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Luckett V. Davis

boxer, was born Henry Jackson Jr. near Columbus, Mississippi, the son of Henry Jackson. His mother, whose name is unknown, was a full‐blooded Iroquois, and his father was of mixed Indian, Irish, and black ancestry. He was the eleventh child in a family of sharecroppers. When he was four years old his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where his father and older brothers worked in the food‐processing industry. His mother died a few years later, after which he was reared by his paternal grandmother. Jackson graduated from Toussaint L'Ouverture Grammar School and Vashon High School, working during his school years as a pin boy at a bowling alley and becoming the inter‐alley bowling champion in midtown St. Louis. He gained his first boxing experience by winning a competition among the pin boys.

Lacking funds to attend college, Jackson worked at a series of unskilled jobs At the ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

was born Henry William Carr in Montgomery, Alabama, the ninth of twelve children. The names of his parents are not recorded, but at some point in Carr’s early life the family moved to Detroit, Michigan, which many sources give as his place of birth. As a student at Detroit’s Northwestern High School, he participated in basketball, football, and track and field. Undefeated in track and field, Carr specialized in the 220-yard dash, which then was contested on a straight track. Although his best legal time for the distance was 20.6 seconds, he recorded a wind-aided time of 20.0 seconds on 8 May 1961. Carr graduated from high school in 1961 with personal best times of 9.4 seconds in the 100-yard dash and 47.8 in the 440-yard dash. His best performance in the long jump measured 23 feet, 4½ inches.

After graduating high school Carr accepted an athletic scholarship to ...

Article

Robert Repino

football player, was born to Mabel and Samuel Cunningham in Santa Barbara, California. Mabel worked as a nurse, and Samuel was a porter on the Southern Pacific Railroad. The Cunninghams lived in a house purchased by their oldest son, Sam Cunningham, who was a running back with the New England Patriots in the 1970s. Randall also had two other older brothers, Anthony and Bruce.

Randall Cunningham was a star quarterback at Santa Barbara High School, leading his team to a league title and to the state finals in his senior year. After graduating in 1981 Cunningham went to the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he became the starter as a sophomore From then on he set school records by throwing for over 2 500 yards in three straight seasons only John Elway and Doug Flutie had accomplished that feat at the college level by then while at ...

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Michael L. Krenn

boxer and businessman, was born George Edward Foreman in Marshall, Texas, the son of J. D. Foreman and Nancy Ree. His father, a railroad employee and a heavy drinker, was absent for much of George's childhood. His mother worked several jobs, including as a waitress, to support George and his six siblings.

As Foreman describes it his childhood was marked by intense want and hunger and an anger that often exploded into fighting Even at a young age he was larger than normal and he used his intimidating size to bully his peers He had little love for school although football in junior high school proved attractive for its violence and aggression Foreman did not last long in high school however By the age of fifteen he was spending most of his time on the streets of Houston where his mother had moved the family when he was ...

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Patrick Stearns

professional boxer, actor, product spokesperson, and minister. George Edward Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas, to J. D. Foreman and Nancy Foreman. By the seventh grade he had dropped out of school, engaging in petty crimes, such as muggings. At age sixteen he enrolled in a Job Corps training program in Oregon. While working at a conservation camp affiliated with the program, Foreman found that he had a talent for boxing, and he won the Corps Diamond Belt Boxing Tournament.

In 1968 Foreman made the U.S. Olympic boxing team and won the gold medal in the Olympic Games in Mexico City. Vietnam War protests, the rise of black nationalism, and episodes of civil unrest in U.S. cities after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination earlier in the year were a sign of the times. The 1968 Olympics in Mexico City were also the scene ...

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Ruth Edmonds Hill

Congregational minister and civil rights advocate, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to William and Jennie Harrison, slaves of John Bolton from Savannah, Georgia. His widowed mother, a family servant, was freed in 1821, and they moved to New York City with the Bolton family. Harrison attended school until he was nine years old, at which time his mother sent him to Philadelphia to get away from his alcoholic stepfather and become apprenticed to an uncle who was a shoemaker. His mother later left her husband and also moved to Philadelphia. At the age of seventeen, Harrison attended meetings at the black Second Presbyterian Church and soon joined the church.

Desiring more education, Harrison went to school in the morning and worked in the shoe shop in the afternoon. In 1836 with the help of the American Education Society he attended the Peterboro Manual Labor School founded by ...

Article

Luke Nichter

Negro National League commissioner, longtime Harlem community activist, and ordained Episcopalian minister was born in Richmond, Virginia, to John Wesley and Harriet Howard Johnson.

Although Johnson was known primarily for his role as the last president of the Negro National League (NNL), he actually had little baseball acumen. In fact his sport of choice was basketball, and as a student-athlete at Columbia University in the early 1920s, he was one of the best basketball players of his day.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Anthropology from Columbia College, Johnson studied at Union Theological and General Theological seminaries in Manhattan. Then in 1923 he became an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church, beginning a career of service in Harlem that spanned seven decades. In 1928 he founded St. Martin's Parish in Harlem and by the late 1940s had overseen the congregation s ...

