I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.3 John 1:4

African-American Heritage

Upcoming Events/Announcements

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Suggested Reading List

Edwin Blum and Paul Harvey:   “The Color of Christ:  The Son of God sand Saga of Race in America”

James Baldwin: “Collected Essays: Note of the Native Son /Nobody Knows My Name/The Fire Next Time/ No Name in the Street/ The Devil Finds Work”

Colson Whitehead: “The Underground Railroad”

Jesmym Ward: “The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race”

Ralph Ellison: “Invisible Race”

Michelle Alexander: “The New Jim Crow”

Ta-Nehisi Coates: “Between the World and Me”

Bryan Stevenson: “Just Mercy”

Carter G. Woodson: “The Mis-Education of the Negro”

W.E.B. Dubois: “The Souls of Black Folks”

Ta-Nejisa Coates: “The Beautiful Struggle”

Laila Ibrahim: “Yellow Moore”

Cynthia Bond: “Ruby”

Henry Hampton and Steve Fayeer: “Voices of Freedom” (Companion to the acclaimed TV series “Eye on the Prize”)

James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Hilton: “Slavery and the Making of America”

December 31, 1930

Odetta, blues and folk singer, born.

December 30, 1842

Congressman Josiah Walls born

December 29, 2924

Author, sportswriter A.S. "Doc" Young born.

December 27, 1862

African Methodist Episcopal Zion church founded in New Bern, North Carolina.

December 26, 1894

Jean Toomer, author of Cane, born.

December 25, 1760

Jupiter Hammon becomes first published Black poet with his poem, "An Evening Thought".

December 24, 1832

Charter granted to the Georgia Infirmary, the first Black hospital.http://www.friendshipcharlotte.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=398&action=edit#

December 23, 1869

Madam C.J. Walker, businesswoman and first African American woman millionaire, born.

December 22, 1943

W.E. B. DuBois becomes the first African American elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

December 20, 1860

South Carolina secedes from the Union.

December 19, 1875

Carter G. Woodson, "father of Black history", born.

December 18, 1865

Ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude except for crime, is announced

December 17, 1802

Teacher and Minister Henry Adams born.

December 16, 1976

Andrew Young nominated by President Jimmy Carter to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

December 15, 1883

William A. Hinton, first African American on Harvard Medical School faculty and developer of the Hinton test to detect syphilis, born.

December 14, 1829

John Mercer Langston, congressman and founder of Howard University Law Department, born

December 13, 1944

First African American servicewomen sworn into the United States Naval Reserves or Women Accepted for Voluntary Service (WAVES).

December 12, 1899

George F. Grant patents golf tee.

December 11, 1938

Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner born

December 10, 1950

Dr. Ralph J. Bunche becomes first Black awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

December 9, 1872

P.B.S. Pinchback of Louisiana becomes first African American governor in U.S.

December 8, 1925

Entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. born.

December 7, 1941

Doris “Dorie” Miller, U.S. Navy, shoots down four Japanese planes during attack on Pearl Harbor.

December 6, 1936

Richard Francis Jones becomes first African American certified in urology.

December 5, 1955

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. organizes Birmingham bus boycott, marking the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement

December 4, 1909

The New York Amsterdam News is founded by James A. Anderson.

December 3, 1847

Frederick Douglass publishes first issue of North Star.

December 1, 1955

Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city in Montgomery, Alabama

November 30, 1912

In Fort Scott, Kansas, Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was born. Because of Parks’ vast intellectual, artistic, accomplishment he was described as a Renaissance Man. He accomplished many firsts including the distinction of being the first black photographer at Vogue, Glamour and Life Magazines. He was a documentary and fashion photographer, a film director, writer, producer, poet, novelist, essayist and a composer. Among his notable films are Shaft and The Learning Tree. Though largely self-taught he received over fifty honorary doctorates.

November 29, 1961

Freedom Riders attacked by white mob at bus station in McComb, Mississippi.

November 28, 1998

John Stanford died. He was the Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools from 1995 until his untimely death from leukemia in 1998. He was born in Darby, PA on the outskirts of Philadelphia and graduated from Penn State University. After 30 years of service in the U.S. Army he went to work as county manager in Fulton County, Georgia which included the city of Atlanta. In July 1995, after being recruited by the Seattle School Board he assumed the job of Superintendent becoming the first non-educator to fill this position.

November 27, 1928

Marjorie Joyner received a patent for a permanent wave machine that could wave the hair of both white and black people. U.S. patent 1,693,515. She was employed by the Madame C.J. Walker Cosmetic Company

November 26, 2013

Dr. Annjennette Sophie McFarlin became the first black American to receive a Doctorate in Rhetorical Studies from Washington State University. She was the second African American woman to receive a Doctorate in any subject matter from W.S.U. She wrote Black Reconstruction Orators and Their Orations 1865-1875 and has published many articles in scholarly journals.

November 25, 1922

In this speech given in New York City on this date, Marcus Garvey explains the objectives of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The organization he believed would lead the worldwide movement toward black liberation.

November 24, 1935

Ronald Vernice Dellums was born in Oakland, California to Willa Terry Dellums and Vernie Dellums. He served as Mayor of Oakland from 2007-2011. He had previously served thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

November 23, 1902

The Alice Freeman Memorial Institute better known as Palmer Memorial Institute was founded by Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown in Sedalia, NC near Greensboro. It was a school for upper class African Americans. It closed in 1971

November 22, 1942

Guion “Guy” Bluford, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, PA. Guion attended Overbrook Senior High School in Philadelphia, PA. While there a school counselor encouraged him to learn a trade since he was not college material. Unlike other young African-American men at his time who were given similar advice, Guy ignored it and forged his own path. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State in 1964. M.S. with distinction in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Tech in 1974 followed by a doctor of philosophy in aerospace engineering. He entered NASA’s training program and became an astronaut in August 1979.

November 21, 1654

Richard Johnson, a free black, granted 100 acres of land in Northhampton County for importing two persons.

November 20, 1898

Reverend Francis James Grimke, pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church of Washington, DC delivered a sermon in which he denounced those African Americans who called for conservatism, and accommodation. Grimke vowed that as long as African Americans were deprived of their full rights as citizens, they would continue to protest and agitate. His sermon was published in the Richmond (Virginia) Planet, a black weekly.

November 19, 1953

Roy Campanella was named most valuable player of the National Baseball League for the second time.

November 18, 1993

Black and white leaders in South Africa approved the new democracy constitution that gave blacks the vote and ended white minority rule.

November 17, 1911

Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc was founded by three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Omega Psi Phi is the first predominant African American fraternity to be founded at a historically black university. Since it’s founding in 1911, Omega Psi Phi’s stated purpose has been to attract and build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its cardinal principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift.

November 16, 1873

Robert T. Greener, first black graduate of Harvard University, named professor of metaphysics at the University of South Carolina.

November 15, 1979

Nobel Prize in economics awarded to Professor Arthur Lewis of Princeton. He was the first black cited in a category other than peace. He had dual Saint Lucian and British Citizenships

November 14, 1950

Lydia Holmes, St. Augustine, Florida Patent No. 2,529,692 are the plans for several easily assembled wooden pull toys including a bird, a truck and a dog.

November 13, 1913

Pioneering surgeon, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, becomes a member of the American College of surgeons. In 1893, he performed the first documented successful open heart surgery.

November 12, 1978

Howard Swanson an African American composer best known for his art songs based on the poetry of Langston Hughes and Paul Lawrence Dunbar died. He was born in Atlanta, GA in August 18, 1907. His musical career started after his family relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1916. In 1950, he produced his first significant composition “The Negro speaks of Rivers” a musical set to Langston Hughes famous poem of that name. His composition was performed in Carnegie Hall by Marian Anderson.

November 11, 1925

Spingarn Medal awarded to James Weldon Johnson, former U.S. consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua and NAACP executive secretary, for his work as an author, diplomat and leader.

November 10, 1960

President John F. Kennedy named Andrew T. Hatcher associate press secretary. Hatcher was the first black to hold this position. He was also a founder of 100 Black Men of American in 1963.

November 9, 1964

Roger Arliner Young died. She was the first black woman to receive a doctoral degree in zoology, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940.

November 8, 1960

Otis M. Smith was the first African American justice on the Michigan Supreme Court and the General Counsel for General Motors. Smith graduated from law school at the Catholic University of America.

November 7, 1775

In an announcement known as “Dunmore’s Proclamation”, the first movement to free African Americans from slavery took place when the Royal Governor of Virginia offered freedom to any slave willing to fight for the British against the colonies in the American Revolution.

November 6, 1979

Anne Forrester Holloway was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mali by President Jimmy Carter. She was the first African American woman to hold that post with an extensive background in development work in Africa. Forrester was more qualified than most U. S. Ambassadors to head an Embassy.

November 5, 1918

Barbara Mae Watson, businesswoman, lawyer, government executive and diplomat was born in New York City, New York. She received her B.A. from Barnard College in 1943. She served as an interviewer with the United Seaman’s Service in New York, owner and executive director of Barbara Watson Models and research assistant for the NY State Democratic Party.

