Category: Pathfinder Profiles

Black History Month Pathfinder Profiles: Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun is an American lawyer, politician and diplomat who made history as the first African–American woman Senator. She represented Illinois in the United States Senate from 1993 to 1999 and was only the second black Senator since the Reconstruction Era. Her experience growing up at the height of the Civil Rights movement influenced…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison is an engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel into space in 1992. While in space she set aside her fear of heights and logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, 23 seconds. Mae Jemison was a standout student early in her education. She began studying at Stanford…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: Barack Obama

Barack Obama is an attorney and politician who made history as the first African American President of the United States. He began his legacy of service in 1985 as a community organizer on Chicago’s largely impoverished South Side. As a junior senator he helped pass legislation that tightened campaign finance regulations, expanded health care to poor families, and…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy was a prolific inventor and engineer best known for inventing lubrication devices used to make train travel faster and efficient. McCoy was born in Canada to parents who escaped from slavery using the Underground Railroad. At 15, McCoy completed his studies in mechanical engineering in Scotland and returned to the states to look for…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: Dr. Patricia Bath

Dr. Patricia Bath was an inventor, laser scientist and innovative researcher. She was the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology. Bath was also the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent when she patented her invention of the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1988. She holds patents for…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profiles: Nelson Tillis

Nelson Tillis was an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist and pioneer. He was the first free African-American man to settle in Ft. Myers. Nelson immediately became essential to the community in Ft. Myers. He worked as a fisherman, farmer and a fishing guide. He hauled the building materials used to construct some of the first buildings in…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Jean Dandridge was an American film and theatre actress, singer, and dancer. She is one of the first black actresses to have a successful Hollywood career and the first to be nominated for an Academy Award. Born November 9, 1922, Dandridge got her start performing as part of the singing group The Dandridge Sisters…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: John H. Sengstacke

John H. Sengstacke was an African-American newspaper publisher and owner of the largest chain of black newspapers in the country. Sengstacke published and managed several papers including the Michigan Courier in Detroit, the Tri-City Defender in Memphis, and the New Pittsburgh Courier.  Sengstacke used his platform and influence champion civil rights, push for integrating the armed forces and to create opportunities for African-Americans in the newspaper…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: Coretta Scott King

Many remember Coretta Scott King as the wife of prolific Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., but Coretta Scott King forged her own path as an advocate for gay rights, the underprivileged, and the vulnerable. The media portrayed her as a mere accessory to her husband, but Coretta Scott King traveled the world for…

Read more »

Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: Richard Allen

Richard Allen was a minister, educator, writer, and founder of the first African Methodist Episcopal Church. Born a slave, Allen worked to earn money and purchase his own freedom for $2,000 in 1780. He taught himself to read and write before he began his career preaching. As a member of St. George’s Methodist Church, Allen became…

Read more »