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African American Collection

"African American Icons: Celebrating Strength, Resilience

Background imageAfrican American Collection: OLYMPIC GAMES, 1968. American runners Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (right)

OLYMPIC GAMES, 1968. American runners Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (right) showing the Black Power salute during the medal ceremonies at the Olympic Games in Mexico City

Background imageAfrican American Collection: SAM COOKE (1933-1964). American soul singer. Photograph, 1964

SAM COOKE (1933-1964). American soul singer. Photograph, 1964

Background imageAfrican American Collection: MALCOLM X (1925-1965). Originally Malcolm Little. American religious and political leader

MALCOLM X (1925-1965). Originally Malcolm Little. American religious and political leader. Photograph, c1963

Background imageAfrican American Collection: THE SUPREMES, c1963. American vocal trio. From left to right: Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson

THE SUPREMES, c1963. American vocal trio. From left to right: Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and Diana Ross in performance

Background imageAfrican American Collection: JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972). John Roosevelt Robinson, known as Jackie. American baseball player

JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972). John Roosevelt Robinson, known as Jackie. American baseball player. As a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers

Background imageAfrican American Collection: JIMI HENDRIX (1942-1970). American musician. Photographed during a concert at Berkeley

JIMI HENDRIX (1942-1970). American musician. Photographed during a concert at Berkeley, California in 1970

Background imageAfrican American Collection: GONE WITH THE WIND, 1939. Hattie McDaniel assists Vivien Leigh while offering some unwelcomed advice

GONE WITH THE WIND, 1939. Hattie McDaniel assists Vivien Leigh while offering some unwelcomed advice

Background imageAfrican American Collection: ARTHUR ASHE (1943-1993). American tennis player. Photographed during his match against Jimmy

ARTHUR ASHE (1943-1993). American tennis player. Photographed during his match against Jimmy Connors in the mens singles final at Wimbledon, won by Ashe in four sets, 5 July 1975

Background imageAfrican American Collection: The Beatles (from left: Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney)

The Beatles (from left: Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney)
BEATLES AND CLAY, 1964. The Beatles (from left: Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney) clowning with boxer Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali)

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Satchel Paige. American baseball player

Satchel Paige. American baseball player
LEROY R. PAIGE (1906-1982). Satchel Paige. American baseball player

Background imageAfrican American Collection: American civil rights advocate. Parks sits at the front of a public bus (formerly whites only)

American civil rights advocate. Parks sits at the front of a public bus (formerly whites only ) in Montgomery, Alabama
ROSA PARKS (1913-2005). American civil rights advocate. Parks sits at the front of a public bus (formerly whites only ) in Montgomery, Alabama, 21 December 1956

Background imageAfrican American Collection: SUGAR RAY ROBINSON (1921-1989). Robinson (right) during the seventh round of a fight

SUGAR RAY ROBINSON (1921-1989). Robinson (right) during the seventh round of a fight
SUGAR RAY ROBINSON (1921-1989). Walker Smith, Jr. Robinson (right) during the seventh round of a fight against Carmen Basilio, 1957

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Uniform cap worn by Pullman Porter Philip Henry Logan, 1966. Creator: Unknown

Uniform cap worn by Pullman Porter Philip Henry Logan, 1966. Creator: Unknown
A black cap with metallic braid trim and a label reading PULLMAN PORTER in black. Being a Pullman porter was one of the jobs that helped build the black middle class in America

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Detail of Diego Riveras mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts depicting the American automobile

Detail of Diego Riveras mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts depicting the American automobile industry, 1932-33
DIEGO RIVERA: DETROIT. Detail of Diego Riveras mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts depicting the American automobile industry, 1932-33

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Muhammad Ali wave to the St Andrews crowd watched by councillor James Hunte

Muhammad Ali wave to the St Andrews crowd watched by councillor James Hunte and associates Michale Zambouros (left) and Scott Weinburger. 4th May 1984

Background imageAfrican American Collection: CHICAGO: CHILDREN, 1941. Children jumping rope outside of an apartment building

CHICAGO: CHILDREN, 1941. Children jumping rope outside of an apartment building on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. Photograph by Edwin Rosskam, April 1941

Background imageAfrican American Collection: BLACK SENATORS, 1872. The First Colored Senators and Representatives in the 41st

BLACK SENATORS, 1872. The First Colored Senators and Representatives in the 41st and 42nd Congress of the United States. Lithograph, 1872, by Currier & Ives

Background imageAfrican American Collection: B. B. King, Mstricht Jazz Festival, the Netherlands, 1991. Creator: Brian Foskett

