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Sherri J. Norris

chief of police and security director, was born Beverly Joyce Bailey in Macon, Georgia, the youngest of seven children. She attended school in Macon, where she was an excellent student. In 1972 Harvard earned a BA in Sociology with a minor in psychology from Morris Brown College in Atlanta. In 1973 she married Jim Harvard, whom she had met while they were both students at Morris Brown. They would have one daughter, Christa. Harvard graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) National Executive Institute. She held two honorary doctor of law degrees from Morris Brown and University of South Carolina.

After graduation from college Harvard worked in communications Out of this work she developed a genuine interest in law enforcement but her career as a police officer was the result of a bet she made with her husband According to Harvard her husband agreed with a friend ...


Akilah S. Nosakhere

former Atlanta chief of police. Beverly Joyce Bailey Harvard, a native of Macon, Georgia, became the first African American woman to head a major U.S. police department when she was appointed Atlanta police chief in 1994 by Mayor Bill Campbell. Harvard led the Atlanta Police Department for almost eight years through exciting and controversial events. A twenty-one-year veteran of the police force, Chief Harvard was responsible for twenty-three hundred police officers and civilian employees, five divisions, and an annual budget of more than $100 million.

Described as a petite woman with a calm demeanor, Harvard became a police officer on a bet to prove to her husband that she, then a twenty-two-year-old woman with a sociology degree, could serve as a police officer. In 1973, Harvard's first assignment was night patrol in a high-crime area. She served as a patrol officer through 1979 when she was promoted ...


Richard L. Aynes

World War II veteran, city councilman, and judge, was born in Lake City, Florida, the youngest of fifteen children of William and Hattie (Howard) Jackson. He spent his early years in Orlando, Florida. Courage was his touchstone for life. When he was seven, an armed mob with torches came to his home looking for one of his older brothers on trumped-up charges. His mother sent him out the back door into the darkness to call together armed family members while she led the mob by a circuitous route to the brother's home. The family members Jackson brought escorted the brother to jail and successfully prevented the brother's lynching.

Jackson earned a BA from Morehouse College in 1943 and an MA in Business Administration from Atlanta University in 1946. On 7 September 1945 he married his college sweetheart Gilberta Jackson in Atlanta Georgia They had ...


Simon Topping

prominent New York City judge, was born in Kansas City, Kansas, the son of the Reverend David Foote Rivers, the last African American member of the Tennessee state legislature during Reconstruction, and Silene Gale Rivers. In 1898 his family moved to Washington, D.C., where he completed elementary and high school. He had considered becoming an athlete, but an attack of gout prevented this. He began studying law at Howard University, but in 1911 he entered Yale, where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa distinction in economics and history in 1915. In 1916 he went to Harvard Law School but left to become an inspector for Winchester Firearms, a post he kept until the United States declared war on Germany in 1917 During the war he attended the segregated officer training school in Des Moines Iowa and served as a first lieutenant with New York s 367th ...


Elizabeth K. Davenport

community activist and lawyer, was born Margaret Wilhelmina Jackson in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Margaret and John Jackson. One of three children, she had two siblings, Gwendolyn E. Bowie, a public school teacher, and Horace Jackson, a physician. Until the seventh grade, she attended Truxon Elementary School in Truxon, Virginia, and in 1933 she graduated from J. C. Norco High School in Portsmouth.

Upon high school graduation Rolark attended Howard University from 1933 until 1937, earning bachelor of arts and master's degrees in Political Science while studying under Ralph Bunche, a civil rights leader and later a member of President Harry Truman's “black cabinet.” As a young political scientist Rolark was one of several researchers who went to the Deep South to collect data for the Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal, for his seminal book An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy ...


Todd Steven Burroughs

lawyer, politician, and newspaper publisher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a newspaper publisher, Robert Vann's periodical, the Pittsburgh Courier, became a newspaper not ashamed to publish sensational news and not afraid to be controversial. He saw the paper as an agitation vehicle to improve all facets of black life in Pittsburgh.

Robert Vann was born in 1879 on a North Carolina farm near a town called Ahoskie. His mother, Lucy Peoples, worked for a family named Vann. When her son's father deserted them, she gave him the Vann surname. After attending the Waters Training School in Winston, North Carolina, and the Wayland Academy (the latter a preparatory school for Virginia Union University), he attended the Western University of Pennsylvania. He became the first African American to become the editor of the Courant, the campus newspaper. Vann earned his BA from Western in 1906 and his ...