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African American Entrepreneurs, Pioneers, The Underground Railroad and the Continual March Toward Equality in Lancaster, PA 17801950.

In this program four descendants and relatives of the entrepreneurs and pioneers featured in the program meet to share their memories of their family members who overcame the odds to achieve great success in the Lancaster community, and in some cases, earn world-wide renown. This is an informal presentation recorded on Zoom, brought to you by people who believe in the power that these stories have to foster greater understanding of one another and our shared history. All participants are members of the African American Historical Society of South-Central Pennsylvania.



Kathleen Anderson speaks about her third great grandfather, Thaddeus Henry, Tonsorial Artist.


Mary Groce speaks about her great uncle, Emory Conrad Malick, Pilot, and the first African American to earn an international pilot’s license.


Denise Ewell speaks about  her father, “Barney” Ewell, Olympian and Humanitarian.


Nelson Polite, Jr. speaks about his grandfather, Abraham Polite, Sr. and his grandmother, Blanche Polite, both Humanitarians and Civic Leaders.

Narrated by

Zeltha Ellis, narrator


André Ellis, narrator


Celeste Leslie, narrator

Although “Overcoming the Odds…” is free to watch, we ask that you please make a good-will, tax-deductible contribution to the African American Historical Society of South-Central Pennsylvania, and mail it to:


P.O. Box 4022

Lancaster, PA 17604-4022


Or, on this website, click “Membership” then “Donations” and follow the prompts.


The presentation lasts about 1 hour and 17 minutes, and you are welcome to stop and start it as time allows. It is meant to inspire discussion and dialogue. It is appropriate for adults as well as students in upper elementary grades, middle and high school.


It has the potential to address P.D.E. Academic Standards for History ( B,C; A, B, C, D; and A, B, C, D) and Civics Standards, ( A, B, C, D, E; A, B, C, D, E, F; and 5.3.5 F). This was correlated to grade 5 standards.


The PowerPoint was recorded via Zoom in May 2021. AAHSSCPA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

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