Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Wed, 12.05.1500

“Black Peter,” (Zwarte Piet), a “Black Face” European folk character

On this date, we reference the origin of Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) om approximately 500 A.D. He is a “Black Face” character of European folklore, a companion of Saint Nicholas (Dutch “Sinterklaas”).

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Sat, 01.20.1838

Weeksville, a jewel of Brooklyn, New York

*On this date from 1838, the Registry celebrates the Weeksville section of Brooklyn, New York. This is an African American community that was build by blacks, for blacks before emancipation.

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Wed, 01.20.1847

William Pettiford born

*William Pettiford was born on this date in 1847. He was a black minister, educator and business entrepreneur.

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Mon, 12.05.1870

Bill Pickett was a cowboy legend

William Pickett was born on this date in 1870. He was a legendary cowboy of Black and Indian descent.

Bill Pickett, the second of 13 children, began his career as a cowboy while in grade school. Pickett soon began giving exhibitions of his roping, riding, and bulldogging skills, passing a hat for donations. By 1888, his family had moved to Taylor, Texas, and Bill performed in the town’s first fair that year. He and his brothers started a horse-breaking business in Taylor, and he was a member of the National Guard and a deacon of the Baptist church.

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Fri, 01.20.1888

A doctor of prominence, Austin Curtis

*The birth of Dr. Austin Maurice Curtis, Sr. in 1868 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American doctor.

From Raleigh, North Carolina, he was a prominent turn of the century physician and protégé of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams. His first internship took place at Chicago’s Provident Hospital, in 1891. He was also the first Black surgeon on staff of Cook County Hospital (a non-segregated hospital) in 1896.

Curtis was a professor of Surgery, Howard University for 25 years and Chief Surgeon, Freedmen’s Hospital from 1898-1938 He died in 1939.

Reference:

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Tue, 12.09.1890

African American patents soil pulverizer

On this date in 1890 John P. Parker, African American businessman, and abolitionist patented the Soil Pulverizer.

This agricultural invention was a great asset to expediting farm harvesting.

Reference:
Created Equal: The Lives and Ideas of Black American Innovators
By James Michael Brodie
Copyright 1993, by Bill Adler Books, Inc.
William Morrow and Co. Inc., New York
ISBN 0-688-11536-5

Global Black Inventors

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Sun, 01.20.1895

Artistic wisdom, Eva Jessye

*Eva Jessye was born on this date in 1895. She was an African American singer, composer, choral director and actress.

She was one of the few musical phenomenons of the twentieth century. Born Eva Alberta Jessye in Coffeyville, Kansas near Oklahoma, her father supported the family as a chicken picker. She was an avid reader who sang as a child, writing her first poem at the age of seven; winning a contest at thirteen. Jessye studied choral music and music theory at the now defunct Western University in Quindaro, Kansas, graduating in 1914.

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Fri, 01.20.1899

Arthur Fauset, Folklorist born

*Arthur Fauset was born on this date in 1899.  He was an African American civil rights activist, anthropologist, folklorist, and educator. Born in Flemington, New Jersey, Arthur Huff Fauset grew up in Philadelphia.  He was the middle child of three children in an interracial family. His father, Redmon Fauset, was African American and a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and his white wife, Bella, was Jewish. […]

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Sat, 01.20.1900

The Sturgis One-Room School opens

*The opening of the Sturgis One-Room School is celebrated on this date in 1900. Originally located on property owned by William T. Sturgis, this was an assembly built as a one-room school for Black Americans.

The first graduating class was in the year 1921, and the school was closed in 1937 having the name of McMillan School. William Sturgis lived there after the school closed; later the building was no longer occupied or used. It was moved from its original location, approximately seven miles south of Pocomoke City near Brantley Road, to the corner of Front and Willow Streets.

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Tue, 01.20.1903

Loren Miller, Lawyer and Judge born

*Loren Miller was born on this date in 1903. He was an African American journalist, civil rights activist, attorney and judge.

He was born in Pender, Nebraska to former slave, John Miller, and Nora Herbaugh, a White Midwesterner of Dutch ancestry. Miller attended Kansas University and received his law degree from Washburn Law School in Topeka, Kansas in 1928.

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Sun, 12.01.1940

From the streets to stardom, Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor, an African American actor, director, screenwriter, and stand-up comic, was born on this date in 1940.

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Wed, 01.20.1971

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman published

*This date in 1971 celebrates novel The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, by Ernest J. Gaines.

The story depicts the struggles of African American as seen through the eyes of the narrator, a woman named Jane Pittman. She tells of the major events of her life from the time she was a young slave girl in the American South at the end of the Civil War. The fiction novel was first published by Bantam Books and was later dramatized in a TV movie in 1974, starring Cicely Tyson.

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Sat, 01.20.2001

First African American secretary of education appointed

*The United States Senate confirmed Rod Paige as the Secretary of Education on this date 2001.

The first African American secretary of education is from Monticello, Mississippi and is the son of public school educators. He served for a decade as Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University.

He also established the university’s Center for Excellence in Urban Education, a research facility that concentrates on issues related to instruction and management in urban school systems.

Reference:
The Associated Press
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450 W. 33rd St.,
New York, NY 10001.

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Tue, 01.20.2009

First African American takes the oath as President of America

*On this date in 2009 the first African American became president of the United States of America.

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Sun, 02.26.2012

Trayvon Martin killed

*On this date in 2012, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.

Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student. Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed-race Hispanic man was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily living and where the shooting took place. Zimmerman killed Martin, who was unarmed, during an altercation between the two. Responding to an earlier call from Zimmerman, police arrived on the scene within two minutes of the shooting.

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others’ eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about... PRAISE SONG FOR THE DAY by Elizabeth Alexander
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