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: April 24, 2016
April 24, 1944
The United Negro College Fund
On April 24, 1950, the United Negro College Fund was founded.
April 24, 1972
James M. Rodger, Jr.
James M. Rodger, Jr. first African American to be named National Teacher of the Year is honored at a White House ceremony.
April 25, 1943
A mind is a terrible thing to waste
In 1943, Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, president of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), wrote an open letter in the Pittsburgh Courier to the presidents of our nation’s private black colleges urging them to “pool their small monies and make a united appeal to the national conscience.” His words would soon become the guiding principle for one of the world’s leading education assistance organizations. One year later, the United Negro College Fund was incorporated on April 25, 1944 with 27 member colleges and a combined enrollment of 14,000 students.
April 25, 1947
First Blacks in Baseball
Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first Black in the major leagues in modern times. Larry Doby joined the Cleveland Indians on July 6 and became the first Black in the American League. Three other Blacks played in the major leagues in 1947: Dan Bankhead, pitcher, Brooklyn Dodgers; Willard Brown, outfielder, St. Louis Browns; Henry Thompson, infielder, St. Louis Browns.
April 26, 1844
Jim Beckwourth, Afro-American Pioneer
On this day Jim Beckwourth discovered a path through the Sierra Nevada Mountains that now bear his name. Beckwourth Pass on U.S. Alt 40 between Reno, Nevada and Sacramento, California made overland travel to the gold fields of California possible.
April 27, 1903
The publication of W.E.B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk crystallized opposition to Booker T. Washington’s program of social and political subordination.
April 28, 1941
Supreme Court Ruling for Separate and Equal
Supreme Court ruled in railroad Jim Crow case brought by Congressman Arthur Mitchell that separate facilities must be substantially equal.
April 28, 1967
President of the YMCA
Mrs. Robert W. Claytor elected president of the YWCA, the first Black president of the organization.
April 29, 1968
Poor People’s Campaign
Poor People’s Campaign began with Ralph Abernathy, SCLC president, leading delegation of leaders representing poor whites, Blacks, Indians, and Spanish Americans to Capitol Hill for conferences with cabinet members and congressional leaders.
April 29, 1992
First day of L.A riots, sparked by acquittal of four white cops
First day of L.A riots, sparked by acquittal of four white cops in the beating of Rodney King, which resulted in at least 50 deaths, thousands injured and estimates of up to $1 billion in property damage.
April 30, 1863
Sarah Thompson Garnet becomes the first African American female principal in the New York City public school system.
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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