John Marrant: America’s First Black Preacher

John Marrant

TweetShareShareHe was among America’s first black preachers. A fiery Methodist who converted thousands—blacks, Indians, whites—to Christianity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His life story–of only 35 years–has inspired millions. John Marrant was born a free black June 15, 1755 in New York City. When his father died, at four, his mother moved…

Read More

Charles Curtis: The First U.S. Vice President of Color

Charles Curtis

TweetShareShareDid you know the Kamala Harris wasn’t the first U.S. Vice President of color? It’s true. That honor goes to Charles Curtis who served as Herbert Hoover’s Vice President between 1929 and 1933. Today this decorated politician is virtually unknown to Americans but Curtis’ legacy is rich and inspiring. He proved the perfect political pick.…

Read More

Alex Haley: How “Roots” Seeded a Historical Racial Myth

TweetShareShare “I was just trying to give my people a MYTH to live by” (Alex Haley, author of “Roots”). On February 23, 1993—29 years ago today–an investigative journalist broke a story that Haley’s best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning Roots: The Saga of An American Family was a “hoax.” Haley, this journalist claimed, had “invented 200 years of…

Read More

Booker T. Washington: The Tuskegee Titan

Booker T. Washington

TweetShareShareHe’s on a very short list of highly influential Black Americans. He was a prolific author, outstanding orator, influential educator and inspiring leader. He was among the last Black American generation born into slavery. His name was Booker T. Washington (1856-1915). Booker was born into slavery in Virginia, sometime in 1856. After Lincoln emancipated the…

Read More

George Washington Carver: God’s Peanut Man

George Washington Carver

TweetShareShare“When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” These weren’t just words to George Washington Carver (1864-1943). They were his legacy. Few Americans lived bigger and better lives. Carver was born a slave, but eventually became a botanist, educator, conservationist, and artist.…

Read More

Biddy Mason: The Mormon Slave That Became a Californian Treasure

Biddy Mason

TweetShareShare“Biddy” spent nearly forty years as a slave for a Mississippi slave master. She never learned to read or write. And yet she saved her midwife salary to become a wealthy Black real estate magnate…and revered philanthropist. It’s quite the story. It’s also an inspiring tale that proves it’s not how you start life that…

Read More

Samuel Sharpe: The Jamaican Slave Preacher That Sparked Abolition

Samuel Sharpe

TweetShareShare“I would rather die upon yonder gallows than live my life in slavery.” Those were the passionate words of a young Black Jamaican slave preacher. His story changed the world…and that makes this tale worth telling. His name is Samuel “Daddy” Sharpe and he was born on a plantation owned by Samuel and Jane Sharpe…

Read More

The True History of Valentine’s Day

TweetShareShare Valentine’s Day is February 14. It’s traditionally a day of love. But what’s the story behind the day? A man named Valentine of Terni lived in the 3rd century AD. It was a period of deadly plagues and severe Christian persecution. The great Roman Empire was starting its long disintegration. With a small pox…

Read More

Robert James Harlan: Ohio’s Political Powerhouse

Robert James Harlan

TweetShareShareRobert James Harlan (1816-1897) may have been born a slave but he lived most of his life free as a bird. And this Ohio bird could sing…and travel…and succeed. Born in Virginia on December 12, 1816. Harlan’s mother was mulatto, and his father was white. Consequently, Robert’s light-skinned complexion often helped him. As a young…

Read More