"Air Jordan," "His Airness;" named "the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century," by ESPN. Best known as founder of Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration following Christmas. Successful in a number of styles; member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. George Washington Buckner. Founder of the first independent black Christian denomination in the U.S., the A.U.M.P. Hopefully a renewed Black History Month can focus attention on the importance of preserving African American culture. Isabella Baumfree; noted speaker for both the abolitionist movement and the women`s rights movement. The smallest school child to the oldest adult can rattle off … Among white Americans, only 14% did not finish on time. African Americans have influenced various forms of music, including Hip hop, R&B, funk, rock and roll, soul, blues, and other contemporary American musical forms while older black forms of music included blues, doo-wop, barbershop, ragtime, bluegrass, jazz, and gospel music. First African American of either gender to publish a novel on the North American continent. First African American to serve as diplomatic minister to a foreign country. Was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz after World War II. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering. Cassius Clay; three-time heavyweight boxing champion; crowned Sportsman of the (20th) Century by Sports Illustrated. Prominent member of the Black Panther party; author of Soul on Ice. Widow of the slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.; noted community leader in her own right. Inventor. It is implemented on their music, writing style, painting, art, clothes, hairstyle and many more. Overall, mental health conditions occur in Black and African American (B/AA) people in America at about the same or less frequency than in White Americans. Physician and diplomat. The African American culture is very unique. 1844-1929. Rock and roll singer, songwriter, guitarist. Leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X are two of the best-known civil rights leaders of the 20th century. Carol Mosely Braun became the first black woman … In 1952, he was selected as the minister of the Nation of Islam. Invented an automatic lubricator for oiling the steam engines of locomotives, boats, etc. Instrumental in bringing recognition to the genre of African-American literature. Civil rights activist, minister, Nobel laureate. Consider these five reasons to teach Black History year round. First player to win MVP awards in both National, American leagues. Instrumental in eventually desegregating the University of Mississippi. First African American to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century. The "Black Babe Ruth;" catcher; elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, 1972; slugger credited with "about" 800 home runs. Azikiwe, Nnamdi – First President of modern Nigeria (1963 – 1966). 1885-1943. He serves two terms as a Senator from Massachusetts. Considered to be the original "clown prince" of the Trotters. Tolkien (1892-1973). African Americans make a sizable portion of prisoners: Studies infer that 52% of homicides are committed by African American individuals. Taught former slaves farming techniques for self-sufficiency; known for suggesting hundreds of uses for the peanut, other plants. Blacks have served and died in defense of their adopted homeland. Regarded as the best receiver ever to play the game; arguably the greatest football player ever; holder of 38 NFL records. First African-American general in the U.S. Army. Author, poet, folklorist, civil rights leader. First African American elected to the U.S. Senate. (Satchel Paige). Most noted for inventing the multiple-effect evaporator, an energy-efficient means of evaporating water. Best remembered as a champion of the "Back-to-Africa" movement. Co-founder, inspirational leader of the Black Panther party. Mary McLeod Bethune was an African American educator and civil rights leader best known for her work co-founding the Bethune-Cookman University in Florida. First African-American field officer in the United States Army. The following individuals have been selected from thousands of examples of selfless acts, sacrificing, in some cases, their own lives for the betterment of all. 4. Hall of Fame pitcher; voted to the all-20th-century team. The individuals that make up the whole of the black population, have offered up their talents to forward the cause of peace and prosperity in America. Known for his novel, Go Tell it on the Mountain. "Sage of Anacostia;" among the most prominent and influential African-American lecturers and authors in U.S. history. African American delegates from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia meet in Philadelphia in the first of a series of National Negro Conventions to devise ways to challenge slavery in the South and racial discrimination in the North. African Americans - African Americans - Slavery in the United States: Black slaves played a major, though unwilling and generally unrewarded, role in laying the economic foundations of the United States—especially in the South. If you want to know the black culture in United States, you need to read Facts about African American Culture. 