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Jason Philip Miller

professional basketball player, member of the Harlem Globetrotters, and minister, was born George Meadow Lemon III in Wilmington, North Carolina. Neither his parents' names nor their occupations are known. When he was eleven years old, Lemon went to the local movie house and saw a short reel about Abe Saperstein's famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and decided that one day he would be a member. Lemon attended public school in Wilmington, where he excelled at basketball and football. In 1952, while still a high school student, he wrote the Globetrotters to request a tryout and was given one, but he failed to make the team.

That same year Lemon matriculated at Florida A M University but he spent only a few weeks there before he was drafted into the U S Army He spent two years in the service and as luck would have it was stationed ...

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Martin S. Shanguhyia

Kenyan religious leader and founder of Dini Ya Musambwa, an African independent church, was born in the early 1910s in western Kenya. He was renowned for his sportsmanship as a physical education instructor and a soccer player, and he represented Kenya in the Gossage Cup championship against Uganda in 1930. Masinde served as a police officer in the local tribunal court as well, but quit in 1942 following a disagreement with the head of the tribunal.

Masinde s influence and legacy in Kenya and western Kenya in particular have mainly been affected through his religious exploits within Musambwa Prior to his founding of this sect Masinde had been converted and educated by the Friends Africa Mission one of several missionary churches that became entrenched in western Kenya at the turn of the twentieth century At the age of 24 Masinde broke ranks with the mission following a threat ...

Article

Adam R. Hornbuckle

Audrey Mae Patterson was the only child of Lionel Patterson, a porter and chauffeur, and Josephine Nero Patterson, a cook.

After graduating from Danneel Elementary School, Patterson entered Gilbert Academy, a Methodist-affiliated school in New Orleans devoted to the education of African American children. Participating on the track and field team, she compiled an undefeated record in the 100-, 220-, and 440-yard dashes. In 1944Jesse Owens, who had won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games, spoke to the students, encouraging them to pursue their dreams and remain optimistic about the future despite racial injustice. Patterson later said that she believed Owens spoke directly to her, motivating her to compete in the Olympics.

After graduating from Gilbert in 1945 Patterson enrolled at Wiley College in Marshall Texas An historically black college affiliated with the Methodist church and known for high academic standards Wiley had made significant ...

Article

Steven B. Jacobson

athlete, minister, political leader, entrepreneur, and commentator, was born Julius Caesar Watts Jr. in Eufaula, McIntosh County, Oklahoma, the fifth of six children of Helen Pierce and J. C. “Buddy” Watts Sr., a policeman, preacher, cattle owner, handyman, and local entrepreneur. The Eufaula area, part of the Creek Nation Indian Territory until 1907 had a historical tradition of Native American slaveholding and racial segregation persisted there during Watts s youth Only blacks were allowed to attend Watts s first elementary school and Eufaula s only public swimming pool excluded blacks until his father and his uncle Wade Watts who later became head of the NAACP s Oklahoma chapter and a member of the U S Civil Rights Commission successfully lobbied to open it to all races Watts had other experiences with segregation Until he was in high school whites sat on the ground ...

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Rachelle Gold

Republican politician. Born in Eufaula, Oklahoma, J. C. Watts Jr.—who has said that although “J. C.” does not stand for anything, he has often joked that it stands for “Julius Caesar”—was the fifth of six children. His parents, Buddy and Helen Watts, raised their children in the Baptist Church and urged them to excel in academics and athletics through hard work and personal responsibility. As a boy J. C. was one of two black children to integrate Eufaula's all-white elementary school. He graduated from high school in 1976 and then, recruited by the famous coach Barry Switzer, attended the University of Oklahoma. As quarterback for Oklahoma, Watts led the team to two consecutive Big Eight championships and Orange Bowl victories, in 1980 and 1981, and was voted most valuable player in both Orange Bowls. He graduated from Oklahoma with a degree in journalism in 1981 From ...

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Pellom McDaniels

professional football player and minister, was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to unmarried parents, nineteen-year-old Thelma Dodd, and Charles White, a semiprofessional baseball player. As a child growing up within the close-knit extended family the Dodds provided, White was mostly influenced by his aunts and cousins, but especially by his maternal grandmother. Mildred Dodd was called “Mother” by all, and she was the first to introduce the young White to the Christian faith. At the age of thirteen, White declared his faith in Jesus Christ and began his quest for truth, living his life by the lessons he learned in the Bible. The future “Minister of Defense” would grow physically and mentally in his convictions and in his dedication to his new identity. In 1979 White now seventeen was ordained as a minister at St John s Baptist Church where he testified openly and unapologetically to both ...