Explorers

United States – Barbara Hillary, First Black Woman To Reach North Pole & South Pole

Barbara Hillary was born in New York City on June 12, 1931, and raised in Harlem. She attended New School University in New York, going on to become a nurse. Surviving lung cancer, she became interested in Arctic travel during her retirement. Raising over $25,000 to fund her expedition to the Arctic, on April 23,

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United States – William ‘Bill’ Pinkney, First African American To Solo-Circumnavigate The Globe By Boat

Sailing a 47-foot boat called The Commitment, William “Bill” Pinkney became the first African American and only the fourth person in the world to solo-circumnavigate the globe by boat. Pinkney’s journey took 22 months to complete and covered 27,000 miles. It began on August 5, 1990 and was completed on June 9, 1992. Pinkney’s route

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United States – Charles Madison Crenchaw, First African American To Summit Denali

Charles Madison Crenchaw was the first African American to summit Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, on July 9, 1964. He was one of a team of 15 people led by Alvin E. Randall, all part of the Seattle Mountaineers. Along with being part of the historic 1964 McKinley Expedition, Crenchaw worked for

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United States – George Washington Gibbs Jr., First Black Person To Reach South Pole

George Washington Gibbs Jr. was born on 7 November 1916 in Jacksonville, Florida. His family moved to New York City, where he attended Brooklyn Technical School and later earned his GED before joining the Navy. Gibbs became the first Black person to reach the South Pole as part of the United States Antarctic Service Expedition

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James Beckwourth American mountain man, fur trader, and explorer.. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – James Pierson Beckwourth, American Western Frontier Explorer

James Pierson Beckwourth, born to a Black mother and White father, was a mountain man, fur trader, and American Western Frontier explorer. Born on April 26, 1798 or 1800 into slavery in Virginia, he was granted his freedom by his White father and master around 1823. He then went to the American West, where he

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United States – George Bonga, Fur Trader, Wilderness Guide & Hotelier

George Bonga was born in 1802 to Pierre, a freed enslaved African, and his mother, Ogibwayquay. His birth marked the beginning of the freed movement in Minnesota. Bonga was well educated, having gone to school in Montreal, and he spoke many languages, including English, French, and Ojibwe. When Bonga was 18 years old, he was

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