Black educators

In the annals of Black history in the state of Colorado, late Boulder native Dr. Ruth Cave Flowers commands a lofty space. She was the one of the first African-American women to graduate from the University of Colorado. CU’s first Black female graduate was Lucile Berkeley Buchanan, a fact revealed in the early 90’s. Ruth […]

John Chavis is considered the first Black college student in America. Born free, he studied under with the president of what would later become Princeton University and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Chavis was born in either 1762 or 1763 to free parents in heavily debated places of origins that include North Carolina, […]

It has been just under a month since the passing of noted linguist and educator, Dr. Keith Baird. He is best known for spurring a movement in the ’60’s to advocate for the use of the term Afro-American to describe and categorize Black people across the diaspora. Baird was born in Barbados on January 20, […]

Professor Joseph Roye Applegate is best known as the first Black faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A master speaker of 13 languages, Professor Applegate is also responsible for creating the first Ph.D. Program for African Studies in the U.S. Applegate was born July 25, 1925 in Wildwood, New Jersey, His family relocated […]

Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb was a pioneering biologist and educator who fought for the rights of women and minorities in the sciences. Cobb passed at the top of the year at the age of 92 and lived a life rich with experiences despite attempts to thwart her rise. Cobb was born Jewel Plummer on this […]

Charles Lewis Reason was the first African-American professor to teach at a predominately white college. Professor Reason was a proponent of Booker T. Washington’s ideal that industrial education was a means for Black liberation, but he also believed that classical education was just as necessary. Reason was born July 21, 1818 in New York City […]

  Michelle King was named this week as the Los Angeles Unified District’s first Black female superintendent. King has worked her entire career for the district and is a product of the school system as well. King, 54, was a long shot to secure the job despite her credentials and long standing with LASUD. The […]

Kurt Schmoke was elected Baltimore’s first Black mayor in November 1987, and was sworn in on this day that same year. Schmoke served three terms and faced several challenges in his attempt to turn Charm City around. Kurt Lidell Schmoke was born in Baltimore on December 1, 1949 into a chemist father and social worker […]

Dr. Evelyn F. Crayton is the first Black president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a 76,000-member organization for dietitians and nutrition professionals and the largest group of its sort. Dr. Crayton’s selection as the president of the Academy this past June caps a career that spans over 40 years. Crayton, who currently resides […]

Growing up in South Central, Los Angeles, Carter Paysinger probably think he’d succeed beyond his meager surroundings. But thanks to the determination of his mother, however, Paysinger was able to attend one of California’s most prestigious high schools and eventually became its first Black principal. Paysinger’s mother applied for a multicultural permit that allowed her […]

Dr. Herbert Smitherman Sr. was an innovative chemist who worked for the major consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble. While some thought Smitherman was the inventor of Crest Toothpaste, Folgers Coffee and other products, he actually helped to improve these already established products. Smitherman was born and raised in Birmingham, Ala. on March 23, 1937, […]

Dr. Sybil C. Mobley, founder of Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry, died early Tuesday morning. Dr. Mobley’s contributions to FAMU are certainly noteworthy, and she was a leader in the world of business as well. Mobley was born Oct. 14, 1925 in Shreveport, La. Mobley obtained her bachelor’s from Bishop College ahead […]