Eight notable African Americans are being honored this month for their contributions to Virginia history. On this site you will find brief biographies of the honorees, additional sources on the individuals, and activities for the classroom. This is the beginning of a project to provide more information online about the remarkable individuals in the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. In this list alone you will find activists and politicians, an athlete and an artist, a man of science and a woman of faith. You will find both famous names and everyday heroes, all of whom shaped Virginia. Each biography includes a source from the honoree's life; click on the image to open a pdf of the source and transcription. We hope that you share the stories of these history makers with your students.
The 2007 honorees are:
Arthur Robert Ashe (1943—1993)
Tennis Player, Writer, and Humanitarian
Clara Olivia Byrd Baker (1886—1979)
Educator and Civic Leader
Leslie Garland Bolling (1898—1955)
Elizabeth A. Coles Bouey (1890—1957)
Founder of the National Association of Ministers’ Wives
William Breedlove (ca. 1820—1871)
Member of the Virginia Convention of 1867—1868
Lucy Goode Brooks (1818—1900)
Isaac David Burrell (1865—1914)
Physician and Pharmacist
Esther Georgia Irving Cooper (1881—1970)
Civil Rights Activist
To view the selected biographies, please use the links to the left.
More information on African Americans and other Virginia leaders may be found in the Dictionary of Virginia Biography, ed. John T. Kneebone et al. (Richmond, 1998— ). An online finding aid to the 1,400 biographies and 3 volumes published to date is available at www.lva.virginia.gov/public/dvb/classified-index.asp.