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Sholomo B. Levy

minister, U.S. Congressman, educator, and business executive, was born in Los Angeles, California, the eighth of thirteen children of Robert Flake Sr., a janitor, and Rosie Lee Johnson. Shortly after Floyd's birth, the family moved into a two-bedroom home in Houston, Texas. The roots of many of Floyd's political beliefs can be traced to his southern upbringing: his family was poor, but proud; racism abounded, but faith and optimism ruled the Flake home.

Floyd s early education took place in segregated poorly equipped schools but his teachers were dedicated and took a stern interest in his academic development One teacher cared enough to make sure that Floyd spent much of his free time involved in youth programs at her African Methodist Episcopal AME Church After graduating from high school Flake entered Wilberforce University the nation s oldest private African American University in Ohio He ...

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Ayesha Kanji

business executive and leader, was born Ann Marie Brown in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Malcolm R. Brown, a U.S. Postal Service employee, and Bettye Lewis, a manager at the National Security Agency. Fudge attended a series of Catholic schools before matriculating at Simmons College in Boston in 1969. She recalls the riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 as a “hurtful but formative experience … they made me incredibly determined. I wanted to do something that black people hadn't done before” (Dobrzynski). She became involved in student government and civil rights activism at Simmons. During her sophomore year she met Richard Fudge, a graduate student at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. They married in 1971 and had two children. Fudge graduated from Simmons in 1973 with a degree in management. Two of her Simmons professors, Margaret Hennig and Charles Coverdale ...

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Jennifer Curry

president and CEO of the NAACP and telecommunications executive, was born in Camden, New Jersey, one of five children of Walter Gordon, a school administrator, and Violet, a teacher. His father cofounded and served as secretary-treasurer of the Camden chapter of the NAACP, and starting at the age of eight, Gordon accompanied his father to meetings. Because both of his parents were educators, he aspired to enter the field as well. Gordon attended Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, where he majored in anthropology and sociology (liberal arts and sociology according to some sources), earning his bachelor's degree in 1968.

After meeting with an on-campus recruiter, Gordon accepted a management-trainee post with the local phone company, Bell of Pennsylvania. Completing the training program in 1970, he signed on as a business office manager and stayed with the company until his retirement. On 20 February 1970 Gordon married Genie Alston ...

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Elizabeth K. Davenport

businesswoman and civil leader, was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Harold “Hal” B. Jackson, a radio personality, and Julia (Hawkins) Jackson, a businesswoman. Her father was a pioneer in the broadcasting industry, whose work in radio and television eventually took the family to New York City.

As a child, Jackson was drawn to the performing arts, especially dance. She studied classical ballet and jazz and was eventually admitted to New York City's High School of the Performing Arts. She continued her dance studies at Bard College from 1961 until 1963. She left the college in 1964 prior to her graduation to get married at age nineteen to Frederick Ward, an advertising copywriter. The marriage ended in divorce in 1967. Jackson McCabe later married Eugene McCabe, president of North General Hospital in New York City, in 1974 That marriage ended in ...

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Kadeem Johnson

first African American Yale University football captain and corporate executive, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Virginia-born parents, Adaline Hogan Jackson, a house cleaner, and George W. Jackson, a Yale dining hall chef. Not much is known about his childhood, but from his earliest years, Jackson became known for his athleticism and academic achievements.

He joined Hillhouse High School football team after he moved from Branford, Connecticut to New Haven. The Hillhouse football team was 0-7-1 the previous season. In his first year in 1943 he led the team to a perfect 7-0 season and rushed for 272 yards, scoring six touchdowns and adding four extra points in a 52-6 victory over their rival, West Haven. In 1945 Levi Jackson s senior year at Hillhouse the team s record was 7 1 He was selected for the All State team twice He also starred in basketball ...

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Sholomo B. Levy

lawyer, civil rights leader, and corporate executive, was born Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. in Atlanta, the eldest of two sons of Vernon Jordan Sr., a postal clerk at Fort McPherson, Georgia, and Mary Belle Griggs, proprietor of a catering business, who had a child from a previous union. Jordan was descended from Georgia sharecroppers who had their roots in slavery. His maternal grandfather told young Vernon, “If I could have anything in the world, I'd want to be able to go to the bathroom indoors, in a warm place, one time before I die” (Jordan, 23).

Until the age of thirteen Jordan lived in Atlanta s University Homes the first public housing for black people built in the United States His project as such low income structures would come to be known derived its name from the black college campuses that surrounded it and provided ...

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Alexis D. McCoy

lawyer, civil rights activist, and political powerbroker. In his lifetime Jordan has assumed many roles, the most famous being adviser to President Bill Clinton. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. was the second of three sons of Vernon Eulion Jordan, a postal clerk, and Mary Griggs Jordan, a successful caterer. The family lived in public housing until they purchased a house when Vernon was thirteen. Jordan graduated from David T. Howard High School with honors in 1953. After graduation he attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, one of five blacks in the entire student body. Graduating from DePauw in 1957 with a BA, Jordan attended Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C., graduating with his law degree in 1960.