B. B. King, Mstricht Jazz Festival, the Netherlands, 1991. Creator: Brian Foskett
B.B.King, Mstricht Jazz Festival, the Netherlands, 1991

Background imageAfrican American Collection: McCoy Tyner performing at the Newport Jazz Festival, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough, July 1978

McCoy Tyner performing at the Newport Jazz Festival, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough, July 1978

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Gregory Porter, Love Supreme Jazz Festival, Glynde, East Sussex, 2013

Gregory Porter, Love Supreme Jazz Festival, Glynde, East Sussex, 2013

Background imageAfrican American Collection: ELIJAH MUHAMMAD (1897-1975). African American leader of the Nation of Islam

ELIJAH MUHAMMAD (1897-1975). African American leader of the Nation of Islam. Addressing a convention in Chicago; Muhammad Ali is seated to the left. Photograph, 1967

Background imageAfrican American Collection: E. FREEMAN (1742-1829). Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett). American abolitionist. Watercolor

E. FREEMAN (1742-1829). Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett). American abolitionist. Watercolor, 1811, by Susan Sedgwick

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Police dog attacking a young black man during the Youth Mass Demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama

Police dog attacking a young black man during the Youth Mass Demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama, spring 1963
CIVIL RIGHTS, 1963. Police dog attacking a young black man during the Youth Mass Demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama, spring 1963

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Rocky Marciano (left) defending his heavyweight title in a fight against Ezzard Charles at Yankee

Rocky Marciano (left) defending his heavyweight title in a fight against Ezzard Charles at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx
MARCIANO & CHARLES, 1954. Rocky Marciano (left) defending his heavyweight title in a fight against Ezzard Charles at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City, 17 June 1954

Background imageAfrican American Collection: HARLEM NEWSBOY, 1943. A newsboy from Harlem, New York. Photograph by Gordon Parks, 1943

HARLEM NEWSBOY, 1943. A newsboy from Harlem, New York. Photograph by Gordon Parks, 1943
HARLEM NEWSBOY, 1943. A newsboy in Harlem, New York. Photograph by Gordon Parks, 1943, digitally colored by Granger, NYC -- All Rights Reserved

Background imageAfrican American Collection: JOHNSON VS. JEFFRIES, 1910. American boxing poster promoting the championship fight between Jack

JOHNSON VS. JEFFRIES, 1910. American boxing poster promoting the championship fight between Jack Johnson and James J. Jeffries at Reno, Nevada, 4 July 1910

Background imageAfrican American Collection: BILLIE HOLIDAY (1915-1959). American singer. Photographed in 1948

BILLIE HOLIDAY (1915-1959). American singer. Photographed in 1948

Background imageAfrican American Collection: MALCOLM X (1925-1965). Born Malcolm Little. American religious and political leader

MALCOLM X (1925-1965). Born Malcolm Little. American religious and political leader. Photographed while giving a speech at a rally in Harlem, New York City, c1963

Background imageAfrican American Collection: WILMA RUDOLPH (1940-1994). American track and field athlete. Crossing the finish line to win

WILMA RUDOLPH (1940-1994). American track and field athlete. Crossing the finish line to win the 400-meter relay for the United States at the Summer Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, 8 September 1960

Background imageAfrican American Collection: JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972). John Roosevelt Robinson, known as Jackie. American baseball player

JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972). John Roosevelt Robinson, known as Jackie. American baseball player. Playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, probably 1947

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Originally Malcolm Little. American religious and political leader

Originally Malcolm Little. American religious and political leader
MALCOLM X (1925-1965). Originally Malcolm Little. American religious and political leader

Background imageAfrican American Collection: AMERICAN GOTHIC, 1942. Ella Watson, a US Government Chairwoman. Photograph by Gordon Parks, 1942

AMERICAN GOTHIC, 1942. Ella Watson, a US Government Chairwoman. Photograph by Gordon Parks, 1942

Background imageAfrican American Collection: BILLIE HOLIDAY (1915-1959). American jazz singer, holding an African sculpture

BILLIE HOLIDAY (1915-1959). American jazz singer, holding an African sculpture. Photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1949

Background imageAfrican American Collection: BASKETBALL GAME, 1966. Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), playing for UCLA

BASKETBALL GAME, 1966. Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), playing for UCLA, jumps to make a shot during a game against Southern California, December 1966

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Procession for Christian festival of Rameaux, Axoum (Axum) (Aksum), Tigre region

Procession for Christian festival of Rameaux, Axoum (Axum) (Aksum), Tigre region, Ethiopia, Africa

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Henry Ossian Flipper (1856-1940) the first black graduate of West Point Military Academy

