Colonel Ruth Alice Lucas was the first African American woman in the Air Force to be promoted to the rank of colonel. At the time of her retirement, she was the highest-ranking African American woman in the Air Force. Lucas was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on November 28, 1920. After high school, she attended Tuskegee […]

Harriet Elizabeth Byrd was an American politician from Wyoming, and was the first African American elected to the Wyoming Legislature. Byrd was born on April 20, 1926, to Robert C. “Buck” and Sudie Rhone. Her grandfather, Charles Rhone, arrived to the Wyoming Territory as a child in 1876, later working for the railroad and becoming […]

Alfred W. Harris introduced the bill that chartered Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (later Virginia State University) during his time in the House of Delegates (1881–1888). Harris was born enslaved in Fairfax County, during the American Civil War (1861–1865) his family moved to Alexandria, where he attended a school operated by the Bureau of Refugees, […]

June Jordan was one of the most widely-published and highly-acclaimed African American writers of her generation, poet, playwright and essayist. Jordan was also known for her commitment to human rights and progressive political agenda. Jordan was the only child of Jamaican immigrant parents, Granville Ivanhoe and Mildred Maud Jordan, in Harlem, New York. Her father […]

Physicist and inventor George Carruthers built his first telescope at age 10, and has spent the rest of his life making important contributions to the study of outer space. Carruthers has developed ways to use ultraviolet imaging in order to view images in deep space that were previously impossible to see. In 1972, Carruthers invented […]

Bernice DeLatte was just seventeen-years-old when she had a life changing experience. DeLatte was a recent graduate of McDonogh No. 35 in Louisiana. She was on her way to enjoy a swim with her sister, Doris DeLatte, and friend, Evelyn Segue at Lake Pontchartrain. As the bus they were riding approached Franklin Ave. and Gentilly, […]

Rivers Frederick was a surgeon and civic leader. He served as assistant professor of surgery at Flint Medical School. Frederick was born in New Roads, Louisiana at his father’s farm. He attended Straight and New Orleans Universities before studying medicine at the University of Illinois. Frederick began his professional career as an intern at the […]

”The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” -Rosa Parks Rosa Louise McCauley Parks  (1913-2005) was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.” On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey […]

At Black Then, we frequently see interesting photos that give us a glimpse into the past. They tend to show us a piece of black history that is often not covered in textbooks, in history classes, or shown in the media. In a photo that we found on Black History Album , we see this […]

Photo credits: The Montreal Neurological Institute Largely because of the advances of the Civil Rights movement in the mid-20th century, an increasing number of African-Americans have had the opportunity to become physicians. Many entered the distinguished field of neurosurgery. Others have made the most of this opportunity, becoming prominent in both academics and private practice. […]

By now most are familiar with Janette…IKZ (pronounced “Genetics”). She is the poet behind the spoken word piece “I Will Wait” and last summer she launched a web series entitled “The Wait Is Over” to document her journey to the altar with her now husband Matthew Watson. Then “I Will Wait,” which has been viewed over […]

By Victor Trammell Photo credits: The University of Tulsa In 1905, a book written by a pro-segregationist author (Thomas Dixon Jr.) stirred racially-triggered controversy in the early 20th century. Dixon’s book was called The Clansman: A Historical Romance of the KKK. It was published in 1905. The novel was the second edition in the Ku Klux […]

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