Champion Cyclist “Major” Taylor

Cyclist Marshall W. “Major” Taylor was the fastest man on earth.  He won thousands of dollars as a bicycle racer and became the most famous African-American in the United States. This was the golden age of cycling, and bicycle racing was a premier sporting event. Thousands of fans packed indoor velodromes to watch races and many […]

Sissieretta Jones: World-Famous Black Soprano

Sissieretta Jones sang for kings, presidents, and to audiences around the world, becoming the highest paid African-American entertainer of the late 19th century. She headlined at Carnegie Hall and was hailed as one of the greatest sopranos of her time, yet she never performed on the operatic stage. She was born Matilda Sissieretta Joyner in […]

Harlem Hell Fighters: African-American Troops in World War I

One hundred years ago, on February 17, 1919, the African-American 369th Infantry Regiment, popularly known as the Harlem Hell Fighters, marched up Fifth Avenue into Harlem in a massive victory parade in their honor. “Hell Fighters” was the nickname the German enemy gave the 369th and the name stuck for good reason. They were among the […]