Samuel D. Gaynor was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1933. A West High School and North Carolina State Teachers' College graduate, Gaynor joined the Rockford Police Department as a Patrol Officer in 1958. He was the first African American officer to…
Victory Bell was born in Mississippi to sharecropper parents. The family moved to Rockford, Illinois in 1945. In 1971 Bell became the first African American to serve on the Rockford City Council. He served as the fifth ward alderman from 1971-2009.
Lester Frazin was the Rabii of Temple Beth-el in Rockford from 1961-1974. In that capacity he actively worked for better race relations in Rockford and the Civil Rights of African Americans.
Monk Teba, formerly known as Willie Kent, grew up in Rockford and graduated from West High School in 1964. He was an active member of the Rockford chapter of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s.