Sylvanus Smith (1831–1911)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Sylvanus Smith, once described in a city directory as a “hog driver,” was a free black Brooklynite who promoted and protected racial equality, business ownership, and property development in the community of Weeksville, New York. Smith was one of the original … Read MoreSylvanus Smith (1831–1911)

William Melvin Kelley (1937- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain William Melvin Kelley is a renowned African American author known for his experimental style and exploration of African American cultural identity.  Born on November 1, 1937 in the Bronx, New York, to Narcissa Agatha Kelley and William Kelley, an editor, he … Read MoreWilliam Melvin Kelley (1937- )

Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) (1986- )

Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD), founded in 1986 in New York City, is one of the oldest organizations working toward the welfare of black gay men in the United States. They began offering services for persons with AIDS toward the beginning of the US … Read MoreGay Men of African Descent (GMAD) (1986- )

William [Willie “the Lion”] Smith (1897-1973)

Jazz pianist, Willie “the Lion” Smith was born William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff on November 25, 1897. Smith was born to parents Ida Oliver and Frank Bertholoff in Goshen, New York. Bertholoff passed away in 1901, and Oliver married mechanic John Smith. The two raised … Read MoreWilliam [Willie “the Lion”] Smith (1897-1973)

Hal Jackson (1915-2012 )

Image Ownership: BeeCeePhoto (CC BY-SA 4.0) Harold “Hal” Jackson, legendary broadcaster, radio station owner, and philanthropist was born November 3, 1915 in Charleston, South Carolina to Eugene and Laura Jackson. Eugene Jackson owned a successful tailor shop in Charleston allowing the family to live in … Read MoreHal Jackson (1915-2012 )