California The History of Allensworth (1908- )

In the article below retired California State University, Fresno historian Robert Mikell explores the history of the only all-black town created in the Golden State.  He traces that history including the role of its principal founder, Colonel Allen Allensworth, from 1908. Centennial Celebration at Allensworth … Read MoreCalifornia The History of Allensworth (1908- )

Dorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008)

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" Dorothy Johnson Vaughan was a teacher who became a leading mathematical engineer in the first aerospace program with NACA (now NASA), and the first African American female promoted as supervisor in the program. Vaughan was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on … Read MoreDorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008)

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– )

Gayleatha Beatrice Brown (1947-2013)

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" On July 2, 2009 President Barack Obama appointed Gayleatha Beatrice Brown to be the United States ambassador to Burkina Faso, a nation in West Africa.  This was her second ambassadorial appointment. Previously, Brown had been appointed by President George W. Bush … Read MoreGayleatha Beatrice Brown (1947-2013)

African Zion Baptist Church [Malden] (1852- )

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" The African Zion Baptist Church is the first African American church in what is now West Virginia (West Virginia was a part of Virginia until 1863) and was the church of Booker T. Washington. The church is located in Malden, West … Read MoreAfrican Zion Baptist Church [Malden] (1852- )

Storer College [Harper’s Ferry] (1867-1956)

Storer College was created when John Storer, a philanthropist living in Sanford, Maine, approached Rev. Dr. Oren Burbank Cheney, President of Bates College, with a $10,000 gift to found a school which would eventually become a college and would educate students in a southern state, … Read MoreStorer College [Harper’s Ferry] (1867-1956)

Ada “Bricktop” Smith (1894-1984)

Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith (“Bricktop”), vaudevillian actress, singer, nightclub owner, and international celebrity host, was born August 14, 1894 in Alderson, West Virginia, to Thomas and Hattie Thompson Smith. Her father passed away in 1898 and Mrs. Smith moved Ada and her … Read MoreAda “Bricktop” Smith (1894-1984)