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Part Eight


Benjamin York (1770s? – 1832?) Explorer, Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Mary Ellen Pleasant (1814 – 1903?) Financier, John Brown’s Raid.

Ira Aldridge (1807 – 1867) Shakespearean actor, 19th century.

Anita Bush (1883 – 1974) Founder, first black dramatic theater company.

James Earl Jones (1931 - ) Actor, stage, television, and film.

American Negro Theatre (ANT) Founded in 1940 in Harlem.

Georgia Douglas Johnson (1877 – 1966) Writer, Harlem Renaissance.

Jessie Fauset (1882 – 1961) First black woman elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Arna Bontemps (1902 – 1973) Poet, novelist, historian, and editor.

Dorothy West (1907 – 1998) First African American female writer for the New York Daily News.

Harlem Writers’ Guild – Founded in the 1940s.

Buddy Bolden (1877 – 1931) Jazz musician, 1900s.

Willie “The Lion” Smith (1897 – 1973) Composer, innovator of “stride” piano playing.

Lillian Hardin Armstrong (1898 – 1971) Band leader, first all-female jazz ensemble in Harlem.

Ella Fitzgerald (1917 – 1996) “First Lady of Song”, 13 Grammy Awards.

Nina Simone (1933 – 2003) Singer, civil rights activist.

Clementine Hunter (1886 – 1987) Artist, the “Black Grandma Moses.”

Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900 – 1980) American folk artist.

Romare Bearden (1912 – 1988) Artist, organizer of first retrospective of African American art.

Elizabeth Catlett (1919 - ) Sculptor and artist.

John Biggers (1924 - ) Muralist.

The Ink Spots – Vocal group, 1940s.

The Mills Brothers – Vocal quartet, 1930s.

Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton (1926 – 1984) Blues singer, first to record “Hound Dog.”

Etta James (1938 - ) Blues, jazz, and soul pioneer.

Allen Allensworth (1842 – 1914) Founder, first black town in California.

Freedman’s Town – First settlement for freed slaves in Houston.

North Carolina Mutual – Oldest and largest black life insurance company.

Whitelaw Hotel – First luxury hotel for African Americans, 1919.

Auburn Avenue - Birthplace, church, and gravesite of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 
     
 

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