5. "The Say Hey Kid," played center field; Hall of Famer; regarded as one of the finest players ever to have played the game. Abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman, reformer. Basquiat was born in Brooklyn to a Puerto Rican mother and a Haitian father in 1960. Finally, the educational benefits of doing so cannot be denied. Blog. Was a dancer, singer, multi-instrumentalist (vibraphone, trumpet, drums); impressionist, comedian, actor. Being able to demonstrate their customs with gestures and prayers, they managed to develop a process of African American and Afro-Caribbean transculturation. First African American to make vocal blues recordings, in 1920. From their earliest presence in North America, African Americans have significantly contributed literature, art, agricultural skills, cuisine, clothing styles, music, language, and social and technological innovation to American culture. Vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist, actress, blues singer. Elijah McCoy. First baseman; called the "Black Lou Gehrig" as a result of hitting prowess, defensive position. From the earliest days of the African presence in the United States, blacks have contributed to the fiber of American culture, ranging from useful inventions to innovative musical interludes, and beyond. Edward Brooke became the first African-American Senator since Reconstruction, 1966–1979. This gap persists through college. Most famous piece was Maple Leaf Rag, set standard for ragtime genre. Jazz, which is one of the key elements in African-American culture, is a form of music that must have a beat that would stimulate dance! Carney was the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor. A.K.A. Carney was the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Best known for the "Bo Diddley beat", a rhumba-based beat. "Father of Pan-Africanism" with issues of segregation, political disenfranchisement. 6. A.K.A. DuBois, paved the way with their own contributions in the century's first decades. When African-American history is studied all year round, children understand that African-American history is important. ), Learn how and when to remove this template message, "100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=100_Greatest_African_Americans&oldid=1000111122, Articles needing additional references from October 2015, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "significance in the general progress of African-Americans toward full equality in the American social and political system", "self-sacrifice and a willingness to take great risks for the collective good", "unusual will and determination in the face of great danger and against the most stubborn odds", "a consistent posture toward raising the social, cultural and economic status of African Americans", "personal achievement that reveals the best qualities of the African American people", This page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 16:57. The "Big Dipper;" regarded as one of the most dominant basketball players of all time. South African Zulu King. 1967Edward W. Brooke (1919 -) becomes the first African American U.S. It is important to note, however, that ancestry and physical characteristics are only part of what has set black Americans apart as a distinct group. , (This is the list as published in the 2002 book. Asante used five factors in establishing the list: Reference and User Services Quarterly reviewed the list positively in 2003, while noting the subjectivity in judging greatness, particularly for contemporary individuals. The cultivation and use of many agricultural products in the United States, such as yams, peanuts, rice, okra, sorghum, grits, watermelon, indigo dyes, and cotton, can be traced to West African and African-American influences. Among students who started college in 2004, 58.3% had completed a bachelor’s degree within six years. Dubbed the "Mother of the modern-day Civil Rights Movement.". As an abolitionist, she acted as intelligence gatherer, refugee organizer, raid leader, nurse, revival speaker, and fund raiser. Was a charismatic, innovative performer with musical skill; bright personality transformed jazz into a popular art form. One of the dominant figures in African-American history from 1890 to 1915; did much to improve the friendship and working relationship between the races. Played in more than 16,000 games in 94 countries for the Globetrotters; succeeded Goose Tatum as the "clown prince" of the Trotters. Was also a strong supporter of Prohibition and woman`s suffrage. First black Congressman from the Democratic Party. J.R.R. Enslaved African American Nat Turner (1800-1831) led an effective rebellion with fellow slaves in Southampton County, Virginia, U.S. in August 1831. Barack Obama: 2008 election night rally President-elect Barack Obama waving to the crowd at a massive election night rally in Chicago's Grant Park on November 4, 2008. There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. Boxer; war protester; member, Nation of Islam; civil rights protester; poet. 100 Greatest African Americans is a biographical dictionary of one hundred historically great Black Americans (in alphabetical order; that is, they are not ranked), as assessed by Temple University professor Molefi Kete Asante in 2002. The current president of the United States, Barrack Obama is also African American, as well as the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Famous people with African Connection. First African-American woman elected to Congress. TV entertainer known for roles in I Spy, The Bill Cosby Show, others. First black heavyweight boxing champion of the world. The … "Sweetness," Pro Football Hall of Famer; held career rushing record for 18 years. First African-American umpire in Major League Baseball. Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first African American to lead a major American political party. Black Hawk 1767-1838. In 1831, led failed slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia; the most remarkable instance of black resistance to enslavement. Lew Alcindor; NBA`s all-time leading scorer. One of the key figures behind the formation of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). In 1816, founded the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Philadelphia. Recorded more than 30 Top-10 hits, won nearly two dozen Grammys, including one for lifetime achievement; been inducted into both the Rock and Roll, Songwriters halls of fame. W.E.B. Walker Manufacturing Company to sell hair care products and cosmetics. As the African American Community diversifies and splinters, … Communist, labor organizer, social activist. Highest ranking African-American government official in history. The Challenge of Maintaining a Community . The culture is used as their identity to differentiate them from the colored and white people. By contrast, 31% of African American students and 27% of Hispanic students did not finish high school with their peers. New York City would continue to serve as a catalyst for African American artists for decades, with Jean-Michel Basquiat among the Big Apple's most famous artists—and contemporary art 's most universally recognized figures. Best known for her autobiographical writings I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969); All God`s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986). In addition, the study of African-American history is part of a well-rounded homeschool curriculum. the "Brown Bomber;" heavyweight boxing champion. Considered the greatest defensive center to ever play the game. Africans made various musical instruments like rattles, banjos, and drums with the help of vegetables like gourds. Renowned poets and writers such as Maya Angelou and Zora Neale Hurst are foremost names that come to mind. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and the Legion of Honor by France in 1973. A.K.A. He is called as one of two most powerful leaders in Black Muslims along with Elijah Muhammad. The African legacy in America has diverse folk manifestations ranging from dress, singing, music and beliefs. He is famous in both American and Native American history mostly for his major victory at the Battle of Little Bighorn against Custer, where his ‘premonition’ of defeating them became reality. Jackie Robinson - First African-American to play in Major League Baseball Augusta Savage - Artist during the Harlem Renaissance Robert Smalls - Civil War hero who later became a Congressman Sojourner Truth - An escaped slave who fought for the end of the slavery and women's rights 2008 Barack Obama (1961 -) becomes the first African American to win the U.S. presidential race. Controversial quote, "Hitler was a very great man;" in response to a Jewish journalist referring to him as a "Black Hitler.". Won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, embarrassing German dictator Adolf Hitler. Second African American to serve on U.S. Supreme Court. African Americans are also active in the field of literary activism and politics. Poet, memoirist, actress, civil rights activist. One of the first African-American poets whose works were published. Senator since Reconstruction. Other Famous Africans. This mixture can be evidenced in Latin American countries such as Colombia with Afro-Colombians, Uruguay with Afro-Uruguayans and Venez… Gained national recognition for his 1896 Lyrics of a Lowly Life. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_Greatest_African_Americans The only NBA rookie to win the NBA Finals MVP Award. Considered "The Father of Chicago Blues.". Born into a sharecropping family in South Carolina, the young Bethune had a zest for learning from her earliest days. African stories, fables and oratory traditions have been embedded into American culture, providing a childhood infrastructure for learning and development through the use of nursery rhymes. Famous for whistling and singing "The Whistling Coon" and "The Laughing Coon.". Kennedy Center Honors recipient, most known for her frenetic interpretation of "Proud Mary" by Credence Clearwater Revival. Pronounced the greatest pitcher in the history of the Negro Leagues; career highlights span five decades; legendary showman. Sgt. The "First Lady of Song;" winner of 13 Grammy awards. First African American to serve as diplomatic minister to a foreign country. Brought soulful sound to everything from country music to pop standards to now-iconic rendition of "America the Beautiful.". Mario deValdes y Cocom, an historian of the African diaspora, researched some of history's more interesting examples of mixed racial heritage: Allessandro de Medici Giulia and Giulia's Portrait. Obviously, this table provides only a small sample of these courageous Americans; u-s-history.com will continue to add to this list from time to