Franklin D. Cleckley (1940-2017)

Franklin Dorrah Cleckley, the first African American to serve as a justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court, was born on August 1, 1940, in Huntington, West Virginia. His mother was Vivian Wood. After graduating from high school, he attended Anderson College and earned his bachelor’s degree in … Read MoreFranklin D. Cleckley (1940-2017)

James Forman Jr. (1967- )

Legal scholar and author James Forman Jr. (a.k.a. James Robert Lumumba Forman) was born in New York City, New York on June 22, 1967. His mother, political activist Constancia Romilly, was the daughter of English author and journalist Jessica Mitford; his father, James Forman, Sr., played a prominent role … Read MoreJames Forman Jr. (1967- )

British Black Panther Party (1968-1973)

Inspired by the Black Power movement in the U.S., the Nigerian playwright, Obi Egbuna, founded the British Black Panthers (BBP) in 1968 in London’s Notting Hill.  In Britain, people of Caribbean, African, or South Asian descent, who were mainly immigrants from former British colonies, were considered to be “black.”  The tripling of Britain’s black population from … Read MoreBritish Black Panther Party (1968-1973)

Linton Kwesi Johnson (1952- )

Linton Kwesi Johnson, political activist, poet and reggae artist, was born in Chapelton, Jamaica in 1952. After his parents’ divorce, Johnson was raised by his grandmother. Johnson left his small parish in 1963 and moved to London, UK to be with his mother, where he attended Tulse Hill secondary school. Johnson became increasingly aware … Read MoreLinton Kwesi Johnson (1952- )

Walt Braithwaite (1945- )

If you have flown on a commercial airliner in recent years, chances are you benefited from the engineering and computer science expertise of Walt Braithwaite. During his almost four decades at The Boeing Company (Boeing), Braithwaite helped transform the field of aerospace design from a manual time-consuming process to … Read MoreWalt Braithwaite (1945- )

Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803)

Known to his contemporaries as “The Black Napoleon,” Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history that created an independent state, the Haitian Revolution. Born into slavery on May 20, 1743 in the French colony of Saint … Read MoreToussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803)

Annette Gordon-Reed (1958- )

Award-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed was born in Livingston, Texas, on November 19, 1958, the daughter of military veteran Alfred Gordon Sr. and Bettye Jean Gordon, an English teacher. As a girl who loved to read and write and was fascinated by the family of Thomas Jefferson, something that … Read MoreAnnette Gordon-Reed (1958- )