Icon Profiles

Annie Turnbo Malone, trailblazing millionaire and beauty maven

Invariably, with study and research of Madam C.J. Walker, Annie Turnbo Malone is mentioned, and she gets a little more than a passing nod in the recent Netflix bio-pic of Walker.
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The life and time of Yvonne Little Woodward, Malcolm X’s youngest sister

Two weeks ago we featured the life and legacy of Ella Little-Collins, Malcolm X’s half-sister. Today Yvonne Little Woodward has the stage, and though she made her own mark in life, for the most part she distinguished herself outside the ...
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Julius Montgomery, a trailblazer at Cape Canaveral and elsewhere

The recent passing of Katherine Johnson reminded me of Julius Montgomery, who, like Johnson, surmounted barriers and made his mark in the race for space as the first African American to employed at Cape Canaveral—and not a janitor.
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Malcolm X: The price of freedom is death

Friday, Feb. 21, 1965 marks the day a hit squad of cold-blooded assassins aired out the Audubon Ballroom stage, expiring the physical life of Black Nationalist advocate El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, aka Malcolm X, in full view of his ...
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Hallie Quinn Brown: A pioneer in Black women’s clubs and teacher

Among those several and memorable moments when Hallie Quinn Brown raised her voice against racism and for women’s rights, the one in the summer of 1920 in Tuskegee, Alabama stands out.
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William Worthy—a radical, intrepid journalist and activist

When intrepid activist and journalist William Worthy died six years ago, I promised that one day he would be featured in the Classroom column, and thus it is this week as we witness the global attack on reporters who dare ...
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America’s first Black vote was cast in New Jersey

The national theme for Black History Month 2020 is “African Americans and the Vote” highlighting suffrage of Blacks throughout American history.
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Before Rosa Parks there was Ellen Garrison Jackson

In her opinion piece in the New York Times on the film “Little Women,” Kaitlyn Greenidge evoked Ellen Garrison Jackson, a Black girl coming of age in Concord, Mass., whom she contrasted with the white girls in “Little Women.”
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Writer/actor/director Chris Swain: a man from the ’hood

Film and television producer Michael Bregman (“Carlito’s Way,” “Carlito’s Way Rise to Power” and “The Bone Collector”)—the son of the prolific film producer Martin Bregman (“Scarface,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Serpico”) and actor Luis Guzmán have turned their creative attention and ...
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Arthur Schomburg and the Harlem Renaissance

In recognition of the 146th born day anniversary of renowned researcher Arthur Alfonso Schomburg we take a look at his involvement in the reinvigorating Harlem Renaissance occurring during the “Roaring Twenties.”
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Clarence Muse, a versatile artist and actor of integrity

Late one night recently, I was watching an old film and out of nowhere it seems this Black man commanded the screen.
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John Singleton, director, producer, and cinematic force

When the film director John Singleton died on April 28, 2019 in Los Angeles at age 51, we at the Amsterdam News published a news report from one of our affiliates and later produced a podcast on his splendid cinematic ...
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Christine Chambers, photographer and playwright

Like many of my heroes and sheroes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, John Coltrane and Diana Sands, they were taken from us or departed as their fruitful potential was just beginning to ripen and mature.
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Four-time gold medalist, Harrison ‘Bones’ Dillard

When Harrison Dillard, the four-time Olympic gold medalist, died on Nov. 15, there wasn’t the fanfare and notice he received 70 years ago, though several national media outlets lavished praise on the great athlete.
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Barbara Hillary, first Black woman to the North and South Poles

It’s one notable achievement to reach the North Pole at the age of 75 and then become the first Black woman to reach the South Pole four years later.
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