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

Gordon Parks, Extraordinary Photojournalist

Gordon Parks, best-remembered as a gifted photojournalist, was also an author, composer and film director, achieving remarkable success in each field. His journalistic platform in Life magazine... continue »

Ebony Fashion Fair and Eunice Johnson

Eunice Johnson (1916-2010) and her husband, John H. Johnson (1918-2005) created a... continue »

Harlem Hellfighters: Black Soldiers in World War I

During World War I the 369th Infantry from Harlem, an all-black military unit, acquired the name “Harlem Hellfighters.”  They were not only fierce, but they... continue »

Ethel Payne, Ground-Breaking Black Female Journalist

Ethel Payne made a name for herself as a tireless black journalist who was willing to ask tough questions about segregation and civil rights. She... continue »

Morrie Turner: Creator of Wee Pals Comic Strip

Morris “Morrie” Turner grew up dreaming of being a cartoonist, yet he knew the profession was dominated by white men. Despite that, Turner went on... continue »

Harlem Hellfighter Hero: Henry Johnson

The Harlem Hellfighters were a heroic bunch from the beginning, but this World War I infantry regiment had one man who stood out from all... continue »

The Rosenwald Schools: Schools for African-Americans in the Rural South

The Rosenwald Schools  were built in the early 20th century as a solution to the scarcity of schools for African-Americans in the rural South at... continue »

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... continue »

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

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

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

Jazz performer and pioneer Louis Armstrong called her the “second best trumpet player” in the world; Armstrong placed himself first.  Valaida Snow was born into... continue »

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

Moms was a first; no previous stand-up female comedian preceded Mabley First woman comedian to be featured at the Apollo Theater (1930s); she went on... continue »

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

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 Pittsburgh... continue »