Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001)

  Image Ownership: Public Domain Scholar, African traditionalist poet, and Senegal’s first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor was born on October 9, 1906 in Joal, Senegal. His father, Basie Diogoye Senghor, was a Malinké landowner. His mother, Gnilane Bakhoum, came from a Christian Fulani family. They … Read MoreLéopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001)

Orison Rudolph Aggrey (1926- )

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” U.S. Ambassador Orison Rudolph Aggrey was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, the son of James Emman Kwegyir, an African immigrant who became an American college professor, and Rose Rudolph (Douglass) Aggrey, an African American woman. He earned a B.S. degree from … Read MoreOrison Rudolph Aggrey (1926- )

Katherine Dunham (1909-2006)

Katherine Dunham was born on June 22, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Albert and Fanny Dunham.  She was of mixed heritage with African, Madagascan, Canadian-French and American Indian ancestry.  Dunham was raised in Joliet, Illinois and didn’t begin formal dance training until her late … Read MoreKatherine Dunham (1909-2006)

Ira Aldridge (1807-1867)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Ira Frederick Aldridge was the first African American actor to achieve success on the international stage. He also pushed social boundaries by playing opposite white actresses in England and becoming known as the preeminent Shakespearean actor and tragedian of the 19th … Read MoreIra Aldridge (1807-1867)