Icon Profiles

Toni Parks, like her famous father, was a versatile and accomplished artist

When your father is Gordon Parks, it is easy to understand your hesitancy to pick up the camera, settle behind a piano, or generally pursue any artistic career, given his accomplishments.
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Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor, the ‘Black Cyclone’ of cycling fame

Late night television and early morning newspapers can do wonders for a columnist looking for the next personality to profile.
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Memorial service honored life and legacy of education advocate Marie K. Williams

Memorial service honored life and legacy of education advocate Marie K. Williams
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Classical avant-garde composer Julius Eastman

In last week’s classroom, we featured the relatively unknown composer and pianist Florence Price. Equally unknown, except to the real cognoscenti of classical music, is Julius Eastman.
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Malcolm X: The price of freedom is death

Friday, Feb. 21, 1965 marks the day a hit squad of cold-blooded assassins aired out the Audubon Ballroom stage, expiring the physical life of Black Nationalist advocate El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, aka Malcolm X, in full view of his ...
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Frederick Douglass, an alternative truth

Who was Frederick Douglass? More importantly, why does Frederick Douglass matter to today’s America? These questions are not merely rhetorical, as the recent controversy surrounding President Trump’s Black History Month statement illustrate.
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Sandy Wills, a courageous soldier during the Civil War

Spectrum News NY1 anchor Cheryl Will's pursuit of history has a personal edge that few Black Americans possess, and she has dutifully imparted some of it in two of her books, “Die Free” and “The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills.”
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From slavery to hair industry millions—Annie Turnbo Malone

In his recently published “Black Fortunes,” Shomari Wills, as the subtitle relates, chronicles the lives of the first six African-Americans who escaped slavery and became millionaires
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Carter G. Woodson: The father of Black History Month

We end Black History Month with a look at the man who started it all...
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The Harlem Hellfighters: African-American WWI heroes

In the World War I era, Jim Crow segregation laws were prominent throughout the United States in all segments of society, as well as during physical combat overseas.
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Edward Wilmot Blyden: Father of the Pan-African paradigm

Whereas Marcus Mosiah Garvey is generally regarded to be the face of Pan-Africanism, Edward Wilmot Blyden is one of the forgotten figures whose shoulders he stood on.
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Farmer and a pioneering inventor Henry Blair

Whenever there is discussion about African-American inventors, invariably Benjamin Banneker is cited, mainly for a clock of wooden parts that kept accurate time for many years.
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Margaret Burroughs, artist and co-founder of DuSable Museum

Synonymous with Chicago is the DuSable Museum, and inseparably linking them is Margaret Burroughs
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Our hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Most Americans view Martin Luther King Jr. Day as just another day that is given off on the third Monday of every January,” said Fariza Manonva. Unfortunately, as the 10th-grade Brooklyn Bedford Academy High School student noted, too many “people ...
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Mama Imani Humphrey, an educator, activist and Kwanzaa authority

Funny how memories circle back on you, reminding you of treasured moments, especially those spent with advocates of freedom and justice.
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