Independence Day, Ghana
Mar 6
Independence Day, Ghana
Ghana became an independent state
March 6, 1957
March 6th, 1957, the Gold Coast gained it's independence from Great Britain. Independence Square celebrations - Accra, Ghana Ghana - Political History Ghana lies at the heart of a region which has been leading sub-Saharan African culture since the first millennium BC in metal-working, mining, sculpture and agriculture. Modern Ghana takes its name from the ancient kingdom of Ghana, some 800 km. (500 miles) to the north of present day Accra, which flourished up to the eleventh century AD. One of the great sudanic states which dominate African history, the kingdom of Ghana controlled the gold trade between the mining areas to the south and the Saharan trade routes to the north. Ancient Ghana was also the focus for the export trade in Saharan copper and salt. The coming of Europeans altered the trading patterns, and the focus of economic power shifted to the West African coastline. The Portuguese came first, seeking the source of the African gold. It lay too far inland for them to reach; but on the Gold Coast they found a region where gold could be obtained, exported along established trade paths from the interior. Their fort at Elmina ("the mine") was the first in a series of forts along the Gold Coast designed to repel the other European seafarers who followed in their wake, all struggling for their share of the profitable Gold Coast trade. In due course, however, slaves replaced gold as the most lucrative trade along the coast, with the European slave buyers using the forts and adjoining buildings for their own accommodation and protection, as well as for storing the goods, mainly guns and gunpowder, which they would barter for slaves. Some of the forts were also used for keeping newly acquired slaves pending the arrival of the ships sent to collect them. But while Europeans quarrelled over access to the coastal trade, and despite the appalling depredations of the slave traders, which left whole regions destroyed and depopulated, the shape of modern Ghana was being laid down. At the end of the 17th century, there were a number of small states on the Gold Coast; by 1750, these had merged, by conquest or diplomacy, into two: the Asante empire, and the Fante empire. By the 19th century, the Asantes were seeking mastery of the coast, and especially access to the trading post of Elmina.
By this time the British had won control of the coastal trade from the other European nations, and their interests could not tolerate further Asante expansion - more so since the Asante Empire was known for its sophisticated administrative efficiency and would have been difficult or impossible to best at trade. Nevertheless it took a series of military campaigns over some 50 years before the British were finally able to force the Asantes to give up sovereignty over their southern possessions. In a final campaign in 1874 the British attempted, without success, to seize Asante; they were however able to take Kumasi (capital of the Asante empire) and exact a huge ransom for it in gold; and the vast Asante empire shrunk to the Asante and Brong-Ahafo regions of modern Ghana.
Meanwhile, the Fantes too had been uniting and organizing, and in 1868 formed themselves into a confederacy under a king-president with a 15,000 strong army, a civil service and a constitution. In 1871 the British arrested the Fante leaders for "treason". They were however freed a month later, but the confederacy never recovered from the blow. In 1874 the British formally established the British Crown Colony of the Gold Coast, "legalizing" a colonial policy which had in fact been in force since the signing of the bond between the coastal Chiefs and the British in 1844, despite the fact that the Chiefs never ceded sovereignty to the British under the bond, though some of them allowed British intervention in judicial matters. The Asante and Fante traditions of education and organization, and their urge for autonomy, remained throughout the years of British colonial rule.
The Gold Coast was regarded as the showpiece of Britain's colonies: the richest, the best educated, the first to have an elected majority in the legislature and with the best organized native authorities. The Gold Coast riots in 1948, which marked the start of the people's agitation for independence, were instrumental in changing British policy and drove home the point that colonialism had no future. But a long struggle still lay ahead - and the man who was the catalyst of that struggle was Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Born in 1909, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah trained as a teacher at Achimota College in Ghana and then in the United States and Britain, where he obtained his degrees. He became prominent as a leader of West African organizations in London and was invited to return to Ghana as general secretary of the United Gold Coast Convention.
In 1949 he broke away to from the Convention People's Party with the slogan "Self-Government Now". In February 1951 the party swept to victory in the polls and became the leaders of Govermnent business in the colony's first African government. The Gold Coast had become the first British colony in Africa to achieve self-government. On 6 March 1957 Ghana achieved independence - again, the first British colony in Africa to do so - with Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as its first Prime Minister. On 1st July,1960 Ghana became a republic with Kwame Nkrumah as its first President.

