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

Please join us for the third installation of our 5th Sunday programs dedicated to our children – Our History Comes to Life: Celebrating our Historically Black Educational Institutions. This  program is for K- 8th grades and  will be held during the 8am and 10am services on Sunday, July 29th in the Conference Center*.  We will offer a worship experience that highlights our education institutions including our HBCUs. We invite the congregation to join in by wearing their college/university colors, shirts, hats, ties, scarves, etc.

*Registration required. Please see the Events webpage on the FMBC website for more details.


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, 1874

Patrick Francis Healy inaugurated as president of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

July 30, 1822

James Varick becomes first bishop of African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

July 29, 1895

First National Conference of Colored Women Convention is held in Boston.

July 28, 1868

14th Amendment granting Blacks full citizenship rights, becomes part of the Constitution.

July 27, 1880

Alexander P. Ashbourne patents process for refining coconut oil.

July 26, 1948

President Harry S. Truman issues Executive Order 9981, ending segregation in the U.S. armed forces.

July 25, 1916

Garrett Morgan, inventor of the gas mask, rescues six people from gas-filled tunnel in Cleveland, Ohio.

July 24, 1807

Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge, born in New York City.

July 23, 1778

More than 700 Blacks participate in Battle of Monmouth (NJ).

July 22, 1939

Jane M. Bolin of New York City, appointed first African American female judge.

July 21, 1896

Mary Church Terrell elected first president of the National Association of Colored Women.

July 20, 1950

First U.S. victory in Korea won by Black troops of the 24th Infantry Regiment.

July 19, 1925

Paris debut of Josephine Baker, entertainer, activist and humanitarian.

July 18, 1939

Saxophonist Coleman Hawkins records "Body and Soul" one of the classics of jazz.

July 17, 1953

Jesse D. Locker appointed U.S. Ambassador to Liberia.

July 16, 1862

Anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells Barnett born.

July 15, 1922

Philadelphia opens its Public schools for Blacks.

July 15, 1867

Maggie Lena Walker, first woman and first African American to become president of a bank.

July 14, 1955

George Washington Carver Monument, first national park honoring an African American, is dedicated in Joplin, Mo.

July 13, 1965

Thurgood Marshall becomes first African American appointed U.S. Solicitor General.

July 12, 1949

Frederick M. Jones patents air-conditioning unit used in food transportation vehicles.

July 11, 1905

W.E.B. Dubois and William Monroe Trotter organize the Niagara Movement, which demanded abolition of all race distinctions.

July 10, 1962

Martin Luther King Jr. arrested during demonstration in Albany, Georgia.

July 10, 1875

Educator Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman college, born.

July 9, 1893

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performs first successful open-heart operation.

July 8, 1943

Faye Wattleton, first African American director of Planned Parenthood, born.

July 7, 1948

Cleveland Indians sign pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige.

July 6, 1957

Althea Gibson wins women's singles title at Wimbledon, becoming first African American to win tennis's most prestigious award.

July 5, 1892

Andrew J. Beard patents rotary engine.

July 4, 1900

Trumpeter Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, jazz pioneer, born.

July 3, 1688

The Quakers in Germantown, Pa., make the first formal protest against slavery.

July 2, 1777

Vermont became the first American colony to abolish slavery.

July 2, 1872

Elijah McCoy patents his first self-lubricating locomotive engine. The quality of his inventions helped coin the phrase "The Real McCoy".

July 1, 1889

Frederick Douglass named U.S. Minister to Haiti.

June 30, 1921

Charles S. Gilpin awarded Springarm Medal for his performance in Eugene O’Neill’s Emperor Jones.

June 29, 1886

Photographer James Van Der Zee is born in Lenox, MA. He was best known for his photography of black New Yorkers and was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

June 28, 1864

Fugitive slave laws repealed by Congress.

June 27, 1991

Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall announces his retirement.

June 26, 1975

Samuel Blanton Rosser becomes first African American certified in pediatric surgery.

June 25, 1941

Franklin D. Roosevelt issues executive order establishing Fair Employment Practice Commission.

June 24, 1964

Carl T. Rowan is appointed the Director of the U.S. Information Agency

June 23, 1940

Sprinter Wilma Rudolph, winner of three gold medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics is born in Saint Bethlehem, TN.

June 22, 1909

Katherine Dunham dancer, choreographer, anthropologist, educator, author is born in Chicago, IL.

June 20, 1969

Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes first African American to command a U.S. Army Air Corps.

June 19, 1865

Blacks in Texas are notified that the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863 “Juneteenth” marks the event.

June 18, 1863

The 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry attacks Ft. Wagner, South Carolina.

June 17, 1775

Peter Salem, free slave, a private, minuteman fights in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

June 16, 1812

War of 1812, Navy continued to use African Americans as seamen because of shortage of manpower.

June 15, 1921

Bessie Coleman receives pilot license.

June 14, 1864

Congress rules that African American soldiers must receive equal pay.

June 13, 1967

Thurgood Marshall nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

June 12, 1963

Medgar W. Evers, Civil Rights leader, is assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi.

June 11, 1912

Joseph H. Dickinson patents player piano.

June 10, 1854

James Augustine Healy, first African American Roman Catholic bishop is ordained.

June 9, 1995

Lincoln Jim Ragsdale, Jr. pioneer fighter pilot WW II dies.

June 8, 1953

Supreme Court ruling bans discrimination in Washington, DC restaurants.

June 7, 1943

Black Arts Movement leading poet Nikki Giovanni born Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr. in Knoxville, TN

June 6, 1831

First annual “People of Color” Convention held in Philadelphia, PA.

June 5, 1987

Dr. Mae C. Jemison becomes the first black woman astronaut.

June 4, 1972

Angela Davis acquitted of all murder and conspiracy charges.

June 3, 1890

L. H. Jones patents the corn harvester.

June 2, 1899

Black Americans observed day of fasting called by National Afro-American Council to protest lynching and racial massacres.

June 1, 1968

Henry Jay Lewis becomes the first Black musical director of an American Symphony Orchestra.

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