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Mary Anne Boelcskevy

actor and singer, was born Laura Bradford in Quincy, Illinois, the daughter of a Dutch mother and a father with mixed black and white parentage. She grew up in Cincinnati, where she sang in church choirs. Her early family life was difficult, and her father arranged her marriage at sixteen to Henry Ward Bowman, a railroad porter. The unhappy marriage lasted only two years. In 1902 Bowman's dream of a singing career began with her professional debut as a member of the chorus in the Midwest tour of the Williams and Walker Company's production of In Dahomey. The show went on to New York and in 1903 toured England, where it also played at Buckingham Palace for the ninth birthday of the Prince of Wales, Edward VIII.

During the tour of In Dahomey Bowman fell in love with Pete Hampton another performer in the show Soon after ...

Article

Pamela Roberts

was born in Virginia to Margaret Dischman, a midwife. Her father had left the family when she was five years old. She had a younger brother, Edward. At the age of five years old, her mother brought her to Washington D.C.

In 1870 Coakley was among the first forty-five students to enroll at the Preparatory High School for Negro Youth, in Washington, D.C. The school was renamed the M Street School in 1891, and finally Dunbar High School, named after the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, in 1916.

The M Street School had a reputation as the best Black high school in the country coupled with the ability and reputation for attracting the best teachers The roll call of its first teachers included some of the great pioneers of education at the time Among them were Richard Greener the first Black graduate of Harvard University Carter G Woodson the ...

Article

Lois Massengale Schultz

community activist, was born Jane Roberta Whatley in Hayneville, Lowndes County, Alabama, the eighth child and only girl of fifteen children born to Minerva Kendall Whatley and Calvin Whatley, a sharecropper and laborer. At an early age Jane worked to help support the family, and by the age of sixteen she was selling insurance for the Atlanta Mutual Benefit Association.

Summers's lifelong commitment to helping others was instilled at an early age by her parents, who had been born into slavery. A family story passed down through the generations had an enormous impact on young Jane. Relatives told how her father, Calvin, at the age of five carried water to his enslaved father, Simon, who had been beaten, tied to a tree, and left to die. Simon was subjected to this torturous punishment because he had protested the master's sexual abuse of his wife.

In 1922 ...