Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.
Dr. King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.
On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and speak against the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam".
In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Allegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing King, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting.
King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King Memorial statue on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. was dedicated in 2011.
The Williams sisters are two professional American tennis players: Venus Williams (b. 1980), a seven-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), and Serena Williams (b. 1981), twenty-three-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), both of whom were coached from an early age by their parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price. There is a noted professional rivalry between them – between the 2001 US Open and the 2017 Australian Open tournaments, they met in nine Grand Slam singles finals. They became the first two players, female or male, to play in 4 consecutive grand slam singles finals from the 2002 French Open to the 2003 Australian Open; Serena famously won all 4 to complete the first one two "Serena Slams". Between 2000 and 2016, an 17-year span, they collectively won 12 Wimbledon singles titles (Venus won 5 and Serena won 7). By winning the 2001 Australian Open women's doubles title, they became the 5th pair to complete the Career Doubles Grand Slam and the only pair to complete the Career Doubles Golden Slam. At the time, Venus and Serena were only 20 and 19 years old, respectively. Since then they have gone on to add another two Olympic gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. Nearly a decade later, the duo would go on to win 4 consecutive grand slam doubles titles from 2009 Wimbledon through 2010 Roland Garros, and most recently they have won 2 doubles grand slams at Wimbledon in the year 2012 and most recently, 2016. They remain very close, often watching each other's matches in support, even after one of them has been knocked out of a tournament.
Both sisters have been ranked by the Women's Tennis Association at the World No. 1 position in both singles & doubles. In 2002, after the French Open, Venus Williams and Serena Williams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, marking the first time in history that sisters occupied the Top-2 singles spots in the world rankings. During the 2010 French Open, they became the co-world No. 1 players in women's doubles. On 21 June 2010, Serena and Venus again held the No. 1 and No. 2 rankings spots in singles, respectively, some eight years after first accomplishing this feat. At the time, Serena was three months shy of her 29th birthday and Venus had just celebrated her 30th birthday.
Both players have won four gold medals at the Summer Olympics Games, one each in singles and three in doubles – all won together – the most of any tennis players. As a duo, they have also completed the Career Golden Slam in doubles, twice.
BLACK HISTORY PHOTO OF THE DAY: This photo of a finely dressed black mother and daughter -- standing below a “Colored Entrance” sign at a bus station in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1956 -- was taken by Gordon Parks, one of the seminal figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, Parks left behind a body of work that documents race relations, poverty, civil rights and urban life. Please Like and Share!
Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods (born December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. He has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years.
Following an outstanding amateur and two-year college golf career, Woods turned professional at age 20 in late summer 1996. By April 1997 he had already won his first major, the 1997 Masters, in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes and pocketing $486,000. He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997. Through the 2000s, Woods was the dominant force in golf, spending 264 weeks from August 1999 to September 2004 and 281 weeks from June 2005 to October 2010 as World Number One.
From December 2009 to early April 2010, Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity, but he and his wife Elin Nordegren eventually divorced. His many alleged extramarital indiscretions were revealed by several different women, through many worldwide media sources. This was followed by a loss of golf form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011. He ended a career-high winless streak of 107 weeks when he triumphed in the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 25, 2013, he ascended to the No.1 ranking once again, holding the top spot until May 2014. Woods had back surgery in April 2014 and September 2015 and has struggled since to regain his dominant form. By March 29, 2015, Woods had fallen to #104, outside of the top 100 for the first time since the week prior to his first Tour title win in 1996. In May 2016, Woods dropped out of the world top 500 for the first time in his professional career.
Woods has broken numerous golf records. He has been World Number One for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any golfer. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times, the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times, and has the record of leading the money list in ten different seasons. He has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second-highest of any player (Jack Nicklaus leads with 18), and 79 PGA Tour events, second all time behind Sam Snead, who had 82 wins. He has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour. Additionally, Woods is only the second golfer (after Nicklaus) to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships, and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999. Woods and Rory McIlroy are the only golfers to win both The Silver Medal and The Gold Medal at The Open Championship.
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African-American Civil Rights activist, whom the United States Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement". Her birthday, February 4, and the day she was arrested, December 1, have both become Rosa Parks Day, commemorated in both California and Ohio.
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps, including Bayard Rustin in 1942, Irene Morgan in 1946, Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, and the members of the Browder v. Gayle lawsuit (Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith) who were arrested in Montgomery months before Parks. NAACPorganizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws, although eventually her case became bogged down in the state courts while the Browder v. Gayle case succeeded.
Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in town who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement.
At the time, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. She had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennesseecenter for training activists for workers' rights and racial equality. She acted as a private citizen "tired of giving in". Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store, and received death threats for years afterwards.
Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she briefly found similar work. From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to John Conyers, an African-American U.S. Representative. She was also active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the US.
After retirement, Parks wrote her autobiography and lived a largely private life in Detroit. In her final years, she suffered from dementia. Parks received national recognition, including the NAACP's 1979 Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman and second non-U.S. government official to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.
Carla Diane Hayden (born August 10, 1952) is an American librarian and the 14th Librarian of Congress. Even though more than eighty percent of American librarians are women, for over two hundred years the position of Librarian of Congress was filled exclusively by white men. Hayden is the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post. Fortunemagazine ranked Hayden among the World's 50 greatest leaders in 2016.
From 1993 until August 11, 2016, she was the CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, and president of the American Library Association (ALA) from 2003 to 2004.During her presidency, she was the leading voice of the ALA in speaking out against the newly passed United States Patriot Act.
Ursula M. Burns (born September 20, 1958) serves as Chairman (since May 2010) of Xerox and was the CEO of the company from July 2009 to December 2016. As such, she was the first black-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. She is also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a Fortune 500 company, having succeeded Anne Mulcahy as CEO of Xerox. In 2014, Forbes rated her the 22nd most powerful woman in the world.
Condoleezza "Condi" Rice (/ˌkɒndəˈliːzə raɪs/; born November 14, 1954) is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American Secretary of State, as well as the second African-American Secretary of State (after Colin Powell), and the second female Secretary of State (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University, where she served as provostfrom 1993 to 1999. Rice also served on the National Security Council as the Soviet and Eastern Europe Affairs Advisor to President George H. W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.
Following her confirmation as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered the policy of Transformational Diplomacy directed toward expanding the number of responsible democratic governments in the world and especially in the Greater Middle East. That policy faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems with U.S. support. She has logged more miles traveling than any other Secretary of State. While in the position, she chaired the Millennium Challenge Corporation's board of directors.
In March 2009, Rice returned to Stanford University as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.In September 2010, she became a faculty member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy.
Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin's church as a child. In 1960, at the age of 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think". These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade.
Franklin eventually recorded a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart's history. Franklin also recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Lady Soul, Young, Gifted & Blackand Amazing Grace before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with her part in the film The Blues Brothers and with the albums Jump to It and Who's Zoomin' Who?. In 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria "Nessun dorma", at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that same year, she scored her final Top 40 recording with "A Rose Is Still a Rose". Franklin's other popular and well known hits include "Rock Steady", "Something He Can Feel" (from the soundtrack to the 1976 film Sparkle), "Jump to It", "Freeway of Love", "Who's Zoomin' Who", "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves", "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (with George Michael), "It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be" (with Whitney Houston) and a remake of The Rolling Stones song "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin has been honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, in which she placed number 9; and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, in which she placed number 1.
Barack Hussein Obama II (i/bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn ɵˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the firstAfrican American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.
In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November. He began his presidential campaign in 2007 and, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months after his election, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prizelaureate.
During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term included the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as "Obamacare"; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In January 2011, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats; and, after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation's debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
Obama was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013. During his second term, Obama has promoted domestic policies related to gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and has called for full equality for LGBT Americans, while his administration has filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and California's Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama ordered U.S. military involvement in Iraq in response to gains made by the Islamic State in Iraq after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq, continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, and has sought to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba.
Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993) was an American World No. 1 professional tennis player. He won three Grand Slam titles.
Ashe was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. He retired in 1980. He was ranked World No. 1 by Harry Hopman in 1968 and by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and World Tennis Magazine in 1975. In the ATP computer rankings, he peaked at No. 2 in May 1976.
In the early 1980s, Ashe is believed to have contracted HIV from a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery. Ashe publicly announced his illness in April 1992 and began working to educate others about HIV and AIDS. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death from AIDS-related pneumonia on February 6, 1993.
On June 20, 1993, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the United States President Bill Clinton.
Benjamin “Pap” Singleton was an American activist and businessman best known for his role in establishing African-American settlements in Kansas. Held in slavery in Tennessee, Singleton escaped to freedom in 1846 and became a noted abolitionist, community leader and spokesman for African-American civil rights. He returned to Tennessee during the Union occupation in 1862, but soon concluded that Blacks would never achieve economic equality in the white-dominated South. After the end of Reconstruction, Singleton organized the movement of thousands of Black colonists, known as Exodusters, to found settlements in Kansas. A prominent early voice for Black nationalism, he became involved in promoting and coordinating Black-owned businesses in Kansas, and developed an interest in the Back-to-Africa movement.
