Paulette Shange Ntozake Williams (1948- )

The author, poet, and playwright Paulette Williams was born on October 18, 1948 in Trenton, New Jersey.  Until she was eight, she lived in a racially diverse community among well educated upper middle class black and white families.  She socialized with prominent musicians and performers such as Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck Berry, Charlie Parker, Miles … Read MorePaulette Shange Ntozake Williams (1948- )

Bessie Stringfield (1911–1993)

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" In 1930 Bessie Stringfield became the first African American woman to ride her motorcycle across the United States solo. Her feat was credited with breaking down barriers for both women and African-American motorcyclists. Born Betsy Leonora Ellis on February 9, 1911, … Read MoreBessie Stringfield (1911–1993)

Ngugi wa Thiong’o (AKA James T. Ngugi) (1938- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain African novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o is a Kenyan author, educator and playwright. With the publication of his first novel, he became a critically-acclaimed author at the age of 29. His work is also published under the pseudonym James T. Ngugi. Ngugi … Read MoreNgugi wa Thiong’o (AKA James T. Ngugi) (1938- )

Mabel Keaton Staupers (1890-1989)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Mabel Keaton Staupers, R.N., was instrumental in ending the United States Army’s policy of excluding African American nurses from its ranks in World War II. In 1948 Staupers also successfully lobbied for full integration of the American Nurses Association. Mabel Keaton … Read MoreMabel Keaton Staupers (1890-1989)

Alexandre Dumas (Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie), (1802 – 1870)

Alexandre Dumas père, prolific playwright, novelist, travel writer and historian, was born on the 24th July 1802 to Marie Louise Labouret and her husband Thomas Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, who was a military general under Napoleon I. Dumas’ paternal grandfather was the Marquis Antoine-Alexandre … Read MoreAlexandre Dumas (Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie), (1802 – 1870)

Powell Lindsay (1905-1987)

Powell Lindsay, actor, director, playwright, and producer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He attended Virginia Union University as well as the Yale University School of Drama.  At Yale, Lindsay became frustrated by the limited and often stereotypical African American roles presented by the School of … Read MorePowell Lindsay (1905-1987)