Rosa Parks: On December 1 1955, she refused to give up her seat for a white passenger, leading to her arrest and sparking the Montgomery bus boycott. For many, this day was a symbolic start for the civil rights movement.
During World War II, Josephine Baker served with the French Red Cross and was an active member of the French resistance. Using her career as a cover Baker became an intelligence agent, carrying secret messages written in invisible ink on her sheet music. She was awarded honor of the Croix de Guerre, and received a Medal of the Resistance in 1946. In 1961 she received the highest French honor, the Legion d'Honneur from French president Charles deGaulle.
The real-life Django: black Wild West marshal Bass Reeves who arrested 3,000 outlaws and killed 14 men
The real-life Django: The legendary African-American Wild West marshal who arrested 3,000 outlaws and killed 14 men Bass Reeves was born a slave in 1838 and later broke from his owner to live among Native Americans Reeves became a Deputy U.S. Marshal in 1875 at the age of 38 During his 32-year career as a Deputy Marshal he arrested 3,000 felons, killed 14 men and was never shot
Though born into slavery Biddy Mason gained freedom for herself and her children in 1856. Only ten years later she had saved enough money to purchase property, making her the first African American women to own land in Los Angeles. A nurse and midwife by profession, she helped found the first elementary school for African American children in Los Angeles,
Annie Malone was the country’s first African American millionaire. Malone built a very successful business creating hair care products for black women. In 1918, Malone established Poro College in north St. Louis, a trade school to train beauticians and barbers, as well as secretaries and bookkeepers to work on the marketing side of the business. Poro was so successful that by the 1930s Malone was one of the wealthiest African American women in the world. (Missouri History Museum, 1927)
Queen Liliʻuokalani - last ruler of Hawaii - as a teenager. Her statement of surrender to the US ended: "...Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said forces, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands."
Fredi Washington refused to "pass" for white, at Hollywood's suggestion, and was therefore typecast as mixed race and never allowed a flourishing career. Her stance, however, made her an advocate among African Americans.
Delany Sisters , Daughters of emancipated slaves, Sadie (1889-1999) and Bessie (1891-1995) were civil rights activists. Sadie was the first African American woman to teach Domestic Science and Bessie the second to be granted a dentistry license in NY state.
The 1968 Olympics: African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympic games. Australian Silver medalist Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of their protest. Both Americans were expelled from the games as a result; Norman punished at home . (AP)