Matt VanHouten

Independent Historian

Matt Van Houten is a student at the University of Washington who plans on receiving his undergraduate degree in History.  Matt currently plays soccer on the University of Washington soccer team and is a huge sports fan.

A. Maceo Walker (1909–1994)

Courtesy of The Commercial Appeal/ Dave Darnell, Photographer Antonio Maceo Walker was an African American businessman and president of Universal Life Insurance Company and Tri-State Bank, both in Memphis, Tennessee.  Walker was born on June 7, 1909 in Indianola, Mississippi to Joseph and Lela Walker.  … Read MoreA. Maceo Walker (1909–1994)

George Ellis Johnson Sr. (1927– )

George Ellis Johnson, Sr. was an African American entrepreneur and founder of Johnson Products Company, a hair care firm, and Independence Bank in Chicago, Illinois.  Johnson was born on June 16, 1927 in Richton, Mississippi to Priscilla Johnson.  He is perhaps best known for being … Read MoreGeorge Ellis Johnson Sr. (1927– )

Wilton Norman Chamberlain (1936-1999)

Wilt Chamberlain as a Harlem Globetrotter Image Courtesy of Winston Salem State University Wilton Norman Chamberlain was an African American basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers.  Chamberlain is … Read MoreWilton Norman Chamberlain (1936-1999)

WGPR-TV (1975–1995)

WGPR-TV (Where God’s Presence Radiates) was the first television station in the United States owned and operated by African Americans. The station, located in Detroit, Michigan, was founded by William Venoid Banks. WGPR-TV marketed toward the urban audience in Detroit, Michigan, which in that market … Read MoreWGPR-TV (1975–1995)

Midian Othello Bousfield (1885–1948)

  Midian O. Bousfield (left) Receives the Legion of Merit Award, 1945 Image Ownership: Public Domain Physician and businessman Dr. Midian Othello Bousfield was a leader in Chicago’s insurance industry. His diverse career included work in medicine and in the military, advocating for African American … Read MoreMidian Othello Bousfield (1885–1948)

Grace Towns Hamilton (1907– 1992)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Grace Towns Hamilton was the first African American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly.  She was a lifelong advocate of rights for the disadvantaged, and was instrumental in key district reapportionment efforts and black voter registration that helped bring minority … Read MoreGrace Towns Hamilton (1907– 1992)

Alonzo Franklin Herndon (1858–1927)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Alonzo Franklin Herndon was an African American entrepreneur who founded and was the first president of Atlanta Life Insurance Company.  Herndon was born on June 26, 1858 in Walton County, Georgia to Frank Herndon, a white farmer, and Sophenie, his slave.  … Read MoreAlonzo Franklin Herndon (1858–1927)