The Windrush Generation: Unveiling 25 Lesser-Known Facts and its Significance in Black History


In the rich tapestry of Black history in the UK, the Windrush Generation plays a significant role. The HMS Windrush generation of Caribbean immigrants, who landed in the UK in 1948, significantly impacted the country’s social, cultural, and economic landscape. In addition to the well-known elements of their tale, many little-known details illuminate this generation’s difficulties, contributions and long-lasting effects. Jazz, blues, calypso, and a variety of other musical genres that they brought with them enriched and changed the British music scene.

Fact 1: The Empire Windrush carried 1,027 passengers.

In June 1948, The Empire Windrush carried 1,027 passengers. The first Caribbean-bound ship to land in Britain was enormous! One thousand twenty-seven people, including women, men, and children, were travelling for a new life.

Fact 2: Post-War Labor Shortages: 

The UK experienced a skilled labour shortage following World War II. To solve this, the British government provided job opportunities in various industries, including public transportation and healthcare, to entice Caribbean nationals to immigrate.

Fact 3: British Empire citizens

At the time, residents of the Caribbean were regarded as British subjects and were permitted to settle in the UK. The British Nationality Act of 1948 gave rise to the granting of this privilege.

Fact 4: The Important Generation

The Windrush Generation includes people who succeeded in various professions, including Samuel Selvon, a writer; Una Marson, a poet; and Sir Lenny Henry, a comedian.

Fact 5: The “Windrush Scandal” 

The “Windrush Scandal” is a debate that started in 2018 after it turned out that many Windrush immigrants had been incorrectly labelled as illegal immigrants, negatively affecting their ability to find work, find housing, and access healthcare.

Immigrants from the Caribbean arriving at Southampton

Fact 6: Enhancement of Culture

Reggae, ska, and calypso music styles that the Windrush immigrants brought profoundly influenced British music and the arts. Jump In Line, a song by Harry Belafonte, was a hit at the time, not only in the Caribbean but also in Britain and America. It is a style of music known as calypso that is still highly well-liked today.

Fact 7: Dominoes was a viral game on the ships!

On the ships, dominoes were a prevalent pastime. On their route to Britain, people listened to it. It’s a boisterous game played in the Caribbean, where participants greatly enjoy themselves by slamming their pieces down firmly.

Fact 8: It took three weeks to go from the Caribbean.

The voyage would have been challenging for several of the passengers.

Perhaps they had motion sickness and missed the loved members they had left behind. Others used the time to socialize, unwind, and play games!

Fact 9: There was no warm greeting for newcomers.

It was more complicated for the newcomers. Britain experiences substantially colder temperatures. It was much more difficult for them to rent apartments, find employment, and even enter some stores since some people were so unkind and discriminatory to them.

Fact 10: Political Contributions: 

The Windrush Generation paved the path for greater racial equality and integration within British society through their activism and participation in civil rights activities.

Fact 11: The “Right to Abode”

The Immigration Act of 1971 gave the Windrush immigrants permission to remain in the UK permanently. Many, however, needed more paperwork to support their position, which created problems later.

Factor 12: Families’ Departure:

Numerous members of the Windrush Generation brought their families to the UK after the initial wave of immigrants, aiding in the development of mixed communities.

Fact 13: Architectural Influence:

The Windrush Generation played a role in the post-war reconstruction effort, contributing to the creation of modern British architecture.

Fact 14: The Effect on Education

The Windrush Generation made substantial contributions to British academia, the arts, and science, enhancing the nation’s intellectual climate.

Fact 15 regarding Windrush Day:

In the UK, June 22nd is observed as Windrush Day to recognize the achievements and legacy of the Windrush Generation. Every year on June 22, Windrush Day commemorates the day in 1948 when the first Windrush ship arrived in Britain. The post-war wave of Caribbean immigration to the United Kingdom began on this significant date.

Fact 16: Loss of Records 

The destruction of landing card slips due to a fire at the Home Office in 2010 made it more challenging for certain Windrush immigrants to demonstrate their legal status.

Fact 17: Contributions to Literature

By writing novels, poems, and essays on their experiences, members of the Windrush Generation significantly contributed to the Black British literary renaissance.

Fact 18: Economic Contributions: Immigrants from the Windrush generation played crucial roles in the industrial, transportation, and construction industries, contributing to the UK’s post-World War II economic recovery.

Fact 19: Windrush Compensation Scheme 

The UK government launched a compensation program to give those impacted financial reparation in response to the Windrush Scandal.

Fact 20: Immigration Policies Are Changing:

The Windrush Scandal led to a review of immigration laws and brought attention to the need for equal treatment and preservation of immigrant rights.

Fact 21: The Legacy of Resilience:

The Windrush Generation’s perseverance in adversity inspired succeeding generations in their battle for equality and social justice.

Fact 22: Curriculum Recognition:

Efforts have been made to incorporate the Windrush Generation’s tales into the UK’s school curricula, ensuring their contributions are remembered.

Fact 23: Artistic Expressions: 

The Windrush Generation’s experiences have impacted Caribbean-born artists, who continue to produce influential works that pay homage to their origins and challenges.

Fact 24: The Debate Is Still Going On

The story of the Windrush Generation has continued to spark debates in the UK about immigration, identity, and belonging.

Fact 25: Worldwide Inspiring

The struggles and triumphs of the Windrush Generation are an example to people all around the world of tenacity, tenacity, and the quest for a better life.


The experience of the Windrush Generation is proof of the persistence of human endeavour and the significant contribution that immigrants make to a country’s social, cultural, and economic life. We may respect their legacy and reinforce their place in history by being aware of these 25 little-known facts related to the tale of Black history in the UK.

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Norman Studios Silent Film Museum – A Free Public Experience


The doors of the Norman Studios Silent Film Museum have swung wide to welcome visitors of all backgrounds, marking an essential step in preserving the history of early Black cinema. This Jacksonville-based museum honors one of the trailblazing studios that created outstanding silent films with Black actors. What’s best? It is entirely accessible and enlightening for everyone because admission is free. As we explore the significance of this cultural treasure trove, come along on a virtual tour with us.

Unveiling the Norman Studios

As one of the first studios focused on producing films with Black casts, The Norman Studios, founded almost a century ago, has a distinct place in film history. The company operated during the silent film era, making ground-breaking films that celebrated Black actors’ skills and highlighted stories frequently ignored by mainstream cinema. The studio made a vital contribution to the early growth of Black cinema, focusing on authenticity and cultural expression.

Richard Norman
Born in 1891 in Middleburg, Florida, In the Midwest, Richard Edward Norman started his filmmaking career by making “home talent” movies in the 1910s for white audiences. To earn money, towns screened these short films filmed over a few days with local actors. From this time came his first silent movie with an all-black cast, “The Green-Eyed Monster” (1919). When Norman relocated to Jacksonville in 1920, it was a watershed moment because he bought a studio and attracted the interest of budding African-American performers.

Chicago played a key role in Richard Edward Norman’s filmmaking career. He ran a facility in Chicago where he developed the movies he had made in his early days. He would record his “home talent” movies in different cities and then send the raw video to his lab in Chicago for editing. Because of his ties to Chicago, he was able to turn his unfinished films into finished products that he subsequently presented to raise money in the communities where he had initially shot them. He produced and presented his work effectively because of this calculated approach, which helped him establish a solid name as a filmmaker in the business.

