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)

Raphael Abraham Frank Mensah (1924-1990s)

Raphael Abraham Frank Mensah (1924-1990s), a schoolmaster and theologian, played a foundational role in bringing Mormonism to Ghana. Born in 1924 in Winneba, Gold Coast, as the British colony of Ghana was then called, he was the eldest of five children, three sons and two … Read MoreRaphael Abraham Frank Mensah (1924-1990s)

Amanda America Dickson Toomer (1849-1893)

Heiress and socialite Amanda America Dickson Toomer was, in her time, the wealthiest African American woman in Georgia, and one of the wealthiest women in the United States. Born November 20, 1849, on the Dickson Plantation, near Sparta, Georgia (Hancock County), Amanda America was the … Read MoreAmanda America Dickson Toomer (1849-1893)

Dorothy Lavinia Brown (1919-2004)

Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown was a medical pioneer, educator, and community leader.  In 1948-1949 Brown became the first African American female appointed to a general surgery residency in the de jure racially segregated South.  In 1956 Brown became the first unmarried woman in Tennessee authorized … Read MoreDorothy Lavinia Brown (1919-2004)

Samuel Younge (“Sammy”) Leamon, Jr. (1944-1966)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Samuel (“Sammy”) Leamon Younge Jr. was a young civil rights activist who was shot to death on January 3, 1966 when he attempted to use a whites-only restroom at a gas station in Macon County, Alabama. He was 21 years old.  … Read MoreSamuel Younge (“Sammy”) Leamon, Jr. (1944-1966)

Ezion-Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, Wilmington, Delaware (1789- )

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Ezion-Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, formerly known as Ezion Methodist Episcopal Church and Mount Carmel Methodist Episcopal Church, has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating black church in the state of Delaware.  Ezion Methodist Episcopal Church was created by … Read MoreEzion-Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, Wilmington, Delaware (1789- )

Burns United Methodist Church (1866- )

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Burns United Methodist Church (UMC) in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, is the oldest still-operating historically African American congregation in the state of Iowa. It was originally organized in 1866 as the Black Methodist Episcopal Church of Iowa, during a decade … Read MoreBurns United Methodist Church (1866- )