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Rita Kohn

designer, businesswoman, and civic leader, was born Alpha Coles in Lynchburg, Virginia, the youngest of eight children of Alphonso Carroll Coles and Minnie Pugh Coles. Growing up, Blackburn attended a segregated school system, and went on to win a scholarship to Howard University, from which she graduated with honors, attaining a bachelor of arts in Design and a master of fine arts in painting and Art History. In 1964 she moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband, Walter Scott Blackburn, who had completed his degree in architecture at Howard. She commenced work as a freelance designer of clothing and interiors.

Blackburn's petite figure and radiant good looks created opportunities for her to model, and she accepted a steady job at the prestigious L. S. Ayres & Company in downtown Indianapolis. Concurrently, she hosted a half‐hour daily talk show from 1972 to 1978, Indy Today on WISH ...


was born in the Bronx, New York, to Lloyd Patterson, Sr., and Margaret Patterson. He attended Spaulding Middle School in the Bronx, Westfield High School, in Westfield, New Jersey, and graduated from the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia, in 1931.

After graduating from Hampton, Patterson tried getting interior design and painting jobs in the local area, but had little success. Not long after graduation, Patterson accompanied the writer Langston Hughes and twenty one other African‐Americans—including Wayland Rudd, Homer Smith, Louise Thompson and Sylvia Garner to Moscow U S S R to make a film titled Black and White Sponsored by the Soviet government the film was intended to be a truthful representation of race relations in America The Soviets were eager to capitalize on having Americans portray the racial injustices in their own country however their surprising ignorance of racial relations in the United ...