A Glimpse into the Museum

A monument to the studio’s extensive past is the recently opened Norman Studios Silent Film Museum. Its spotless galleries are home to an incredible collection of artifacts, images, and memorabilia from the height of silent film. As soon as you enter, you are taken back to a time when creativity had no limitations. The museum perfectly captures the thrill of filmmaking, from behind-the-scenes photos to painstakingly restored movie posters.

The Cultural Significance
This museum pays homage to the grit and inventiveness of Black artists in the face of hardship, in addition to preserving cinematic heritage. The movies by Norman Studios broke down barriers, disproved preconceptions, and gave storylines that had previously gone unheard a voice. Visitors obtain a broader understanding of Black films’ craftsmanship and cultural influence, both then and now, by viewing these early cinematic masterpieces.

Embracing the Present and Future
The museum acts as a platform to encourage the current and following generations while also paying tribute to the past. Visitors can learn about the filmmaking process, the technical difficulties of the silent era, and how they compare to contemporary techniques through interactive exhibitions and activities. Aspiring filmmakers, history buffs, and cinephiles can all find something to spark their enthusiasm within these walls.

Saving the Studio

After a three-year journey, Jacksonville made a considerable advancement in April 2002 when it paid $260,000 to acquire four initial five structures. The items purchased were the principal production and processing facility, a cute cottage used for costume changes, a storage shed, and a building containing the original camera and light power generators. The state of Florida then awarded the city a grant for $140,000 in February 2004 to help with the preservation and rehabilitation of the dilapidated property. With the help of this influx of cash, the complex’s immediate roofing needs were met, security lighting and systems were installed, and a sizable chunk was given to Kenneth Smith Architects for a thorough makeover that will eventually result in the Norman Studios Silent Film Museum.

Open to All
The Norman Studios Silent Film Museum’s commitment to accessibility is one of its most impressive features. Since admission is free, anyone can participate in this cultural experience, regardless of their financial situation. The museum promotes inclusivity and invites diverse people to connect with its services by removing the financial barrier.

A significant step forward in appreciating early Black cinema and the creators who led the way is the opening of the Norman Studios Silent Film Museum. This open-to-the-public gem enables us to investigate the history, culture, and creativity of a period that is frequently eclipsed by the passage of time. We think of the pioneers who dared to dream as we move through its halls and the tales that need to be told. This museum has a lot to offer, whether you’re a fan of movies, a history buff, or someone looking for inspiration. Enter now to experience the enchantment of the Norman Studios, where silent pictures spoke for themselves.

Hazel Johnson: Chicago’s Unsung Environmental Justice Hero


Hazel Johnson. A name that has been shrouded in the busy cityscape of Chicago for far too long. Hazel Johnson’s story is one of unmatched tenacity; she was an advocate who ignited change in the most unlikely places in a city, bursting with untold tales of extraordinary people sparking change. Altgeld Gardens is a neighborhood tucked away in the center of Chicago that has both witnessed and become involved in the fight for environmental justice. However, many Chicagoans are unaware of Hazel Johnson’s significant influence, symbolizing resiliency and communal empowerment.

Johnson’s contributions to Chicago

Her commitment sparked a significant transformation in Altgeld Gardens that spread far beyond its bounds and left an enduring imprint on Chicago’s history. Hazel Johnson is a secret hero whose legacy epitomizes transformative action by igniting change within and outside Chicago. Join us as we explore the life of Hazel Johnson, a prominent local whose dedication improved Altgeld Gardens and had a lasting impact on the city’s environmental consciousness.

Who is Hazel Johnson?

Hazel Johnson founded the movement for environmental justice. She spent years analyzing environmental problems in Altgeld Gardens and establishing a link between the community’s poor health and industrial contaminants in the air, water, and land.

Early Years

Hazel Johnson was born on January 25, 1935, in New Orleans, Louisiana, in a part of the country now referred to as “Cancer Alley” because of the effects of the chemical industry on the local population’s health. The oldest of the four was Hazel. She was the only member of her family to live past the age of one. Her parents had passed away by the time she was 12 years old. Hazel first met John Johnson in her late teens, the man she would later marry. In 1955, the couple moved to Chicago. She joined the local anti-housing segregation movement there.

Altgeld Gardens in Chicago

After stopping by Altgeld Gardens to see her brother-in-law, Hazel developed a deep affinity for the enormous community. In 1962, she and John relocated their family there. Hazel frequently coordinated neighborhood kids’ field excursions and block parties, gaining the moniker “Mama Johnson.” Their ideal life changed when John was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1969 and passed away a few weeks later at 41. Because John had so few lung cancer risk factors, doctors could not explain his situation. Later, Hazel learned from neighbors diagnosed with respiratory diseases, including asthma and cancer, that the moms in the area had given birth to many children with birth abnormalities or high rates of miscarriage. Since relocating to Altgeld, Hazels’ children have experienced skin and respiratory ailments.

Battling Cancer Rates and Pollution in Altgeld Gardens

Hazel learned her community had the worst cancer rates in the area soon after establishing People For Community Recovery to address landlord-tenant concerns. Someone was off, as she had suspected. In 1995, she told the Chicago Tribune, “I was shocked and furious.” I made it my duty to learn the truth and take action in response to it. Johnson started looking at the neighborhood’s environmental circumstances. In addition to more than 50 landfills, a chemical incinerator, a water and sewage treatment facility, steel mills, paint factories, scrap yards, and abandoned industrial dump sites, Altgeld Gardens “lay in the center of a 14-square-mile ring of pollution stretching from Chicago’s Southeast Side to Northwest Indiana,” according to the information she discovered. itself Altgeld Gardens.

Starting her organization 

With knowledge about environmental health problems, Hazel was ready to take action. She redirected PCR’s efforts to lessen or eradicate environmental dangers in and around her neighborhood, which she dubbed “the toxic donut.” Hazel Johnson served as the organization’s president and executive director when PCR was formally incorporated 1982 as a not-for-profit company. In the ensuing decades, PCR would fight for environmental justice on various fronts and win significant successes for the residents of Altgeld, including the expansion of water and sewage services, the opening of a new clinic, the removal of asbestos and PCBs, the elimination of lead, and a ban on the construction of new or expanded landfills in Chicago.

Altgeld Gardens in Chicago

Hazel Johnson’s Legacy in Environmental Justice and Mentorship

Johnson also mentored young activists and college students who later led the Environmental Justice movement. She assisted Barack Obama, a budding community activist at the time, in the mid-1980s in winning support from locals in the battle to remove asbestos from Altgeld Gardens. Johnson also guided DePaul students on environmental bus excursions, and they eventually worked together to produce a documentary on environmental justice for the Knights of Peter Claver and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Most significantly, Hazel coached the PCR organization’s future leaders. Hazel Johnson’s daughter Cheryl Johnson, currently the executive director of PCR, has worked with her mother at the company since its inception.

Hazel Johnson’s Impact on the Environmental Justice Movement and Legacy

Hazel was a prominent presenter at the first National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., in 1991, and she talked passionately about her community’s battle against environmental racism. She collaborated with colleagues from communities nationwide to develop the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice, which are still a benchmark for activists today. Following the conference, Johnson became a prominent figure in the country and was dubbed “the mother of the Environmental Justice Movement.” Later, she was recognized as the second top of the group.

Federal Actions to Address Environment Justice in Minority Populations

Executive Order 12898 includes Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low-Income Populations. It was signed in 1994, and Johnson was asked to attend. The day was one for festivities. Johnson worked tenaciously for legislative provisions that set aside funds for environmental justice communities. Two years later, President Clinton recognized PCR as one of the top 100 environmental organizations in the nation.


