The story

Black History Facts - Black History Month and Little Known Facts


Black History Month honors the contributions of African Americans to U.S. woman to become a self-made millionaire; George Washington Carver, who derived nearly 300 products from the peanut; Rosa Parks, who sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and galvanized the civil rights movement; and Shirley Chisholm, who was the first African American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Read on for more Black history facts.
















Black History Month: The celebration of Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

NAACP: On February 12, 2019, the NAACP marked its 110th anniversary. Spurred by growing racial violence in the early 20th century, and particularly by 1908 race riots in Springfield, Illinois, a group of African American leaders joined together to form a new permanent civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). February 12, 1909, was chosen because it was the centennial anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

Heavyweight Champ: Jack Johnson became the first African American man to hold the World Heavyweight Champion boxing title in 1908. He held onto the belt until 1915.

First Lawyer: John Mercer Langston was the first Black man to become a lawyer when he passed the bar in Ohio in 1854. When he was elected to the post of Town Clerk for Brownhelm, Ohio, in 1855 Langston became one of the first African Americans ever elected to public office in America. John Mercer Langston was also the great-uncle of Langston Hughes, famed poet of the Harlem Renaissance.

Famous Protestors and Activists: While Rosa Parks is credited with helping to spark the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her public bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955—inspiring the Montgomery Bus Boycott—the lesser-known Claudette Colvin was arrested nine months prior for not giving up her bus seat to white passengers.

WATCH: How the NAACP Fights Racial Discrimination

Supreme Court Justice: Thurgood Marshall was the first African American ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and served on the court from 1967 to 1991.

Eminent Scientist: George Washington Carver developed 300 derivative products from peanuts among them cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils and cosmetics.

First Senator: Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American ever elected to the U.S. Senate. He represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.

First Woman Representative: Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives. She was elected in 1968 and represented the state of New York. She broke ground again four years later in 1972 when she was the first major party African American candidate and the first female candidate for president of the United States.

Self-Made Millionaire: Madam C.J. Walker was born on a cotton plantation in Louisiana and became wealthy after inventing a line of African American hair care products. She established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories and was also known for her philanthropy.

WATCH: Madam CJ Walker, Self Made Millionaire

Oscar Winner: In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African American performer to win an Academy Award—the film industry’s highest honor—for her portrayal of a loyal slave governess in Gone With the Wind.

First Professional Black Baseball Player: On April 5, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play Major League Baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. He led the league in stolen bases that season and was named Rookie of the Year.

First Black Billionaire: Before Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan joined the billionaire’s club, Robert Johnson became the first African American billionaire when he sold the cable station he founded, Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 2001.

First Black President: In 2008, Barack Obama became the first Black president of the United States.

WATCH: The Best Photos of Obama's Presidency

First Black Vice President: In 2021, Kamala Harris became the first woman of African or Asian descent to become vice president. Harris's mother immigrated to the United States from India and her father immigrated from Jamaica.

Population Growth: The Black population of the United States in 1870 was 4.8 million; in 2018, the number of Black residents of the United States 43.8 million.

READ MORE: Black History Milestones


PBS: Ten Little Known Black History Facts

History is often reduced to a handful of memorable moments and events. In Black history, those events often include courageous stories like those of The Underground Railroad and historic moments like the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But these are only a few of the significant and important events to know and remember.

In an effort to honor this expansive and growing history, Black History Month was established by way of a weekly celebration in February known as “Negro History Week” by historian Carter G. Woodson. But just as Black history is more than a month, so too are the numerous events and figures that are often overlooked during it. What follows is a list of some of those “lesser known” moments and facts in Black history.


9 Interesting Little-Known Facts About Black History Month

1. Carter G. Woodson was the son of former enslaved Africans James and Eliza Riddle Woodson. He gained a master’s degree at the University of Chicago in 1908, and in 1912, he received a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History” started Negro History week in 1926, which later became Black History Month.

2. February was chosen as the month to observe Black history because it is the birth month of abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass (Feb. 14) and President Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12).

3. Woodson believed rather than only focusing on a few men and women in America, the Black community should focus on the countless Black men and women around the world who had contributed to the advancement of human civilization.

4. In the 1930s because of Negro History W eek’s popularity, it quickly became commercialized. Book publishers who would normally ignore Black topics rushed to put books on the market and in schools. Intellectuals popped up everywhere and would seize the opportunity to charge for speeches, taking advantage of the public interest in Black history.

5. Because of the widespread interest in Black history, during the Civil Rights Movement in the South, some schools incorporated Black history into the curriculum with the hope of starting an intellectual movement that would advance social change.

6. Prior to his death in 1950, Woodson pressed schools to shift from studying Black history one week a year to studying Black history throughout the year. Woodson’s ultimate goal was to have Black people learn of their past all year so that the annual celebration would no longer be necessary.

7. Actor Morgan Freeman says a month dedicated to Black history is “ridiculous.” In an 2005 interview on 60 Minutes,” Freeman said, “You’re going to relegate my history to a month? I don’t want a Black history month. Black history is American history.”

8. In 1976, 50 years after the first celebration, President Gerald Ford expanded Negro History Week to Black History Month.

9. Countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR: THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE


Little Known Black History Facts

Black History Month

The celebration of Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson , a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln .

Learn more about Carter G. Woodson below

Ice Cream Scoop

Alfred L Cralle invented the ice cream scoop. He received a patent for his invention on February 2nd, 1897.

Hattie McDaniel

In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African American performer to win an Academy Award and an Oscar—the film industry’s highest honor—for her portrayal of a loyal slave governess in Gone with the Wind .

Learn more about Hattie McDaniel

Satchel Paige was the oldest rookie to play in the MLB at 42 years old. He once drew a crowd of over 75,000 people.

Here’s more info about the legend Satchel Paige here

Claudette Colvin

While Rosa Parks is credited with helping to spark the Civil Rights movement when she refused to give up her public bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955–inspiring the Montgomery Bus Boycott — the lesser-known Claudette Colvin was arrested nine months prior for not giving up her bus seat to white passengers.

