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Welcome to 100 Black Innovators in 10 Days, a campaign aiming to showcase the work, voices, and impact that these innovators have had throughout history. Today we are featuring the work of 10 Black Educators. Stopping at nothing to help spread education to all, the work of these scholars continue to spread, demanding for us to not only question and defend what we do, but to define our purpose and to pursue it with passion.
Lonnie Bunch (1952 - )
Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian. As Secretary, he oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers. Bunch was the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and is the first historian to be Secretary of the Institution.
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868 - 1963)
Du Bois was a famous writer, philosopher, activist, and teacher, and one of the founders of the NAACP. He was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1895. His work, The Souls of Black Folk, is often taught in The Human Event.
bell hooks (1942 - )
Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, bell hooks adopted the pen name of her maternal great-grandmother, a woman known for speaking her mind. bell hooks is an acclaimed intellectual, feminist theorist, cultural critic, artist, and writer. hooks has authored over three dozen books and has published works that span several genres, including cultural criticism, personal memoirs, poetry collections, and children's books. Her writings cover topics of gender, race, class, spirituality, teaching, and the significance of media in contemporary culture.
Angela Davis (1944 - )
Dr. Angela Y. Davis is a retired professor, political activist, author, and revolutionary. Constantly speaking out against racism, sexism, the prison industrial complex, war, and the death penalty among other issues, Davis has written books addressing these concerns such as If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance, Women, Race, and Class, Abolition Democracy, and Are Prisons Obsolete?.
Ramona Hoage Edelin (1945 - )
Dr. Ramona Hoage Edelin is a scholar, activist and executive consultant with 40 years of experience in leadership to uplift and advance African Americans and the economically disadvantaged. She has served as Executive Director of the District of Columbia Association of Chartered Public Schools since 2006. Under her leadership, cutting-edge programs in education, community empowerment, and young adult leadership development have been established and sustained.
Aaron Lloyd Dixon (1949 - )
Dixon is an activist and politician who has worked to improve schools since the 1960s. Dixon was one of the founding members of Seattle’s Black Panther chapter. He served as captain of this chapter in the 1970s. One of his major contributions to academia came in the form of the Free Breakfast for School Children program.
Nathan Hare (1933 - )
Hare is a sociologist, activist, academic and psychologist who created and directed the first university Black Studies program in the country at San Francisco State University in 1969. He has been the recipient of many awards such as the Joseph Hines Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the National Association of Black Sociologists, Scholar of the Year Award from the Association of African Historians, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.
Cornel West (1953 - )
Cornel West is a lifelong educator, philosopher and activist who is a well-known voice in the realms of civil rights, the arts and African-American studies and writings. West became a university lecturer and professor at multiple institutions including Harvard, where he was a professor of African-American studies, Yale and the University of Paris. He wrote prolifically and his best-seller, Race Matters, came out in 1993. He penned over 20 books during his career.
Kimberlé Crenshaw (1959 - )
Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority in the area of Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, and racism and the law. Her work has been foundational in two fields of study that have come to be known by the terms that she coined: critical race theory and intersectionality.
Mary McLeod Bethune (1875 - 1955)
Mary McLeod Bethune was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil rights activist. Bethune founded the National Council for Negro Women, established the organization's flagship journal Aframerican Women's Journal, and resided as a leader for a myriad of African American women's organizations. She also was appointed as a national adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom she worked with to create the Federal Council on Negro Affairs, also known as the Black Cabinet. Bethune was the sole African American woman officially a part of the US delegation that created the United Nations charter, and she held a leadership position for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. She was known as "The First Lady of The Struggle" because of her commitment to gain better lives for African Americans
Want to learn more? Stay tuned as we highlight 100 black innovators from a wide range of fields. We hope you feel inspired by the accomplishments of these immensely talented individuals.
In case you missed it, check out the other innovators we have highlighted so far: