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Minority Interest in Campus on the Rise

Designing the Campus of Tomorrow

Raising the Bar for Products Bearing the Cal Logo, Name

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Black History Month: Who Influenced You?

Black History Month: Lesser Known but Significant in their Own Way

Economy Booms, But Health Insurance Lags

New Book Details San Francisco's Urban Power

Chevron Mega Tanker Chang-Lin Tien to Ply the Seas

Rebuilding a Country: The Challenges Of Rwanda's Postwar Reconstruction

Geographer Bernard Nietschmann, Champion of Indigenous People Around the World, Has Died of Cancer at Age 58

Anthology on Childhood in America Helps Define the Country's Past, Future

Governor's Budget Gives Major Boost to UC

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Black History Month: Lesser Known but Significant in their Own Way

Posted February 2, 2000

While the spotlight usually shines on such high-profile achievers as Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell and George Washington Carver, these less-famous black Americans contributed to society in important ways.

A. Philip Randolph

The 20th century's pre-eminent black labor leader, A. Philip Randolph is considered the father of the modern civil rights movement. Believing that economic rights were the key to advancing civil rights, Randolph helped organize the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, after a bitter struggle with the Pullman Company. He worked to desegregate the military and helped lead the 1963 March on Washington.

Katherine Dunham

Dunham was an anthropologist, social worker and activist, but is probably best known as a dancer. Dunham combined Caribbean dance, traditional ballet, African rituals and black-American rhythms to create the unique "Dunham Technique." She also choreographed for Broadway shows and major motion pictures. Dunham opened the Performing Arts Training Center in East St. Louis to help bring the arts to inner-city children. She went on a hunger strike in the early 1990s, not eating for 47 days to help publicize the plight of Haitians.

Lewis Howard Latimer

While Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the light bulb, it couldn't have happened without Lewis, who developed and patented the process for manufacturing the first carbon filament. Lewis, the son of a former slave, was the only black member of Edison's research team. His first patent, approved in 1874, was for a "water closet for railway cars." Lewis continued to invent and teach until his death in 1928.

Marlon Riggs

An articulate and courageous spokesman for free expression, Riggs used the medium of experimental documentary film to challenge society's most deeply entrenched myths about what it means to be a gay, black man in America. Riggs used his camera to undermine prejudice and ignorance while boldly and eloquently celebrating diversity. An instructor for Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, he died of AIDS in 1994.


February 2 - 8, 2000 (Volume 28, Number 20)
Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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