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Curtis Mayfield, a socially conscious singer and composer

“A few would-be biographers have tried to tell my father’s story; none have done it well,” wrote Todd Mayfield with Travis Aria in “Traveling Soul—The Life of Curtis Mayfield” (Chicago Review Press, 2017).
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Shirley Horn, an unforgettable voice and superb pianist

Most fans of vocalist/pianist Shirley Horn were probably seduced by her recordings and concert engagements toward the end of her career, with her rendition of “Here’s to Life,” her signature song. But there’s plenty more to Horn’s remarkable journey and ...
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Violet T. Lewis, educational trailblazer and founder of Lewis College of Business

Whenever there’s discussion of historically Black colleges and universities, the mind drifts to the southern states.
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Daniel A.P. Murray, an eminent librarian and bibliophile

Not until Elizabeth Dowling Taylor published her book, “The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era” (Amistad Press, 2017) was I aware of Murray and his role in the Black elite of Washington, D.C. as ...
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Sylvia Moy, a breakthrough songwriter and producer at Motown Records

Think Detroit and invariably the next thought is automobiles and the Motown Recording Company. Say Motown, and Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson come to mind.
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World War II hero Carl E. Clark honored before his death

The failure of the U.S. to recognize the valor and courage of Black American soldiers, sailors and other military personnel is nothing new, and the topic surfaced again when Carl Clark, 66 years after his heroic act during World War ...
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Thurgood Marshall's widow keeps his legacy alive

Cecilia Marshall never imagined that the battle for equal rights in schools and elsewhere would still be as vital today as it was six decades ago when her husband, United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, fought to end legal ...
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A playwright of the ages, August Wilson

A recent press release from Dr. Maulana Karenga reminded me of the great playwright August Wilson. Karenga, as timely and prescient as ever, will be paying homage to Wilson and his remarkable odyssey and the Classroom follows suit.
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African-American presence in MLB declines as Jackie Robinson is celebrated

This past Saturday, April 15, marked the 70th anniversary of the Major League Baseball debut of Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson.
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William Lambert, Detroit’s great Underground Railroad conductor

A few days ago on March 10, there were a number of events commemorating the death of Harriet Tubman, the legendary abolitionist who died on this date in 1913.
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Celebrating Madam C.J. Walker’s tremendous legacy 

In 1987, March was declared Women’s History Month. During this month, Americans celebrate women of all races who dedicated their lives fighting and ensuring equality and the protection of women’s rights.
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A ‘Forever Stamp’ for a forever freedom fighter, Dorothy Height

Besides discovering Dorothy Height in practically every history book worth its salt, especially when it comes to prominent African-American women, there was her ever resourceful family to provide a more intimate portrait of her.
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Tony winner Tonya Pinkins takes on directing role with one-act play

When you hear the name Tonya Pinkins, you probably think of the TV actress (she’s most well-known for her role on “All My Children”).
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PBS previews Maya Angelou documentary at Schomburg with Clintons as special guests

“A Rock, A River, A Tree…,” the first words of the poem “On the Pulse of Morning”, were written by actress, dancer, author, professor, activist and poet Maya Angelou. Angelou, who died in 2014, delivered them in front of a ...
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Malcolm X celebrated on the 52nd anniversary of his death

The community came together Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in Washington Heights for the 52nd Memorial Anniversary Commemoration for Malcolm X.
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