Daisy Bates

Daisy Bates. led efforts to end segregation in Arkansas in public schools, libraries and on buses. She was the president of the Arkansas NAACP who led the desegregation of public schools as well as the star reporter for the largest black newspaper in Arkansas.

Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge was the first black woman nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award. Her star-making turn as Carmen in Carmen Jones was hard to follow up unfortunately, as starring roles for black women were extremely limited. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was also the first black woman featured on the cover of Life magazine.

James Baldwin

James Baldwin was the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement and pioneer for the the gay rights movement. His writings explore unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions during the American Civil Rights Movement and the inevitable tensions they create. 

Sylvia Woods

Known as the "Queen of Soul Food", Sylvia Woods opened Sylvia's, a popular restaurant in Harlem - just around the corner from the Apollo Theater. Starting with only a few bar stools, Sylvia's grew to accommodate 250 seats where you can still dine on delicious Southern fare.

Dorothy Height

"Godmother of the Civil Rights movement," Dorothy Height was an activist focused primarily on improving the circumstances of and opportunities for African-American women. She worked tirelessly from the Jim Crow Era to the Obama Administration.

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is an American novelist, professor, and editor. Her novels concentrate on strong black women and are praised for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Morrison won a Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award in 1988 for Beloved, her novel inspired by the true story of runaway slave, Margaret Garner.

Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin was a high school student from Montgomery, Alabama who was a pioneer in the American Civil Rights Movement. Her refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus sparked a movement that led to the famous arrest of Rosa Parks nine months later.

Pauli Murray

Pauli Murray was an activist, lawyer, published author, professor, and the first African-American Episcopal priest. She stood on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement and Women’s Rights Movement. She coined the term “Jane Crow” and argued that women’s rights were equally important to civil rights.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou became one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. With over 50 honorary doctorate degrees and more than 30 bestselling titles, Dr. Maya Angelou was a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison was the first black female astronaut to serve in space for NASA. Today, she is a strong advocate for science establishing a science camp for students, working on the 100-Year Starship program as well as founding the Jamison Group which encourages a love of science in students.