Little-Known Facts About Black History, Culture, Inventions, and More!

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Welcome to BlackHistory.org! This web site features unique stories about Black history, culture and accomplishments. We spotlight African Americans who made and/or are still making significant contributions to technology, business, entertainment, politics, and even sports!


5 Black Inventors Who Made Their Mark on Society

Garrett Morgan, inventor of the T-shaped pole traffic signal

Everything we use in our day-to-day life was once just an idea. It’s easy to forget the people who made these concepts a reality, but their legacies are undeniable. In celebration of these important figures, we’ve created a list of Black inventors who have made an impact on the world.

One in Four Cowboys Was Black, Despite the Stories Told in Popular Books and Movies

Bass Reeves, Black cowboy who inspired Lone Ranger

Although it's not accurately reflected in cowboy movies on TV, there were actually quite a few African American cowboys in the 19th century. In fact, many historians agree that the real “Lone Ranger” was inspired by an African American man named Bass Reeves who was born a slave but escaped during the Civil War.

Selma Burke’s Portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt is What You See on the U.S. Dime!

Selma Burke sculpting a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Selma Burke (born December 31, 1900) was an American sculptor and educator who is best known for her sculpture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which can be seen on the U.S. dime. Burke herself wrote to Roosevelt to request a live sitting, and in 1944, the president generously agreed to have her sculpt his portrait.

Meet the First Black Pilot to Fly Solo Around the World (It Took Him 97 Days!)

Barrington Irving, first Black pilot to fly solo around the world

In 2007, at the age of 23, Barrington Irving set a world record when he not only became the first Black person to complete a solo flight around the world in a single-engine plane, but the youngest person to do so at that time as well!

The Oldest African-American Owned Business in the United States

E.E. Ward Moving and Storage

Founded in 1881, E.E. Ward Moving & Storage is the oldest African-American owned business in the United States. What started as a stop on the Underground Railroad has flourished into one of the most respected and trusted moving companies in the country.

Meet the First Black Woman to Become Captain of a Cruise Ship

Belinda Bennett, first Black woman cruise ship captain

Belinda Bennett has made history as the world's first-ever Black woman captain in the commercial cruise industry. In an industry generally dominated by men, Belinda has proven that she can be successful on her own despite the challenges.

Mary Eliza Mahoney Was America's First Black Nurse

Mary Eliza Mahoney, America's First Black Nurse

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American to study and work professionally as a nurse in the U.S. Aside from being in the medical field for almost 40 years, she was also an advocate of women's rights back in her time.

The History of the First Black Flight Attendants

Ruth Taylor, the first Black flight attendant in the U.S.

According to Jet Magazine, 26-year old Ruth Taylor from New York City was the first African American hired to be a flight attendant in January 1958. She worked for Mohawk Airlines, a regional passenger airline that operated in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. from the mid-1940's until its acquisition by Allegheny Airlines in 1972.

Meet the Black Surgeon Who Performed the First Successful Open Heart Surgery

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams

An open heart surgery is one of the most delicate and dangerous surgeries imaginable, and they require the utmost skill even in today’s modern operating rooms. That is what makes it even more amazing to know that the first surgeon to perform an open heart surgery did so before the turn of the 20th century! Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, an African American man, managed just that feat in the astonishing year 1893.

These Three Black Women Helped America Get to the Moon First

Mary Jackson, Katerine Goble Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn

The United States landing on the moon, and winning the space race against the Soviet Union, is one of the most famous events in American history. Unfortunately until recently, many people were completely unaware of the important contributions made by Black women in helping us get to the moon.


Helpful Resources:


Top Black History Museums and Cultural Centers:
There are hundreds of Black history museums in the United States that preserve artifacts, records, documents, and more related to African Americans. They vary in size and popularity, but all of them have exclusive exhibits and collections that millions of people from all ethnic backgrounds take interest in. [Find one to visit...]



Top Black History Organizations and Projects:
There are many organizations and projects that are dedicated to African American history. These include foundations and other educational initiatives. All of them typically have the common goal of preserving Black culture and heritage for those who are interested in gaining more awareness about the African American experience over the past 500 years or longer. [Learn more...]



The History of Black History:
The heritage and experience of African Americans that typically dates back to the mid 1500's when Black people were captured in Africa and brought against their will to America to become slaves. After nearly 400 years of slavery and dehumanization, African Americans were eventually freed but were oppressed, discriminated against, and were initially not even recognized as legal citizens of the United States. [Learn more...]