10 Most Important Figures in African-American History

Article excerpt

The 10 names listed here have been repeatedly cited by historians and scholars as central figures in African-American history. As leaders and founders of crossroads institutions and events, they helped to redefine Black America and America and made large contributions in defining what it means to be Black in America. Whether they are in fact the defining 10, they are beyond dispute among the symbolic foundation stones of the African-American cavalcade.

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Caption: Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) Minister major leader of Freedom Movement that changed Black America and America forever.

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Caption: Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) Educator was mentor to a whole generation of leaders and was the first Black woman to receive a major federal appointment.

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Caption: Richard Allen (1760-1831) First Black Bishop and AME Church leader was president of the first national Negro convention and is sometimes called "The Father of the Negro."

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Caption: Prince Hall (1735?-1807) Abolitionist and Masonic leader organized first African-American lodge and first Black interstate organization. …