Famous Faces From Black History

Maya Angelou was an accomplished poet, memoirist, playwright, and civil rights activist, Angelou's work has been widely recognized. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Maya Angelou Maya Angelou was an accomplished poet, memoirist, playwright, and civil rights activist, Angelou's work has been widely recognized. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize-winning author, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 for her novel "Beloved". In 2001 she was named one of the "30 Most Powerful Women in America" by Ladies' Home Journal. (Photo Credit: AP)
Toni Morrison Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize-winning author, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 for her novel "Beloved". In 2001 she was named one of the "30 Most Powerful Women in America" by Ladies' Home Journal. (Photo Credit: AP)
Martin Luther King Jr.is the best known leader of the Civil Rights struggle. He believed in peaceful protests to bring about change. He had a dream that one day Americans would not judge each other by their skin color, but by what they are like as people. (Photo Credit: AP)
Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr.is the best known leader of the Civil Rights struggle. He believed in peaceful protests to bring about change. He had a dream that one day Americans would not judge each other by their skin color, but by what they are like as people. (Photo Credit: AP)
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong and his Orchestra was one of the most popular bands in Jazz history and one of the driving forces of Swing style that came to dominate popular music of the 1930s and 1940s.
Louis Armstrong Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong and his Orchestra was one of the most popular bands in Jazz history and one of the driving forces of Swing style that came to dominate popular music of the 1930s and 1940s.
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson became the first African-American major league baseball player of the modern era in 1947. While not the first African American professional baseball player in United States history, his Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended approximately eighty years of baseball segregation, also known as the baseball color line. (Photo credit: AP)
Jackie Robinson Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson became the first African-American major league baseball player of the modern era in 1947. While not the first African American professional baseball player in United States history, his Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended approximately eighty years of baseball segregation, also known as the baseball color line. (Photo credit: AP)
This file photo dated 28 November, 1999 shows US civil rights icon Rosa Parks waving to the audience before receiving the Congessional Medal of Honor at a ceremony in Detroit. Rosa Parks is generally considered the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement. Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger triggered the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott. (Photo credit: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Rosa Parks This file photo dated 28 November, 1999 shows US civil rights icon Rosa Parks waving to the audience before receiving the Congessional Medal of Honor at a ceremony in Detroit. Rosa Parks is generally considered the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement. Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger triggered the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott. (Photo credit: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States on January, 20th, 2009 and the first African American President in the history of the U.S. (Photo credit: AP)
President Barack Obama Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States on January, 20th, 2009 and the first African American President in the history of the U.S. (Photo credit: AP)
Jesse Jackson, Sr. is an American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as "shadow senator" for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Jesse Jackson Jesse Jackson, Sr. is an American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as "shadow senator" for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American justice of the US Supreme Court. Marshall was on the team of lawyers in the historic Supreme Court trial concerning school desegregation, Brown v. Board of Education (1954). As a result of this trial, the "separate but equal" doctrine in public education was overthrown. After a successful career as a lawyer and judge fighting for civil rights and women's rights, Marshall was appointed to the high court in 1967.. On the high court, Marshall continued his fight for human rights until he retired in 1991. (Photo credit: AP)
Thurgood Marshall Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American justice of the US Supreme Court. Marshall was on the team of lawyers in the historic Supreme Court trial concerning school desegregation, Brown v. Board of Education (1954). As a result of this trial, the "separate but equal" doctrine in public education was overthrown. After a successful career as a lawyer and judge fighting for civil rights and women's rights, Marshall was appointed to the high court in 1967.. On the high court, Marshall continued his fight for human rights until he retired in 1991. (Photo credit: AP)
Sojourner Truth was an American preacher who dedicated her life to fighting for civil and human rights. She was born a slave in New York State, but was freed in 1827. After becoming a preacher, she campaigned for the abolition of slavery and for women's rights. During the US Civil War, she helped black Union soldiers obtain supplies and also worked as a counselor for the National Freedom Relief Association. (Photo credit: AP)
Sojourner Truth Sojourner Truth was an American preacher who dedicated her life to fighting for civil and human rights. She was born a slave in New York State, but was freed in 1827. After becoming a preacher, she campaigned for the abolition of slavery and for women's rights. During the US Civil War, she helped black Union soldiers obtain supplies and also worked as a counselor for the National Freedom Relief Association. (Photo credit: AP)
Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to the US Congress. After being a teacher and serving as a New York state assemblywoman, Chisolm was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives. She served in Congress for seven terms, from January 3, 1969, until January 3, 1983. In 1972, Chisholm was the first African-American woman to run for a major-party presidential nomination. During her long political career, she fought for the rights of women and minorities.