Johnson passed away on January 12, 2011, due to congestive heart failure. In honor of Johnson’s legacy, the Illinois General Assembly renamed 130th Street from the Bishop Ford Freeway to State Street “Hazel Johnson EJ Way” later that year. You can view the sign as a beacon as you approach and leave Altgeld Gardens. Congressman Bobby Rush filed federal legislation in 2021 to recognize Hazel’s contributions by making April Hazel Johnson Environmental Justice Month, issuing a commemorative stamp, and presenting her with a posthumous presidential medal of freedom.

As we explore Johnson’s life, we pay tribute to a remarkable lady who changed Altgeld Gardens and impacted Chicago’s history. Her narrative serves as a reminder that heroes can appear in the unlikeliest places and sheds light on the significant effects of their deeds on both a local and global level. Join us as we honor Hazel Johnson, an unsung heroine whose legacy has inspired change throughout Chicago and beyond.

Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley: Biden’s National Monument


Emmett Till, I learned about the tragic tale of him, a 14-year-old African American child whose treatment by racial prejudice sparked the civil rights movement. After seeing movies, reading books, and attending the church where his funeral was conducted, Emmett’s story impacted me, serving as a metaphor for tenacity and the pursuit of justice. I’m thankful they want to protect Emmett Till’s memory and ensure that it continues to serve as a source of inspiration for future generations as President Biden plans to honor him and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, with a national monument. I live in Chicago and witness this historic event, knowing that Emmett’s legacy will continue to inspire and drive progress for a better world.

A National Monument in Till’s honor

A national monument will be built in honor of Emmett Till, a black kid who was killed in Mississippi in 1955, and his mother, according to a White House official.

The lynching of Till and the advocacy of Mamie Till-Mobley, Till’s mother, sparked the civil rights movement.

On Tuesday, July 25, Till’s birthday, Mr. Biden will issue a proclamation.

One year has passed since he published the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act.

Illinois and Mississippi will be three distinct locations in the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument.

According to the National Park Service, a national monument is a protected area akin to a national park. The nation has more than 100 national monuments. Three protected locations in Illinois, Emmett’s home state, and Mississippi, the scene of his murder, will make up the new monument.

One place is the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, a historically Black church in Chicago’s Bronzeville district, where Emmett’s funeral was held. The location where Emmett’s body is thought to have been taken from the Tallahatchie River is Graball Landing in Tallahatchie County, Miss. The Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi, where Emmett’s murderers were found not guilty, is a third location.

The White House issued a statement in which it stated that the new monument would

“protect places that tell the story of Emmett Till’s too-short life and racially motivated murder, the unjust acquittal of his murderers, and the activism of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.”

A white woman alleged that Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, accosted her at a store, which led to his savage beating and eventual death while he was visiting family in Mississippi.

Who was Emmett Till?

Emmett Till, an African American youngster 14 years old, became a tragic figure in the American civil rights struggle. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 25, 1941. Emmett Till visited his relatives in Money, Mississippi, in August 1955.

On August 24, 1955, Till entered a neighborhood grocery store where he allegedly flirted with or whistled at Carolyn Bryant, a white cashier. This occurrence set off a series of events, ultimately resulting in his terrible murder.

A few days later, on August 28, 1955, two white men—Roy Bryant, Carolyn Bryant’s husband, and J.W. Milam, his half-brother—took Till from his great-uncle’s house. They were severely battered, tormented, and three days after Emmett Till’s body was discovered, his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, insisted on having an open-casket burial to allow everyone to see the horrible results of racial hatred and murder. In the civil rights struggle, the image of Emmett Till’s open coffin helped rally support and bring attention to the injustices African Americans endured.

An all-white jury acquitted Bryant and Milam of Till’s murder despite overwhelming evidence against them, highlighting the pervasive racism and systematic unfairness in the American South at the time.

The murder of Till and the subsequent trial served as additional fire for the civil rights movement and a turning point in the fight for racial equality in the United States. His recall goes on.


I am encouraged and grateful for President Biden’s choice to create a national monument in memory of Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till. This monument will be a visible reminder of the hardships endured by numerous people in their quest for equality and as a focal point for advancing efforts to create a more compassionate and inclusive society. I’m determined to keep Emmett Till’s memory alive by telling his tale and vigorously promoting the change he represents. History lessons can be preserved through education and reflection at this monument, enabling us to move forward with empathy, unity, and the resolve to build a world where every life is valued and treasured.

Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton: The Trailblazer Who Revolutionized Basketball

Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton became the first African American player to earn an NBA contract when he joined the New York Knicks in 1950. This historic event ended racial segregation in the league and provided future African American players with opportunities.


I have always been enthralled by the thrill and grace of the game of basketball as a genuine fan. Basketball has a way of captivating its followers like no other sport, from the high dunks to the razor-sharp passes. I was engrossed in the passion around the Bulls’ winning their last title in 1998 since I had just relocated to Chicago then, a city with a strong basketball culture. The town still vibrated with the thrill of the Bulls’ last victory, an incredible era when Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman ruled supreme. Although I greatly appreciate basketball and am well-versed in the local scene, I had never heard of Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton until a few weeks ago.

Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton: Life and Basketball Journey

Clifton, born in England, Arkansas, was named “Sweetwater” as a young child due to his love for soft drinks and laid-back personality. His family relocated to Chicago, Illinois, where he excelled in baseball and basketball at DuSable High School and eventually graduated in 1942. He studied at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans before enlisting in the American Army and fought for three years in Europe during World War II.

Beginning of his Career

Clifton dominated his opponents when playing basketball for Chicago’s DuSable High School. He stood over 6-foot-7 and weighed 235 pounds. He could pick up and palm a basketball as easily as others could handle a tennis ball with hands that measured ten inches wide.

Nat 'Sweetwater' Clifton

While at DuSable High School, he scored 45 points, breaking the previous tournament record of 24 points, in the city championship semifinals during his senior year of 1942. The Chicago Daily News ranked him among Illinois’s top two high school basketball players. He also participated in softball on a squad dubbed the Gas House Gang.

Clifton joined the all-black professional basketball team known as the New York Rens, which travelled nationwide after the war. He was asked to join the Harlem Globetrotters. He played from the summer of 1948 until the spring of 1950 and was known for having enormous hands that required a size 14 glove.

Breaking Barriers in Basketball’s NBA

Clifton’s breaking of the color barrier changed the game and gave others the courage to follow their aspirations in the face of hardship. He opened the door for future NBA greats like Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain, who would change the league and leave a lasting impression.

Contribution to the Game

Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton excelled in various positions and was a skillful and adaptable player. He could dominate in the forward and center positions due to his height of 6 feet 7 inches and exceptional quickness. The game was significantly impacted by Clifton’s playing style, which was highlighted by his remarkable rebounding skills, strength, and speed.

His contributions went beyond his talent on the court. Clifton was renowned for his professionalism, leadership, and good sportsmanship. He prioritized the accomplishments of his teammates and always played the game honestly. Beyond his actions on the court, Clifton was a role model for young basketball players and personified the spirit of the game.

Impact and Legacies

Beyond his achievements on the court, Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton left behind a lasting legacy. His tenacity and bravery enabled subsequent generations of African American athletes to succeed in the NBA. Racial boundaries were dismantled by Clifton’s pioneering trip, which also brought about a metamorphosis that altered the landscape of professional basketball for all time.

His influence is felt not only in the NBA but also throughout society. Clifton rose beyond racial discrimination and became a beacon of inspiration and hope for underserved groups. He demonstrated that talent and merit should be valued regardless of race and that diversity benefits sports and society.


