Tag: Black History Month 2020

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Black History Month Pathfinder Profile: Dorothy Height

Dorothy Irene Height was the first political leader to embrace intersectionality in the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement by focusing on improving the lives of African American women. At a time when most activists treated the movements separately, Dorothy Height worked in both communities and highlighted the ways they overlapped. She was…

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Black History Month Pathfinder Profiles: Joseph Blanchard

Joseph Blanchard was a sea captain and savvy business owner who played a significant role in establishing southwest Florida. Blanchard was conceived during slavery and born shortly after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. A successful businessman, Blanchard owned several businesses in Punta Gorda including orange groves, a vegetable stand and fishing boats. Blanchard was one of…

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