Black History Month: A Salute to Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was born on June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas. When Brooks was six weeks old, her family moved to Chicago as part of the Great Migration. Brooks was known as "Gwendie" to close friends and family during her childhood. Brooks attended three high schools: the prestigious, integrated Hyde Park High School; the …

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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 Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, on July 16, 1947, where she lived for three years with her parents and grandparents, Lula and Frank Hill. After her parents divorced in 1950, Shakur spent most of her childhood in Wilmington, North Carolinawith her grandmother, until her family relocated to Queens when she was a teenager. For …

Black History Month: A Salute to Septima Poinsette Clark

Septima Poinsette Clark (nicknamed the 'Mother of the Movement') was a teacher and civil rights activist whose citizenship schools helped enfranchise and empower African Americans. Born on May 3, 1898, in Charleston, South Carolina, Clark branched out into social action with the NAACP while working as a teacher. As part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, …