Icon Profiles

Arthur Schomburg and the Harlem Renaissance

In recognition of the 146th born day anniversary of renowned researcher Arthur Alfonso Schomburg we take a look at his involvement in the reinvigorating Harlem Renaissance occurring during the “Roaring Twenties.”
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Clarence Muse, a versatile artist and actor of integrity

Late one night recently, I was watching an old film and out of nowhere it seems this Black man commanded the screen.
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John Singleton, director, producer, and cinematic force

When the film director John Singleton died on April 28, 2019 in Los Angeles at age 51, we at the Amsterdam News published a news report from one of our affiliates and later produced a podcast on his splendid cinematic ...
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Christine Chambers, photographer and playwright

Like many of my heroes and sheroes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, John Coltrane and Diana Sands, they were taken from us or departed as their fruitful potential was just beginning to ripen and mature.
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Four-time gold medalist, Harrison ‘Bones’ Dillard

When Harrison Dillard, the four-time Olympic gold medalist, died on Nov. 15, there wasn’t the fanfare and notice he received 70 years ago, though several national media outlets lavished praise on the great athlete.
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Barbara Hillary, first Black woman to the North and South Poles

It’s one notable achievement to reach the North Pole at the age of 75 and then become the first Black woman to reach the South Pole four years later.
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Gwendolyn Knight: She cast her own artistic light

Over the years, and certainly when her husband is cited, I am reminded of Gwendolyn Knight and the need to feature her in the Classroom.
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Charles Alston, painter, sculptor, and teacher

Once again while profiling one often unsung notable you discover another, and as on this occasion that significant other truly is significant.
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Josephine Silone Yates, teacher, activist, clubwoman

Prolific and talented author Tonya Bolden has published another marvelous addition to her growing trove of books on African American history.
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Sarah Jane Woodson Early, notable teacher and member of the WCTU

My friendship and collegiality with Dr. William Loren Katz is almost as extensive and rewarding as the research he has done on Native Americans and Black Americans, and there is no better testament of his enduring scholarship than the recently ...
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James H. Williams, chief porter of Red Caps at Grand Central Terminal

It’s not every day that you walk the streets of Harlem and bump into a published author and even rarer if that author is a good friend.
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Savannah Churchill, a vocalist who merged R&B and jazz

While doing research on the life and legacy of percussionist Max Roach, I stumbled on the name of Savannah Churchill, a singer I first heard when I was about 10 years of age from my mother’s collection of shellac records.
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Paul Robeson Day celebrated at Rutgers football game

As part of a yearlong celebration commemorating 100 years since the 1919 graduation of social activist, lawyer and entertainer Paul Robeson, Robeson was honored last weekend at a Rutgers University football game highlighting his athletic career at the school.
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Joan Johnson, a Black hair care pioneer

It’s never too soon to pay homage to a woman who made such a mark on our culture and on our heads.
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First Black fighter pilot, Eugene Bullard

During a recent conversation with Ed Dwight, once among the most celebrated pilots in the nation, and my goddaughter who is in the process of becoming a commercial airline pilot, I thought of Eugene Bullard.
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