Shirley Chisolm

Shirley Chisolm survived three assassination attempts during her campaign for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidency.

The Buffalo Soldiers

The Buffalo Soldiers were the all-black regiments in the US Army. They were created in 1866.

Here’s some history about The Buffalo Soldiers

Kentucky Derby

Isaac Burns Murphy was the first person to win three Kentucky Derbies. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1956.

Freedom National Bank

In 1965 Jackie Robinson helped establish Freedom National Bank, the 1st African-American owned commercial bank.

Robert Johnson

Before Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan joined the billionaire’s club, Robert Johnson became the first African American billionaire when he sold the cable station he founded, Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 2001.

Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley was the 1st published female African American poet.

Check out some of her work below

The Slave Trade

Of the 12.5 million Africans shipped to the New World during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, fewer than 388,000 arrived in the United States.

Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker was the first female self-made millionaire.

Learn more about Madam C.J. Walker

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was an escaped enslaved woman who became a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, leading enslaved people to freedom before the Civil War, all while carrying a bounty on her head. But she was also a nurse, a Union spy, and a women’s suffrage supporter. Tubman is one of the most recognized icons in American history and her legacy has inspired countless people from every race and background.

Read more about the icon below

Betty Boop

The iconic cartoon character Betty Boop was inspired by a Black jazz singer in Harlem.

Wally Amos

Wally Amos is the creator of Famous Amos cookies.

Boxing

Jack Johnson became the first African American man to hold the World Heavyweight Champion boxing title in 1908.

Learn more about Jack Johnson

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass sits in the pantheon of Black history figures: Born into slavery, he made a daring escape north, wrote best-selling autobiographies, and went on to become one of the nation’s most powerful voices against human bondage. He stands as the most influential civil and human rights advocate of the 19th century.

Learn more about Frederick Douglas below

Traffic Signal

Garrett A. Morgan created a traffic signal. He sold it to General Electric.

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver developed 300 derivative products from peanuts among them cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils and cosmetics.

Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson is an engineer and inventor. He holds over 80 patents. He is most known for creating the super soaker water gun.

Bessie Coleman

The first licensed African American Female pilot was named Bessie Coleman.

Malcolm X

Malcolm X was an African American leader in the civil rights movement, minister and supporter of black nationalism. He urged his fellow black Americans to protect themselves against white aggression “by any means necessary,” a stance that often put him at odds with the nonviolent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. His charisma and oratory skills helped him achieve national prominence in the Nation of Islam, a belief system that merged Islam with black nationalism.

Get a better undestanding of Malcolm X by checking out the book below.

Hiram Rhodes Revels

Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American ever elected to the U.S. Senate. He represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was credited with helping to design the blueprint of Washington D.C.

Learn more about Benjamin Banneker

First Black Town in California

Allensworth is the first all-Black Californian township, founded and financed by African Americans.

Lawyer

John Mercer Langston was the first black man to become a lawyer when he passed the bar in Ohio in 1854.

Janet Emerson Bashen

Janet Emerson Bashen is the first African-American woman to hold a patent for a software invention.

Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge was the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk was one of the greatest jazz composers and a strong leader in the jazz revolution.

For more info about Thelonious Monk, click the image below.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams

The first successful open-heart surgery was performed in 1893 by a black surgeon named Dr. Daniel Hale Williams.

Here’s a DVD about Dr. WIlliams

Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan were the women behind the NASA space race.

Here’s a movie about their story.

Alberta Williams King

Alberta Williams King (Martin Luther King, Jr’s mother) was shot and killed in Ebenezer Church in 1974.

Author

Harriet Wilson is the 1st African-American to publish a novel in 1859.

Word War I

The Harlem Hellfighters spent 191 days in the trenches during World War I, more than any other American unit.

Learn more about the Harlem Hellfighters below

Black Wall Street

Greenwood is a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The community was known as Black Wall Street. It was one of the most successful and wealthiest black communities in the country.

Unfortunately, the worst race riot in this country’s history happened there as well. Here are some links about ‘The Black Wall Street.”

It sucks that I didn’t learn the majority of these facts while I was in school. Many of these are truely little known black history facts that no one knows about. I’m in my thirties, I can guarantee the younger generation doesn’t know this stuff either.

Did you already know any of these facts? Have you ever heard of Black Wall Street before? What other little known black history facts do you know?

[]

[


28 facts about Black history that you may not know

It's time to celebrate, beautiful Black people! Black History Month is upon us and it's only right that we honor all of the figures who've come before us to make our lives today better, as well as show love to those continuing the fight in order for tomorrow to shine even brighter for people of color.

Every single day of the year, black people who strive to make improvements in their communities and push Black people forward should be acknowledged. If we aren't the ones who do it, then no one will. So, it's important that we honor our own and thank them for making our lives more fair, as well as appreciate them for making us as a people feel more powerful.

28 leaders to honor this black history month

Black History Month is the designated time that we do all of this. But, do you know black history as well as you may believe? Our past is so rich -- centuries long, in fact. So, it's practically impossible to know every single thing about our history. However, it's always fun to learn more facts about us as a people.

With that being said, we've collected a list of 28 facts -- one for each day of Black History Month -- about Black history that you may not already know. Check them out below and tell us if you've learned anything new on social media using the hashtag #BHMX. Happy learning!


Black History Facts - Black History Month and Little Known Facts - HISTORY

Little Known Facts about Black History Month

Before there was Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, there was Thomas Wiggins, aka Thomas Bethune or Blind Tom . Wiggins entertained large crowds in the 19th century. Born a slave in 1849, he was purchased at two years old, along with his parents, Charity and Mingo Wiggins, by James Neil Bethune, a prominent Georgia lawyer and anti-abolitionist.

