Dick Allen was the first African American superstar for the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies had been the last National league baseball team to integrate. Being a trail blazer Allen had a love hate relationship with Philadelphia. His accomplishments and lasting impact cannot be denied. Allen hit the longest home runs since Babe Ruth, he had the heaviest bat in baseball.. Allen's batting average was strong, his base running could beat lighting and he was a five tool player. In spite of horrid racism Allen faced in the minor leagues he played at an optimum level. During Allen’s time with the Phillies the only writer he would speak to was Acel Moore.
Trudy Haynes the first Philadelphia Black newscaster brought a Black face into living rooms across Philadelphia. When asked about her motivation in landing such a position, Haynes stated that "because of the lack of Black reporters in the industry, I was never influenced by anyone. My growth was simply brashness on my part.” Both Acel and Trudy transcended Philadelphia through their craft and through their influence on their craft.
Acel Moore who started as a copy boy at the Inquirer and became one of four Black reporters. William K. Marimow, now editor of The Inquirer, who worked closely with Mr. Moore beginning in 1972, called his reporting colleague "a trailblazer.""Acel was an extraordinary person, not only in the history of Philadelphia journalism but in the history of the city,". "His knowledge of the city was second to none."
Tina Sloan Green was the first African American Lacross coach and led Temple to several NCAA championships and is now in the hall of fame. She also founded the Black Women in Sport Foundation. Coach Green is soft spoken, has subtle features and a gentle understanding of the world. Tina Sloan Green is a ball of light and accomplishment transcending all of us toward a brighter and Blacker future.
Walter P. Lomax, Jr., M.D. (1933 - October 10, 2013) was a medical practitioner in Philadelphia neighborhood where he served for more than three decades. His practice grew from a private single physician office to a multi-site group practice consisting of over 20 well-trained physicians. Lomax is a graduate of La Salle University and Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. In 1982, Lomax established Lomax Health Systems, Inc. (LHS), a management company contracting exclusively on health care recruiting physicians and physician assistants to supplement the city of Philadelphia's staff in the prison system. In an interesting twist of fate, in 1994, Dr. Lomas purchased the plantation where his great grandmother enslaved in King William County in Virginia. Recently, the Lincoln University Pennsylvania. Lincoln University honored Walter with Ph.D. in science for his various contributions to health facilities. Lomax is a former Trustee of La Salle University, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. (emeritus).
David Shulkin, M.D. served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. He also served as president of Morristown Medical Center and as vice president has been Chief Medical Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a number of other prominent hospitals. Shulkin founded and served as the Chairman and CEO of Doctor Quality, Inc., a consumer-oriented information service. In 2015, Shulkin resigned from a private sector position to work in the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Secretary for Health and Human Services. .On January 11, 2017, Shulkin was selected by President-elect Trump as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. On February 13, 2017, the Senate unanimously confirmed Shulkin as the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs in a 100 - 0 vote, making him the only cabinet nominee by Trump to have unanimous consent. He is the first non veteran to hold the position.
Dr. Ruth Wright Hayre, in Philadelphia, the retired, first African American woman President of the Philadelphia School Board. Ruth Hayre’s grandfather lived through the Civil War and ended up going to Oxford University, Penn and Harvard. He became President of Georgia State College and then founded Citizens and Southern Bank of Philadelphia. Ruth’s father was said to be the tenth African American in the country to earn a doctorate. Dr. Hayre was first denied a teaching job in Philadelphia schools in 1931 because she was African American. He however became the first African American high school teacher in Philadelphia in 1946 and then ten years later she became the first African American principal in Philadelphia and then in 1963 the first African American superintendent. In the late 1980’s Dr. Hayre promised a class of students at the elementary school named for her grandfather that any student who graduated she would pay their college. She paid for 119 students. A book followed the students lives called Tell Them We Are Rising was published in 1998.
Coach John Chaney first became a basketball coach in 1963 at Sayre Junior High School. Where he went 59–9 in three seasons. Inheriting a one-win team in 1966 at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia, Chaney compiled a 63-23 record in six seasons. The first collegiate position held by Chaney was at Division II Chaney State. There, Chaney was 232-56. He won a national title in 1978. After a decade at Cheyney, Chaney moved on to Division I Temple University. where Chaney built a reputation as a tough coach who always demanded excellence on and off the court. He was well known for his early-morning practices, match-up zone defense match-ups, tough non-conference scheduling, and winning basketball teams. Chaney won a total of 741 career games. He took Temple to the NCAA tournament 17 times. His 1987-88 Owls team entered the NCAA tournament ranked #1 in the country, and he reached the Elite Eight on five different occasions. In 2001, Chaney was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Queen Mother Falaka Fattah is founder of the House of Umoja, where she and her husband created a boy’s town in the middle of territorial gang warfare in Philadelphia. Over a ten year period, she and her husband were able to end territorial gang warfare in Philadelphia. For this, they were recognized by three President’s, Carter, Clinton and Reagan. Since the gang wars, The House of Umoja has helped to raise 3,000 boys who have gone through their house.
Sherwin Seligshon is the founder of Interdigital Communications and Universal Display Corporation. Through these efforts, Mr. Seligshon established himself as an important innovator in digital radio, wireless communication and in transmitting light through organic light emitting diodes which provide brighter, crisper displays on electronic devices. Mr. Seligshon may be remembered as America’s greatest visionary in the second half of the twentieth century. His legacy is just beginning now.
Jerry Wolman was a beloved owner of the Philadelphia Eagles and the founder of the Philadelphia Flyers. Jerry was a community owner who was concerned about all of Philadelphia. Mr. Wolman played an important role in getting Veteran’s Stadium built for the Eagles and the Phillies. His players loved him and when he passed several years ago, several thousand people showed up to say goodbye.
Charles Blockson founded one of the nation’s leading research facilities for the study of the history and culture of people of African descent. This collection of over 500,000 items, has materials on the global black experience in all formats: books, manuscripts, sheet music, pamphlets, journals and newspapers. Mr. Blockson has published numerous books and is considered a leading historian on the Philadelphia area.