Henry Ossian Flipper (1856-1940) the first black graduate of West Point Military Academy
PNP245880 Henry Ossian Flipper (1856-1940) the first black graduate of West Point Military Academy (b/w photo) by American Photographer

Background imageAfrican American Collection: The Battle Between Cribb and Molineaux, September 28, 1811, October 3, 1811

The Battle Between Cribb and Molineaux, September 28, 1811, October 3, 1811. Cribbs second was John Gully and his bottle-holder Joe Ward

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Humphrey Lyttelton and Sidney Bechet at Colston Hall, Bristol, 1956

Humphrey Lyttelton and Sidney Bechet at Colston Hall, Bristol, 1956

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Welders, or For Full Employment After the War. Poster, 1944, by Ben Shahn for the Congress of

Welders, or For Full Employment After the War. Poster, 1944, by Ben Shahn for the Congress of Industrial Organizations
WWII: EMPLOYMENT POSTER. Welders, or For Full Employment After the War. Poster, 1944, by Ben Shahn for the Congress of Industrial Organizations

Background imageAfrican American Collection: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (1929-1968). American clergyman and reformer. Dr. King (fourth from right)

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (1929-1968). American clergyman and reformer. Dr. King (fourth from right) leading the march from Selma on the state capitol at Montgomery, Alabama, 25 March 1965

Background imageAfrican American Collection: CHICAGO: BARBER SHOP, 1941. A barbershop in the Black Belt section of Chicago, Illinois

CHICAGO: BARBER SHOP, 1941. A barbershop in the Black Belt section of Chicago, Illinois. Photograph by Edwin Rosskam, April 1941

Background imageAfrican American Collection: BILL PICKETT (1870-1932). The cowboy star in an American poster for the 1923 film, The Bull-Dogger

BILL PICKETT (1870-1932). The cowboy star in an American poster for the 1923 film, The Bull-Dogger

Background imageAfrican American Collection: BILLIE HOLIDAY (1915-1959). American jazz singer

BILLIE HOLIDAY (1915-1959). American jazz singer

Background imageAfrican American Collection: DUKE ELLINGTON (1899-1974). American musician and composer. Photographed in 1934 by Maurice Seymour

DUKE ELLINGTON (1899-1974). American musician and composer. Photographed in 1934 by Maurice Seymour

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Riverboats at Shreveport, Louisiana, 1870s

Riverboats at Shreveport, Louisiana, 1870s
Stevedores loading barrels at the Red River levee at Shreveport, Louisiana, 1870s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageAfrican American Collection: Arab style Lamu door

Arab style Lamu door, Old Town, Mombasa, Kenya, East Africa, Africa

Background imageAfrican American Collection: LARRY DOBY (1923-2003). American baseball player, and first black player in the American League

LARRY DOBY (1923-2003). American baseball player, and first black player in the American League. Doby (right) photographed with Lou Boudreau, manager of the Cleveland Indians

Background imageAfrican American Collection: (1929-1968). American clergyman and reformer. At the March on Washington, 28 August 1963

(1929-1968). American clergyman and reformer. At the March on Washington, 28 August 1963
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (1929-1968). American clergyman and reformer. At the March on Washington, 28 August 1963



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"African American Icons: Celebrating Strength, Resilience, and Cultural Influence" The Olympic Games of 1968 witnessed a powerful moment when American runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos boldly raised their fists in the Black Power salute during the medal ceremonies. Australian Peter Norman stood beside them, wearing an OPHR badge in solidarity. In 1970, the legendary Jimi Hendrix mesmerized audiences with his electrifying guitar skills during a concert at Berkeley, California. His music transcended boundaries and left an indelible mark on rock history. Sam Cooke's soulful voice captivated listeners until his untimely death in 1964. As an African American soul singer, he paved the way for future generations to express themselves through music. Malcolm X was not only a religious leader but also a political figure who fearlessly fought for equal rights and justice. His legacy continues to inspire countless individuals today. Even The Beatles couldn't resist clowning around with boxing legend Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali) at his training camp in Miami Beach before his historic fight against Sonny Liston in 1964. Jackie Robinson shattered racial barriers as he stole home under the tag of catcher Andy Seminick during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1950. This iconic moment marked a significant step forward for African Americans in professional sports. Rosa Parks became an emblematic figure of civil rights advocacy when she defiantly sat at the front of a public bus designated for white passengers only. Her act of resistance sparked nationwide change and inspired others to stand up against segregation. Hattie McDaniel made history by becoming the first African American actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Mammy in "Gone with the Wind" (1939). Despite facing adversity, she broke barriers and opened doors for future generations of black actors and actresses. Satchel Paige showcased extraordinary talent on baseball fields, defying racial barriers and becoming one of the greatest pitchers in history.