Download these awesome coloring pages and biographies to celebrate these black heroes of faith. Read their individual stories as kids color—great for at home, in classrooms, and within activity packets for families!
You can also download all of the coloring pages here!
Reverend Francis James Grimke
Changing the World through the Gospel
Francis J. Grimke was born in 1850. He was a brilliant orator and an articulate opponent of racism. He set forth the Gospel and the Bible as the way to change people and society.
Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women’s rights advocate, journalist, and speaker. Wherever she saw injustice against African Americans, she worked to set it right.
Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth
Civil Rights Pioneer
Fred Lee Shuttlesworth was born in Montgomery County, Alabama, on March 18, 1922. His family moved to Birmingham when he was a toddler, and he served as a truck driver during World War II. After leaving the service, he experienced what he believed to be a call to the ministry.
George Washington Carver
A Scientist of Faith and Vision
George Washington Carver helped change the course of America’s agricultural and scientific landscape. He lived out his faith as a scientist who saw God’s hand in creation.
Daniel Alexander Payne
Faith, Education, and the Gospel
Daniel Alexander Payne was a theologian, historian, and church bishop. He was also the first African-American college president and a constant voice for the education of African-Americans—especially their church leaders.
Dr. Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson
A Ground-Breaking Woman Doctor
Halle Tanner wanted what seemed an impossible goal for an African-American woman in the late 1800s—she wanted to study medicine and become a doctor. In spite of the tremendous odds against her, she became the first female physician to pass the Alabama state medical examination and the first woman physician at Tuskegee Institute.
Dr. Herbert Smitherman
The Jackie Robinson of P&G
Herbert Smitherman was born March 23, 1937, to Rev. Otis C. Smitherman and his wife Alberta. An only child, Herbert grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the tight-knit African-American section of town known as West Princeton. Opposers of the civil rights and voter registration movements burned his father’s church, but it was rebuilt.
Hiram Rhodes Revels
Making History in Congress and in Education
Hiram R. (Rhodes) Revels—an educator, minister, and politician—was the first African American to serve in the United States Senate. It would be almost 90 years before another African American would be elected to the Senate.
Dr. Howard O. Jones
A pioneer is one who leads the way, who pushes open the door for others to follow. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Jackie Robinson made decisions that changed the way society thought and set a better course for future generations. Add to this list of trailblazers Dr. Howard O. Jones.
Jesse LeRoy Brown
A Man of Courage and Commitment
Jesse LeRoy Brown was the first African-American aviator in the U.S. Navy and the first African-American naval officer killed in the Korean War at the young age of 24.
Preaching Freedom from Sin and Slavery
At one time in America, it was dangerous for a female to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was also not popular for anyone to condemn slavery. But one African-American woman did both—and more. Jarena Lee was the first official female preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Jo Ann Robinson
A Boycott in the Fight for Justice
Jo Ann Robinson was a leader of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott that brought national attention to the Civil Rights Movement. Born April 17, 1912, in Culloden, Georgia, Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State College, taught in the Macon public school system, and later earned a master’s degree in English and literature at Atlanta University.
Lacey Kirk Williams
Serving the Lord from Olivet Church
The Rev. Dr. Lacey Kirk Williams was loved, honored, and admired for his devotion to Christ and His Church. He and S. Mattie Fisher had a major impact on thousands of African Americans who migrated north during the early 1900s.
Maggie Lena Walker
A Gift for Serving
God certainly wants us to use the gifts and talents He has given us in our churches, but we are also to use them in our homes, schools, and workplaces. That is what Maggie Lena Walker did—the first woman in the United States to found a bank and be its president.
Mary Eliza Mahoney
Called to Be a Nurse
Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first black professional nurse in America. She was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, around May 7, 1845, the oldest of three children. Her parents, freed slaves, relocated from North Carolina prior to the Civil War.
Nannie Helen Burroughs
‘The Bible, the Bath, and the Broom’
Nannie Helen Burroughs is best known for starting the Women’s Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention and the National Training School of Women and Girls in Washington, D.C. She was a religious leader, educator, civil rights activist, and businesswoman. Burroughs also helped establish the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), a philanthropic organization.
