Here is some what we wrote about during
Black History Month, 1998.

Benjamin Banneker
by Nicole

Benjamin Banneker was a famous black person. He was born in Endicott, Maryland in 1731 and died in 1806. This young man was amazed by the number of stars that appeared in the moonlight sky. He lay on the ground and began to count them. This is how Benjamin spent his nights. When Benjamin left school to help on his father’s farm the world became his classroom. He studied the weather and animals.

Fanny M. Coppin
by Maggie

Fanny was born in 1836 Fanny died in 1913. Fanny was a black lady who became a teacher. When she was a little girl she was a slave.

Katherine Dunham
by Oliver

Katherine was a black dancer. She was born in 1910. She danced and dug up fossils. She had a special black dance that was to feel the beat.

Edward "Duke" Ellington
by Veronica

Edward Ellington was born 1899 in Washington D.C. When he was a young boy he had showed talent as a pianist. All of his friends called him "Duke" because he liked to dress nice. When Duke was 18 he was a leader of his own band, and moved to New York. He then became a star! He received many awards, and performed for many important people. He wrote 1,000 songs or more and played at clubs and on Broadway shows. The two most popular songs he wrote were "Take The A Train" and "Sophisticated Lady." In 1974 Edward (Duke) Ellington died.

Aretha Franklin
by Steven

Aretha Franklin was a famous black woman who had a great voice and she had a father that was a well known preacher. When she was 12 she made her first record when she graduated from high school she knew that she wanted to be a professional singer. In 1976, she recorded a number of chart- topping songs. She was one of the best singers in the United States she was born in 1942 and is still living now.

Mathew Henson
by Richie

Matthew Henson was a great explorer. He and Robert E. Peary were going to the North Pole. He already went twice and failed. They were determined to make it. On April 6, they were only a few miles from their greatest triumph. Peary was sick so Mathew went on. He put the American flag there. When he was 21 he met Peary and they went on a lot of adventures together. When they went to the North Pole he had been lots of help because he spoke the language of the Eskimo’s, built sleds, and trained dogs. He solved problems and gave good advice. Nearly 81 years went by before his great explorations were fully recognized.

Edmonia Lewis
by Stephanie

Edmonia Lewis was born at Albany, New York in 1845 and died in 1890. Edmonia Lewis was very good at making sculptures. So everyone said "she made stone talk." She created busts of everybody who fought for freedom. She was also the first black person to attend Oberlin College. Edmonia Lewis was involved in the Underground Railroad. She was also the first person to be found as a wonderful black artist.

Thurgood Marshall
by Maureen

Thurgood Marshall was a famous black American. He was born in 1908 and died in 1997, he lived to be 96 years old. Marshall was a famous black American because he always cared about his fellow man. He practiced Law in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated with honors from Howard University Law School. In 1940 he was named chief counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He and his staff won 29 out of 32 Supreme Court decisions. His most famous victory came in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case. In 1965, Thurgood was appointed Solicitor General of the United States. In 1967 this great jurist became the first black justice on the United States Supreme Court.

Willie Mays
by Eric

Willie Mays was born 1931. He couldn’t play baseball because of the whites. He started his own career in the Negro Leagues. Another team called Giants invited Willie Mays to their team. Willie Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Jesse Owens
by Jonathan

Jesse Owens was born 1913 in Danville, Alabama. He was known as "a Blaze of Glory." He was a famous black American. He worked hard in school and won a scholarship. Then he became a track star for Ohio State. In 1936 he showed the world he was a great athlete. He won 3 gold medals, in a broad jump, the 100-Meter dash, and a 200-meter dash. His speed helped his team win a gold medal in the 440-meter relay. Jesse set many world records. Jesse proved that people are winners because of their talent, not because of their color. He died in 1980.

Rosa Parks
by Joey

Rosa Parks was a famous black American because she refused to give up her seat on a bus and at that time, blacks were not allowed to sit in the front of the bus. She helped to form a boycott. The boycott stated that black Americans would not ride public buses.

Leslie Uggams
by Ryan

My name is Lesley Uggams. I was born in 1943. My hometown is New York City, New York. I started singing almost the same time I started talking. I made my singing debut when I was six years old. When I was 18 years old I started attracting fans. I am not only a singer, I am also an actress. I stared in the movie "Roots." My mom performed as a chorus girl in Harlem’s famous Cotton Club. My dad is a singer, too.

Booker T. Washington
by Eva

Booker was a small boy when slavery ended. He worked in the salt mines to earn enough money for food. He was convinced that education was the key to success. He was determined to learn.

Ethel Waters
by Alexandra

When Ethel was a young girl, her family was so poor that she had to steal food to eat. When she was thirteen she worked as a maid. She got less than five dollars a day. But Ethel was sure that she had talents, she believed in herself. Ethel had a beautiful voice. She could sing jazz songs and the blues. Her singing made ordinary songs sound special. Lot’s of people came to hear her sing. She became famous. But she wanted to do more. She started to act in plays in plays and movies. She was great at singing and acting. Ethel’s beautiful voice and acting talent made her one of the most important actresses of her time. In 1950 she won the New York Drama Critics Award for her acting in the Broadway play A Member of the Wedding.

Phillis Weatley
by Kristina

Phillis Weatley was a poet for her times. She was born in Senegal, West Africa. She was born in 1753 and died in 1784. She was very famous poet. When she was young she was taken away from her family and became a slave. Her new family found out she was a very good poet. When she was 14 she wrote her first poem. She published a book of poems called "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral". She was 31 when she died, but many people in America will remember she was one of the first black poets.

Whitney M. Young, Jr.
by Anthony

Whitney M. Young, Jr. was a famous black American. He was born in 1921 and died in 1971. He was a civil rights leader who was trying to make a better life for his people. He wanted to become a doctor but when he saw a lot of the problems that were going on in the world and he did not like that. He was a dynamic leader.


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