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


SAVE THE DATE:  April 29, 2018
Our History Comes to Life:  “If there were no blacks in America”.

Please join us for the second installation of our 5th Sunday program dedicated to our children.  We offer a worship experience that highlights how Africans in America made this nation great.

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”

May 24, 1854

Anthony Burns, celebrated fugitive slave, arrested by United States Deputy marshals in Boston. Two thousand United States troops escorted him through the streets of Boston when he was returned to the South on June 3. (1854)

May 23, 1917

Cornelius Lacy Golightly was born on this date in 1917 in Waterford, MS. The grandson of former slaves, he was a philosopher, teacher, civil rights activist, public intellectual and educational administrator. He used his rich philosophical insights and commanding intellect toward the consistent aim of eradicating segregation and seeking racial harmony. He became the first African-American president of the Detroit Board of Education.

May 22, 1877

Alexander Crummell addressed the American Geographical Society on this date in 1877. Crummell was one of the few19th century scholars known and respected widely among European Americans. Reverend Crummell's private papers are held by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, of the New York Public Library in Harlem.[9] The Alexander Crummell School in Washington, DC, was named after him.

May 21, 1975

Lowell W. Perry confirmed as chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on this date in 1975. In addition to being chairman of the EEOC, Mr. Perry was also an American football player and coach, government official, businessman, and broadcaster. He was the first African-American assistant coach in the National Football League (NFL), the first African American to broadcast an NFL game to a national audience, and Chrysler's first African-American plant manager.

May 20, 1954

David Alexander Paterson was born on this date in 1954. Paterson is an American Politician who served as the 55th governor of New York, succeeding Eliot Spitzer and serving out the final two years of Spitzer’s term from 2008 - 2010. He was the first African-American to hold this position and the second legally blind governor of any state.

May 19, 2017

Mitch Landrieu, major of New Orleans, LA, addressed an audience in his city as a backdrop and explanation of the city’s recent decision to remove statues of General Robert E. Lee and other Confederate military and political leaders from public squares in New Orleans (2017).

May 18, 1893

Anna Julia Cooper delivered an address at the World’s Congress of Representative Women in Chicago (1893). Cooper’s speech to this predominately white audience described the progress of African American women since slavery. Cooper in many ways epitomized that progress. Born into slavery in North Carolina in 1858, she earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Oberlin and in 1925 at that age of 67 she received a Ph.D. at the Sorbonne in Paris. Cooper spent much of her career at an instructor of Latin and mathematics at M Street (later Dunbar) High School in Washington, D.C. She died in 1964.

May 17, 1969

W. C. Handy was the first African-American blues musician to be honored on a stamp (1969).

May 16, 1966

Stokely Carmichael named chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. National Welfare Rights Organization organized (1966).

May 15, 1970

Two students, Philip Gibbs and James Green, were killed by Jackson, MS police when they opened fire on the campus of Jackson State University (JSU) during a student protest (1970). Gibbs was a junior at JSU and Green was a senior at Jim Hill High School. The killings came 10 days after four white Kent State students were killed by National Guardsmen on that campus in Ohio.

May 14, 1890

Rosa Jinsey Young was born on this date in 1890. The daughter of a Methodist circuit rider, she became a teacher and opened a private school in 1912 in Rosebud, Alabama, for the Methodist church. When the school ran into financial problems, the Lutheran church offered help. Young joined the Lutheran church and founded the Alabama Lutheran Academy, which evolved into Concordia College, Selma. She wrote an autobiography, "Light in the Dark Belt."

May 13, 1985

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the City of Philadelphia dropped a C4 bomb on MOVE organization’s Osage Avenue home where member of the radical group lived (1985). The bomb caused a fire that killed eleven MOVE members, including five children, and destroyed 65 houses in the neighborhood.

May 12, 2015

Jack Lew, announced that the redesign of the $20, $10, and $5 bills would include Harriet Tubman, Alice Paul and Marian Anderson. (2015)

May 11, 1986

Fredrick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, the first African-American head coach in the National Football League, passed away (1986). Pollard along with Bobby Marshall were the first two African American players in the NFL in 1920. Football pioneer Walter Camp ranked Pollard as "one of the greatest runners these eyes have ever seen."

