Taylor Emmanuel Gordon (1893-1971)

Taylor Emmanuel Gordon was born in 1893 in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, one of six children of a cook and a laundress.  He is best known for his career as a singer in the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.  After leaving Montana in 1910 for a job in Minnesota, … Read MoreTaylor Emmanuel Gordon (1893-1971)

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) (1941-1998)

A civil rights leader, antiwar activist, and Pan-African revolutionary, Stokely Carmichael is best known for popularizing the slogan “Black Power,” which in the mid 1960s galvanized a movement toward more militant and separatist assertions of black identity, nationalism, and empowerment and away from the liberal, … Read MoreStokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) (1941-1998)

Hubert Brown (H. Rap) /Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (1943- )

H. Rap Brown succeeded Stokely Carmichael as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was a prominent figure in the Black Panther Party. A leading proponent of Black Power and a polarizing media icon, Brown symbolized both the power and the dangers—for white Americans and for radical activists themselves—of the civil rights movement’s new … Read MoreHubert Brown (H. Rap) /Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (1943- )

Mary J. Blige (1971- )

When Mary J. Blige was born on January 11, 1971, in The Bronx, New York, few observers would have imagined her becoming one of the most successful rhythm and blues (R&B) artists within a musical world increasingly dominated by hip-hop. Blige’s father abandoned the family when she was four.  She … Read MoreMary J. Blige (1971- )

James W. Ford (1893-1957)

Communist Party Presidential Campaign Poster, 1932 with image of James Ford as the Vice Presidential Candidate. Image Ownership: Public domain James W. Ford was Special Organizer of the CommunistParty’s Harlem, New York section and the most prominent black Communist in the nation during the 1930s and early 1940s. … Read MoreJames W. Ford (1893-1957)

James Williams (1825- ?)

Cover: Fugitive Slave in Gold Rush California Image Ownership: Public domain James Williams, a fugitive from slavery and the author of the only known full-length slave narrative published independently (in California), was born John Thomas in Elkton, Maryland, April 1, 1825. At age thirteen, he … Read MoreJames Williams (1825- ?)