Basketball history will always remember Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton’s historic signing as the first African American to land an NBA contract. His journey and accomplishments are a monument to the strength of tenacity, resiliency, and overcoming obstacles. Even today, Clifton’s contributions to the sport and enduring influence on the league’s inclusivity and diversity are felt. Let us always remember Nat ‘Sweetwater’ Clifton’s pioneering legacy, whose historic signing changed the game of basketball forever, as we celebrate the accomplishments of current African American NBA stars.

Affirmative Action: Empowering Education and Promoting Equality

I am a black woman with three college degrees and an educator, so I am personally aware of how underrepresented people of color are in the classroom. Affirmative action has been vital to rectify this gap, encourage diversity, and work toward equality. This blog will discuss the history of blacks in education, the importance of affirmative action, and the most recent decision affecting its application.

History of Black People in Education

Black people’s history in education is intricately linked to the fight for equal rights and educational opportunities. To prevent their intellectual and social growth during the American slavery era, black people were denied access to education. Slave laws frequently forbade literacy among the enslaved for concern that it would encourage desires for freedom and equality.

Following the abolition of slavery, initiatives were made to develop black students’ educational opportunities, mostly through segregated institutions. However, compared to their white counterparts, these schools frequently lacked funding, were overcrowded, and offered poorer supplies. The famous case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 overturned the principle of “separate but equal,” declaring that segregated schools were inherently unequal and violated the 14th Amendment.

Despite the legal advancements brought about by the Civil Rights Movement, discrimination’s legacy remained to limit black students’ access to higher education. Persistent socioeconomic gaps, systemic racism, and unconscious bias produced barriers that restricted access to high-quality education and supported racial imbalances.

Importance of Affirmative Action

Affirmative action was developed as a necessary remedy to address historical and current discrimination in education against this background. By giving opportunities and support to people from historically marginalized groups, particularly black people, affirmative action aims to level the playing field. It recognizes the structural disadvantages these groups experience and seeks to correct the imbalances through specific policies.

For several reasons, affirmative action in education is essential. The first benefit is that it encourages diversity within educational institutions, creating a welcoming atmosphere that reflects the diverse fabric of our society. Students are better prepared for a globalized society by being exposed to various ideas and experiences, which improves learning outcomes, critical thinking, and cross-cultural competence.

Second, affirmative action increases the number of outstanding people from underrepresented groups who can attend higher education despite having access to limited financial aid or other educational opportunities. Educational institutions can recognize and develop the potential in people who might otherwise go unnoticed by considering variables like color, ethnicity, and gender when making admissions decisions.

Affirmative action also offers long-term societal advantages. People from marginalized groups can affect change in their communities when they are given equal opportunities to succeed in academics and the workplace. They may end the cycle of structural inequity, dispel myths, and motivate younger generations to pursue their aspirations.

The Latest Ruling

A key decision concerning affirmative action and the Equal Protection Clause was made on June 29, 2023. According to “Affirmative Action and the Equal Protection Clause,” a New York Times article, the Supreme Court considered whether affirmative action practices in higher education were constitutional.

In a historic ruling, the Supreme Court maintained affirmative action’s validity, acknowledging its importance for fostering educational diversity and advancing equal protection under the law. The decision reaffirmed the need for affirmative action in resolving past inequalities and establishing a fair playing field for all students.

 “While the court can render a decision, it cannot change what America stands for. America is an idea — an idea — unique in the world. An idea of hope and opportunity. Of possibilities. Of giving everyone a fair shot.”

President Joe Biden

After the ruling:

1. Charles Barkley Gives $5 Million for Black Students at His Alma Mater

Former professional basketball player and sports pundit Charles Barkley made public his intention to give $5 million to Leeds High School in Alabama, where he attended high school. The donation supports black kids’ academic endeavours by offering tailored scholarships.

Barkley’s choice to make this substantial contribution is consistent with his dedication to advancing equality of opportunity and tackling educational inequities. Barkley aspires to empower and elevate a disenfranchised group that frequently encounters socioeconomic difficulties and limited access to resources by primarily focusing on black students.

Charles Barkley’s generous deed exemplifies the influence individuals can have in promoting educational projects and working to create a more just society. It reminds us that affirmative action is more than just a rule.

2. Harvard sued over ‘overwhelmingly white’ legacy admissions

Following the affirmative action verdict, the recent lawsuit against Harvard University for its “overwhelmingly white” legacy admissions practices has generated a lot of discussion about the pursuit of diversity and equity inside elite educational institutions. This topic is personal because I am the proud spouse of a black Harvard graduate with a master’s degree. Even if my husband’s accomplishments are admirable, it’s important to critically evaluate the admissions procedures that might sustain privilege and a predominately white student body. By giving preference to applicants with family connections to the university, legacy admissions may unintentionally maintain historical disparities and impede the transition to a more diverse and inclusive learning environment. Institutions like Harvard must constantly assess their admissions practices to make sure that they place a priority on diversity, merit, and other factors.


I have seen the transformative effect of affirmative action in addressing the underrepresentation of people of color in the classroom as a teacher and a black woman with a good educational background. A more inclusive and fair learning environment is made possible through affirmative action.

Bayard Rustin: The Unsung Hero of the Civil Rights Movement and LGBTQ+ Trailblazer


Specific names have been passed down in the history of the civil rights movement as legends. But even though their stories were disregarded, some unsung heroes had essential roles to play. Bayard Rustin is one such hero. Rustin made significant contributions to the movement, but his reputation has frequently been overshadowed. Let’s examine this important figure in black history’s life and legacy.

Early Life and Activism

Bayard Rustin was a key player behind the scenes when the Montgomery Bus Boycott was launched in 1955 due to Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat. He arranged a workshop to teach activists nonviolent protest techniques and counselled Martin Luther King Jr. on the virtues of it. He was influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), a pacifist organization that advocated for racial equality.

The March on Washington and “I Have a Dream”

In 1963, Bayard Rustin played a crucial part in planning the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, one of his most memorable accomplishments. Rustin, the primary organizer, inspired thousands to seek economic and civil rights peacefully. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which marked the march’s conclusion, helped the movement reach new heights. The march became a turning point in American history thanks mainly to Rustin’s strategic preparation and perseverance.

Bayard rustin

Challenges and Legacy

Bayard Rustin overcame several obstacles during his life, despite his outstanding contributions. He was marginalized within the movement due to his open homosexuality, which generated controversy. Due to the way his sexual orientation frequently eclipsed his accomplishments, Rustin is commonly left out of historical accounts. His legacy is still important, though. He left a lasting legacy on the civil rights movement and laid the way for subsequent social justice movements with his dedication to nonviolence, organizing prowess, and strategic leadership.


Bayard Rustin’s role as an unsung civil rights movement hero deserves recognition. His strategic brilliance, commitment to nonviolence, and organizational skills made him an invaluable asset to the movement. By telling his biography, we pay tribute to Rustin’s achievements and illuminate the underreported stories of black history, ensuring that his legacy will continue to motivate future generations.

