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”

  • June 30th – Celebrating our Black Entrepreneurs partnering with the FMBC Economic Empowerment Ministry.
  • September 29th – Celebrating our Organizations including PanHellenic, Jack and Jill of America, Eastern Star, Masonic Society, etc.  Registration will be required.  We invite you to wear your colors to show your affiliation.

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”

August 31, 1962

Trinidad & Tobago gained joint independence in 1962 from England.

August 30, 1983

On this date, the space shuttle Challenger blasted off in the dark from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Carrying the 1st African American Astronaut to go into space.

August 29, 1958

Michael Jackson was born This African American singer, songwriter, dancer, and philanthropist. Dubbed the "King of Pop",he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and was the best-selling music artist at the time of his death.

August 28, 1963

On this date was the historic March on Washington.

August 27, 1975

The last episode of Mannix aired on CBS in 1975. In 1970 Actress Gail Fisher won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama she was the 1st African American Woman to win an Emmy.

August 25, 1746

Lucy Terry Prince is credited with writing the 1st poem by an African American in 1746.

August 20, 1856

Wilberforce University was founded in 1856 is the 1st Private African American University. Named after 18th century Abolitionist William Wilberforce.

August 19, 1964

1st African American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, was name Undersecretary of the United Nations in 1964 on this date.

August 18, 1963

1st African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi , with a degree in Political Science in 1963 on this date. He was also the 1st African American to enroll in the school.

August 17, 1887

Marcus Garvey, Black Nationalist, Pan Africanist, and founder of the United Negro Improvement Association was born in Saint Ann’s Bay Jamaica.

August 16, 1963

Georg Olden’s Emancipation stamp went on sale on this date in 1963. Olden an internationally renowned graphic artist, became the 1st African American person to design a U.S. postage stamp

August 15, 1938

Maxine Waters the second African American Congresswoman from California was born in 1938, in St. Louis, MO.

August 14, 1966

Halle Maria Berry (born Maria Halle Berry) is an American actress. Berry won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the romantic drama Monster's Ball (2001). As of 2018, she is the only black woman to have won the award

August 13, 1933

Minnie Joycelyn Elders (born Minnie Lee Jones) is an American pediatrician and public health administrator. She was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the first African American appointed as Surgeon General of the United States

August 11, 1921

Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was born, an American writer and the author of the 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family. ABC adapted the book as a television miniseries of the same name and aired it in 1977 to a record-breaking audience of 130 million viewers. In the United States, the book and miniseries raised the public awareness of African American history and inspired a broad interest in genealogy and family history. Haley's first book was The Autobiography of Malcolm X, published in 1965, a collaboration through numerous lengthy interviews with the subject, a major African-American leader.

August 9, 1987

Beatrice Foods is acquired by Reginald Lewis. It is the largest business acquisition ever by an African American.

August 8, 1886

Matthew Alexander Henson was born, an American explorer who accompanied Robert Peary on seven voyages to the Arctic over a period of nearly 23 years. They spent a total of 18 years on expeditions together. He is best known for his participation in the expedition which claimed to have reached the geographic North Pole on April 6, 1909.

August 7, 1904

Ralph Johnson Bunche was born, an American political scientist, academic, and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940s mediation in Israel. He was the first African American to be so honored in the history of the prize. He was involved in the formation and administration of the United Nations. In 1963, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President John F. Kennedy.

August 6, 1965

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act secured the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of federal civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.

August 5, 1990

William "Bill" Pinkney is the first African American, and only the fourth person in the world to circumnavigate the globe alone by boat. At the age of 55 Bill began his odyssey setting sail from Boston Harbor. He sailed on a 47-foot boat called The Commitment, which had been specially rigged so one man could operate it. Out of all the possible routes, Pinkney chose the most difficult one, which would take him around the five capes. He made stops in Bermuda, Brazil, South Africa, Tasmania, and finally around Cape Horn (the most difficult part of the voyage). His voyage took him 22 months, including a six month delay in Australia due to weather, and covered 27,000 miles.

