Virginia Changemakers
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African American Trailblazers 2012

Yvonne B. Miller

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The first African American woman elected to the House of Delegates and to the Senate of Virginia, Yvonne B. Miller worked tirelessly as a politician,…

James Farmer

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As director of the Congress of Racial Equality and as initiator of the Freedom Rides, James Farmer played a critical role in the national civil rights…

Irene Amos Morgan


Irene Morgan's challenge to the Virginia law requiring segregated seating on interstate buses resulted in a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of…

Oscar Micheaux

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Often recognized as the country's first African American filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux established a film office in Roanoke, where he produced at least…

Willie Lanier

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Willie Lanier broke through racial barriers in professional football by becoming the first African American to play middle linebacker, the position…

Michael L. Blakely


Physical anthropologist Michael L. Blakey helped analyze and interpret the important evidence uncovered at the African Burial Ground in Manhattan.

John Jasper

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An extraordinary orator who preached throughout the eastern United States, John Jasper in 1867 established Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, in…

Noah Davis

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Born into slavery, Noah Davis raised more than $4,000 to free himself and his family members during the 1840s and 1850s.