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Sara Bagby

Baptist minister, and activist, was born in Mashulaville, Mississippi, to Allen and Julia (Ruth) Jernigan. He married Willie A. Stennis on 15 October 1889, with whom he had four children: Lottie R., Rosabell, Gertrude J., and Mattie. He married a second wife upon the death of the first. Jernigan attended school at Meridian Academy, and then taught in the public schools for five years. Jernigan received a BA degree from Jackson College in Mississippi.

In 1906, Jernigan became the pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, where he served until 1912. Jernigan actively opposed the institution of Jim Crow laws dictating segregation in the newly formed state of Oklahoma in 1907. As a result of Jernigan and others' efforts, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in the case of Quinn v. United States in 1915 to outlaw the ...

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Daniel Douglas

businessman and politician. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, McCall earned his bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College in 1958. At the time the prestigious school only matriculated eight African American students each year. He furthered his education at the Andover Newton Theological Seminary, where he earned a master's degree in divinity. He also studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. McCall is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first Greek letter organization established for African Americans.

McCall's career in public service began as deputy administrator of the New York City Human Resources Administration from 1965 to 1969. From 1975 to 1979 he represented Harlem's Twenty-eighth District in the New York State Senate. He left that position when President Jimmy Carter nominated him to serve as a deputy United Nations ambassador McCall served in this ...

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Michaeljulius Idani

minister, civil rights activist, New York state legislator and official, and ambassador, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the oldest of six children of Herman Carl McCall Sr., a waiter on a train, and Carolesa McCall a homemaker During his early years McCall s father lost his job and abandoned the family leaving Herman s mother struggling to raise him and his five sisters McCall grew up poor in the Roxbury section of Boston shifting through low income housing His mother collected welfare as a means to support the family they also received support from caring members of their United Church of Christ parish Despite the difficulties of being a single parent she was active in his life and stressed the importance of a good education and a close relationship with God McCall was a talented student and knew he wanted to attend college He ...

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Louis B. Gallien

community activist, minister, author, lecturer, and racial reconciler, was the last child born to Maggie and Jasper Perkins in New Hebron, Mississippi, sharecroppers whose family worked on cotton farms on the smaller white plantations of south central Mississippi. Perkins's mother died of pellagra—a vitamin deficiency disease that ravaged poor families in the Deep South, seven months after his birth. Little is known of the circumstances of his father's life except that he was an itinerant sharecropper and bootlegger.

Perkins's early life was shaped by the brutal murder of his brother, Clyde, after arriving home from World War II. Clyde was shot by a white police officer outside a theater after he reached for the officer's baton when the policeman threatened him. Perkins graduated from Wiggins Vocational School and soon afterward decided to move to California where he married his childhood friend, Vera Mae Buckley ...

Article

Michaeljulius Idani

educator, activist, ordained Baptist minister, and U.S. Congressman, was born in Chadburn, North Carolina, son of Versie B. Towns, a homemaker, and Dolphus Towns, a sharecropper. Towns had one brother, James, who passed away in 1984.

Towns's youth was spent in North Carolina, where he witnessed the continuing challenges faced by African Americans in the rural South. Wanting more for her son, Towns's mother encouraged his interest in education. In 1952 Towns graduated from West Side High School in Chadburn. He went on to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor in Sociology degree.

After college Towns enlisted in the U.S. Army. In 1958 after being discharged from the military Towns moved to New York City and began a teaching career in the city public schools Fordham University ...

Article

Edolphus Towns was born in Chadbourn, North Carolina. He received a bachelor's degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1956 and entered the U.S. Army the same year. He served until 1958 and then moved to New York, where he worked as a hospital administrator, and a professor at Medgar Evers College. In 1973 he earned a master's degree in social work from Adelphi University. In 1976 Towns began his political career, serving eight years until 1982 as Brooklyn borough deputy president. In 1982 Towns was elected to the U.S. House from New York's 11th Congressional District. Following redistricting in 1992, Towns won election from the new Tenth District, which included much of his old district. He was reelected in subsequent elections, sometimes receiving close to 90 percent of the vote. He is currently a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the ...

Article

Caryn E. Neumann

legislator. Edolphus “Ed” Towns was born in Chadbourn, Columbus County, North Carolina. He earned a BS from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro in 1956. He then completed his military service in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958. He earned a master's degree in social work from Adelphi University in 1973.

A Democrat, Towns began his political career as deputy president of the borough of Brooklyn, New York, from 1976 to 1982, the first African American to hold this position. He entered the U.S. House of Representatives on 3 January 1983 representing the Tenth Congressional District of Brooklyn New York which encompasses the neighborhoods of East New York Canarsie Brownsville Bedford Stuyvesant Cypress Hills Clinton Hill Mill Basin Midwood Downtown Brooklyn and Boreum Hill as well as parts of Fort Greene and Williamsburg He served on the standing committees on ...