May 10, 1969

In 1969, The Temptations played at the White House upon the request of Tricia Nixon, daughter of President Richard Nixon.

May 9, 1968

Arthur Mitchell passed away (1968). He was the first African-American to be elected to Congress as a Democrat. For his entire congressional career from 1935 – 1943, he was the only African-American in Congress.

May 8, 1925

Asa Philip Randolph organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominately black labor union (1925). In the early Civil Rights Movement and the Labor Movement, Randolph was a voice that would not be silenced. His continuous agitation with the support of fellow labor rights activists against unfair labor practices in relation to people of color eventually led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802 in 1941, banning discrimination in the defense industries during World War II. The group then successfully pressured President Harry S. Truman to issue Executive Order 9981 in 1948, ending segregation in the armed services.

May 7, 1878

Joseph Winters received a patent for the fire escape ladder (1878). Mr. Winters was not the original inventor of the ladder. His design replaced the wooden ladder with a metal frame and parallel steps. Winters' innovation was utilized by the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania fire department who mounted the ladder on a horse-drawn wagon.

May 6, 1816

In 1816, the American Bible Society was founded by people who were committed to the word of God and the end of slavery.

May 5, 1905

In 1905, Robert Sengstacke Abbott published the 1st issue of ‘Chicago Defender’ newspaper. The Defender grew to have the largest circulation of any black-owned newspaper in the country. An early adherent of the Bahá'í religion in the United States, Abbott founded the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in 1929, which has developed into a celebration for youth, education and African–American life in Chicago, Illinois.

May 4, 2013

Alton Toussaint Lemon died in 2013. Mr. Lemon was a social worker and civil rights activist and is best know as being named the lead plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court Case involving the separation of church and state. He was a recipient of the "First Amendment Hero" award and was the first African American head of the Philadelphia Ethical Society.

May 3, 1953

Ida Gray Nelson passed away in 1953. Ida was the first African American woman to earn a doctor of dental surgery degree when she graduated from the University of Michigan.

May 2, 1963

In 1963, 2,543 Civil Rights demonstrators, mostly children, were arrested in Birmingham, AL

May 1, 1884

In 1884, Moses Fleetwood Walker became the first black person, who was open about his black heritage, to play in a pro baseball game in the United States. He played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association. After professional baseball erected a color barrier in 1889, he became a businessman and advocate of Black Nationalism.

April 29, 1992

First day of L.A riots, sparked by acquittal of four white cops in the beating of Rodney King, which resulted in at least 50 deaths, thousands injured and estimates of up to $1 billion in property damage.

April 24, 1944

The United Negro College Fund was incorporated on this day 1944. Dr. Frederick Patterson, President of Tuskegee Institute, founded the UNCF to help raise funds for America’s historically black colleges and universities. With the birth of the UNCF came the slogan that has become part of our national vocabulary – “A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste”.

April 23, 1856

Granville Tailer Woods born on this date 1856, was an American inventor who held more than 50 patents.[1] He is also the first American of African ancestry to be a mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil War.

April 20, 1906

Everett Frederic Morrow born on this date 1906 , was the first African American to hold an executive position at the White House. He served President Dwight Eisenhower as Administrative Officer for Special Projects from 1955 to 1961.

April 19, 1914

Cora Mae Brown was born in 1914, was the first African-American woman elected (rather than appointed) to a state senate in the United States. She won her seat in the Michigan State Senate in 1952, beating a male candidate for the position. Brown was a Democrat who represented Detroit.

April 18, 1955

Bill Russell named coach of the Boston Celtics basketball team and became the first Black to coach an established team in professional athletics.

April 17, 1758

Francis Williams, first U.S. Black college graduate, publishes a poem book in Latin.

