Paulette Shange Ntozake Williams (1948- )

The author, poet, and playwright Paulette Williams was born on October 18, 1948 in Trenton, New Jersey.  Until she was eight, she lived in a racially diverse community among well educated upper middle class black and white families.  She socialized with prominent musicians and performers such as Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck Berry, Charlie Parker, Miles … Read MorePaulette Shange Ntozake Williams (1948- )

Julia Pearl Hughes (1873-1950)

Julia Pearl Hughes (Coleman-Robinson) was the first African American woman to successfully own and operate her own drugstore. Hughes was born to John and Mary Hughes in Melville Township, Alamance County, North Carolina. She attended the local schools and graduated in 1893 from Scotia Seminary (now Barber-Scotia College) … Read MoreJulia Pearl Hughes (1873-1950)

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)

Katie Geneva Cannon (1950-2018)

Rev. Dr. Katie Cannon was the first African American female to be ordainedinto the United Presbyterian USA denomination. Rev. Cannon was ordained in Shelby, North Carolina, on April 24, 1974, by the Catawaba Presbytery, making her the first African American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Katie … Read MoreKatie Geneva Cannon (1950-2018)

William McBryar (1861-1941)

William McBryar was a biracial buffalo soldier whose received the Medal of Honor for his participation in the 1890 Cherry Creek Campaign in Arizona Territory. McBryar was born on February 14, 1861 in Elizabethtown, North Carolina to Rose McBryar, an African American, and a white father whose name is unknown. McBryar attended … Read MoreWilliam McBryar (1861-1941)

American Missionary Association (1846-1999)

The American Missionary Association (AMA) was an abolitionist group founded on Protestant beliefs. Their focuses were on the abolition of slavery, education for African Americans, gaining racial equality, and promoting Christian values. They were most prominent in the United States before and during the Civil Warand during Reconstruction. The AMA was founded on September … Read MoreAmerican Missionary Association (1846-1999)

Finney, Ernest Adolphus, Jr. (1931-2017)

Ernest Adolphus Finney, Jr. was the first African American elected to the South Carolina General Assembly, the first African American Circuit Court Judge in South Carolina, and the first chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. Finney was born in Smithfield, Virginia in 1931, the son of Ernest A., Sr. … Read MoreFinney, Ernest Adolphus, Jr. (1931-2017)