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Mary Jane Patterson MP (1840 - 1894)

Educator Mary Jane Patterson is considered to be the first African American woman to receive a B.A. degree when she graduated from Oberlin College in 1862. A fellow Oberlin alumnus, Lucy Stanton Day Se...

5/8/2018 5/8/2018

Sissieretta Jones MP (1868 - 1933)

"Black", "Patti"

Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, known as Sissieretta Jones, was an African-American soprano. She sometimes was called "The Black Patti" in reference to Italian opera singer Adelina Patti. Jones' repe...

10/17/2017 1/21/2018

Marie Selika Williams MP (c.1849 - 1937)

Marie Selika Williams was an American operatic coloratura soprano. She was the first Black artist to perform in the White House.

10/18/2017 1/21/2018

Flora Batson MP (1864 - 1906)

Flora Batson was a popular and well-known black concert singer, nicknamed "The Double-Voiced Queen of Song" because of her soprano-baritone range. She was also called "the colored Jenny Lind" in the pr...

10/18/2017 1/21/2018

Della Reese MP (1931 - 2017)

"Delorees", "Delores", "Della"

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Della Reese, the actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama “Touched by an Angel,” ha...

11/20/2017 11/21/2017

Shirley Verrett MP (1931 - 2010)

8/4/2013 7/9/2017

Carmen Mercedes McRae MP (1920 - 1994)

Carmen Mercedes McRae (April 8, 1920 – November 10, 1994) was an American jazz singer, composer, pianist, and actress. Considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century, it wa...

4/12/2015 4/10/2017

Esther Rolle MP (1920 - 1998)

Esther Rolle was an American actor. She is best known for her role as Florida Evans on the CBS television sitcom Maude for two seasons (1972–1974) and its spin-off series Good Times for five seasons (1...

4/30/2013 1/17/2017

Edith Spurlock, Esq MP (1898 - 1979)

wikipedia listing Edith Sampson (c. 1898-1979) became America's first African American female judge after succeeding as a social worker, a lawyer, and an international advocate for democracy and free...

6/12/2011 4/10/2016

Susanna Anthony Robberts MP (bef.1638 - d.)

see page 160 of Freedmen of New Netherland " Family responsibility was not only dictated by law. After the death of the parents of Jochem anthony Robberts, his sister and guardian Susanna a free Negr...

1/27/2015 3/25/2016

Lare (or Hilary) Criolyo MP (bef.1627 - aft.1683)

"Hilary Criolyo", "Lare Criolje", "Hilary Creole", "Elara", "Swartine"

• Lare Criolyo was born a black or 1/2 black Creole slave (half Caribbean Euro/Portuguese/Spanish, & half black). Capt. Jan de Vries came to New Netherland in 1644 and brought Hilary with him. He had b...

7/5/2011 11/20/2015

Vera Francis MP (1925 - 2014)

"Vera M. Francis", "Vera Mae Handwerk"

ITEM: You are bidding on a very rare vintage pin up photograph of African American 1955 Hollywood sensation, and later boulevard of broken dreams archetype Vera Francis and a number of other showgirl...

1/17/2007 10/31/2015

Diahann Carroll MP

"Carol Diahann Kaplan"

from Official Site : She debuted her one woman show at Feinstein’s, New York’s premier venue, to sell out audiences receiving overwhelming reviews. Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote, “Diah...

9/23/2015 9/23/2015

Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Dell Nichols ; December 28, 1932) is an American actress, singer and voice artist. She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting. Her most famous...

9/9/2012 5/4/2015

Tessa Prendergast MP (1928 - 2001)

"Tessa", "Tessa Welborn"

Tessa Prendergast (1928 - 2001), also known as Tessa Welborn, was a Jamaican actress, fashion designer, businesswoman, and socialite. A renowned beauty and movie starlet in the 1950s, she is best-rem...

3/8/2009 4/19/2015

Sheila Guyse MP (1925 - 2013)

Jet Magazine, March 10, 2014, News/Census, p. 16. With appearances on Broadway and in race films during the 40s and 50s, the actress/singer was most known for her role in the film Sepia Cinderella. G...

4/19/2015 4/19/2015

Leontyne Price MP (1927 - d.)

Mary Violet Leontyne Price (b. February 10, 1927). American soprano. Born and raised in the Deep South, she rose to international acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s, and was one of the first African Amer...

3/14/2013 4/7/2015

Aretha Franklin is an American singer, songwriter and musician, active since 1956. Franklin has won 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best selling female artists of all time, selling 75 million record...

1/24/2015 3/31/2015

Maya Angelou MP (1928 - 2014)

"Rita", "Maya", "Angelos"

From Wikipedia (English) : Maya Angelou ( /ˈmaɪ.ə ˈændʒəloʊ/; born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928) was an American author and poet who had been called "America's most visible black female auto...

