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- )

Serena Williams (1981 – )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Eight-time world No. 1-ranked professional tennis player Serena Williams was born September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan. She holds 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 12 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles for 39 total—the most of any active player. Formerly coached by … Read MoreSerena Williams (1981 – )

Albert T. Bharucha-Reid (1927-1985)

Albert Turner Reid, born in Hampton, Virginia, November 13, 1927, the son of William Thaddeus Reid and Mae Elaine Beamon Reid, was a renowned mathematician who earned his bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University in 1949 but never completed a graduate degree in his chosen field, believing further supervised study … Read MoreAlbert T. Bharucha-Reid (1927-1985)

Thomas Day (1801—ca.1861)

Image Ownership: Public domain Thomas Day, master cabinetmaker and entrepreneur, was born in 1801 in Dinwiddie County in southern Virginia to free African American parents. He had an outstanding career and achieved remarkable social standing during the state’s antebellum period. By 1850, he operated the largest furniture business … Read MoreThomas Day (1801—ca.1861)

Louis Emanuel Lomax (1922-1970)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Pioneering black journalist Louis Lomax was born in Valdosta, Georgia on August 16, 1922 to parents Emanuel C. Smith and Sarah Louise Lomax.  He attended Paine College in Augusta, Georiga where he was editor of the student newspaper.  He graduated from Paine in 1942 at the age of 19. … Read MoreLouis Emanuel Lomax (1922-1970)

Ishmael Reed (1938 – )

Ishmael Reed is an African American poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, songwriter, cartoonist, editor, publisher, lecturer and public media commentator. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on February 22, 1938, he grew up in Buffalo, New York, after his mother Thelma Coleman moved there during the Great Migration of World War II.  When his mother married Bennie Reed, Ishmael … Read MoreIshmael Reed (1938 – )