Here is a list of some of Bayard Rustin’s notable accomplishments:

  1. Advisor to Martin Luther King Jr.: Rustin provided strategic guidance and training in nonviolent resistance to Martin Luther King Jr. during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and beyond. He was instrumental in shaping King’s philosophy of nonviolence.
  2. Historic March on Washington. He organized the attendees, oversaw the logistics, and ensured the event was peaceful. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech made the march famous.
  3. Nonviolent resistance- Rustin fervently supports nonviolent resistance and acts of civil disobedience. He actively engaged in workshops and training sessions on peaceful protest techniques and promoted the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi.
  4. Civil Rights Activism: Throughout his life, Rustin was involved in various civil rights activities, including organizing protests, advocating for desegregation, and fighting for voting rights. He consistently spoke out against racial discrimination and inequality.
  5. Rustin was a proponent of nonviolent conflict resolution and opposed the Vietnam War. He was also heavily involved in the peace movement. He stressed how various movements for justice and equality are interconnected.
  6. Work on International Human Rights: Rustin’s work went beyond American borders. He visited many nations, including India, to learn about and advance nonviolent resistance and human rights. Additionally, Rustin promoted awareness of South African apartheid.
  7. LGBTQ+ Advocacy: Rustin’s identity as an openly gay man in a time of widespread homophobia and discrimination was a significant aspect of his life. Later in his career, he advocated for LGBTQ+ rights, speaking out against bigotry and advocating for equality.
  8. Philanthropy and Education: Rustin dedicated his time and efforts to philanthropic endeavours, supporting various educational initiatives. He believed in the power of education to uplift communities and promote social change.

These accomplishments highlight Bayard Rustin’s multifaceted contributions to the civil rights movement, nonviolent resistance, international activism, and advocacy for equality and justice.

101 HBCUs: A Complete List with Founding Dates, Cities, Famous Graduates, and Admissions Link


Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are an essential component of the American higher education system, with a long history of offering education and opportunity to African Americans. These institutions have played a necessary part in defining America’s intellectual, cultural, and social landscape, producing several remarkable graduates who have substantially contributed to society. In this blog, we will look at the history of HBCUs, present a list of all historically black colleges and universities, the year they were founded, the city they are located in, and a link to admissions, as well as famous historical black persons that graduated from that school.

The History of HBCUs

HBCUs were founded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to give higher education to African Americans who had previously been denied admission to predominately white schools. Because Jim Crow laws and other forms of institutionalized racism barred Black students from attending white colleges and universities, these institutions arose out of necessity. Despite significant challenges, HBCUs persevered and continued to educate generations of Black students.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have earned a reputation for academic achievement, nurturing and supportive environments, and strong relationships with the communities they serve. Today, there are over 100 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, each with its history and contributions to American society.

