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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 Johanna July is celebrated on this date in 1850. She was a Black Seminole cowgirl. From northern Mexico, July was the daughter of a Seminole Native American and a Black African slave. Her family had left Florida and settled in northern Mexico after the Seminole War ended in 1842. Around 1871 they […]learn more
*George Godfrey was born on this date in 1853. He was a Black Canadian boxer.
From the Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) neighborhood known as “The Bog” he left P.E.I. in his youth and worked as a porter in Boston, Massachusetts. It was there that he started training to box at Professor Bailey’s Hub City gym. At age 26, Godfrey began fighting competitively in the bare knuckles tour.learn more
*The birth of Nat Love in 1854 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American Pullman porter, and cowboy.
Born on his master’s plantation in Davidson County in Tennessee, Love was raised out of an old log cabin. His master Robert Love, an extensive planter and the owner of many slaves owned his father and mother. Love’s father was a foreman of the slaves on the plantation, and his mother worked the kitchen at the master’s big house waiting tables, milking the cows, running the loom and weaving clothing for the other slaves.learn more
*Moses Fleetwood Walker was born on this date in 1856. He was an Black professional baseball player. Moses Fleetwood Walker was born in Mount Pleasant, Ohio. Walker’s parents were Moses W. Walker and Caroline O’ Harra. When Walker was three years old, the family moved 20 miles northeast to Steubenville where his father became one of the first Black […]learn more
*The birth of Oliver Lewis is celebrated on this date in 1856. He was a Black horse jockey in thoroughbred racing. Lewis was born in Fayette County, Kentucky. On May 17, 1875, at the age of 19, Lewis won the very first Kentucky Derby aboard Aristides. The pair won by a reported two lengths, setting […]learn more
*The birth of William White is celebrated on this date 1860. He was a 19th-century Black baseball player. William Edward White was the son of a plantation owner from Milner, Georgia, Andrew Jackson White, and his Black slave, Hannah. Brown University records give Milner as the student’s birthplace, and the only person of his name listed in the 1870 census was […]learn more