April 16, 1963

The Letter from Birmingham Jail penned in 1963, also known as the The Negro Is Your Brother, is an open letter , by Martin Luther King Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. It says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an "outsider," King writes, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".

April 15, 1889

Asa Philip Randolph bornin 1889 was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, the American labor movement, and socialist political parties.

April 14, 1970

Milwaukee Buck’s Lew Alcindor was named NBA Rookie of the year 1970. Alcindor was an instant star, ranking second in the league in scoring (28.8 ppg) and third in rebounding (14.5 rpg), for which he was awarded the title of NBA Rookie of the Year.

April 13, 1963

Sir Sidney Poitier, won an Oscar for “Lillies of the Field” the 1st African American Male to win the Best Actor Award 1963. Sir Sidney Poitier,is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author, and diplomat. In 1964,Poitier became the first Bahamian and first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor[a] for his role in Lilies of the Field.

April 12, 1861

Confederate soldiers attacked Fort Sumter, in the Charleston, S.C., harbor.

April 11, 1881

Spelman College was founded in Atlanta, GA as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary 1881. The college is part of the Atlanta University Center academic consortium in Atlanta.Spelman was the fourth historically black female institution of higher education to receive its collegiate charter in 1924.

April 10, 1816

The African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1816. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists. Allen was consecrated its first bishop in 1816.

April 9, 1898

Paul Leroy Robeson born in 1898, was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism.

April 8, 1974

Hank Aaron hits his 715th career Home Run surpassing Babe Ruth’s record 1974.

April 7, 1867

Johnson C Smith University was founded 1867. As the Biddle Memorial Institute at a meeting of the Catawba Presbytery in the old Charlotte Presbyterian Church. Mary D. Biddle, a churchwoman, donated $1,400 to the school. From 1921 to 1922, Jane Berry Smith donated funds to build a theological dormitory, a science hall, a teachers' cottage and a memorial gate. She also provided an endowment for the institution in memory of her late husband, Johnson C. Smith. Up until her death she donated funds for five more buildings and a campus church. In recognition of these generous benefactions, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the institution to Johnson C. Smith University.

April 6, 1909

Matthews Henson became the first man to reach the North Pole in 1909.

April 5, 1856

Booker T Washington was born 1856. Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

April 4, 1928

Maya Angelou was born 1928. was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

April 3, 1928

Earl Lloyd was born 1928. The 1st African American to play in a NBA game. Nicknamed "The Big Cat", Lloyd was one of three black players to enter the NBA at the same time. It was only because of the order in which the team's season openers fell that Lloyd was the first to actually play in a game in the NBA scoring six points that Halloween night.

April 2, 1939

Marvin Gaye was born 1939. Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. was an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, including "Ain't That Peculiar", "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross and Tammi Terrell, later earning the titles "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul". During the 1970s, he recorded the concept albums What's Going On and Let's Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown (joint with Stevie Wonder) to break away from the reins of a production company.

April 1, 1828

Lott Carey, The first Missionary to the West African country of Liberia transitioned on this day 1828. Carey had first sailed for Liberia in January 1821, soon after the country was founded as a republic for freed American slaves by the American Colonization Society.

March 31, 1901

U.S. Navy Seaman Alphonse Geranty was awarded the Medal of Honor.

March 30, 1962

Air Force Captain Edward J. Dwight, Jr. was the first African American candidate for astronaut. He was given the opportunity for training in the space program after Whitney Young, the head of the Urban League recommended him to the Kennedy Administration. After facing a lot of discrimination from other astronauts that only grew worse after Kennedy’s assassination not only did he not make it to space, he resigned from the program in 1966.

March 28, 1990

Jesse Owens is awarded the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously by President George H.W. Bush. He was a track and field athlete and four time Olympic gold medalist in he1936 summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump. His achievement of setting three world records and tying another at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, MI has been called “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport” and has never been equaled.