Wiggins was blind and autistic but a musical genius with a phenomenal memory . Music fascinated him and he could pick out tunes on the piano and reproduce them by the time he was four. By the age of six Wiggins was improvising on the piano and composing music. He made his concert debut at eight-years-old in Atlanta. Eventually Wiggins could recite any poem and play any piece of music on the piano after hearing it only once.

In 1858, Bethune hired out Wiggins as a musician for $15,000. He published his piano pieces "Oliver Galop" and "Virginia Polka" in 1860. During the Civil War, Wiggins and Bethune raised funds for Confederate relief. By 1865, 16-year-old Tom Wiggins, now "indentured" to James Bethune, played the works of Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, and Thalberg.

Mark Twain called him an 'inspired idiot,' who could 'play two tunes (on the piano) and sing a third at the same time, and let the audience choose the keys he shall perform in.'

By 1868 Wiggins and the Bethune family lived on a Virginia farm in the summer, while touring the United States and Canada the rest of the year. He averaged $50,000 a year in concert revenue.

Although he sustained a career that spanned 50 years and performed for all manner of distinguished critics and adoring crowds, Thomas Greene Wiggins, known to his fans as Blind Tom, is virtually unknown today .

Question: Who was Mary Todd Lincoln's close friend and confidant for most of her life? Answer: Her modiste or seamstress, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly .

Keckly was born a slave in Virginia in 1818 and was moved around and loaned out to different members of her master's family. She was eventually moved to St. Louis, Mo., where she bought her freedom in November of 1855. Throughout her time as a slave, Keckly worked as a seamstress. Once she was emancipated she moved to Baltimore with dreams of making dresses for upper-class women and opening a school for young African-American women.

Her Baltimore plans were unsuccessful. She then moved to the capital to try and find work. But, destitute as she was, Keckly didn't have enough money for a license to remain in the city for more than 30 days. With the help of some of her patrons who knew the mayor of the city, Keckly found a place to stay and was eventually granted a license.

Eventually she ended up making a dress for Robert E. Lee's wife, sparking the rapid growth of her business. After working tirelessly to finish a dress for one of her patrons, Keckly got a call from the White House. Mrs. Abraham Lincoln was requesting an interview.

Mrs. Lincoln hired Keckly to be her seamstress on inauguration day, March 4, 1861. Keckly became involved with the Lincoln family. She comforted Mrs. Lincoln when her sons passed away, and when dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of being a president's wife.

Mrs. Lincoln leaned on Keckly even more after the death of her husband. When Mrs. Lincoln fell on hard times after President Lincoln's death, Keckly had an idea to write a book to help her friend financially and to clear her good name.

With her book, "Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House," Keckly intended to show the world that Mary Todd Lincoln was misunderstood. But advertisers labeled it as a 'literary thunderbolt' and a tell-all book by a black woman who had no business talking about the former first lady. Lincoln felt betrayed, and Keckly's sewing business suffered. She continued to work as a seamstress and teach young African-American women the trade. Keckly later accepting a faculty position at Wilberforce University and organized a dress exhibit for the Chicago World's Fair.

Keckly's gowns are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

In 1949, Black audiences in Atlanta tuned in to the first radio station owned and operated by African-Americans, WERD. Established by Jesse B. Blayton Sr. in 1949, the station was housed in a Masonic building in one of the wealthiest black neighborhoods in the United States. Blayton hired his son Jesse Jr. to run the station, along with, "Jockey" Jack Gibson, one of the most popular black DJs at the time.

Housed in the same building as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, it is rumored that when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wanted to get on the air, he would beat on the ceiling so that the station would send a microphone down.

WDIA in Memphis, Tenn., had black programming on the air in 1948, but was not owned by African-Americans.

Celebrating Mammy?

Early in 1923, Senator John Williams of Mississippi and a Virginia chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, proposed a bill for 'the erection as a gift to the people of the United States . a monument in memory of the faithful, colored mammies of the South' on the the National Mall in D.C.

African-American men and women across the nation were horrified at the proposal for a Mammy statue. Civil rights leader Mary Church Terrell wrote that if it were built, 'there are thousands of colored men and women who will fervently pray that on some stormy night the lightning will strike it and the heavenly elements will send it crashing to the ground.'

African-American women had such a visceral reaction to the idea of a national monument to Mammy because they understood the link between a public monument, public image and civil rights. A monument to Mammy would have diluted the brutal reality of slavery by emphasizing Mammy's relationship to her white charges.

Eventually, the bill failed.

Time Magazine on Mar. 3, 1923:

'In dignified and quiet language, two thousand Negro women of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA protested against a proposal to erect at the Capitol a statue to 'The Black Mammy of the South.' A spokesman carried the resolution to Vice President Coolidge and Speaker Gillette and begged them to use their influence against the reminder that we come from a race of slaves .'

This, of course, will rebuke forever the sentimentalists who thought they were doing honor to a character whom they loved. They desired to immortalize a person famous in song and legend. But that person's educated granddaughters snuffed out the impulse by showing that they are ashamed of her.'

Contrary to the current demographics of the National Basketball Association, when the league first started in 1946, all the players were white. The first African-Americans didn't play for the NBA until the 1950 season.

Chuck Cooper from Duquesne University was the first black player to be drafted. Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton was the first to sign a contract, and Earl Lloyd was the first to play in an NBA game.

But before 1950, African-Americans did play professional basketball. Like baseball, Black players had their own teams. The first was the Spartan Braves of Brooklyn, which became the New York Renaissance, or Rens, in 1923 . They played most of their games against black colleges in the South. In 1932 the Rens played and won their first professional world championship against the original Boston Celtics.

In 1927 the Harlem Globetrotters were formed. By 1940 the Globetrotters were considered better than the Rens, but they both suffered from the fact that there was no Black league. The team took another big hit, losing all of their best players, when the NBA integrated. After that, they switched to playing as an entertainment team.

