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 3, 2015
May 3, 1967
Black students seized Finance Building
Black students seized finance building at Northwestern University and demanded Black-oriented curriculum and campus reforms.
May 4, 1891
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams founded the Provident Hospital and Training School.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams founded the Provident Hospital and Training School. Daniel Hale Williams (January 18, 1856 – August 4, 1931) was an African-American general surgeon who, in 1893, performed the second documented successful pericardium surgery to repair a wound.He also founded Provident Hospital, the first non-segregated hospital in the United States.
May 5, 1969
Moneta Sleet becomes the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize
Moneta Sleet becomes the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr. and her daughter at her husband’s funeral.
May 6, 1931
Willie Mays, born
Baseball great Willie Howard Mays was born in Westfield, Alabama. Mays played with both the New York and San Francisco Giants. He was National League batting champion four times and twice the league’s Most Valuable Player.
May 7, 1867
Black demonstrators staged ride-in to protest
Black demonstrators staged ride-in to protest segregation on New Orleans streetcars. Similar demonstrations occurred in Mobile, Ala., and other cities.
May 8, 1925
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters formed
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the trailblazing black labor union, was organized by A. Philip Randolph. AsaPhilip Randolph (April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979) was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the American labor movement, and socialist political parties.
May 9, 1867
Sojourner Truth delivers equal rights speech
Sojourner Truth delivers a speech to the First Annual Meeting o the American Equal Rights Association, championing for the rights of all people. Sojourner Truth (/1797 – November 26, 1883) was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. Sojourner Truth was named Isabella (“Bell”) Baumfree when she was born. She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843.
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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