Morris W. Morris/ Lewis Morrison (1845-1906)

Lewis Morrison was one of the most prominent stage actors of his time. He was best known worldwide for his portrayal of “Mephistopheles” in Faust. He was also the first black Jewish officer to serve during the Civil War. Lewis Morrison was born in Kingston, … Read MoreMorris W. Morris/ Lewis Morrison (1845-1906)

Robert Morris Sr. (1823–1882)

Robert Morris became one of the first black lawyers in United States after being admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1847. Morris was born in Salem, Massachusetts on June 8, 1823.   At an early age, Morris had some formal education at Master Dodge’s School in Salem.  With the agreement … Read MoreRobert Morris Sr. (1823–1882)

Tillman, William B. (a.k.a. William Tilghman, 1834?-1880?)

The violent, heroic actions of an illiterate black sailor threatened with enslavement enthralled newspaper and magazine readers during the tense early phase of the American Civil War. Born free in Milford, Delaware—a state that permitted slavery but had a relatively small slave population—William B. Tillman found opportunity as a … Read MoreTillman, William B. (a.k.a. William Tilghman, 1834?-1880?)

Freedmen’s Town Houston, Texas (1865- )

Freedmen’s Town is a nationally registered historical site. The site was originally a community located in the fourth ward of Houston, Texas that began in 1865 as the destination for former enslaved people from surrounding plantations in Texas and Louisiana after the Civil War. Freedmen’s … Read MoreFreedmen’s Town Houston, Texas (1865- )

Arch Colson “Colson” Whitehead (1969- )

Image Ownership: Public domain Born Arch Colson Whitehead on November 6, 1969, novelist Colson Whitehead spent his formative years in Manhattan, New York with his parents, Arch and Mary Anne Whitehead, who owned a recruiting firm, and three siblings. Of his childhood, he has said … Read MoreArch Colson “Colson” Whitehead (1969- )

Willis Augustus Hodges (1815-1890)

Image Ownership: Public domain Willis Augustus Hodges was born into a free black family on February 12, 1815, in Blackwater, Princess Anne County, Virginia. Both his parents were free, as well as his grandmother. His grandfather was enslaved as were his parents, but since Hodges’ parents … Read MoreWillis Augustus Hodges (1815-1890)

The United States Colored Troops (1863-1865)

The United States Colored Troops (USCT) was the designation given to the approximately 175 regiments of non-white soldiers that served during the Civil War. The troops were primarily African American, but Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders were all included within the ranks, as … Read MoreThe United States Colored Troops (1863-1865)

Ladies’ Refugee Aid Society (1864)

The Ladies Refugee Aid Society of Kansas was founded in 1864 by black freedwomen in Lawrence. It was the first black women’s club in the West, preceding the Kansas Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs (a larger amalgamation of various state women’s societies). LRAS was a … Read MoreLadies’ Refugee Aid Society (1864)

Hotel Robinson (1897-1921)

Hotel Robinson, ca. 1900 Image Ownership: Public domain The Hotel Robinson, built in 1897, was one of the first businesses in San Diego County, California to be owned and operated by an African American, and the oldest continuously operated hotel in Southern California. The hotel … Read MoreHotel Robinson (1897-1921)

Mohammed Ali “Nicholas” Said (1836-1882)

Image Ownership: Public domain Mohammed Ali “Nicholas” Said, an enslaved African from Bornu in what is now northeastern Nigeria, traveled through Europe to the United States. He was born in Kouka, Bornu, the thirteenth of nineteen children to Barca Gana and his wife, Dalia, in … Read MoreMohammed Ali “Nicholas” Said (1836-1882)