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April Taylor

Born Wesley Cook in Philadelphia, Mumia Abu-Jamal was a political activist from adolescence. At the age of fourteen he was arrested and beaten for demonstrating against segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace. He was a founding member of the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968 and worked on the party's newspaper in California during the summer of 1970.

Returning to Philadelphia, Abu-Jamal became a radio journalist with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and had his own talk show on station WUHY. He was highly critical of Philadelphia's police department and of the city's “law and order” mayor, Frank Rizzo. He provided coverage of the police treatment of MOVE, a Philadelphia black militant group, which further alienated the authorities. Forced to leave his position as a journalist, Abu-Jamal took a job as a taxi driver.

While Abu Jamal was driving his cab on the ...

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Greer C. Bosworth

attorney, was born Sherry Franchesca Bellamy in Harlem, New York, the youngest of seven children of Athelston Alhama Bellamy and Mary Elizabeth Reeves. Sherry's father, born and raised in Harlem, was a career military officer who served with the Tuskegee Airmen and eventually rose to the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force. After retiring from the military he became a court officer and court clerk in the Civil Court of the City of New York. Sherry's mother was born and raised on a race-horse breeding farm outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Sherry grew up in Harlem and graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School, a Roman Catholic high school whose graduates include many successful minority judges, attorneys, and other professionals.

In 1974 Bellamy graduated from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, with a BA in Political Science. She later received her juris doctor in 1977 from Yale Law School During ...

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Jason Philip Miller

broadcaster and civil rights leader, was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, one of a pair of twins (her sister was Xenobia) to James Brewster, a Baptist minister, and Lillie Elliott Brewster. In addition to helping her husband run the church, Lillie Brewster administered Indian Affairs in the Muskogee area. For her part, Brady began to play piano in the church but one Sunday chose to skip services (and playing) to instead socialize with friends. She would later credit the resulting lecture from her father for fostering in her a respect for the importance of honoring whatever role she was playing and the faith that others would place in her. Brady attended local schools, and planned for a career in education. She matriculated at Tennessee State Agricultural and Industrial College (later Tennessee State University) and graduated with honors in 1952 She then relocated to Chicago Illinois and the ...

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Roanne Edwards

Best known for his weekly Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television show Tony Brown's Journal, Tony Brown has become a controversial figure in the landscape of American race relations. Although once active in the Civil Rights Movement, he has criticized present-day black activists for prioritizing civil rights at the expense of black business initiatives and education programs in computer technologies. He advocates black economic self-sufficiency and has consistently opposed welfare as well as Affirmative Action policies that he believes mainly benefit middle-class blacks. “If America were capitalist,” said Brown in an interview with Matthew Robinson of Business Daily, “it could not be racist. Racism is flourishing because we are awash in socialistic controls.”

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Brown was reared by two domestic workers, Elizabeth Sanford and Mabel Holmes who informally adopted him at the age of two months after his father deserted the family ...

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Robyn McGee

journalist, radio broadcaster, and founder of Calvin's News Service, was born in Washington,-Arkansas, to Joseph Edward and Hattie Ann (Mitchell). Calvin attended the Rural School in Clow, Arkansas, until the seventh grade. From 1916 to 1920 he attended Shover State Teacher Training College in Arkansas, and from 1920 to 1921 he was enrolled at Townsend Harris Hall, City College in New York City.

In 1922, shortly after leaving City College, Calvin was hired by the labor activist A. Philip Randolph as the associate editor of The Messenger magazine. The Messenger—the third most popular magazine of the Harlem Renaissance, after The Crisis and Opportunity—had been founded in 1917 by Randolph and the economist Chandler Owen to advance the cause of socialism to the black masses. They believed that a socialist society was the only one that would be free from racism. The Messenger contained poetry stories and ...

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Charles L. Lumpkins

Throughout the twentieth century, African Americans promoted in newspapers, in newsmagazines, and on radio and television their quest for civil rights, including eliminating segregation, discrimination, and racial barriers to social, political, and economic advancement. Through such media black people counteracted racist ideologies and dehumanizing characterizations that supported the view that African Americans did not deserve full rights of citizenship. Whenever feasible, black men and women founded their own media to voice the civil rights message that white media regularly ignored, trivialized, blocked, denounced, or sought to channel within limits acceptable to majority-white audiences. But neither the black nor the white media was monolithic; each had factions that advanced their own definition, scope, and extent of civil rights.

