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Shirley Chisholm, Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Du Bois And Richard Allen As The Great People Of America

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The four people I will be talking about have more in common than just their skin tone. These four people and the others on the list were/ are/ successful in their own great ways. We have court officials, educators, scholars, and the list continues. The four people I will be talking about in this paper are Shirley Chisolm, Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Du Bois, and last but not least Richard Allen.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was born in Brooklyn New York on November 30th, 1924 (Michals, 2015). Chisholm was the eldest daughter of Charles St. Hill who was an immigrant from Guyana and Ruby Seale St. Hill an immigrant from Barbados (Michals, 2015). In 1946 Chisholm would graduate from Brooklyn College cum laude, where she would win prizes on the debate team (Michals, 2015). After earning her master’s degree in early childhood education in 1951 from Columbia University she would go on to be a consultant to the New York City Division of Day Care, then joining many groups including the NAACP (Michals, 2015). She would eventually become the first African American woman in congress (1968) where she would introduce over 50 pieces of legislation, championed racial and gender equality, and ended the Vietnam war (Michals, 2015). This very successful woman passed away on January 1st, 2005, but will continue to be remembered for her impact on the government.

Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore Maryland on July 2nd, 1908 (Smentkowski, 2018). He was born to two hard-working parents William Canfield Marshall and Norma Williams Marshall (Smentkowski, 2018). In 1930 Marshall graduated with honors from Lincoln Unversity in Pennsylvania, then he graduated from Howard University Law School in 1933 after being denied entry to the University of Maryland Law School because of his skin color (Smentkowski, 2018). In the 1940s through the 1950s he would become the countries top lawyer winning 29 out of the 32 cases he got (Smentkowski, 2018). One of his most successful cases was that of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka which lit the flame the Civil Rights movements needed (Smentkowski, 2018). He died in 1993 but he will be remembered for being a great lawyer, civil rights activist, and the first African American member of the Supreme court (Smentkowski, 2018).

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Williams Edward Burghardt Du Bois better known as W.E.B Du Bois was born February 23rd, 1868 in Great Barrington Massachusetts (Rudwick, 2019). In 1888 Du Bois graduated from Fisk University, and in 1985 he received his Ph. D. from Harvard University (Rudwick, 2019). Years later in 1905, he would take the lead in founding the Niagra movement which was dedicated to attacking Booker T. Washington’s platform (Rudwick, 2019). The organization he lead would become the inspiration for the NAACP or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He would die in Accra Ghana, in 1963 but will continue to be remembered as a sociologist and social reformer (Rudwick, 2019).

Richard Allen was born into slavery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1760 (Levison, 2007). Allen’s master Stokeley Sturgis is said to have been influenced by Allen and actually offered his slaves an opportunity to buy their way out of slavery (Levison, 2007). By 1783 Allen purchased his freedom for $2,000 and in 1786 he would teach and preach in the St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church (Levison, 2007). He overcame slavery and he became successful, he would die in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 26th, 1831. He will be remembered as a great educator, writer, minister, and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (Levison, 2007).

In the end, all of these great people will be remembered for their successes and how they one way or another influenced the country and or the world.


  1. Michals, D. (2015). Shirley Chisholm. Retrieved September 30, 2019, from
  2. Pope-Levison, P. (2019, May 2). Richard Allen [Pennsylvania] (1760-1831) • BlackPast. Retrieved September 30, 2019, from
  3. Rudwick, E. (2019, September 3). W.E.B. Du Bois. Retrieved September 30, 2019, from
  4. Smentkowski, B. P. (2018). Thurgood Marshall. Retrieved September 30, 2019, from

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Shirley Chisholm, Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Du Bois And Richard Allen As The Great People Of America. (2021, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 5, 2023, from
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Shirley Chisholm, Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Du Bois And Richard Allen As The Great People Of America. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
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