Paulette Shange Ntozake Williams (1948- )

The author, poet, and playwright Paulette Williams was born on October 18, 1948 in Trenton, New Jersey.  Until she was eight, she lived in a racially diverse community among well educated upper middle class black and white families.  She socialized with prominent musicians and performers such as Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck Berry, Charlie Parker, Miles … Read MorePaulette Shange Ntozake Williams (1948- )

Stono Rebellion (1739)

On Sunday, September 9th, 1739 the British colony of South Carolina was shaken by a slave uprising that culminated with the death of sixty people. Led by an Angolan named Jemmy, a band of twenty slaves organized a rebellion on the banks of the Stono River. After breaking into Hutchinson’s store the band, … Read MoreStono Rebellion (1739)

Julius Lester (1939- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Scholar and civil rights activist Julius Lester was born January 27, 1939 in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of a Methodist minister. Lester spent much of his childhood in Missouri, where in the 1940s and 1950s he dealt with southern attitudes about race and segregation before and during the … Read MoreJulius Lester (1939- )

Toussaint L’Ouverture (1742-1803)

Known to his contemporaries as “The Black Napoleon,” Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history that created an independent state, the Haitian Revolution. Born into slavery on May 20, 1743 in the French colony of Saint … Read MoreToussaint L’Ouverture (1742-1803)

Louis Emanuel Lomax (1922-1970)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Pioneering black journalist Louis Lomax was born in Valdosta, Georgia on August 16, 1922 to parents Emanuel C. Smith and Sarah Louise Lomax.  He attended Paine College in Augusta, Georiga where he was editor of the student newspaper.  He graduated from Paine in 1942 at the age of 19. … Read MoreLouis Emanuel Lomax (1922-1970)

Ishmael Reed (1938 – )

Ishmael Reed is an African American poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, songwriter, cartoonist, editor, publisher, lecturer and public media commentator. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on February 22, 1938, he grew up in Buffalo, New York, after his mother Thelma Coleman moved there during the Great Migration of World War II.  When his mother married Bennie Reed, Ishmael … Read MoreIshmael Reed (1938 – )

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- ?)

James Williams (1825- ?)

Cover: Fugitive Slave in Gold Rush California Image Ownership: Public domain James Williams, a fugitive from slavery and the author of the only known full-length slave narrative published independently (in California), was born John Thomas in Elkton, Maryland, April 1, 1825. At age thirteen, he … Read MoreJames Williams (1825- ?)

Jean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy (a.k.a. Geoffroy L’Islet, 1755-1836)

Image Ownership: Public domain Pioneering cartographer and meteorologist Jean-Baptist Lislet-Geoffroy was born August 23, 1755 in Saint-Pierre, Réunion, a French island colony in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar and southern Africa. He was the son of Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy, a white French engineer, and an … Read MoreJean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy (a.k.a. Geoffroy L’Islet, 1755-1836)