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- )

Hubert Brown (H. Rap) /Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (1943- )

H. Rap Brown succeeded Stokely Carmichael as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was a prominent figure in the Black Panther Party. A leading proponent of Black Power and a polarizing media icon, Brown symbolized both the power and the dangers—for white Americans and for radical activists themselves—of the civil rights movement’s new … Read MoreHubert Brown (H. Rap) /Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (1943- )

Heredia, Severiano de (1836-1901)

The first mayor of African descent of a major European city, Severiano de Heredia, was born in Havana, Cuba, on November 8, 1836. He was the son of prosperous mulatto parents, Henri de Heredia and Beatriz de Cárdenas. Registered as a “mulatto born free” in the parish of Jesus del Monte, some … Read MoreHeredia, Severiano de (1836-1901)

Freedmen’s Hospital/Howard University Hospital (1862– )

Image Ownership: Public Domain The Freedmen’s Hospital was founded in 1862 in Washington, D.C.  It was the first hospital of its kind to aid in the medical treatment of former slaves.  Later it became the major hospital for the African American community in Washington, D.C.  The … Read MoreFreedmen’s Hospital/Howard University Hospital (1862– )

Linton Kwesi Johnson (1952– )

Linton Kwesi Johnson, political activist, poet and reggae artist, was born in Chapelton, Jamaica in 1952. After his parents’ divorce, Johnson was raised by his grandmother. Johnson left his small parish in 1963 and moved to London, UK to be with his mother, where he attended Tulse Hill secondary school. Johnson became increasingly aware … Read MoreLinton Kwesi Johnson (1952– )

Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

Cover of Benjamin Banneker’s 1792 Almanac Image Ownership: Public Domain Benjamin Banneker, free black, farmer, mathematician, and astronomer, was born on November 9, 1731, the son of freed slaves Robert and Mary Bannaky, probably near the Patapsco River southeast of Baltimore, Maryland, where his father owned a … Read MoreBenjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

Marguerite Thomas Williams (1895-1991?)

Marguerite Thomas Williams, born in 1895, was the first African American (male or female) to earn a Ph.D. in geology.  Like Roger Arliner Young, Williams was mentored by African American biologist Ernest Everett Just. Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in geology from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1923.  Just considered … Read MoreMarguerite Thomas Williams (1895-1991?)

David Frank Adjaye (1966- )

Image Ownership: Public domain Internationally acclaimed British-based architect David Adjaye was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on September 22, 1966, the son Affram Adjaye, a diplomat from Ghana, and Cecilia Adjaye, also a Ghanaian national. Because of the nature of his father’s work, as … Read MoreDavid Frank Adjaye (1966- )