1. Benjamin Banneker, self-educated scientist, astronomer, inventor, writer, and antislavery publicist. He built a striking clock entirely from wood, published a Farmers’ Almanac for 10 years, completed the design and layout of Washington, D.C., and actively campaigned against slavery. He was one of the first African Americans to gain distinction in science.
2. Dorothy Dandridge, actress and popular singer, and was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Nathan Featherston and the Apollo Theater.
After several minor bit parts in films, Dandridge landed her first noted film role in Tarzan’s Peril (starring Lex Barker), in 1951. Dandridge won her first starring role in 1953, playing a teacher in a low-budget film with a nearly all-black cast, Bright Road, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
She was nominated in 1954 for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Carmen Jones, and in 1959 she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Porgy and Bess. In 1999, she was the subject of the HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, starring Halle Berry as Dandridge. She has been recognized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
3. Dion James, Major League Baseball Player, played as left and center fielder for an eleven-year career from 1983–1985, 1987–1990, 1992–1993, 1995-1996. James starred at C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento, California before being selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round (25th overall) in the 1980 Amateur Entry Draft. He played for the Brewers, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees all of the American League and the Atlanta Braves of the National League. James was the Brewers’ Rookie of the Year in 1984
4. Sandra Denton, known as Pepa, Is a Rapp and hip hop artist, actress, and a member of the female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa.
5. Mark Durrell Andrews, known by his stage name Sisqó, is an R&B singer and actor. He is best known as the lead singer of R&B group Dru Hill, and also for “Thong Song”, a song from his first solo LP, Unleash the Dragon, that became an international hit.
1. In 1868, Medical School at Howard University opened with eight (8) students.
2. In 1901, Fiery pioneer black journalist William Monroe Trotter starts theGuardian newspaper in Boston. Trotter made headlines throughout the nation when in November 1914, he confronted President Woodrow Wilson in the White House for failing to do more to stop the lynching of blacks.
3. In 1850, Sarah Forbes Bonetta, The daughter of an African Chief, was taken to Windsor Castle and presented to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She was taken in 1848, at the age of five, during the Okeadon War. King Gezo of Dahomy captured the city of Okeadon, killing many inhabitants and leading the rest away into slavery.
1. In 1892, More Awful Lychings, One hundred and sixty one Blacks reported lynched.
2. In 1898, The Riot of 1898, in two days of racial violence, a mob of whites, led by some of Wilmington’s most respected and influential citizens, destroyed the state’s only daily African American newspaper. Coroner reports confirm nine blacks were killed; some estimate hundreds died. Scores of others were driven from their homes…
3. In 1932, Spingarn Medal awarded to Robert R. Moton, president of Tuskegee Institute, for his “thoughtful leadership in conservative opinion and action.”
4. In 1938, Crystal Bird Fauset becomes the 1st black woman elected to a state legislature in the U.S. acquiring this distinction by being named to the Pennsylvania House of Represenatives.
5. In 1960, Otis M. Smith elected auditor general of Michigan and became the first Black chosen in a statewide election since the Reconstruction period.
6. In 1966, Edward W. Brooke elected first Black US Senator in 85 years. (Since Reconstruction)
7. In 1966, John H. Johnson, publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, awarded Spingarn Medal “for his productive imagination…in the perilous field of publishing” and “for his contributions to the enhancement of the Negro’s self-image through his publications.”
8. In 1966, John Perry Jr. & H. F. Hunger Received Patent for Biochem fuel cell.
1. Esther Rolle, Actress actress. She was perhaps best known for her portrayal of Florida Evans on the CBS television sitcom Maude and its spin-off series Good Times.
2. Minnie Julia Riperton, Singer-songwriter best known for her vocal range of more than five octaves and her 1975 single “Lovin’ You”. She was married to songwriter and music producer Richard Rudolph from 1968 until her death in 1979; they were the parents of music engineer Marc Rudolph and actress/comedienne Maya Rudolph.
3. Alfre Woodard, film, stage, and television actress. She has been nominated once for anAcademy Award and Grammy Awards, 17 times for Emmy Awards (winning four), and has also won a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.
She is known for her role in films such as Cross Creek, Miss Firecracker, Grand Canyon, Passion Fish, Primal Fear, Star Trek: First Contact, Miss Evers’ Boys, K-PAX, Radio, Take the Lead and The Family That Preys.
1. Alexa Canady, the first Woman and first African American to become a Neurosurgeon in America. From Lansing Michigan, Alexa Irene Canady is the daughter of Elizabeth Hortense (Golden) Canady and Clinton Canady Jr. Her father was a graduate of the School of Dentistry of Meharry Medical College, practicing in Lansing. Her mother was a graduate of Fiasco University was active for years in civic affairs of Lansing. She also served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
1. Absalom Jones, was an abolitionist and clergyman. After founding a black congregation in 1794, in 1804 he was the first African-American ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church of the United States. He is listed on the Episcopal calendar of saints and blessed under the date of his decease, February 13, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as “Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818”.
2. Derrick Albert Bell, Jr., was the first tenured African-American professor of Law at Harvard University, and largely credited as the originator of Critical Race Theory. He was the former dean of the University of Oregon School of Law.
1. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, Was a prominent artist and writer and a co-founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History. She also helped to establish the South Side Community Art Center, whose opening on May 1, 1941 was dedicated by the First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt . There at the age of 23 she served as the youngest member of its board of directors. Dr. Burroughs was a prolific writer, with her efforts directed toward the exploration of the Black experience and to children, especially to their appreciation of their cultural identity and to their introduction and growing awareness of art.
Dr. Burroughs is also credited as the founder of Chicago’s Lake Meadows Art Fair in the early 1950’s. At its inception, during the 1950’s, there were very limited venues and galleries for African American Artists to exhibit and sell their artwork, Dr. Burroughs, launched the Lake Meadows Art Fair which rapidly grew in popularity and The Lake Meadows Art Fair became one of the most anticipated exhibitions for artists, collectors and others throughout the greater Chicago area. After a brief hiatus beginning in the early 1980’s, the Art Fair was resurrected by Helen Y. West in 2005, and another Margaret Burroughs’ legacy lives on.
2. Gary Eugene Redus, a former professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues primarily as an outfielder from 1982-1994. He was a career .252 batter with 90 home runs, 886 hits, 352 RBIs and 322 stolen bases over 1159 games.
1. In 1889, J. Standard received Patent for Oil stove
2. In 1929, The Stock Market collapses, ushering in the Great Depression and bringing about black unemployment rates ranging from 25 to 40 percent. The effects of the Great Depression would last until the start of World War II. The American war effort created a substantial number of war-industry jobs and a second mass migration of blacks from the South to the industrial North.
3. In 1969, Supreme Court ordered end to all school desegregation at once.
4. In 2020, Kevin Peterson Jr. was shot dead by Clark County sheriff’s deputies on Thursday in the parking lot at a US Bank branch in Hazel Dell. His mother broke down as his body lay at the murder scene for about 12 hrs.