A group of African American women who are part of a book club were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train on Saturday. Photo: Lisa Johnson

A group of African American women who are part of a book club were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train on Saturday. Photo: Lisa Johnson

Newly-elected Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as featured on the cover of the February issue of Ebony magazine, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 1969, photograph by Moneta Sleet, Jr.

Newly-elected Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as featured on the cover of the February issue of Ebony magazine, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 1969, photograph by Moneta Sleet, Jr.

A rare catalog for an 1854 sale that included enslaved Africans. One of the oldest collections at Yale, the Slavery Pamphlets archive comprises over 750 booklets and tracts from predominantly American and European regions

A rare catalog for an 1854 sale that included enslaved Africans. One of the oldest collections at Yale, the Slavery Pamphlets archive comprises over 750 booklets and tracts from predominantly American and European regions

Dr. Ruth Simmons: First African-American woman to lead an Ivy League universityDr. Ruth Simmons is not your average academic. In 2001, Simmons was named president of Brown University—the first African-American woman to be at the helm of an Ivy League university. Immediately prior to taking over at Brown, Simmons served as president of another prestigious school, the Seven-Sister institution Smith College.

Dr. Ruth Simmons: First African-American woman to lead an Ivy League universityDr. Ruth Simmons is not your average academic. In 2001, Simmons was named president of Brown University—the first African-American woman to be at the helm of an Ivy League university. Immediately prior to taking over at Brown, Simmons served as president of another prestigious school, the Seven-Sister institution Smith College.

Lorraine Hansberry was born on May 19, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. She wrote A Raisin in the Sun, a play about a struggling black family, which opened on Broadway to great success. Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award. Throughout her life she was heavily involved in civil rights. She died at 34 of pancreatic cancer.

Lorraine Hansberry was born on May 19, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. She wrote A Raisin in the Sun, a play about a struggling black family, which opened on Broadway to great success. Hansberry was the first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award. Throughout her life she was heavily involved in civil rights. She died at 34 of pancreatic cancer.

Enslaved women, regardless of their age, were viewed as seducers of White men. This was a way for slave owners or plantation overseers to justify their raping of the black women.

Enslaved women, regardless of their age, were viewed as seducers of White men. This was a way for slave owners or plantation overseers to justify their raping of the black women.

Not published in LIFE.  Scene after wartime race riots between blacks and whites which swept Detroit, Mich., in June 1943.

Not published in LIFE. Scene after wartime race riots between blacks and whites which swept Detroit, Mich., in June 1943.

Nurse Midwife Maude Callen stops to check on twins who were delivered a day apart a year earlier by Maude and pump herself a drink of water.

W. Eugene Smith's Landmark Photo Essay, 'Nurse Midwife'

Nurse Midwife Maude Callen stops to check on twins who were delivered a day apart a year earlier by Maude and pump herself a drink of water.

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