November 4, 1981

Zina Garrison becomes the first African American player to win the junior singles tennis championship at Wimbledon, England.

November 3, 1981

Coleman Young was re-elected mayor of Detroit, Thurman L. Milner elected mayor of Hartford, CT, and James Chase elected mayor of Spokane Washington.

November 2, 1954

Charles C. Diggs, Jr. of Detroit elected Michigan’s first Black congressman. He was the first Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Diggs was a staunch critic of the apartheid regime in South Africa

November 1, 1877

John E. Bruce “Reasons why the colored American should go to Africa” was first published in the Christian Recorder. As African Americans increasingly realized that Reconstruction would not protect them from violence and did not usher in permanent citizenship rights some black readers began to call for alternative approaches. Bruce was an American journalist, historian, writer, orator, civil rights activist and Pan African nationalist.

October 31, 1950

21 year-old Earl Lloyd became the first African American to play in a National Basketball Association (NBA) game when he took the floor for the Washington Capitols in Rochester, New York, scoring six points on Halloween night. Lloyd was inducted into the NBA Hall of fame in 2003. In his NBA career with the Washington Capitols (1950-1951), Syracuse Nationals (1952-1958) and Detroit Pistons (1958-1960), Earl averaged 8.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 560 games over nine seasons.

October 30, 1974

32-year-old Muhammad Ali becomes the heavyweight champion of the world for the second time when he knocks out 25-year-old champ George Foreman in the eighth round of the “Rumble in the Jungle,” a match in Kinshasa, Zaire. Seven years before, Ali had lost his title when the government accused him of draft-dodging and the boxing commission took away his license. His victory in Zaire made him only the second dethroned champ in history to regain his belt.

October 28, 2009

Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act authorizes federal prosecution of all racially motivated hate crimes. Signed into law by President Barack Obama, it was conceived as a response to the murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., both in 1998. The measure expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

October 17, 1986

Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 establishes 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

October 26, 1911

Mahalia Jackson, legendary Gospel singer was born in New Orleans, LA.

October 25, 1997

Black American women participated in the Million Woman March in Philadelphia, focusing on health care, education, and self-help.

October 21, 1917

Jazz great Dizzy Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina (as John Birks Gillespie). He was a trumpet player, composer, band leader and one of the founding fathers of modern jazz, known for his trademark puffed cheeks and bent trumpet.

October 19, 1960

Dr. Martin Luther King and fifty others arrested at sit-in at Atlanta's Rich's Department Store.

October 16, 1968

At the 1968 Summer Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos made headlines around the world by raising their black-gloved fists at the medal award ceremony. Both athletes wore black socks and no shoes on the podium to represent African-American poverty in the United States. It remains a symbolic moment in the history of the Black Power movement.

October 16, 1966

The Black Panther Party was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California. The Black Panther Party's core practice was its armed citizens' patrols to monitor the behavior of officers of the Oakland Police Department, a practice later known as "copwatching", and challenge police brutality in the city. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, to address issues like food injustice, and community health clinics for education and treatment of diseases including sickle cell anemia, tuberculosis, and later HIV/AIDS.

October 14, 1964

Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He donated the $54,000 in prize money to the Civil Rights movement.

October 13, 1970

Angela Davis captured in New York City. On October 13, 1970, FBI agents found her at a Howard Johnson Motor Lodge in New York City. On June 4, 1972, after 13 hours of deliberations, the all-white jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Davis had purchased several of the firearms used in the attack in a courtroom in Marin County, California.

October 10, 1917

Jazz pianist Theolonius Monk is born in Rocky Mount, NC. He was only one of 3 jazz musicians ever featured on the cover of Time magazine.

October 9, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

October 7, 1993

Toni Morrison was the first black American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

October 6, 1917

Fannie Lou Hamer born in Montgomery County, MS. Known for her civil rights activism, Fannie Lou Hamer was called "the spirit of the civil rights movement." Born a sharecropper, she worked from the age of six as a timekeeper on a cotton plantation. Later, she became involved in the Black Freedom Struggle and eventually moved on to become a field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

October 4, 1971

Elgin Baylor announces his retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers. After 14 years in the NBA, Baylor had scored 23,149 points, the third highest in the league, and was the fifth highest career rebounder.

October 3, 1974

Frank Robinson was hired by the Cleveland Indians as baseball's first African American major league manager.

October 2, 1967

October 2, 1967. Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first African American associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He served until 1991 and was known for opposing discrimination and the death penalty, and for championing free speech and civil liberties.

October 1, 1989

Colin Powell becomes Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.