Ella Baker (1903–1986) Ella Baker spent her life working behind the scenes to organize the Civil Rights Movement. If she could have changed anything about the movement, it might have been to persuade the men leading it that they, too, should do more work behind the scenes. Baker was one of the visionaries who created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.
"Civil Rights Figure James Hood Dead at 70 - In this June 9, 1963 photo, James A. Hood poses in New York. Hood, one of the first black students at the University of Alabama, died at age 70 on Jan. 17, 2013. Hood was thrust into the national spotlight during a long fight to attend college in his home state of Alabama at the height of the civil rights movement. Alabama was the last state to integrate its education system. (John Lindsay/AP Photo)"
October 16, 1859: Abolitionist John Brown leads 18 men in an attack on the Harpers Ferry armory. The raid to seize the weapons failed and Brown was captured, tried, and hung. At his trial, Brown said: "Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood...with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!"
Before Madam C.J. Walker there was Annie Turnbo Malone, " The Forgotten Entrepreneur" (1869-1957) A chemist and entrepreneur, Annie Turnbo Malone became a millionaire by successfully developing and marketing hair products for black women in St. Louis. She used her wealth to promote the advancement of African Americans and gave away most of her money to charity.
Betsey Stockton (c. 1798–1865) was an African American educator and missionary born into slavery in Princeton, NJ. She gained her freedom at 20 and travelled to Hawaii, Canada and Philadelphia teaching and serving as a nurse. She moved back to Princeton in 1835 and spent the rest of her life enriching the lives of the members of the local African American community. There is a window memorialized to her in the Witherspoon Street Church, Princeton, NJ.
Robert Tanner Freeman is the first professionally trained black dentist in the United States. A child of slaves, he eventually entered Harvard University and graduated only four years after the end of the Civil War on May 18, 1869.