Facts and Untold Stories About Black History, Culture, Inventions, and the African American Experience

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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!

The First 6 African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires

African Americans who escaped slavery and became millionaires
Immediately following Emancipation, there were 4,047 millionaires in the United States -- and six of them were African American. Between 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of industrious, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success.

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson
People all over the world know Jackie Robinson as one of the greatest baseball legends of all time. He was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, and also the first Black person to hold the position of Vice President at a major American corporation (Chock Full O' Nuts Coffee). Many people don't know this, but he also played professional basketball for UCLA.

Recipe For Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Was Actually Invented By a Black Man -- A Former Slave!

Jack Daniel’s is a very popular whiskey and alcoholic beverage that people all around the world have been drinking for more than 150 years. But many people are not aware of where this famous whiskey came from and who invented it. The truth is that the recipe was actually created by a former slave named Nathan "Nearest" Green.

25 Popular Quotes From Martin Luther King, Jr's Famous "I Have a Dream" Speech

Martin Luther King, Jr speaking in Washington, DC
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Although his advisers did not want him to use the word "dream," King ignored their advice. And this was a great decision on his behalf because that speech has remained over the years a constant reminder of his dream of peace among all mankind.

Malcolm X Almost Became A Lawyer and 10 Other Things Most People Don't Know About Him!

Malcolm X
Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim minister and civil rights activist in the 1950's and 1960's. He followed the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, who encouraged self-reliance and empowerment. Many people don't know this, but as a young person, Malcolm had an academic goal to study law, but a white teacher told him that his goal was impossible. So he dropped out of school.

Meet the Black Architect Who Helped Design Washington, DC

Benjamin Banneker, the Black architect who helped design Washington, DC
Our nation's capital would not be the same if it wasn't for Benjamin Banneker, the Black architect hired by George Washington, the first President of the United States, to design the city of Washington, DC. It was actually Thomas Jefferson himself who highly recommended that Banneker be placed on the planning committee.

Meet the First and Only Black Queen of England (Meghan Markle is Not the First Black Woman in the Royal Family!)

Meghan Markle and Queen Sophia Charlotte
Meghan Markle made international headlines when she married Prince Harry of the British royal family and became a Duchess. Millions tuned into watch the 3-hour ceremony. But Meghan is not the first Black woman to live in the Royal Palace. In 1761, Sophie Charlotte married King George II and became the first ever Black Queen of England.

Sojourner Truth's First Language Was Dutch... and 10 Other Things Most People Don't Know About Her!

Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth (born in 1797 in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York) is remembered in history as a strong Black women's rights activist and abolitionist who worked hard to end slavery across the United States. Most people don't know this, but her first language was Dutch. But there is a lot more about her that many people are unaware of!

10 Things Most People Don't Know About George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver
Born into slavery in 1864, George Washington Carver became famous as an agricultural scientist and a humanitarian. Although he invented more than 300 uses for peanuts, he also invented hundreds of uses for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes. But many would be surprised to know that he was also an accomplished musician and a gifted painter.

Meet the First Black Woman Who Was Arrested For Not Giving Up Her Seat (It Was Not Rosa Parks!)

Claudette Colvin, first Black woman to be arrested for not giving up her bus seat
Rosa Parks was a remarkable civil rights icon who made history in December 1955 when she boldy refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, but she was not the first person to do this! In fact, earlier that year in March, a teenager named Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus and was the first African American to be arrested for doing so.
The African American Experience

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.

From the 1920's to the 1970's, African Americans had to fight for basic civil rights including the right to vote, to earn fair wages, to live in decent housing, and to marry outside of their race. During this time period, they were heavily discriminated against and sometimes brutally attacked and killed by white supremacists. Most notably, famous civil rights leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. where assassinated for fighting for the cause.

From the 1980's and ongoing even in recent times, African Americans have become victims to institutionized racism which often manifests itself in workplace discrimination, housing discrimination, predatory lending from major banks, lack of diversity in television and film, college enrollment discrimination, lack of funding in communities where mostly Black people live, police harassment and brutality, and high incarceration rates of African American men.

The Origins of Black History Month

Black History Month, celebrated during the month of February each year, is a time where African American history makers are remembered and celebrated. The monthly-celebration is observed internationally in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

In 1976, U.S. President Gerald Ford issued the first Black History Month commemoration making it an official government-recognized celebration. The precursor to Black History Month was Negro History Week, which was created in the year 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.