3/24/2011 3/28/2015

Madame Sul-Te-Wan MP (1873 - 1959)

"Madame Sul-Te-Wan"

Madame Sul-Te-Wan was born in 1873 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Nellie Conley. She was an actress, known for King of the Zombies (1941), In Old Chicago (1937) and Tarzan and the Trappers (1958). S...

3/15/2015 3/15/2015

Hazel Dorothy Scott MP (1920 - 1981)

Hazel Scott was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago to Alma Long Scott, a musician. They moved to New York City when Hazel was four. Recognized as a child musical prodigy, the young Scott was aw...

6/20/2007 3/15/2015

Bessie Coleman - Wikipedia Bessie Coleman - more details at Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman (January 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926) was an American civil aviator. She was the first femal...

7/12/2014 1/21/2015

Ethel Waters MP (1896 - 1977)

Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977) was an American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress. She frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in c...

3/15/2012 1/15/2015

Sojourner Truth MP (aft.1797 - 1883)

"Isabella Baumfree", "Isabella Bomfree", "Bell", "Belle", "Sojourner Truth"

Isabella her given name at birth Sojourner Truth she later changed her given name from Isabella, to Sojourner and added Truth as her surname (being born into slavery, a surname was something she ...

2/8/2011 11/13/2014

Marian Anderson MP (1897 - 1993)

Marian Anderson b. February 27, 1897 d. April 8, 1993 Marian Anderson was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Most of her singing career was...

3/14/2013 3/14/2013

Phillis Wheatley, First African-American Poet MP (1753 - 1784)

"First African-American to publish a book", "Slave of the Wheatley family of Boston"

'Phillis Wheatley this profile to Honor her life and her poetry Phillis was ''''''purchased by the Wheatley family (John & Susanna Wheatley) of Boston, Massachussetts, USA. (Wheatley- a Bostoni...

1/2/2013 1/2/2013

S. Epatha Merkerson MP

New York, New York, United States

IMDb Mini Biography A native of Michigan, S. Epatha Merkerson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Wayne State University. In 1978, she moved to New York City to apply her craft on stage. Altho...

11/17/2012 11/17/2012

Sarah 'Sally' Hemings MP (1773 - 1835)

"Sarah Hemings", "Sally Hemings", "Sally Hemmings", "Sally", "Sarah"

Sally Hemings (Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virginia, circa 1773 – Charlottesville, Virginia, 1835) was an American slave owned by Thomas Jefferson. She is said to have been the half-sister of Jefferson...

11/16/2007 9/8/2012

Harriet Tubman MP (c.1822 - 1913)

"Minty", "Moses", "slave of Edward Brodas"

BIRTH DATE : c.1820. Because she was a slave, and owners did not record their slaves' birthdates, the exact date of Harriet's birth is unknown -- different accounts list 1820 or 1821. BIRTH PLACE : (...

5/13/2012 5/15/2012

Juanita Hall MP (1901 - 1968)

Juanita Hall (November 6, 1901 – February 28, 1968) was an American musical theatre and film actress. She is remembered for her roles in the original stage and screen versions of the Rodgers and Hamm...

1/24/2012 1/24/2012

Mary Fields MP (1832 - 1914)

"Stagecoach Mary"

Mary Fields was born around 1832 Hickman, Tennessee, into slavery; and died in 1914 in Cascade, Montana of liver failure. Also known as Stagecoach Mary, she was the first African-American woman emplo...

1/3/2011 12/4/2011

Rosa Louise Parks MP (1913 - 2005)

Profile of the day in Geni, Rosa Parks . She was an African American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress later called "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom moveme...

5/18/2010 10/20/2011

A'Lelia McWilliams Walker (1885-1931) Corporate Executive & Arts Supporter Exerpted from: Lelia McWilliams (1885-1931)-- born in Vickburg, Mississippi -- was a patron to the so-called "black li...

4/27/2009 10/20/2011

Ada "Bricktop" Smith MP (1894 - 1984)


Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith, better known as Bricktop (August 14, 1894 — February 1, 1984) was an African-American dancer, singer, vaudevillian, and self-described saloon-keeper...

10/20/2011 10/20/2011

Valerie Black MP (deceased)

See also )

10/13/2011 10/13/2011

Neva Peoples MP (1914 - 1995)

10/13/2011 10/13/2011

Bea Griffith MP (deceased)

"Beatrice Griffin"

See also

10/13/2011 10/13/2011

June Richmond MP (1915 - 1962)

June Richmond became one of the very first black singers to be featured regularly with a white band when she performed with Jimmy Dorsey's Orchestra in 1938. An enthusiastic vocalist who was excellen...

10/11/2011 10/11/2011

Edna M. Harris MP (1910 - 1997)

"Edna M. Harris", "Edna May Harris"

Edna Mae Harris was one of the best actresses of the Black race in the 1930s and 1940s. She starred in some of the best all black cast independently produced movies in the 1930s and 1940s. An attract...

