Black educators

William Boyd Allison Davis, widely as Allison Davis, was a pioneering educator and anthropologist who made history by becoming the first African-American to hold a faculty position at a major white university. The Washington, D.C. native was born October 14, 1902. Davis attended Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., one of the three “Little Ivies” – […]

Dr. Frederick D. Patterson was a veterinarian and educator who made significant contributions to Black collegiate excellence. The founder of the United Negro College Fund was born October 10, 1901. Frederick Douglass Patterson was born in Washington, D.C. but raised primarily by his sister in Texas after he was orphaned at the age of two. […]

Euphemia Lofton Haynes made history in 1943 by becoming the first Black woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics in the United States. The Washington, D.C. native was born September 11, 1890. The math pioneer was born Martha Euphemia Lofton to a dentist father and kindergarten teacher mother. She attended undergrad […]

Dr. Molefi Kete Asante is one of the leading voices in African-American studies and is a pioneer in Afrocentrism, which examines Africa’s vast array of influences. The Valdosta, Ga. native was born August 14, 1942. Born Arthur Smith Jr., Asante attended undergrad at Oklahoma Christian College ahead of earning his master’s from Pepperdine University; He […]

John Edgar Wideman is an award-winning author and just the second African-American to be named a Rhodes Scholar to the University of Oxford. The Pittsburgh native was born in Washington, D.C. on June 14, 1941 in Washington, D.C. Wideman grew up in the middle-class Black neighborhood of Homewood and later moved to Shadyside, a mostly […]

Roland G. Fryer became the youngest tenured African-American Harvard University professor at the age of 30 in 2007. The Lewisville, Texas native was born June 4, 1977 in Daytona Beach, Fla. Fryer was raised primarily in Lewisville and was a star athlete at Lewisville High School. Fryer gained an athletic scholarship to the University of […]

In his short time as Seattle Public School’s first Black superintendent, Gen. John Stanford made a significant impact, especially on the lives of students of color. Twenty years ago, Gen. Stanford passed but his legacy lives on in Seattle. John Stanford was born September 14, 1938 in Darby, Penn. After high school, he attended Penn […]

In the fall of 1946, sociologist and professor Charles S. Johnson was named the first Black president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. Unlike the militant style of W.E.B. Du Bois, Johnson employed an intellectual approach in dismantling racism by hoping to understand its roots. Charles Surgeon Johnson was born July 24, 1893 in Bristol, […]

The late Avarh E. Strickland lived long enough to see his accomplishments at the University of Missouri properly honored. In a fitting tribute that took place on October 19, 2007, a building was renamed after the historian and professor, adding to other honors. Strickland was born July 6, 1930 in Hattiesburg, Miss., primarily raised by […]

In its 173-year history, the American Psychiatric Association has never had an African-American lead its organization – until now. Dr. Altha Stewart now commands that helm, adding to a long list of high-profile leadership positions in the sphere of public and mental health. Dr. Stewart’s three-decade and still ongoing career began when she was an […]

Although the Rev. Patrick Francis Healy appeared to look white and lived his life as such, history has proven that he was indeed of African descent. Born into slavery, Healy became the first African-American to earn a PhD On this day in 1865. Healy was born February 27, 1834 to an Irish farmer and a […]

Today is educator and businessman Walter E. Massey‘s birthday. Among the Mississippi native’s notable achievements, he is the first African-American physics professor to teach at Brown University and was also once president of his alma mater, Morehouse University. Walter Eugene Massey was born in the city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1938. Entering college early, Massey […]