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”

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.

June 30, 1900

Sugar T. George a.k.a George Sugar was born in approximately 1827 as a slave in the Muskogee Nation. This former slave emerged as a tribal leader. By the time of his death in 1900, Sugar T. George was also said to have been the” wealthiest’ Negro in the (Indian) Territory. In 1868, he was first elected to the Muskogee National Tribal Council, representing North Fork in both the House of Warriors and the House of Kings. He died on June 30, 1900 and was buried in the Agency Cemetery in Muskogee.

June 29, 1925

Performer, composer, arranger and teacher, Hale Smith, Jr. was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He encompassed the words of jazz and classical musical. He was trained in jazz and classical composition, performance and teaching, His collaborations and influence crossed multiple fields where he set out to resolve the paradoxes of both improvisation and notated music. One of his early compositions was encouraged by Duke Ellington. He performed as a jazz pianist and arranger in New York. He worked with prominent jazz artists, including Chico Hamilton, Dizzy Gillespie, Eric Dolphy, Randy Weston, Melba Liston, and Ahmad Jamal among many others.

June 28, 1964

Organization for African American Unity was founded in New York by Malcolm X.

June 27, 1894

Crystal Bird Fauset, the first African American female state legislator in the U.S. was born on this date in Princess Anne, Maryland. She grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but spent most of her adult life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

June 26, 1959

Prince Edward County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors abandoned school system to prevent integration.

June 25, 1933

James Howard Meredith was born on this date in Kosciusko, Mississippi. He descended from a culturally diverse family having British Canadian, Choctaw, Scots and African American heritage. Mississippi at that time was under Jim Crow tyrant rule and therefore all schools in his territory were segregated as “white” AND “colored”. He attended a segregated high school and after graduation joined the U.S. Air Force. He served in the US Air Force for nine years. Upon return, he attended Jackson State University where he earned good grades. Afterwards, he applied for the state funded University of Mississippi which only accepted white students however he insisted on having equal rights. After his application was rejected twice, he would finally be allowed admittance in 1962 after Robert Barnett’s receiving several calls from the US Attorney General Robert Kennedy about the subject of James Meredith’s admission. Meredith became the first African American to have been enrolled in an all-white university.

June 24, 1884

John R. Lynch, an African American Republican congressman, writer, attorney and military officer from Mississippi was elected temporary chairman of the Republican convention and became the first Black to preside over deliberations of a national political party.

June 23, 1913

Jacques Rabemananjara was born on this day in Tamatave, Madagascar He was a Malagasy politician, playwright and poet. He served as a government minister, rising to Vice-President of Madagascar.

June 22, 1884

Lane College is a co-ed, Liberal Arts College located in Jackson, Tennessee. The college was founded in 1882 by Bishop Isaac Lane, a former slave and bishop of the Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. Lane College is the first institution established by the Methodist Episcopal Church and one of the oldest historically black colleges. On June22, 1884, the school changed its name to Lane Institute after it was chartered under the laws of the state of Tennessee and expanded its curriculum focus on preparing ministers and teachers. In 1896, Lane Institute broadened its curriculum. The Board of Trustees also decided to change the name of the institution to Lane College to better reflect the growth of the curriculum.

June 21, 1956

Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah was born Arthur Davenport on November 21, 1956 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents, David Fattah (born Russell Davenport) and Sister Falaka Fattah (born Frances Brown) are community activists in West Philadelphia. In 1983 he was elected an s a Democratic Representative to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He served until 1988 when he won a seat in the Pennsylvania State Senate. In 1994, Fattah was elected to the US House of Representatives after beating incumbent congressman Lucian Backwell in the Democratic Primary for Pennsylvania’s Second Congressional District. Fattah won the seat over token Republican opposition in November 1994. While in the US House of Representatives, Fattah has served on the Appropriations Committee and a number of subcommittees.

June 20, 1946

On this date, Andre Watts was born in Nuremburg, Germany to an African American soldier, Herman Watts, who was stationed in Germany, and a piano playing Hungarian refugee mother, Maria Alexandria Gusmits. He is the subject of one of the more memorable stories in American music. In 1963, the 16 year old high school student won a piano competition to play in the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concert of Lincoln Center, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Within weeks of the contest the renowned conductor tapped Watts to substitute for the eminent but ailing Glenn Gould. The performance was televised nationally with Watts playing Liszt’s E-flat Concerto and his career was launched. From this storied beginning, he went on to become the first internationally famous black concert pianist.

June 19, 1864

Infamous duel between the USS Kearsage and the CSS Alabama off Cherbourg, France a brave Black sailor Joachim Pease, displayed “marked coolness” and won a Congressional Medal of Honor.

