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Juneteenth History: Know Your Black History

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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: June 14, 2015 

June 14, 1952

Dr. Harold D. West

Dr. Harold D. West is named President of Meharry Medical College

June 14, 1941

John Edgar Wideman, born

John Edgar Wideman, Rhodes scholar, writer, born.

June 15, 1864

Congress helped Blacks in the military

Congress passed bill equalizing pay, arms, equipment and medical services of Black troops.

June 15, 1971

Vernon E. Jordan Jr.

Vernon E. Jordan Jr., former executive director of the United Negro College Fund, appointed executive director of the National Urban League.

June 16, 2002

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods wins the U.S. Open Golf Tournament. He was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, the only athlete to be honored twice, and was ranked by Golf Digest magazine as the twelfth-best golfer of all time.

June 17, 1862

Congress authorized President Lincoln to accept blacks in Union Army.

Congress authorized President Lincoln to accept blacks in Union Army.

June 17, 1871

James Weldon Johnson, born

Author, lyricist, poet and educator James Weldon Johnson, also the first Black executive of the NAACP, is born in Jacksonville, Florida.

June 18, 1968

Housing discrimination banned

Supreme Court banned racial discrimination in sale and rental of housing.

June 18, 1862

Slavery is abolished in U.S. territories

Slavery is abolished in U.S. territories by Congress.

June 19, 1968

Solidarity Day March of Poor People’s Campaign

Fifty thousand demonstrators participated in Solidarity Day March of Poor People’s Campaign. Marchers walked from Washington Monument to Lincoln Monument, where they were addressed by Vice-president Humphrey, presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, Coretta Scott King and Ralph Abernathy.

June 19, 1865

Juneteenth – Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, slavery continued

Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, slavery continued in Texas until June 19, 1865, when word reached Galveston, Texas that all slaves in Texas were free. One third of the people in Texas were slaves at that time. Juneteenth was celebrated annually with picnics and barbecues at public emancipation grounds, some of which are used to this day. Juneteenth became a legal state holiday in 1980.

June 20, 1960

Harry Belafonte wins an Emmy

Harry Belafonte wins an Emmy for his variety special “Tonight” with Harry Belafonte. It is the first Emmy awarded to an African American.

Being familiar with past events gives us the ability not only to learn from past mistakes but also from the successes.

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.

For more information or comments, email j.annette92@yahoo.com.

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