10/10/2011 10/10/2011

Mae Turner MP (1908 - 1999)

Attractive Mae Turner was one of the top femme fatales, vamps, and hussies of Black Cinema in the 1930s. She usually played the woman who was the ruin of a man. She was a fine actress who perfected t...

10/10/2011 10/10/2011

Nina Mae McKinney MP (1912 - 1967)

"Nina McKinney", "The Black Garbo"

Nina Mae McKinney (June 13, 1912 – May 3, 1967) was an American actress. Dubbed "The Black Garbo",[1] she was one of the first African-American film stars and was one of the first African-Americans t...

10/10/2011 10/10/2011

Ida James MP (b. - 1994)

Delicate beauty Ida James was a sweet-honey voiced singer who's singing could rival the birds, she gained popularity in the 1940s for her beauty, high, bird-like voice, grace, and glamour. She was th...

10/9/2011 10/9/2011

Fannie Lou Hamer MP (1917 - 1977)

Fannie Lou Hamer (born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedo...

10/9/2011 10/9/2011

Jeni Le Gon MP

"Jeni Legon", "Jeni LeGon", "Jenny Le Gon"

Dancer, actress, and dance instructor Jeni LeGon was born Jennie Ligon on August 14, 1916 in Chicago, Illinois. Later, in London, she learned that she was descended from General Henry Beauchamp Lygon, ...

10/8/2011 10/8/2011

Madam C. J. Walker MP (1867 - 1919)

I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of...

1/14/2011 10/6/2011

Lucy Eldine Parsons MP (c.1853 - 1942)

"Lucia Ella Gonzolez"

Lucy (or Lucia) Eldine Gonzalez was born around 1853 in Texas, likely as a slave, to parents of Native American, Black American and Mexican ancestry. Died: March 7, 1942 in a house fire; she couldn't e...

10/1/2011 10/1/2011

Phyllis Linda Hyman MP (1949 - 1995)

"Diva", "The Sophisticated Lady", "Queenie", "Ms. Phyllis", "Love Goddess", "Pepper", "Red"

Phyllis Linda Hyman (July 6, 1949 – June 30, 1995) was an American soul singer and actress. Early years Phyllis Hyman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in the St. Clair Village,...

9/24/2011 9/25/2011

Vesta Williams MP (c.1963 - 2011)

Mary Vesta Williams (December 1, 1957 – September 22, 2011) was an American R&B singer. Originally credited as Vesta Williams, she was sometimes simply billed as Vesta from the 1990s onwards.[2] Alth...

9/23/2011 9/23/2011

Willa Beatrice Brown was born on January 22, 1906 in Glasgow, KY. A pioneering aviator, she earned her pilot’s license in 1937, making her the first African-American woman to be licensed to fly in th...

9/21/2011 9/21/2011

Etta James MP (1938 - 2012)

"Jamesetta Hawkins", "Etta James"

Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins, January 25, 1938) is an American blues, soul, rhythm and blues (R&B), rock and roll, gospel and jazz singer. In the 1950s and 1960s, she had her biggest success as...

5/29/2011 9/17/2011

Bessie Smith MP (1894 - 1937)

"Empress of the Blues"

Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer. Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1...

9/16/2011 9/16/2011

Roxie Roker MP (1929 - 1995)

Roxie Albertha Roker (August 28, 1929 – December 2, 1995) was an American actress, best known for her role as Helen Willis on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons (1975–85), half of the first interracial co...

4/15/2007 9/6/2011

Isabel Washington Powell MP (1909 - 2007)


Isabel Washington Powell, who gave up the nightclub and Broadway stage to marry Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and become a much-loved figure in uptown society, died on May 1. She would have turned 99 on M...

7/21/2010 8/30/2011

Fredi Washington MP (1903 - 1994)

Fredericka Carolyn "Fredi" Washington (December 23, 1903 - June 28, 1994) was an accomplished dramatic film actress, most active in the 1920s- 1930s. Fredi was a self-proclaimed Black woman, who chos...

8/30/2011 8/30/2011

Lady Bustamante MP (1912 - 2009)

The Honourable Gladys Maud Bustamante O.J., J.P. (1912- 2009) Born Gladys Maud Longbridge to parents Frank Longbridge and Rebecca Blackwood, in Parson Reid, Westmoreland on March 08, 1912. Gladys gre...

8/17/2011 8/17/2011

Ruby Ann Dee MP (1922 - 2014)

Ruby Dee (née Wallace; October 27, 1922 – June 11, 2014) an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist, perhaps best known for co-starring in the film A Raisin in the ...

