February is Black History Month, and while there is are many influential civil rights leaders and others to recognize, here are five individuals with ties to the Yellow Springs area who have had an impact on locally or nationally or who are making a difference now.
1. Edythe Scott Bagley
Edythe Scott Bagley, born in Marion, Ala., was the first African American student admitted to Antioch College. She later transferred to Ohio State University, where she graduated. She ended up writing and teaching in Alabama. She moved after facing racial intolerance in the area, which prohibited her from finding a job in Yellow Springs. Her sister, Coretta Scott King, was an active civil rights leader and wife to Martin Luther King, Jr.
2. Coretta Scott King
King was born in Heiberger, Ala. She studied music and education at Antioch College, following her older sister’s path. After the death of her husband Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King became a leader in the struggle for racial equality, the women’s movement, and the LGBT rights movement.
3. Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle, who resides in Yellow Springs with his family, was born in Washington D.C. While a comedian and an actor, he has also shown an affinity for charity work and has been outspoken about race relations and politics. He spoke briefly at a rally in down Dayton protesting President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim countries.
4. Cindy Blackman Santana
Born in 1959 in Yellow Springs, Cindy Blackman Santana is a jazz and rock drummer, best known for recording and touring with Lenny Kravitz. Blackman is married to the guitarist Carlos Santana. She has been featured on 13 albums since 1991.
5. Anne Harris
Anne Harris was born in Yellow Springs but is currently based in Chicago. She started studying violin at the age of eight and eventually attended the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree from the School of Music. She has independently produced and released five studio albums on her own record label, Rugged Road Records. Her genre is classified as “conscious music,” which refers to music and lyrics that have some basis in a spiritual, humanistic philosophy.