Hall of Fame

The Woozy Hall of Fame does not presume to represent all of the great Americans who deserve to be recognized in the cause of black freedom, rather, this page is a love letter to a vital few who have touched our lives and inspired us to continue their work.




Tunis Campbell

TUNIS CAMPBELL

Tunis Campbell was one of the main organizers of the structure which would make Field Order #15 (40 acres and a mule), one of the manifest experiments in Black self-governance. He was a community organizer, teacher, abolitionist, anti-colonialist and an American, who rejected the concept that Blacks should be repatriated back to Africa.
Quote:"We should really determine ourselves what we're doing... This is our home... Beginning next week, I will divide up the land into forty acres for each of you."


The Greensboro 4

THE GREENSBORO 4

TheWoozy.com's nominee for the most significant group in the entire civil rights movement. On February 4, 1960, 4 friends sat together and debated the issue of segregation. In the end, they decided that they were going to do something about the discrimination they were experiencing at the downtown Woolworth lunch counter. 4 friends were students at North Carolina A&T, Ezell Blair, David Leinhal, Alfred McNeil and Franklin McCain. At first the management just ignored them, hoping they would go away, but each day, more and more students came until soon, 300 students were involved in the protest. Soon copycat sit-ins were taking place across the south, in dozens of cities. By May, Woolworth's, under intense pressure, media attention and declining sales, desegregated their lunch counter. Efforts in other cities were also successful. With the success of the Greensboro sit-in, soon the protest moved on to buses, hotels, and other forms of public accommodation.


Harriet Jacobs

HARRIET JACOBS

Harriet Jacobs fended off repeated sexual advances by her owner and resolved to run away, stowing herself away in the attic of her free grandmother's home for several years, convincing her master that she had escaped and was living in New York, before finally, she was able to make her way to freedom. Once in free parts, she wrote her autobiography with the help of noted feminist and abolitionist Lydia Maria Child. Ms. Jacobs unflinching conviction in the strength of her moral position together with her pride, resolve and suffering, elevate her tome to one of the most remarkable of the slave narratives.


The Abolitionist

THE ABOLITIONIST

The abolitionist, whether they were in England and refused to eat sugar, or were from the America's and evolved into the first feminist and suffragist, were key in the overthrow of slavery. Slavery teaches that Whites made slaves of Blacks. What has been obscured is that if it were not for White abolitionist, slavery may still be in existence to this day. Blacks had no power, political or otherwise to end slavery. The key force, had to come from those in power. Abolitionist risked life, reputation and freedom not because they simply believed in the cause, but because they had no other alternative.


Robert Smalls

ROBERT SMALLS

Robert Smalls is one of the most intelligent, adaptive and highly accomplished Blacks of the 19th and early 20th century. His accomplishments rival that of any American of his era. Born in 1839, Robert Smalls has the distinction of being a former slave who escaped to freedom, a decorated civil war veteran, a Captain of a U.S. vessel, a S.C. state legislator and U.C. Congressman, as well as Major General in the S.C. Militia.
Quote (from Harper's Weekly, 1862): "Robert Smalls, with whom I had a brief interview at General Benham's headquarters this morning, is an intelligent negro... adopted the idea of running the vessel, The Planter to sea from a joke which one of his companions had perpetrated."


Robert F. Williams

ROBERT F. WILLIAMS

Robert F. Williams was a shining example of an uncompromising Black man, who dedicated his life to the acquisition of justice through his pen, his radioshow and his fearless protection of his community. From, "Negroes With Guns" Black children in Monroe were not allowed in the public swimming pool reserved for whites, and several Black children had drowned in unsupervised swimming holes. In response, Williams asked the city to open the pool to Black children one day a week. City officials answered that this would be "too expensive". Williams then took a group of Black youth to the pool to try to get in and after this he started getting death threats. Robert Williams started organizing armed squads of Black people for self-defense.

