Bessie Coleman was born into poverty and picked cotton to help support her family. As WWI ended, her dream was to fly, but every flying school turned her down because of her gender and race.
African-Americans have contributed to American society in every walk of life, and one purpose of Black History Month is to call attention to some of those who may have escaped notice. Here are 10 brief biographies from the Profile America series produced by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Zora Neale Hurston was one of the great talents of the Harlem Renaissance - but had to work as a manicurist to support herself.
A century ago, bread bought at stores was hand-made, a time intensive process. That changed when a baker from Boston, Joseph Lee, invented the automatic bread-making machine.
Thousands of Americans owe their lives to the inventions of Garrett Morgan. The son of former slaves, Morgan invented the gas mask.
When William Grant Still mounted the podium and began conducting the L.A. Philharmonic in 1936, it marked the first time that an African-American had led a major symphonic orchestra.
Sarah Breedlove Walker was born the daughter of former slaves and orphaned at the age of seven. She went on to become America's first African-American woman millionaire business-owner.
Seventy years before Rosa Parks sparked the civil rights movement by refusing to move to the back of a bus, there was Ida B. Wells.
On a hot summer night in Chicago, in 1893, a deliveryman was rushed to the emergency room of Provident Hospital. He had been stabbed in the heart in a barroom brawl.
Paul Williams was orphaned at the age of 4 and no one paid much attention to the child's artistic talent. But he earned his engineering degree and went on to become one of the nation's premier architects.