Happy 60th birthday to Ruby Bridges! As a six-year-old, Ruby Bridges famously became the first African American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in the South. When the 1st grader walked to William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960 surrounded by a team of U.S. Marshals, she was met by a vicious mob shouting and throwing objects at her.
One of the federal marshals, Charles Burks, who served on her escort team, recalls Bridges' courage in the face of such hatred: "For a little girl six years old going into a strange school with four strange deputy marshals, a place she had never been before, she showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn't whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier. We were all very proud of her."
Once Ruby entered the school, she discovered that it was devoid of children because they had all been removed by their parents due to her presence. The only teacher willing to have Ruby as a student was Barbara Henry, who had recently moved from Boston. Ruby was taught by herself for her first year at the school due to the white parents' refusal to have their children share a classroom with a black child.
Despite daily harassment, which required the federal marshals to continue escorting her to school for months; threats towards her family; and her father's job loss due to his family's role in school integration, Ruby persisted in attending school. The following year, when she returned for second grade, the mobs were gone and more African American students joined her at the school. The pioneering school integration effort was a success due to Ruby Bridges' inspiring courage, perseverance, and resilience.
Malcolm X (/ˈmælkəm ˈɛks/; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz[A] (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز), was an African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.
Malcolm X was effectively orphaned early in life. His father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen, after which he lived in a series of foster homes. In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. While in prison he became a member of the Nation of Islam, and after his parole in 1952 quickly rose to become one of its most influential leaders. For a dozen years he was the public face of the controversial group; in keeping with the Nation's teachings he espoused black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans and scoffed at the civil rights movement's emphasis on integration.
By March 1964, Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad. He ultimately repudiated the Nation and its teachings and embraced Sunni Islam. After a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, including completing the Hajj, he returned to the United States to found Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. While continuing to emphasize Pan-Africanism, black self-determination, and black self-defense, he disavowed racism.
In February 1965, shortly after repudiating the Nation of Islam, he was assassinated by three of its members. The Autobiography of Malcolm X,published shortly after his death, is considered one of the most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.
Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952) was an African American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedian. She is best known for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind(1939), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first Academy Award won by an African American.
In addition to acting in many films, McDaniel was a professional singer-songwriter, comedian, stage actress, radio performer, and television star; she was the first black woman to sing on the radio in the U.S. She appeared in over 300 films, although she received screen credits for only 80 or so.
McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood: one at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to radio and one at 1719 Vine Street for acting in motion pictures. In 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and in 2006 became the first black Oscar winner honored with a US postage stamp.
Dustin Byfuglien (/ˈbʌflᵻn/ buf-lin or local /baɪfuːɡliən/ by-foo-glee-ən; born March 27, 1985) is an American professional ice hockey player currently playing and serving as an alternate captain for the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL). Drafted as a defenseman, he has played both forward and defense in his career, although he has generally played defense in recent years.
Halle Maria Berry (born Maria Halle Berry; August 14, 1966) is an American actress, film producer, and former fashion model. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002 for her performance in the romantic drama Monster's Ball (2001), which made her the only black woman to win a Best Actress Academy Award to date, as of 2017.
Berry was one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood during the 2000s and has been involved in the production of several of the films in which she performed. She is also a Revlonspokesmodel. Before becoming an actress, she started modeling and entered several beauty contests, finishing as the 1st runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant and coming in 6th place in the Miss World Pageant in 1986. Her breakthrough film role was in the romantic comedy Boomerang (1992), alongside Eddie Murphy, which led to roles in films such as the comedy The Flintstones (1994), the political comedy-drama Bulworth (1998) and the television film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), for which she won the Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, among many other awards.
In addition to her Academy Award win, Berry garnered high-profile roles in the 2000s such as Storm in the X-Men film series (beginning in 2000), the action crime thriller Swordfish (2001), and the spy film Die Another Day (2002), where she played Bond Girl Jinx. She then appeared in the X-Men sequels, X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). In the 2010s, she appeared in movies such as the science fiction film Cloud Atlas (2012), the crime thriller The Call (2013) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
Divorced from baseball player David Justice and singer-songwriter Eric Benét, Berry has a daughter by model Gabriel Aubry, and a son by actor Olivier Martinez.