An Independent Country

  • African American Poets and Writer: Phillis Wheatley

    African American Poets and Writer: Phillis Wheatley

    It was common during the 1700s for African village chiefs to sell young children to slave traders who would send them on ships to the Americas. Phillis Wheatley, one of those children, later became a famous poet. Fun Facts Phillis Wheatley was born around 1753 in Gambia, Africa. She was…


  • Barack Obama

    Barack Obama

    Barack Obama was the forty-fourth president of the United States and the first African American president. Fun Facts Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obama’s mother was a white American; his father, a black man from Kenya. Barack grew up mostly in Hawaii. His parents divorced…


  • Oprah Winfrey

    Oprah Winfrey

    Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful television personalities of all time. But her life began very humbly. Fun Facts Oprah was born in 1954 in Mississippi. Her mother was a maid and her father was a coal miner and a barber. Oprah’s mother was just a teenager when…


  • Venus and Serena Williams

    Venus and Serena Williams

    Two sisters dreamed of becoming tennis stars and made that dream come true through hard work and perseverance. Fun Facts Venus Williams was born on June 17, 1980. Serena was born a year later on September 26, 1981. Their father had always enjoyed watching tennis on television. He wanted to…


  • Peg Leg Joe and Follow the Drinking Gourd

    Peg Leg Joe and Follow the Drinking Gourd

    By the time of the Civil War, more than 4 million slaves were living in America and all of them longed for freedom. The Underground Railroad wasn’t a real railroad, but a system of roads and safe houses that black people traveled on their way to Canada or New England.…


  • Henry Box Brown

    Henry Box Brown

    Slaves had no control over their own lives — their work, their homes, their health, even their families —were controlled by slave owners. But the slave owners couldn’t control their feelings or their thoughts. And sometimes those feelings and thoughts led to desperate or creative acts. Like when Henry Brown…


  • African American Artists During the 20th Century

    African American Artists During the 20th Century

    Horace Pippin was born in 1888. His grandparents had been slaves. His parents were poor. As a little boy, Horace liked to draw but his parents didn’t have money for art materials. When he was 10, Horace won a box of crayons in a contest. When he was 14, he left…


  • African American Artists During the Nineteenth Century

    African American Artists During the Nineteenth Century

    Several African American artists began developing their talents in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Some of these were slaves, instructed by their masters. Others were free men and women. Very few of them felt safe enough to portray their feelings about slavery and inequality through their art. Most of…


  • The Freedom Riders

    The Freedom Riders

    After Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, laws were passed that said that whites and blacks could ride together on any bus traveling through more than one state. But throughout the South, this practice was still not allowed. So white volunteers began riding with black…


  • Martin Luther King Jr.

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    After Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, things started to change. There was an energy and a movement among African Americans, especially young adults. They gathered together to protest the Jim Crow laws that kept blacks and whites segregated. First, four black students in Greensboro,…