Black History Month: A Salute to Diahann Carroll

Actress and singer Carol Diahann Johnson was born on July 17, 1935 in The Bronx, New York. She attended Manhattan's School of Performing Arts and worked as a nightclub singer and model before making her Broadway debut in The House of Flowers in 1954. That year, she also made her film debut alongside Dorothy Dandridge …

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Black History Month: A Salute to Tina Turner

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee. Her parents, Floyd and Zelma Bullock, were poor sharecroppers, who, early in her life, split up and left Turner and her sister to be raised by their grandmother. When her grandmother died in the early 1950s, Turner moved to St. Louis, …

Black History Month: A Salute to Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was born to enslaved parents in Dorchester County, Maryland, and originally named Araminta Harriet Ross. Her mother, Harriet “Rit” Green, was owned by Mary Pattison Brodess. Her father, Ben Ross, was owned by Anthony Thompson, who eventually married Mary Brodess. Araminta, or “Minty,” was one of nine children born to Rit and Ben …

Black History Month: A Salute to Sarah Boone

Born in the Deep South—in Summit, Pike County, Mississippi—in 1832, Sarah Boone made her name by inventing the ironing board. Boone was a rarity during her time, a female African-American inventor. In her patent application, she wrote that the purpose of her invention was "to produce a cheap, simple, convenient and highly effective device, particularly …

Black History Month: A Salute to Zora Neale Hurston

Born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, writer Zora Neale Hurston created several acclaimed works of fiction, including the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. She was also an outstanding folklorist and anthropologist who worked to record the stories and tales of many cultures, including her own African-American heritage. Her birthplace has been the …

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 …

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 …