28 People to Celebrate Black History 2019

It’s time again for me to pay homage to 28 African Americans.  February is Black History Month and I like to celebrate by educating and informing about great African Americans; both from Dayton and individuals who have made a major impact around the world.

  1. DeWayne Cooper- Former Dayton Daily News Pressman, loving father, son, husband, uncle and my big brother who named me and is my guardian angel.
  2. Paul Lawrence Dunbar- A great American poet and Dayton native.
  3. Rev. Desoto Bass- Minister of the Gospel. He also led a group of singing parties to sing spirituals throughout the halls of Dayton hospitals; every Sunday for 27 years.
  4. Chance The Rapper- American rapper, songwriter, singer, actor, record producer and philanthropist whose non-profit, SocialWorks, expose young people to programming by helping provide supports in arts, music and coding. Chance the Rapper also pledged $1 million to Mental Health Service in Chicago.
  5. Ms. Mabel Evens- The first black female to serve on the YWCA Board of Directors.
  6. Mrs. Lelia Iles Frances -Ran against CJ Mclin for the 88th District Seat. She forced him to have a Sidewalk Debate. She arrived at his office with a hammer to ‘nail his voting record to his office door.’ She also was the first black realtor in Dayton and the second in the nation.  Mrs. Frances also was arrested for leading a demonstration against Rike-Kumler to hire individuals who were black.
  7. Shaquem Griffin-He was born with an undeveloped hand due to a condition called amniotic band syndrome, which was amputated at age four. He was drafted in the NFL and now plays for the Seattle Seahawks.
  8. Mr. Russell Carter- The first black Prosecutor and Judge in Dayton. He also sued the Biltmore Hotel for preventing Ederal Judge William Hastie (who later became the first black to serve as Governor of the US Virgin Islands) to register as a guest at the hotel.
  9. Dr. Edward Bennett- The first black Surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital
  10. Stephen Curry- He is known as one of the best basketball shooters in the NBA. Born in Akron, Ohio and created a gym line for girls.
  11. Dr. Roger Taylor- The first black Intern at Miami Valley Hospital.
  12. Ms. Idotha “ Bootsie” Neal- The first black woman elected to the Dayton City Commission.
  13. Angela F. Williams- Easter Seals Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer.
  14. Michael B. Jordan- A fast and upcoming young handsome actor who has already made his mark in the industry by staring in block buster movies, Black Panther, Creed and Creed II.
  15. Serena Williams-An American tennis player ranked number one in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017.
  16. Kalen Bennett- The first player with autism to be signed to play NCAA Basketball,
  17. Meghan Markle (Duchess of Sussex)-A former American actress who became a member of the British royal family upon her marriage to Prince Harry.
  18. Thurgood Marshall-First African-American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  19. Maxine Waters-US Representative for California’s 43rd Congressional District. She’s the most senior of the twelve black women serving in Congress.
  20. James H. McGee-A former American politician of the Ohio Democratic Party serving as city commissioner and Mayor of Dayton, OH.
  21. Harriett Tubman-A political activist who helped rescue slaves by using safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.
  22. Katherine Johnson-An African-American mathematician who calculated numbers for NASA.
  23. Anthony Dungy-Former professional player and coach for the NFL. He was the first African-American head coach to win a super bowl.
  24. Madam C.J. Walker- An entrepreneur and philanthropist who made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of hair products for black women.
  25. Vonetta Flowers-First African-American to win gold in a winter Olympics and also in her event of bobsledding.
  26. Don Cornelius-Producer, creator and host of national syndicated dance and music show, Soul Train!
  27. Dr. Don Shirley-An American pianist and composer who embarked on tour playing some shows in the deep south during the 1960’s. Dr. Shirley hired a white driver/bodyguard which their story of an unlikely friendship can be seen in the amazing 2018 film, Green Book.
  28. Aretha Franklin-An American singer, songwriter, civil rights activist, actress, pianist and “Queen of Soul”!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my list of twenty-eight brilliant people Celebrating Black History Month 2019. Feel free to add to the list.

2 comments on “28 People to Celebrate Black History 2019

  1. Tracy Hunter on

    Shari, thoughtful and well written as always. Add this to you list.

    Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731, in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. A free black man who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy and mathematics. He was later called upon to assist in the surveying of territory for the construction of the nation’s capital. He also became an active writer of almanacs and exchanged letters with Thomas Jefferson, politely challenging him to do what he could to ensure racial equality. Banneker died on October 9, 1806.


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