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. 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.
African-American Facts for Week of: May 31, 2015
May 31, 1979
Zimbabwe proclaimed independent
Zimbabwe proclaimed independent. Zimbabwe /zɪmˈbɑːbweɪ/, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It borders South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. The capital and largest city is Harare.
June 1, 1843
Sojourner Truth left New York and began her career as an antislavery activist.
June 1, 1966
Civil Rights Conference
Approximately 2,400 persons attended White House Conference on Civil Rights.
June 2, 1854
Fugitive Slave returned to the South
Fugitive slave Anthony Burns was returned to the South from Boston. It cost the federal government $100,000 to return Burns, who was later sold to a group of Bostonians who freed him.
June 3, 1919
Liberty Life Insurance Company (Chicago)
Liberty Life Insurance Company (Chicago), the first old-line legal reserve company organized by Blacks in the North, incorporated. U.S. Supreme Court (Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia) banned segregation in interstate bus travel.
June 3, 1904
Charles R. Drew was born on this day.
Charles R. Drew was born on this day. Charles Richard Drew (June 3, 1904 – April 1, 1950) was an American physician, surgeon, and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces. The research and development aspect of his blood storage work is disputed. As the most prominent African-American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, an action which cost him his job.
June 4, 1922
Samuel L. Gravely is born
Samuel Gravely was appointed captain of the Navy Destroyer Escort, U.S.S. Falgout, the first African American to command a United States warship. He later received the rand of Rear Admiral, a first for an African American Navy Man.
June 4, 1972
Angela Davis acquitted by white jury in San Jose
Angela Davis acquitted by white jury in San Jose, Calif., of charges stemming from a 1970 courtroom shoot-out.
June 5, 1955
In 1955, Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded his doctorate from Boston University.
June 5, 1956
Montgomery Buses segregated
Federal court ruled that racial segregation on Montgomery city buses violated Constitution.
June 6, 1987
Mae Jemison chosen to be astronaut
Mae C. Jemison, M.D. was chosen by NASA to begin training as a space shuttle astronaut. Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. After her medical education and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps from 1985 to 1987, when she was selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps.
It is important to celebrate the achievements and contributions Black Americans have played in U.S. 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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