Welcome to America Comes Alive!, a site I created to share little-known stories of America's past. These stories are about Americans - people just like you - who have made a difference and changed the course of history. Look around the site and find what inspires you. Kate Kelly

African-American Leaders

Escaped Slave Arthur Crumpler Took Pride in Learning

Arthur Crumpler escaped slavery and overcame the fact that slaves were prevented... continue »

Grace Wisher, African American Helped Make Star Spangled Banner

Grace Wisher, age 13, was an indentured servant in the home of flag maker Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore. Pickersgill, who had taken over the business... continue »

The Triple Nickles: Army’s First Black Paratroopers

The Triple Nickles, as the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was known, were a remarkable, highly-disciplined company of African American paratroopers who paved the way for... continue »

Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell: Fashion Model, Entrepreneur, Publisher

Ophelia DeVore (1921-2014) began her modeling career in 1938 when she was only 16. This gave her an early understanding of how difficult it was... continue »

Bessie Blount Griffin, Physical Therapist and Inventor

Bessie Blount (1914-2009) was a physical therapist who found herself working with injured soldiers during World War II. She recognized their need and desire to do... continue »

Black Jockey Hall of Famer Isaac Burns Murphy

Isaac Burns Murphy (1861-1896) is considered one of the all-time great jockeys in Thoroughbred racing.  He was the first black jockey to be inducted into... continue »

Kenny Washington: Broke Color Line in NFL

Kenny Washington (1918-1971) was the first African American to sign with an NFL team after a 13-year unspoken pact among owners to bar black football... continue »

Septima Clark Founded Citizenship Schools

Septima Clark (1898-1987) was an educator and civil rights activist. She established Citizenship Schools that transformed the South by increasing the number of African Americans... continue »

Martin Luther King Jr. on The Declaration of Independence

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left us with many inspirational thoughts, so it is never easy to pick just one. However, recently, I came upon... continue »

Harlem Hellfighter Receives Congressional Medal of Honor Posthumously

Henry Lincoln Johnson (1897-1929), who served valiantly as part of the 369th regiment (known as the Harlem Hellfighters) received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously... continue »

Why Emancipation Day is Held April 16 in Washington, D.C.

Slaveholding was still a way of life for some residents of Washington, D.C. even after the Civil War began.  But in 1862 that changed. The... continue »

James Reese Europe: Bandleader Who Popularized Jazz and Ragtime

James Reese Europe (1880-1919) was a gifted musician who achieved numerous firsts in bringing African-American musicians and music into the mainstream.  As a conductor and... continue »