Icon Profiles

Artist and preservationist Joan Maynard

Two things necessitate a change in the usual pattern here of alternating between Black men and women.
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Extraordinary pianist and gifted teacher Hazel Harrison

In Jeffrey C. Stewart’s immense, absolutely engrossing “The New Negro—The Life of Alain Locke,” concert pianist Hazel Harrison is cited several times.
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Mary B. Talbert, women’s rights advocate and clubwoman

Well, Imhotep Gary Byrd, I have a most prestigious Black woman with roots in Buffalo, N.Y., that many Americans may not know much about but who provides an important link from the late 19th to the early 20th century, particularly ...
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Paul Williams: Architect to Stars and St. Jude

He styled a Mid-Century Modern bachelor’s abode for Frank Sinatra that enthralled a national audience during a televised tour.
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At 88, Toni Morrison Personifies the Strength of Black Womanhood

Black Girl Magic, Black Girls Rock, and other slogans have surfaced in recent years to describe the power, resilience and steadiness of the Black woman.
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Ewart Abner Jr., an astute visionary in the music industry

It is not necessarily the intention to connect one profile with another in this column, but whenever they are related, it’s hard to ignore the association.
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Arthur Schomburg: The African globe-trotter

Thursday marks the 145th bornday anniversary celebration of astute bibliographer and historian Arthur Alphonso Schomburg, who navigated the globe amassing millions of African artifacts from throughout the diaspora during the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th.
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Advertising trailblazer, Barbara Gardner Proctor

If by naming her company Proctor & Gardner, Barbara Gardner Proctor made you think of Proctor & Gamble, the inversion was typical of her vision and imaginative advertising ingenuity.
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Willis Richardson, prolific but often ignored playwright

It ceases to be a surprise where the African-American presence might pop up in today’s news.
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Wilfred DeFour, a valiant and vital Tuskegee Airman

Walk the streets of Harlem, chat with the vendors or stop off at the Apollo Theater and say hello to Billy Mitchell, “Mr. Apollo,” and you can catch up on all the news you might have missed in the papers, ...
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Dr. Pearl Primus, choreographer, dancer and anthropologist

When word spread that the great dancer and choreographer Arthur Mitchell had passed, I was reminded of another dancer and choreographer, Pearl Eileen Primus, who preceded him on the stage with almost the same prominence and acclaim.
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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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Despite a misstep as a teen, Kyler Murray is this year’s Heisman winner

Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners, now famous in his own right, has joined the ranks of celebrities and athletes who have had past tweets come back to haunt them.
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Eunice Hunton Carter, a unique attorney and crime fighter

It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Addie Hunton, who I profiled in the Classroom two years ago, had a legacy that was prominently extended two generations.
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Cuba Gooding Jr. is Billy Flynn in ‘Chicago’ and director of ‘Bayou Caviar’

Cuba Gooding Jr. has a larger-than-life personality, so it’s not a stretch that he was cast as Billy Flynn, the smooth-talking lawyer in the prohibition-era musical, “Chicago,” with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Ebb ...
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