March 27, 1924

Four-time Grammy Award winner, jazz great Sarah Vaughan was born in Newark, New Jersey. The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her its biggest honor in jazz. “The NEA Jazz Masters Award” Miss Vaughan was a contralto who glorified in displaying he distinctive instrumental qualities of a voice that had a comfortable three octave range. Known for her vocal leaps and swoops, she was equally adept at be-bop improvisation and singing theater songs with a symphony orchestra.

March 26, 1872

Thomas J. Martin patented the fire extinguisher.

March 25, 1965

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. led 25, 0000 non- violent demonstrators to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama

March 24, 2004

Civil rights activist, Dorothy I. Height is awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush on her 92nd birthday. She was recognized for her devotion to the struggle for equality, social justice, and human rights for all peoples and was the only woman at the table when Martin Luther King made plans for the Civil Rights Movement.

March 23, 1967

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Vietnam War the biggest obstacle to the Civil Rights Movement.

March 22, 1906

Arthur Winston was born. He worked for the L.A. metro for 72 years without ever being late and missing only one day when he buried his wife. He received the “Employee of the Century” citation in 1996 by the U.S. Department of Labor for his unparalleled reliability.

March 21, 1947

Actor James Baskett known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus was awarded an Academy Honorary Award for Disney’s “Song of the South” making him the first male performer of African descent to receive an Academy Award.

March 20, 1852

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an anti-slavery novel by author Harriet Beecher Stowe is published in Boston, Massachusetts.

March 19, 1939

Langston Hughes founded the New Negro Theater in Los Angeles, California.

March 18, 1877

Frederick Douglas appointed marshal of the District of Columbia by President Hayes.

March 17, 1885

William F. Cosgrove patented the automatic stop plug for gas and oil pipes.

March 16, 1827

The first black newspaper “Freedom’s Journal” was published in New York City. Some subjects contained in the journal were current events of the day, biographies of prominent African-Americans and vital records, listings of births, deaths and marriages in the African American New York community.

March 15, 1999

Chess player Maurice Ashley attained the rank of International Grand Master. He’s an author, commentator, app designer, puzzle inventor and motivational speaker and the world’s first black Grandmaster.

March 14, 1923

Sonar technician Lanier W. Phillips was born in Lithonia, Georgia. He was survivor of the wreck of the USS Truxtum off the coast of Newfoundland and a recipient of the U.S. Navy Memorial’s Lone Sailor award for his distinguished post Navy civilian career.

March 13, 1773

Black pioneer and explorer Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable established the first permanent settlement of “ Skikai-O” meaning the place of wild onions which is now known as Chicago, Illinois.

March 12, 1926

The Savoy Ballroom a large ballroom for music and public dancing opened in Harlem, New York at 596 Lenox Avenue between 140th and 141st Street. Lenox Avenue was the main thoroughfare through upper Harlem.

March 11, 1959

Lorraine Hansberry’s award winning play “A Raisin in the Sun” opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater and ran for 530 performances.

March 10, 1972

The first National Black Political Assembly was held. Around 8,000 African Americans arrived in Gary, Indiana to attend their first convention to discuss and advocate for black communities that undergo significant economic and social crisis.

March 9, 1966

Andrew F. Brimmer a noted United States economist, academic and business leader was the first African American appointed to the Federal Reserve Board.

March 8, 1977

Henry L. Marsh III, a civil rights lawyer and politician becomes the first African American elected mayor of Richmond, Virginia.

March 7, 1942

The first cadets graduated from flying school at Tuskegee.

March 6, 1775

The first Negro Mason in the United States was initiated in Boston, Massachusetts.

March 5, 1938

Former NFL player turned actor Fred Williamson was born.

March 4, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr. announces plans for Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, DC.

March 3, 1865

Freedmen’s Bureau established by the federal government to aid newly freed slaves and poor whites in the south and the District of Columbia in the aftermath of the Civil War. The bureau provided education, helped legalize marriages; and assisted African American soldiers and sailors in securing back pay and pensions.

March 2, 1867

U. S. Congress enacted charter to establish Howard University

March 1, 1864

Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African American woman to earn a Medical degree and the only African American woman to graduate from the New England Female Medical College which closed in 1872