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People, Locations, Episodes

Sat, 10.31.2020

Jean-Bertrand Aristide born

*Jean-Bertrand Aristide was born on this date in 1953.  He is a former Black priest and politician.  Jean-Bertrand Aristide was born into poverty in Port-Salut, Sud, Haiti.  His father died three months after he was born, and he later moved to Port-au-Prince with his mother. At age five, Aristide started school with priests of the Salesian […]

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Sat, 11.13.0354

Saint Augustine, “the Knowledgable One”

The birth of Saint Augustine in 354 is celebrated on this date. He was a North African Saint, Philosopher, and Doctor.

He was the eldest son of Saint Monica of Saint Augustine. Aurelius Augustinus (his birth name) was born in the municipium of Thagaste (now Souk Ahras, Algeria) in Roman North Africa. His mother, Monica, was a devout Christian; his father Patricius was a Pagan who converted to Christianity on his deathbed. Scholars believe that Augustine’s ancestors included Berbers, Latins, and Phoenicians. He considered himself to be Punic and as “an African, writing of Africa.

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Fri, 03.14.1000

The Hebrew Tribe of Dan, a brief story

*On this date in 1977, the Hebrew tribe of Dan is briefly described.  Though the community has existed since 1000 BCE, we chose this date because it was the date Israel formally acknowledged the tribe of Dan as Jewish.  According to the Torah (Hebrew Bible), the Tribe of Dan, also sometimes spelled as “Dann”, was […]

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Fri, 04.04.1000

The Lemba religious community, a brief story

*The Lemba religious community is celebrated on this date in this date in 1000.  They are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with smaller, little-known branches in Mozambique and Malawi. According to Tudor Parfitt, Professor of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, in 2002 they numbered an estimated 50,000.  They speak the Bantu languages spoken by their geographic neighbors and resemble them […]

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Fri, 12.26.1000

Black Catholicism, a brief article

*Black Catholicism is celebrated on this date in c 100.  Catholicism in African America comprises Black people, beliefs, and practices in the Catholic Church.   Catholic Christianity among African descended people has its roots in the earliest converts to Christianity, including Mark the Evangelist, the unnamed Ethiopian eunuch, a figure in the New Testament of […]

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Thu, 07.19.1500

From Africa to the Americas, Santeria!

This date from 1500, celebrates Santeria. Santeria is one of the many African syncretistic religions created in the Americas. The word syncretistic means to “draw together” or “combine.” In a religious situation, this involves the mixing of elements from different or independent religious traditions to create a new belief system.

Santeria is based on the West African religions brought to the new world by Black slaves imported mainly to the Caribbean to work the sugar plantations.

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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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Fri, 06.04.1526

From Africa to Sicily, Saint Benedict the Black

The birth of Benedict the Black in 1526 is celebrated on this date. He was a black patron saint.

He was born in Messina, Italy on the estate of Chevalier de Lanza a San Fratello. His parents, Christopher and Diana, were slaves who had been taken from Africa to Sicily. Granted his freedom at age 18, he stayed as an employee of his former master. Ridiculed and mocked by others due to his origin and skin color, he never forgot his humanity. He met with, and became enamored of, a group of Franciscan hermits near Palermo.

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Thu, 05.11.1550

Macumba, a source of African Spirituality

This date in 1550 celebrates the Macumba/Candomble religion, one of many African-based faiths practiced in the Americas.

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Sun, 12.09.1579

St. Martin de Porres , the first Black Saint in the Americas

*On this date in 1579, St. Martin de Porres was born. He was a Black patron saint.

From Lima, Peru he was often called Saint Martin of Charity; and the Saint of the Broom (for his devotion to his work, no matter how menial). De Porres was the Illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a young freed Black slave, he grew up in poverty. De Porres spent part of his youth with a surgeon-barber where he learned some medicine and how to care for the sick. At age 11 he became a servant in the Dominican priory.

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Fri, 06.26.1581

Peter Claver, Patron Saint of Slaves born

*This date in 1581 marks the birth of Peter Claver. He was a Black patron saint.

From Verdu, Catalonia, Spain he was also known as Slave of the Blacks and Slave of the Slaves. Claver was a farmer’s son. He studied at the University of Barcelona and was a Jesuit Priest at age 20. Influenced by Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, Claver became a missionary in America. He ministered to slaves physically and spiritually when they arrived in Cartegena, converting an estimated 300,000. He worked for humane treatment on American plantations for over 40 years.

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Sun, 05.07.1600

Umbanda, a source of faith from Africa

The Registry celebrates the Umbanda religion, which dates from 1600, on this date. This is one of several Black African faiths practiced in the Americas.

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Tue, 09.01.1620

African Burial Customs in America, a story

On this date we celebrate the African American customs regarding cemeteries and funerals. One of the most direct and unaltered visual manifestations of African influence on the culture of African Americans in the United States is found in the social behaviors centered on funerals.

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Sat, 08.04.1725

John Newton born

*John Newton was born on this date in 1725.  He was a white-English slave trader and Anglican clergyman.   John Newton was born in Wapping, London, the son of John Newton the Elder, a shipmaster in the Mediterranean service, and Elizabeth (née Scatliff). Elizabeth was the only daughter of Simon Scatliff, an instrument maker from […]

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Fri, 08.16.1737

Andrew Bryan, Minister born

*The birth of Andrew Bryan is celebrated on this date in 1737.  He was a Black minister and Church administrator.  Andrew Bryan was born in the small town of Goose Creek, South Carolina. Bryan was born on a plantation called Brampton, owned by Jonathan Bryan. Brampton was known as a productive rice plantation. His father […]

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

There's a yellow rose in Texas That I am a going to see No other soldier knows her No one only me She cried so when I left her It like to broke my... The Yellow Rose Of Texas by Unknown Author
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