Author Claude Brown wrote “Manchild in the Promised Land,” which was published to critical acclaim in 1965. The story is about coming of age during the 1940s and 1950s in Harlem. Brown was born in New York City, New York on February 23, 1937. While in his youth, he turned to crime. From the age […]

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. was a Baptist pastor and an American politician, who represented Harlem, New York City, in the United States House of Representatives. He was the first person of African-American elected from New York to Congress. Powell was born in 1908 in New Haven, Connecticut, the second child and only son of Adam […]

#Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free #Black is an autobiographical novel by #Harriet E. Wilson. The novel is considered the first novel to be published by an African-American woman on the North American continent. The novel was published in 1859 and rediscovered in 1982 by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.   The […]

Keg Johnson was a renowned jazz trombonist who played in several bands. Frederic Homer “Keg” Johnson was born on November 19, 1908 in Dallas, Texas. His father was a choir director and also worked at a local Studebaker plant were Keg worked for a while. Johnson and his younger brother, Budd Johnson, began their musical […]

Born in Barbados, Massiah immigrated to the United States in 1909, where he started as a laborer, working during the day and studying architecture at night. He studied at the Pennsylvania School of the Fine Arts and earned a degree in #Civil Engineering at what is now Drexel University. By the early 1920s, he established […]

John Mercer Langston, the youngest of four children, was born a free #black in Louisa County, Virginia in 1829. Langston gained distinction as an abolitionist, politician, and attorney.  Despite the prominence of his slaveowner father, Ralph Quarles, Langston took his surname from his mother, Lucy Langston, an emancipated slave of Indian and black ancestry.  When both parents died of unrelated illnesses in […]

Horace Waymon Bivins was a buffalo soldier and gunner. He went to war in Cuba with the 10th Calvary. While at the Battle of Santiago, he operated a three-man Hotchkiss mountain gun alone and suffered a head wound. Bivins was born on May 8, 1862, in Accomack County, Virginia to Severn and Elizabeth Bivins. His […]

#Brock Peters, was an African-American actor who was born in July, 2, 1927. He was born George Fisher in New York City. He began his acting career at the age of ten. As a young boy he attended New York City’s Music and Arts High School. Peters had to take odd jobs to help support […]

At Black Then, we frequently see interesting photos that give us a glimpse into the past. They tend to show us a piece of black history that is often not covered in textbooks, in history classes, or shown in the media. In a photo that we found on Black History Album, we see this great […]

“Our role is to support anything positive in black life and to destroy anything negative that touches it.” – Elma Lewis   Pioneering arts activist and educator Elma Lewis spent years educating students in the Boston Public Schools. Lewis taught dance, drama, and speech therapy. Lewis was born on September 15, 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts. […]

Leah Chase is a renowned master chef and entrepreneur. She is known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine” and for her tireless work as a political activist. Chase was born and raised in a small town across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. After rejecting the usual occupations for respectable Creole girls to work in a […]

Dr. Leroy T. Walker, Sr. was the first African-American to coach an Olympic team. He led the 1976 track team at the 1976 Montreal games. He was the president of the USOC from culminating in the Olympic games in Atlanta. Walker also served as a coach at North Carolina Central University and coached several track […]

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