Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Thu, 04.21.1791

Thomas Jennings born

*The Birth of Thomas Jennings is celebrated on this date in 1791.  He was a Black tradesman and abolitionist.   Thomas L. Jennings was born free to a free Black family in New York City. As a youth he learned a trade as a tailor. He built a business and married a woman named Elizabeth […]

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Fri, 03.14.1794

The Cotton Gin patented

*On this date in 1794, Eli Whitney patented the Cotton Gin which he invented; (or did he?).

African slaves, because they were not citizens, could not register any invention with the patent office. Their owners could not register a slave’s invention either, since the law required that the patent be issued to the actual inventor. Consequently, any free person wanting to patent something could not acknowledge any contribution from a slave. Thus it was easy to steal a slave’s ideas and patent them.

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Fri, 12.27.1799

Jim Thompson, Black Pioneer born

*The birth of Jim Thompson is celebrated on this date c 1799.  He was a Black, laborer, translator and trapper in the Minnesota territories.   James Thompson was born a slave in Virginia.   His first trip into Minnesota country came in 1827 with his owner, sutler John Culbertson while he sold slave produced merchandise to […]

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Wed, 10.22.1800

Lewis Temple, Inventor for Whaling born

This date marks the birth of Lewis Temple, a Black inventor, in 1800.

He was the creator of a whaling harpoon, known as “Temple’s Toggle” and “Temple’s Iron” that became the standard harpoon of the whaling industry in the middle of the 19th century. Lewis Temple was a skilled blacksmith, not a whaler. He was born a slave in Richmond, VA, and went to New Bedford, MA, in 1829. By 1836, Temple was one of the 315,000 free black people in the United States and a successful businessman who operated a whale craft shop on the New Bedford waterfront.

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Wed, 10.07.1801

Wilson Ruffin Abbott born

*The birth of Wilson Ruffin Abbott is celebrated on this date in c 1801.  He was Black Canadian businessman.  From Richmond, VA he was the son of a Scotch-Irish father and a free Negro mother.  Abbott was apprenticed as a carpenter as teenager but left home at 15 to work on a Mississippi River steamer […]

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Tue, 12.10.1805

William Lloyd Garrison, Abolitionist born

William Lloyd Garrison was born this date in 1805. He was a White American abolitionist and newspaper publisher.

The son of a seaman from Newburyport, MA., Garrison was indentured at the age of 14 to the owner of the Newburyport Herald where he became an expert printer. The struggles of all oppressed peoples for freedom built his kind character as a youth. He expressed this in articles he wrote anonymously or under the pseudonym Airsides, in the Herald and other newspapers. He tried to awaken Northerners from their apathy over the question of slavery in America.

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Wed, 12.11.1805

William Goodridge, Businessman and Abolitionist born

*The birth of William Goodridge is celebrated on this date in 1805. He was a Black businessman and abolitionist.

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Tue, 01.28.1806

Lewis Woodson born

*The birth of Lewis Woodson is celebrated on this date in 1806.  He was a Black minister and abolitionist.  Born free in Greenbrier County, Va. (now West Virginia).  Woodson was the oldest of eleven children born to Thomas and Jemima Woodson, both mulatto slaves who had gained their freedom.  Woodson family oral history, dating to […]

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Mon, 03.17.1806

Engineer and Inventor Norbert Rillieux born

*This date marks the birth of Norbert Rillieux in 1806. He was an African American inventor and engineer whose patented inventions revolutionized the sugar refining industry.

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Fri, 01.01.1808

Journalist Phillip A. Bell born

*Philip Alexander Bell was born on this date in 1808. He was a Black journalist and abolitionist.

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Sat, 07.15.1809

Jules Lion, Photogtapher born

*The birth Jules Lion in circa 1809 is celebrated on this date.  He was a pioneering Black photographer.   Lion was born in France of mixed heritage and listed as a free man of color (F M C) in the New Orleans City Directory. He introduced the daguerreotype photographic technic to New Orleans and established himself as […]

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Mon, 03.26.1810

William Leidesdorff, a San Francisco Icon

*On this date we celebrate the birth of William Alexander Leidesdorff, in 1810. He was a Black businessman and explorer.

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Sat, 06.02.1810

The ‘Shotgun House’, Black Architecture and Heritage

The “shotgun house,” a residential house design, is celebrated on this date in 1810. It is a Black cultural architectural form that originated in the American South and was used extensively throughout the region.

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Tue, 06.18.1811

James Mink, Businessman born

*James Mink was born on this date in 1811.  He was a Black Canadian businessman.  From Toronto, Ontario, he was son of Johan Herkimer’s slave Mink and was a slave himself for some years of his life. He was an extremely successful businessman from Toronto, owning multiple businesses.  In the 1840s. He owned the Mansion […]

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Sat, 05.09.1812

Timothy Meaher, Slave Trrader born

*The birth of Timothy Meaher is remembered on this date in 1812.  He was a white-American 19th-century slaver, businessman and landowner.  From Whitfield, Maine, he was the son of James and Susannah Millay Meaher. James & Susannah were both born in Ireland.  He came to Mobile, Alabama around 1836 and owned slave ship the Clotilda.  He was […]

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

A closed window looks down on a dirty courtyard, and black people call across or scream across or walk across defying physics in the stream of their will. Our world... KA ‘BA by Amiri Baraka.
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