June 18, 1942

Bernard W. Robinson, Harvard Medical student, made ensign in the US Naval Reserve and became first black to win a commission in the US Navy.

June 17, 1957

Tuskegee boycott began. Blacks boycotted city stores in protest against an act of state legislature which deprived them of municipal votes by placing their homes outside city limits.

June 16, 1926

George S. Schulyer “the Negro-Art Hokum” At the high point of the Harlem Renaissance where many African American artists and a growing number of white art critics were praising the outpouring of racially-influenced novels, poetry, prose, painting and sculpture, George S. Schulyer published a searing critique rejecting the idea that the race of these artists had any influence over their work. His critique was published on June 16, 1926.

June 15, 2006

Mel Streeter was born in Riverside, CA in 1931. He attended the University of Oregon on a basketball scholarship and was the second African-American basketball player at Oregon after declining an offer by legendary basketball coach John Wooden to attend UCLA because UCLA did not have an architecture program. Streeter graduated with a bachelor’s in architecture in 1955. In 1967, Streeter opened the third black-owned architecture firm in Seattle. A pillar of the black community in Seattle, he was a Seattle Planning Commissioner and a founding member of the AA Seattle Diversity Roundtable and the Taber 100. As a black architect, he opened doors for other architects of color and some of the city’s best known architects. He passed away in 2006.

June 14, 1939

The Ethel Waters Show a variety special appears on NBC. It is the first time an African American appears on television.

June 13, 1908

Thomas “Blind Tom” Greene Wiggins was born May 25, 1849 to Mungo and Charity Wiggins, slaves on a Georgia plantation. He was blind and autistic but a musical genius with a phenomenal memory. Young Tom was fascinated by music and other sounds and could pick out tunes on the piano by the age of four. He made his concert debut at eight, performing in Atlanta. In 1858, he was hired out as a slave-musician, at a price of $15,000. In 1859, at the age of 10, he became the first African American performer to play at the White House when he gave a concert before President James Buchanan. His piano pieces “Oliver Galop” and “Virginia Polka” were published in 1860. He could also play pieces after one hearing and memorized poems and text in foreign languages. Tom became an internationally recognized performed. He died on June 13, 1908.

June 12, 1886

The Georgia State Supreme Court sustained the will of the late David Dickson, thus making Amanda Eubanks the wealthiest Negro in America. Dickson, a former slave holder willed more than half a million dollars to Eubanks. White relatives of Dickson, a bachelor, had contested the will on the grounds that it was illegal for a white man to leave property to his black illegitimate children.

June 11, 1963

Two Black students escorted by federalized National Guard troops, enrolled at University of Alabama despite the opposition of Governor George C. Wallace.

June 10, 1938

Joseph Sylvester Jackson became the first executive secretary of the newly founded Seattle Urban League when it received its charter from the national headquarters in New York in 1930. In September 1928, he entered the New York School of Social Work as a Fellow of the National Urban League. He also worked briefly at the Brooklyn Urban League.

June 9, 1838

James McCune Smith was a prominent physician and abolitionist. Smith was educated in the African Free School in New York City. When failing to be admitted to any American College, he enrolled in Glasgow University in Scotland in 1832 and earned three degrees including his medical degree. Smith is believed to be the first African American physician to hold a medical degree. Smith also continued his abolitionist activities as evidenced by the speech he gave on this date in New York entitled “The Abolition of Slavery and the Slave Trade in the French and British Colonies”

June 8, 1968

James Earl Ray, alleged assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. captured at London airport.

June 7, 1930

Respecting Negro demands the “New York Times” announced that the “N” in the word “Negro” would be henceforth capitalized in its pages.

June 6, 1863

The Battle of Milken’s Bend. Although a relatively small battle Milken’s Bend was distinguished by the prominent role played by the black union soldiers who, despite lacking much military training, fought bravely with interior weaponry and succeeded in driving off the confederates

June 5, 1955

Cleveland Leigh Abbott was born December 9, 1892 in Yankton, South Dakota. He is most remembered for his coaching career at Tuskegee Institute (now University) in Alabama. In 1923, Cleveland Abbott was hired as an agricultural chemist and athletic director of Tuskegee Institute, a job that had been personally offered to him by Booker T. Washington in 1913 on the condition that he successfully earn his B.A. degree. Abbott was inducted into the South Dakota State University Hall of Fame. In 1968, the Tuskegee University Hall of Fame. In 1975, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Alabama Sports Hall of fame in 1995

June 4, 1832

Third national Black convention met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with twenty-nine delegates from eight states. Henry Sipkins of New York was elected president.

June 3, 1887

The son of former slaves, Roland Hayes, born June 3, 1887 in Curryville, Georgia. He became the first African American male to become an internationally acclaimed concert vocalist Roland Hayes secured professional management with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He reportedly made 100,000 annually. Critics lauded his abilities and linguistic skills with songs in French, German and Italian.