Shirley Chisholm Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to the US Congress. After being a teacher and serving as a New York state assemblywoman, Chisolm was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives. She served in Congress for seven terms, from January 3, 1969, until January 3, 1983. In 1972, Chisholm was the first African-American woman to run for a major-party presidential nomination. During her long political career, she fought for the rights of women and minorities.
Oprah Winfrey revolutionized the talk show market with her unique and natural style and rose to become the host of the most watched daytime show on television. She is the first African American to own her own TV studio. The multitalented Winfrey is also a millionaire businesswoman, a talented actress, owner of a movie production company, and committed philanthropist. (Photo credit: AP)
Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey revolutionized the talk show market with her unique and natural style and rose to become the host of the most watched daytime show on television. She is the first African American to own her own TV studio. The multitalented Winfrey is also a millionaire businesswoman, a talented actress, owner of a movie production company, and committed philanthropist. (Photo credit: AP)
Medgar Evers was a prominent voice in the struggle for civil rights in Mississippi. He was assassinated in the driveway of his Mississippi home June 12, 1963 by KKK member Byron De La Beckwith. (Photo credit: AP)
Medgar Evers Medgar Evers was a prominent voice in the struggle for civil rights in Mississippi. He was assassinated in the driveway of his Mississippi home June 12, 1963 by KKK member Byron De La Beckwith. (Photo credit: AP)
Malcolm X was an American Black Muslim minister and a one-time spokesman for the Nation of Islam.  He was initially known for his controversial stance on racial separatism, but after leaving the Nation of Islam and establishing his own religious organization, the Organization of Afro-American Unity, he rejected his former separatist beliefs and advocated integration and world brotherhood. (Photo Credit: AP)
Malcolm X Malcolm X was an American Black Muslim minister and a one-time spokesman for the Nation of Islam. He was initially known for his controversial stance on racial separatism, but after leaving the Nation of Islam and establishing his own religious organization, the Organization of Afro-American Unity, he rejected his former separatist beliefs and advocated integration and world brotherhood. (Photo Credit: AP)
Poet, playwright and novelist Langston Hughes wrote in many literary genres but he always considered himself a poet first. Hughes was best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance and is now considered one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. (Photo Credit: AP)
Langston Hughes Poet, playwright and novelist Langston Hughes wrote in many literary genres but he always considered himself a poet first. Hughes was best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance and is now considered one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. (Photo Credit: AP)
James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens was an African American track and field athlete. He sprinted his way into the history books with his stunning victories and achievement of four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Summer Games in Berlin, Germany. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1976. (Photo credit: AP)
Jesse Owens James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens was an African American track and field athlete. He sprinted his way into the history books with his stunning victories and achievement of four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Summer Games in Berlin, Germany. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1976. (Photo credit: AP)
Ida B. Wells Barnett was born to slave parents in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1892. She was an anti-lynch crusader and the Co-Founder of the NAACP. (Photo credit: Encyclopedia Britannica Online)
Ida B. Wells Barnett Ida B. Wells Barnett was born to slave parents in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1892. She was an anti-lynch crusader and the Co-Founder of the NAACP. (Photo credit: Encyclopedia Britannica Online)
Harriet Tubman was a slave who escaped from captivity and made thirteen missions to rescue more than three hundred slaves on the Underground Railroad. She is also the first African-American to be honored on a U.S. Stamp in 1978. (Photo credit: AP)
Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman was a slave who escaped from captivity and made thirteen missions to rescue more than three hundred slaves on the Underground Railroad. She is also the first African-American to be honored on a U.S. Stamp in 1978. (Photo credit: AP)
