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 to every field of endeavor, including politics, science, culture, social causes, arts, literature, athletics and the economy.
African-American Facts for Week of: September 20th
Maryland enacted first anti-amalgamation law to prevent widespread intermarriage of English women and Black men. Other colonies passed similar laws: Virginia, 1691; Massachusetts 1705; North Carolina, 1715; South Carolina, 1717; Delaware, 1721; Pennsylvania, 1725.
September 20, 1830
First National Black Convention Meets
First National Black convention met at Philadelphia’s Bethel AME church and elected Richard Allen president. Thirty-eight delegates from eight states attended the first national meeting of Blacks.
September 21, 1832
Maria Stewart on Slavery
On this date in 1832, Maria W. Stewart (1803-1879) addressed the New England Anti-Slavery Society meeting in Boston’s Franklin Hall on the evils of slavery and the oppression of free blacks. This is often cited as the first time an African American woman spoke publicly on political issues before an audience of Black and White men and women. In future speeches, Stewart also advanced women’s rights.
September 21, 1872
1st Black Student at Annapolis Naval Academy.
John Henry Conyers of South Carolina became the first Black student at Annapolis Naval Academy. Upon his arrival, he was shunned and constantly and brutally harassed.This included severe, ongoing hazing, including verbal torment, and beatings. He later resigned.
September 22, 1862
President Lincoln’s Promise.
President Lincoln, in preliminary Emancipation Proclamation warned South that he would free slaves in all states in rebellion on January 1, 1863.
September 23, 1863
First Black person to serve on the DC board of education, Mary Church Terrell was born, 1863.
She was the daughter of former slaves. She became an activist who led several important associations, including the National Association of Colored Women, and worked for civil rights and suffrage.
September 24, 1957
Nine Black students started Little Rock high school, 1957.
On September 24, the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army to escort Nine Black students inside Little Rock Central High School.
September 24, 1965
Executive Order 11246
Executive Order 11246 enforces affirmative action for the first time Issued by President Johnson, the executive order requires government contractors to “take affirmative action” toward prospective minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment. Contractors must take specific measures to ensure equality in hiring and must document these efforts.
September 25, 1861
Secretary of U.S. Navy authorized enlistment of slaves.
The Secretary of the Navy authorizes the enlistment of African Americans in the Union Navy. The enlistees could achieve no rank higher than “boys” and receive pay of one ration per day and $10 per month.
September 26, 1907
The People’s Savings Bank is incorporated in Philadelphia
The People’s Savings Bank is incorporated in Philadelphia by former African American congressman George H. White of North Carolina. The bank will help hundreds of African Americans buy homes and start businesses until the illness of its founder forces its closure in 1918.
September 26, 1962
A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., becomes the first African American member of the Federal Trade Commission.
A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., becomes the first African American member of the Federal Trade Commission. He was also appointed a federal district judge and U.S. Circuit Judge of the Third Circuit.
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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