Although the first African-American did not play in the NBA until 1950, the NBA color barrier was broken in the 1947-48 season when Wataru Misaka, a Japanese-American played with the New York Knicks.

nWo: bboy87 - Timmy84 - LittleBlueCorvette - MuthaFunka - phunkdaddy - Christopher

MuthaFunka - Black. by popular demand

Contrary to the current demographics of the National Basketball Association, when the league first started in 1946, all the players were white. The first African-Americans didn't play for the NBA until the 1950 season.

Chuck Cooper from Duquesne University was the first black player to be drafted. Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton was the first to sign a contract, and Earl Lloyd was the first to play in an NBA game.

But before 1950, African-Americans did play professional basketball. Like baseball, Black players had their own teams. The first was the Spartan Braves of Brooklyn, which became the New York Renaissance, or Rens, in 1923 . They played most of their games against black colleges in the South. In 1932 the Rens played and won their first professional world championship against the original Boston Celtics.

In 1927 the Harlem Globetrotters were formed. By 1940 the Globetrotters were considered better than the Rens, but they both suffered from the fact that there was no Black league. The team took another big hit, losing all of their best players, when the NBA integrated. After that, they switched to playing as an entertainment team.

Although the first African-American did not play in the NBA until 1950, the NBA color barrier was broken in the 1947-48 season when Wataru Misaka, a Japanese-American played with the New York Knicks.

nWo: bboy87 - Timmy84 - LittleBlueCorvette - MuthaFunka - phunkdaddy - Christopher

MuthaFunka - Black. by popular demand

Here's a quiz to test your knowledge. I missed 3.

1. In the 1920s which African-American created and promoted Negro History Week?


a. George Washington Carver

2. George Washington Carver is best known for cultivating what?

3. When he was a lawyer, what landmark court case did Thurgood Marshall win?

b. O.J. Simpson vs. the State of California

c. Brown vs. the Board of Education

4. Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court. Which president appointed him?

5. The NAACP distributes an award for the “highest of noblest achievement by an African-American during the preceding year or years.” What is the name of the award?


a. The Spingarn Award Medal

b. The NAACP Award of Merit

6. Who was the first Black woman from the South to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and call for the impeachment of Richard Nixon?

7. Which African-American entertainer began his career at the age of three performing with his father and uncle?

8. Which civil rights leader has been referred to as the “Black Moses?”

9. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the leader of which boycott, spurred by Rosa Parks?


a. The Montgomery Bus Boycott

b. The Tallahassee Bus Boycott

d. The Baton Rouge Bus Boycott

10. In 1949, Jackie Robinson was the first Black player to receive what prestigious baseball award?


a. The Most Valuable Player Award

b. A nomination into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Doesn't the tall guy in the back row look like Pippen?
[Edited 2/5/09 16:23pm]

Doesn't the tall guy in the back row look like Pippen?
[Edited 2/5/09 16:23pm]

nWo: bboy87 - Timmy84 - LittleBlueCorvette - MuthaFunka - phunkdaddy - Christopher

MuthaFunka - Black. by popular demand

Doesn't the tall guy in the back row look like Pippen?
[Edited 2/5/09 16:23pm]

Great, great granddad maybe?

Great, great granddad maybe?

nWo: bboy87 - Timmy84 - LittleBlueCorvette - MuthaFunka - phunkdaddy - Christopher

MuthaFunka - Black. by popular demand

Great, great granddad maybe?

The Wilmington Riot was a fascinating piece of history left out of almost all school curriculums. Reading this article made even more apparent the ridiculousness of "Black History Month". as if there is only enough Black history to fill up a single month.

Little Known Facts About Slavery

The Wilmington Riot of 1898

On November 11, 1898 there was a riot in the city of Wilmington, NC. Similar to what would later happen in Rosewood, Fla., many Blacks were killed by Whites, but in this instance the town was left standing. Not much has been written about the “Wilmington Massacre”, one of the few sources on the subject is the book “Cape Fear Rising“. The following information is taken from that book, and interviews with people from Wilmington, NC.

In 1898, Wilmington, North Carolina (on the Cape Fear River) was a thriving town of some 25,000 residents, both Black and White. In addition to Blacks having most of the jobs as stevedores and tradesmen, there was also a growing middle class of Black professionals such as lawyers and businessmen. Rumor has it that the Cape Fear River was named after the point on the river where “fear” was instilled in slaves to keep them docile. Possibly as proof of this theory, there is a spot on the river called Nigger Head Point, where it is said that the heads of runaway slaves were placed as a warning to other slaves who might consider running away.

The political atmosphere in the city of Wilmington is controlled by the Republican party, who support growing Black middle class. The thriving Black population, combined with the Republican power on the Board of Aldermen, is seen as a threat to many non-Republican, non-Blacks in the city. A local election is fast approaching and since Blacks also outnumber Whites in the city, there is concern over who they may vote into office.

Leading up to the election, undocumented stories of Blacks committing crimes against Whites are published in the local daily papers. Though there is no proof of the incidents, the tension in the town increases. On election day, Blacks are kept from the voting booths in many ways, sometimes under threat of death. The result is that White Supremacists are voted into many public offices. There has been no bloodshed but the tension remains.

Shortly after the election, a Black activist is targeted and word is sent out that he must leave town or be lynched. The next day, hundreds of members of The Wilmington Light Infantry and the Naval Reserve march through the Black “Brooklyn” section of Wilmington looking for this individual. He is not found, but in the process homes are burned, shots get fired and a riot breaks out.

The shooting started at the intersection of Harnett and Fourth Streets. Though some Blacks have guns, they are no match for the trained soldiers. During the massacre, rumors are circulating that mobs of Blacks are on the way to attack. No mobs ever appear, but the rumors are sufficient to keep the riot going. In the midst of the city at war with itself, in what may have been planned months in advance, the Mayor, the Chief of Police and Board of Aldermen are forced to resign and nominate certain individuals to take their places.