While at Howard Law, Jordan met and married Shirley Yarbrough on 13 December 1958 The couple returned to Georgia where ...

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One of the most powerful, well-connected lawyers in the United States, Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. has had a long, sometimes contradictory career. Few civil rights spokespeople of his generation have attained the kind of corporate and political influence Jordan has, an achievement that was enhanced by his position as a top adviser to and close friend of President Bill Clinton. Yet some critics charged that the former National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) field secretary and Urban League president lost touch with his original goals: to improve the economic lives of African Americans.

Jordan was born in Atlanta, Georgia The middle son of a postal clerk and his wife a caterer he was deeply influenced by his mother s drive and business sense As a child he sometimes accompanied her to catering jobs where he observed Atlanta s white establishment especially the Lawyer s Club ...

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Andre D. Vann

businessman, civic leader, churchman, and author, was born the eldest son of William Jesse Kennedy, a public school principal, and Katie (Riley) Kennedy, a homemaker, in Andersonville, Georgia. He received his public school training under his father, who was the principal of the local school. Later he was educated at Americus Institute in Americus, Georgia, which was under the auspices of the black Southwestern Georgia Baptist Association, and graduated in 1912. He studied law for a year through textbooks and a correspondence course from LaSalle University, and did special work in business administration through a Columbia University extension course, but did not graduate from either institution. He held a number of jobs ranging from carpenter to meat cutter.

Influenced by an uncle who worked in the insurance industry, he began working at Guaranty Mutual Life Insurance Company of Savannah, Georgia, in 1913 ...

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Jeannette Elizabeth Brown

chemist and corporate leader, was born in Pavo, Georgia, the second of three daughters of Willie Clark and Ola Watts Campbell. Her mother Ola had a third-grade education, and her father Willie was illiterate. Reatha was raised in Moltrie, Georgia, by her mother and aunt after her parents separated when she was young. She had to pick cotton and do the heavy fieldwork that was the typical life in the 1940s for poor sharecroppers' children. African American girls in the rural segregated South had few role models, but she received strong encouragement from her family and community to use her academic ability to overcome social disadvantages.

Clark started school at the age of four in the one room schoolhouse at Mount Zion Baptist Church Clark attended the segregated Moultrie High School for Negro Youth A teacher there encouraged her love of math and science even though the school ...

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Theodore W. Eversole

U.S. ambassador and successful businessman. Born in Arkansas City, Kansas, Delano Eugene Lewis Jr. received a BA in political science from the University of Kansas in 1960 and a JD from Topeka's Washburn University School of Law in 1963. Following law school Lewis initially worked as an attorney in the Justice Department and with the U.S. Equal Opportunities Commission.

From 1965 to 1969 Lewis expanded his experience by serving in the Peace Corps, first as an associate country director in Nigeria and later as director in Uganda. Upon returning from overseas he remained with the Peace Corps as director of the East and South African divisions, a post that gave him particular insights into political conditions inside Africa.

After the Peace Corps, Lewis joined the staff of the District of Columbia's representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Walter Fauntroy, and remained there until 1973 This introduction to ...

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Robert "Bob" Davis

one of the four North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University freshmen who initiated the sit-in movement in Greensboro, North Carolina, was born Franklin Eugene McCain in Union County, North Carolina, the son of Warner and Mattie McCain. McCain grew up in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Eastern High School in 1959. After graduating, he returned to his native North Carolina to attend college at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T). During his time as an undergraduate student at A&T, McCain roomed with David Richmond and lived around the corner from Ezell Blair Jr. and Joseph McNeil on the second floor of Scott Hall. These four men challenged public accommodation customs and laws in North Carolina on 1 February 1960 launching a sit in movement that became an important catalyst for much of the modern civil rights movement They decided to sit at an all ...

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Theresa A. Hammond

founder of the largest African American-owned certified public accounting firm, was born in Jamaica, West Indies, to Joseph Benjamin, a farmer with a third-grade education, and Edith Maud McCourty, a dressmaker. Mitchell grew up in a rural area in the town of Porus, the oldest of seven children and was the first person in his family to go to high school. He attended Kingston Technical High School and then moved to the United States in 1958 with his family settling in the Bronx Mitchell found a job in an ink factory and soon through a black employment agency he found a bookkeeping position for the Teamsters union downtown near city hall He wanted to further his education so he planned to attend the City College of New York CCNY and take engineering courses at night while working His employer however did not want him to leave ...

