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Civil rights activists, known for their fight against social injustice and their lasting impact on the lives of all oppressed people, include Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois and Malcolm X.
READ MORE: Martin Luther King Jr. and 8 Black Activists Who Led the Civil Rights Movement
Paul Robeson was an acclaimed 20th-century performer known for productions like 'The Emperor Jones' and 'Othello.' He was also an international activist.
Civil rights activist Medgar Evers served as the first state field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi until his assassination in 1963.
African American chemist Percy Julian was a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs such as cortisone, steroids and birth control pills.
Marcus Garvey was a proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, inspiring the Nation of Islam and the Rastafarian movement.
Barbara Jordan was a U.S. congressional representative from Texas and was the first African American congresswoman to come from the Deep South.
One of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, John Lewis continued to fight for people's rights since joining Congress in 1987.
Baseball legend Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's hallowed mark of 714 home runs and finished his career with numerous big league records.
In 1967, Richard Loving and his wife Mildred successfully fought and defeated Virginia's ban on interracial marriage via a historic Supreme Court ruling.
Stokely Carmichael was a Trinidadian American civil rights activist known for leading the SNCC and the Black Panther Party in the 1960s.
Actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte has achieved lasting fame for such songs as "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)," as well as for his film and humanitarian work.
Jesse Jackson is an American civil rights leader, Baptist minister and politician who twice ran for U.S. president.
John F. Kennedy, the 35th U.S. president, negotiated the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and initiated the Alliance for Progress. He was assassinated in 1963.
Nelson Mandela was the first Black president of South Africa, elected after time in prison for his anti-apartheid work. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Frederick Douglass was a leader in the abolitionist movement, an early champion of women’s rights and author of ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.’
Prolific author Pearl S. Buck earned a Pulitzer Prize for her novel 'The Good Earth.' She was also the fourth female to win a Nobel Prize for Literature.
Ruby Bridges was the first African American child to integrate an all-white public elementary school in the South. She later became a civil rights activist.
Booker T. Washington was one of the foremost African American leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, founding the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute.
W.E.B. Du Bois was an influential African American rights activist during the early 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP and wrote 'The Souls of Black Folk.'
Thurgood Marshall was instrumental in ending legal segregation and became the first African American justice of the Supreme Court.
A. Philip Randolph was a trailblazing leader, organizer and social activist who championed equitable labor rights for African American communities during the 20th century.
James Meredith is a civil rights activist who became the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962.
Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot and killed by an Alabama state trooper in 1965; his death inspired a civil rights demonstration that led to the Voting Rights Act.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a scholar and minister who led the civil rights movement. After his assassination, he was memorialized by Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Henry "Box" Brown was an enslaved man who shipped himself to freedom in a wooden box. He developed his published slave narrative into an anti-slavery stage show.