Black History Month: A Salute to Eartha Kitt

Born in North, a small town in Orangeburg County near Columbia, South Carolina, famed singer and actress Eartha Kitt had a difficult childhood. Her mother abandoned her, and she was left in the care of relatives who mistreated her. Kitt was often teased and picked on because of her mixed-race heritage—her father was white, and …

Black History Month: A Salute to Ruby Dee

Born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 27, 1922, African-American actress Ruby Dee has enjoyed a tremendous career on the stage, on television and in film. She grew up in New York's Harlem neighborhood, and got involved in acting as a teenager. Dee began studying her craft at the American Negro Theatre, a …

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 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. …