Famous Black History Figures




W.E.B. Dubois, who was born on February 23, 1868, and who was a Civil Rights leader and co-founder of the N.A.A.C.P.

The 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed on February 3, 1870 which gave Blacks the right to vote.

The first Black senator, Hiriam R. Revels took office on February 25, 1870.

The N.A.A.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was founded in New York City of February 12, 1909, and

Malcolm X, the militant leader who promoted Black Nationalism was shot and killed by Black Muslims on February 21, 1965.

Harriet Tubman, an outstanding lady who worked tirelessly on the Underground Railway.

Frederick Douglass, the life of the former slave, abolitionist and journalist, who emerged as a major anti slavery force, and supporter of women's rights, and who was an outstanding orator and writer.

In 1822, a man named Denmark Vesey planned a slave uprising in Charleston, South Carolina. Was his plan successful? Learn about the man and his plan here.

Dred Scott was a black slave from Virginia, who ended up in Missouri, and who made legal and constitutional history by suing for his freedom. Here you can learn about Dred Scott, his case that went before the United States Supreme Court in may 1857, and the Missouri Compromise.

James Baldwin

ames Baldwin (Aug. 2, 1924-Dec. 1, 1987) was a very important American author who wrote about the struggle of being black in America. James was the oldest of nine children and was born into poverty in Harlem, New York. He spent much of his youth reading. James' mother was a domestic worker (a maid) and his strict, cruel stepfather was a factory worker and preacher (who died in a mental hospital in 1943). James was a preacher himself for three years when he was a teenager. The author Richard Wright was James' early writing mentor. Baldwin's first book, the semi-autobiographical Go Tell It On the Mountain, was published in 1953 and is considered to be a classic American novel. Baldwin lived in France for many years, distancing himself from American life in order to examine it; Baldwin wrote, "Once you find yourself in another civilization, you're forced to examine your own." A pacifist, Baldwin participated in the Southern school desegregation struggle of the 1960s and marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. Baldwin wrote extensively about the Civil Rights Movement, including The Fire Next Time and Notes of a Native Son. Throughout his life, Baldwin used his enormous writing talent to work for racial equality. Baldwin wrote, "I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually." and "Artists are here to disturb the peace." Baldwin died at the age of 63 at home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
Maggie Lena Walker (July 15, 1867-December 15, 1934) was the first woman in the USA to become a local bank president. Throughout her life, Walker worked for civil rights and other humanitarian causes.

Maggie Mitchell was born in Richmond, Virginia, to former slaves. In 1886, Maggie married Armstead Walker, Jr. She worked first as a teacher, and then as an agent for the Woman's Union Insurance Company, quickly rising to become the executive secretary/treasurer of the company. She founded the newspaper, the St. Luke Herald, in 1902. In 1903, she started the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and was its president. In 1929, at the start of the economic depression, her bank bought all the local black-owned banks in town and renamed itself the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company.

George Washington Carver (1865?-1943) was an American scientist, educator, humanitarian, and former slave. Carver developed hundreds of products from peanuts, sweet potatoes, pecans, and soybeans; his discoveries greatly improved the agricultural output and the health of Southern farmers. Before this, the only main crop in the South was cotton. The products that Carver invented included a rubber substitute, adhesives, foodstuffs, dyes, pigments, and many other products.

Thats right the very things we use today was discovered by a black slave. Go figure

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm (Nov. 30, 1924 - Jan. 1, 2005) was the first African-American woman elected to the US Congress. Shirley Anita St. Hill was born in Brooklyn, New York. After being a teacher and serving as a New York state assemblywoman, Chisolm was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives. She served in Congress for seven terms, from January 3, 1969, until January 3, 1983. In 1972, Chisholm was the first African-American woman to run for a major-party presidential nomination. During her long political career, she fought for the rights of women and minorities.
Maggie Lena Walker (July 15, 1867-December 15, 1934) was the first woman in the USA to become a local bank president. Throughout her life, Walker worked for civil rights and other humanitarian causes.

Maggie Mitchell


Maggie Mitchell was born in Richmond, Virginia, to former slaves. In 1886, Maggie married Armstead Walker, Jr. She worked first as a teacher, and then as an agent for the Woman's Union Insurance Company, quickly rising to become the executive secretary/treasurer of the company. She founded the newspaper, the St. Luke Herald, in 1902. In 1903, she started the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and was its president. In 1929, at the start of the economic depression, her bank bought all the local black-owned banks in town and renamed itself the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company.

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey Douglass (Feb. 7, 1817-Feb. 20, 1895) was an abolitionist, orator and writer who fought against slavery and for women's rights. Douglass was the first African-American citizen appointed to high ranks in the U.S. government.

Jean-Baptiste-Point Du Sable (1750?-1818) was a Haitian-French pioneer and trader; he founded the settlement that would later become Chicago.

Garrett Augustus Morgan

Garrett Augustus Morgan (March 4, 1877 - August 27, 1963), was an African-American inventor and businessman. He was the first person to patent a traffic signal. He also developed the gas mask (and many other inventions). Morgan used his gas mask (patent No. 1,090,936, 1914) to rescue miners who were trapped underground in a noxious mine. Soon after, Morgan was asked to produce gas masks for the US Army.


Maggie Lena Walker

Maggie Lena Walker (July 15, 1867-December 15, 1934) was the first woman in the USA to become a local bank president. Throughout her life, Walker worked for civil rights and other humanitarian causes.

Maggie Mitchell was born in Richmond, Virginia, to former slaves. In 1886, Maggie married Armstead Walker, Jr. She worked first as a teacher, and then as an agent for the Woman's Union Insurance Company, quickly rising to become the executive secretary/treasurer of the company. She founded the newspaper, the St. Luke Herald, in 1902. In 1903, she started the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and was its president. In 1929, at the start of the economic depression, her bank bought all the local black-owned banks in town and renamed itself the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company.
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