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George Boyer Vashon – August 28th in African American History

On August 28, 1844, George Boyer Vashon graduated from Oberlin College. This was historically significant, because he was the first black student ever to graduate from Oberlin. He received valedictorian honors. George Boyer Vashon was born on July 25, 1824 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He was the only son and youngest child of his parents, John […]

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Rita Dove

Rita Dove – August 28th in African American History

On August 28, 1952, Rita Dove was born in Akron, Ohio. Dove is a poet whose work often examines political and racial issues. A black female of immense talent, Rita Dove has accumulated an impressive number of professional awards. From 1993 to 1995, she served as the Poet Laureate of the United States. Dove’s achievements […]

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Nat Turner

Nat Turner – August 21st in African American History

On August 21, 1831, Nat Turner, an African American slave preacher, led a violent rebellion against the ruling class in Southampton County, Virginia. The Nat Turner Rebellion resulted in the deaths of over 55 whites and 255 slaves. Turner’s band of rebels numbered 70, so most of the slaves killed had nothing to do with […]

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Colin Powell

Colin Powell – August 10th in African American History

On August 10, 1989, Colin Powell became the first African-American nominated as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking position in the military. President George H.W. Bush chose General Powell to head the armed forces based on his stellar career as an army officer. Having an African American Chair of the Joint Chiefs […]

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Congress on Racial Equality – August 3rd in African American History

On August 3, 1942, an interracial group of University of Chicago students founded the Congress on Racial Equality, known widely as CORE. These students, Bernice Fisher, James R. Robinson, James Farmer, Joe Guinn, George Houser, and Homer Jack had affiliated previously with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a group known for its pacifist, non-violent philosophy. CORE […]

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John Lee Hooker

August 22nd in African American History – John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker August 22, 1917 John Lee Hooker, singer, songwriter, and blues guitarist, was born in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi. At the age of 15, Hooker ran away from home and in 1948 landed in Detroit, Michigan working at the Ford Motor Company and playing in the blues venues and saloons on Hasting […]

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Martha Rae Watson

August 19th in African American History – Martha Rae Watson

August 19, 1946 Martha Rae Watson, hall of fame track and field athlete, was born in Long Beach, California. Watson attended Tennessee State University and was America’s premier female long jumper during the 1960s and early 1970s. She competed in the long jump at the 1964 Tokyo, 1968 Atlanta, 1972 Munich, and 1976 Montreal Olympic […]

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