Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), Abolitionist and freed slave. Hero of the Underground Railroad.
U.S. Representative Robert Smalls, circa 1850s. He was a former slave who parlayed his freedom into a pioneering role in Congress. He would go on to build the South Carolina Republican Party, and buy the house of the man who had owned him as a slave.
circa 1870: Hiram R Revels (1822 - 1901), the first African-American to sit in the United States Senate. Having served in the Union Army as a chaplain, he was elected as a Republican Party Senator from Mississippi.
Ida B. Wells in 1920. She was a civil rights advocate, investigative journalist and feminist.
Natural scientist and inventor George Washington Carver working with chemistry equipment in his laboratory at Tuskegee University.
Ralph Bunche, seen here in his office in 1944, was the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a United Nations mediator in the Palestine conflict.
African American explorer Matthew A. Henson (1866-1955) reached the Arctic on seven expeditions with Robert Peary from the 1890s until their final expedition in 1908-1909, when they reached the North Pole. Henson was the first African American to explore the Arctic regions.
NAACP Chief Counsel Thurgood Marshall in front of the Supreme Court, where he made a last-ditch appeal that would permit African American children to reenter Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Author and a leader in the Harlem Renaissance Zora Neale Hurston, circa 1940s.
African American novelist, playwright, essayist and activist James Baldwin.
American poet, writer and socialist Langston Hughes (1902-1967).
US Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, the first African American elected to the Senate.
Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker.