The Registry

Wed, 08.03.1859 story

Horace R. Cayton Sr., News Publisher born

*The birth of Horace Cayton Sr. in 1859 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American newspaper publisher and political activist.

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Wed, 06.06.1883 story

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.

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Sun, 01.10.1864 story

George Washington Carver, Agriscientist born

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.

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Mon, 01.02.1911 story

St. Clair Drake, Anthropologist born

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.”

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Fri, 01.09.1914 story

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity is 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.

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Sun, 01.13.1850 story

Charlotte Ray, Teacher, and 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.

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Thu, 01.15.1818 story

Elizabeth Keckley, Author, and Abolitionist born

On this date we remember the birth of Elizabeth Keckley in 1818. She was a Black domestic, author, and abolitionist.

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Mon, 01.16.1871 story

Charles Seifert, Historian born

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.

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Tue, 01.09.1866 story

Fisk University Begins Classes

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.

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Sun, 01.12.1890 story

Mordecai Johnson, Educator born

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.

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