Black History Month: A Salute to Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald, known as the "First Lady of Song" and "Lady Ella," was an American jazz and song vocalist who interpreted much of the Great American Songbook. Born on April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia, singer Ella Fitzgerald was the product of a common-law marriage between William Fitzgerald and Temperance "Tempie" Williams Fitzgerald. Ella …

Black History Month: A Salute to Fannie Lou Hamer

Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer was born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917, in Montgomery County, Mississippi. She was the youngest of 20 children. Her parents were sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta area. Hamer began working the fields when she was only 6 years old. Around the age of 12, Hamer dropped out …

Black History Month: A Salute to Dorothy Height

Born on March 24, 1912, in Richmond, Virginia, African-American activist Dorothy Height spent her life fighting for civil rights and women's rights. The daughter of a building contractor and a nurse, Height moved with her family to Rankin, Pennsylvania, in her youth. There, she attended racially integrated schools. In high school, Height showed great talent …

Black History Month: A Salute to Shirley Chisholm

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 30, 1924, Shirley Chisholm is best known for becoming the first black congresswoman (1968), representing New York State in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms. She went on to run for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the presidency—becoming the first major-party African-American candidate to do so. …