Remembering Black Phenomenal History

        Black Authors & Educators that paved the way for our education and literacy support

Photograph of a man in front of a vibrant red background

Langston, Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of black intellectual, literary, and artistic life that took place in the 1920’s in a number of American cities, particularly Harlem. Hughes also wrote novels, short stories, essays, and plays.First Published in 1921 in “The Crisis’ ‘ , official magazine of the National Association Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”became Hughes’s signature poem and was also a part of his first poetry book.

Portrait of Bethune

The daughter of former slaves, Mary Jane McLeod Bethune became one of the most important black educators, civil and women’s rights leaders and government officials of the twentieth century.  She founded a college that set educational standards for today’s black colleges, and her role as an advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave African Americans an advocate in government.

A champion of racial and gender equality, Bethune founded many organizations and led voter registration drives after women gained the vote in 1920, risking racist attacks. In 1924, she was elected president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, and in 1935, she became the founding president of the National Council of Negro Women.

Poet, dancer, singer, activist, and scholar Maya Angelou was a world-famous author. She was best known for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman. Angelou received several honors throughout her career, including two NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary work (nonfiction) category, in 2005 and 2009. Her most famous and popular Poems and Literature were And Still I Rise (1978), which features the beloved poem “Phenomenal Woman”.


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