date, one of the first successful African slave
rebellions took place. Enslaved Africans on the island
of St. John (today a part of the United
States Virgin Islands) defeated
the Danish army, taking over the island and flying their own flag. The
insurrection, the first successful one in the New World,
lasted six months; the Africans finally were defeated by troops sent by other
European colonies in the region as reinforcements for the defeated Danish
first free school for African Americans, the African Free School was founded and commenced on this date as a one-room school at 245 Williams Street (although it would not have an official building until 1796) in New York City by John Jay (the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court), Alexander Hamilton (the first Secretary of the Treasury) and other
members of the New York Manumission Society,
an organization that advocated the full abolition of African slaves. This
school was developed for children living in New York and had an attendance forty boys
and girls, the majority of whom were the children of slaves. It was founded
just nine years after the society helped the passing of a state law in 1785
that prohibited the sale of slaves imported into the state. The law also eased
restriction of the manumission of Africans already committed to slavery.
a fire destroyed the building in 1814, African School No. 2 opened in 1815 on William Street near
Duane with room for five hundred pupils. By 1834 there were seven African Free
Schools and, in 1835, the school was integrated into the public school system.
areas also developed African American Free Schools. Philadelphia
had seven schools; Boston
had three. Salem, Massachusetts;
New Haven, Connecticut;
and Newport, Rhode Island, each had one school. While these were modest efforts, they remain significant
since any kind of formal education for African Americans was almost nonexistent
before the Civil War.”
The North Star newspaper was established in Rochester,
The first Civil Rights Act is passed over the veto of President Andrew Johnson.
C.W. Allen patents the self leveling table. Patent #613, 436.
On this date, Sippie
Wallace was born in Houston, Texas.
She was an African-American blues singer.
Born Beulah Belle Thomas, Wallace was given the name “Sippie” as a child, and
was first exposed by her father, a church deacon. After her second marriage and
spending time in New Orleans, her family moved
back to Houston
and she began working with Madame Dante, a snake dancer in a reptile show. It
was around this time (1917) that she began singing at picnics, parties, dances,
and traveling tent shows where she became known as the “Texas Nightingale.”
Most of Wallace’s songs were self written and in 1923, she recorded Shorty
George and Up the Country Blues for Okeh Records. She quickly became one of the
most popular blues singers in the country, famous for her weighty, rhythm style
boasting of Chicago
and southwestern influences. Wallace recorded many songs including, Special
Delivery Blues and Jack o’ Diamond Blues (1926), I’m a Mighty Tight Woman
(1929) and more. She went in to a somewhat obscure state because of the great
depression, focusing mainly on church music while performing in public. From
1929 to 1970 she was the organist of the Leland
in Detroit, Michigan.
She began singing blues again with great response in 1966, thanks to
encouragement from blues great Victoria Spivey, and she toured Europe with Bonnie Raitt as well. Sippie Wallace died in Detroit in 1986.
University is founded in Grambling, Louisiana
as the “Colored
Industrial and Agricultural
School” under the leadership of Charles P. Adams.
The first edition of Crisis
magazine is published by the NAACP with W.E.B. Du Bois as its editor.
Margaret Taylor Burroughs was born on
this date. She is an African-American artist, educator and writer.
From St. Rose Parish, Louisiana, Burroughs
graduated from Chicago
Teachers’ College in
1937, then received an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948. During
the ‘40s she taught art in Chicago
elementary schools, and published her first children’s book, Jasper, the
Drummin’ Boy (1947). Burroughs was known in the Chicago area as the founder, along with her
husband, Charles, of the DuSable Museum of African American History. Opened in
the couple’s South Side house in 1961 as the Ebony Museum of African American
History, the collected artifacts expressed Burroughs’ commitment to exploring
and sharing the cultural heritage of African Americans.
In 1967, she and Dudley Randall edited an anthology called For Malcolm: Poems
on the Life and Death of Malcolm X, and published several volumes of her own
poetry. Burroughs’ art works in diverse media have been exhibited
Florence Mills joins the ancestors in New York City
after being hospitalized for an appendectomy at the age of 32. She was one of
the most popular entertainers of her day,
appearing in “Shuffle
Along” and “From Broadway to Dixie” as well as having successful tours
in the United States and Europe.
In the foreword to his book, “The Negro in Art,” Howard
University professor Alain Locke introduces the most extensive retrospective of African American art
published to date. The
selections appearing in the book span almost 300 years and include the work of
100 black artists from Europe and the United States including Joshua Johnston, Edward Bannister, Henry O. Tanner, Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Palmer Hayden, Allan Crite, James A. Porter, and James Lesesne Wells, among others.
John H. Johnson publishes the
first issue of Negro Digest.
On this date, the first issue of EBONY magazine was published in Chicago, Illinois.
The second publication of John H. Johnson’s fledgling company, Ebony, was the
catalyst for a communications empire that eventually included magazines, book
publishing, and radio.
Johnson started the company with a $500 loan on his mother’s furniture.
The first office of Johnson Publishing Co., which was then called Negro Digest
Publishing Co., was on the second floor of the windy cities Supreme Life
Insurance Co. building in a room of a private law firm.
Soon Johnson bought the company’s first building to house EBONY and its sister
publication Negro Digest on South
State Street in Chicago.
Dr. Charles S.
Johnson becomes the
first African American president of Fisk University.
Jet magazine is founded by John H. Johnson, publisher of Ebony magazine.
The Iota Phi Theta fraternity, originally founded at Morgan
in 1963, was incorporated on this date.
Antigua & Barbuda gain independence from Great Britain.
South Africans voted in their first all-race local government elections, completing
the destruction of the apartheid system.
John Kagwe of Kenya wins the
New York City Marathon for the second consecutive year.
Former Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, the NFL’s all-time
leading rusher, joins the ancestors after succumbing to bile duct cancer at the
age of 45.