Exposing the Evils of Slavery
As a Christian author and researcher, Octavia Victoria Rogers Albert desired to bring to light the atrocities of slavery. Albert put her pen to paper in the 1800s, when black women authors were rarities in this arena. It was a time in history when those responsible for slavery attempted to make something inhuman human.
Roberta Evelyn Martin
‘I Have Hope‘
Thomas A. Dorsey takes center stage as “the father of gospel music,” and many people call Mahalia Jackson “the greatest gospel singer ever.” As gospel music historian Clayton Hannah writes, “Although Dorsey is credited as the originator of gospel music, and Jackson received the highest acclaim, Roberta Martin unequivocally made the greatest contribution. She created and left a dynasty of gospel singers and a portfolio of unduplicated gospel music.”
A Persistent Christian Educator
Rosa J. Young was born on May 14, 1890, in rural Rosebud, Alabama. She was the fourth of ten children born to Grant Young, an African Methodist Episcopal minister and his wife Nancy. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves but left many African-American families, like those in the Alabama Black Belt, in extreme poverty.
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander
‘Make Yourself the Best of What You Are’
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander’s accomplishments opened doors for black women in the legal profession. She was the first black woman to receive a doctorate in economics and to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. And she fought for equality for all African-Americans.
Wilma Glodean Rudolph
Champion and Role Model
Wilma Rudolph raced into the history books in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. She became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games. Wilma Glodean Rudolph was the 20th of 22 children in a very large and very poor family.
Dovey May Johnson Roundtree
One Child Can Change the World
James Johnson, a printer and Sunday school teacher, and his wife Lela, a seamstress and domestic worker, welcomed their second daughter into the world on April 14, 1917, in North Carolina. A family of strong faith surrounded Dovey Mae, as her folks affectionately called her. At two months old she was baptized at East Stonewall A.M.E. Zion Church, a church her grandfather pastored.
Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
Man of Faith and Passion
Dr. Benjamin E. Mays was an outstanding leader, teacher, preacher, and scholar. He saw his life as one of obedience to God. He often quoted Micah 6:8—“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” He believed one’s character and beliefs should be embodied in actions. Dr. Mays integrated his faith and passion in his life.
Thomas A. Dorsey
Serving His Precious Lord
Thomas Andrew Dorsey, the father of black gospel music, developed a sacred music based on the secular blues. Blues music carries a theme of defiance in the face of despair, but Dorsey’s music combined that feeling and rhythm with lyrics of hope. Dorsey authored hundreds of songs, including the gospel classics “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” and “Peace in the Valley.”
Dr. Dorothy Height
‘Open Wide the Freedom Gates’
Dorothy Irene Height lived her life serving those who had little to no hope and no voice. She wanted to “open wide the freedom gates” for other African Americans, women, and the poor as she matched her faith to real-world problems. In so doing she achieved national recognition for her work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.
Theophilus Gould Steward
Theophilus G. Steward (25th Infantry, 1884–1901) was the only chaplain from the North born a free man. Steward, racially mixed, could have easily passed as a white man but choose to identify himself as black. He joined the A.M.E. church and quickly was called into the ministry. He wrote several books and articles which caused controversy within the denomination.
Dr. Charles Clinton Spaulding
A Businessman Doing the Lord’s Work
Charles Clinton Spaulding was one of the most successful African-American businessmen of the 20th century. He helped establish and was later president of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance, the largest African-American business of its time. But more than being a successful businessman, Spaulding was a devoted Christian who brought the principles of his faith to work with him.
Harry Thacker Burleigh
The Singer of Spirituals
Henry (Harry) Thacker Burleigh is not well known, but he significantly contributed to the development of American art songs. He was the first African American to compose over two hundred of those songs, many of which incorporated plantation melodies including “By an’ By,” “Go Down Moses,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and especially “Deep River.”
Katherine G. Johnson
Math, Faith, and the Race to Space
Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson was born August 26, 1918, in White Sulphur Springs of Greenbrier County, West Virginia. She was the youngest of Joshua and Joylette Coleman’s four children. Her father was a lumberman, farmer, and handyman, while her mother taught school.
Florence Spearing Randolph
‘Christ Is All in All’
Florence Spearing Randolph stood tall as a suffragist, civic reformer, temperance leader, and pastor. Her constant speaking out and organizing against discrimination, poverty, and inequality helped set the stage for the Civil Rights movement.