Martha and the Vandellas (1960-1974)

Martha Reeves, one of Ruby and Elijah Reeves’s eleven children, was born in Eufaula, Alabama on July 18, 1941. Before her first birthday, they moved to Detroit, Michigan. She grew up performing at her father’s Methodist church, and was vocally trained by Abraham Silver while … Read MoreMartha and the Vandellas (1960-1974)

British West Indian Regiment (BWIR) (1915-1918)

On August 4, 1914, Britain joined the Great War. The First World War, 1914-1918, is usually viewed as a predominantly white European conflict. In fact, many Africans, Asians, black Britons, and Caribbeans fought for the British Empire. At the beginning of the war, the British War Office, however, was reluctant to allow blacks to enlist … Read MoreBritish West Indian Regiment (BWIR) (1915-1918)

Allan Glaisyer Minns (1858-1930)

Allan Glaisyer Minns, an early black physician and civic leader, was the first elected mayorof African-descent in Great Britain.  Minns was born on October 19, 1858 on Inagua island, Bahamas to John Minns and Ophelia Elizabeth Bunch. His paternal grandfather, also named John Minns, emigrated from England to the Bahamas in … Read MoreAllan Glaisyer Minns (1858-1930)

Angel Fournier Rodriguez (1987- )

International rowing champion Angel Fournier Rodriguez was born in Guantanamo, Cuba on December 31, 1987.  Rodriguez was raised playing the most popular Cuban sport, baseball, as well as basketball. At age 12 he was spotted by a coach who introduced him to the sport of rowing. Rodriguez began his international rowing … Read MoreAngel Fournier Rodriguez (1987- )

Marvin Johnathan Rees (1972- )

Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol, England, population 454,000, is the person of African descent who currently leads the largest city in Europe.  Born in April 1972, he and his younger sister were raised in Lawrence Weston and Eastern, two of the poorer wards in the city, by his single mother, Janet … Read MoreMarvin Johnathan Rees (1972- )

John Richard Archer (1863-1932)

John Richard Archer was a British politician, Pan-Africanist, and civic leader who became the first mayor of African-descent to be elected of Battersea, a civil parish and metropolitan borough in London, England.  Archer was born in Liverpool on June 8, 1863 to Richard Archer, a ship steward from … Read MoreJohn Richard Archer (1863-1932)

(Sara) Saartjie Baartman (1789-1815)

Saartjie (Sara) Baartman was one of the first black women known to be subjugated to human sexual trafficking. She was derisively named the “Hottentot Venus” by Europeans as her body would be publicly examined and exposed inhumanly throughout the duration of her young life.  Moreover. her experience … Read More(Sara) Saartjie Baartman (1789-1815)

Bessie Blount Griffin (1914-2009)

Bessie Virginia Blount, pioneer physical therapist, inventor, and scientist, was born in Hickory (today Chesapeake), Virginia, on November 24, 1914. In the sixth grade, she had to discontinue her elementary education, although she would later earn a GED after her family moved to New Jersey. She studied nursing at the Community … Read MoreBessie Blount Griffin (1914-2009)