August 4, 1961

Barack Hussein Obama was born ,an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from January 20, 2009, to January 20, 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to serve as president. He was previously a United States Senator from Illinois and a member of the Illinois State Senate.

August 3, 1936

James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) an African American track and field athlete won his first of four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin Germany. Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump and was recognized in his lifetime as "perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history. At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens achieved international fame by winning four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay.

August 2, 1924

James Arthur "Jimmy" Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America. Some of Baldwin's essays are book-length, including The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976). An unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, was expanded and adapted for cinema as the Academy Award-nominated documentary film I Am Not Your Negro.

August 1, 1944

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (November 29, 1908 – April 4, 1972) a Baptist pastor and an American politician, who represented Harlem, New York City, in the United States House of Representatives was elected on this day the first of thirteen consecutive terms.

July 31, 1981

July 31, 1981 – Arnette R. Hubbard is installed as the first female president of the National Bar Association, which is the oldest and largest network of predominately African American attorneys and judges.

July 30, 1863

July 30, 1863 – President Abraham Lincoln issued what was called an "eye-for-eye" order, warning the Confederacy that Union soldiers would shoot a rebel prisoner for every black prisoner shot. It also would condemn a rebel prisoner to a life of hard labor for every Black prisoner sold into slavery. The order had a slight "restraining" influence on the Confederate government's voiced policy, but individual commanders and soldiers continued to murder captured black soldiers. Although this act appeared to be motivated by feelings of compassion toward the slaves, it was intended primarily as another way to intimidate the Confederacy.

July 28, 1917

July 28, 1917 - The Negro Silent Protest Parade was a silent march of about 10,000 African Americans along Fifth Avenue starting at 57th Street in New York City on July 28, 1917. The event was organized by the NAACP, church, and community leaders to protest violence directed towards African Americans, such as recent lynchings in Waco and Memphis. The parade was precipitated by the East St. Louis riots in May and July 1917 where at least 40 black people were killed by white mobs, in part touched off by a labor dispute where blacks were used for strike breaking.

July 26, 1847

July 26, 1847 – The country of Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, declares its independence. Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States. The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U.S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until February 5, 1862, during the American Civil War. Between January 7, 1822, and the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U.S., and 3,198 Afro Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement.[9] The settlers carried their culture and tradition with them. The Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U.S. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected Liberia's first president after the people proclaimed independence.

July 24, 1940

July 24, 1940 – Lizzie Black Kander died on this date. Lizzie was an American welfare worker who created a popular cookbook that became a highly profitable fund-raising tool for the institution she served.

July 22, 1941

July 22, 1941 – Born on this date, George Edward Clinton, singer, songwriter, bandleader, and record producer. His Parliament-Funkadelic collective (which primarily recorded under the distinct band names Parliament and Funkadelic) developed an influential and eclectic form of funk music during the 1970s that drew on science-fiction, outlandish fashion, psychedelic culture, and surreal humor. He launched a solo career with the 1982 album Computer Games and would go on to influence 1990s hip-hop and G-funk. He is regarded, along with James Brown and Sly Stone, as one of the foremost innovators of funk music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, alongside 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. In 2019, he and Parliament-Funkadelic will be given Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards

July 20, 1868

July 20, 1868 - On July 20, 1868, the 14th Amendment, validating citizenship rights for all persons born or naturalized in the U.S., was ratified.

