Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Sun, 05.16.1210

Sundiata Keita, Mali Empire King born

This date celebrates the birth of an African King Sundiata Keita, also known as Mari Diata, in approximately 1210.

Keita was the founder and ruler of the Mali Empire in West Africa. Keita was the son of Nare Maghan, the ruler of Kangaba, a small state located on an offshoot of the upper Niger River. Sundiata left Kangaba, but the reason is unknown: he may have gone into voluntary exile to avoid a jealous half brother, or he may have been exiled by Sumanguru Kante, king of the Soso, who killed Keita’s father and took over his kingdom.

learn more
Wed, 05.16.1792

Denmark Abolishes Slavery

On this date in 1792, Denmark abolished slavery. Denmark was the first established sovereign European state to prohibit the slave trade (but not slavery: that honor rests with Vermont, which abolished slavery in 1777).

Black First:
2,000 years of extraordinary achievement
by Jessie Carney Smith
Copyright 1994 Visible Ink Press, Detroit, MI
ISBN 0-8103-9490-1

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037-1801
(212) 491-2200

learn more
Wed, 05.16.1855

Richard Wright Sr., Entrepreneur born

*On this date in 1855, Richard Wright Sr. was born.  He was a Black military officer, educator and college president, politician, civil rights advocate, and banking entrepreneur. Richard Robert Wright Sr. was born into slavery in a log cabin six miles from Dalton, Georgia.  After emancipation, Wright’s mother moved with her son from Dalton to Cuthbert, Georgia. He attended the Storrs School. The […]

learn more
Mon, 05.16.1887

Laura Waring, Artist born

On this date we remember the birth of Laura Wheeler Waring in 1887. She was an African American artist.

learn more
Wed, 05.16.1900

The Rosebud Bar, (Ragtime Venue) Opens

The Rosebud Bar’s opening in St. Louis, MO, in 1900 is celebrated on this date. It was one of the original venues for Ragtime music.

learn more
Tue, 05.16.1916

Thelma Glass, Educator, and Activist born

*Thelma Glass was born on this date in 1916. She was a Black educator and activist. She was born Thelma McWilliams in Mobile, Alabama, to a hotel cook and homemaker. She graduated from Dunbar High School (Mobile) and attended Alabama State University and Columbia University.  She married Arthur Glass in 1942, and both taught geography at Alabama […]

learn more
Wed, 05.16.1928

A Black Woman Receives a Patent for a Hair Wave Machine

*On this date in 1928 Marjorie Joyner received a patent for her Permanent Wave Machine.  The patent number was 1693515.   It was described as a simple and efficient machine to wave and color the hair of both white and Black people.

learn more
Wed, 05.16.1928

Robert Graetz, Pastor, and Activist born

*Robert Graetz was born this date in 1928.  He was a white-American Lutheran clergyman and activist.  Robert S. Graetz, of German descent, was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and educated in Columbus, Ohio.  He graduated from Capital University in Bexley, Ohio in 1950 and received a B.D. in 1955 from Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary in […]

learn more
Thu, 05.16.1929

John Conyers, Michigan Congressman born

On this date in 1929, John Conyers, Jr., was born. He was an African American politician and lawyer.

learn more
Fri, 05.16.1930

Betty Carter, Singer, and Businesswoman born

Betty Carter was born this date in 1930. She was an African American singer and entertainer.

learn more
Tue, 05.16.1950

Briggs v. Elliott is Filed

On this date in 1950, Briggs v. Elliott, a civil Rights case was filed. This legal maneuver assisted the groundwork for Brown v. the Board of Education 4 years later, was filed.

learn more

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Black is the first nail I ever stepped on; Black the hand that dried my tears. Black is the first old man I ever noticed; Black the burden of his years. Black is... NEGRITUDE by James Emanuel
Read More