“Somebody in the crowd fired a pistol and the people again started to scream hysterically, ‘Kill the niggers! Kill the niggers! Pour gasoline on the niggers!’ The mob started to throw stones on top of my car. So I opened the door of the car and I put one foot on the ground and stood up in the door holding an Italian carbine. All this time three policeman had been standing about fifty feet away from us while we kept waiting in the car for them to come and rescue us. Then when they saw that we were armed and the mob couldn’t take us, two of the policemen started running. One ran straight to me, grabbed me on the shoulder, and said, ‘Surrender your weapon! Surrender your weapon!’ I struck him in the face and knocked him back away from the car and put my carbine in his face, and told him that we didn’t intend to be lynched. The other policeman who had run around the side of the car started to draw his revolver out of the holster. He was hoping to shoot me in the back. They didn’t know that we had more than one gun. One of the students (who was seventeen years old) put a .45 in the policeman’s face and told him that if he pulled out his pistol he would kill him. The policeman started putting his gun back into the holster and backing away from the car, and he fell into the ditch.”

-from Negroes with Guns, documenting a 1961 NAACP campaign to integrate a public swimming pool.


Grimke Sisters ** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE ** Angela Grimke

THE GRIMKE'S

The Grimke family's legacy in American History is of firsts. Their legacy is wide ranging and explosive. From southern plantation aristocracy, to the front lines of the abolitionist and feminist movement. The sisters were members of one of the first families in upper crust of Charleston, South Carolina plantation aristocracy. From this beginning, the sisters became internationally know for their abolitionist and feminist writings, speeches and newspaper articles. Their brother, Henry Grimke, lived with one of his slaves, Nancy Weston, as husband and wife. They had three children, Archibald Francis and John. Archibald Grimke was a lawyer, journalist, diplomat and community leader. He was a graduate of Historically Black Lincoln University and later, Harvard Law School. He was consul to the Dominican Republic and co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. His daughter, Angelina W. Grimke was one of the first openly lesbian poet and was one of the first artists of the Harlem Renaissance.


Harriet Tubman

HARRIET TUBMAN

With the strength of 1,000 mules and the cunning of a fox, this simple woman risked her life by placing herself squarely between north and south, freedom and slavery to lead former slaves to the north where their bonds were permanently unshackled. From 1850-60, Harriet Tubman conducted between 11 and 13 escape missions, freeing approximately 70 individuals, including her parents, and other family and friends, while also giving instructions to approximately 50 more who found their way to freedom independently. In early June 1863, she became the first woman to command an armed military raid when she guided Col. James Montgomery and his 2nd South Carolina Black Regiment up the Combahee River routing out Confederate outposts, destroying stockpiles of cotton, food, weapons and liberating over 700 slaves.
When Harriet Tubman found out that she had crossed the Mason Dixon Line and she was free, she said, Quote: I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now that I was free, there was such glory over everything, the sun came up like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.”


E.D. Nixon

E.D. NIXON

Mostly unschooled, but fiercely determined, this simple man organized the major elements of the national civil rights movement from behind the scenes, which is the reason he is a little known figure. Nixon played a crucial role in organizing the landmark Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama in 1955. Nixon was also the leader of the Montgomery branch of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union, the Montgomery Welfare League, and the Montgomery Voters League. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described Nixon as "one of the chief voices of the Negro community in the area of civil rights," and "a symbol of the hopes and aspirations of the long oppressed people of the State of Alabama."
Quote: "I'm from Montgomery, Alabama, a city that's known as the cradle of the confederacy, that had stood still for more than ninety-three years until Rosa L. Parks was arrested and thrown in jail like a common criminal. Fifty thousand people rose up and caught hold to the cradle of the confederacy and began to rock it till the Jim Crow rockers began to reel and the segregated slats began to fall out."


Harriet Beecher Stowe

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

To describe Harriet Beecher Stowe and her accomplishments, it is best to quote, 'History is Biography'. for Uncle Tom's Cabin, perhaps the greatest and most influential book in the history of the United States is undoubtedly about the real life and the real times of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe, being a female author in a time when women had not attained the right of suffrage and were thought to be unsuited to make public statements before mixed company. Stowe was highly educated, with a strong philosophical and religious knowledge. Stowe was the daughter of Henry Ward Beecher, a religious scholar who had assumed the first presidency of Lane Seminary in 1832. Her husband was Calvin Stowe, a religious scholar in his own right who taught Greek at Dartmouth and joined Stowe's father at Lane Seminary.

Quote: ”When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."


W.E.B. Du Bois

W. E. B. DU BOIS

Du Bois became the leading figure in Black intelligensia. From his pulpit in Harvard, to his personal experiences in rural Tennessee, Du Bois took part in the creation of the Niagra Movement, The NAACP, and attempted to link American Blacks with the struggles of Africa.
Quote: "It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity."


