Icon Profiles

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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Vegan vibes in BK

Black VegFest 2019 recently took place in Brooklyn at the historic Weeksville Heritage Center.
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Medical trailblazer Dr. Edith Irby Jones

When her older sister, Juanita, died during a typhoid epidemic in Arkansas in the 1930s, Edith Irby Jones set her mind on becoming a doctor.
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Liberty back at it after All-Star break

After a big home court win over the Los Angeles Sparks, the New York Liberty had one more game before the league headed into the WNBA All-Star break.
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‘Hidden Figures’ no more—Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson of NASA

Thanks to the tireless research of Margot Lee Shetterly and her book “Hidden Figures,” Katherine Johnson, Eunice Smith and Mary Jackson were brought from the shadows of history. They received even greater prominence when the film of the same title ...
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Dr. Colin A. Palmer, pre-eminent scholar of the African Diaspora

Two African-American authorities on the history of Blacks in Mexico died within several weeks of each other.
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Women’s suffrage forged by founding sisters: Happy Birthday to Ida B. Wells

“The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”
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Bessie B. Stringfield, intrepid motorcyclist and storyteller

Gertrude Hadley Jeannette, a theater maven, was 103 when she died in 2018. Mainly remembered for founding the Hadley Players, she distinguished herself earlier when she learned to drive and became the first woman in New York City to obtain ...
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Bayard Rustin: the March on Washington and its ties to Harlem

Several days ago, Louis Sharp called the Amsterdam News seeking assistance on a historical item. He was trying to verify something he remembered from his past. In 1963, he was a volunteer working with Bayard Rustin, the key coordinator of ...
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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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