Know Your History!
While slavery in America hosts the background of Black history, the African American impact on history reaches beyond the country’s early history, as African Americans have made significant contributions to every field of endeavor, including politics, science, culture, social causes, arts, literature, athletics and the economy.
African-American History for Week of: April 12th
April 12, 1966
Emmet Ashford becomes the first African American Major League Umpire
Emmet Ashford becomes the first African American major league umpire when he is named to the American League.
April 13, 1964
Sidney Poitier wins Best Actor Academy
Sidney Poitier wins Best Actor Academy Award for his role in Lilies of the Field. In 1964, Poitier became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.
April 14, 1873
U.S. Supreme Court decision in Slaughterhouse cases began process of diluting the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court said the Fourteenth Amendment protected federal civil rights, not “Civil rights heretofore belonging exclusively to the states.”
April 14, 2002
Tiger Woods wins Third Masters Golf Tournament
Tiger Woods wins his third Masters Golf title and becomes only the second person ever to win two of the titles in a row.
April 15, 1960
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organized by young activists at a meeting on the Shaw University campus. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), was one of the most important organizations of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It emerged from a student meeting organized by Ella Baker held at Shaw University in April 1960. SNCC grew into a large organization with many supporters in the North who helped raise funds to support SNCC’s work in the South, allowing full-time SNCC workers to have a $10 per week salary.
April 16, 1973
Lelia Smith Foley becomes the first African American Woman
Lelia Smith Foley becomes the first African American woman to be elected mayor of a U.S. city (Taft, OK)
April 17, 1990
Ralph Abernathy Sr. dies
Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, keystone of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, died of heart failure. Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was a leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, a minister, and Martin Luther King Jr.‘s closest friend. In 1955, he collaborated with King to create the Montgomery Improvement Association, which would lead to the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott against segregation on buses in the south. In 1957, Abernathy co-founded, and was an executive board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
April 18, 1977
Alex Haley, author of “Roots” was awarded Pultizer Prize
Alex Haley, author of “Roots” was awarded Pultizer Prize. Alexander Murray Palmer “Alex” Haley (August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992) was an American writer known as the author of the 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The book was adapted by ABC as a TV mini-series of the same name and aired in 1977 to a record-breaking 130 million viewers. It had great influence on awareness in the United States of African-American history and inspired a broad interest in genealogy and family history.
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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