All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates the Accomplishments of these Extraordinary People This
Alain Leroy Locke, The First African American Rhodes Scholar
Alain LeRoy Locke was born on September 13, 1885, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Locke graduated from Harvard University and was the first African American to win a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. He subsequently received a doctorate in philosophy from Harvard and taught at Howard University. Locke publicized the Harlem Renaissance to a wide audience. He died in New York City on June 9, 1954. He was laid to rest in Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC. Read More
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates Dr. Alain LeRoy Locke!
Carter G. Woodson, Activist/Historian
Carter G. Woodson founded The Journal of Negro History in 1916 and began Negro History Week (later Black History Month) in 1926, earning him the nickname “The Father of Black History.” The son of enslaved African Americans, Carter Woodson earned undergraduate degrees at Kentucky’s Berea College in 1903 and at the University of Chicago in 1907. Dr. Goodson's greatest impact was as the leader of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, an organization he founded in Chicago in 1915. (The name was changed to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History — ASALH — in 1972.) Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates Dr. Carter G. Woodson!
Rosa Louise McCauley
Rosa Parks became an icon of the American civil rights movement simply by refusing to give up her seat on a city bus.
In 1955, Rosa Parks was an African-American living in Montgomery, Alabama — a city with laws that strictly segregated blacks and whites. On December 1, 1955, after her day of work as a seamstress at a local department store, Rosa Parks boarded a city bus. When she refused to give up her seat to a white man, the bus driver called police, and Rosa Parks was arrested and fined.
The resulting bus boycott by African-Americans, led by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., caused a national sensation. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates Ms. Rosa Parks!
Loretta Lynch, first African American woman Attorney General of the United States.
Ms. Lynch served as Attorney General of the United States from 2015-2017.
Loretta Elizabeth Lynch was born in North Carolina; her father was a Baptist minister and her mother a school librarian. She made her way to Harvard, where she earned an undergraduate degree in 1981 and a law degree in 1984.
Lynch spent the next six years as a litigation lawyer at the New York firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel, but in 1990 she joined the Justice Department as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. She rose to the position of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (1999); while in that position, she oversaw the high-profile 1999 case of Abner Louima, helping to win conviction of two police officers for beating and abusing the Haitian immigrant with a broom handle. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates Loretta Lynch!
Dr. Mae Carol Jemison, first African American Woman in Space.
Dr. Mae Carol Jemison became the first woman of color to travel into space on September 12, 1992, when she rocketed into Earth orbit on an 8-day mission aboard the spacecraft Endeavour.
Raised in Chicago, Mae Jemison went to Stanford at the age of 16 and graduated in 1977. She then earned her medical degree from Cornell University (1981) and became a physician. She practiced medicine as a general practitioner in Los Angeles and served in the Peace Corps in Africa before being approved for astronaut training with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1987.
Jemison spent the next six years at NASA, ending up on mission STS-47 aboard the shuttle Endeavour in 1992. After leaving NASA in 1993 she founded the Jemison Group, a research and consulting firm, and became active in several educational programs. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates Dr. Mae C. Jemison!
Attorney Thurgood Marshall, 1st African-American Justice.
Attorney Thurgood Marshall led the civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka to a successful hearing at the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954. He became the court’s first African-American justice 13 years later.
The descendant of slaves, Thurgood Marshall graduated from all-black Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1930, then received a law degree from Howard University in 1933. He opened his own law practice in Baltimore and became known as a lawyer who would speak up for the rights of African-Americans; this led him to a job with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1936.
He spent more than two decades with the NAACP, gaining his greatest fame for the case of Brown v. Board of Education from 1952-54. When the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” Marshall and the NAACP had won a great victory for civil rights. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates Attorney Thurgood Marshall!
W. E. B. Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt DuBois, A scholar, writer and political activist, W.E.B. Du Bois was a key founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
W.E.B. Du Bois attended Harvard University and in 1895 became the first African-American to receive a doctorate from the school. He became a university professor, a prolific writer and a pioneering social scientist on the topic of black culture.
