Lives of Several Critical African-American Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

, in 1963 brought him worldwide attention. He spearheaded the Aug., 1963, March on Washington, which brought together more than 200,000 people. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize." (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2003)

However, King's leadership in the civil-rights movement was challenged in the mid-1960s as others such as Malcolm X grew more militant. Indeed, his life paralleled the life of his hero Mahatma Gandhi. The originator of the nonviolent protest, Gandhi too took criticism as more militant colleagues pushed against non-violence in his later years.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s interests, however, broadened from civil rights to subsume criticism of the Vietnam War and a deeper concern over poverty. His plans for a Poor People's March to Washington were interrupted (1968) for a trip to Memphis, Tenn., in support of striking sanitation workers. On Apr. 4, 1968, he was shot and killed as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel (since 1991 a civil-rights museum). (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2003)

Jay-Z is an interesting figure to represent the advancement of black leaders in the American business schema - however, the next few paragraphs will make his selection an obvious one.

Jay-Z began his life, and therefore his career, in the infamous Marcy Projects in Brooklyn in New York City. A poor child of divorced parents, Jay-Z turned to selling drugs to support his love of music - soon, however, his success in the music arena eschewed any need for "hustling."

Jay-Z lives on as one of the pioneers of hip-hop music, but his leadership and influence did not end there. He began his own record label and continually signed cutting edge African-American acts, allowing them to continue in the tradition of pushing forward African-American music.

As the current culmination of his career, Jay-Z is the CEO of Def Jam records, a historic record label that has spawned black music in America for decades. Fortune recognizes him as one of America's most influential businessmen: "Jay-Z's story is more than a rags-to-riches tale of a small-time drug dealer who breaks out of one of the worst housing projects in Brooklyn to amass a fortune of some $320 million. In "getting his executive on," as the kids call it these days, he is not only redirecting the hip-hop culture he helped popularize -- from hooded-sweatshirt thug-chic to button-down-shirt sophistication -- but injecting the music business with a new sensibility. Like fellow hip-hop moguls Russell Simmons and Sean "Diddy" Combs, he is at heart an entrepreneur. Unlike them, he has signed on to go into the belly of a major corporation (Def Jam, which pulled in about $1 billion in revenues last year, is part of Universal Music Group)." (Fortune, 2005)

Jay-Z has taken hip-hop and turned himself into an industry mogul in a way that few African-Americans have - he has led not only by his music but his unorthodox leadership in a generally white corporate world.

Part Three

Thomas William Burton was born on May 4 in 1860. He was an African-American doctor, poet and administrator - one of the first black Americans in all three of these fields.

According to his biography, "From Madison County, Kentucky, he was born near Tates Creek. His father (Edward) and mother (Eliza) were slaves and he was the youngest of fifteen children. His father died when he was five and his mother died in 1869. In 1881, Burton attended Brea College in Kentucky. In 1889 he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, working with Dr. William Chavis, waiting tables, working in a lumberyard and in private families to pay for school. From 1890 to 1891 he attended the Medical College of Indiana, a year later the Eclectic College of Physicians and Surgeons where he graduated on March 24, 1892." (African-American Desk Reference, 2005)

After becoming a full-fledged doctor, Burton moved to Springfield, Ohio, April 5, 1892, and started his own practice of medicine and surgery. On August 3, 1893, he married Miss Hattie B. Taylor, of Cynthiana, KY. In 1897, after serving as a doctor in the Army he wrote a few articles for the Eclectic Medical Journal, printed monthly at Cincinnati, Ohio. Burton also saw the need of a State medical society composed of Negro physicians.

He and a colleague, Dr. H.R. Hawkins, of Xenia, Ohio, organized the "Ohio Mutual Medical Association." In 1910 he published his first book "What Experience Has Taught Me; An Autobiography of Thomas William Burton."

