York

picture of Lewis and Clark reenactors


Because he spent most of his life as an enslaved man, York was never permitted to tell his own story. Taken together, however, the Expedition journals, William Clark's letters, and other accounts provide a sketch of the man and his importance to the Corps. As the property of William Clark, the choice of joining the Corps was not York's to make. His feelings about leaving his wife behind to begin a journey across a continent were never recorded. His contributions, however, were considerable. more...





Doctor Pope and family


Dr. Manassa T. Pope

On a busy street corner in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, in the shadow of looming skyscrapers, sits an unassuming brick house. Built in 1901, this was the home of Dr. Manassa T. Pope, his wife Delia, and their two daughters, Ruth and Evelyn. Today, the Pope house sits as a lonely reminder that this area, known as the Fourth Ward, was once a thriving African American neighborhood including stores, churches, businesses, and the homes of many black professionals. more...


W. E. B. Du Bois

picture of W.E.B. Du Bois


William Edward Burghardt Du Bois broke new ground on many frontiers in his remarkable and controversial life. Du Bois earned the first Harvard doctorate awarded to an African American. During a prolific career of writing and publication, including 16 thought-provoking books on sociology, history, politics, and race relations, Du Bois became the principal architect of the civil rights movement in the United States. He perceptively said, "The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line." more...


Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell



This house was the home of Memphis-born Mary Church Terrell, who at age 86 led the successful fight to integrate eating places in the District of Columbia. Local integration laws dating back to 1872 and 1873 had disappeared in the 1890s when the District Code was written. The laws had required all eating-place proprietors "to serve any respectable, well-behaved person regardless of color, or face a $1,000 fine and forfeiture of their license." Terrell launched a campaign to reinstate these anti-discrimination laws. more...



Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth




Born into slavery in 1797, Isabella Baumfree, who later changed her name to Sojourner Truth, would become one of the most powerful advocates for human rights in the 19th century. Her early childhood was spent on a New York estate owned by a Dutch American named Colonel Johannes Hardenbergh. more...




Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Dunbar


The legacy of any individual is always a difficult item to measure. It is calibrated against the tenor of the times and the underlying currents of society. These issues have always colored how literary historians and others have viewed the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar. Poet and author, writer and revolutionary, Dunbar shows aspects that fit into many niches and philosophies. Yet what is the essence of this African American writer from Dayton, Ohio. more...