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

5th Sunday Children’s Program:  “Our History Comes to Life…Gullah Geechee”
March 31st | 7:30a, 9:30a and 11:30a

Our own, April Turner will be the Master of Ceremonies joined by Jerame Smalls, a low county, sweet grass basket weaver.  All are welcome!


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”

March 31, 1856

Henry Ossian Flipper was born in Thomasville, GA. Born into slavery, he became the first African-American graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, earning a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army. His military career ended when he was falsely accused of embezzling funds.

March 30, 1870

The ratification of The 15th Amendment secured voting rights for all male citizens.

March 26, 1932

James Andrew Harris, a nuclear chemist, was born in Waco, TX. Dr. Harris was a member of the team that discovered elements 104 and 105 on the periodic table.

March 25, 1931

Nine young African-American men, the Scottsboro Boys, were falsely accused of raping two white women on a train. Collectively, the young men served more than 100 years in prison. The Scottsboro case established the right of African-Americans to serve on juries.

March 21, 1965

The Selma to Montgomery March begins to call for voting rights for African-Americans. The Selma to Montgomery March was 3 marches. The first march took place on March 7. State troopers attacked the unarmed protesters with billy clubs and tear gas after they passed over the county line, and this event became known as Bloody Sunday. The second march took place on March 9. Troopers, police, and marchers confronted each other at the county end of the bridge but when the troopers stepped aside to let the marchers pass, Martin Luther King led them back to the church. The third March took place on March 21 after a federal judge ruled in favor of the protestors, saying their First Amendment right to march could not be abridged by the state of Alabama.

March 18, 1860

Ralph Waldo Tyler a journalist, war correspondent, government official and race man was born. He strove for racial justice and served as the only accredited Black foreign correspondent stationed in France during World War I, reporting on the lives of black servicemen. In 1907, he was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to fill the position of Auditor of the Department of the Navy.

March 15, 1933

The Los Angeles Sentinel, a weekly African-American owned newspaper, was started by Col. Leon H. Washington. The newspaper continues to be a staple of black life in Los Angeles.

March 13, 1957

John Lee, the first African-American commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy is assigned to duty. He grew up in Indianapolis and attended college before enlisting in the Naval Reserve.

March 9, 1922

Floyd B. McKissick, a civil rights activist, was born in Asheville, NC. McKissick attended Morehouse College, The University of North Carolina, and North Carolina Central University. He was the first African-American to receive a law degree from the University of North Carolina. In 1966 he served as the National Chairman for the Congress on Racial Equality. Before his death in 1991, he developed a planned community called Soul City.

March 7, 1917

Janet Collins, a ballet dancer, choreographer, and teacher was born. She was one of the pioneers of black ballet and one of the few classically trained African-American dancers of her generation.

March 5, 1997

Desi Giles receives death threats after portraying Jesus in the annual Passion play in Union City, NJ.

March 3, 1886

Robert F. Flemming, Jr. patents a guitar. Flemming was an inventor and Union sailor in the Civil War. He was the first crew member aboard the USS Housatonic to spot the H. L. Hunley before it sank the USS Housatonic.

March 1, 1841

Blanche Kelso Bruce – First Black to serve a full term in the United States Senate was born a slave in Prince Edward County, VA.

February 28, 1989

Philip Emeagwali is awarded the Gordon Bell Prize (computing’s Nobel Prize) for solving one of the twenty most difficult problems in the computing field. Mr. Emeagwali is of Nigerian descent and has been living in the United States for many years.

February 27, 2013

Yityish “Titi” Aynaw was crowned Miss Israel. She made history when she became the first Miss Israel of African ancestry. Born in Gondar Province, Ethiopia, Aynaw arrived in Israel in 2003 along with her older brother and grandparents after the death of her mother in 2002. Her father died when she was two years old.

February 26, 1869

February 26, 1869 – The Fifteenth Amendment, which guarantees the right to vote, was sent to the states for ratification. The amendment prohibits the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The amendment was ratified in 1870 as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.

