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
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.
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
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.
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
Clayton Powell Sr.
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
Clayton Powell, Jr.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 mothers 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 Jeffersons
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