  1. Alabama A&M University – 1875 – Normal, AL – William Hooper Councill (educator and founder of the university), Marion Barry (politician and former mayor of Washington, D.C.), Ernest L. Gibson III (educator and former president of the university) –
  2. Alabama State University – 1867 – Montgomery, AL – John L. Cashin Jr. (civil rights activist and former Alabama Secretary of State), Nat King Cole (musician and singer), Gwen Ifill (journalist and former moderator of “Washington Week” and “PBS NewsHour”) –
  3. Albany State University – 1903 – Albany, GA – Levi J. Foster (educator and former president of the university), J.D. Sumner (gospel singer), Paula Williams Madison (business executive and former NBCUniversal executive) –
  4. Alcorn State University – 1871 – Lorman, MS – Medgar Evers (civil rights activist), Alexander D. Henderson (educator and former president of the university), Steve McNair (former NFL player) –
  5. Allen University – 1870 – Columbia, SC – Richard Wright (author), Ernest A. Finney Jr. (lawyer and former chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court), John M. Pinckney (educator and former president of the university) –
  6. Arkansas Baptist College – 1884 – Little Rock, AR – E. Edward Jones (educator and former president of the university), Chester W. Nimitz Jr. (former U.S. Navy officer), Mary L. Jones Parrish (educator and author) –
  7. Allen University – 1870 – Columbia, SC – Richard T. Greener (educator and lawyer), James T. McCain (civil rights activist), Darrell J. Jackson (politician) –
  8. Alcorn State University – 1871 – Lorman, MS – Medgar Evers (civil rights activist), David L. Jordan (educator and former Mississippi state legislator), Myrlie Evers-Williams (civil rights activist) –
  9. Albany State University – 1903 – Albany, GA – Harold R. Logan Sr. (educator and civil rights activist), Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas (singer and actress), Kwame Brown (former NBA player) –
  10. American Baptist College – 1924 – Nashville, TN – John Lewis (civil rights activist and politician), C.T. Vivian (civil rights activist), Vincent Harding (historian and author) –
  11. Barber-Scotia College – 1867 – Concord, NC – Mary McLeod Bethune (educator and civil rights leader), Thurgood Marshall (Supreme Court Justice), William J. Trent (historian and scholar) –
  12. Benedict College – 1870 – Columbia, SC – Modjeska Monteith Simkins (civil rights activist), Luther M. Hill Jr. (educator and former president of the college), Bakari Sellers (attorney and former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives) –
  13. Bennett College – 1873 – Greensboro, NC – Gladys L. Ashe Robinson (educator and civil rights activist), Willa B. Player (educator and college president), Patrice Rushen (musician and composer) –
  14. Bethune-Cookman University – 1904 – Daytona Beach, FL – Mary McLeod Bethune (educator and civil rights leader), Joe Nathan Thomas (former NFL player), Nina Simone (singer and civil rights activist) –
  15. Bishop State Community College – 1927 – Mobile, AL – Angela Y. Davis (scholar and activist), Marcell Dareus (former NFL player), W. J. Levon (educator and civil rights activist) –
  16. Bluefield State College – 1895 – Bluefield, WV – Marguerite Thomas Williams (nurse and educator), Paul E. Martin (educator and politician), James L. Ferguson (former NFL player) –
  17. Bowie State University – 1865 – Bowie, MD – Roberta Flack (singer and musician), Albert Lewis (former NFL player), Harrison Benjamin Wilson Jr. (astronaut) –
  18. Carver College -Founded: 1943 – Atlanta, Georgia -Gospel singer Dottie Peoples, Minister and Author E. Dewey Smith Jr
  19. Central State University – 1887 – Wilberforce, OH – William McKinley Phipps (singer and actor), Dave Logan (former NFL player), Leona Tate (civil rights activist) –
  20. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania – 1837 – Cheyney, PA – Octavius Catto (educator and civil rights activist), Robert W. Bogle (business executive and publisher), Ed Bradley (journalist and news anchor) –
  21. Claflin University – 1869 – Orangeburg, SC – Althea Gibson (tennis player), William J. Bell (television producer), Ralph W. Ellison (author and scholar) –
  22. Clark Atlanta University – 1988 (merger of Atlanta University and Clark College) – Atlanta, GA – Martin Luther King Jr. (civil rights activist and Nobel laureate), Spike Lee (filmmaker), Alice Walker (author and activist) –
  23. Clinton College – 1894 – Rock Hill, SC – Ernie Hamilton (civil rights activist and politician), Rosa Parks (civil rights activist), John Lewis (civil rights activist and politician) –
  24. Coahoma Community College – 1949 – Clarksdale, MS – W. C. Handy (musician and composer), Nathan Bedford Forrest (Confederate general), Willie Dixon (musician and songwriter) –
  25. Concordia College Alabama -1922-2018 (closed)-Selma, Alabama ( Civil Rights activist Amelia Boynton Robinson, Alabama State Representative Darrio Melton
  26. Coppin State University – 1900 – Baltimore, MD – Elijah Cummings (politician), Kweisi Mfume (politician), Nancy Grasmick (educator and former Maryland state superintendent) –
  27. Delaware State University – 1891 – Dover, DE – Tony Brown (former NFL player), Marc Morial (politician and former mayor of New Orleans), Sarah Adelia Graves (educator and historian) –
  28. Denmark Technical College – 1947 – Denmark, SC – Levi Pearson (farmer and civil rights activist), Henry E. Singleton (business executive and co-founder of Teledyne Technologies), Lawrence M. Gressette Jr. (politician) –
  29. Dillard University – 1869 – New Orleans, LA – Samuel DuBois Cook (educator and civil rights leader), Tom Dent (poet and activist), Hoda Kotb (journalist and television personality) –
  30. Edward Waters University – 1866 – Jacksonville, FL – James Weldon Johnson (poet and civil rights leader), Johnny Shaw (educator and politician), James Edward Hanger (inventor and entrepreneur) –
  31. Elizabeth City State University – 1891 – Elizabeth City, NC – Marion Barry (politician and former mayor of Washington, D.C.), Valerie Jarrett (lawyer and former senior advisor to President Barack Obama), Wanda G. Yuhas (educator and civil rights activist) –
  32. Fayetteville State University – 1867 – Fayetteville, NC – Lorraine D. Acker (educator and civil rights activist), Michael S. Steele (politician and former chairman of the Republican National Committee), Carol Bellamy (educator and former executive director of UNICEF) –
  33. Fisk University – 1866 – Nashville, TN – W. E. B. Du Bois (scholar and civil rights activist), John Hope Franklin (historian and author), Nikki Giovanni (poet and activist) –
  34. Florida A&M (Agricultural and Mechanical) University – 1887 – Tallahassee, FL – Althea Gibson (tennis player), Tisha Lewis (journalist and television news anchor), Andrew Gillum (politician and former mayor of Tallahassee) –
  35. Florida Memorial University – 1879 – Miami Gardens, FL – Booker T. Washington (educator and civil rights leader), Roberta Flack (singer and musician), Trayvon Martin (victim of police brutality) –
  36. Fort Valley State University – 1895 – Fort Valley, GA – John Henrik Clarke (historian and educator), Ulysses Dove (dancer and choreographer), Ruben Davis (politician) –
  37. Fisk University – 1866 – Nashville, TN – W. E. B. Du Bois (scholar and civil rights activist), John Hope Franklin (historian and author), Nikki Giovanni (poet and activist) –
  38. Gadsden State Community College’s Valley Street campus – 1960 -Gadsden, Alabama and
  39. Grambling State University – 1901 – Grambling, LA – Willis Reed (former NBA player), Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones (educator and former president of the university), Doug Williams (former NFL player and coach) –
  40. Hampton University – 1868 – Hampton, VA – Booker T. Washington (educator and civil rights leader), Wanda Sykes (comedian and actress), Mary Jackson (NASA engineer and mathematician) –
  41. Harris-Stowe State University – 1857 – St. Louis, MO – Tina Turner (singer and actress), Earl Silas Tupper (inventor and entrepreneur), Lacy Clay (politician) –
  42. Hinds Community College – 1917 – Raymond, MS – O’Neal Compton (actor), Dickie Scruggs (attorney and philanthropist), Noah Welch (former NHL player) –
  43. Howard University – 1867 – Washington, D.C. – Thurgood Marshall (Supreme Court Justice), Toni Morrison (author and Nobel laureate), Chadwick Boseman (actor) –
  44. Hood Theological Seminary -1885 -Salisbury, North Carolina (Bishop George E. Battle Jr., Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, and Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood)
  45. Huston-Tillotson University – 1875 – Austin, TX – Barbara Jordan (politician), Ernest McMillan (physicist and educator), M. NourbeSe Philip (poet and author) –
  46. Interdenominational Theological Center – 1958 – Atlanta, GA – Katie Cannon (theologian and educator), Samuel DeWitt Proctor (minister and civil rights activist), Otis Moss Jr. (minister and civil rights activist) –
  47. J. F. Drake State Technical College – 1961- Huntsville, Alabama (Senator Tom Butler and author W. Ralph Eubanks).
  48. Jackson State University – 1877 – Jackson, MS – Walter Payton (former NFL player), Margaret Walker (poet and author), Robert L. Wright (educator and civil rights activist) –
  49. Jarvis Christian College – 1912 – Hawkins, TX – Yvonne Ewell Towns (politician and educator), Grant W. Newton (educator and author), Karen Carter Peterson (politician) –
  50. Johnson C. Smith University – 1867 – Charlotte, NC – George E. Davis (educator and politician), LaWana Richmond (actress), Ronald W. Walters (political scientist and civil rights activist) –
  51. Kentucky State University – 1886 – Frankfort, KY – Whitney M. Young Jr. (civil rights activist), Mae Street Kidd (politician and civil rights activist), Luska Twyman (educator and activist) –
  52. Knoxville College – 1875 – Knoxville, TN – Harold Hayden (educator and civil rights activist), Margaret Murray Washington (educator and wife of Booker T. Washington), Michael Eric Dyson (author and professor) –
  53. Lane College – 1882 – Jackson, TN – Benjamin L. Hooks (civil rights leader and attorney), Joseph Lowery (minister and civil rights leader), Jimmy Church (former NFL player) –
  54. Langston University – 1897 – Langston, OK – Clara Luper (civil rights activist), Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher (attorney and civil rights activist), Blanche Bruce (former U.S. Senator) –
