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)

Dorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910-2008)

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 September 20, 1910, to … Read MoreDorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910-2008)

Katherine Goble Johnson (1918- )

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Katherine Goble Johnson, heralded as the first African American woman in Aerospace Engineering, was born on August 26, 1918 in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, a city where schooling for “colored” people ended with the eighth grade. In 1937, she graduated … Read MoreKatherine Goble Johnson (1918- )

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)

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 to serve as U.S. … Read MoreGayleatha Beatrice Brown (1947-2013)