African-American Leaders

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 »

Susie King Taylor (1848-1912), Educator, Author, Activist

First woman to openly teach former slaves at a school in Georgia. Only African-American woman to publish a memoir of her work during the Civil... continue »

George Washington Carver (ca. 1865-1943), Internationally Known Scientist and Educator

Developed crop-rotation methods which changed the nature of agriculture; Discovered multiple different uses for crops such as the peanut; the peanut plant enriches the soil... continue »

Sarah E. Goode, (ca.1850-1909), Inventor

First African-American woman to get a patent Sarah Jacob was born into slavery in about 1850; she gained her freedom at the end of the... continue »

Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), Great Strides in Education and Civil Rights

Made great progress for African-Americans in the fields of education and civil rights Consultant to four presidents; most significantly FDR for establishing the Federal Council... continue »

Reginald Lewis (1942-1993), Self-Made Business Success

• First African-American businessman to make Forbes list of wealthiest people • In 1992 donated largest gift from an individual in Harvard Law School’s history... continue »