February 25, 1965

Veronica Webb was born on this day. Ms. Webb is an American model, actress, writer, and television personality. She is the first African-American to have a major cosmetics contract when she signed with Revlon in 1992. Ms. Webb has appeared on the cover of Vogue, Essence, and Elle magazines and on the runway for Victoria’s Secret and Chanel.

February 24, 1811

This is the birthday of Daniel Alexander Payne, who was an American bishop, educator, college administrator and author. A major shaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.), Payne stressed education and preparation of ministers and introduced more order in the church, becoming its sixth bishop and serving for more than four decades (1852–1893) as well as becoming one of the founders of Wilberforce University in Ohio in 1856. In 1863 the AME Church bought the college and chose Payne to lead it; he became the first African-American president of a college in the United States and served in that position until 1877.

February 23, 1955

Birth of Rodney Slater, who served as the United States Secretary of Transportation (1997 – 2001) under President Bill Clinton.

February 22, 1979

The island of St. Lucia gains independence from Great Britain and Castries became the new national capital.

February 21, 1940

John R. Lewis’ birthday. Mr. Lewis is a civil rights activist and current member of congress, representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. He is currently serving his 17th term in the House, having served since 1987. He is the senior member of the Georgia congressional delegation. His district includes three quarters of the city of Atlanta. Lewis, who as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington, played many key roles in the Civil Rights Movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States.

February 20, 1929

Writer Wallace Thurman’s play Harlem opens in New York City. It is the first successful play by an African American playwright.

February 19, 2002

Vonetta Flowers became the first black gold medalist in the history of the Winter Olympics. She and partner Jill Brakken won the inaugural women’s two-person bobsled.

February 18, 1688

The Quakers of Germantown, PA, passed the first antislavery resolution

February 17, 1961

Birth of Huey P. Newton. Huey Percy Newton was a revolutionary African-American political activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966. He continued to pursue graduate studies, eventually earning a Ph.D. in social philosophy. In 1989, he was murdered in Oakland, CA by Tyronne Robinson, a member of the Black Guerilla Family, in a dispute over drug dealing.

February 16, 1951

New York City Council passes bill prohibiting racial discrimination in city-assisted housing developments.

February 15, 1804

The state of New Jersey begins to abolish slavery when the legislature approved a law calling for the “gradual” emancipation of African Americans. New Jersey was the last Northern state to outlaw slavery.

February 14, 1867

Morehouse College organized as Augusta Institute in Augusta, GA. The Institute moved to Atlanta in 1879 and was renamed Atlanta Baptist Seminary. The school and again renamed in 1897 becoming Atlanta Baptist College. The final name occurred in 1913 when it became Morehouse College.

February 13, 1970

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSEX) admits its first black member, Joseph L. Searles III. Searles graduated from and played football at Kansas State University, then played professionally for the New York Giants. He subsequently became an aide to New York mayor John Lindsay. He was a member of the Stock Exchange Luncheon Club. He worked as a floor partner in the firm of Neuberger, Loeb, and Company. He later earned a law degree from Georgetown University.

February 12, 1793

Congress passed the first Fugitive Slave Law. The law required every state, including those that forbade slavery, to forcibly return slaves who had escaped from other states to their owners. The House vote was 48-7 with 14 members abstaining.

February 11, 1990

Nelson Mandela, South African Black Nationalist, was freed after 27 years in prison.

February 10, 1937

Singer Roberta Flack was born in Asheville, NC. She is noted for such hits as Where is the Love? (1972), a duet with Donny Hathaway, and Killing me Softly with His Song (1973).

February 9, 1952

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, wins the National Book Award.

February 8, 1962

Birth of Lisa Perez Jackson. Ms. Jackson, a civil engineer, was the first African American Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), serving from 2009 – 2013. She was born in Philadelphia, PA and was adopted two weeks after her birth. She joined Apple Inc. in May of 2013 as their environmental director.

February 7, 1926

Negro History Week, originated by Carter G. Woodson, is observed for the first time.

February 6, 1820

The first organized emigration back to Africa begins when 86 free African Americans leave New York harbor aboard the Mayflower of Liberia. The are bound the for the British colony of Sierra Leone, which welcomes free African Americans as well as fugitive slaves.