Prince Hall and fourteen other Blacks were
March 6, 1775
Prince Hall and fourteen other Blacks were initiated into British Military Lodge No. 441 of the Masons at Fort Independence, Massachusetts. Hall was a leather-dresser and caterer. On July 3, 1775, African Lodge No.1 was organized in Boston by a group of Black Masons.
Dred Scott decision by U.S. Supreme Court
March 6, 1857
Dred Scott decision by U.S. Supreme Court opened Northern territory to slavery and denied citizenship to American Blacks.
The Dred Scott decision.
March 6, 1857
On March 6, 1857, the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court denied Blacks U.S. citizenship and denied the power of Congress to restrict slavery in any federal territory.


First to die for the freedom of the Colonies
March 5, 1770
On this day, in 1770, Crispus Attucks, a mulatto sailor, ropemaker, and runaway, was shot and killed in what would become the Boston Massacre.

Born on this day: Charles Fuller
March 5, 1939
Playwright Charles Fuller was born in Philadelphia March 5, 1939. Fuller co-founded the Afro-American Arts Theatre in Philadelphia, his hometown, in 1967. The Perfect Party (1969) was the first of Fuller's plays to receive critical acclaim. Zooman and the Sign won an Obie Award in 1980. A Soldier's Play, about a murder on a Louisiana military base, won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was adapted into a film, A Soldier's Story, in 1984.



Forty-second Congress convened
March 4, 1869
Forty-second Congress convened (1871-73) with five Black congressmen: Joseph H. Rainey, Robert Carlos Delarge and Robert Brown Elliott,South Carolina; Benjamin S. Turner, Alabama; Josiah T. Walls, Florida. Walls was elected in an at-large election and was the first Black congressman to represent an entire state.

Fifty-first Congress convened
March 4, 1889
Fifty-first Congress convened. Three Black congressmen: Henry P. Cheatham, North Carolina; Thomas E. Miller, South Carolina; John M. Langston, Virginia.

Miriam Makeba, Empress of African Song, born
March 4, 1932
1932: Zensi Miriam Makeba, "Empress of African Song", is born.

March 3

Guitar Patent
March 3, 1886
Robert F. Flemming, Jr. patents a guitar.
Congress established a Bureau
March 3, 1865
Congress established Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen's Bureau) to aid white refugees and former slaves.
Black Regiment founded
March 3, 1869
The 38th and 41st Infantry regiments were joined and became the 24th Infantry Regiment, the third of four proposed African American regiments in teh U.S. Army. Following the Civil War the regiment was poted in Texas from 1869 to 1880.
March 2

