Frederick McDonald Massiah (1886–1975)

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" Frederick McDonald Massiah was one of the first African Americans to receive a civil engineering degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was also one of the first successful African American contracting engineers in the country. Massiah was born in … Read MoreFrederick McDonald Massiah (1886–1975)

Robert Robinson Taylor (1868-1942)

Architect and educator Robert Robinson Taylor was the first African American to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  He is the father of architect and Chicago, Illinois business leader Robert Rochon Taylor (1899-1957) and the great-grandfather of Valerie Jarrett (1956-  ), senior advisor … Read MoreRobert Robinson Taylor (1868-1942)

Central Contractors Association

In 1969, Walter Hundley, director of the Seattle Model Cities Program, encouraged local black independent contractors to organize in an effort to gain lucrative building construction contracts that required minority participation.  When the contractors responded, they selected Tyree Scott, an electrician, as their leader.  They … Read MoreCentral Contractors Association

Albert I. Cassell (1895-1969)

  Image Ownership: Public Domain Albert Irving Cassell, a prominent African American architect, planner, engineer, educator, and entrepreneur, was born on June 25, 1895, in Towson, Maryland.  His parents were Albert and Charlotte Cassell.  Albert’s father was a coal truck driver and trumpet player and … Read MoreAlbert I. Cassell (1895-1969)

Raymond Merriwether (1924–2011)

Raymond (Ray) Merriwether, prominent Seattle, Washington African American architect, real estate developer, and newspaper owner, was born in Taylor, Texas on June 19, 1924 to Colie and Annie Merriwether.  After graduating from high school Merriwether attended barber school and served a short time in the … Read MoreRaymond Merriwether (1924–2011)

Mel Streeter (1931-2006)

Mel Streeter was born in Riverside, California in 1931. He attended the University of Oregon on a basketball scholarship and was the second African-American basketball player at Oregon after declining an offer by legendary basketball coach John Wooden to attend UCLA, because UCLA did not … Read MoreMel Streeter (1931-2006)

Lester Oliver Bankhead (1912-1997)

Lester Oliver Bankhead was among a handful of pioneering black architects in Los Angeles in the 1950s.  Although he faced the racial prejudice of his time, he was able to obtain work from Hollywood celebrities, such as actor Lorne Greene of the television series Bonanza; … Read MoreLester Oliver Bankhead (1912-1997)