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 […]

Black role models are everywhere, and for better or for worse television is a place where many people find them. Although there are many family shows over the years, there have been far too few black family shows depicting the black family in a positive light with realistic characters playing roles that a good father […]

Charles Adolphus Williams MBE was an English professional footballer who was one of the first black players in British football after the Second World War, and later became Britain’s first well-known black stand-up comedian. Williams often poked fun at his color, dabbled with race issues and mostly the jokes were at his own expense. Interviewed […]

In the year 1960, James Farmer- leader of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)- led a small group of interracial students and activists in protesting the Jim Crow laws of the South in a series of “freedom rides” throughout the region. The project was based off of the 1946 failed “Journey of Reconciliation” also created […]

By Lesley Gist, The Gist of Freedom Nathan Francis Mossell was an African American doctor who helped establish the first black hospital in Philadelphia, the Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital, and Training School. He established it in 1895 partly to provide care for the underserved black Philadelphia community and partly to give younger African American physicians […]

James Weldon Johnson first wrote Life Ev’ry Voice and Sing as a poem. It was set to music in 1899 by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson. It was performed by a school choir during Lincoln’s Birthday celebration on February 12, 1900 in Jacksonville, Florida. Now, the song is known as the Black National Anthem, an […]

Wiley Griffon was the first African American employee at the University of Oregon. In the late 1890s, he worked as a janitor at the Men’s Dormitory, Friendly Hall. Although he was not the first or the only African American in Eugene, he was the first one mentioned by name as being a resident. Griffon was […]

Warren Clay Coleman was a manufacturer who became one of the richest African Americans in the south. Coleman was the illegitimate son of Rufus Clay Barringer, a Confederate general, and Roxanna Coleman, a slave owned by Daniel Coleman, Sr., of Concord. When slaves married, it was generally accepted that the man’s master would purchase the […]

Jose Silvestre White aka Jose Silvestre White y Lafitte was an Afro Cuban violinist and composer. His father Don Carlos White was Spanish and his mother was Afro-Cuban. After receiving early musical training from his father, who was an amateur violinist, José White gave his first concert in Matanzas on March 21, 1854. He was accompanied […]

By Lestey Gist, The Gist of Freedom David Ruggles, Black Abolitionist V. Riker’s Island Richard Riker (Rikers Island named after him) [1773-1842] A lawyer and eventual judge who saw Free Blacks on the lowest social level possible. Adipta writes,”When seven-year-old schoolboy Henry Scott was seized as a fugitive slave from his classroom, the kidnappers forcibly […]

Floyd Bixler McKissick became the first African-American student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Law School. In 1966 he became leader of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, taking over from James L. Farmer, Jr. McKissick was a supporter of Black Power and turned CORE into a more radical movement. In 1968, […]

By Lestey Gist, The Gist of Freedom Cinque’s autograph and portrait $275,000 ‘Remember them that are in bonds as bound with them’ Hebrews 12.3.” This Cinque portrait is the most famous image by John Sartain (1808-1897), the London-born artist and publisher who settled in Philadelphia. Sartain was a committed abolitionist who also engraved portraits of […]

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