Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918)

Grafton Tyler Brown was a cartographer, lithographer, and painter, widely considered the first professional African American artist in California. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1841, Brown learned lithography in Philadelphia and then became part of a cohort of African Americans who sought better economic and … Read MoreGrafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918)

Louise Thompson Patterson (1901-1999)

Louise Alone Thompson Patterson, civil rights activist, communist, and educator, was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 9, 1901 to Lulu (Louise) F. Brown Toles and William J. Toles. After her parents 1904 separation, Thompson lived in Seattle, Washington as well as Utah, Nevada, Idaho, … Read MoreLouise Thompson Patterson (1901-1999)

The 97th Engineering Regiment (1941-1948)

In 1941 the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the construction agent for the War Department, maintained construction battalions that were deemed less valuable than units in other Army branches. Coupling this practice with the racial beliefs dominant in the Jim Crow South, it … Read MoreThe 97th Engineering Regiment (1941-1948)

The Black Pacific, 1919-1941: African Americans and Asia in the Interwar Period

In the following article novelist and independent historian Amy Sommers briefly outlines the experience of African Americans in Asia between World Wars I and II. She argues that African American influence in Asia was situated in four broad categories: the performing arts, international relations, faith, … Read MoreThe Black Pacific, 1919-1941: African Americans and Asia in the Interwar Period

Dana, Wyoming, A Black Town in the Coal Mining West

In the following article Wyoming historian Brigida R. Blasi explores the history of now nearly forgotten Dana, a small predominately black coal mining town about 150 miles west of Cheyenne. Here is her account. The town of Dana has largely been forgotten in the history … Read MoreDana, Wyoming, A Black Town in the Coal Mining West