Celebrate Black History Month. We acknowledge African-American Pioneers in History.
The only black woman to have written, produced, and published plays for four decades. In 1944, she earned a Tony Award nomination for Best supporting Actress in Anna Lucasta, the longest running all-black play in Broadway History.
Arthur Allen Fletcher
Known as the father of affirmative action, he organized a boycott of his high school’s segregated yearbook in 1943 and the following year the practice was permanently dropped.
Melba Doretta Liston
The first woman trombonist in the big band jazz era and an acclaimed big band jazz music arranger her popular arrangements are infused with African beats and rhythms. In 1987 she was awarded the “Jazz Masters Fellowship” of the National Endowment for the Arts.
John Robert Clifford
Known for publishing the leading African-American newspaper of its era and as the first black attorney admitted to the West Virginia state bar. He won a trailblazing victory in Williams v. Board of Education that found discriminatory practices in public education illegal.
Known as a physicist, space scientist, and mathematician, whose calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to NASA’s first and subsequent U.S. manned spaceflights. She helped lead the way for both women and African Americans in technical fields.
John Baxter Taylor Jr
American track and field athlete, notable as the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal in the 1908 Summer Olympics.