Author Archives: David Walker

Lessons in Black History – The Tuskegee Experiment

The Tuskegee Experiment – In 1932 the U.S. Public Health service began conducting a study on the effects of syphilis that was conducted through the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. The study involved 399 poor black sharecroppers who unknowingly had … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – LORENZO TUCKER

Lorenzo Tucker—Often billed as the “Black Valentino,” actor Lorenzo Tucker became a major star in the race films of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. He worked most frequently with prolific director Oscar Micheaux, who used Tucker in eighteen of the … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – LaWANDA PAGE

LaWanda Page – Born Alberta Pearl and best known as Aunt Esther on television’s Sanford and Son, LaWanda Page was a professional comedian and performer known by many for her foul-mouthed stage routine. Growing up in St. Louis, she was … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – SAMUEL J. BATTLE

Samuel J. Battle – Born in North Carolina in 1883, Samuel “Big Sam” Battle joined the New York City Police Department in 1911, making him the first black police officer in the city of New York. Battle became the first … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – MARSHALL “MAJOR” TAYLOR

Marshall “Major” Taylor—The son of a Civil War veteran, and one of eight children, Marshall Taylor and his family moved from Kentucky to Indiana, where his father went to work for a wealthy white family. Taylor became friends with Dan … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – DR. DANIEL HALE WILLIAMS

DR. DANIEL HALE WILLIAMS – The son of a “free negro” and a white mother, Daniel Hale Williams was born in Pennsylvania in 1858, three years before the Civil War. Williams would grow up to become a doctor—the first black … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – ALTHEA GIBSON

ALTHEA GIBSON– Long before the Williams sisters took the world of tennis by storm, there was Althea Gibson, the South Carolina-born woman who broke the color barrier of competitive tennis. Gibson’s family moved to Harlem in the 1930s, and it … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – BLACK BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Black Basketball Players—It seems impossible to believe that there was ever a time when basketball was a segregated sport, but up until the 1950-51 season, the NBA was a white-only league. Before the NBA desegregated, the only integrated basketball league … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – OTIS BLACKWELL

OTIS BLACKWELL – It’s easy to not fully comprehend the importance of black musicians in the history of rock-n-roll, because so many contributions by black musicians have never been properly acknowledged. For every blues musician like Robert Johnson or early … Continue reading

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Lessons in Black History – JAMES BENJAMIN “BIG BEN” PARKER

JAMES BENJAMIN “BIG BEN” PARKER – On September 6, 1901, President William McKinnley was attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. At shortly after 4pm, Leon Czgolosz, a self-proclaimed anarchist from Michigan, fired two shots at President McKinley. Standing … Continue reading

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