Black History Month: Influential People

althea1Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson lived in Harlem in the 1930s and 1940s. Her family was on welfare. She had trouble in school and often ran away from home until she discovered her love for tennis.  She attended Florida A&M University, where she graduated in 1953 and then became an athletic instructor at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Gibson made history when she became the first African American invited to play at Wimbledon. Gibson was the first black woman to ever win the Grand Slam. For a short time, Gibson also played golf, making history again as the first black woman ever to compete on the pro tour. Gibson is in the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Sports Hall of Fame.

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Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.

Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. is known as a ‘’preacher’s preacher.’’  Newsweek recognized Forbes as one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world.  He is president and founder of the Healing of Nations Foundation, a non-partisan, interfaith, not-for-profit organization for promoting holistic understanding of health and wellness.  His foundation seeks to promote conversation and cooperative ventures across faith traditions, professional disciplines and cultural perspectives.

 

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Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry is a chef, food justice activist, and author of four books, including the critically acclaimed Vegan Soul Kitchen. His forthcoming book, Afro-Vegan will be out this spring.  He is also the host of Urban Organic, a multi-episode web series that he co-created. His interest in cooking, farming, and community health can be traced back to his childhood in Memphis, Tennessee, where his grandparents inspired him to grow, prepare, and appreciate good food. Bryant’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Food and Wine, Gourmet, Sunset, O: The Oprah Magazine, Essence, Yoga Journal, and Vegetarian Times among many other publications.

 

harrisBernard Harris

Bernard Harris is the first African American astronaut to walk in space.  He has logged over 400 hours in space and traveled more than 7 million miles.  He is a businessman and physician who has dedicated himself to helping disadvantaged children in Houston. The Bernard Harris Foundation focuses on education and crime prevention.  His DREAM tour is a motivational series to pursue STEM, and his motto is “Reach for the Stars.”

 

 

 

 

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 Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate from Harvard in 1912.  He dedicated his career to the field of history and lobbied extensively to establish a Black History Month as a nationwide institution. He is known as the father of Black History Month. Woodson was the first son of 9 children. He wrote more than a dozen books.