Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Sat, 08.26.1600

Gullah language thrives into 21st century!

This date celebrates Gullah, an African American language, mainly spoken along the Southeastern coast of the United States, especially on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina.

The word is also used for people who speak the language. Ancestors of people who were brought from West Africa to the West Indies and to America as slaves speak Gullah today. The language merges elements from a number of West African languages with elements from English.

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Sat, 12.23.1600

African American, (the term); a brief history

*The term African American is celebrated on this dates Registry.

In August of 2005, an Ethiopian-born activist named Abdulaziz Kamus seemed to melt into the crowd; a sea of black professors, health experts and community leaders considering how to educate blacks about the dangers of prostate cancer. But when he piped up to suggest focusing some attention on African immigrants, the dividing lines were quickly and pointedly drawn.

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Tue, 11.29.1735

Francis Barber born

The birth of Francis Barber in 1735 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black slave who became a businessmen and educator.

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Tue, 10.18.1763

John Chavis, Teacher and Abolitionist born

John Chavis, a Black educator was born on this date in 1763. He was born in North Carolina to a legally free family, which allowed him to pursue an education.

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Fri, 11.02.1787

The African Free School Opens in New York City

On this date in 1796, the first school for Blacks in America opened.

The African Free School was begun in New York City by the Manumission Society. The African Free School commenced as a one-room school and the first permanent build was erected in later that year. After a fire destroyed the building, African School No. 2 opened in 1815, with room for 500 pupils.

By 1834, there were seven African Free Schools and they were eventually incorporated into the public school system.

The African American Desk Reference
Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture

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Sat, 09.26.1795

Alexander L. Twilight, an early Black college graduate

This date marks the birth of Alexander Lucius Twilight in 1795. He was one of the the first Black college graduates in the United States.

Alexander Twilight was born in Corinth, Vt., to a free Black family. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1823, with his baccalaureate degree, making him, the first African American to receive a degree from an American college. He was licensed to preach by the Presbyterian Church and served several Congregational churches.

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Fri, 01.18.1811

Édouard de Laboulaye, Ambassador born

*Édouard de Laboulaye was born on this date in 1811.  He was a white-French jurist, poet, author and anti-slavery activist.   Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye was born in Paris, France to a wealthy family.  Laboulaye was received at the bar in 1842 and was chosen professor of comparative law at the Collège de France in 1849.   A careful observer of […]

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Sun, 11.06.1814

William Wells Brown, Writer and Abolitionist

William Wells Brown was born on this date in 1814. He was a Black antislavery lecturer, a groundbreaking novelist, a playwright, and a historian.

Brown was born on a plantation outside Lexington, KY, to a George Higgins, a white plantation owner and relative of the owner of the plantation where Brown was born, and an African slave mother.

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Tue, 09.12.1815

Richard Rust born

*Richard Rust was born on this date in 1815.  He was a white-American Methodist preacher, abolitionist, educator, writer and lecturer.  Richard Sutton Rust grew up in Ipswich, Massachusetts; he became orphaned at 10 years old, and went to live on his uncle’s farm. He attended Phillips Academy and became involved in anti-slavery activities, and after […]

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Mon, 12.16.1816

William C. Nell, pioneering Black historian

William Cooper Nell, a Black lecturer, journalist, and historian was born on this date in 1816.

He was born in Boston to William and Louise Cooper. A frequent reader of William Lloyd Garrison’s, “Liberator,” Nell joined the antislavery movement and began working for the Liberator newspaper in the 1840s. At many of the antislavery functions in Boston, he was Garrison’s personal representative. He became active in the Underground Railroad, until ill health forced him to withdraw.

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Thu, 01.15.1818

Elizabeth Keckley, Author, 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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Tue, 07.21.1818

Charles Reason, mathematician and more

*Charles L. Reason was born on this date in 1818. He was a Black mathematician, abolitionist and teacher.

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Tue, 05.03.1825

Laura M. Towne was a primetime educator

On this date in 1825, Laura Matilda Towne was born. She was a White American educator and abolitionist.

From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Towne studied homeopathic medicine privately and attended the Penn Medical University. She taught in charity schools in various northern towns and cities in the 1850s and ’60s. Early in 1862 she answered an appeal for volunteers to teach, nurse, and otherwise help former slaves who had been freed in the Union capture of Port Royal and other Sea Islands area of South Carolina. In April of that year she arrived at St. Helena Island, SC.

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Thu, 02.16.1826

Martin Freeman born

*The birth of Martin Freeman in 1826 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black educator, and administrator.

From Rutland, Vermont, Martin Henry Freeman graduated from Middlebury College as Salutatorian in 1849. In 1854, he was appointed Professor at the Allegheny Institute near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which later became Avery College. Here, he gained a great following in mathematics and science. Freeman was appointed President of the school in 1856, the first Black man to hold the position of College President in America.

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Fri, 05.04.1827

The Oneida Institute begins Classes

*The Oneida Institute opening is celebrated on this date in 1827.  They were a short-lived (16 years) but highly influential school that was a national leader in the (then) emerging anti-slavery movement.   It was founded by George Washington Gale as the Oneida Institute of Science and Industry.   His former teacher (in the Addison County Grammar School, Middlebury, John Frost, now a Presbyterian minister in […]

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Let them keep it whatever it is for whites only hides. And smiles. I was in the pale inn after the writs after the whores after the hilariously lonely convention men... AND I WAS NOT IMPROVED by Lerone Bennett, Jr.
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