Viola Mitchell Turner (1900-1988)

Viola Mitchell Turner, an early black executive with North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1900. The only child of poor, impoverished, teenage African American parents she would succeed in becoming the first female African American member of the North … Read MoreViola Mitchell Turner (1900-1988)

James Africanus Beale Horton (1835-1883)

James Horton, African surgeon, soldier and nationalist, challenged prevailing views on the inferiority of Africans and proposed ideologies for African self-government. His philosophies became the basis for future African independence. Horton was born in British colonial Sierra Leone outside of Freetown, the son of former … Read MoreJames Africanus Beale Horton (1835-1883)

William Alexander Leidesdorff (1810-1848)

Although little remembered today, Leidesdorff was a social, economic, and political force in pre-gold rush San Francisco, California with a number of “firsts” credited to his name. When he was named the U.S. Vice Consul to Mexico in 1845, he became the nation’s first African … Read MoreWilliam Alexander Leidesdorff (1810-1848)