8/8/2011 8/8/2011

Grace Nail Johnson MP (1885 - 1976)

"Grand Dame of Harlem"

Grace Nail Johnson is best known as the wife of poet, essayist, and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson. She was, however, a powerful and influential advocate for social change in her own right....

7/27/2011 7/28/2011

Lorraine Vivian Hansberry MP (1930 - 1965)

Lorraine Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was an African American playwright and author of political speeches, letters, and essays.Her best known work, A Raisin in the Sun, was inspired by h...

6/6/2007 7/26/2011

Oprah Winfrey MP

Chicago, IL, United States

Oprah Winfrey Bio Book Club Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954) is an American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, mult...

9/16/2010 6/18/2011

Donna Summer MP (1948 - 2012)

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (born December 31, 1948), known by her stage name, Donna Summer, is an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s. Summer is a five-time Gr...

3/25/2007 6/16/2011

Eartha Kitt MP (1927 - 2008)

"Kitty Charles"

Perhaps best known for her highly distinctive singing style, Eartha Kitt’s 1953 recording of "Santa Baby" is still a favorite today. In the 1960s, Kitt had a recurring role as Catwoman on TV's Batman ,...

6/15/2011 6/15/2011

Esther Mae Phillips MP (1935 - 1984)

Esther Phillips (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984) was an American singer. Phillips was known for her R&B vocals, but she was a versatile singer, also performing pop, country, jazz, blues and soul mu...

6/7/2011 6/7/2011

Eslanda Cardozo Robeson MP (1896 - 1965)

Eslanda ("Essie") Goode Robeson, (December 12, 1896 - December 13, 1965) the wife and business manager of Paul Robeson, was an American anthropologist, author, actor and activist. Eslanda Cardozo Goo...

4/14/2011 6/2/2011

Pam Grier MP


Wikipedia Pamela Suzette "Pam" Grier ( born May 26, 1949 ) is an American actress. She became famous in the early 1970s, after starring in a string of moderately successful women in prison and blaxpl...

5/25/2011 5/25/2011

Nina Simone MP (1933 - 2003)

"Nina Simone", "Priestess of Soul"

Dr. Nina Simone was born 21 February 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina and died 21 April 2003 in Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, France . Her birth name was Eunice Kathleen Waymon and she was also known ...

5/16/2011 5/16/2011

Delia Juantia Warrick MP (1945 - 2008)

"Dede", "Dee"

Delia Mae "Dee Dee" Warwick (September 25, 1945 – October 18, 2008) was an American soul singer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she was the sister of Dionne Warwick, niece of Cissy Houston and the cousi...

4/13/2011 4/28/2011

Whitney Elizabeth Houston MP (1963 - 2012)


Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time...

10/25/2010 4/28/2011

Hattie McDaniel MP (1895 - 1952)

One of the great American character actresses, Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award for her portrayal of the "mammy" figure in the film Gone with the Wind. S...

4/25/2011 4/25/2011

Ella Fitzgerald MP (1917 - 1996)

Ella Fitzgerald was one of the most famous American jazz vocalist in the United States for more than half a century. She was dubbed "The First Lady of Song." In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards a...

7/9/2009 4/21/2011

Ava Lavinia Gardner MP (1922 - 1990)

Ava Lavinia Gardner was a famous Hollywood beauty of the 1940s and 1950s. Her stunning looks made her one of the most popular leading ladies of the day, and her reputation for wild behavior -- and marr...

7/3/2007 4/21/2011

Diana Ernestine Earle Ross MP

Los Angeles, CA, United States

Diana Ross (born Diana Ernestine Earle Ross) is an American singer and actress. During the 1960s, she helped shape the Motown Sound as lead singer of The Supremes, before leaving the group for a solo c...

9/21/2007 4/21/2011

Vanessa Williams MP

"Vanessa L. Williams"

Although she was forced to turn in her Miss America crown (1983) after Penthouse magazine published nude photos of her, Vanessa Williams bounced back with a successful career as a singer and branched o...

1/27/2011 4/21/2011

Natalie Maria Cole MP (1950 - 2015)

Natalie Maria Cole (born February 6, 1950), better known as Natalie Cole was an American singer, songwriter and performer. The daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole, Cole rode to musical success in the...

4/3/2010 4/21/2011

Odetta MP (1930 - 2008)

Odetta (1930 – 2008) was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Poet Maya Angelou once said ...

3/31/2011 3/31/2011

Josephine Baker MP (1906 - 1975)

"Black Venus", "Tumpie (family nickname)", "Black Pearl", "Creole Goddess"

Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was an American-born dancer, singer, and actress. Nicknamed the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and even the "Créole Goddess" in anglophone nations, i...

1/6/2011 3/24/2011

Lena Horne MP (1917 - 2010)

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was a singer, dancer, actress, and activist who had a wildly successful career as a nightclub performer and recording artist. She was one of the first African-Americans to sign ...

3/16/2009 3/24/2011