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Charles F. Casey-Leninger

first black mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, was born in Maysville, Kentucky, to a white farmer whom he never knew and Cora Berry. When he was a toddler, Berry's mother brought him to Cincinnati, where they settled in the emerging African American community in the city's West End. Severely hearing impaired and with difficulty speaking, his mother earned little as a domestic, and Berry's sister Anna, fifteen years his senior, eventually assembled the family in her own household.

Berry attended the segregated Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School and graduated from the racially mixed Woodward High School in 1924 as valedictorian, the first black student in Cincinnati to achieve that honor in an integrated high school. Berry received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1928 and his juris doctorate from the UC College of Law in 1931 He worked his way through school by selling ...


Charles L. Hughes

singer, songwriter, and politician, was one of four children born to J. T. and Alveria Butler, in Sunflower, Mississippi. The Butlers, a Mississippi sharecropping family, moved to Chicago in 1942, where they lived in the Cabrini-Green Housing Projects. J. T. Butler worked a variety of jobs to support his family until his death in 1953, and, following his passing, relatives and friends moved in to help the family make ends meet. Jerry, active in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), soon became known around his community for his musical ability and rich baritone voice, and he quickly began performing as a gospel artist with friends and fellow COGIC members. One of Jerry's friends, a prodigious musician and songwriter named Curtis Mayfield would soon join Butler in a singing group called the Roosters The group subsequently changed its name to the Impressions Signing to Vee Jay Records ...


David H. Anthony

Pullman porter, labor leader, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) functionary, political organizer, and Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) panelist, was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, in 1887, two years after the birth of Asa Philip Randolph, the visionary, charismatic, intellectual founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. As the first vice president of the BSCP, his public profile is linked to that of Randolph, the BSCP, and the struggle for civil rights.

Webster went to Chicago as a working youth; there he became a porter on the railroad. By 1925 he was serving as a bailiff in Cook County and a ward leader who established strategic ties to the black Republican establishment. His work and political associations soon proved decisive.

Webster's reach extended to the powerful black Republican politician Oscar De Priest as well as to present and past porters who respected him for ...