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African American, Author, Black Activist, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Civil Rights, Influential, Influential Black Leaders, Politics, Racism -

Dick Gregory was a pioneering comedian and civil rights activist who took on race with layered, nuanced humor during the turbulent 1960s. “I've always been insulted when people tell me that my humor has done a lot for race relations. I never thought comedy did anything but make uncomfortable people feel comfortable.” —Dick Gregory Who Was Dick Gregory? Dick Gregory was born in 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri. Gregory got his big break performing as a stand-up comedian at the Playboy Club in the early 1960s. Known for his sophisticated, layered humor that took on racial issues of the day,...

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Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Jesse Jackson, Obama, Politics, White House -

Because he kept hope alive and made the White House real 1941- Jesse Jackson laid the foundation for electing a black president, one of the signature achievements of the 21st century. Jackson’s are the biggest shoulders that Barack Obama stands on. This is not conventional wisdom, but it is true. It begins with Jackson’s decision to run for president himself in 1984, widely seen then as an act of symbolism and hubris. Black leaders had been discussing for years what it would take to seriously compete for the highest office in the land, to build on what Shirley Chisholm did...

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Black Activist, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Politics, W.E.B. Dubois -

Because he observed the multifaceted nature of African-Americans 1868 – 1963 In the introduction to The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1903, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois wrote that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of color line.” Though this prophetic remark is perhaps his most indelible, in a career spanning over a half-century until his death in 1963, Du Bois possessed the most perpetual voice on race in American history. Attentive to both sides of the color line, Du Bois provided the most cogent explanation why whites to this day rebuff interracial political alliances even...

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Black Activist, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Civil Rights, Congress, Gender Equality, Influential Black Leaders, Politics, Shirley Chisholm -

Because before ‘Yes We Can’ there was ‘Unbought and Unbossed’  1924 – 2005 When thinking about how contentious things are in Congress today, imagine being the sole black female congresswoman nearly 50 years ago, at the height of the civil rights movement. Shirley Chisholm was relentless in breaking political barriers with respect to both race and gender. She was a pioneer. In 1968, Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, representing New York’s 12th District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. As both a New York state legislator and a congresswoman, Chisholm championed the rights...

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