DCS: estelita rodriguez

Fourteen-year old Cuban native Estelita Rodriguez signed a contract with MGM studios in 1942. She was dropped by the studio, however, just prior to filming her first picture. She moved to New York and signed a five-picture deal with Republic Pictures, a studio that produced Roy Rogers movies and specialized in Westerns. Her debut was in Along …

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DCS: rachel corrie

In 2003, college senior Rachel Corrie traveled from her hometown of Olympia, Washington to Rafah, a combat zone in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Her goal was to make Rafah a “sister city” with Olympia. During her mission, she joined up with a pro-Palestinian activist group called International Solidarity Movement. The group opposed the Israel …

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DCS: sandy west

From the time she was nine years old, when her grandfather bought her a drum kit, Sandy West had been rocking. Using every spare minute to practice, Sandy became the drummer in her Long Beach, California elementary school band. Later, she was the only female drummer who played in local bands. Fifteen-year-old Sandy met flamboyant …

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DCS: paige young

As Bill Cosby’s sexual harassment and assault retrial begins, the story of his relationship with Paige Young remains a forgotten footnote to the list of Mr. Cosby’s accusers. A naïve budding model named Paige Young was presented as “Miss November” in the penultimate issue of Playboy magazine for the year 1968. The pretty and petite …

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DCS: shirley hemphill

Born in North Carolina, Shirley Hemphill was an aspiring comedian while she supported herself with a job in a factory. She sent a cassette recording of her routine to popular comedian Flip Wilson. Impressed by the tape, Wilson sent Shirley a new cassette recorder, a dozen roses and an invitation to visit the set of …

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DCS: tammi terrell

A teenage Tammi Terrell, still using her birth name of Montgomery, signed on as a back-up singer with soul legend James Brown in 1963. While on tour, she entered into a sexual, yet physically abusive, relationship with the singer. Tammi eventually left Brown after he beat her for not watching his entire performance. Following a …

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IF: olympics

At the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Nazi-controlled Berlin, Germany, Jesse Owens single-handedly crushed Adolf Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy. Jesse, an African-American son of sharecroppers, won four gold medals in track and field in Berlin before an astonished crowd. Despite his achievements and the accolades he received, he was not offered an invitation to …

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DCS: lorraine hansberry

When A Raisin in the Sun opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in 1959, it was the first Broadway show written by an African-American playwright. Lorraine Hansberry, at 29, was also the youngest to win a New York Critics’ Circle award. Lorraine grew up in Chicago’s South Side, where her father, a successful real estate …

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