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

Stay tuned for upcoming events/announcements from the African American Heritage Ministry.

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 31, 1961

Judge Irving Kaufman ordered Board of Education of New Rochelle, NY to integrate schools. (1961) In making his ruling, Kaufman stated that “Compliance with the Supreme Court`s (1954) edict was not to be less forthright in the North than in the South.”

May 30, 1965

Vivian Juanita Malone became the first black student to graduate from the University of Alabama (1965). She was one of the first two black students to enroll at the University of Alabama in 1963. She was made famous when Alabama Governor George Wallace attempted to block her and James Hood from enrolling at the all-white university.

May 29, 1914

Henry Ransom Cecil McBay, chemist, Born May 29, 1914 in Mexia, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Science from Wiley College in 1934 and a Master of Science from Atlanta University in 1936. Henry McBay earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1945. McBay served as an Instructor of Chemistry at Wiley College and also served as an Instructor at Western University, Kansas City. In 1944 and 1945, he won the Elizabeth Norton prize at the University of Chicago for outstanding research in chemistry. Four years later he was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Research Corp. of New York for research on chemical compounds. He served as a technical expert on a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization mission to Liberia in 1951. He was the first recipient of research funding from George Washington Carver's donation to Tuskegee Institute, for research on extraction of fibers from okra. From 1945 to 1981 Henry McBay was appointed as a teaching faculty at Morehouse College, beginning as an Instructor and advancing to full Professor and served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 1960 to 1981. He was appointed Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Chemistry at Atlanta University in 1982 and became professor emeritus of chemistry at Clark Atlanta University in 1986.

May 28, 1885

Horace King died on May 28, 1885. Horace King, born a slave on September 8, 1807 in Chesterfield District, South Carolina, was a successful bridge architect and builder in West Georgia, Northern Alabama and northeast Georgia in the period between the 1830s and 1870s. King worked for his master, John Godwin who owned a successful construction business. Although King was a slave, Godwin treated him as a valued employee and eventually gave him considerable influence over his business. In addition to building bridges, King constructed homes and government buildings for Godwin's construction company. King continued to work for Godwin's construction company and when his former owner died in 1859, King assumed controlled of Godwin’s business.

May 28, 1942

Doris “Dorie” Miller awarded the Navy cross for his heroic deeds at Pearl Harbor (1942). During the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 Miller manned anti-aircraft guns, (despite having no formal training in their use), and attended to the w

May 26, 1928

The conclusion of the 1928 Bunion Derby. The Bunion Derby was a cross country footrace that captured the nations attention in the Spring of 1928. The race took place over 84 days and covered 3400 miles. The 199 starters included 5 African-Americans, a Jamaican -born Canadian and as many as 15 Latinos. Only 55 runners finished the race. Three of the top ten finishers were men of color. The derby also showed the nation that blacks and whites could compete against one another even if they were not yet ready to live together in harmony.

May 25, 1971

Jo Etha Collier, a young African -American woman was killed in Drew, MS on this day in 1971. She was shot dead by 3 drunken white males in her hometown of Drew, Miss., less than an hour after she graduated from desegregated Drew High School where she was honored for her achievements in the classroom and on the track field.

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, 1983

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

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 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

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 28, 1971

Samuel Lee Gravely Jr. became the first Black admiral in the U.S. Navy.

April 27, 1903

Maggie L. Walker named president of Richmond's St. Luke Bank and Trust Company and became the first Black woman to head a bank.

April 26, 1844

Jim Beckwourth discovered a path through the Sierra Nevada Mountains that now bear his name. Beckwourth Pass on U.S. Alt 40 between Reno, Nevada and Sacramento, California made overland travel to the gold fields of California possible,

April 25, 1972

Major General Frederic E. Davidson first African American to lead an Army division.

April 24, 1950

The United Negro College Fund was founded.

April 23, 1954

Hank Aaron hit his first home run off pitcher Vic Raschi of the St. Louis Cardinals on April 23, 1954, his first year in the big leagues. It signaled the beginning of what has become Aarons duel with a legend. Aaron finished his 19th season with 673 home runs and stands just 41 short of the record set by the home run king, Babe Ruth

April 22, 1596

The first recorded slave revolt occurs in Stono, S.C.

April 21, 1878

The ship Barque Azor left Charleston with 206 Black emigrants bound for Liberia.

April 20, 1971

U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that busing was a constitutionally acceptable method of integrating public schools.

April 19, 1947

Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American major league baseball player

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, 1965

Maj. Gen. B.O. Davis Jr., assistant deputy chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, named lieutenant general, the highest rank attained by a Black to date in the armed services.

April 15, 1980

Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia gains its independence.

April 14, 1868

South Carolina voters approved constitution, 70,758 to 27,228, and elected state officers, including the first Black cabinet officer, Francis L. Cardozo, secretary of state. New constitution required integrated education and contained a strong bill of rights section: "Distinctions on account of race or color, in any case whatever, shall be prohibited, and all classes of citizens shall enjoy equally all common, public, legal and political privileges."

April 13, 1966

Andrew F. Brimmer, economist and former Professor of Economics at University of Pennsylvania, is nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson to serve as a Governor of the Federal Reserve System. This appointment represented the first black to serve in this capacity.

April 12, 1861

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

April 11, 1881

Spelman College, an institution sponsored by John D. Rockefeller's family, opened for Negro women in Atlanta, Georgia. It became the "Radcliffe and the Sarah Lawrence of Negro education

April 10, 1943

Arthur Ashe, first African American Davis Cup team member, first African American to win the U.S. Open and the men's singles title at Wimbledon in in 1975, born.

April 9, 1866

Civil Rights Bill passed over the president's veto. The bill conferred citizenship on Blacks and gave them "the same right, in every State and Territory... as is enjoyed by white citizens."

April 8, 1990

Percy Julian, developer of drugs to combat glaucoma and methods to mass produce cortisone and George Washington Carver are the first African American Inventors admitted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in the hall's 17-year history.

April 7, 1867

Johnson C.Smith University is founded in Charlotte, N.C

April 6, 1909

Matthew Henson reached the North Pole. Traveling with the Admiral Peary Expedition, Henson, with his exceptional navigational skills managed to reach the North Pole almost 45 minutes before Peary and the rest of the men.

April 5, 1937

Colin Luther Powell was born In New York, New York

April 4, 1968

Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated by white sniper in Memphis, Tennessee.

April 3, 1962

In retaliation against a Black Boycott of downtown stores, the Birmingham, AL, City Commission voted not to pay the city's $45,000 share of a $100,000 county program which supplied surplus food to the needy. More than 90 percent of the recipients of aid were Black. When the NAACP protested the Commission decision, Birmingham Mayor Arthur J Hanes dismissed their complaint as a "typical reaction from New York Socialist radicals".

April 2, 1855

John Mercer Langston, considered the first African American to be elected to public office is elected clerk of Brownhelm, Ohio Township.

April 1, 1868

Hampton University was established in 1868 as a school for blacks. Hampton University was known prior to August 1984 as Hampton Institute. The university is a private coeducational institution in Hampton, Virginia. Its undergraduate college is still known as Hampton Institute.

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 the1936 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 her 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 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 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 a 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 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.