American pacifist James Zwerg after being beaten by a mob in Montgomery, Alabama in 1960 as part of the Freedom Riders. Zwerg volunteered to leave the bus first upon arriving in Montgomery, knowing he’d be the blunt of the violent crowd’s aggression. He would have died that day if an anonymous black man hadn’t stepped in and saved his life by deflecting the mob’s attention to himself.
Barney Ford was born a slave in Virginia. At the age of twenty-fire, he escaped and began a successful career in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures.By 1860, he was living in Denver and became a prosperous tycoon in the hotel, restaurant, and barbershop businesses, earning the nickname the "Black Baron of Colorado." Throughout the Civil War, he gave financial assistance, food, and jobs to escaped and free African Americans.
Grammy Award Winner Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten was a black American blues guitarist who invented “cotten picking.” She picked the guitar strings with the instrument upside down, and kept the sound in perfect pitch. Born in 1892, the North Carolina native began playing her guitar, which she knick-named Stella, at age 11. She also started writing her own music.
"We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together. Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy." SLAVERY MONUMENT, River St - Savannah GA