African American Hall of Fame – Central Illinois Highlights

African American Hall of Fame – Central Illinois Highlights

Elise Ford Allen - first African American to run for Mayor of Peoria

• Romeo B. Garrett - first African American professor at Bradley University

• John Stenson - Peoria’s first African American Chief of Police

• Skippy’s & Floyd’s Barber Shop - one of the longest-running African American businesses in Peoria; “Skippy” was Omega Jackson

• Preston Jackson - honored in 1998 as a laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the highest honor given to individuals in the State of Illinois for their contributions for the betterment of humanity

• Charlotte Lewis - member of the first women’s Olympic basketball team in 1976

• Rev. Dr. CT Vivian - participated in the 1947 sit-in that helped desegregate Peoria’s restaurants and hotels; in 1965 he helped organize the organize the voter registration drive in Selma, AL that resulted in the 1965 Voting Rights Act

• Curley “Boo” Johnson - played for 17 seasons on the Harlem Globetrotters team

• Erma Davis - first African American woman to serve on the board of Methodist Medical Center; she was appointed to President Ronald Reagan’s Task Force on Hunger, which documented hunger in this country and led to an increase in federal funding for food assistance programs

• Geraldine Mitchell - received dozens of awards for her civil rights activism; appeared on the Geraldo Rivera television show in 1996 to speak about her perspectives on child rearing

• Richard Penelton - first African American reporter at both WEEK-TV and the Peoria Journal Star

Harman Cornish - first African American Chief of Police with the Peoria Park District

• Prince Stenson - longest-serving precinct committeeman in Peoria County, making sure every resident was registered to vote and had transportation to the polls

• Kathryn Timmes - teacher and counselor for the Peoria Public School District for 51 years