The Registry

Thu, 01.01.2009 story

The seventh day of Kwanzaa

This date is the seventh and last day of Kwanzaa. The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits” or first harvest. Kwanzaa is a Swahili word for this African American and Pan-African holiday. The use of Swahili, an East African language and the most widely spoken African language, denotes this holiday as Pan-African.

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Sat, 01.10.1750 story

From slavery to bishop, James Varick

The birth of James Varick in 1750 is celebrated on this date. He was the first Black Methodist Episcopal Zion Bishop in America.

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Mon, 01.23.1837 story

Amanda Smith, missionary with a quest

*Amanda Smith was born on this date in 1837. She was a Black evangelist and missionary who opened an orphanage for African American girls.

Born a slave in Long Green, Md., she grew up in York County, Pennsylvania, after her father bought the freedom of most of the family. Smith was educated mainly at home and at an early age began working as a domestic. An unhappy first marriage ended with the disappearance of her husband in the American Civil War. In 1863 she married James Smith and eventually moved with him to New York City.

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Thu, 02.14.1760 story

Richard Allen, Bishop, AME’s first leader

*On this date in 1760, Richard Allen was born in Philadelphia. He was a Black religious leader, founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

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Sun, 02.24.1811 story

Bishop Daniel Payne lead with mind and spirit

*On this date in 1811, Bishop Daniel A. Payne was born. He was an African American historian, educator and AME minister.

He was born in Charleston, South Carolina to free colored parents, London and Martha Payne. He attended a private school in Charleston, South Carolina and Gettysburg Seminary in Pennsylvania. He also did a great deal of studying on his own. Payne was the first Bishop to have formal theological seminary training. He, more than any other individual, is responsible for the A.M.E. church’s interest in trained ministry.

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Tue, 02.25.1975 story

Elijah Muhammad dies

*On this date in 1975, Elijah Muhammad died. He was an African American Black Muslim, who was leader of the Nation of Islam from 1934 until his death.

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Tue, 04.09.1816 story

The first African Methodist Episcopal Church founded

On this date in 1816, representatives of five Methodist congregations assembled at the Bethel church in Philadelphia.

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Thu, 04.10.1788 story

William P. Quinn was a spiritual leader

William Paul Quinn was born on this date in 1788. He was a Black religious leader and the fourth Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

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Thu, 05.11.1933 story

Louis Farrakhan, a discipline disciple

On this date in 1933, Louis Farrakhan was born. He is an African American religious leader in the Muslim community.

Born in New York City, he was an outstanding student at Boston English High School and then attended Winston-Salem Teacher’s College. Farrakhan was an excellent musician; he played the violin and was a calypso singer. It was as a singer that he earned his livelihood before converting to Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam in the 1950s. He quickly worked his way up to a leadership position, becoming the minister of the Boston mosque.

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Sat, 06.10.1854 story

First Black Catholic priest ordained

On this date in 1854, James Augustine Healy was ordained in Paris, France, thus becoming the first Black priest in the Catholic Church.

Two brothers followed him and all three had to study abroad. James Healy became the first Black bishop of Portland, ME., in 1875. Alexander Sherwood was ordained for the diocese of Massachusetts. Patrick Frances obtained his PH.D (the first Black) from Louvian University, Belgium and became the first Black president of Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

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