Blacks are leaving the city in droves, some hiding in the Oakdale Cemetery, some in the swamps down by the river. It is estimated that between 120 and 150 people died during the riot. Most, if not all, were Black. It is in the midst of all this confusion that a list of names is produced. The list includes Black professionals: preachers, lawyers, merchants, restaurateurs, barbers, politicians, policeman’s, as well as Whites sympathizers. Everyone on the list is rounded up and immediately put on trains and shipped out of the city. When the dust settled, the entire Black middle class of Wilmington, North Carolina has disappeared. All their property was redistributed to the White residents of the city, and the new city government made sure there was no record of the prior ownership.

The men who hijacked the city government, were responsible for the deaths of innocent Blacks, who drove out all opposition party members, who eliminated the entire Black middle class in Wilmington, went on to long and distinguished careers in state and federal government and were hailed as heroes for many years. Statues of some of them still stand in Wilmington.

Damn. noimage. I have to applaud you for this information, some of which I have never heard of. Excellent report. The last post about the Wilmington riot is a similar story that I heard happened elsewhere as well (I will look for it), but very similar to what you posted. There is a wealth of information that is kept out of history books and encyclopedias. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable info.

Loved the Thomas Wiggins piece. It seems he was an absolute music geniusshows there's no limitations to what one can do.

I knew you'd come through with an excellent report!
This thread deserves to be stickified! Looking forward for you to add more.
[Edited 2/5/09 18:32pm]

I truly believe she's a sista in sheep's clothing

I truly believe she's a sista in sheep's clothing

nWo: bboy87 - Timmy84 - LittleBlueCorvette - MuthaFunka - phunkdaddy - Christopher

MuthaFunka - Black. by popular demand

I truly believe she's a sista in sheep's clothing


Hey, we all have the same mother, no matter what color we are. We need to remember that.

I learn something new every day. I just wish this was a year round thing, and not just reserved for the shortest month of the year.

Damn. noimage. I have to applaud you for this information, some of which I have never heard of. Excellent report. The last post about the Wilmington riot is a similar story that I heard happened elsewhere as well (I will look for it), but very similar to what you posted. There is a wealth of information that is kept out of history books and encyclopedias. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable info.

Loved the Thomas Wiggins piece. It seems he was an absolute music geniusshows there's no limitations to what one can do.

I knew you'd come through with an excellent report!
This thread deserves to be stickified! Looking forward for you to add more.
[Edited 2/5/09 18:32pm]

When I saw that article, 2elijah, I made my son who loves music come and read it with me. He was amazed and inspired!

Who: Jemmy
What: The 'Stono Rebellion
When: 1739

The earliest known organized act of rebellion against slavery was lead by a slave named 'Jemmy'. Jemmy gathered about 20 slaves and marched down a country road, carrying banners proclaiming "Liberty!".

The men and women continue to walk south, recruiting more slaves along the way. By the time they stop to rest for the night, their numbers approached one hundred.

What actually triggered the rebellion was the soon-to-be-enacted Security Act. A response to the white's fears of insurrection, the act required that all white men carry firearms to church on Sundays. Anyone who didn't comply with the new law by September 29 would be subjected to a fine.

Early on the morning of the 9th, a Sunday, about twenty slaves gathered near the Stono River in St. Paul's Parish, less than twenty miles from Charlestown. The slaves went to a shop that sold firearms and ammunition, armed themselves, then killed the two shopkeepers who were manning the shop. From there the band walked to the house of a Mr. Godfrey, where they burned the house and killed Godfrey and his son and daughter. They headed south.

It was not yet dawn when they reached Wallace's Tavern. Because the innkeeper at the tavern was kind to his slaves, his life was spared. The white inhabitants of the next six or so houses they reach were not so lucky -- all were killed.

The slaves belonging to Thomas Rose successfully hid their master, but they were forced to join the rebellion. (They would later be rewarded. See Report re. Stono Rebellion Slave-Catchers.) Other slaves willingly joined the rebellion. By eleven in the morning, the group was about 50 strong. The few whites whom they now encountered were chased and killed, though one individual, Lieutenant Governor Bull, eluded the rebels and rode to spread the alarm.

The slaves stopped in a large field late that afternoon, just before reaching the Edisto River. They had marched over ten miles and killed between twenty and twenty-five whites.

Around four in the afternoon, somewhere between twenty and 100 whites had set out in armed pursuit. When they approached the rebels, the slaves fired two shots. The whites returned fire, bringing down fourteen of the slaves. By dusk, about thirty slaves were dead and at least thirty had escaped. Most were captured over the next month, then executed the rest were captured over the following six months.

As a result of the Stono Rebellion, white colonists enacted the 'Negro Act'. No longer would slaves be allowed to grow their own food, assemble in groups, earn their own money, or learn to read.


Phillis Wheatley, "The Negro Sappho"

Purchased directly from the slave ship in 1761 by Susanna Wheately, Phillis was treated as if she was a daughter of the Wheatley family. Educated with the other Wheately children, she learned to speak, read, and write fluently in English within 1 and 1/2 years of her arrival. She published her first work, a piece of poetry, in 1767. On her trip to England in 1773 she was received by the Countess of Huntington who encouraged her to publish her work. Phillis became the first African American to publish a book, _Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral_ (1773).

Phillis Wheatley was America's first Black poet.

Born in Senegal, Africa in 1753, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven to John and Susannah Wheatley of Boston. Although originally brought into the Wheatley household as a servant and attendant to Wheatley's wife, Phillis was soon accepted as a member of the family, and was raised with the Wheatley's other two children.

Phillis soon displayed her remarkable talents by learning to read and write English. At the age of twelve she was reading the Greek and Latin classics, and passages from the Bible. At thirteen she wrote her first poem.

Phillis became a Boston sensation after she wrote a poem on the death of the evangelical preacher George Whitefield in 1770. Three years later thirty-nine of her poems were published in London as "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral." It was the first book to be published by a black American.

