Joshua Houston (1822-1902)

The trusted slave of legendary Texas independence leader and later governor, Sam Houston, Joshua Houston, after Emancipation, succeeded in business and politics, founded numerous institutions, and became a symbol of racial autonomy and progress. Born a slave in 1822 and later willed to Margaret Lea … Read MoreJoshua Houston (1822-1902)

Margaret Walker (1915-1998)

Dr. Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander’s contributions to American letters—four volumes of poetry, a novel, a biography, and numerous critical essays—mark her as one of this country’s most gifted black intellectuals. These accomplishments are even more remarkable given that she achieved most of them after 1943 … Read MoreMargaret Walker (1915-1998)

Victoria Jackson Gray Adams (1926-2006)

Born in Hattiesburg, Virginia on November 5, 1926, Victoria Jackson Gray Adams became one of the most important Mississipians in the Civil Rights Movement.  Her activities included teaching voter registration courses to domestics and sharecroppers, opening of the Freedom Schools during Mississippi’s Freedom Summer of … Read MoreVictoria Jackson Gray Adams (1926-2006)

John Henrik Clarke (1915-1998)

Image Ownership: Public Domain John Henrik Clarke, historian, black nationalist, and Pan-Africanist, was a pioneer in the formation of Africana studies in the United States.  Principally a self-trained historian, Clarke dedicated his life to correcting what he argued was the prevailing view that people of … Read MoreJohn Henrik Clarke (1915-1998)

J. Ernest Wilkins Jr. (1923-2011)

Jesse Ernest Wilkins, Jr. is often described as one of America’s most important contemporary mathematicians. At 13, he became the University of Chicago’s youngest student. Wilkins continued his studies there, earning bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in mathematics. When he finished his Ph.D. at 19, he … Read MoreJ. Ernest Wilkins Jr. (1923-2011)