Meet The Pioneers
A great orator and leader of the abolitionist movement. He was known for his penetrating antislavery writing. His classic autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, is one of the best-known accounts of American slavery.
"Mother of the Civil Rights Movement." She was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus, which triggered the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 and 1956 and paved a way for desegregation of public transportation.
A medical researcher in the field of blood transfusions who saved many lives in WWII through his research. He protested against racial segregation in blood donation, showing that it lacked scientific foundation.
The first African-American cardiologist. He is attributed with performing the first successful heart surgery. He also founded the first non-segregated hospital in the United States, Provident Hospital.
The first African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. She directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. As President of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), CDF has become the nation's strongest voice for children and families.
America's most visible African-American female autobiographer. With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou was praised as a new kind of memoirist, one of the first African-American women to publicly discuss her personal life. She is highly respected as a spokesperson for African Americans and women.
An African-American scientist and inventor. He researched crop alternatives to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes, so that poor farmers could grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and to improve their quality of life. Through the fame of his achievements and talents, he undermined the widespread stereotype of the time that African Americans were intellectually inferior to Whites.
The first African-American man to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century. After retiring from baseball, he enlisted in the civil rights movement, working on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and with Dr. Martin Luther King.
An African-American abolitionist and humanitarian. She was a Union spy during the American Civil War. After escaping from slavery, she successfully rescued more than 70 slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.