June 2, 2008

Ella Otha Bates, more commonly known by his stage name “Bo Diddley” was an American R& B vocalist, guitarist and songwriter and music producer. Diddley was also known as “The Originator” due to his vital role in the transition of Blues Music to Rock and Roll. He was born on December 30, 1928 in McComb, MS and adopted by his mother’s cousin, Gussie McDaniels who raised him in Chicago. He was highly interested by the church music of the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Pentecostal Church, the latter inspired him to take up the guitar and the former was where he studied the trombone and the violin.

June 1, 1973

WPGR becomes the first television station owned by African Americans given permit to operate.

May 31, 1921

The ​Tulsa​ ​race​ ​riot​ was a large-scale, racially motivated conflict on May 31 and June 1, 1921, in which a group of whites attacked the black community of ​Tulsa​, Oklahoma.

May 30, 1903

Countee (Coun-tay) Cullen​, ​born as Coleman Rutherford, was an African-American poet, author and scholar who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

May 29, 1973

Thomas Bradley was elected as Los Angeles 1​st​ African-American Mayor, and one of America’s most powerful elected officials.

May 27, 1936

Louis Gossett Jr.​was born in Brooklyn, NY. Gossett won an Academy Award for his role in the movie "An  Officer and a Gentleman."

May 26, 1926

​Jazz trumpeter ​Miles Davis​ born.

May 24, 1854

Lincoln University (Pa.), the first black college, is founded.​ is the United States' first degree-granting historically black university​. Founded as a private university in 1854, it has been a public institution since 1972. Its main campus is located on 422 acres near the town of ​Oxford​ in southern ​Chester County, Pennsylvania.

May 23, 1921

Shuffle Along, the musical review opened on Broadway in 1921. It was written, produced, directed and performed by African -Americans. It helped launch the careers of Josephine Baker, Adelaide Hall, Fredi Washington to name a few. The musical also ushered in the era of the Harlem Renaissance.

May 20, 1763

​Francois-Dominque Touissant L'Overture born. Led the Great Haitian Slave Revolt.. He was even responsible  for defeating the armies of that period's greatest conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte. Tricked into accepting an invitation from a French General to discuss matters of state, Toussaint was captured by French forces.

May 19, 1925

​Malcolm X​ born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb. and later also known as ​el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz​ was an ​African-American​ ​Muslim​ minister and ​human rights activist​. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching ​racism​ and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential ​African Americans​ in history.

May 17, 1954

U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation in public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education decision.

May 16, 1884

Isaac Burns Murphy won his 1​st​ Kentucky Derby 1884. Then proceed to win back to back Kentucky Derbies in 1890 & 1891. Isaac is the 1st​ jockey to win the Kentucky Derby 3 times.

May 11, 1976

The Villa Lewaro in Greenburgh, NY, was designated a national historic landmark. Villa Lewaro had been the home of African-American millionaire Madame C.J. Walker.

May 10, 1994

In South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is sworn in as the first black president of South Africa. In his inaugural address, Mandela, who spent 27 years of his life as a political prisoner of the South African government, declared that “the time for the healing of the wounds has come.”

May 6, 1991

The Smithsonian Institution approves the creation of the National African American Museum.

May 4, 1961

The 1​st​ Freedom Ride left ​Washington, D.C.​, and was scheduled to arrive in ​New Orleans​ on May 17. ​Freedom Riders were ​civil rights​ activists who rode interstate buses into the ​segregated​ ​southern United States​ in 1961 and subsequent years in order to challenge the non-enforcement of the ​United States Supreme Court​ decisions ​Morgan v. Virginia​ (1946) and ​Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which ruled that segregated public buses were unconstitutional. The Southern states had ignored the rulings and the federal government did nothing to enforce them.

May 3, 1933

James Brown was born near Barnwell, SC 1933, was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and bandleader. The creator of ​funk​ music and a major figure of ​20th century​ ​popular music​ and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of ​Soul​".In a career that spanned six decades, he influenced the development of several music genres.

May 2, 1844

Elijah J. McCoy​ was a Canadian-American ​inventor​ and engineer who was notable for his 57 U.S. ​patents​, most having to do with the lubrication of steam engines. Born free in Canada, he returned as a five-year-old with his family to the United States in 1847, where he lived for the rest of his life and became a U.S. citizen. Source of the phrase "the real Mc Coy" .

May 1, 1950

Gwendolyn Brooks, poet, first Black awarded a Pulitzer Prize (poetry) in 1950. Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas but grew up in Chicago. She is a witty poet who satirizes blacks and whites and attacks racial discrimination. She uses black language and rituals to proclaim black solidarity.