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Robert Mason

public servant and business executive, was born Everett Frederic Morrow in Hackensack, New Jersey, the son of John Eugene Morrow, a library custodian who was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1912, and Mary Anne Hayes, a former farmworker and maid. He was educated in public schools in Hackensack, where, he would later write in his second work of memoir, Way Down South Up North (1973), race relations were as treacherous as the situation in the Deep South. Morrow then attended Bowdoin College, to which he believed he won admission only because administrators assumed that he was a relative of Dwight Morrow a leading politician lawyer and banker of the day Having gained a BA degree during the depths of the Depression Morrow secured a social work job sponsored by a New Deal agency and later worked as a bank messenger on Wall ...

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Everett Frederick Morrow was born in Hackensack, New Jersey. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1930 and then worked as a field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

In 1952 Morrow became a consultant to Dwight D. Eisenhower's Republican presidential campaign and in 1955 became the first African American White House staff member when Eisenhower appointed him administrative officer for the Special Projects group, a position with little real responsibility. Morrow tried to use his position to turn Eisenhower's attention to civil rights matters, but he was largely frustrated in these efforts. He later campaigned for Richard Nixon's unsuccessful 1960 election bid. In 1964 Morrow became the first African American to work as a corporate executive for Bank of America.

See also Republican Party.

Article

Bob Greene

health industry executive, nurse, and educator, was born Barbara Lauraine Ware in Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine, the daughter of Lloyd Russell Ware and Mildred Murray. An only child, she and her mother moved to Portland, Maine, during World War II, where she graduated from Portland High School in 1956.

After receiving her nursing diploma from Massachusetts Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Boston in 1959, Nichols joined the U.S. Navy, serving as head nurse at the naval hospital in St. Albans, New York. After her three-year military stint, she earned a bachelor's degree in nursing and social psychology from Case-Western Reserve University in 1966 and a master's of science degree in behavioral disabilities and counseling from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1973.

Nichols became a professor at the University of Wisconsin and director of St Mary s Hospital Medical Center a position that ...

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Gregory S. Bell

corporate executive, was born Earnest Stanley O'Neal in Roanoke, Alabama, the oldest of four children of Earnest O'Neal, a farmer, and Ann Scales, a domestic. The family lived in a small farming town called Wedowee, but because its hospital would not admit African Americans, he was born in the neighboring town of Roanoke. The grandson of a former slave, O'Neal lived with his family in poverty. Although his house had no indoor plumbing, it was inhabited by a loving extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. With a population less than eight hundred, Wedowee offered scarce resources O Neal was educated in a one room schoolhouse heated with a wooden stove and with one teacher to instruct all the grades Outside the classroom he and his siblings spent hours picking cotton on their grandfather s fields Very early on O Neal s father told him that he ...

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Eunice Angelica Whitmal

entrepreneur and civic leader. Henry Green Parks Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His family later moved to Ohio for better economic opportunities. Parks majored in marketing at Ohio State University, where he shared a room with Jesse Owens. Before Parks graduated, an Ohio State counselor suggested that he “go to South America, where you will have a real chance.” Parks recalled saying that “he would not run from anything, least of all himself.”

In 1939 Parks graduated from Ohio State and took a job working as a manager and trainer for the Resident War Production Training Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. There he trained hundreds of youths for jobs in business. His interest in management led him to work in various capacities, including beverage marketer, advertisement representative, drugstore owner, cider block plant manager, and co-owner of Crayton Sausage Company. In 1944 he moved to Baltimore Maryland where ...

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Marseille M. Pride

business executive, entrepreneur, and civic leader, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Henry Green Parks Sr. His mother's name is unknown, but both of his parents at one time worked as domestic laborers. Seeking a better life the family moved to Dayton, Ohio, when Henry Jr. was six months old. There his father found work as a hotel bartender and later as a wine steward in a private club. Because both of Parks's parents worked long hours the family did not spend much time together. Henry spent most of his time with his paternal grandmother, whom he described as “very religious.” The example that Parks's father set for him was one of diligence, perseverance, risk-taking, and making hard choices, attributes that would be evident throughout Parks's life.

Parks graduated from the public schools of Dayton Ohio Had he chosen to follow the prevailing wisdom of ...

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Gregory S. Bell

corporate executive and lawyer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the second of five children of Lorenzo Parsons, a technician, and Isabelle Judd. When Richard was five years old, the family moved to a middle-class neighborhood in Queens. He later recalled his father as “intellectual and gentle” and his mother as “full of steely determination and grit” (Clarke, 153). In his childhood, academic excellence was far from Richard's top priority, and at John Adams High School he did well but always with as little effort as possible. Still, his talents propelled him to graduate early, at the age of sixteen. In 1964 he applied to the University of Hawaii primarily because he had been attracted to his Hawaiian-born high school physics lab partner, who had constantly told him stories about the exotic state.

Parsons worked at various odd jobs including at a parking garage and gas company ...