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Samuel A. Hay

actress and writer, was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, the third of four children of teenage parents, Gladys Hightower and Edward Nathaniel Wallace, a Pullman car porter. After Gladys ran off to follow a preacher, the couple divorced in 1924, and Edward married Emma Amelia Benson, a former schoolteacher, who lived in New York City. Emma, whom Ruby called “Mother,” reared the Wallace children in Harlem, New York, where family lessons included picketing white-owned Harlem businesses that refused to hire African Americans.

Ruby graduated from Hunter College High School in 1939 and entered Hunter College, in New York City. Her professional theater career began in 1940 during her sophomore year, when the writer and director Abram Hill cast her in his social satire, On Strivers Row (1940) at the American Negro Theater (ANT), which he had cofounded with Frederick Douglass O'Neal ...

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Jason Philip Miller

radio personality and conservative pundit, was born Laurence Allen Elder, the middle of three sons of Randolph Elder, who owned a local café, and Viola Elder. The family called the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles home, and it was in Los Angeles that the young Elder attended school. Both his father and mother placed a heavy emphasis on education and hard work. Elder's father had scrimped and saved and faced years of prejudice before being able to open his own business. Elder's mother urged her son to pursue a life of education. Elder took their lessons to heart, graduating from Crenshaw High in 1970 near the top of his class and matriculating to Brown University. He graduated with a B.S. in Political Science in 1974. He continued his education at the University of Michigan Law School, from which he earned the J.D. in 1977 ...

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Black people have a long history of appearing on British film and television screens as long as the history of the media themselves Most black people feel that neither dramatic nor documentary representations capture the diversity of contemporary or historical black British experiences Comparisons are frequently made with what is ...

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Definitions of black films and black television programmes have varied over time In the 1980s the issue was to conquer media space for distinctly black representations and cultural critics like Stuart Hall and Kobena Mercer demanded a clear political message taking the blackness of the film makers and actors for ...

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David Koenigstein

actor, activist, producer, and director, was born in San Francisco, California, the eldest of five children born to James and Carrie Glover, lifelong postal workers and political activists in the NAACP and Postal Workers Union. As a child, Glover spent the school year with his parents, living in a government housing project in the Haight-Ashbury district. During summer vacations, however, he stayed with his grandparents on their farm in rural Louisville, Georgia, in the mid-1950s. The Glovers' ride from California across the South was always fearful, as the country was still in the grip of Jim Crow laws Upon their arrival in Georgia they would have to use the back door for restroom use and sit at separate lunch counters apart from whites These experiences stayed with Glover throughout his life and fueled his commitment to civil and human rights causes in the United ...

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Larvester Gaither

actor, film director, and humanitarian activist. Born in San Francisco, California, Danny Lebern Glover became one of the most acclaimed actor-activists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. He has acted in stage, television, and film productions, appearing in more than forty-five films. As a humanitarian and activist, he has traveled throughout the globe, making him one of the most visible celebrities in the fight against “third world” underdevelopment and HIV/AIDS. The recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, he has served as the board chairman of TransAfrica Forum, a human rights organization founded by Randall Robinson in 1977.

Glover's parents, James Glover and Carrie Hunley, both postal workers and active members of the NAACP, were highly influential in his early political orientation. Topics like the Supreme Court's 1954Brown v. Board of Education decision as well as other civil rights issues were regularly discussed ...

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Michelle K. Massie

civil rights activist and pioneering journalist, was born in White Plains, Virginia, the third eldest of six children of William and Mary Goode. William Goode's father, Thomas, was born a slave and died after the Civil War, a free man. William and Mary moved their family to Homestead Pennsylvania a borough located seven miles from downtown Pittsburgh that was home to one of the world s most productive steel mills Goode s parents relocated from Virginia to Pennsylvania so their children could attend school year round and receive a better education than that offered in the South The colored schools in Virginia closed at harvest time so black children particularly boys could work in the fields The lure of better wages in the steel mills also prompted the family to migrate to the North Goode s father worked as a second helper on an open hearth ...

