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*The birth of Pedro Niño is celebrated on this date in c. 1455. He was a Black Spanish navigator and explorer. Pedro Alonso Niño was born in Moguer, Spain he was of mixed heritage of African and Spaniard. He was known as El Negro, and his father was one of the sailors Captured from Elmina. According […]learn more
*The birth of Hernando de Soto is celebrated on this date in 1496. He was a Spanish explorer, slave trader, and conquistador involved in the middle passage. His expeditions in Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula included the conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru. He led the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United […]learn more
*The birth of Estevanico is celebrated on this date in c 1503. Estevanico was a Black North African interpreter with Spain’s exploration of the Americas. He was a native of Azamor on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. In Spain before 1527, he was baptized as a Catholic and became the slave of Andrés Dorantes de […]learn more
*Mathieu da Costa was born on this date in 1589. He was a Black Portuguese explorer and translator. There is little documentation about the childhood of Mathieu da Costa. Of at least partial African ancestry, he was a freeman favored by explorers for his multilingual talents. Numerous mixed-race African Portuguese persons of the Atlantic Creole generation often […]learn more
An outline of Double Dutch is celebrated on this date’s Registry. Double Dutch is historically a jump rope game played originally by Black children (mainly girls) in rural and urban areas in America.learn more
On this date Chicago celebrates DuSable Day, the 1750 birth of Jean-Baptist-Point Du Sable. He was a Black pioneer, trader, and founder of the settlement that later became the city of Chicago.
Du Sable was from St. Marc, Sainte-Domingue [now Haiti]. His French father had moved there and married a Black woman. DuSable is believed to have been a freeborn. Around the 1770s, he went to the Great Lakes area of North America, settling on the shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Chicago River, with his Potawatomi wife, Kittihawa (Catherine).learn more
*William Richmond was born on this date in 1763. He was a Black boxer.
From (Cuckold’s Town) near, Richmond, VA, he moved to Staten Island, New York where he became a free black and the first black professional boxer in America. Richmond worked as a shipyard laborer and was noticed by a British commander named Hugh Percy on the docks having a fight with a dock sailor. Percy convinced Richmond’s parents to let him travel to England where he could establish a better life. Richmond became a cabinetmaker, and took up boxing for self-defense.learn more
The birth of York in 1770 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black slave and explorer.
York was born in Caroline County, Virginia. He lived near the county’s York River where as a child he ran basically naked and barefoot most of the year. His diet would have been high in starch and low in protein. He lived in a cabin surrounded by a dirt yard.learn more
Tom Molineaux, a Black boxer was born on this date in 1784.
Born a slave in Georgetown, Virginia, he began boxing other slaves while plantation owners wagered on the bouts. Finally after defeating a man from another plantation, he was given his freedom and $500.learn more
*The birth of Jean Louis in 1785 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black French fencer and teacher.
From Haiti, Louis was arguably the finest fencer who ever lived. In his youth, Jean Louis took part in a winner take all tournament to the death. In the final Jean-Louis, a short, around 5′ 2″, dueled for 1 hour with a Spanish opponent who was 6 ft tall. Then as the Spaniard lost concentration Jean-Louis finished him. Louis served as a soldier in the French army under Napoleon.learn more
James Pierson Beckwourth was born on this date in 1798. He was a Black explorer who played a major role in the early discovery and settlement of the American West.
James Beckwourth was born in 1798 in Frederick County, Virginia to an African American slave mother and English father, Sir Jennings Beckwourth. Beckwourth’s family moved to Missouri in the early 1800’s, and he was apprenticed to a Blacksmith in St. Louis when he was a young man. In the summer of 1824 he signed on with General William Ashley for a trapping expedition to the Rocky Mountains.learn more
On this date we celebrate the birth of George Bonga in 1802. He was a Black fur trader and trapper.learn more
*The birth of Allen Light in 1805 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black sea mariner.
Born in Philadelphia he arrived in Santa Barbara, CA about 1830. Light hunted sea otters, gained Mexican citizenship and guarded the California coastline against American and Native American poachers. In part because of heavily depleted otter populations, the Mexican government instituted conservation laws in 1830 and prohibited foreigners from both hunting otters and participating in all coastal trade in Alta California.learn more
*The birth of Aaron Hewlett is celebrated on this date, c. 1820. He was a Black college instructor and administrator. Aaron Molyneaux Hewlett was born in New York City to Isaac and Rachel Hewlett. He lived in Brooklyn, worked as a Pullman porter, and taught boxing and wrestling. The New York Clipper, the leading New York […]learn more
*The birth of John Ware is celebrated on this date in c. 1845. He was a Black Canadian cowboy who was influential in the early years of the burgeoning ranching industry in Southern Alberta. John Ware was born into slavery on a plantation near Georgetown, South Carolina. However, on his marriage certificate, Ware himself stated […]learn more