Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni (1943- )

“There’s no life in safety,” said three-time National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award winner Nikki Giovanni who began her own life on June 7, 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She moved with her mother and sister to a small black suburb … Read MoreYolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni (1943- )

Dempsey Jerome Travis (1920- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Dempsey Jerome Travis is a civil rights activist, business leader, military veteran, and author. From the inception of his first realty company to his time serving three presidential administrations, Travis has served in both local and national theaters of private and … Read MoreDempsey Jerome Travis (1920- )

Edith Spurlock Sampson (1901-1979)

  Image ©Bettmann/Corbis Edith Spurlock was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 13, 1901. She grew up in a working class family, one of seven children, and attended Pittsburgh’s Peabody High School.  Upon graduation, she married Rufus Sampson, a field agent for Tuskegee Institute in … Read MoreEdith Spurlock Sampson (1901-1979)

Katherine Dunham (1909-2006)

Katherine Dunham was born on June 22, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Albert and Fanny Dunham.  She was of mixed heritage with African, Madagascan, Canadian-French and American Indian ancestry.  Dunham was raised in Joliet, Illinois and didn’t begin formal dance training until her late … Read MoreKatherine Dunham (1909-2006)