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John Hanners

football player, social activist, author, singer-actor, and ordained minister, was born Roosevelt Grier on a farm in Cuthbert, Georgia, the seventh of Joseph and Ruth Grier's eleven children. At age thirteen he moved with his family to Roselle, New Jersey. Offered an athletic scholarship to Penn State University, he enrolled in 1950 and studied psychology, music, and education. His college athletic career was exceptional. Not only did he receive first-team All-American football honors in 1955, but he also set an Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletics of America shot-put record (fifty-eight feet) in track and field.

In 1965 Grier signed with the National Football League's New York Giants for a $500 bonus and a yearly salary of $6,500. During a long career that lasted from 1955 through 1968 Grier was a dominant defensive tackle in an era known for excellent defensive players His size ...

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Larvester Gaither

civil rights activist and television news analyst, was born to the carpenter and builder Lawrence Guyot Sr. and the domestic worker Margaret Piernas in Pass Christian, Mississippi, on 17 July 1939. Widely known for the important part he played in organizing voter registration drives in Mississippi during the period of the civil rights movement, Guyot extended his activism beyond the sixties into the twenty-first century, as he became a stalwart public figure on the District of Columbia political landscape. Guyot's part in the civil rights movement is less recognized than that of celebrated figures like Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, Charles E. Cobb Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X, yet he was intricately involved in numerous important historical developments within the movement, and sometimes worked side-by-side with the aforementioned.

Guyot s immersion into the civil ...

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Zebulon Miletsky

executive producer of the award-winning public television series Eyes on the Prize. Henry Eugene Hampton Jr. was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. Stricken with polio as a teenager, Hampton suffered from some paralysis into adulthood. After graduating from Washington University in 1961, Hampton went to work for the Boston-based Unitarian Universalist Association as spokesperson and media liaison. In 1968 he served as press officer for an international peace delegation, meeting with political and religious leaders. It was in that same year that Hampton founded Blackside, Inc., a film production company that over subsequent years produced more than sixty films, including the landmark series Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years which documented the struggles of African Americans to gain civil rights in America The documentary series was completed at great personal and financial cost to Hampton who nearly went bankrupt producing it mortgaging his house to keep ...

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Terri L. Norris

radio and television broadcasting entrepreneur and entertainment personality, was born Catherine Elizabeth Woods in Omaha, Nebraska, the eldest of four children of William Alfred Woods and Helen Jones Woods. Both of Hughes's parents had notable accomplishments. William Woods was the first African American to receive an accounting degree from Nebraska's Creighton University. Helen Woods was a trombonist with Mississippi's Piney Woods orchestra at Piney Woods Country Life School, an African American boarding school founded by her father, Laurence C. Jones, in 1909. This female orchestra, called the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, famously ran away from Piney Woods in pursuit of musical creative freedom; they sought to play swing music, not gospel. Her mother also earned a master's degree in Social Work.

Hughes spent her childhood in a low income housing project She was the first African American to attend Omaha s Duchesne Academy of the Sacred ...

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James Michael Brodie

broadcast journalist, was born in Due West, South Carolina, the oldest child of Althea Ruth (Brown) and Charles S. H. Hunter Jr. Her family life was nourishing despite the frequent absences of her father, a U.S. Army chaplain who was away more than he was home, serving tours of duty in Korea and other countries. Charlayne's mother, a teacher, passed on her love of learning. Hunter worked on the Green Light, the school paper at Atlanta's Turner High School, and decided that she wanted to get the best possible training to become a journalist. The University of Georgia had the best journalism program in the state but at the time did not admit blacks. At the urging of the NAACP and with the assistance of the attorneys Constance Baker Motley and Donald Hollowell, Hunter and her fellow Turner High student Hamilton Holmes who aspired to become ...

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Tamara M. Cooke

journalist. Gwen Ifill is a consummate journalist with pioneering experiences in print and broadcast media who is best known as the moderator and managing editor of the national political talk show Washington Week and as senior correspondent for The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, both Public Broadcasting Service programs.

Ifill was born in Queens, New York, the fifth of O. Urcille and Eleanor Ifill's six children. Her father, a Panamanian immigrant, worked as a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and as a civil rights activist. Her mother, a homemaker, hailed from Barbados. Her father's career necessitated frequent family moves throughout New England and the Eastern Seaboard. She attended high school in Buffalo, New York. Ifill told Oprah Winfrey's O magazine in 2002 that her father was an overpowering presence in the family who taught his daughters to believe they could do anything they ...