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

James Derham (ca. 1762-1802?), First Black Physician

James Derham was the first African-American to practice medicine in the United States. Born in Philadelphia, Derham started life as a slave. He was owned... continue »

A Brief Note about Black History Month

From physician Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1833-1895) and businessman Reginald Lewis (1942-1993) to cartoonist Jackie Ormes (1911-1986) and architect Paul R. Williams (1894-1980), Black History Month... continue »

Paul R. Williams (1894-1980), Los Angeles-based Architect

One of Southern California’s signature architects First certified African American architect west of the Mississippi Designed hundreds of public and private places When Paul Revere... continue »

Bridget “Biddy” Mason (1818-1891), Businesswoman and Philanthropist

• One of the first African-Americans to own land in Los Angeles • Smart businesswoman who donated generously Bridget "Biddy" Mason was born in 1818.... continue »

Bill Pickett (ca 1870-1932), African-American Cowboy

Successful showman and cowboy Invented the art of "bulldogging “Almost totally missing from the traditional history of the American West is the role of the... continue »

Claude Barnett (1889-1967), Journalist and Publisher

Founded the Associated Negro Press, the first international news agency for black newspapers Advocated against segregation in the military and the segregation of the blood... continue »

Marian Anderson (1897-1993), Internationally Acclaimed Singer

• Rose to stardom despite racial barriers • Helped change segregation in theatres • Broke color barrier at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1955 Marian... continue »

Dorie Miller (1919-1943), Hero of World War II

Serving in a noncombat role in the Navy, Dorie Miller responded heroically when the battleship West Virginia was attacked at Pearl Harbor Because the Navy... continue »

Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), Educator, Scholar, and Activist

One of the most prominent African-American scholars in the 19th and 20th centuries  gave voice to African-Americans, from the end of slavery to the civil... continue »

Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige, Legendary Pitcher

One of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time Highly popular. He attracted huge audiences wherever he played, and eventually became a Pitcher-for-Hire. Leroy Robert... continue »

Justina Ford (1871-1952), Physician

Overcame major obstacles in order to practice medicine Only female doctor in Denver for at least the first three decades of the 20th century Justina... continue »

The Nicholas Brothers: Fayard (1914-2006) and Harold (1921-2000)

Magical tap dancers; charismatic performers The Nicholas Brothers never became the household names that Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire became, but they deserve to have... continue »