Barack Obama

Despite the rough nature of his sport, Muhammad Ali was one of the smoothest persons ever to walk the Earth. His poetic verse and well-considered metaphors came out a time during the 1960s when boxers were better known for punching than speaking. But Muhammad Ali did speak, and spoke intelligently – in a loud, boisterous […]

As a noted surgeon and scientist, Charles Drew was responsible for creating the technology to store blood for long periods of time. His lifelong concern for the necessary transport and storage of blood and plasma made him a pioneer in his field and a valued scientist in world history. Drew saved thousands of soldiers’ lives […]

This Valentine’s Day, Michelle Obama was kind enough to offer up some advice to couples on keeping their romance alive. After all, she and Barack have been married for 19 years. “I think a lot of laughing. I think in our house we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of […]

If there is one person from history whose impact on the Black woman’s self-image rivals that of Oprah Winfrey, it is the hair mogul Madame C.J. Walker. Walker was the first successful Black female entrepreneur. Her insistence on involvement in both the business world and civic affairs predates Oprah’s story, and to the extent that […]

President Barack Obama has given Gabrielle Union a job, and it will require more than her acting abilities. He’s appointed her to the National Committee for Violence Against Women. Gabrielle has publicly revealed that she was raped at gunpoint at the age of 19, and that the tips she’d seen on an episode of Oprah’s […]

In 1940, one Black novelist dared to show America what white supremacy did to one Black man. When “Native Son” appeared on America’s bookshelves, it became an instant bestseller, the first title by an African-American author selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club. It also introduced the world to the complicated protagonist of “Native Son,” Chicago’s Bigger […]

Ralph Ellison was the first novelist to portray the Black experience as a critical part of the American experience. His seminal novel, “Invisible Man,” was his only major work, but his letters, articles and fiction work established him as one of the most important writers in history. “Invisible Man” encapsulated the feelings of Black men […]

Mary McLeod Bethune, the daughter of slaves, became an early 20th Century educator and civil rights leader, founding both Bethune-Cookman College and the National Council of Negro Women. But Bethune became even more influential as a friend and confidant of Eleanor Roosevelt, and as an advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Negro affairs. Bethune […]

A master of storytelling, Toni Morrison was the first Black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and legendary professor is known for the vivid black characters brought to life in her novels that recreate the Black experience. Morrison’s novels often illuminate themes of slavery, racism, and identity, but […]

Professing to be “unbossed and unbought,” Shirley Chisholm was the first black female major-party candidate for President of the United States, and the first black woman to be elected to Congress. Chisholm wasn’t intent on winning the presidency, but was steadfast on challenging conventions and showing Black America that they could aim high. She set […]

When Booker T. Washington stepped to the podium at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895 to give a speech on race relations, two things happened. First, many fellow Black Americans, including W.E.B. Du Bois, derided his speech as “The Atlanta Compromise,” because Washington called the agitation for social equality “the extremest folly,” advocating instead slow, steady, […]