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!

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King with her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King
There are so many things that people don’t know about Coretta Scott King, the wife and widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. While her husband was working hard on civil rights for African Americans, Coretta has also been credited with significant accomplishments of her own. She enjoyed raising their 4 children, but she did not simply remain on the sidelines when it came to fighting for civil rights.

Yes, There Was a Black Passenger on the Titanic When it Sank in 1912 -- But He Did Not Survive!

Joseph Laroche, Only Black passenger on Titanic
Joseph Laroche was born on May 26, 1886 in Haiti. He was an educated engineer who studied in Paris. He was married to a white French woman named Juliette, and they with their two children were on the Titanic when it crashed into an iceberg in 1912. Joseph drowned like many others, but his family survived the shipwreck and arrived safely to New York City with others who had been rescued.

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was a highly favored and influential educator who spent her life teaching and educating African Americans. However, most people don't know what U.S. President made her special advisor on minority affairs, or what her and James M. Gamble of the Procter and Gamble Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, have in common.

A Black Man Founded the City of Chicago

Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable, Black man who founded Chicago
The founder of the city of Chicago was Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable. He was born to a white Frenchman and an African-born Black woman in Saint-Domingue, Haiti (a French colony at the time) during the Haitian Revolution. At some point he settled in the part of North America that is now known as the city of Chicago, and was described in historical documents as "a handsome negro."

5 Amazing Things Martin Luther King, Jr. Did Right Before He Died

Dr. Martin Luther King
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the most amazing African American who led the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's. Born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, his primary goal in life was to advance civil rights for African Americans in a peaceful manner. Although his life was cut short in 1968, Dr. King left behind an impressive list of accomplishments that greatly impacted the world.

Documented Evidence That the First Americans Were Black... Yes, Descendants of Africa!

First Americans, Black Indians from Africa
Many people, including the so-called Native Americans themselves, believe that they were the first Americans. But there is no evidence that this is true! On the other hand, according to David Imhotep, author of The First Americans Were Africans: Documented Evidence, there are 17 pieces of hard evidence that show that the first to arrive in the Americas were actually Black people... yes, Africans!

Beethoven, the Most Famous Classical Musician of All Time, Was... a Black Man!

Ludwig Van Beethoven as a Black man
Ludwig Van Beethoven is arguably the most famous and well known classical musician and composer in all of history, but his true identity and ethnicity has been a falsehood and obscurity for many, many years. Society has depicted him as a white male with either blonde or brunette colored hair, being shown in drawings, paintings, and illustrations all over the world.

Booker T. Washington Was the First African American to be Featured on a U.S. Postage Stamp

On April 7, 1940, Booker T. Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp. Several years later, he was honored to be on the first coin to feature an African American, the Booker T. Washington Memorial Half Dollar. But how did this slave turned orator and leading member of the African American community achieve this?

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks
Civil rights leader Rosa Parks is best known for her courageous act of refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955. Although she was not the first African American to do this, she is credited for kickstarting a very important movement in history for the civil rights of Black people. But there is so much more to her story!

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.
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.