February 5, 1992

Death of Nicomedes Santa Cruz. Nicomedes Santa Cruz Gamarra, also known as Nicomedes Santa Cruz, was a black Peruvian musician who from the 1950s onwards, helped to raise public awareness of Afro-Peruvian culture. Since 2006, his birthday, June 4, has been celebrated as a Day of Afro-Peruvian Culture.

February 4, 1986

Sojourner Truth stamp issued. Sojourner was an African-American Abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son in 1828, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843 after she became convinced that God had called her to leave the city and go into the countryside "testifying the hope that was in her".[1] Her best-known speech was delivered extemporaneously, in 1851, at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. The speech became widely known during the Civil War by the title "Ain't I a Woman?," a variation of the original speech re-written by someone else using a stereotypical Southern dialect; whereas Sojourner Truth was from New York and grew up speaking Dutch as her first language.

February 3, 1964

Geraldine McCullough, sculptor, receives the prestigious George D. Widener Gold Medal for Sculpture for her steel and copper sculpture “Phoenix.” Originally trained as a painter, Mrs. McCullough adopted welded sculpture as her preferred medium after her husband Lester McCullough, Sr., introduced her to the technique. Her other works include Martin Luther King, Jr. sculpture in Springfield, IL, Pathfinder in Oak Park, IL, and Our King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Chicago, IL.

February 2, 1897

Alfred L. Craille was awarded patent 576,395 on 2 February, for his “Ice Cream Mold and Disher.” The invention was an ice cream scoop with built-in scraper to allow one-handed operation. This functional design is reflected in modern day ice cream scoops.

February 1, 1970

The first celebration of Black History Month took place. Black History month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History month took place a year later with many of the events taking place at the Black United Students first culture house (Kuumba House). Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country.

January 26, 1954

Dr. Theodore K. Lawless, dermatologist, awarded the Springarn Medal for his research in skin-related diseases.

January 25, 1851

Sojourner Truth addresses the first Black Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.

January 24, 1865

Congress passes 13th Amendment which, on ratification, abolished slavery in America.

January 23, 1891

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams founds Provident Hospital in Chicago, one of the first schools of nursing for black students in the U. S.

January 22, 1949

James Robert Gladden becomes first African American certified in orthopedic surgery.

January 21, 1936

Former Congressman Barbara Jordan born.

January 20, 1977

Patricia Roberts Harris becomes U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the first black woman to hold a Cabinet position.

January 19, 1969

UCLA renames its social science buildings to honor alumnus Ralph Bunche.

January 18, 1856

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, pioneer heart surgeon, born.

January 17, 1942

Three-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali born.

January 16, 1978

NASA names Black astronauts: Maj. Frederick D. Gregory, Maj. Guion S. Bluford, and Dr. Ronald McNair.

January 15, 1908

Alpha Kappa Alpha, first African American sorority, is founded at Howard University.

January 14, 1975

William T. Coleman named U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

January 13, 1913

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated becomes the 2nd Black Greek Letter Organization.

January 13, 1990

L. Douglas Wilder becomes first African American U.S. governor (Virginia) since Reconstruction.

January 12, 1948

U.S. Supreme Court rules that African Americans have the right to study law at state institutions.

January 11, 1985

Reuben V. Anderson, first African American to be appointed to Mississippi Supreme Court.

January 10, 1864

George Washington Carver, agricultural scientist, born.

January 9, 1866

Fisk University is founded in Nashville.

January 8, 1811

Charles Deslondes leads slave revolt in Louisiana.

January 7, 1890

William B. Purvis patents fountain pen.

January 6, 1831

The World Anti-Slavery Convention opens in London.

January 5, 1943

George Washington Carver, agricultural scientist, died.

January 4, 1971

Congressional Black Caucus formed.

January 3, 1624

William Tucker was the first person of African ancestry born in the 13 British Colonies. His birth symbolized the beginnings of a distinct African American identity along the eastern coast of what would eventually become the United States. William Tucker was born in 1624 near Jamestown, Virginia, the son of “Antoney and Isabell,” two African indentured servants.

January 2, 1965

Martin Luther King, Jr. calls for non-violent protests if Alabama Blacks are not allowed to register and vote.

January 1, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation.