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Anne K. Driscoll

activist, writer, and author, was born Cleotha Payne Lucas in Spring Hope, near Rocky Mount in eastern North Carolina. One of fourteen children born to James Russell Lucas and Minnie Hendricks, Lucas worked from an early age shining shoes and picking cotton. Activism came early to Lucas, who became a member of the NAACP during his junior year of high school. Lucas became a youth representative and eventually organized a voter registration campaign in Spring Hope, at a time when few African Americans in eastern North Carolina were able to vote.

Following graduation from C. C. Spaulding High School in 1951, Lucas began classes at Maryland State College, now the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, in Princess Anne, Maryland. In 1953 Lucas left college and joined the U S Air Force serving as a radio technician for four years and achieving the rank of ...

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Benjamin R. Justesen

was born in Fayette County, Ohio, one of ten children of Campbell and Henrietta (Hill) Maxwell. He is first mentioned in the 1850 census as being four years of age, although most official records list his birth year as 1851 or 1852. His father was a farmer and Methodist minister. Maxwell received his early education at home and in the Fayette County public schools before attending Wilberforce University, an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) school in Xenia, Ohio, where he attended preparatory classes and studied law.

By 1870 Maxwell worked as a schoolteacher in Xenia, while attending Wilberforce, and lived with his older brother Joshua, a local grocer. It was here that he met his future wife, Mary E. Cousins, a local schoolteacher, and they were married in June 1873. Two of their four children lived to adulthood: son Earl Frederick Maxwell, born in 1879 ...

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Janine Richardson

engineer, tax expert, and U.S. State Department economic adviser to the Virgin Islands, Ecuador, Haiti, and Brazil, was born in a tent at Crow Creek Ranch, Cheyenne, in the Territory of Wyoming. Smith's mother, Melissa (Boulware) Smith, was the Missouri-born daughter of an African American mother and a Choctaw Indian father. Smith's father, Silas Peter Smith, was of Scottish-Irish parentage and had spent his early life in the trans-Mississippi West where he reputedly served as a scout for General George Armstrong Custer. Nolle pronounced in Choctaw fashion according to his mother Nulle was one of nine children raised principally on Smith owned ranches and dairy farms in the Cheyenne Chugwater and Casper regions of Wyoming Smith s parents had settled in the frontier zone of Wyoming with the hope that their mixed race children would there have a better chance of attaining the ...

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Kristal Brent Zook

pioneering pharmacist, entrepreneur, and clubwoman, was born near Berryville, Virginia. Her parents, Eliza and Hamp Phillips, were sharecroppers, but the family's lack of financial resources did not stand in the way of their daughter's academic success. Phillips was an outstanding student who won five scholarships at Storer College in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, where she enrolled at age twelve. After graduation, at age seventeen, she married her classmate Charles Myers, and soon gave birth to a daughter, who died at the age of two.

The couple divorced following the death of their child, and Ella Phillips went to work as a bookkeeper in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, drugstore. Although some of her friends discouraged her, saying it had never been done by a black woman, she dreamed of attending pharmacy school. She was encouraged by a local physician who befriended her, and in 1916 she ...

Article

Nina Davis Howland

government official, was born in New York City, the daughter of James S. Watson, the first black elected judge in New York, and Violet Lopez. After receiving her BA from Barnard College in 1943, she served as an interviewer with the United Seaman's Service in New York from 1943 to 1946; as owner and executive director of Barbara Watson Models, a modeling agency, from1946 to1956; as a research assistant for the New York State Democratic Committee, from 1952 to 1953; as a clerk at the Christophers, a nonprofit Catholic organization in New York, from 1956 to 1957; and as foreign student adviser at Hampton Institute in Virginia, from 1958 to 1959.

Watson, who was honored as “the most outstanding law student in the City of New York,” received an LLB from New York Law School in 1962 graduating third highest in ...