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Mixed Historical Figures

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Frederick Douglass

His mother was an African slave and his Father was believed to be a White slave master.  Frederick Douglass was the leading spokesman of American Negroes in the 1800's. Born a slave, Douglass became a noted author and speaker. He devoted his life to the abolition of slavery and the fight for Negro rights


Booker T Washington

His mother was a mulatto slave, and his father a White man.  Foremost black educator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He also had a major influence on southern race relations and was the dominant figure in black public affairs from 1895 until his death in 1915.

 


Prince Hall

English father and a free Black  mother.  During The Revolutionary War, Prince Hall and 14 other free men of color were inducted into the Masonic Lodge by a group of British soldiers stationed in Boston. When the British Army evacuated the area the following year, Hall organized the first Masonic Lodge for Negroes in America
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W.E.B DuBois
His ethnic background was French, Dutch, and African.  He was the first African American to get a Ph.D at Harvard. He is remembered for being a great American educator and writer, who fought for the full equality of blacks. But he is most remembered as one of the most influential black speakers of the 20th century.  He was often regarded as on of the most profound scholars of his time, referred to as the dean of Negro intellectuals. In 1909, Dubois was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  In 1910, he and a friend started the Biracial National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
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Walter White
Walter White, who could have passed for white, chose instead to identify with his black ancestry, and ultimately came to be the most ardent protagonist in the fight to stamp out lynching in America, particularly after World War I.  White's main task at the NAACP was to investigate lynching and race riots. His light skin enabled him to pass as a white man and this helped him acquire information about racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. His research was eventually published in the book, Rope and Faggot (1929).  In 1929 White was appointed chief executive of the NAACP

Adam Clayton Powell Sr.
The child of an African-Cherokee slave woman and a Southern slave owner he pastored the most prestigious African-American church in New York City, Abyssinian Baptist.  He was actively involved in the struggle against racism, and he lectured on race relations at Colgate University, City College of New York and Union Theological Seminary. He was a founder of the National Urban League, an early leader in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
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Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
His father was Mixed (see above). In 1945 became New York's first black congressman.  Powell was an extraordinary figure who represented Harlem in Congress from 1945 to 1968, pastored Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church, authored landmark legislation, and chaired the powerful Education and Labor Committee in the House.

Alexandre Dumas
His father was a Mulatto and his mother was French.  One of the most famous French writers of the 19th century in the world. Dumas is best known for historical the novels The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, which belong to the foundation works of popular culture.  Dumas is credited with revitalizing the historical novel in France.


Crispus Attucks

He was apparently half Black and half Native American.  Crispus Attucks was the first to fall in the celebrated "Boston Massacre" of 1770. He was a fugitive slave who had escaped from his master and had worked for twenty years as a merchant seaman.

Alessandro de Medici
Alessandro was born in 1510 to a Black serving woman in the Medici household who, after her subsequent marriage to a muleteer, is simply referred to in existing documents as Simonetta da Collavechio. Historians today are convinced that Alessandro was fathered by the seventeen year old Cardinal Giulio de Medici who later became Pope Clement VII. Cardinal Giulio was the nephew of Lorenzo the Magnificent. He was the patron of some of the leading artists of the era and is one of the two Medici princes whose remains are buried in the famous tomb by Michaelangelo. The ethnic make up of this Medici Prince makes him the first black head of state in the modern western world.

Queen Charlotte
Queen Charlotte, wife of the English King George III (1738-1820), was directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal House. The riddle of Queen Charlotte's African ancestry was solved as a result of an earlier investigation into the black magi featured in 15th century Flemish paintings.
Sally Hemings African-American slave; believed to have been the mistress of Thomas Jefferson. Born in 1773 in Virginia, she was born to Elizabeth (Betty) Hemings, a slave of African and European descent. Sally Hemings' father was allegedly her mother’s owner, John Wayles, a white lawyer and slave trader of English descent who had emigrated to Virginia. As Wayles was also the father of Martha Wayles (Skelton) Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s wife, Hemings and Martha Jefferson were believed to have been half-sisters.  Little concrete information is known about Sally Hemings’ life at Monticello, she is described as being "light colored and decidedly good looking."

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