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: March 13th
March 13, 1946
Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr.
Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. assumed command of Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. The Tuskegee Airmen are the black pilots, bombardiers, navigators and support personnel trained during World War II. The fighter pilots of the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps, led by Col. B. O. Davis, Jr., distinguished themselves in combat in numerous missions in the European theater during 1944 through 1946.
March 14, 1838
Blacks held a mass meeting in Philadelphia to protest the action of the Pennsylvania Reform Convention of 1837 which denied them the right to vote.
March 14, 1917
First training camp for “Colored” Officers
First training camp for “Colored” Officers is established by the U.S. Army in Des Moines, Iowa.
March 15, 1933
NAACP began a coordinated attack on segregation
NAACP began a coordinated attack on segregation and discrimination, filing a suit against the University of North Carolina on behalf of Thomas Hocutt. Case was lost on a technicality after the president of a Black college refused to certify the records of the plaintiff.
March 16, 1869
Hiram R. Revels First Speech
Hiram R. Revels made his first speech in the Senate, opposing the readmission of Georgia without adequate safeguards for Black citizens. This was the first official speech by a Black in Congress.
March 16, 1827
First Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal,
First Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, published in New York City.
March 17, 1946
Jackie Roosevelt Robinson’s professional debut
Jackie Roosevelt Robinson made his professional debut as a member of the Montreal Royals in the Daytona Beach ballpark that now bears his name. One year later, Robinson would break Major League Baseball’s color barrier and earn the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson batted .311 in ten Major League seasons and was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player. Robinson was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, 16 years after his historic debut in Daytona Beach.
March 18, 1834-
George Monroe 1834-1886, Stagecoach Driver
George Monroe was on of 2 Black men who carried mail on the famous Pony express. Monroe had the honor of driving Presidents Grant and Hayes along the dangerous S-curves of the Wanona trail into Yosemite Valley. Badger Pass in Yosemite National Park was named in his honor.
March 18, 1972 –
The USS Jesse L. Brown, the first U.S. Naval Ship
The USS Jesse L. Brown, the first U.S. naval ship to be named after an African American naval officer is launched.
March 19, 1939 –
The New Negro Theater is founded in Los Angeles, California by Writer, Poet Langston Hughes.
March 19, 1975
James B. Parsons
James B. Parsons becomes the first African American chief judge of a federal court, the U.S. District Court of Chicago. In 1961, Parsons became the first African American district court judge.
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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