Paul Robeson

PAUL ROBESON

Paul Robeson was an All-American athlete and top scholar who used his celebrity to advance the American ideals of freedom of speech, equal rights and political freedom around the world.
Quote: "I've learned that my people are not the only ones oppressed... I have sung my songs all over the world and everywhere found that some common bond makes the people of all lands take to Negro songs as their own."


Theodore Dwight Weld

THEODORE DWIGHT WELD

Weld was one of the most tireless and intelligent speakers against slavery in the history of the United States. He was the major agitator in the Lane Seminary debates, and was well known to all of the major abolitionist of the time. He was a master community and grass roots organizer and one of the chief tacticians of the abolitionist movement. In 1831 Arthur Tappan established the Anti-Slavery Society in New York. Weld also wrote several pamphlets for the organization including The Bible Against Slavery (1837) and the most well-researched history of the horrors of slavery, American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses (1839).


William Lloyd Garrison

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON

William Lloyd Garrison, the son of a seaman, advocated "immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves". Garrison established the anti-slavery newspaper, the Liberator. The newspaper only had a circulation of 3,000 but the strong opinions expressed in its columns gained Garrison a national reputation. Garrison's views were particularly unpopular in the South and the state of Georgia offered $5,000 for his arrest and conviction. Garrison was highly critical of the Church for its refusal to condemn slavery.


A. Phillip Randolph

A. PHILLIP RANDOLPH

The founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Randolph became the leading activist of his day.
Quote: "Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political and religious relationship."


Carter G. Woodson

CARTER G. WOODSON

From the dank, hot and dusty coal mines of West Virginia, to the hallowed halls of Harvard, Woodson is the author of the seminal book, The Mis-education of the Negro", a must read for all education minded Blacks.
Quote: "If the Negro area, however, is to continue as a district supported wholly from without, the inept dwellers therein will merit and will receive only the contempt of those who may occasionally catch glimpses of them in their plight."


Frederick Douglass

FREDERICK DOUGLASS

This escaped slave became the most iconic figure for Black activism, as well as Black strength. Escaping to freedom with forged seamen's papers, Douglass did not settle for merely his own freedom.
Quote: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning."


Thurgood Marshall

THURGOOD MARSHALL

The chief architect of the NAACP legal strategy to fight segregation, the hopes of the entire Black nation sat squarely upon his shoulders as he argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court.


Nelson Mandela

NELSON MANDELA

From tribal leader to lawyer to activist, underground resistance leader, inmate to President. Nelson Mandela is a case study in persistance, flexibility, determination and indomitable will.
Quote:"As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."


Marcus Garvey

MARCUS GARVEY

A native Jamaican, Garvey's need for recognition and pride became the impetus for the uplift of the entire Black Community as his organization birthed the political consciousness of the Harlem renaissance.


Rosa Parks

ROSA PARKS

One day in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 Rosa Parks decided she would not give up her seat at the front of the bus. So she was arrested. What followed was one of the largest and successful social protests in the history of the United States, known at the Montgomery bus boycott, which lasted 1 year and 19 days when the Supreme Court affirmed that segregation on public transportation was against the law. Parks was a secretary for the local NAACP office, and was chosen by E.D. Nixon due to her strong will and determination. Martin Luther King helped to organized carpools so that African-Americans could get to work. After several months, they won the right to sit at the front of the bus.


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Perhaps the most well-known Black man in the history of America, Dr. King won a Nobel Prize for his moving oration, his willingness to put it all on the line and his nonviolent approach, modeled after Gandhi. Most well known for his I HAVE A DREAM speech, his birthday is now a national holiday and an ever-present reminder of a time when Black people rose up to be counted.


Tommie Smith & John Carlos

TOMMIE SMITH & JOHN CARLOS

After finishing 1st and 3rd in the 400 meter race in Mexico City, Tommie Smith and John Carlos shocked the world by standing on the podium, barefoot (to symbolize poverty) and with black gloves on their fists in a black power salute to show solidarity with the civil rights movement and to protest a nation that failed to guarantee the rights of citizenship to a race of people. They endured years of criticism for their actions, yet today, they are recognized as symbolizing the irrepressible spirit and solidarity of oppressed peoples on an international stage.


