Bessie Blount Griffin (1914-2009)

Bessie Virginia Blount, pioneer physical therapist, inventor, and scientist, was born in Hickory (today Chesapeake), Virginia, on November 24, 1914. In the sixth grade, she had to discontinue her elementary education, although she would later earn a GED after her family moved to New Jersey. She studied nursing at the Community … Read MoreBessie Blount Griffin (1914-2009)

Toussaint Tourgee Tildon, M.D. (1893-1964)

Toussaint Tourgee Tildon was a physician and psychiatrist with the Hospital for Sick and Injured Colored World War Veterans (1923), later named the Veterans Administration of Tuskegee, Alabama (1923) from October 1923 until his retirement as Hospital Director on January 31, 1958. Tildon’s writing on African American veterans appeared in the VA Medical Bulletin (1925) and the Journal … Read MoreToussaint Tourgee Tildon, M.D. (1893-1964)

Asbury Park Race Riot (1970)

Asbury Park, New Jersey’s West Side district—predominantly black and housing 40% of the town’s permanent population—was consumed by rioting from July 4 to July 10 in 1970. At the time of the riot, 30% of the population, 17,000 people approximately, were African American. The town’s huge tourist-resort industry … Read MoreAsbury Park Race Riot (1970)

Camden, New Jersey Riots (1969 and 1971)

The city of Camden, New Jersey was the setting for two deadly race-related riots on September 2nd, 1969, and August 20th, 1971. Both riots were in response to alleged police brutality or murder, the victims being an unidentified young black girl, who was beaten by a white police officer in … Read MoreCamden, New Jersey Riots (1969 and 1971)

James T. Whitehead, Jr. (1934- )

James Whitehead, Jr., the first African American Lockheed U2 pilot, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1934.  From a young age Whitehead was surrounded by a strong military presence in his family including relatives who served in World War II.  Coming of age during that war he … Read MoreJames T. Whitehead, Jr. (1934- )

Elizabeth, New Jersey Uprising (1964)

Two Elizabeth Policemen Arrest a Black Teenager During the Elizabeth Riot, August 12, 1964 Image Ownership: Public domain The 1964 Elizabeth, New Jersey uprising lasted from August 11 to 13.  The three-day uprising occurred simultaneously with a separate clash in nearby Paterson, New Jersey and both, according to the … Read MoreElizabeth, New Jersey Uprising (1964)

Paterson, New Jersey Uprising (1964)

Image Ownership: Public domain The 1964 Paterson, New Jersey uprising lasted from August 11 to 14.   The uprising occurred simultaneously with a separate uprising in nearby Elizabeth, New Jersey and both, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), were the consequence of the larger uprisings in New York … Read MorePaterson, New Jersey Uprising (1964)

William Chester Jordan (1948- )

Image Ownership: Public domain William Chester Jordan is an author and award-winning historian of medieval Europe. Jordan was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 4, 1948 to Johnnie Parker Jordan and Marguerite Jane Mays Jordan. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Ripon College in Wisconsin in 1969 and earned his doctorate from … Read MoreWilliam Chester Jordan (1948- )

The Jersey City Uprising (1964)

Newspaper Account of Jersey City Uprising, 1964 Image Ownership: Public domain The 1964 Jersey City, New Jersey Uprising began August 2 and lasted three nights until the morning of August 5.  The uprising began in the predominantly black neighborhood of Lafayette in Jersey City after police arrested 26-year-old … Read MoreThe Jersey City Uprising (1964)

A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. (1928-1998)

Aloyisus Leon Higginbotham, Jr., who eventually served on the United States Court of Appeals, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1928.  His mother, Emma Lee Higginbotham, was a maid and his father, Aloyisus Leon Higginbotham Sr., was a factory worker.  Higginbotham attended racially segregated schools in Trenton, … Read MoreA. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. (1928-1998)