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- ?)

James M. Evans (1962- )

Image Ownership: Public domain James M. Evans, a politician and business owner, was the first African American chairman of the Utah Republican Party. He was born to Robert and Beatrice Evans in Orangeburg, South Carolina, in 1962. He graduated from Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School in 1981 … Read MoreJames M. Evans (1962- )

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)

Joseph William “Billy” Johnson (1934–2012)

Joseph William “Billy” Johnson, an import officer for the state metal industries of Ghana, played a foundational role in establishing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in that African nation in the 1960s. Johnson was born on December 17, 1934, in Lagos, Nigeria. … Read MoreJoseph William “Billy” Johnson (1934–2012)

Joseph Freeman (1953– )

In 1978 Joseph Freeman became the first man of African ancestry to be granted the priesthood after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that any male could be ordained, regardless of race or color.  Freeman was born July 24, 1953, in Vanceboro, … Read MoreJoseph Freeman (1953– )