||Black vaudeville gave Ma Rainey her start
in show business -- Gertrude Melissa Nix Pridgett was
born to sing the blues. This daughter of minstrel singers gave her first public
performance in 1900 in "A Bunch of Blackberries" at the Springer Opera House in
her hometown of Columbus, Ga. She was just 14.
Jimi Hendrixs guitar playing a psychedelic symphony -- Eight-year-old James Marshall Hendrix
wanted so much to play the guitar to set his poems to music that he used a broom to strum
out the rhythms in his head until he crafted a cigar box into his own "guitar."
Music legend Ray Charles overcame poverty, blindness -- Ray Charles, 68, declares, "I was born with music inside me. Music is nothing separate from me. It is me ."
Black artist overcame war injury, personal trials -- African-American artist Horace Pippin faced many roadblocks in his life, but he persevered to enjoy a successful career.No limits could deter first black female pilot -- For Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to receive her international pilots license, persistence brought her to her dream.
Ex-slave became writer who helped found NAACP -- Born during the Civil War, Ida Wells-Barnett came to this world as a child of slavery and left it as a woman of courage, conviction and great compassion for others.
Musical uses tap dancing to celebrate black history -- The Tony Award-winning "Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk" is a performance of energetic tap dancing that celebrates the history of African Americans in America.Blindness didnt stop this musical Wonder -- Famed singer/songwriter/musician Stevie Wonder overcame blindness to fulfill his dream of music. And from battling hunger, blindness and disease in Africa and the United States to fighting for racial equality and recognition, Wonder has left a legacy in society as well as the music world.
Rudolph outran polio, poverty -- Wilma Golden Rudolph overcame polio and poverty to achieve her goals. One of 19 children, she was the first female Olympic runner and an African-American Olympic Games track and field star, earning the title of "Worlds Best Woman."
Tuskegee Airmen made difference in WWII -- On July 17, 1933, Dr. Albert Forsythe and Charles Anderson made history by becoming the first black pilots to fly across the country. Eight years later, Anderson would make history again by helping to form the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, the first black military aviator unit.
Equality escaped black soldiers while fighting World War -- Black American soldiers faced much racial discrimination in the armed forces during World War II. Many civil rights activists began demanding what they called a "Double-V": victory abroad against Nazism and fascism, as well as victory against racism and discrimination at home and in the armed forces.
Soldier received Medal of Honor 52 years after WWII service -- Half a century is a long time to wait to be noticed. Imagine how Vernon Baker felt when he was finally recognized for his bravery during World War II by being awarded the Medal of Honor more than 50 years after he served in the U.S. Army.
Educator followed her