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. Thelma Hopkins, Actress, Singer, A member of the 1970s’ pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn, she later starred in several television sitcoms, including Bosom Buddies, Gimme a Break!, Family Matters, Getting By and Half & Half.
2. Sheryl Underwood, Comedien, Actor, first gained notoriety as the first female finalist in the Miller Lite Comedy Search in 1989. She won the BET “Funniest Female Comedian on Comic View” award in 1994 and the BET Comedy Awards’ Platinum Mic Viewers Choice Award in 2005.Following her stand up success, Underwood took a number of minor acting roles including Bad Mouth Bessie in the 1998 film I Got the Hook Up, and Catfish Rita in the 2005 film Beauty Shop. She is one of the host on daytime talk show The Talk
Underwood was the host of BET’s Comic View and executive producer and host of the limited run comedy/variety series Holla(September 2002- January 2003)
1. In 1891, P. B. Downing received Patent for Mail Box
2. In 1896, W. Purdy Received Patent for Device for sharpening edged tools
3. In 1931, R. B. Spikes Received Patent for Method & apparatus for obtaining average samples & temperature of tank liquids
4. In 1954, Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Became General in the U.S. Air Force.
5. In 1960, President John F. Kennedy intervenes to get Martin Luther King, Jr., released from the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville where he had been imprisoned because of his civil rights activities.
6. In 1981, Former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young is elected mayor of Atlanta, becoming the city’s second black mayor.
1. In 1749, The British parliament legalizes slavery in the American colony that would become known as Georgia. Even though U.S. independence from Britian was in 1776, slavery continued until 1863, which was the results of a civil war in which rebels were putting their life on the line and willing to die to preserve slavery.
2. In 1872, Inventor Thomas J. Martin patents the fire extinguisher.
3. In 1868, B. F. Randolph, a prominent black politician in South Carolina after the Civil War, is assassinated.
4. In 1897, C. V. Richey received Patent for Railroad switch.
5. In 1952, Hattie McDaniel Becomes the first African American to win an Oscar. Best Supporting Actress in Gone With The Wind.
6. In 1994, Beverly Harvard was appointed Atlanta’s chief of police on this day, The First Black Woman to run an major Police Dept.
7. In 2005, Ken Williams, general manager of Chicago White Sox when they won World Series in a four games sweep against houston astros (last win 1917).
8. In 2020, Walter Wallace Jr., a father and recently married was shot by Philadelphia police while his mother tried to restrain him.