Marva Collins (1936-2015)
Marva Collins, a former substitute teacher, gained recognition after opening the Westside Preparatory School in 1975. "Ms. Collins set high academic standards, emphasized discipline and promoted a nurturing environment. In 1980, President-elect Ronald Reagan was said to be leaning toward choosing Ms. Collins for secretary of education, but she said she would reject the job if it were offered." (Roberts, 2015
Angela Y. Davis (1944- )
Davis "has been active as a student, teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer" and is currently a Distinguished Professor Emerita at University of California Santa Cruz (University of California Santa Cruz, n.d.
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)
Du Bois "promoted education as a fundamental right and was a central figure in twentieth-century movements for world peace, civil rights, and self-determination for people of African descent" (The W.E.B. Du Bois National Historical Site: About W.E.B. Du Bois, n.d.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (1950- )
Gates, an "Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder" along with an author of many books, is currently "the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University" (Harvard University, n.d.
Martin Luther King (1929-1968)
"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits" (Quote by King at the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway, 1964. See this quote and more at the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial
bell hooks (1952- )
"bell hooks is an acclaimed intellectual, feminist theorist, cultural critic, artist, and writer. hooks has authored over three dozen books and has published works that span several genres, including cultural criticism, personal memoirs, poetry collections, and children's books." (bell hooks Institute, 2017
Lucy Craft Laney (1854-1933)
- bell hooks
Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Berea College
- bell hooks Institute
"The bell hooks Institute documents the life and work of acclaimed intellectual, feminist theorist, cultural critic, artist, and writer bell hooks."
Lucy Craft Laney is one of Georgia's "most influential educational leaders." She graduated from Atlanta University in 1873, and went on to found the first school in Augusta, Georgia for black students. She later also founded the first kindergarten for black students in Augusta, the first nursing school for black students in Augusta, and the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute. (Lucy Craft Laney Muesum, 2016
Mary Jane Patterson (1840-1894)
In addition to being the first African American woman to receive a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in 1862, Patterson was the first principal of color at the "Preparatory High School for Negroes,” holding the position from 1871 to 1884 according to Fletcher (Oberlin College
Charles Henry Thompson (1895-1980)
Thompson spent forty years in continuous service as a faculty member of Howard University, from 1926 to 1966, and “his influence was felt throughout the University community.” Over the years he served as the “dean of the College of Liberal Arts, dean of the Graduate School, founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education,” among other positions (American Psychological Association, n.d.
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)
"For decades, Booker T. Washington was the major African-American spokesman in the eyes of white America. Born a slave in Virginia, Washington was educated at Hampton Institute, Norfolk, Virginia. He began to work at the Tuskegee Institute in 1881 and built it into a center of learning and industrial and agricultural training." (Library of Congress, n.d.
Cornel West (1953- )
West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard Divinity School, is the author of Race Matters
, Democracy Matters
, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud
(Cornel R. West, n.d.
Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950)
"A career educator and early advocate of the importance of researching African American history, Woodson founded and directed the first and most influential academic association devoted to the study of African American history. He also was instrumental in establishing February as Black History Month" (National Park Service, n.d.