Born to parents who were bonded slaves, Harriet Tubman life was a difficult one from the very beginning. Yet with her remarkable courage and determination, she not only escaped slavery herself, but also led other enslaved people to freedom. The prominent political activist and abolitionist was also the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the American Civil War.
Singer and actor, Paul Robeson, was as much known for his music and films as he was for his political activism. As a black man who had to endure great difficulties to establish himself, he was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. As a performer, he was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
Historian Carter Woodson was is remembered for pioneering Black studies in schools and colleges. He began the Negro History Week, which is now celebrated as the Black History Month. Poverty had pushed him to work in the coal mines initially, and he couldn’t join high school before 20.
British Somali social activist and feminist icon Nimco Ali is known for her association with The Girl Generation, a campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM). Being a victim of genital mutilation herself, she later established the organization Daughters of Eve and The Five Foundation to battle FGM.
Allan Boesak is a South African Dutch Reformed Church cleric and politician. He is also a prominent anti-apartheid activist. Along with Winnie Mandela and Beyers Naude, Boesak won the 1985 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. A liberation theologian, he has served as the president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. His career has been marred by many controversies.
Mabel Keaton Staupers was a Caribbean-American nurse best remembered as a pioneer in the field of nursing in the USA. Staupers fought for racial equality in the field of nursing and supported the inclusion of black nurses into the US Navy and Army during the Second World War.
Born into a poor neighborhood, Leon Sullivan later bagged an athletic scholarship but had to abandon his sports career due to an injury. He later became a Zion Baptist Church pastor and was actively involved in the civil rights movement and Operation Breadbasket, the latter meant to uplift Blacks economically.