Du Bois particularly disagreed with black leaders (such as Booker T. Washington) who urged blacks to blend in with white society; Du Bois championed global African unity and (especially in later years) separatism. He distilled his views in his famous 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk.
In 1909, Du Bois became a founding member of the NAACP, an organization promoting progress and social equality for blacks. Du Bois continued for decades as a strong public voice on behalf of African-Americans. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates W. E. B. Du Bois!
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1924, Shirley Chisholm is best known for becoming the first black congresswoman (1968), representing New York State in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms. She went on to run for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the presidency—becoming the first major-party African-American candidate to do so. Throughout her political career, Chisholm fought for education opportunities and social justice. Chisholm left Congress in 1983 to teach. She died in Florida in 2005. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates Shirley Chisholm!
Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, created specialized hair products for African-American hair and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.
Who Was Madam C.J. Walker?
Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, near Delta, Louisiana. After suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss, she invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905. She promoted her products by traveling around the country giving lecture-demonstrations and eventually established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians. Her savvy business acumen led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Celebrates Madam C.J. Walker!
Dorothy Height was a civil rights and women's rights activist focused primarily on improving the circumstances of and opportunities for African-American women.Born in Virginia in 1912, Dorothy Height was a leader in addressing the rights of both women and African Americans as the president of the National Council of Negro Women. In the 1990s, she drew young people into her cause in the war against drugs, illiteracy and unemployment. The numerous honors bestowed upon her include the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1994) and the Congressional Gold Medal (2004). She died on April 20, 2010, in Washington, D.C. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Dorothy Height!
Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994, serving until 1999. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Who Was Nelson Mandela?
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18, 1918 to December 5, 2013) was a nonviolence anti-apartheid activist, politician and philanthropist who became South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. Beginning in 1962, Mandela spent 27 years in prison for political offenses. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country's apartheid system. For generations to come, Nelson Mandela will continue to be a source of inspiration for civil rights activists worldwide. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Nelson Mandela!
Sojourner Truth, birth name Isabella Baumfree, began life as a slave and ended it as a celebrated anti-slavery activist.
Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in New York and was sold several times before escaping to freedom with an infant daughter in 1827. She worked as a housekeeper, lived in a religious commune, and eventually became a traveling speaker and preacher. Prompted by religious feelings, she changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843.
Although she could not read or write, Sojourner Truth was a captivating speaker: she reportedly stood nearly six feet tall and was a spirited evangelist who spoke out for women’s rights and against slavery. Her memoir The Narrative of Sojourner Truth (as told to author Olive Gilbert) was published in 1850 and helped establish her more widely in the public mind. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Sojourner Truth!
Martin Luther King, Jr. -- Activist, Civil Rights Figure, Clergyman
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African-American clergyman who advocated social change through non-violent means. A powerful speaker and a man of great spiritual strength, he shaped the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s before his assassination in 1968.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama from 1954-59. There he led blacks in the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-56, an action inspired by the arrest of Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat on a public bus. Racial segregation on city buses was ruled unconstitutional in 1956; the boycott ended in success, and King had become a national figure.
King returned to his home town of Atlanta, Georgia in 1959 and became co-pastor with his father of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, a position he held until his death. On the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln‘s Emancipation Proclamation in 1963, King organized a march on Washington, D.C. that drew 200,000 people demanding equal rights for minorities. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!
Mary Edmonia Lewis (c. July 4, 1844 – September 17, 1907) -- First woman of African-American and Native American heritage to achieve international fame and recognition as a sculptor in the fine arts world.
Mary Edmonia Lewis was an American sculptor who worked for most of her career in Rome, Italy. She was the first woman of African-American and Native American heritage to achieve international fame and recognition as a sculptor in the fine arts world. Her work is known for incorporating themes relating to black people and indigenous peoples of the Americas into Neoclassical-style sculpture. She began to gain prominence during the American Civil War; at the end of the 19th century, she remained the only black woman who had participated in and been recognized to any degree by the American artistic mainstream. In 2002, the scholar Molefi Kete Asante named Edmonia Lewis on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Mary Edmonia Lewis!
