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Three black women helped send John Glenn into orbit. When John Glenn was preparing for orbit aboard 'Friendship 7' in 1962, there was one person he trusted with the complex trajectory calculations required to bring him down safely from his orbital spaceflight: Katherine Johnson, a Black mathematician who worked in Nasa’s segregated west area computers division.


The Tuskegee Airmen

The popular name for a group of Black military pilots who fought in World War II. Officially, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces.

Martin Luther King Jr


A Black American Baptist minster and activist who became the most visible spokesman and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.


Emmett Till


A fourteen year old innocent who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store.


Historical Timeline

ransom and sarah williams farmstead

Colonial Period - Africans are brought to Colonial America 

slavery in texas, ransom and sarah williams farmstead
ransom and sarah williams farmstead,

Republic Period

1836 Texas achieves independence from Mexico and legalizes slavery. Free blacks and mulattos are forbidden from entering the state.

Early Statehood 

is this period during 1857 The U.S. Supreme Court, in Dredd Scott vs. Sanford, denies citizenship to all slaves, ex-slaves, and descendants of slaves and denies Congress the right to prohibit slavery in the territories.

dred scott v. sanford, ransom and sarah williams farmstead
ransom and sarah williams farmstead, civil war

Civil War


Ends with surrender of Confederate armies. 

Slavery finally ends in Texas with Major Gen. Gordon Granger's announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865, at Galveston.


15th amendment grants African American men the right to vote.

reconstruction period, ransom and sarah williams farmstead
ransom and sarah williams farmstead, jim crow era

Jim Crow Era

1896 U.S. Supreme Court issues landmark ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities. “Separate but equal” doctrine becomes law.

Maxwell Courtney 

There’s a statue of Maxwell Courtney on the Florida Sate University campus these days. It shows a young man with a determined expression, a book in his hand, and his head held high. During his time as an undergraduate, civil rights issues were front page news almost every day across the American south, and elsewhere. read more

maxwell courtney
Barbara Williams Softball Complex.jpg

The Barbara Williams Softball Complex

Opened in February, 2012 on the Alabama State Campus, bringing the program home to compete on the campus for the first time.

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