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Tintype of James Weldon Johnson’s mother and sister: Helen Louise Johnson and Agnes Marion Edwards, 1870. James Weldon Johnson is probably best known for writing the "Negro National Anthem" (Lift Every Voice and Sing). However, he was also an educator who wrote poetry and several books including "The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man" and "Black Manhattan."
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Young. The first African American to attain the rank of Colonel in the United States Army and its highest ranking African American until the day he died.
Mattiwilda Dobbs (b. 1925) is an American opera singer, one of the first African Americans to achieve international acclaim in the art form. After winning an international competition in Geneva, Switzerland, the Spelman graduate launched a career that took her across Europe. In 1953, she became the first African American women to sing at the famed La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy.