Horace R. Cayton Sr., News publisher
*The birth of Horace Cayton Sr. in 1859 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American newspaper publisher and political activist.
Portia Washington Pittman, teacher born
Portia Washington Pittman was born on this date in 1883, in Tuskegee, AL. She was an African American musician and teacher, and the only daughter of Booker T. and Fanny (Smith) Washington.
Her father was the founder of Tuskegee Institute. After her mother’s death in 1884, Portia was cared for by nursemaids and two stepmothers. An accomplished pianist by the age of ten, she attended New England’s finest boarding schools, including Framingham State Normal School in Massachusetts in 1895, Tuskegee Institute, and, in 1901, Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
St. Clair Drake, using anthropology & education for racial change
On this date we mark the birth of St. Clair Drake, African American anthropologist and educator, born in 1911.
He was from Suffolk, Virginia. After graduating from Hampton Institute, he worked for the Society of Friends at a number of schools and in movements in the South. St. Clair Drake then got involved in an anthropological study and later published his findings as “Deep South.”
Phi Beta Sigma founded
On this date in 1914, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., was founded.
Howard University’s Langston Taylor, Charles I. Brown, and Leonard F. Morse chartered the fraternity. Its motto is: Culture for Service and Service for Humanity.
Phi Beta Sigma is constitutionally bound to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Black American Colleges and Universities:
Profiles of Two-Year, Four-Year, & Professional Schools
by Levirn Hill, Pub., Gale Group, 1994
George Washington Carver, Agri-Science legend
This date marks the birth of George Washington Carver in 1864. He was an African American educator and innovator in the agricultural sciences.
Carver was born near Diamond, Missouri. He left home when he was about ten and eventually settled in Minneapolis and Kansas, where he worked his way through high school. Following his graduation from Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now Iowa State University), Carver joined the college faculty and continued his studies, specializing in bacteriological laboratory work in systematic botany.
Educator Mordecai Johnson influenced MLK Jr.
On this date in 1890, Mordecai Johnson was born. He was an African American educator, clergyman, administrator, and public speaker.
Wyatt Mordecai Johnson was born in Paris, TN, the son of a former slave. Johnson learned through his parent’s example the muscle of self-determination, discipline, scholarship, and integrity. His father, a minister and laborer, was a stern man who worked at a mill six days a week, twelve hours a day, for forty years. His mother, Carolyn, offset his father’s firmness with patience and nurturing for her only child.
Charlotte Ray, Attorney born
This date marks the birth of Charlotte E. Ray in 1850. She was a Black teacher and the first Black female lawyer in the United States.
Charles Seifert, collector and teacher of Black History
On this date we celebrate the birth of Charles Seifert in 1871. He was an African American historian of African and African American history who was especially influential in the black arts community.
Fisk University founded
Fisk University in Nashville, TN, was founded on this date in 1866.
American prohibitionist Clinton Bowen Fisk, the American Missionary Association of New York, and the Western Freedman’s Aid Commission of Cincinnati established the school as the Fisk School for Freedmen.
Fisk awards bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a wide range of fields. A joint degree in engineering is offered in cooperation with other universities, including Vanderbilt, Florida A&M, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Arthur Schomburg, a meticulous historian
*Arthur A. Schomburg was born on this date in 1874. He was an African American historian.
Schomburg was from San Juan, Puerto Rico; he attended San Juan’s Institute of Instruction to become a teacher and also studied in the Danish West Indies, doing a great deal of research on Negro literature. Schomburg came to America in 1891 and ten years later moved to New York City, working at a law firm as a researcher. During this time, he actively supported Cuban and Puerto Rican Independence, and served as secretary of Las dos Antillas, an organization working for this cause.