Muhammad Ali

MUHAMMAD ALI

A young boxer named Cassius Clay (named after a famous white abolitionist) shocked the world in the Olympics, winning a gold medal in heavyweight boxing. When she returned home to the same racial prejudice, he became disenchanted with his gold medal and flung it into a river. Soon, the country called on him to fight another war, on foreign soil against the Vietnamese. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali, and refused to fight on the grounds that he himself oppressed, a Muslim and had no quarrel with Vietnamese. In response, he was stripped of his title. Due to his skill, his values and fearlessness, he became known as, THE GREATEST OF ALL-TIME.


C.J. Walker

MADAME C.J. WALKER

Madame Walker was the daughter of two former slaves. She had a dream to make a series of products for Black women. From this simple dream rose an empire. She was the first African-American multi-millionaire. She was a fixture in the heart of Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. Her business allowed thousands of black women to earn from $5-15 per week, in an era where unskilled labor made $11 a week.


Hattie McDaniel

HATTIE MCDANIEL

Hattie McDaniel was an American actress and the first black performer to win an Academy Award. She won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939). McDaniel was also a professional singer-songwriter, comedienne, stage actress, radio performer, and television star. Hattie McDaniel was in fact the first black woman to sing on the radio in America. Over the course of her career, McDaniel appeared in over 300 films, although she received screen credits for only about 80. McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Presidential Slave Owners

PRESIDENTIAL SLAVE OWNERS

Deserving of infamy vs. Fame, our nations forefathers either supported, condoned, traded, profited and/or engaged in the sexual exploitation of African Americans. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Johnson & Grant. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were not only the forefathers of the United States, they were also Slave-owners, and at least Jefferson was also the father of half-slave children. 12 of the first 18 U.S. Presidents were slave owners, and more than a few had 1/2 black children, most notably Harrison.


Pinkney Benton

PINCKNEY BENTON PINCHBACK

Pinchback was born in May 1837 in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, to Eliza Stewart, a biracial former slave, and William Pinchback, her former master. Pinchback lived in relatively affluent surroundings; his parents sent him north to Cincinnati, Ohio, to attend Gilmore High School. In 1848, his father died. To evade the possibility of her children becoming slaves, Pinchback's fled to Cincinnati. After the war, Pinchback returned to New Orleans and became active in the Republican Party. In 1868, he was elected as a State Senator, where he became senate president pro tempore of a Legislature that included 42 representatives of African American descent (half of the chamber, and seven of 36 seats in the Senate). In 1871 he became acting lieutenant governor. In 1872, the incumbent Republican governor Henry Clay Warmoth, suffered impeachment charges, Pinchback, as lieutenant governor, succeeded as governor on December 9 and served for 35 days until the end of Warmoth's term.


1st Black U.S. Senator & Representatives

1st BLACK U.S. SENATOR & REPRESENTATIVES

The 41st & 42nd Congress of the United States of American. Hiram Revels was the first African American to serve in the United States Senate. Since he preceded any African American in the House, he was the first African American in the U.S. Congress as well. He represented Mississippi in 1870 and 1871 during Reconstruction. As of 2009, Revels is one of only six African Americans ever to have served in the United States Senate.Benjamin Turner, a Representative from Alabama, elected as a Republican to the Forty-second Congress.>Robert De Large, a Representative from South Carolina, elected to the Forty-second Congress.Josiah Walls, elected to the Forty-second Congress, Forty-third Congress and Forty-fourth Congress. Jefferson Long, a Representative from Georgia, elected as a Republican to the Forty-first Congress Joseph H. Rainey, Rainey, born a slave in 1832 in Georgetown, became a freed black as his parents succeeded in buying their own freedom, was elected to the South Carolina state senate. In 1870 he assumed the U.S. Congress position and served four terms, finally losing election in 1878.

Tuskeegee Airmen

THE TUSKEEGEE AIRMEN

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, African Americans in many U.S. states still were subject to the Jim Crow laws. The American military was racially segregated. Despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction. The airmen were under the command of Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., and began flying combat missions in 1943 out of Casablanca, Morocco. The Tuskegee Airmen were credited by higher commands with the following accomplishments: 15,533 combat sorties, 311 missions; 112 German aircraft destroyed in the air, another 150 on the ground; A good record of protecting U.S. bombers,losing only 25 on hundreds of missions; Awards and decorations awarded for valor and performance included; 3 Distinguished Unit Citations 99th Pursuit Squadron; At least one Silver Star; an estimated 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses; 14 Bronze Stars; 744 Air Medals; 8 Purple Hearts