100 Greatest African Americans
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100 Greatest African Americans
100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia
100 Greatest African Americans.jpg
AuthorMolefi Kete Asante
CountryUnited States
SubjectAfrican-American biographies
PublisherPrometheus Books
Media typePrint

100 Greatest African Americans is a biographical dictionary of one hundred historically great Black Americans (in alphabetical order; that is, they are not ranked), as assessed by Temple University professor Molefi Kete Asante in 2002.


Asante used five factors in establishing the list:

  • "significance in the general progress of African-Americans toward full equality in the American social and political system"
  • "self-sacrifice and a willingness to take great risks for the collective good"
  • "unusual will and determination in the face of great danger and against the most stubborn odds"
  • "a consistent posture toward raising the social, cultural and economic status of African Americans"
  • "personal achievement that reveals the best qualities of the African American people"

It was positively reviewed in Reference and User Services Quarterly in 2003, while noting the subjectivity in judging greatness, particularly for contemporary individuals.[1]

The list

  1. Hank Aaron
  2. Ira Aldridge
  3. Muhammad Ali
  4. Richard Allen
  5. Marian Anderson
  6. Maya Angelou
  7. Arthur Ashe
  8. Crispus Attucks
  9. James Baldwin
  10. Benjamin Banneker
  11. Amiri Baraka
  12. Romare Bearden
  13. Mary McLeod Bethune
  14. Guion Bluford
  15. Arna Bontemps
  16. Edward W. Brooke
  17. Gwendolyn Brooks
  18. Blanche K. Bruce
  19. Ralph Bunche
  20. George Washington Carver
  21. Shirley Chisholm
  22. Kenneth B. Clark
  23. John Henrik Clarke
  24. John Coltrane
  25. Bill Cosby
  26. Alexander Crummell
  27. Countee Cullen
  28. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
  29. Martin R. Delany
  30. Frederick Douglass
  31. Charles Drew
  32. W. E. B. Du Bois
  33. Paul Laurence Dunbar
  34. Katherine Dunham
  35. Duke Ellington
  36. James Forten
  37. John Hope Franklin
  38. Henry Highland Garnet
  39. Marcus Garvey
  40. Prince Hall
  41. Fannie Lou Hamer
  42. Lorraine Hansberry
  43. Dorothy Height
  44. Matthew Henson
  45. Charles Hamilton Houston
  46. Langston Hughes
  47. Zora Neale Hurston
  48. Jesse Jackson
  49. Mae Jemison
  50. Jack Johnson
  51. James Weldon Johnson
  52. John H. Johnson
  53. Percy Julian
  54. Ernest Just
  55. Maulana Karenga
  56. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  57. Edmonia Lewis
  58. Alain Locke
  59. Joe Louis
  60. Thurgood Marshall
  61. Benjamin E. Mays
  62. Elijah McCoy
  63. Claude McKay
  64. Oscar Micheaux
  65. Dorie Miller
  66. Garrett Morgan
  67. Toni Morrison
  68. Elijah Muhammad
  69. Jesse Owens
  70. Rosa Parks
  71. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
  72. Colin Powell
  73. A. Philip Randolph
  74. Hiram Revels
  75. Paul Robeson
  76. Jackie Robinson
  77. John Russwurm
  78. Arturo Schomburg
  79. Benjamin "Pop" Singleton
  80. Mary Church Terrell
  81. William Monroe Trotter
  82. Sojourner Truth
  83. Harriet Tubman
  84. Kwame Ture
  85. Henry McNeal Turner
  86. Nat Turner
  87. David Walker
  88. Madame C. J. Walker
  89. Booker T. Washington
  90. Ida B. Wells-Barnett
  91. Phillis Wheatley
  92. Walter F. White
  93. Roy Wilkins
  94. Daniel Hale Williams
  95. August Wilson
  96. Oprah Winfrey
  97. Tiger Woods
  98. Carter G. Woodson
  99. Richard Wright
  100. Malcolm X

See also


  1. ^ Hughes, M. Elaine (Summer 2003). "'100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia' Book Review". Reference and User Services Quarterly. 42 (4): 356.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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