Shuttlesworth was born in Mount Meigs, Alabama during the height of lynching and segregation in the south. In his youth, his family moved to Birmingham for better economic opportunities and education. He graduated from high school as class valedictorian. Then Shuttlesworth went on to earn his education from Selma University and Alabama State College. He would go on to become one of the most prominent civil rights activist in 1950s and onward.
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The Creation of Orange Mound
In 1890, white developer E. E. Meacham purchased land from the Deaderick family, plantation owners in Memphis Tennessee. He sold lots to African-Americans for less than $100. The subdivision was named Orange Mound and became the first all Black community in the U.S., specifically built for Black people. According to Laura Nickas for Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, “The new neighborhood bordered the Mid-South Fairgrounds to the southeast while a stronghold of the KKK bordered the fairgrounds just to the west.”
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Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina during the height of lynching and segregation. At a young age, Coltrane’s father got him into music by introducing him Lester Young and Count Bassie and teaching him how to play a variety of instruments. At 13, Coltrane focused on perfecting his ability on the saxophone and he never stopped.
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Forten’s Grandfather Freed Himself from Enslavement by Escaping to Philadelphia
James Forten (Sept. 2, 1766 – March 4, 1842) was born free to Thomas and Margret Forten. It’s believed that Forten’s grandfather freed himself from enslavement by escaping and finding refuge in Philadelphia. He was educated in a Quaker school that was created by white abolitionist, Anthony Benezet, but he had to leave in order to work full time to support his family. At nine years-old he became the man of the house after his father died.
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Dr. John Henrik Clarke was born Jan. 1, 1915, in Union Springs, Alabama. He was a professor emeritus at Hunter College in New York City. Clarke did not graduate high school and did not have a doctorate degree.
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