What’s New on BlackPast

Jo Ann Hardesty (1957- )

Jo Ann Hardesty is the first African American woman to serve on Portland’s City Council and the third black woman to serve as an Oregon State Representative. Hardesty was born as one of ten children on October 15, 1957 in Baltimore, Maryland where her father … Read MoreJo Ann Hardesty (1957- )

Claudia B. Thomas (1930-2018)

Claudia Bonds Thomas, an educator, activist, and civic leader, was the first black woman to be elected mayor in Washington State. Thomas was born on September 20, 1930 in Shannon, North Carolina to Claud and Mary Lee Bonds. At the age of 15, she attended … Read MoreClaudia B. Thomas (1930-2018)

Michael Vincent Drake (1951- )

Michael Vincent Drake, a physician and college administrator, became president of two major American universities. Born on July 9, 1951 in New York City, Drake grew up in Englewood, New Jersey and Sacramento, California. His parents Carl Everett Drake, a psychiatrist who had once been … Read MoreMichael Vincent Drake (1951- )

Kristine Reeves (1981- )

Kristine Reeves has been a representative in the 30th Legislative District of Washington, which includes Southwest King County as well as Northwest Pierce County, since 2016. She is known for her advocacy on behalf of working moms and for her commitment to veterans and their families, … Read MoreKristine Reeves (1981- )

Jeremiah G. Hamilton (1807?-1875)

Jeremiah G. Hamilton (a.k.a. Jerry Hamilton, though both names may be fictitious) was known as the “Prince of Darkness” and considered the wealthiest African American of the 19th century. Although the details of his life are somewhat enigmatic, he may have been born somewhere in … Read MoreJeremiah G. Hamilton (1807?-1875)

Harris, Moses [aka Black Moses / “Black Squire”] (1800?-1849)

Information on Moses Harris’ birth and lineage is limited.  It is believed that he was born in either Union County, South Carolina or somewhere in Kentucky.  Harris was also known as Black Moses or the “Black Squire.”  During the 1820’s Harris moved west and began work as a fur … Read MoreHarris, Moses [aka Black Moses / “Black Squire”] (1800?-1849)

Marcellus Sterling Collins, Sr. (1919-2018)

Recognized by Broward County Florida as a successful businessman and civic leader dedicated to economic development, education, and community service, Marcellus Sterling Collins, Sr. continued the early 20th Century legacy of his parents, Richard A. and Leola Collins. Beginning in 1923, his father and mother … Read MoreMarcellus Sterling Collins, Sr. (1919-2018)

Hakeem Jeffries (1970- )

Hakeem Sekou Jeffries is a four-term Congressman representing New York’s 8th congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens. On November 28, 2018, Jeffries’ House colleagues elected him Democratic Caucus chairman putting him three steps away from making history as the first African American Speaker of the … Read MoreHakeem Jeffries (1970- )

Alice Athenia Lytle (1939-2018)

Medical technician and lawyer, state executive, and judge Alice Athenia Lytle was born on March 2, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey. Her father Lacey Lytle worked as a janitor in a building where she lived. He and her mother Margaret moved the family to Harlem … Read MoreAlice Athenia Lytle (1939-2018)