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Boyd Childress

football player and labor activist, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the first of nine children born to Jesse and Henrietta Bethea. Bethea grew up poor, with his father finding whatever jobs he could while his mother worked out of the home as a hairdresser. His father, who enforced a strict home environment, did not think much of football as he struggled in a low-paying factory job, but he did leave Elvin his blue-collar work ethic—a trait the son applied to his own life, especially in football. Bethea excelled in football at Trenton Central High School and was offered a football scholarship at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University in Greensboro, where he made All-America as a two way lineman. At North Carolina A & T, Bethea played under the assistant coach Hornsby Howell who pushed him to succeed not only in sports but also in life ...


Laura M. Calkins

football player, was born in Mansfield, Louisiana, to Paul C. and Mary Howell. Little is known of their early lives, but in the late 1880s Howell's parents decided to leave Louisiana, seeking a new life in the American West. In 1888 the Howell family and their six children (Abner was the only boy) reached Dodge City, Kansas, and then traveled together to Trinidad, Colorado. Under unknown circumstances, the family split up; Paul Howell went ahead by train, reaching Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1888. Mary and the children remained in Colorado until 1890 when they were able to join Paul in Salt Lake City where he had been hired as the city s first black policeman Although Paul and Mary Howell did not join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints LDS which was based in Salt Lake City and commonly known as the ...


Jason Philip Miller

professional football player and union organizer, was born in Roosevelt, on New York's Long Island. He was one of seven children, and his father was a minister. He attended Hempstead High School in New York and played football there. After graduation, he attended Syracuse University and played football with the Orange as a tight end from 1960 to 1962.

Mackey was a standout with quick hands and feet. In just two seasons, he racked up 481 yards and six touchdowns. During his junior year, he recorded 321 yards as a tight end, setting what was then a Syracuse record. Mackey graduated in 1963, and in the same year was taken by the Baltimore Colts in the second round of the National Football League (NFL) draft. While tight ends function in the modern NFL primarily as short-range receivers, in 1963 NFL teams were just beginning to integrate ...


Jeff Shantz

civil and labor rights activist, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1941, at the age of twelve, Smith ran away from home and joined the U.S. Navy. The navy did not discover their mistake in enlisting the underage Smith until he had reached the age of fourteen, by which time Smith had successfully passed through boot camp and sailed to Europe. During his two years in the navy, Smith would learn two skills that would greatly influence the course of his life: boxing and heavy equipment operation.

Upon his return to Pittsburgh in 1943, the fourteen-year-old Smith chose not to return to school. Instead he decided to devote himself full time to boxing. In two years as a middleweight fighter Smith participated in more than one hundred professional fights. He also met and developed a friendship with Edgar Kaufmann a Pittsburgh department store owner and boxing ...


Pellom McDaniels

professional football player and union leader, was born in Robstown, Texas, to Eugene Upshaw, an oil field worker, and Cora (Riley) Upshaw, a domestic worker. As a boy, Upshaw honed his ability to endure unfavorable conditions while picking cotton in the fields surrounding Robstown. The harsh and sometimes brutal experience of working in the unforgiving Texas heat taught Upshaw lessons in humility and toughness. He learned early the value of a solid work ethic, while earning the extra money that his family could not afford to do without. The eldest of three sons, Upshaw was the example for his younger siblings, who often followed his lead and even in his footsteps: his younger brother Marvin Upshaw was a first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 1968.

Considered a stellar athlete at Robstown High School where he showed promise in sports such as baseball football and ...