Most of Phillis Wheatley's poems reflect her religious and classical New England upbringing. Writing in heroic couplets, many of her poems consist of elegies while others stress the theme of Christian salvation.

"Throughout the struggle for emancipation of slaves - when most whites believed that dark-skinned people were genetically inferior - Phillis Wheatley's words spoke from the grave to offer contrary evidence." quote from Doris Weatherford, _American Women's History_, Prentiss Hall, 1994 page 371
[Edited 2/6/09 3:26am]

Damn. noimage. I have to applaud you for this information, some of which I have never heard of. Excellent report. The last post about the Wilmington riot is a similar story that I heard happened elsewhere as well (I will look for it), but very similar to what you posted. There is a wealth of information that is kept out of history books and encyclopedias. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable info.

Loved the Thomas Wiggins piece. It seems he was an absolute music geniusshows there's no limitations to what one can do.

I knew you'd come through with an excellent report!
This thread deserves to be stickified! Looking forward for you to add more.
[Edited 2/5/09 18:32pm]

When I saw that article, 2elijah, I made my son who loves music come and read it with me. He was amazed and inspired!

I'm happy that he was inspired by that story. It is definitely an amazing one.

Frank Wills, a Black security guard, discovered President Nixon’s cover-up.

The semi-literate scrawl on Page 48 of a scrumpled foolscap ledger reads simply "1.47am Call police found tape on Doore". It is now preserved as a crucial historical document in America's National Archives, alongside the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution . But the man who penned it, Frank Wills, has died in deepest poverty at the age of 52.

It was he who precipitated the 1972 Watergate crisis and America's first presidential resignation. His involvement brought him brief fame, including a small part in the film All The President's Men, but eventually left him bitter and disillusioned. "I was treated like a criminal myself," he commented a few years ago. "I got nothing for what I did and I completely lost my faith in the political system."

As a teenager, Wills had moved from his native South Carolina to work at the Chrysler factory in Detroit, but Chrysler made him redundant during the 1968 recession. At the suggestion of fellow workers, Wills decamped to Washington, but as a 21-year-old black he found it hard to scrape a living when dozens of major cities, including the capital, were erupting in race riots which petrified white employers. Yet by the summer of 1972, he had secured a steady job as a security guard at the Watergate office complex, though only at the statutory minimum wage.

On Saturday June 17, he came on duty at midnight and carried out his first check of the offices, starting in the basement and working methodically up to the 11th floor. It was tedious work, trying the handle of each office door to confirm it was properly secured. It was also a sticky night and, when he had finished his first round, Wills went for an orange juice at the Howard Johnson motel across the road.

As he was leaving by the Watergate basement door he found its catch taped back. He stripped off the grey gaffer tape, explaining later that, "A lot of times we'd have engineers doing work late at night. They'd place something in the door because they'd be coming right back so I really didn't pay much attention to it."

However, before he returned to the security office after his break, he decided to double-check the door. Finding the catch retaped in exactly the same way, he made his historic phone call.

On the sixth floor of the building, the police discovered James McCord and four companions hiding inside the offices of the Democratic National Committee, in the throes of what President Nixon's spokesman initially dismissed as "a third-rate burglary". As the political storm developed, Wills tried to use his unexpected fame to win a raise for himself and better working conditions for his fellow security men.

The bargaining power of one young black has never been high in the US, and Wills soon found himself out of work. Though he received an award from the Democratic National Committee for his "unique role in the history of the nation", it brought him no practical benefit. Not the least of his problems was his capacity to antagonise successive employers by absenting himself to give media interviews.

However, he firmly believed that his difficulty in finding work came from being "blacklisted". He alleged that one Washington university had refused to hire him lest it lose federal funds (though Georgetown University did later recruit him to its security staff).

As he faded from the public scene, Wills's problems multiplied. He drifted constantly between Washington and his mother's home in North Augusta, South Carolina, finding a succession of short-lived and low-paid jobs. In 1983, he was convicted of shoplifting in Georgia, though he always maintained his innocence. The one beneficial outcome of the case was that it led the comedian Dick Gregory to hire Wills to promote a health supplement, a role which took him to live in the Bahamas.

In 1990, however, he had to return to South Carolina to care for his mother, by then seriously ill after a stroke. Both had to subsist on the £75 a week she received in social security payments. When she died in 1992, Wills was unable to meet the funeral costs, and had to donate her body for medical research.

From then on he got by doing odd jobs for neighbours and caring for his aunt, also a stroke victim. Earlier this year he was found to have an inoperable brain tumour. His daughter Angel survives him .

Frank Wills, security guard, born 1948 died September 27 2000
[Edited 2/6/09 11:12am]

Who calculated the speed of the moon?

Walter S. McAfee is the African American mathematician and physicist who first calculated the speed of the moon. McAfee participated in Project Diana in the 1940s - a U.S. Army program, created to determine whether a high frequency radio signal could penetrate the earth's outer atmosphere. To test this, scientists wanted to bounce a radar signal off the moon and back to earth.

But the moon was a swiftly moving target, impossible to hit without knowing its exact speed. McAfee made the necessary calculations, and on January 10, 1946,
the team sent a radar pulse through a special 40-feet square antenna towards the moon. Two and a half seconds later, they received a faint signal, proving that transmissions from earth could cross the vast distances of outer space.

Official news of this scientific breakthrough did not include McAfee's name, nor was there any recognition of the essential role he played . But Americans could not have walked on the moon had it not been for Walter S. McAfee and his calculations.


On this day, February 6th. in Black History

Tennis player Arthur Ashe dies. Ashe was the first African American to win at Wimbledon.

1989: Jazz musician Roy Eldridge died.

1961 - Jail-in movement started in Rock Hill, S.C.

Jail-in movement started in Rock Hill, S.C., when students refused to pay fines and requested jail sentences. Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee urged south-wide "Jail, No Bail" campaign.

1950: Singer Natalie Cole was born.

Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae star is born.

1933 - Walter E. Fauntroy born

Walter E. Fauntroy was born in Washington, D.C. He went on to become a District of Columbia delegate to the House of Representatives.

1898 - Melvin B. Tolson, author, educator, poet, born

1870 - Jonathan Jasper Wright

On this day, Jonathan Jasper Wright was elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

1867 - Peabody Fund established

The Peabody Fund for Black education in the South established.

1843--The Virginia Minstrels

. a new style of performance was introduced at the Bowery Amphitheatre in New York. The quartet stood in a semi-circle while one man was the musician and dancer.

1820 - U.S. Blacks emigrate back to Sierra Leone

First organized emigration of U.S. Blacks back to Africa, from New York to Sierra Leone, 1820

1820 - United States population: 9,638,453

United States population: 9,638,453. Black population: 1,771,656 (18.4 per cent). "Mayflower of Liberia" sailed from New York City with eighty-six Blacks. Ship arrived in Sierra Leone, March 9.

1820 - the Mayflower of Liberia

The first organized emigration back to Africa begins when 86 free African Americans leave New York Harbor aboard the Mayflower of Liberia. They are bound for the British colony of Sierra Leone, which welcomes free African Americans as well as fugitive slaves.
[Edited 2/6/09 11:42am]


26 Black Americans You Don't Know But Should

When it comes to pioneers in African American history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Muhammad Ali are often mentioned&mdashand rightfully so. But what do you know about other Black history heroes like Claudette Colvin, Alice Coachman, or Shirley Chisholm? If their names don't immediately ring a bell, you're not alone. Educators, activists, and historians have long been attempting to shine a light and pinpoint why so much African American history is missing from our nation's curriculum.

&ldquoThose that populated the colonies were free people from communities in Africa with large scale civilizations that had tax systems, that had irrigation systems, that had universities&mdashthey came from civilized nations that were advanced,&rdquo University of Texas at Austin history professor, Dr. Daina Ramey Berry, told NBC. &ldquoThat&rsquos where the curriculum should begin, that&rsquos the biggest omission from my perspective. It&rsquos an erasure of culture and heritage so that identities of African Americans for some are that of slaves and those fighting for their freedom.&rdquo

We're shining a long-overdue spotlight on the hidden figures of untaught history who deserve to be celebrated for their contributions to civil rights, politics, the arts, and beyond. And remember to acknowledge their impact outside of Black History Month, as they've made way for many of the 21st century's most famous faces to shine today.


Black History Month: Little Known Facts About Slavery

Did y’all know that Yah gave slaves rights too? Deuteronomy 23:15, If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master. Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them . So, if a slave ran away from his master, it is a crime according to Yah for the master to go after them. Once that person, escapes from your house, they no longer belong to you.

The Gentiles went after the slaves that ran to Florida and the northern states especially the New York area (Fugitive Slave Act) They weren’t supposed to do that. They didn’t too much regain slaves that ran to Canada. There’s also a law in the bible about deforming your slaves (putting out their eye) the slave had the right to petition the elders to be set free according to Yah’s law. So Yah does not agree with with giving people scars and such. That shows that you have no mercy (the abuser). Exodus 21:26.

Do y’all know that the Israylites owned slaves? Judges 1:28, When Ysrayl became strong, they pressed the Caananites into forced labor but never drove them out completely. 1 Kings 5:13-14 King Solomon drafted forced labor out of all Ysrayl and the draft number was 30,000 men. He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten-thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Aboniram was in charge of the forced labor . We see that Yah…King Solomon had mercy on his slaves, Israylite slaves. He did not work them to death. They had time off. Interesting. The Gentiles worked us to death then went back to Africa and got a fresh shipment to replace their loss. We were like cattle.

We all know that the Gentiles did not want the slaves reading about the Exodus because they did not want you to read about your people and get ideas on escaping because once you escaped you were to be free. But they also did not want you to read/learn how slaves are to be treated.


Black History Facts

Black history month was started as “Negro History Week” in 1926. It was the brain child of Carter G. Woodson, a celebrated African American historian, academic, teacher, and publisher and it became a month long celebration in 1976.

February was chosen because the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln fall on that day.

Increasing racial violence against blacks prompted a group of African American leaders joined together to form a new permanent civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). February 12 1909 was chosen because it was the centennial anniversary oof the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

The first African American to hold the title of World Heavyweight Champion boxing was Jack Johnson. He held the title from 1908 to 1915

In 1855 Langston became the first African Americans ever to be elected to public office in America when he was made Town Clerk.

He was also the great-uncle of Langston Hughes celebrated poet of the Harlem Renaissance.

Thurgood Marshall was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as the first African American to the United States Supreme Court. He remained in the post from 1967 to 1991.

Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American Senator and he represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.

Shirley Chisholm was the first female African American woman elected to the House of Representatives and represented the state of New York in 1968. In 1972 she also became the first female candidate for the post of US President.

The black population in the US in 1870 was 4.8 million and in 2007 became 40.7 million.


The Scope of Celebration Goes Beyond the Black Men and Women of America

Instead of focusing on just a few well-known black men and women in the US, Woodson wanted the community to recognise all the other black men and women around the world.

He believed that there were many faceless and nameless people who deserved credit for their contribution to human society.

For this reason, when discussing Black History Month facts, we now study not only the accomplishments of politicians, historians, and scholars, but also the work of investors, craftsmen, artists and people who practice countless other professions.


10 little-known facts about African-American trailblazers in Connecticut

1 of 14 Nancy Toney of Fairfield died in the home of a wealthy Windsor family, eight years before the abolition of slavery. She was 82-years-old and remained a slave until her death.

2 of 14 During colonial times, New England African Americans democratically elected their own leaders. In Connecticut, they elected black governors, black sheriffs, and black judges. Many of these black governors were African born or of African royalty. The practice lasted until the mid-nineteenth century.

