Marian Anderson (1897-1993)

Marian Anderson, renowned contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th Century, was born on February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Anderson was the daughter of John Berkley Anderson, a small business owner, and Annie Delilah Rucker Anderson, a former Virginia schoolteacher.  … Read MoreMarian Anderson (1897-1993)

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

James Weldon Johnson, composer, diplomat, social critic, and civil rights activist, was born of Bahamian immigrant parents in Jacksonville, Florida on June 17, 1871.   Instilled with the value of education by his father, James, a waiter, and teacher-mother, Helen, Johnson excelled at the Stanton School … Read MoreJames Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks, born June 7, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas, moved to Chicago, Illinois where she was reared and launched her literary career.  Marrying Henry Blakely in 1939, the couple had two children. Brooks’s formal education consists of an associate degree in literature and arts … Read MoreGwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)

Charles Hamilton Houston (1895-1950)

Charles Hamilton Houston, a renowned civil rights attorney, was widely recognized as the architect of the civil rights strategy that led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision, Brown v. Board of Education.  He was also a mentor to Thurgood Marshall who successfully litigated the … Read MoreCharles Hamilton Houston (1895-1950)

Raymond Pace Alexander (1897-1974)

Raymond Pace Alexander, a prominent civil rights activist, jurist, and Harvard-trained attorney was born on October 19, 1897 in Philadelphia to a family of seven,  His father, Hillard Boone Alexander, and his mother, Virginia Pace, both were former slaves who migrated to Philadelphia from Virginia … Read MoreRaymond Pace Alexander (1897-1974)