inclined family. Although he was … Read MoreJohn Leslie “Wes” Montgomery (1925-1968)

Florence Onye Buchi Emecheta (1944- )

Through her personal struggles and exceptional writing abilities, Florence Onye Buchi Emecheta has constructed a collection of literary works that reflect the lives of African women.  Emecheta was born on July 21, 1944 in Yaba, Nigeria into a family with strong ties to their cultural … Read MoreFlorence Onye Buchi Emecheta (1944- )

William Lee Conley “Big Bill” Broonzy (1893-1958)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Although he struggled throughout his life to produce a sufficient income, Big Bill Broonzy played an integral role in launching the global popularity of Southern blues.  Born to sharecropper parents on June 26, 1893 in Scott, Mississippi, Broonzy grew up in … Read MoreWilliam Lee Conley “Big Bill” Broonzy (1893-1958)

Hugh Ramopolo Masekela (1939-2018)

Image Ownership: Public Domain As one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians from Africa, Hugh Masekela’s life reflects the creative ways of using music to confront injustices and generate change in his homeland.  Born in the coal-mining town of Witbank (near Johannesburg), South … Read MoreHugh Ramopolo Masekela (1939-2018)

Julian Edwin “Cannonball” Adderley (1928-1975)

Combining styles of earlier influences with his own unique twists secured Julian “Cannonball” Adderley’s place in history as an experienced alto saxophonist who was fearless in exploring fresh musical styles.  Born in Tampa, Florida on September 15, 1928, Adderley was welcomed into a musical family … Read MoreJulian Edwin “Cannonball” Adderley (1928-1975)

Benjamin “Bennie” Moten (1894-1935)

Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra Image Ownership: Public Domain As one of the most renowned big-band leaders of the 1920s, Bennie Moten succeeded in developing the “Kansas City” sound in big-band jazz.  Born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 13, 1894, Moten spent most of … Read MoreBenjamin “Bennie” Moten (1894-1935)