February 28, 2011 Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. That famous expression was used to describe the most celebrated boxer in history and one of the most successful American sportsmen the world has seen. Muhammad Ali burst onto the scene as a gold medal-winning boxer at the 1960 Rome Olympics and went on to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Ali's legacy reaches beyond boxing, to his efforts as a rights activist and humanitarian.
February 25, 2011 He is regarded as, arguably, the greatest electric guitarist in musical history. Guitarist and singer-songwriter Jimi Hendrix's innovative style had a lasting impact on music in the 20th century. After initial success in Europe, Hendrix gained significant stardom from his performance at the historic Woodstock concert in 1969.
February 24, 2011 New York's Harlem neighborhood was tough place to grow up in the 1940s and 1950s. Author Claude Brown experienced it and described it in his acclaimed book, "Manchild in the Promised Land". It's a coming-of-age story that explores the cultural, economic and religious conditions of that time and place. Brown went on write another book about the African American experience.
February 23, 2011 She made her name capturing the essence of the black cultural experience in twentieth century America, through literature. Zora Neale Hurston was a writer, folklorist and anthropologist who wrote more than 50 celebrated short stories, plays and essays. She's best known for her acclaimed 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
February 22, 2011 She is considered the most powerful African American woman in U.S political history. Condoleezza Rice rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to become first national security advisor, then Secretary of State under George W. Bush. She was the first black woman to hold both positions.
February 21, 2011 Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms. His detractors though accused him of preaching racism and violence.
February 16, 2011 At the end of the civil rights era, Shirley Chisholm made political history on both racial and gender fronts. She was first black woman elected to Congress in 1969. Chisholm later became the first major-party black candidate for U.S. president and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Regular contributor and Maryland State delegate Jolene Ivey salutes late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.
February 14, 2011 A. Philip Randolph was working on becoming an accomplished Shakespearean actor when he was moved instead to fight for workers' rights early in the 20th century. He went on to unionize black railroad workers and later became a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. As part of Tell Me More's Black History Month series, Kimberly Jones pays tribute to Randolph.
February 11, 2011 In 1811, more than 200 slaves revolted against plantations along the Mississippi River near New Orleans. White planters formed militias to quash what became known as the German Coast Uprising. Two white men and almost half of the rebels were killed. One of the leaders of the revolt was Charles Deslondes. Guy Raz, host of NPR's Weekend All Things Considered, pays tribute to Deslondes.
February 10, 2011 Thurgood Marshall made history as the first African-American to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Before becoming a judge, he was a lawyer who is perhaps best remembered for his part in ending legal racial segregation in schools, in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.
February 9, 2011 W.E.B. DuBois is recognized as one of the most influential African-American thinkers of the 20th century. DuBois was an intellectual trailblazer, who became the first African-American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University in 1895. He went on to become a leading civil rights activist, sociologist, historian, and author.
February 8, 2011 For more than 20 years, legendary journalist and TV anchorman Bernard Shaw delivered news coverage that built CNN into the 24-hour TV news powerhouse it is today. Shaw joined the channel the year it launched in 1980 and made his name as one of just three journalists covering the Gulf War live from Baghdad.