  55. Lawson State Community College – 1949 -Birmingham, Alabama (NBA player Charles Barkley and former NFL player Reggie Barlow).
  56. LeMoyne-Owen College – 1862 – Memphis, TN – Ida B. Wells (journalist and civil rights activist), Harold Ford Sr. (politician), Joyce Blackmon (educator) –
  57. Lewis College of Business – 1928 -Detroit, Michigan, (Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. and former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer)
  58. Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) – 1854 – Lincoln University, PA – Langston Hughes (poet and author), Thurgood Marshall (Supreme Court Justice), Kwame Nkrumah (first president of Ghana) –
  59. Lincoln University (Missouri) – 1866 – Jefferson City, MO – Robert L. Jennings (educator and former president of the university), Houston McTear (former track and field athlete), Charles Diggs (politician) –
  60. Livingstone College – 1879 – Salisbury, NC – Joseph Charles Price (educator and civil rights activist), Melba Liston (jazz trombonist and arranger), Darris McCord (former NFL player) –
  61. Meharry Medical College – 1876 – Nashville, TN – Hildrus Poindexter (physician and public health advocate), Levi Watkins Jr. (surgeon and medical pioneer), Patricia E. Bath (ophthalmologist and inventor) –
  62. Miles College – 1898 – Fairfield, AL – Ralph D. Abernathy (minister and civil rights activist), Yolanda King (activist and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.), Antonio Lang (former NBA player) –
  63. Mississippi Valley State University – 1950 – Itta Bena, MS – Jerry Rice (former NFL player), Medgar Evers (civil rights activist), Sarah James Harris (educator and former president of the university) –
  64. Morehouse College – 1867 – Atlanta, GA – Martin Luther King Jr. (minister and civil rights leader), Spike Lee (film director and producer), Samuel L. Jackson (actor) –
  65. Morehouse School of Medicine – 1975 – Atlanta, GA – Louis W. Sullivan (former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services), David Satcher (former U.S. Surgeon General), Valerie Montgomery Rice (physician and former president of the institution) –
  66. Morgan State University – 1867 – Baltimore, MD – Kweisi Mfume (politician and former president of the NAACP), Earl Monroe (former NBA player), Elijah Cummings (politician) –
  67. Morris College – 1908 – Sumter, SC – Benjamin E. Mays (educator and civil rights leader), Tom Fears (former NFL player and coach), Levern Tart (former ABA player and coach) –
  68. Norfolk State University – 1935 – Norfolk, VA – Wanda Sykes (comedian and actress), Bobby Dandridge (former NBA player), Armstead L.
  69. 55. North Carolina A&T State University – 1891 – Greensboro, NC – Jesse Jackson (minister and civil rights leader), Ronald McNair (astronaut and physicist), Taraji P. Henson (actress) –
  70. Oakwood University – 1896 – Huntsville, AL – Wintley Phipps (gospel singer and pastor), Charles E. Bradford (religious leader), Eric Thomas (motivational speaker) –
  71. Paine College – 1882 – Augusta, GA – Samuel L. Dunston (educator and civil rights leader), Gregory Hines (actor and dancer), Louis Williams (NBA player) –
  72. Paul Quinn College – 1872 – Dallas, TX – John H. Johnson (publisher and entrepreneur), Stanley H. Durwood (founder of AMC Theatres), Andrew Young (former U.S. Ambassador to the UN) –
  73. Philander Smith College – 1877 – Little Rock, AR – James W. Mason (educator and civil rights leader), William H. Gray III (politician and former president of the United Negro College Fund), Edith Irby Jones (physician and civil rights activist) –
  74. Prairie View A&M University – 1876 – Prairie View, TX – Ruth Simmons (educator and former president of Brown University), Jimmy Butler (NBA player), George F. Grant (dentist and inventor) –
  75. Rust College – 1866 – Holly Springs, MS – Ida B. Wells (journalist and civil rights activist), Jessie Mae Hemphill (blues musician), Pauline E. Drake (educator and former president of the university) –
  76. Saint Augustine’s University – 1867 – Raleigh, NC – James E. Cheek (educator and former president of Howard University), Ernie Barnes (artist and former NFL player), Shirley Caesar (gospel singer) –
  77. Savannah State University – 1890 – Savannah, GA – Robert S. Abbott (founder of the Chicago Defender), Richard R. Wright Sr. (educator and former president of the university), Shannon Sharpe (former NFL player and sportscaster) –
  78. Selma University – 1878 – Selma, AL – Andrew T. Hatcher (journalist and former advisor to President John F. Kennedy), W. C. Patton (educator and civil rights activist), J. R. Clifford (attorney and civil rights activist) –
  79. Shaw University – 1865 – Raleigh, NC – Ella Baker (civil rights activist), Samuel R. Delany (science fiction author), Willie E. Gary (attorney and entrepreneur) –
  80. Shenandoah University – 1875 – Winchester, VA – Harry F. Byrd Jr. (politician), Katherine Johnson (NASA mathematician and the subject of the film “Hidden Figures”), Patsy Cline (country music singer) –
  81. South Carolina State University – 1896 – Orangeburg, SC – James E. Clyburn (politician), Cleveland L. Sellers Jr. (civil rights activist), Richard L. Manning Jr. (former governor of South Carolina) – https://www.s
  82. Southern University and A&M College – 1880 – Baton Rouge, LA – Ralph Waldo Ellison (writer), Charles J. Hatfield (civil rights activist and attorney), Dorothy Celeste Boulding Ferebee (physician and civil rights activist) –
  83. Southern University at New Orleans – 1956 – New Orleans, LA – Leah Chase (chef and civil rights activist), Jericho Brown (poet and Pulitzer Prize winner), Avery Johnson (former NBA player and coach) –
  84. Southern University at Shreveport – 1967 – Shreveport, LA – Alma C. Adams (politician), Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin (zydeco musician), Wilbert Rideau (journalist and former inmate) –
  85. Spelman College – 1881 – Atlanta, GA – Alice Walker (writer), Marian Wright Edelman (activist and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund), Stacey Abrams (politician and voting rights activist) –
  86. St. Philip’s College – 1898 – San Antonio, TX – William G. Sinkford (religious leader), James R. Adams Jr. (former mayor of St. Louis), Henry Cisneros (former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development) –
  87. Stillman College – 1876 – Tuscaloosa, AL – W. C. Handy (blues musician), William Hooper Councill (educator and former president of the university), Luther Strange (former U.S. Senator from Alabama) –
  88. Talladega College – 1867 – Talladega, AL – John H. Cross (educator and former president of the university), Ralph Abernathy (civil rights activist and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr.), C. O. Simpkins Sr. (civil rights attorney) –
  89. Tennessee State University – 1912 – Nashville, TN – Wilma Rudolph (Olympic gold medalist), Oprah Winfrey (talk show host and media mogul), Robert Churchwell Sr. (journalist and civil rights activist) –
  90. Texas College – 1894 – Tyler, TX – Emma Odessa Young (educator and former president of the university), Robert L. J. Smith (civil rights leader and attorney), Lynn Whitfield (actress) –
  91. Tougaloo College – 1869 – Tougaloo, MS – James Meredith (civil rights activist), Patricia Stephens Due (civil rights activist and leader of the “Tallahassee Sit-ins”), Ayana Mathis (author) –
  92. Tuskegee University – 1881 – Tuskegee, AL – George Washington Carver (scientist and inventor), Booker T. Washington (educator and civil rights leader), Lionel Richie (singer-songwriter) –
  93. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff – 1873 – Pine Bluff, AR – L. C. Greenwood (former NFL player), Minnijean Brown-Trickey (civil rights activist and member of the Little Rock Nine), Korto Momolu (fashion designer and “Project Runway” contestant) –
  94. University of the District of Columbia – 1977 – Washington D.C. Notable alumni include Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Author and Activist E. Ethelbert Miller, and TV Host Ed Gordon.
  95. University of Maryland Eastern Shore – 1886 – Princess Anne, MD – Kweisi Mfume (politician and former president of the NAACP), Edith S. Sampson (lawyer and diplomat), Joe Biden (46th President of the United States) –
  96. University of the Virgin Islands – 1962 – Charlotte Amalie, VI – Chucky Hansen (politician and former member of the Virgin Islands Legislature), Dr. Ruth E. Thomas (educator and former president of the university), Ja Rule (rapper and actor) –
  97. Virginia State University – 1882 – Petersburg, VA – L. Douglas Wilder (politician and former governor of Virginia), Wanda Sykes (comedian and actress), William T. Reed (civil rights attorney) –
  98. Virginia Union University – 1865 – Richmond, VA – L. Francis Griffin (civil rights activist and member of the “Richmond 34”), Mary Elizabeth Branch (educator and former president of the university), Samuel E. Anderson (educator and former president of Tuskegee University) –
  99. Voorhees College – 1897 – Denmark, SC – Cleveland L. Sellers Jr. (civil rights activist and former president of the college), Jasper Johns (artist), Nathaniel Briggs (one of the plaintiffs in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case) –
  100. West Virginia State University – 1891 – Institute, WV – Katherine Johnson (NASA mathematician and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient), Richard Abrams (educator and former president of the university), Hal Greer (former NBA player) –
  101. Wilberforce University – 1856 – Wilberforce, OH – Nikki Giovanni (poet and writer), Mark Dean (inventor and computer scientist), Gloria Blackwell (educator and former president of the university) –
  102. Wiley College – 1873 – Marshall, TX – Melvin B. Tolson (poet and educator), Herman Branson (physicist and former president of Central State University), Gus Fagan (former NFL player) –
  103. Winston-Salem State University – 1892 – Winston-Salem, NC – Earl Monroe (former NBA player), Wanda G. Lawrence (educator and former president of the university), Jimmie C. Williamson (educator and former chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Education) –
  104. Xavier University of Louisiana – 1925 – New Orleans, LA – Norman Francis (educator and former president of the university), Rachel Dolezal (former civil rights activist), Charles J. Vella (educator and former president of the university) –


Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have played an essential part in the education and empowerment of African American students across the country. These colleges and universities have a long history of generating prominent graduates who have significantly contributed to disciplines such as politics, science, entertainment, and commerce. From the oldest HBCU, the Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, to the most recent, Mississippi Valley State University, these colleges and universities have a long history of providing students with an excellent education and a supportive community. Whether you want to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) provide a distinctive and enriching educational experience that has been cherished for centuries.

Willa Brown: The First Black American Woman to Earn Both a Pilot’s License and a Commercial License


Years after relocating to Chicago, I learned about Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to obtain a pilot’s license in the United States in 1921. Her narrative inspired me, as were many others, but it wasn’t until last week that I discovered about Willa Brown, a pioneering black female pilot from Chicago.

Although Willa Brown’s aviation accomplishments were equally as noteworthy as Coleman’s, for some reason, her life’s work was not as well-known or appreciated. Only after conducting my study did I learn that Brown, who was instrumental in developing the Civilian Pilot Training Program during the Second World War, was the first black woman in America to obtain both a pilot’s certificate and a commercial license.

Early Life and Education

Willa Brown was born in Glasgow, Kentucky, in 1906. Her parents were both educators, and she grew up in a family that highly valued education. She graduated with a degree in education from Indiana State Teachers College (now known as Indiana State University).

After earning her BA from Indiana Teachers College in 1927 and her MBA from Northwestern University in 1937, Brown enlisted the support of Chicago Defender Publisher/Editor Robert Abbott, who had also aided Bessie Coleman in pursuing her dreams of becoming an aviator. She obtained her private pilot’s license in 1938 while studying with certified flight teacher and aviation mechanic Cornelius Coffey. She passed her test with a nearly perfect score of 96% and then received her commercial license in 1939.

Personal Life

Due to her subsequent marriage following her first divorce, Willa Brown is occasionally called Willa Beatrice Brown Chappell. After divorcing her first husband, Charles Anderson, in 1947, she wed Claude Chappell, an insurance dealer. “Chappell” was her second married name as a result.

Aviation Career Beginnings

In the 1930s, Brown became involved with the Chicago Civil Air Patrol, which sparked her interest in flying. She also joined the National Airmen’s Association of America, a group for black flyers. She took flying lessons and obtained her pilot’s license through this group in 1938.

Willa Brown

She joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1941 and became its first African American officer. (CAP). The US government also gave her the title of federal coordinator for the CAP Chicago section. She obtained a mechanic’s certificate and a commercial aviation license two years later, making her the first woman in the country to do so.

Major Achievements

Willa Brown obtained her commercial pilot’s certificate in 1939, making history as the first black woman in America. It was challenging for women and people of color to enter the aviation industry then, which was a significant accomplishment. Due to Brown’s success, more women and people of color were able to enter the aircraft industry.

Brown was a civilian aviator for the US Army Air Forces during World War II. She also contributed to developing the Civilian Pilot Instruction Program, which gave aspiring pilots flight instructions. This initiative was crucial for the war effort and for providing women and minorities access to careers in aviation.

As the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol, Brown later advanced to Lieutenant. In addition to serving on the Women’s Advisory Board of the Federal Aviation Administration, Brown founded the National Airmen’s Association of America in 1939 and, by 1943, was the only woman in the country to hold both a mechanic’s and a commercial pilot’s license.

Brown in Politics

Later in adulthood, Brown ran for Congress as the first African American woman. ( 1946 as a Republican). Despite her failure, she made two additional attempts in 1948 and 1950. As part of her political platform in the late 1940s, she also launched an effort to build a Black-owned and -operated airport in the Chicago area.


Beyond her accomplishments, Willa Brown made numerous advances in aviation. In addition to working to advance aviation education, she continued to be a champion for women and minorities in the industry. She helped establish the Coffey School of Aeronautics, which trained black pilots, and the National Airmen’s Association of America.

Young people, especially girls and people of color, are still motivated to seek careers in aviation by Brown’s legacy. She was admitted to the National Flight Hall of Fame in 2013, where she is honored as a flight pioneer and an inspiration to younger generations.

April is International Black Women’s History Month: Honoring the Legacy of Black Women Around the World


International Black Women’s History Month is important to me because I am a Black woman and feel we don’t get the recognition we deserve. I had no idea that we even had a month! This is a moment for us to reflect on the struggles we have faced throughout history and to honor the contributions and accomplishments of Black women throughout. We must recognize the significant contributions that Black women have made to society globally as we commemorate International Black Women’s History Month throughout April. Black women have significantly contributed to moulding our world as scientists, artists, educators, and civil rights activists. The history of International Black Women’s History Month, the nations that commemorate it, influential Black women from around the world, and ways to celebrate will all be covered on this page. Let’s not just celebrate those that contributed to our history but celebrate all the women out there. We take on a lot!

The History of International Black Women’s History Month

The United States first recognized National Black Women’s History Month, commonly called International Black Women’s History Month, in 1987. The National Women’s History Project was founded to draw attention to the accomplishments made by African women throughout history. In the early 2000s, other nations, including Canada, the UK, and Australia, began participating in the event.

Many nations worldwide, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, commemorate International Black Women’s History Month. 

Several Black women have made significant contributions to their respective disciplines worldwide.

Just a few are shown below:

The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Wangari Maathai, who promoted women’s rights and environmental protection in Kenya.

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author whose books, such as “Americanah” and “Half of a Yellow Sun,” have won praise from critics and shone attention on issues affecting immigrants and women.
  • Dr. Mae Jemison: A supporter of science education and the first African woman to travel to space.
  • The first Black woman and woman of color to hold the office of president in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is the leader of Liberia. During her office, she strove to develop the nation’s economy, infrastructure, and healthcare system.
  • Brazilian politician and activist Marielle Franco worked for the rights of LGBTQ+ and Black women. Despite being murdered in 2018, her memory still motivates social justice movements worldwide.
  • Zulaikha Patel, a South African teenager, became a representation of opposition to discriminatory school regulations when she organized a demonstration against them. Young people all across the world have been motivated to fight for their rights through her advocacy.
  • A feminist activist from Nigeria named Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti battled for women’s rights and against colonialism. She played a significant role in Nigeria’s fight for independence and was the country’s first female driver.
  • Shirley Chisolm, an African-American politician, was the first Black woman elected to the US Congress. Moreover, she was the first Black woman and woman of color to run for president of the United States in a major political party.
  • Environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She is from Kenya. She established the Green Belt Movement, a group dedicated to preserving the environment and fostering community growth by planting trees.
  • Stacy Abrams is an American novelist, lawyer, politician, and advocate for voting rights who served as the Georgia House of Representatives Minority Leader from 2011 to 2017. She was the driving force behind voter turnout in the 2020 US presidential election and created the voting rights group Fair Fight Action.
  • Yamiche Alcindor- A journalist of Haitian descent who covers the White House for PBS NewsHour. She is a reputable journalist who has covered some of the most important topics of our time, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.


In the United States, Black History Month was first observed in February 1970, where this month’s history can be found. International Black Women’s History Month was established after the focus widened to include the accomplishments and experiences of Black women. Even though Black History Month is not yet a recognized national holiday, continuing to celebrate and acknowledge it is a crucial step toward realizing the contributions and accomplishments of Black women globally.