One of the 20th century's greatest scientists, George Washington Carver's influence is still being felt today. Rising from slavery to become one of the world's most respected and honored men, he devoted his life to understanding nature and the many uses for the simplest of plant life. He is best known for developing crop-rotation methods for conserving nutrients in soil and discovering hundreds of new uses for crops such as the peanut. (Photo credit: AP)
George Washington Carver One of the 20th century's greatest scientists, George Washington Carver's influence is still being felt today. Rising from slavery to become one of the world's most respected and honored men, he devoted his life to understanding nature and the many uses for the simplest of plant life. He is best known for developing crop-rotation methods for conserving nutrients in soil and discovering hundreds of new uses for crops such as the peanut. (Photo credit: AP)
Frederick Douglass was one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery within the United States in the decades prior to the Civil War. He was also an editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer and became recognized as one of the America's first great black speakers. (Photo credit: AP)
Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass was one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery within the United States in the decades prior to the Civil War. He was also an editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer and became recognized as one of the America's first great black speakers. (Photo credit: AP)
Duke Ellington, 1899-1974, is regarded as one of the most important composers and performers in jazz music during the 20th Century. (Photo credit: AP)
Duke Ellington Duke Ellington, 1899-1974, is regarded as one of the most important composers and performers in jazz music during the 20th Century. (Photo credit: AP)
Bob Moore (l), historian for the National Parks Service, points to drawing of Dred Scott and his wife Harriet (r-l), slaves who sued unsuccessfully for their freedom in the famous Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1856.  (Photo credit: AP)
Dred Scott Bob Moore (l), historian for the National Parks Service, points to drawing of Dred Scott and his wife Harriet (r-l), slaves who sued unsuccessfully for their freedom in the famous Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1856. (Photo credit: AP)
Carter G. Woodson is known as the "Father of Black History." He devoted his life to researching, publishing, and increasing public awareness of black history. He founded Negro History Week in 1926 and it's now known as Black History Month. (photo credit: Blackhistorymonthlogo.com)
Carter G. Woodson Carter G. Woodson is known as the "Father of Black History." He devoted his life to researching, publishing, and increasing public awareness of black history. He founded Negro History Week in 1926 and it's now known as Black History Month. (photo credit: Blackhistorymonthlogo.com)
Booker T. Washington was an American educator, author and leader of the African American community. He was freed from slavery as a child, gained an education, and after the Civil War, became founder and first principal of the Tuskegee Institute. From this position of leadership he rose into a nationally prominent role as spokesman for African Americans. (Photo credit: AP)
Booker T. Washington Booker T. Washington was an American educator, author and leader of the African American community. He was freed from slavery as a child, gained an education, and after the Civil War, became founder and first principal of the Tuskegee Institute. From this position of leadership he rose into a nationally prominent role as spokesman for African Americans. (Photo credit: AP)
M. Athalie Range was a civil rights activist and politician who was the first African-American to serve on the Miami City Commission, and the first African-American since Reconstruction. In 1971, newly elected Florida Governor Reubin Askew appointed Range as Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs, the first woman to head a Florida state agency. Range was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame in 1997. (Photo credit: CBS)
M. Athalie Range M. Athalie Range was a civil rights activist and politician who was the first African-American to serve on the Miami City Commission, and the first African-American since Reconstruction. In 1971, newly elected Florida Governor Reubin Askew appointed Range as Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs, the first woman to head a Florida state agency. Range was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame in 1997. (Photo credit: CBS)
William E.B. Du Bois is among the most influential blacks of the twentieth century. He was an African American civil rights activist, editor, author and he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  (Photo credit: AP)
William E.B. Du Bois William E.B. Du Bois is among the most influential blacks of the twentieth century. He was an African American civil rights activist, editor, author and he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). (Photo credit: AP)
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