Born July 10, 1875, in Mayesville, South Carolina, Mary Jane McLeod Bethune became a civil rights leader and educator known best for creating a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida — now known as Bethune-Cookman University. Born to enslaved African parents, she left her legacy upon the wall of time: serving the African-American community, advising U.S. […]

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 […]

Adah Bell Thoms was a pioneering nurse, educator, administrator, and activist who was on a crusade for better opportunities for black people in the nursing profession. She was also active in international efforts to advance the nursing profession. Thoms was born in Richmond, Virginia, and was the daughter of Harry and Melvina Samuels. After graduating […]

Marcena W. Taylor was one of two African American firefighters to integrate the Detroit Fire Department in the late 1930s. Taylor as born on January 25, 1911 in Chattanooga, Tennessee and moved to Detroit in 1927. He attended Miller Middle School, Northwestern High School and graduated in 1928 with honors. After graduating, he went on […]

Wheatley-Provident Hospital was founded in 1916. It was the first medical facility to serve the Black community of Kansas City, Missouri. The hospital was first created in 1910 as the Perry Sanitarium and Training School for nurses, named after Dr. J. Edward Perry. Dr. John Edward Perry, an African American doctor from Texas, sought to […]

African american woman with children For more on the African American experience and achievements in the U.S. and elsewhere visit Discover Black Heritage , a travel guide to African American history and culture. Found at Black History Album on

In Montgomery, Alabama, 18 year old Mary Louise Smith REFUSED to give up her seat on a city line bus to a white passenger. She was arrested. This was over 40 days before the Rosa Parks would famously refuse to give up her seat. Mary Louise Smith (later Mary Louise Smith Ware) is a civil rights […]

Berry had been recovering from a stroke. He was 52 years old. Fred Allen Berry was a actor and street dancer best known for the role of Fred “Rerun” Stubbs on the popular 1970s television show ‘What’s Happening!!’ Before starring on What’s Happening!!, he was a member of the Los Angeles based dance troupe The Lockers, […]

Charles H. Wesley was an American author, historian, educator, and minister. Wesley published over 15 books on African-American history and once served as the president of Wilberforce University. He was also the founding president of Central State University in Ohio. Wesley was born on December 2, 1891, in Louisville, Kentucky, and was the only child […]

Solomon Northup was a free black man living in New York on his own land. He grew up in Washington County and did odd jobs while he lived there. He was eventually contracted to carry materials on the canal and often played his fiddle while traveling. While in Washington, D.C., Northup was drugged, kidnapped, and […]

Bernie Hamilton was an actor who is best known for his role on Starsky and Hutch. He also appeared on The Young One (1960) and One Potato, Two Potato (1964). Hamilton was born in East Los Angeles. He ran away from home as a teenager but eventually attended Oakland Technical High School where he played […]

Frank Embree was nineteen when he was accused of raping a 14-year-old white girl. Embree was from the state of Missouri, and black men convicted of R*ped of a white woman were sentenced to death by lynching. Although he maintained that he was innocent, he was whipped over 100 times until he confessed to the […]

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