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 15, 2016
May 15, 1795
John Morront becomes 1st black missionary to work with Indians is ordained
John Morront becomes 1st black missionary to work with Indians is ordained as a Methodist Minister in London, England.
May 15, 1042
93rd Infantry Activated
93rd Infantry activated and assigned to combat in the South Pacific; the first African American division formed during World War II.
May 16, 1966
Stokely Carmichael named Chairman
Stokely Carmichael named chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee. National Welfare Rights Organization organized.
May 17, 1915
1915 National Baptist Convention
National Baptist Convention Chartered.
May 17, 1954
1954 U.S. Supreme Court in landmark Brown v. Board of Education
U.S. Supreme Court in landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The unanimous decision was read by Chief Justice Earl B. Warren.
May 18, 1896
1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Plessy v. Ferguson)
U.S. Supreme Court decision (Plessy v. Ferguson) upheld doctrine of “separate but equal” and began age of Jim Crow.
May 18, 1955
1955 Death of Mary McLeod Bethune, Educator/Activist
Death of Mary McLeod Bethune (79), educator and civil rights leader, Daytona Beach, Florida. Mary McLeod Bethune was the fifteenth of seventeen children of Samuel and Patsy McLeod, slaves on the McLeod Plantation in Mayesville, South Carolina. Born after the Emancipation, Mary McLeod was a free woman. Seeing the overriding importance of real freedom and equality, she became a powerful force in the emerging struggle for civil rights. Beginning as an educator and founder of a school which bears her name, she became the valued counselor to four presidents, the director of a major government agency, the founder of a major organization for human rights (the National Council of Negro Women), and a consultant to world figures seeking to build universal peace through the United Nations. Mrs. Bethune obtained prominence as an educator. She Founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls (now Bethune-Cookman College) in 1904, and served as president from 1904-1942 and from 1946-47. Her work, building the Daytona Normal School for Negro Girls into Bethune-Cookman College, brought her into contact with important political and financial figures. Under President Calvin Coolidge, and later Herbert Hoover, the national government began utilizing Mrs. Bethune’s considerable experience for the National Child Welfare Commission.
May 19, 1965
1965 Patricia R. Harris
Patricia R. Harris named Ambassador to Luxembourg. She was the first Black Woman Ambassador.
May 20, 1961
1961 Mob attacked Freedom Riders in Montgomery
Mob attacked Freedom Riders in Montgomery. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy dispatched four hundred U.S. marshals to Montgomery to keep order in Freedom Rider controversy.
May 21, 1833
1833 School Enrollment
Black students enroll in classes at Oberlin College, Ohio.
May 21, 1862
1862 Mary Patterson becomes the first black woman in the U.S. to earn an M.A Degree
Mary Patterson becomes the first black woman in the U.S. to earn an M.A degree- when this is awarded by Oberlin College.
Too often America revels in its greatness but often fails to confront or come to grips with the darker moments of American history. Exploring African American history could allow America to lance the boil of the past and move towards healing.
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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