Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Fri, 05.20.1808

Thomas Rice, the face of Jim Crow

*Thomas Dartmouth Rice was born on this date in1808. He was a White entertainer and playwright who popularized the Jim Crow character in minstrel shows.

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Tue, 05.20.1851

The “Voice of the Fugitive,” news that spoke from Canada

The founding of the “Voice of the Fugitive” newspaper in 1851 is celebrated on this date.

It was the first Black Newspaper in Canada. Published every other Thursday just across the Canadian border from Detroit, this short-lived paper was the work of Henry C. Bibb. The paper was issued from 1851 to end of 1853. Published in the community of Sandwich (now Windsor, Ont.), The abolitionist newspaper promoted Canada as a destination for runaway slaves and as a vehicle to find other family members.

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Sun, 05.20.1860

The Rankin House, an entry point for freedom

This date in 1787 recalls the Rankin House, a pivotal point of shelter for many Black slaves escaping bondage before emancipation.

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Tue, 05.20.1862

Homestead Act passed by Congress

On this date in 1862, Congress passed the Homestead Act.

This legislation gave authorized unrestricted settlement on public lands to settlers, requiring only residence, cultivation, and some improvement to a tract of 160 acres. Any person who was head of a family or was age 21, a United States citizen, and owned less than 160 acres, was eligible.

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Sat, 05.20.1899

Afro-Cuban, Lydia Cabrera, writer and activist

Lydia Cabrera was born on this date in 1899. She was an Afro Cuban writer and literary activist.

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Mon, 05.20.1918

Detroits Dunbar Hospital served the Motor City

Dunbar Hospital in Detroit, MI, was founded on this date in 1918.

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Thu, 05.20.1954

David Paterson a visionary New Yorker

*David Paterson was born on this date in 1954. He is an African American politician. David Alexander Paterson was born in Brooklyn, NY to Portia and Basil Paterson.

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Sat, 05.20.1961

Freedom Riders attacked in Montgomery

On this date in 1961, a White mob attacked Freedom Riders with chains and ax handles in Montgomery, AL.

Because of the local officers’ ineffectiveness, federal marshals had to be eventually dispatched by Attorney General Robert Kennedy. The Ku Klux Klan hoped that this violent treatment would stop other young people from taking part in freedom rides.

Instead, over the next six months, over a thousand people took part in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) freedom rides of 1961.


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Fri, 05.20.2011

Freedom Riders reunite in Montgomery

On this date in 2011, Freedom Riders who were attacked in Birmingham, Alabama returned to that city 50 years later. 


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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

(for Toni Morrison) on a needful day your terribleness troubles the house like thunderclaps ripping a Delta sky. You gather a bushel of autumn, run faithfilled fingers over your threads. Your needles... COMFORT-MAKER by Jerry Ward Jr.
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