Barack Obama -- First African American President of the United States and the Nation's 44th President
On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois was elected president of the United States over Senator John McCain of Arizona. Obama became the 44th president, and the first African American to be elected to that office. He was subsequently elected to a second term over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
After a two-year stint working in corporate research and at the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago, where he took a job as a community organizer with a church-based group, the Developing Communities Project. For the next several years, he worked with low-income residents in Chicago’s Roseland community and the Altgeld Gardens public housing development on the city’s largely black South Side. Obama would later call the experience “the best education I ever got, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School,” the prestigious institution he entered in 1988.
In 1996, Obama officially launched his own political career, winning election to the Illinois State Senate as a Democrat from the South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park. Despite tight Republican control during his years in the state senate, Obama was able to build support among both Democrats and Republicans in drafting legislation on ethics and health care reform. He helped create a state earned-income tax credit that benefited the working poor, promoted subsidies for early childhood education programs and worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Barack Obama!
Michelle Obama -- Michelle Obama is the wife of former U.S. President Barack Obama. Prior to her role as first lady, she was a lawyer, Chicago city administrator and community-outreach worker.
Who Is Michelle Obama?
Michelle Obama was born in 1964 in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985, and went on to earn a degree from Harvard Law School in 1988.
Following her graduation from Harvard, she worked at a Chicago law firm, where she met her husband, future U.S. president Barack Obama. The couple married on October 3, 1992. As first lady, she focused her attention on current social issues, such as poverty, healthy living and education.
Michelle Obama as a Child
Michelle Obama was born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois.
Michelle was raised in a small bungalow on Chicago's South Side. Her father, Fraser Robinson, was a city-pump operator and a Democratic precinct captain. Her mother, Marian, was a secretary at Spiegel's but later stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother, Craig. They were a close-knit family, typically sharing meals, reading and playing games together.
Craig and Michelle, 21 months apart in age, were often mistaken for twins. The siblings also shared close quarters, sleeping in the living room with a sheet serving as a makeshift room divider. They were raised with an emphasis on education and had learned to read at home by age four. Both skipped the second grade. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Michelle Obama!
Oprah Winfrey -- First African-American Billionaire, Television Producer, Talk Show Host, Film Actress, Philanthropist, Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress, Producer(1954–)
Billionaire media giant and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey is best known for hosting her own internationally popular talk show from 1986 to 2011. From there, she launched her own television network, OWN.
Who Is Oprah Winfrey?
Oprah Winfrey was born in the rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi, on January 29, 1954. In 1976, Winfrey moved to Baltimore, where she hosted a hit television chat show, People Are Talking. Afterward, she was recruited by a Chicago TV station to host her own morning show. She later became the host of her own, wildly popular program, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired for 25 seasons, from 1986 to 2011. That same year, Winfrey launched her own TV network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Oprah Winfrey!
Malcolm X Biography -- Civil Rights Figure, Religious Figure
Malcolm X was the passionate and controversial black activist who was assassinated in New York City in 1965.
Born in Nebraska and raised in a foster home, Malcolm Little had a troubled youth that included burglary and drug dealing. At age 20 he was sent to prison near Boston for a 10-year term. While in prison, he was introduced to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and adopted the Black Muslim faith.
Upon his parole after six years in prison in 1952, he moved to Detroit and became an assistant minister at the Nation of Islam’s Detroit Temple. He dropped the name Little (considered a slave name by the Nation of Islam) and became known as Malcolm X. Eventually he became a charismatic advocate of black separatism, rejecting Martin Luther King, Jr.’s policies of non-violence.
Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam in 1964. That same year he made a pilgrimage to Mecca and shortly afterwards he embraced orthodox Islam and took the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. He recanted some of his earlier, more strident, viewpoints on race, though he remained a staunch advocate of “black power,” and founded the non-sectarian Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU).
Malcolm X was shot to death by a group of men while giving a speech in New York City in 1965; some of the men had connections to the Nation of Islam, though a formal tie between that group and the assassination was never proven. Read More.
All-4-HR & Business Solutions Honors Malcolm X!