Black History Month: A Salute to Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson

Shirley Ann Jackson, born in 1946 in Washington, D.C., has achieved numerous firsts for African American women.  She was the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.); to receive a Ph.D. in theoretical solid state physics; to be elected president and then chairman of the board of the American …

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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 Serena Williams

American tennis player Serena Jameka Williams was born on September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan. The youngest of Richard and Oracene Williams's five daughters, Serena Williams, along with her sister Venus, would eventually dominate the sport at various times throughout her career, capturing 15 Grand Slam singles and 13 Grand Slam doubles titles. Serena's father—a …

Black History Month: A Salute to Charlotta Bass

Charlotta Spears Bass was a journalist and activist who, as editor of the California Eagle, championed African-American equality and freedom. Born on February 14, 1874, in Sumter, South Carolina, Charlotta Spears Bass worked as managing editor of the African-American newspaper The California Eagle. She and husband Joseph Bass called for an end to segregation and …

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 …