Black history facts

Although history has taught us that former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson is the one who invented the American version of macaroni and cheese, we're here to inform you for Black History Month that it was actually created by Jefferson's enslaved Black chef, James Hemings.

George Washington Henderson was born into slavery in Clarke County, Va. on November 11, 1850, and he went on to become a respected scholar and minister. He was the first Black person inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s top honors society. Not much is known about Henderson’s early life, but as a teenager, he […]

Mary Lou Williams was a jazz pianist who performed with and arranged songs for several jazz legends in her time. The Atlanta-born, Pittsburgh-raised musician was born May 8, 1910. Mary Elfrieda Scruggs was known in her Pittsburgh neighborhood as a child prodigy, earning the nickname “The Little Piano Girl” while playing for some of the […]

Attorney Lembhard G. Howell has been a shining star in the Pacific Northwest, handling a number of important civil rights and personal injury cases that helped shift history. The Jamaica-born, New York-raised Howell was born May 2,1936. Howell and his family moved to the United States in 1946, and he was raised in New York […]

On April 22, 1970, a student strike at Yale University began that nearly led to the early ending of the school year. According to reports at the time, the kidnapping and murder trial of Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale was the main impetus. Seale was implicated in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of 19-year-old […]

The Courageous 12  were 12 Black officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department in Florida who banded together to stand up for their rights. The daring dozen sued the city to win the right to fully use their powers to arrest any offending citizens, not just Black ones. Their remarkable story began in St. Petersburg […]

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Several members of Congress joined civil rights activists and others Sunday afternoon for the annual commemoration of a day of racial violence in Selma dating to 1965. A bipartisan group including Rep. John Lewis of Georgia led the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was to recall “Bloody Sunday,” when […]

Tennis legend Arthur Ashe passed away this week 25 years ago after bravely announcing to the world in April 1992 that he contracted the HIV virus. Instead of disappearing into obscurity, Ashe used his fame and resources to raise awareness and assist in the treatment of the condition. Ashe, born July 10, 1943 in Richmond, […]

Viola Davis is the first Black actress to achieve the feat of winning a Tony, Emmy and Oscar Award, better known as the “Triple Crown of Acting.” Davis also won the Harvard Foundation’s Artist Of The Year Award, joining the likes of Quincy Jones and Salma Hayek, among other stars. Davis was born August 11, […]

  The phrase “Black is Beautiful” has long been associated with the civil rights and Black power movements but it has roots that reach even further back. John Stewart Rock, one of the America’s first Black doctors and lawyers, is said to have coined the phrase in one of his speeches as an abolitionist. Rock […]

  During the Space Race between Cold War rivals the United States and the former Soviet Union, there was stiff competition between the nations to build spacecraft to explore the skies beyond the stratosphere. In 1960, David Jones, a Black man from Ohio, was the lone Black mechanic to work on NASA’s first spacecraft. Jones, […]

  The city of Memphis was gathered in mourning as attendees for the home-going service for Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles took place over the weekend. Rev. Kyles, who is perhaps best known as one of the men gathered on the Lorraine Motel balcony the day of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, died last week […]