Vernie Merze Tate (1905-1996)

Merze Tate, a historian, political author, world traveler, and philanthropist, was the first African American to graduate from Oxford University.  She was born during a terrible blizzard in rural Blanchard, Michigan on February 6, 1905 to Charles and Myrtle Tate, both farmers. Her grandparents were … Read MoreVernie Merze Tate (1905-1996)

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- )

Freeway Rick Ross (1960- )

Image Ownership: Public domain Late 20th Century drug lord Ricky Donnell Ross was born on January 26th, 1960 in Troup, Texas. He is better known as “Freeway Rick,” the convicted drug trafficker turned philanthropist who established himself as kingpin in the 1980’s. Ross grew up in Los Angeles, California, … Read MoreFreeway Rick Ross (1960- )

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– )

Walt Braithwaite (1945- )

If you have flown on a commercial airliner in recent years, chances are you benefited from the engineering and computer science expertise of Walt Braithwaite. During his almost four decades at The Boeing Company (Boeing), Braithwaite helped transform the field of aerospace design from a manual time-consuming process to … Read MoreWalt Braithwaite (1945- )

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?)

Cecil Eugene Diggs Haney (1955- )

Navy Admiral Cecil Haney was born into a struggling family in “humble surroundings” in Washington, D.C., on December 1, 1955. After graduating from the city’s Eastern High School he left for Annapolis, Maryland, where he was a distinguished midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, … Read MoreCecil Eugene Diggs Haney (1955- )