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)

James T. Whitehead, Jr. (1934- )

James Whitehead, Jr., the first African American Lockheed U2 pilot, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1934.  From a young age Whitehead was surrounded by a strong military presence in his family including relatives who served in World War II.  Coming of age during that war he … Read MoreJames T. Whitehead, Jr. (1934- )

Black Soldiers and the Ledo Road (1942-1945)

The Ledo Road, which was later renamed The Stillwell Road in honor of Army General Joseph W. Stillwell, the commander of the China–Burma–India Theater in World War II, was built during World War II in response to the Japanese Army’s capture of the Burma Road, the main route for Allied military supplies … Read MoreBlack Soldiers and the Ledo Road (1942-1945)

Elbert T. Hudson (1920-2017)

Image Ownership: Public domain Police official, business leader, and civil rights advocate Elbert T. Hudson was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on November 16, 1920. Three years later, his family moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1924, his father, H. Claude Hudson, became president of the … Read MoreElbert T. Hudson (1920-2017)

Jesus Villanueva Merritt (1913- ?)

Merritt Talking to Police Officer Image Ownership: Public domain Afro-Filipino author, journalist, and government official, Jesus V. Merritt was born in Agoo, a city in the province of La Union in the Philippines, on October 15, 1913. He was the son of Julius Merritt of … Read MoreJesus Villanueva Merritt (1913- ?)

Luther Ambrose Goodwin (1920-1982)

Luther and Joye Goodwin (Holding Their Child) in 1964 Civil Rights Demonstration Image Ownership: Public domain Tuskegee Airman, civil rights activist, and attorney Luther A. Goodwin was born April 17, 1920 in Jacksonville, Florida, the son of Hilliard E. Goodwin, a college instructor and building … Read MoreLuther Ambrose Goodwin (1920-1982)

Jean Marcel Nicholas (a.k.a. Johnny Nicholas, 1918-1945)

Hans Pape and Jean Marcel Nicholas in Paris, Date Unknown Image Ownership: Public domain Expatriate, impersonator, and concentration camp survivor Jean Marcel Nicholas was born October 5, 1918 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, one of the three children of Hilderic Nicholas, a secretary of the British Embassy … Read MoreJean Marcel Nicholas (a.k.a. Johnny Nicholas, 1918-1945)

Anatole Paul Broyard (1920-1990)

Image Ownership: Public domain New York Times literary critic, author, and teacher Anatole Broyard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 16, 1920, the son of carpenter Paul A. Broyard and Edna Miller, two light-skinned African Americans. With the nation in the throes of … Read MoreAnatole Paul Broyard (1920-1990)

Compton, California (1867- )

Compton is a city in Southern California, located in south Los Angeles County. Compton was settled in 1867 by thirty pioneer families led by Griffith Dickenson Compton, after whom the city was named. The first black families came to the city just before World War … Read MoreCompton, California (1867- )

Spokane, Washington Booker T. Washington Community Center (1937-1948)

The Booker T. Washington Community Center was founded on February 1, 1937, to provide a place for people to socialize and recreate free from the racial prejudices and judgments that plagued Spokane, Washington at the time. The Center was founded by Rosa D. Malone, a … Read MoreSpokane, Washington Booker T. Washington Community Center (1937-1948)