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Hallie Q. Brown. With two nieces, c. 1913. Courtesy of the National Afro-American Museum.

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Brown, Hallie Quinn (10 March 1849–16 September 1949), educator, elocutionist, and entertainer, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Thomas Arthur Brown, a steward and express agent on riverboats, and Frances Jane Scroggins. Both her parents were former slaves. When Hallie was fourteen years old she moved with her parents and five siblings to Chatham, Ontario, where her father earned his living farming, and the children attended the local school. There Brown’s talents as a speaker became evident. Returning to the United States around 1870, the family settled in Wilberforce, Ohio, so that Hallie and her younger brother could attend Wilberforce College, a primarily black African Methodist Episcopal (AME) institution....

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Engle, Paul (12 Oct. 1908–22 March 1991), poet, literary critic, and educator, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Thomas Allen, a horse trader, and Evelyn (Reinheimer) Engle. He was educated at local schools, helped his father in the livery stable, and worked as a newsboy selling papers on the streets, a carrier boy, a chauffeur, a gardener, and, for many years, a drugstore clerk. He began writing poetry at Washington High School and was elected class poet. At Coe College in Cedar Rapids, he studied English literature, American history, and languages, and was awarded a B.A. in ...

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Kinnersley, Ebenezer (30 November 1711–04 July 1778), scientific lecturer and teacher, was born in Gloucester, England, the son of William Kinnersley and Sarah Turner. The family emigrated to America in 1714, and William Kinnersley became assistant minister to the Pennepeck Baptist Church, Lower Dublin, near Philadelphia. Nothing is known of Ebenezer Kinnersley’s education. He was baptized on 6 September 1735, married Sarah Duffield in 1739, and moved to Philadelphia about that time, working as a shopkeeper and occasionally preaching at the Philadelphia Baptist Church....