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Connie Park Rice

newspaper editor and civil rights lawyer, was born in Williamsport, Virginia (later West Virginia), the youngest of three sons born to Isaac Clifford, a farmer, and Mary Satilpa Kent, free blacks living in Hardy County. John Robert joined the Union army on 3 March 1865, rising to the rank of corporal in the 13th U.S. Heavy Artillery. After serving in Kentucky, Tennessee, and eastern Virginia under General Ulysses S. Grant, Clifford volunteered for service at Chicago, Illinois.

After the Civil War, Clifford remained in Chicago, staying from 1865 to 1868 with the Honorable John J. Healy, an acquaintance of his father, and graduating from Chicago High School. Clifford worked as a barber before going to live with an uncle in Zeno, Muskingum County, Ohio, where he attended a school taught by Miss Effie McKnight and received a diploma from a writing school conducted by a Professor ...


Glenn Allen Knoblock

sailor during the War of 1812, was a crewman on the privateer Governor Tompkins, a fourteen-gun schooner owned by principals from Baltimore, Maryland. Nothing is known of his early life or place of origin. The schooner departed New York in July 1812 under Captain Nathaniel Shaler. Among his crew were two black men, Davis and John Johnson ( ?–1812). While little information is known about either man, it is likely that they were free men and skilled sailors. Given the fact that the Governor Tompkins sailed from New York, it may be reasonably inferred that Davis and many of the crew, if not from that city, had previously been employed there.

Once out into the Atlantic, Captain Shaler and his crew cruised in search of British merchantmen to capture This was the purpose of a privateer to hit the enemy where it hurt by capturing ...


David Borsvold

composer and university professor, was born Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork III in Rochester, New York, the only child of Phyllis Hailstork, a civil servant in the State of New York Estate Tax Department, and Adolphus Hailstork II, whose occupation is unknown. He grew up primarily in Albany, New York, his musical education beginning with childhood piano lessons. Hailstork also studied the organ, the violin, and voice. As a student at Albany High School, he conducted a boys' choir and began to compose music. He received his high school diploma in the spring of 1959.

Hailstork continued his musical education at Howard University. Entering in the fall of 1959, he studied composition under Mark Fax and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1963. In the summer of that year he received a Lucy Moten Travel Fellowship and went to France ...


James R. Grossman

politician, was born in Malta, Illinois, the son of William Jackson and Sarah Cooper. He spent most of his childhood in Chicago. At age nine he began selling newspapers and shining shoes in Chicago's central business district; he left school in the eighth grade to work full-time. By age eighteen Robert had garnered an appointment as a clerk in the post office, a position coveted by African Americans in this era because of its security compared to that of most other occupations open to them. He left the postal service as an assistant superintendent in 1909 to devote himself full-time to his printing and publishing business, the Fraternal Press. In partnership with Beauregard F. Mosely, in 1910 he cofounded the Leland Giants, Chicago's first African American baseball team. In 1912 Jackson won election as a Republican to the state legislature From there he moved to the ...


Stephen Truhon

educator and psychologist, was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Both of his parents (Reverend Patrick Henry Thompson and Mrs. Sara Estelle [Byers] Thompson) taught at Jackson College. After completing his high school education at Wayland Academy in Virginia, he enrolled at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, in 1914 and earned his bachelor's degree in 1917. He received a second bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1918. He was drafted into the army and was stationed at first at Camp Grant in Illinois. He later served in France, rising to the rank of infantry personnel regimental sergeant major.

After his discharge he returned to the University of Chicago, where he earned his master's degree in 1920. From 1920 to 1921 he served as psychology instructor at Virginia Union University. He was director of instruction at the Alabama State Normal School from 1921 ...


Charles Rosenberg

military veteran, attorney, civil rights advocate, and publisher, was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Harry and Mabel Green Wesley.

Carter Wesley lived with his mother, a public school teacher, after his parents separated. Attending early grades in Houston's racially segregated public schools, he graduated from Booker T. Washington High School, then arrived at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, by 1910.

Like many students at historically black colleges and universities at that time, he may have taken college preparatory classes at Fisk, but did not enroll in college level courses until 1913–1917, earning a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude. He was listed in the 1910 census twice, once at a Fisk dormitory, and also at his mother's home, 3200 Washington in Houston, where his older brothers Harry and Freeman were working, respectively, as a general laborer and a Pullman car porter.

Registered ...


David P. Kilroy

army officer, was born in Mayslick, Kentucky, the son of Gabriel Young and Armintie Bruen, former slaves. When he was nine years old, the family moved north to Ripley, Ohio. Young graduated from Wilberforce University in Ohio and then embarked on a career as a public school teacher. Inspired by Ohio native John H. Alexander, the second African American to graduate from West Point, Young sought and won his state's nomination to the military academy in 1884. He graduated from West Point in 1889, despite an atmosphere of racial prejudice and the hostility of his fellow cadets.

On leaving West Point, Young was assigned as second lieutenant with the Tenth Cavalry. He was transferred to the Ninth Cavalry in 1889. In 1894 he was assigned to Wilberforce University as a professor of military science and tactics one of a very small number of ...