Benjamin A. Quarles (1904-1996)

Noted historian, scholar, and educator Benjamin Author Quarles was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 23, 1904.  His father Arthur Benedict Quarles was a subway porter, and his mother Margaret O’Brien Quarles was a homemaker. In his twenties, Quarles enrolled at Shaw University in Raleigh, … Read MoreBenjamin A. Quarles (1904-1996)

(1864) Rev. J. P. Campbell, “Give Us Equal Pay and We Will Go To War”

As African Americans entered the Union Army in early 1863, they quickly found that racial discrimination followed them. The pay differential was one of the most egregious Federal discriminatory policies. African American soldiers were paid $10 per month, $3 of which was deducted for clothing, … Read More(1864) Rev. J. P. Campbell, “Give Us Equal Pay and We Will Go To War”

(1845) Frederick Douglass, “My Slave Experience in Maryland”

Frederick Douglass described his early life in an address titled, “My Slave Experience in Maryland, “in a speech delivered in New York City on May 6, 1845. The speech, which was reprinted in the National Antislavery Standard on May 22, 1845, appears below. Douglass had … Read More(1845) Frederick Douglass, “My Slave Experience in Maryland”

Vivien Thomas (1910-1985)

Described as the “most untalked about, unappreciated, unknown giant in the African American community,” by Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Vivien Thomas received an honorary doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1976, and while this was undoubtedly memorable, the decades which preceded this moment were equally … Read MoreVivien Thomas (1910-1985)

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954)

Mary Church Terrell, a writer, suffragist, educator, and activist, co-founded the National Association of Colored Women and served as the organization’s first president. Known as “Mollie” to her family, Church, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee on September 23, 1863, lived a life of privilege … Read MoreMary Church Terrell (1863-1954)

Kelly Miller (1863-1939)

Kelly Miller, mathematician, intellectual, and political activist, was born on July 18, 1863 in Winnsboro, South Carolina to Kelly and Elizabeth Miller. Like many African Americans who took advantage of increased educational opportunities after the civil war, Miller attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. He … Read MoreKelly Miller (1863-1939)