Ernest C. Withers (American, 1922–2007) First Desegregated Bus Ride: Dr. Martin Luther King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy on first desegregated bus, Montgomery, Alabama, December 1956, from the portfolio I am a Man, 1956 Gelatin silver print Oberlin Friends of Art Fund, 2004.6.2
American pacifist James Zwerg after being beaten by a mob in Montgomery, Alabama in 1960 as part of the Freedom Riders. Zwerg volunteered to leave the bus first upon arriving in Montgomery, knowing he’d be the blunt of the violent crowd’s aggression. He would have died that day if an anonymous black man hadn’t stepped in and saved his life by deflecting the mob’s attention to himself.
Johnnetta B. Cole, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art! Dr. Cole was the first African American female president of Spelman College from 1987-1997. She was also president of Bennett College from 2002-2007.
Clara "Mother" Hale, who at age 67 became founder of Hale House, a home for unwanted children, and children born addicted to drugs. By 1991, a reported 1,000+ children had been cared for by Hale House. At the time of her death in 1992 at the age of 87, Mother Hale had received over 372 awards, President Reagan had referred to her as an “American Hero” in his State of the Union address, and she was named an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.