The Library of Virginia and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography Celebrate Black History Month
2007 Notable African Americans

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)
Essex County
Member of the Virginia Convention of 1867—1868

Lucy Goode Brooks (1818—1900)
Civic Leader

Isaac David Burrell (1865—1914)
Physician and Pharmacist

Esther Georgia Irving Cooper (1881—1970)
Arlington County
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



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