4 of 14 Born in 1833, abolitionist Ebenezer Bassett was the son of Black Governor Eben Tobias. He was the first black man to graduate from Connecticut Normal School - now known as Central Connecticut State University. The civil war had just ended when President Ulysses Grant asked him to be the first U.S. minister to the new republic of Haiti, marking the beginning of a long diplomatic career.

5 of 14 In the 1870s, American universities had only graduated six doctors of physics. Edward Alexander Bouchet, a black man from New Haven, was one of them. He was already one of the first African-Americans to graduate from Yale College in 1874 and the first black man to earn a PHD in America. Despite these many achievements, Bouchet was never offered a faculty position and spent most of his career teaching science to high school students.

7 of 14 The only black member of Thomas Edison's research team, Lewis Latimer invented modern carbon filaments in 1881, improving the lifespan of lightbulbs. He also drew Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone blueprints and worked with Hiram Maxi at the United States Electric Lighting Company in Bridgeport.

8 of 14 In 1892, Sarah Boone, a young black dressmaker from Connecticut, invented and patented an early version of the modern ironing board with collapsible legs. If it wasn’t for Boone’s practical invention, we may still be ironing on tables.

10 of 14 Hartford resident Gwen Reed played Quaker Oats’ Aunt Jemima on TV and on tours around the country from 1946 to 1964. But in the 1940s and 50s, she was also known as a pioneer in the theater community and throughout Connecticut, having directed and acted in many classic plays like “A Raisin in the Sun'' and “Stage Door.”

11 of 14 An opera prodigy, Marian Anderson first sang at church functions and social events in Connecticut. In 1933, she embarked on a European tour where she quickly found fame. In 1955, she became the first black woman to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

13 of 14 Constance Baker Motley was a longtime Connecticut resident and a trailblazer for women of color. The first black woman to graduate from Columbia University School of Law in 1946, she went on to defend the Freedom Riders of Montgomery. In 1964, she was the first African-American to serve as a New York state senator. In 1965, she was also the first woman to become Manhattan Borough President in New York, and a year later, the first African-American woman to be appointed a federal judge.

Oscar-nominated movie "Hidden Figures" recently shed light on a little-known piece of history: the talented black women who helped launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

Here in Connecticut, we have some hidden stories of our own.

Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison once called Connecticut the "Georgia of New England" and the nickname remained for good reasons.

Slavery in Connecticut dates as far back as the mid-1600s and remained legal until 1848 - long after most Northern states outlawed the institution.

Beyond the abolition of slavery, the black men and women of Connecticut who had long fought for equal rights have shaped Connecticut's history in small and big ways.

Here are 10 little-known facts on some of the first African-Americans to break down racial barriers.

A legendary freedman from Connecticut was also a literary wonder

Venture Smith was as bold as his name. The first-born child of a Guinean prince, Smith was captured and sold into slavery three times. In 1753, he married a slave named Meg. They raised three children and saved enough money to buy their freedom in 1765. Smith lived the remainder of his life as a farmer in Haddam, CT. His memoir, published in 1789, is one of the earliest books of African-American literature.

The last Connecticut slave died in 1857

Nancy Toney of Fairfield died in the home of a wealthy Windsor family, eight years before the abolition of slavery. She was 82-years-old and remained a slave until her death.

African-Americans in Connecticut used to elect their own governors

During colonial times, New England African Americans democratically elected their own leaders. In Connecticut, they elected black governors, black sheriffs, and black judges. Many of these black governors were African born or of African royalty. The practice lasted until the mid-nineteenth century.

The first black diplomat in U.S. history was from Derby

Born in 1833, abolitionist Ebenezer Bassett was the son of Black Governor Eben Tobias. He was the first black man to graduate from Connecticut Normal School - now known as Central Connecticut State University. The civil war had just ended when President Ulysses Grant asked him to be the first U.S. minister to the new republic of Haiti, marking the beginning of a long diplomatic career.

One of the first black Yale graduates broke even more records

In the 1870s, American universities had only graduated six doctors of physics. Edward Alexander Bouchet, a black man from New Haven, was one of them. He was already one of the first African-Americans to graduate from Yale College in 1874 and the first black man to earn a PHD in America. Despite these many achievements, Bouchet was never offered a faculty position and spent most of his career teaching science to high school students.

Bridgeport was once the home of a lighting genius

The only black member of Thomas Edison's research team, Lewis Latimer invented modern carbon filaments in 1881, improving the lifespan of lightbulbs. He also drew Alexander Graham Bell&rsquos telephone blueprints and worked with Hiram Maxi at the United States Electric Lighting Company in Bridgeport.

A New Haven dressmaker revolutionized ironing

In 1892, Sarah Boone, a young black dressmaker from Connecticut, invented and patented an early version of the modern ironing board with collapsible legs. If it wasn&rsquot for Boone&rsquos practical invention, we may still be ironing on tables.

The real Aunt Jemima was a theater director from Hartford

Hartford resident Gwen Reed played Quaker Oats&rsquo Aunt Jemima on TV and on tours around the country for 17 years. But in the 1940s and 50s, she was also known as a pioneer in the theater community and throughout Connecticut, having directed and acted in many classic plays like &ldquoA Raisin in the Sun'' and &ldquoStage Door.&rdquo

A Danbury opera icon became the first black woman to sing at the Met

An opera prodigy, Marian Anderson first sang at church functions and social events in Connecticut. In 1933, she embarked on a European tour where she quickly found fame. In 1955, she became the first black woman to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

This New Haven-born lawyer was a woman of many firsts

Constance Baker Motley was a longtime Connecticut resident and a trailblazer for women of color. The first black woman to graduate from Columbia University School of Law in 1946, she went on to defend the Freedom Riders of Montgomery. In 1964, she was the first African-American to serve as a New York state senator. In 1965, she was also the first woman to become Manhattan Borough President in New York, and a year later, the first African-American woman to be appointed a federal judge.


Watch the video: Black Historys Little-Known Facts (November 2021).