time. Particularly known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the 1920s through the 1960s. Radical activist, member of the Black Panther party, working for racial, gender equity; prison abolition. Explore articles and videos of some of the most prominent African Americans in politics, the arts, law, science and sports who have made Black History what it is today. The form of African cultural teaching and transmission is based on oral teaching and imitation. A.K.A. Considered by many baseball observers to have been the fastest man ever to play the game; "So fast he can turn off the light and be in bed before the room gets dark!" 7. Sgt. Notable examples include George Washington Carver, who cre… Many Black Americans have expressed reluctance to take the Covid-19 vaccine, a wariness some attribute to the enduring legacy of the egregious Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which exposed the … "African American technically isn't even what I am," he said. However, the historical Black and African American experience in America has and continues to be characterized by trauma and violence more often than for their White counterparts and impacts emotional and mental health of both youth and adults. Singer, songwriter, producer, musician, humanitarian, social activist. The Africans also made great use of the guitar, piano, and congo apart from numerous others. Created the "Rainbow Coalition" of various minority groups. Facts about African American History 10: Malcolm X Malcolm X is one of the important black people in United States. Museum Dedicated to African … Civil rights activist, sociologist, historian, writer, editor, poet, freemason, scholar. Best known for his comic strip Krazy Kat. African Americans, one of the largest of the many ethnic groups in the United States. African Americans Under Slavery: 1600-1865 The first Africans in the New World arrived with Spanish and Portuguese explorers and settlers. Known for deep bass voice, suave delivery. He rejected the Atlanta compromise of 1909 but insisted on full equality. Prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance; works included The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912). Even today, his name is synonymous with Native American culture, and he is considered to be one of the most famous Native Americans ever. African Americans are mainly of African ancestry, but many have non-Black ancestors as well. Black Americans have advocated for civil rights since the earliest days of the United States. "I'm a Jamaican-born black person but I have taken on this label of African American because of where I live." Zulu, Shaka (1787 – 1828). Church. Believed that people of African descent should work together to battle prejudice, inequality. American history resonates with the names of great African American men and women. Politician, civil rights activist, minister. Was the first African American, and first individual of non-European ethnicity or race, to be so honored in the history of the prize. Others, like Black journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett and scholar W.E.B. Blacks also played a leading role in the development of Southern speech, folklore, music, dancing, and food, blending the cultural traits of their African homelands with those of … Thought little change was achieved in the ‘Progressive Era’, Du Bois laid the framework for the NAACP and future civil rights movements. Shuffle Along (with Noble Sissle), in 1921, was the first Broadway musical ever to be written and directed by African Americans. A.K.A. Write About List of Famous African Americans. Atlas » Learn more about the world with our collection of regional and country maps. 1968Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Du Bois (1868 – 1963) Du Bois was an influential African-American activist who sought to campaign for full equality between blacks and whites. du Sable built his first house in the 1770s, 30 years before Fort Dearborn was established on the banks of the Chicago River. Entertainer, actor, comic, educator, television producer, philanthropist. Fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. First African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. One O`Clock Jump and Jumpin` at the Woodside were among his more popular numbers. Sarah Breedlove; founded the Madame C.J. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz; one-time Nation of Islam leader. Some consider him to be the best all-around ball player the Negro Leagues ever produced. First African-American woman to be a competitor on the world tennis tour. Was able to make the calculations to predict solar and lunar eclipses and to compile an ephemeris for the Benjamin Banneker`s Almanac. Due to this high incarceration rate, every 1 in 9 African American children you pass on the sidewalk may have or might have had a parent in prison. Won the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom before assassination in 1968; known for advocating non-violence, racial equality; peacemaker, martyr. Invented an automatic lubricator for oiling the steam engines of locomotives, boats, etc. Mbeki, Thabo South African Vice President. College All-American in football, lacrosse; Pro Football Hall of Fame running back. Hall of Famer; holds career mark for home runs, RBIs, other records. 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