(1963) Malcolm X, “Message to the Grassroots”

On December 10, 1963, while still the leading spokesman for the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X gave a speech at a rally in Detroit, Michigan.  That speech outlined his basic black nationalist philosophy and established him as a major critic of the civil rights movement.  … Read More(1963) Malcolm X, “Message to the Grassroots”

(1965) Malcolm X, “Speech at Ford Auditorium”

On February 13, 1965, Malcolm X’s home in New York City was bombed.  He and his family were not hurt and he decided to keep a longstanding speaking commitment at Detroit, Michigan, arriving the next day to give the presentation below.  This proved however to … Read More(1965) Malcolm X, “Speech at Ford Auditorium”

Kathleen Battle (1948- )

American soprano Kathleen Battle was born on August 13, 1948 in Portsmouth, Ohio. Battle’s father was a steelworker and her mother was an active participant in the gospel choir at the family’s local African Methodist Episcopal Church. Battle attended Portsmouth High School and upon graduation … Read MoreKathleen Battle (1948- )

William “Smokey” Robinson (1940- )

Singer, songwriter, and record producer William “Smokey” Robinson was born on February 19, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan. Best known for his association with Motown Records, Robinson served as vice president of the legendary label from 1961 until 1988.  During that period Robinson, either with his … Read MoreWilliam “Smokey” Robinson (1940- )

Robert W. Bagnall Jr.(1883-1943)

Minister and civil rights activist Robert W. Bagnall served as Director of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during the organization’s first significant period of growth in the early 20th century.  A graduate of Bishop Payne Divinity School in … Read MoreRobert W. Bagnall Jr.(1883-1943)

Hunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell (1924-2019)

Community organizer and civil rights activist Hunter Pitts O’Dell was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 11, 1924.  His father George Edwin O’Dell worked in hotels and restaurants in Detroit. His mother, Emily (Pitts) O’Dell, who studied music at Howard University, later taught adults to … Read MoreHunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell (1924-2019)