Sunday February 21, 2016 marked another first just in time for Black History Month.  Eleven-time Grammy nominee Jazmine Sullivan is now the first African American R&B artist to sing the National Anthem at a National Hockey League game. Sullivan brought the crowd to a thunderous cheer when she effortlessly belted out the Star-Spangled Banner at […]

The Smithsonian Castle was built in 1847. The historic structure sits in Washington D.C. and has recently been found to be built by slaves. Some of those slaves were owned by Martha Washington. There’s been a longtime search by historians to know which historic D.C. buildings were built by slaves. Two of the most notable […]

On February 12, 1958, opera singer Gloria Davy became the first black woman to sing the legendary performance of “Aida” at the New York Met. The role of Aida, (whose character was an Ethiopian princess), had always been played by white singers in dark makeup. Davy was a beauty of the stage and had already […]

Coleman Young was the first black mayor of Detroit. Young served the city of Detroit for 20 years. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama native was born in 1918, moving to Detroit’s Black Bottom ghetto in the 1920’s. He served as a Tuskegee Airman in WWII before becoming an activist with the United Auto Workers. Active in politics, […]

Although many African-Americans claim to have Native American roots through ancestry, historians have found that less than 10 percent of blacks have Native American ancestry. That breaks down to five percent of blacks who have one great-grandparent with Native American genes. In addition, 58 percent of black Americans have at least 12.5 percent white ancestry. […]

William Alexander Leidesdorff was born in 1810 in the Danish West Indies.  The son of a white Jewish Danish plantation owner and his common-law wife, Anna Marie Sparks, who was said to be of mixed African and Spanish and/or Carib ancestry, Leidesdorff left St. Croix in his teens to travel to Denmark in order to […]

  Although NeNe claims to be very rich Emperor Mansa Musa I, an African King from the late 13th century, has been named the richest person who ever lived. listed Musa I on the ranks with Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Muammar Ghaddafi, below his name. Mansa Musa I was the ruler of the […]

The Rappahannock River is a watery area near Fredericksburg, VA that marked the end of the Underground Railroad for many slaves. The longest free-flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay, the Rappahannock was the river crossed in fall of 1862 when the legal end of slavery was near.  During the Civil War, slaves crossed the river […]

President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary order for the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. Although by January 1st the document was signed, it was a few years before black freedom was recognized in the South. One of the first tools for change was education. Now that former slaves could be taught to read and […]

Denmark Vesey was an 18th century slave who skillfully planned the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history. Unfortunately, he never saw the revolt because two other black men, George Wilson and Rolla Bennett, collectively revealed the plot to a white slavemaster. Regardless, Vesey was called a hero for his plan of the major Carolina rebellion. […]

In Camp Mackall, North Carolina the first all-black parachute Infantry platoon was activated on November 25,1944. They would be called the 555th Battalion, a.k.a. “The Triple Nickles.” They were called the Triple Nickles because 17 of 20 soldiers selected from the Buffalo Soldiers 92nd Infantry in Arizona made it through the test platoon at Fort […]

Controversial black writer Richard Wright had a reputation for writing from the communist black perspective in the late 1930’s. His novels and shorts stories were known for their level of controversy. Wright was a known member of the Communist party but was not truly accepted among white communists of New York or the black communists. […]