Maceo Pinkard (1897-1962)

Maceo Pinkard was born on June 27, 1897 in Bluefield, West Virginia. He was an American lyricist and music composer that emerged from the Harlem Renaissance. Some of his best known works include “Sweet Georgia Brown,” now the Harlem Globetrotters theme song, and the Broadway musical, Liza. After his death … Read MoreMaceo Pinkard (1897-1962)

Franklin D. Cleckley (1940-2017)

Franklin Dorrah Cleckley, the first African American to serve as a justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court, was born on August 1, 1940, in Huntington, West Virginia. His mother was Vivian Wood. After graduating from high school, he attended Anderson College and earned his bachelor’s degree in … Read MoreFranklin D. Cleckley (1940-2017)

William Demby (1922-2013)

The novelist William Edward Demby, Jr. was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Christmas day, 1922, to William and Gertrude Demby.  He was raised in their family of seven children in the Fairywood district of Pittsburgh’s West Side. The family moved to Clarksburg, West Virginia, shortly after Demby’s graduation from … Read MoreWilliam Demby (1922-2013)

Vasco De Gama Hale (1915-2002)

Vasco De Gama Hale, educator, blinded veterans’ association organizer, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) official, was born in Crawford, Mississippi, to Brotop and Jane Hale on February 16, 1915. His father, Brotop, toiled as a sharecropper for a short time … Read MoreVasco De Gama Hale (1915-2002)

Brian O’Harold Hemphill (1969– )

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Dr. Brian O’Harold Hemphill is the tenth and current president of West Virginia State University, having been inaugurated in July 2012. Since his arrival at the university, Hemphill has been committed to creating a culture of excellence and accountability, and to … Read MoreBrian O’Harold Hemphill (1969– )