James D. Lynch was the first black person to hold a major political office in the state of Mississippi. Lynch was a Reconstruction era politician and served as Secretary of the State. Lynch was born in Baltimore, Maryland. His mother was a slave, and his father was a white merchant and minister. He obtained his […]

Queen Ranavalona was the last reigning monarch of Madagascar. Ranavolana III ruled during a time marked by ongoing efforts to resist the colonial designs of the government of France (July 30, 1883, to February 28, 1897). Ranavalona was born on November 22, 1861, in Amparibe, Manjakazafy. As a young woman, she was selected from among […]

The ceremony included a bit of comedy, but there was no denying the significance: For the first time in its history, the Navy promoted a woman to become a four-star admiral. Surrounded by friends, family and peers, Adm. Michelle J. Howard was promoted to her new rank at the Women in Military Service for America […]

At the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February, one couldn’t help but notice the striking new grand piano on the main stage, emblazoned with the name SHADD. When the many accomplished pianists that wee­­kend sat down to strike those keys, it was equally easy to spot their delight in the instrument. That piano was the product […]

Esau Jenkins was a civil rights activist who saw the injustices that affected black children on Johns Island, South Carolina. He bused his children along with others living in the area to public schools in Charleston. Jenkins was born on July 3, 1910, on Johns Island, he was the only child to Peter Jenkins and […]

Charlemae Hill Rollins was a pioneering librarian, author, and storyteller in the area of African-American literature. She served for thirty-one years as the head librarian of the children’s department at the Chicago Public Library. Rollins was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, to Allen G. Hill, a farmer, and Birdie Tucker Hill, a teacher. Her family […]

Briggs v. Elliott was one of five cases, collectively entitled Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Shawnee County, KS, et al., argued before the United States Supreme Court on December 9–11, 1952, and December 7–9, 1953, by attorneys from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The lawsuit was […]

What happens when African American people do as they’re told by the white supremacist power structure? For a concrete example, go back to the spring of 1921. Tulsa, Oklahoma, was the home of one of the wealthiest black communities in the nation, full of black-owned doctors’ offices, law firms, banks, stores, and other essential features […]

Key Highlights About Self-Educated Abolitionist Thomas H. Jones: Authored slave narrative “Experience and Personal Narrative of Uncle Tom Jones; who was for Forty Years a Slave Originally sold narrative to raise money to purchase his son’s freedom. Thomas H. Jones was a self-educated abolitionist, minister, and author who spent much of his early life in […]

It’s that time of year. As classrooms and institutions around the nation gear up to celebrate Black History Month, its practice is brought into question. Comments made by those both inside and outside the African American community (ehm, Stacey Dash) state that Black History Month and other establishments geared towards Black people are unnecessary and […]

Nancy Green was born on Novermber 17, 1834. She was a Black storyteller and one of the first black corporate models in the United States. The world knew her as “Aunt Jemima,” but her given name was Nancy Green. The famous Aunt Jemima recipe was not her recipe but she became the advertising world’s first […]

Angela Jackson was a poet and novelist, she is best known for her writing VooDoo/Love Magic (1974), All These Roads Be Luminous: Selected Poems (1991), The Greenville Club (1977), Solo in the Boxcar Third Floor E (1985), and The Man With the White Liver (1985). Jackson was born on July 25, 1951, in Greenville, Mississippi […]

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