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.

African-American leaders have been vital to making America strong.


Oscar Micheaux: Homesteader, Bestselling Author, Filmmaker

Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951) had no mentors and no background that prepared him for any of the challenges he undertook, but he successfully amassed land in the West

Oscar Micheaux
Micheaux received the star posthumously

at a time when few African-Americans were homesteading; he published his own novels, one of which went on to be a bestseller; and he became a prolific filmmaker when the industry was in its infancy.

Early Life

Micheaux was one of eleven children born to former slaves. Oscar’s father could not read or write but was a hardworking farmer who took good care of his family and was a great role model. His mother had received some education and brought her children up reading the Scriptures. She also taught them about the wisdom of Booker T. Washington.

When Oscar was born, the family lived near Metropolis, Illinois, but they soon moved to Great Bend, Kansas where Oscar grew up. Oscar did well in school, but this set him apart from the other schoolchildren who saw no reason to work so hard. His dislike of farming coupled with is outsider-status at school led Oscar to drop out of high school to get a job.

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"What can one person do?"
Read some of the stories on this site; you'll see that they revolve around single individuals who worked toward change.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead


Long Overdue Honor for Harry McAlpin; Broke the Color Line of the White House Press Corps

better McAlpinEighteen months ago I profiled Harry McAlpin.  He was a reporter for the National Negro Press Association and the Atlanta Daily World covering Washington and the ... Continue reading »

Valaida Snow (1904-1956): Jazz Pioneer and “Queen of the Trumpet”

Valaida 1 Jazz performer and pioneer Louis Armstrong called her the “second best trumpet player” in the world; Armstrong placed… ... Continue reading »

Jackie “Moms” Mabley (1894-1975): Trailblazing Comedian

color Moms Mabley Moms was a first; no previous stand-up female comedian preceded Mabley First woman comedian to be… ... Continue reading »

Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908-1998): Photographer and Chronicler of African-American Life

Cotton Candy booth Had a true photographer’s eye for capturing people doing everyday things; took more than 80,000 images during his career, mostly of daily life in ... Continue reading »

Alice Coachman (1923- ): First African-American Woman to Win an Olympic Gold Medal

Alice Coachman in action World-class athlete specializing in the high jump First African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal… ... Continue reading »

Charles David, Jr. (1917-1943): Selfless Coast Guard Hero of World War II

Charles W. David Jr. Enlisted in the military as soon as it was clear the U.S. was entering World War II ... Continue reading »
This Day in History

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law.  At the bill-signing ceremony, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare’s first beneficiary in acknowledgment that he was the first president to propose national health insurance (1945).

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