James T. Whitehead, Jr. (1934- )

James Whitehead, Jr., the first African American Lockheed U2 pilot, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1934.  From a young age Whitehead was surrounded by a strong military presence in his family including relatives who served in World War II.  Coming of age during that war he … Read MoreJames T. Whitehead, Jr. (1934- )

Black Soldiers and the Ledo Road (1942-1945)

The Ledo Road, which was later renamed The Stillwell Road in honor of Army General Joseph W. Stillwell, the commander of the China–Burma–India Theater in World War II, was built during World War II in response to the Japanese Army’s capture of the Burma Road, the main route for Allied military supplies … Read MoreBlack Soldiers and the Ledo Road (1942-1945)

The 13th Street Colored Branch Library, Meridian, Mississippi (1913-1974)

Image Ownership: Public domain The 13th Street (St.) Colored Branch was a segregated public library established by the city of Meridian, Mississippi, in 1912 and opened in March 1913. It was one of the first free public libraries for African Americans in the state of … Read MoreThe 13th Street Colored Branch Library, Meridian, Mississippi (1913-1974)

Ora Washington (1898-1971)

Ora Mae Washington was the first prominent African American athlete to dominate two sports, tennis and basketball.  Born on January 23, 1898, in Caroline County, Virginia, she was the daughter of James “Tommy” and Laura O. Young-Washington.   Washington’s family moved north in search of opportunity … Read MoreOra Washington (1898-1971)

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- )

Joseph Charles Jenkins (1914-1959)

Image Ownership: Public domain Joseph Charles Jenkins, the first African American naval officer, paved the way for the beginning of desegregation in the United States Coast Guard. Jenkins was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1914. Unfortunately, there is little information regarding his childhood. He began … Read MoreJoseph Charles Jenkins (1914-1959)

African Americans and the Manhattan Project, Richland, WA (1942-1945)

Black Workers at Hanford, 1944 Image Ownership: Public domain Between the years of 1942 and 1944 around fifteen thousand blacks and fifty thousand whites were recruited to the Manhattan/ Hanford Project in Richland, Washington. The federal government required government contractor, DuPont, to keep the number … Read MoreAfrican Americans and the Manhattan Project, Richland, WA (1942-1945)