Synopsis Dinah Washington sang in and played the piano for her church choir and in 1939 began to sing and play piano in various Chicago nightclubs. From 1943 to 1946 she sang with the Lionel Hampton band and in 1946 began a successful solo career. During the period from 1949 to 1955, her recordings were… Continue reading Profile: Dinah Washington
Synopsis Born in South Africa in 1946, Steve Biko co-founded the South African Students' Organization in 1968, subsequently spearheading the nation's Black Consciousness Movement, and co-founded the Black People's Convention in 1972. Biko was arrested many times for his anti-apartheid work and, on September 12, 1977, died from injuries that he'd sustained while in police… Continue reading Profile: Steve Biko
Who Was Marian Anderson? Born February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Marian Anderson displayed vocal talent as a child, but her family could not afford to pay for formal training. Members of her church congregation raised funds for her to attend a music school for a year, and in 1955 she became the first African American… Continue reading Profile: Marian Anderson
Synopsis Arna Bontemps was an award-winning African American author and poet born on October 13, 1902, in Alexandria, Louisiana. Known for his books featuring black characters, he wrote many notable works, including God Sends Sunday (1931), Black Thunder (1936), Story of the Negro (1948) and Great Slave Narratives (1969). He died June 4, 1973, in Nashville,… Continue reading Profile: Arna Bontemps
Aaron Douglas was an African-American painter and graphic artist who played a leading role in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Synopsis Aaron Douglas was an African-American painter and graphic artist who played a leading role in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. His first major commission, to illustrate Alain LeRoy Locke's book,… Continue reading Profile: Aaron Douglas
As Langston Hughes pointed out in his famous essay “200 Years of American Negro Poetry,” “Poets and versifiers of African descent have been publishing poetry on American shores since the year 1746 when a slave woman named Lucy Terry penned a rhymed description of an Indian attack on the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts.” He went… Continue reading 10 Poems by African-American Poets Poems by African-American poets, including Gwendolyn Brooks, Kwame Dawes, Rita Dove, Langston Hughes, Tyehimba Jess, Kevin Young, and more.