Know Your History!
Up to the early 20th century, most American knowledge of Black history was limited to the African American struggle through slavery and emancipation. The significance of Black history is recognition of the advancements and accomplishments of a group of people once defined by the Constitution as three-fifths of a person. As with all aspects of American history, Black history is an indispensable key to understanding the nation’s past, present, and future. With such an abhorrent beginning, the freedom and other achievements eventually earned by African Americans cannot be simply disregarded.
African-American Facts for the Week of: January 10th
January 10, 1864
George Washington Carver
Scientist and Inventor George Washington Carver, born
January 10, 1957
Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded in New Orleans, Louisiana by five ministers including Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Joseph Lowery, Fred Shuttlesworth and C.K. Steele. Dr. King was the founding president, Abernathy president emeritus and Rep. Walter Fauntroy, D-District of Columbia, was chairman of the board of directors.
January 11, 1865
Confederacy ponders to enlist black troops
Robert E. Lee, with his armies at low tide, recommended the employment of blacks in the Confederate forces because it was “not only expedient but necessary.”
January 12, 1944
“Smoking Joe” Frazier born
Former heavyweight boxing champion Joseph “Smoking Joe” Frazier was born in Beaufort, South Carolina. Frazier was a 1964 Olympic gold medalist who won the heavyweight championship in 1968.
January 12, 1971
The Congressional Black Caucus organized
The Congressional Black Caucus is an organization representing the black members of the United States Congress. Membership is exclusive to African-Americans, and its chair in the 114th Congress is Representative G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina.
January 13, 1979
A commemorative stamp of Martin Luther King, Jr. is issued
A commemorative stamp of Martin Luther King, Jr. is issued by the U.S. Postal Service as part of its Black Heritage USA commemorative series. The stamp of the slain civil rights leader is the second in the series.
January 13, 1990
Lawrence Douglas Wilder of Virginia is inaugurated as the first African American
Lawrence Douglas Wilder of Virginia is inaugurated as the first African American to be elected governor in the U.S. Wilder won the election in Virginia by a mere 7,00 votes in a state once the heart of the Confederacy.
January 14, 1943
Harvey B. Gantt born
Harvey B. Gantt, the first African American student to enroll at Clemson University in Charleston, South Carolina. Gantt became mayor pro tem of Charleston in 1983 and later served as mayor of Charlotte from 1983 to 1987.
January 15, 1908
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Founded
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the first organization of black Greek sisterhood was founded on this date at Howard University in Washington, D. C. by Ethel Hedgeman (Lyle).
January 15, 1929
Martin Luther King Jr. Born
Martin Luther King Jr. born in Atlanta. He was first given the name of Michael Luther King Jr. The name was formally changed to Martin at a later date.
January 15, 1970
Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church
Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church , the nearby crypt containing the remains of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his boyhood home are dedicated as part of a memorial to be known as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change.
January 16, 1986
Martin Luther King, Jr.
On January 16, 1986, a bronze bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. is the first of any black American placed in the Capitol. The first national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is celebrated on January 20.
To me, the omission of any group from history teachings results in a limited understanding of history’s relationship with the present and future. Know your history.
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