He writes in this work, "In my opinion a man is at his best at forty; but we, as Negro physicians, dentists, and druggists, will have to outlive a mountain of obstacles and impediments. A third of the patients we chance to get employ us on probation or for convenience, and we are net kept very long before we are discharged and one of the opposite race takes our place and holds the patients, though the time may be long or short. Therefore he gets both money and credit." (Burton, 1910)

Burton surmounted so many obstacles in order to become one of the first leading African-American doctors respected by not only blacks but by white American patients and doctors alike. He forged the path for tens of thousands of African-American doctors who followed him; and also other professionals such as lawyers who also surmounted obstacles to enter fields that were never traditionally open to African-Americans throughout American history.

These figures are singular leaders in African-American history. They have influenced all aspects of culture in America and have forged a path of success for all future African-American and other minority leaders.


Adams, Russell. (1963) Great Negroes Past and Present, pp. 106-107. Chicago, Afro-Am Publishing Co.

Bennett, Lerone, Jr. (1964) What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Chicago, Johnson.

Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King in Text and Pictures. New York, Time Life Books, 1968.

African-American Desk Reference. (2005). Thomas W. Burton. New…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Lives Of Several Critical African-American" (2005, October 25) Retrieved October 21, 2016, from

"Lives Of Several Critical African-American" 25 October 2005. Web.21 October. 2016. <>

"Lives Of Several Critical African-American", 25 October 2005, Accessed.21 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • African American Mothers and Their Daughters Ethical Issues

    African-American MOTHERS AND THEIR DAUGHTERS Ethical Issues in Gumdrop Northern The Executive Officer, ABC Company Ethical Issues in Gumdrop Northern It has come to my attention that the actions and functions of the Gumdrop Northern are not up to standards. The company besides afflicting the American citizens, particularly the military, has lacked a sense of corporate social responsibility to both their employees, customers and the natural environment. Notably, the business world faces the notion

  • African American Males Correlation Between

    Researchers in Chicago found the following statistics in relation to NYC heavy users of drugs among those in detention in terms of gender, race and age. The following figures reveal what their findings were. Heavy Users in Detention All Detained Youth Gender Gender Male 82% Male 83% Female 18% Female 17% Race Race Black 64% Black 63% Hispanic 31% Hispanic 31% White 5% White 4% Other 0% Other 2% Ages Ages Source: Callahan (2001) Vera Institute of Justice Report Treatment Options Cognitive

  • African American Women Literature Didion and

    That being said, it is quite difficult to be honest with oneself, even thought as we stand in front of the mirror, naked and bare, Didion says we remain "blind to our fatal weaknesses." One might think that being too self-critical would damage the ego, but for Didion, it is completely the opposite -- by knowing out flaws, accepting some and working towards the goal of solving others, we become

  • African American Women Who Have Lost

    However, conventional beliefs that there is low rate for African-American involvement in suicidal activities, there exists minimal focus on learning the possible suicide patterns among African-Americans. Social workers are not aware of the risks and protectiveness among African-Americans. This gives room for misinterpretation of facts concerning self-destructive activities of African-Americans. The research further stresses the importance of social workers to the study of suicide among African-Americans. They also have the

  • Isolation African American Civil Rights Historically

    Board of Education of Topeka. This case represented a watershed for Civil Rights and helped to signal an end to segregation because it determined that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" (Warren, 1954). It is essential to note that federal support on this particular issue was only earned after African-Americans decided to use the legislative system to their advantage by taking the segregationist school system of Topeka, Kansas to

  • Progression of African Americans Matters Seemed

    Unit IV: The media world had advanced a lot near the half of the twentieth century, and this made it possible for African-Americans to be heard through means such as the television, the radio, and the newspaper. The culture and trends promoted by black people no longer seemed to be resentful for the white public. Even if the majority of black people continued to experience financial problems, they did not feel

  • Recession and African Americans in the

    Edgar Hoover, makes public its continuing investigation into the activities of black nationalist organizations, singling out the Black Panther Party in particular, Hoover viewing the group as a national security threat. January 05, 1970 Blacks Move Out of Inner Cities: The Bureau of Census statistics show as the quality of life in poverty-stricken urban communities worsens, a continuous stream of middle-class blacks escape to higher-income neighborhoods and suburbs. February 13, 1970 First Black

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved