Annie Turnbo Malone was one of the first self-made African-American millionaires. She used her success to bring others with her, creating jobs for thousands of other women like her and using her millions to support good causes.
Annie was born in southern Illinois in 1869. She was the daughter of two escaped slaves and the 10th of 11 children. When she was still young her parents both died, orphaning Annie (yes she’s the other ‘little orphan Annie’!) She moved to live with her older sister. Although she enjoyed going to school, particularly her chemistry lessons, poor health meant that she was very rarely able to attend. Continue reading Annie Turnbo Malone
Claudette Colvin’s name has become a footnote in the history of the Civil Rights Movement, superseded by that of Rosa Parks – who was made famous for doing exactly what Claudette had done months before.
Claudette Colvin was born in 1939 and grew up in Montgomery, Alabama – the city which would later become famous for the bus boycott which many consider to be the start of the Civil Rights Movement in America. Continue reading Claudette Colvin
Bessie Coleman was the first African American female pilot; known as ‘Brave Bessie’ she was determined to achieve her dreams despite the obstacles in her way.
Bessie was born in 1892 in Atlanta, Texas; a time and a place where being black made life very difficult. Black and white children were not allowed to go to the same school so Bessie had to walk four miles every day just to get to the school that was for the black children. Each year her learning would be interrupted in the summer when she had to work in the cotton fields with her family at harvest time. Despite all this, she thrived at school, reading all she could and excelling at maths.
Continue reading Bessie Coleman – Shero of the skies