During his long engineering career, Archibald Alphonso “Archie” Alexander achieved widespread acclaim for the bridges and other transportation infrastructure that he helped create across the United States. Alexander was born on May 14, 1888, in Ottumwa, Iowa. He was the oldest of the nine children of Price and Mary Alexander, and they were all part... Continue Reading →

James Forten (1766-1842) was a free black man and lifelong Philadelphia resident who earned considerable wealth by making sails for vessels. Forten was also a steadfast foe of slavery in the United States. He was born free in Philadelphia to Thomas and Margaret Forten. Thomas Forten, who died when James was only seven, had a... Continue Reading →

Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1849. She subsequently risked her life to help others in that region of Maryland escape to freedom. As an Underground Railroad conductor in the years prior to the American Civil War, Tubman made approximately 13 trips to the Eastern Shore and led about 70 enslaved... Continue Reading →

Charles Richard “Rich” Patterson started out life as an enslaved person but ultimately gained his freedom. He went on to achieve prominence as both a carriage manufacturer and civil rights champion. Patterson was born into slavery on a plantation in Virginia in 1833. While there are conflicting accounts of how exactly Patterson became free, census... Continue Reading →

In December 2006, Joan Higginbotham became the third African American woman to fly into outer space. The first African American woman to do so was Mae Jemison, who made her pioneering flight in 1992. About five months before Higginbotham’s spaceflight, Stephanie Diana Wilson became the second African American woman to journey into space when she... Continue Reading →

Bobby Charles Wilks, who was born in St. Louis in 1931, achieved several key “firsts” as an African American aviator. In 1956, he graduated with a commission of ensign from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Reserve Officers’ Candidate School in New London, Connecticut. Not long after receiving this commission, Wilks was assigned as a flight student... Continue Reading →

In January 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated Evelyn Juanita Fields as the new director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (also known as the NOAA Corps) and NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO). The primary mission of the NOAA Corps entails assessing oceanic conditions, supporting major waterways, and monitoring... Continue Reading →

In the summer of 2006, Stephanie Diana Wilson became the second African American woman to fly into outer space. (The first African American woman to do so was Mae Jemison, who made that pioneering flight in 1992.) Wilson has also achieved another distinction during her NASA career. She has spent more time in outer space... Continue Reading →

On February 10, 1896, the only station of the U.S. Life-Saving Service (USLSS) with an all-African American crew at that time undertook one of its many vital rescue missions in the stormy waters along and near Pea Island within the Outer Banks of North Carolina. At around 3:30 in the morning and in the midst... Continue Reading →

Stephen Myers was a major African American civil rights advocate and Underground Railroad leader in his home state of New York. He harnessed his considerable knowledge of the state’s water transportation system to help secure freedom for runaway slaves in the decades prior to the Civil War and emancipation.  Myers been born a slave in the... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