Bessie Blount Griffin (1914-2009)

Bessie Virginia Blount, pioneer physical therapist, inventor, and scientist, was born in Hickory (today Chesapeake), Virginia, on November 24, 1914. In the sixth grade, she had to discontinue her elementary education, although she would later earn a GED after her family moved to New Jersey. She studied nursing at the Community … Read MoreBessie Blount Griffin (1914-2009)

George Washington Carver (1864?-1943)

George Washington Carver began life inauspiciously on the frontier of southwestern Missouri. Born a slave, the precise date, indeed, even the year, is unknown. He never knew either of his biological parents, but was raised by his former owners as if he were their own. … Read MoreGeorge Washington Carver (1864?-1943)

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)

Warren M. Washington (1936- )

Warren M. Washington is a pioneering meteorologist and an expert in atmospheric science, climate research, and computer modeling of the earth’s climate.  Washington was born in Portland, Oregon on August 28, 1936, to Edwin Washington Sr., a waiter and Pullman porter, and Dorothy Grace Morton, a practical nurse. Advised … Read MoreWarren M. Washington (1936- )

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?)

Elbert T. Hudson (1920-2017)

Image Ownership: Public domain Police official, business leader, and civil rights advocate Elbert T. Hudson was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on November 16, 1920. Three years later, his family moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1924, his father, H. Claude Hudson, became president of the … Read MoreElbert T. Hudson (1920-2017)

Jean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy (a.k.a. Geoffroy L’Islet, 1755-1836)

Image Ownership: Public domain Pioneering cartographer and meteorologist Jean-Baptist Lislet-Geoffroy was born August 23, 1755 in Saint-Pierre, Réunion, a French island colony in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar and southern Africa. He was the son of Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy, a white French engineer, and an … Read MoreJean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy (a.k.a. Geoffroy L’Islet, 1755-1836)

Robert Ambrose Thornton (1902-1982)

Image Ownership: Public domain Physicist and university administrator Robert Ambrose Thornton was born in Houston, Texas, on May 6, 1902 to Frank Thornton, a laborer, and the former Mary Jane Sullivan, a midwife. Thornton attended Houston Colored High School but later graduated from Los Angeles … Read MoreRobert Ambrose Thornton (1902-1982)

Kimberle Williams Crenshaw (1959- )

Image Ownership: Public domain Kimberle Crenshaw is a Professor of Law and an advocate and educator for civil rights, race studies, constitutional law, and social inclusion. She currently teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as Columbia University. Crenshaw was born … Read MoreKimberle Williams Crenshaw (1959- )