The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon
  • U.S. Department of State

    Division of the executive branch responsible for U.S. diplomacy. The secretary of state is one of the highest profile cabinet positions. Such notables as Charles Evans Hughes, John Foster Dulles and Colin Powell have occupied this position.
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

    Industrial labor union founded in 1881 by P.J. McGuire. Through much of its history, the UBC has been at the forefront of opening labor’s doors to all workers regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. Former Congressman Charles Hayes was an organizer for the organization in the early years of his career.
  • United Kingdom

    Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its height, the British Empire stretched over one fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two World Wars. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy.
  • United Negro College Fund

    An educational assistance organization founded in 1944, with the goal of increasing access to higher education for African Americans. Through its various programs the UNCF provides tuition assistance to promising African American students, raises money and operating funds for member schools, and supports increased access to technological resources in the nation’s historically black colleges and universities.
  • United States House of Representatives

    The lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States. The House is composed of representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the fifty states on a basis of population as measured by the U.S. census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected. The total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435.
  • United States Senate

    The upper chamber of the United States Congress, the House of Representatives being the lower chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States. The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represent a single state in its entirety, with each state being equally represented by two senators, regardless of its population, serving staggered terms of six years; there are 100 U.S. Senators. Until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states they represented; following the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, they are now popularly elected.
  • United States Supreme Court

    The judicial branch of the U.S. government, the U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court of appeals and has the power to overturn any court ruling in the country. The court has nine justices who are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. Once approved, the justices serve for life. Over the last two centuries the U.S. Supreme Court has played a crucial role in the struggle for civil rights. With the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896, the court officially sanctified racial segregation, stipulating that it was constitutional so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were “equal.” In 1954, in the historic Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, the court reversed this ruling, officially ending Jim Crow and institutionalized racial segregation.
  • University of California, Los Angeles

    Public university located in Los Angeles California. Since its founding in 1919, the University of California, Los Angeles has grown to become a world-renowned research institution. The university is organized into six undergraduate colleges, seven professional schools, and four professional health science schools. Famous alumni include Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
  • University of Chicago

    Private, non-profit, coeducational research university located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois and established in 1890. The university holds a number of top ten positions in national and international rankings and is home to numerous cultural archives, museums and collections.
  • Urban Bush Women

    A Brooklyn, New York based dance company and performance ensemble founded by artistic director is Jawole Willa Jo Zollar in 1984. The company produces performances based on women's experiences and African American history and culture. The ensemble's mission is to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance.
  • Urban School Improvement Act

    Illinois state legislation sponsored by Carol Moseley-Braun in 1985. The bill empowered parents’ councils in every school in the state of Illinois.
  • Uruguay

    Bordered by Brazil and Argentina on the South Atlantic Ocean, Uruguay witnessed violent revolution in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with military control established in 1973. Civilian authority over the government was reestablished in 1985, and today political conditions are some of the freest in South America. The capital, Montevideo, is the largest city.