Melvin Jay “Mel” Reynolds (1952- )

Politician, scholar and professor, Mel Reynolds was born on January 8, 1952, in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, to parents J.J. and Essie May Reynolds. Reynolds attended John Marshall High School on the Westside of Chicago where he developed impressive academic credentials. He then enrolled in Chicago … Read MoreMelvin Jay “Mel” Reynolds (1952- )

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (1875-1955)

Mary McLeod Bethune was a prominent educator, political leader, and social visionary whose early twentieth century activism for black women and civil rights laid the foundation for the modern civil rights era. Inspired by leaders such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Josephine St. Pierre-Ruffin, Bethune … Read MoreMary Jane McLeod Bethune (1875-1955)

Elizabeth Ross Haynes (1883-1953)

In the early twentieth century Progressive era reformers largely ignored the needs of African American women.  Lacking settlement houses and other resources African American reformers such as Elizabeth Ross Haynes turned to one of the few institutions available to them, the YWCA.  Ross Haynes was … Read MoreElizabeth Ross Haynes (1883-1953)

Albert Cleage Jr. (Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman) (1911-2000)

Albert Cleage, jr., or Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman, Black Nationalist and civil rights activist, was one of the most prominent black religious leaders in America. Agyemen preached a form of nationalism within the black community that stressed economic self-sufficiency and separation that relied on a religious … Read MoreAlbert Cleage Jr. (Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman) (1911-2000)

Adolphus D. Griffin (1868-1916)

Adolphus D. Griffin used his self-attained literacy to emerge as a newspaper editor/publisher in the West at the turn of the twentieth century.  Born near Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1868, A.D. Griffin moved to Spokane, Washington where he edited one of his first newspapers, The Northwest … Read MoreAdolphus D. Griffin (1868-1916)