July 18, 1863

July 18, 1863 - Sgt. William Harvey Carney won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Born as a slave, he was awarded the medal for his gallantry in saving the regimental colors (American Flag) during the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863. Because his actions preceded those of other medal honorees, he is considered to be the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

July 16, 1862

July 16, 1862 – Ida B. Wells-Barnett, more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was born on July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs, MS. Ms. Wells was born into slavery and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Ms. Wells was an was an African American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She arguably became the most famous black woman in America, during a life that was centered on combating prejudice and violence, who fought for equality for African Americans, especially women. As a journalist, Wells wrote about many incidences regarding racial segregation and inequality in order to bring attention to these issues. In the 1890s, Wells documented lynching in the United States through her indictment called "Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases," investigating frequent claims of whites that lynchings were reserved for black criminals only. Wells exposed lynching as a barbaric practice of whites in the South used to intimidate and oppress African Americans who created economic and political competition—and a subsequent threat of loss of power—for whites. A white mob destroyed her newspaper office and presses as her investigative reporting was carried nationally in black-owned newspapers. Subjected to continued threats, Wells left Memphis for Chicago. She then married and had a family, while continuing her work writing, speaking, and organizing for civil rights and the women's movement for the rest of her life.

July 14, 1885

July 14, 1885 – Sarah Elizabeth Goode, invented the cabinet bed for which she received a Patent. She was the first African American woman to receive a United States patent. The first African American woman to receive a patent was Judy W. Reed on September 23, 1884, but Reed only signed her patent with her mark (an X) and not her signature. Goode invented a folding cabinet bed which helped people who lived in tight housing to utilize their space efficiently. When the bed was folded up, it looked like a desk, with room for storage. Her invention was the precursor to the Murphy bed, which was patented in 1900. Her goal was to balance out the weight of the folding of the bed for it to be easily lifted up, folding and unfolding and to secure the bed on each side so that when folding the bed it would stay in its place. She provided supplementary support to the center of the bed when it is unfolded. In 2012, the Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, a science and math-focused high school was opened in her honor on the south side of Chicago.

July 12, 1887

July 12, 1887 – Mound Bayou, known as the “jewel of the Delta,” is an all African American town in Mississippi that is the oldest United States all black municipality founded by ex-slaves.

July 10, 1818

African American heroism was not daunted by Captain Oliver H. Perry's opinion of African American sailors. An African American sailor, Cyrus Tiffany, was instrumental in protecting the life of Perry. When the USS Lawrence, the flagship of the American navy on Lake Erie, was sunk during the battle at Put-in-Bay in July 1814, Tiffany and others were rowing Perry to the USS Niagara, the new flagship, when the British began to shoot at the rowboat. Tiffany shielded his captain with his body and allowed Perry to escape safety to the new ship.

July 8, 1876

July 8, 1876 – The Hamburg, SC Massacre (also known as the Hamburg Riot) occurred and was a key event leading up to the last election season of the Reconstruction era. It was the first of a series of civil disturbances, many of which Democrats planned in the majority-black/Republican Edgefield District, to disrupt Republican meetings and suppress black voting through actual and threatened violence. Beginning with a dispute nominally over free passage on a public road, this incident was based on racial and political grounds. A court hearing attracted armed white militia numbering more than one hundred. They attacked about 30 black militia of the National Guard at the armory, killing two as they tried to leave that night. Later that night, they murdered four freedmen of the militia while holding them as prisoners and wounded several others. In total, the events in Hamburg resulted in the death of one white man and six freedmen; several more blacks were wounded by the white mob. Although 94 white men were indicted for murder by a coroner's jury, none was prosecuted.

July 6, 1957

July 6, 1957 – Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win Wimbledon. Gibson also won the women’s doubles championship later in the day. Gibson had made history before. In 1950, she became the first black tennis player to compete in the United States National Championship, now known as the United States Open. And in 1956, she became the first black player to win a grand slam, at the French Open.

July 4, 1963

July 4, 1963 – The Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded to Marian Anderson for Music and to Ralph Bunche for Diplomacy.

July 2, 1692

July 2, 1692 - A black slave named Candy was acquitted following her trial in Salem, Massachusetts, on charges that she “wickedly, maliciously, and feloniously” practiced acts of sorcery in Salem. Her accusers saw Candy and other African women as easy targets if only because, in their minds, the devil was “black.”

July 1, 1976

July 1, 1976 – Kenneth Allen Gibson, who served as the 36th Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, was elected as the first African-American president of the U. S. Conference of Mayors.