Black History Month Biography Highlights

February is a month that we celebrate the rich history of African-Americans who have transformed our world into what we know today. To start the month off, GWU-Today has a guest post highlighting biographies of lesser-known key individuals in African-American history.

By: Rachael Meachem

1. Josephine Baker (1906-1975)

courtesy Bibliotheque nationale de France

courtesy Bibliotheque nationale de France

Baker is one of the first African-American women to star in a major motion picture. She helped integrate the big screen in America and was familiar with the challenges women faced in the African-American community. In an effort to seek balance, she started speaking out.

2. Eva Clayton (1934- )

http://web.archive.org/web/20010124052800/http://www.house.gov/clayton/

http://web.archive.org/web/20010124052800/http://www.house.gov/clayton/

Clayton was the first African-American congresswoman since 1901 for NC. The civil rights movement pushed her to be active in civic and political affairs.

3. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950)

http://www.nps.gov/neri/historyculture/carter-g-woodson.htm

http://www.nps.gov/neri/historyculture/carter-g-woodson.htm

Historian, author, journalist and founder of the African-American Historical Association. He was one of the first scholars to study African-American history.

 

4. Carol Moseley-Braun (1947- )

http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M001025

http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M001025

As the first African-American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, Moseley-Braun tackled women’s and civil rights, and served on the Senate Finance Committee.

 

5. Fred Shuttlesworth (1922-2011)

http://www.biography.com/people/fred-shuttlesworth-21389361

http://www.biography.com/people/fred-shuttlesworth-21389361

While working closely with Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Shuttlesworth was a Baptist minister who was a top leader during the civil rights movement.

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