Important people for African American

  • Ulysses S. Grant

    President Grant wrote to Congress on March 30, 1870 explaining his perspective on the meaning of the 15th Amendment for the future of the United States. It was an important step in the struggle for voting rights for African Americans and it laid the groundwork for future civil rights activism.
  • Harriet E. Giles

    She found with her friend Sophia B. Packard the Spelman College which was the 1st college for Black Women in the U.S.. It was a great achievement for African American people but especially for women.
  • Booker T. Washington

    He's an educator and Civil Rights activist. His speech, critically dubbed the “Atlanta Compromise,” made Washington the most influential black person in America.
  • W.E.B. Du Bois

    He's an activist, sociologist and writer. In the introduction to The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1903, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois wrote that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of color line.” Though this prophetic remark is perhaps his most indelible, in a career spanning over a half-century until his death in 1963, Du Bois possessed the most perpetual voice on race in American history.
  • Marcus Gravey

    Marcus Garvey returned to Jamaica from England in July 1914. With the help of an associate Enos J. Sloly and about four others, he created the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League and launched it on 1st August 1914 which is Emancipation Day in British-ruled Caribbean.
  • Mary McLeod Bethune

    She turned her faith, her passion for racial progress, and her organizational and fundraising savvy into the enduring legacies of Bethune-Cookman University and the National Council of Negro Women. In 1924, Bethune, one of the few female college presidents in the nation, became president of the National Association of Colored Women.
  • Benjamin O. Davis Sr.

    Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr., the first African-American general for the U.S. Army, battled segregation by developing and implementing plans for the limited desegregation of U.S. combat forces in Europe during World War II. He rose slowly through the ranks, becoming the first black colonel in the army in 1930.
  • Jackie Robinson

    Robinson became the first Black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Throughout his decade-long career, Robinson distinguished himself as one of the game's most talented and exciting players, recording an impressive .311 career batting average. He was also a vocal civil rights activist.
  • Malcom X

    Born Malcolm Little, Malcolm X overcame drug addiction and a life of crime to become one of the country’s foremost civil rights leaders and champions of black pride in the 20th century. Malcolm X converted to Islam while serving a six-year prison sentence for burglary in Massachusetts. In just two years after his 1952 release from prison, he became a minister at Nation of Islam temples in Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.

    He was a man of incredible achievement: seminal leader of the civil rights movement, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a key figure in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, the Montgomery bus boycott, the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
  • Toni Morrison

    She won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction succinctly explaining the significance of what Morrison, born Chloe Ardelia Wofford, has contributed not only to literature but to the understanding of the history of black people in the United States.
  • Oprah Winfrey

    When The Oprah Winfrey Show went into national syndication in 1986, she yanked Phil Donahue’s self-help ball and turned TV into something new. She was the first mass media TV star to commercialize postracial wellness, spirituality and best-life striving. But Oprah didn’t just lead black people; she became Pied Piper of “Best You” agitprop.
  • Jesse Jackson

    He's a politician. Before Jackson’s campaigns, blacks had been largely relegated to roles as campaign surrogates on “urban issues” and get-out-the-vote specialists in black communities. Jackson pried open the Democratic Party structure and helped increase black participation in politics.
  • Barack Obama

    He had little support from established politicians, and many black voters did not even know who he was. But his campaign became a movement. His soaring speeches promising hope and change inspired millions. Less than two years later, a record crowd gathered on the National Mall to witness what was once unthinkable: the inauguration of the first black president of the United States.
  • Patrisse Cullors

    She is one of the three founders in 2013 of the anti-racist and intersectional militant movement Black Lives Matter, along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.