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Dominic J. Capeci

civil rights advocate and trade unionist, was born in Newberry County near Chappells, South Carolina, the son of Fred Grigsby and Kitty (maiden name unknown), farmers. Named for the unusual snowfall that occurred on the day of his birth, he was known throughout his life as Snow Grigsby. He learned the lesson of fending for oneself in a family of twelve children raised by religious, education-minded, politically active parents. He embraced individualism but benefited from philanthropy and endorsed government activism. Grigsby left home to receive his high school diploma in 1923 at Harbison Junior College in Irmo, South Carolina, courtesy of the Presbyterian Church. Heading north to look for what he called “rosy opportunities,” he worked menial jobs by night and attended the Detroit Institute of Technology by day. He graduated in 1927 but failed to find employment as a pharmacist Like his father a onetime federal mail ...

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James R. Grossman

politician, was born in Malta, Illinois, the son of William Jackson and Sarah Cooper. He spent most of his childhood in Chicago. At age nine he began selling newspapers and shining shoes in Chicago's central business district; he left school in the eighth grade to work full-time. By age eighteen Robert had garnered an appointment as a clerk in the post office, a position coveted by African Americans in this era because of its security compared to that of most other occupations open to them. He left the postal service as an assistant superintendent in 1909 to devote himself full-time to his printing and publishing business, the Fraternal Press. In partnership with Beauregard F. Mosely, in 1910 he cofounded the Leland Giants, Chicago's first African American baseball team. In 1912 Jackson won election as a Republican to the state legislature From there he moved to the ...