Ethiopia defeats Italy at Battle of Adowa
March 2, 1896
The Battle of Adwa and the Victory of Adwa Centenary Medal The Battle of Adwa, in which Ethiopian forces under Emperor Menelik II united to defeat an invading force of Italian troops, was one of the most significant turning points in the history of modern Africa. It occurred, in 1896, when the “colonial era” was well advanced on the African continent, and it served notice that Africa was not just there “for the taking” by European powers. More than this, it marked the entry of Ethiopia into the modern community of nations: Menelik’s victory over the Italians caused the other major European states, and Italy itself, to recognise Ethiopia as a sovereign, independent state in the context of modern statecraft. The actual battle which took place on March 1 and 2, 1896, at Adwa, the principal market town of the North of Ethiopia, had been precipitated by the great rush of the European powers to colonise Africa. Italy and Germany had lagged behind other European powers — most notably France and Britain — in seizing large parcels of the Continent to colonise. Thus, the Conference of Berlin was convened in 1884-85 to “divide up” the remainder of Africa among the other European powers, anxious to obtain their own African colonies to satisfy the urge for imperial expansion and economic gain. Italy was “awarded” Ethiopia; all that remained was for Italian troops to take possession. Significantly, until this time, Ethiopia had been left alone by the European powers. Its coastal littoral was well-known to traders, but the heartland in the highlands was peopled by nations notoriously unwilling to accept and embrace external contact and influence. But the Ethiopian nations had been known in the past to be fractious and divided, and from all accounts, Italy’s leaders expected a rapid conquest of the individual national leaders. Britain had, in 1868, waged a successful war against Emperor Téwodros II (Theodore), leading to his death.
The Italians, however, failed to recognise that Emperor Menelik II had re-shaped Ethiopia since he came to power in 1889, uniting its various kings and leaders, and creating in the process a substantial army, outnumbering and outperforming the invading Italian professional army of 17,000 to 20,000 men. The modern parallel to the situation came with the Israeli-Egyptian confrontations of 1967 and 1973. The Israeli victory in 1967 (the Six-Day War) left Israel complacent and confident in the superiority of its forces over those of the Egyptians. Apart from this, the Israelis had put in place the Bar-Lev Line of fortifications, which were expected to hold against any conceivable Egyptian attack. But the Israeli leadership and intelligence services failed to note that the crushing defeat inflicted on Egypt so quickly in 1967 had brought about a dramatic transformation in the psyche of the Egyptian leadership. President Anwar as-Sadat totally transformed the education, training, equipment and doctrine of the Egyptian Armed Forces, without Soviet help (Soviet advisors had been expelled in 1972), within six years of the defeat. When Egypt initiated the October 1973 war, the transformed situation took Israel by complete surprise. Despite the massive logistical re-supply of Israel by the US — which effectively saved Israel from complete humiliation — and the recovery of initiative by Israeli commanders, Egypt achieved its strategic objectives. The Suez Canal was re-opened, the Sinai returned to Egypt, and peace achieved.
That the Battle of Adwa is still fresh in the minds of Ethiopians became apparent when, on July 5, 1998, Ethiopian volunteers were cheered off to battle against invading Eritrean forces. As a Reuters report noted: “Residents from the city’s [Addis Ababa’s] 265 neighbourhood associations danced and sang songs recalling the Battle of Adwa where Ethiopia defeated the invading Italian army in 1896.” With even less intelligence on which to base its actions, Italy could only draw on the British victory at Magdàla and the commonly held European belief that no African forces were a match for disciplined and well-equipped European military formations. But much had happened since Magdàla, and Emperor Téwodros’ defeat. Indeed, the British victory had even at that time obscured from General Robert Napier and his officers the sophistication of the system which they had just defeated. Victory often breeds contempt in the victors against the vanquished; at best it breeds an unwillingness to learn from the enemy so recently crushed. Apart from the overall political and social aspects of Ethiopia in 1868, Emperor Téwodros had based his defence against the British on the Rist-Gult system of recruitment, military structure and logistical support. This logistical structure was entrenched in what was commonly called Mesfint Hagr: namely, the present day highlands of Eritrea, the region of Tigré, Gonder, Gojjam, and Wello.
The rest of Ethiopia was under a second type of resource system known as the Geber Madriya system, which formed the basis of the fiscal and military organisation of Emperor Menelik’s Government. The Rist-Gult system was used not only at Magdàla, but also against Egypt at Gundet (1875), Gura (1876), Italy at Dogali (1887), and against the Mahdist Sudan at Metemma (1889). [It was in this battle, at Metemma, that Emperor Yohannes IV had died.] The Battle of Adwa was based mostly on the Geber Madriya system. Ethiopian historian Tsegaye Tegenu noted that in all of these large battles, the background composition of the troops were similar. “All were drawn from the various ethnic groups and constituted the class of military nobility, regional aristocracy and peasantry. However, there was a difference in the manner of administration and the use of human and material resources [at Adwa]. The troops of Adwa were recruited basically through the Geber Madriya system, which had qualitatively different methods of remuneration, revenue administration and provisioning, which was in harmony with the form of economy.” One of the major failings of the Italian planners of Savoyard Italy was that they failed to notice the fundamental change in Ethiopia under Menelik. Emperor Menelik II had transformed the administration of the economy and had greatly improved the tax base of the country.
This in turn improved dramatically his capability to raise armies and to equip them. The complex tax base meant that the battles fought during the era of the Rist-Gult system were precariously-managed affairs. As Tsegaye Tegenu noted: “It is not difficult to see the desperate effort of the kings to overcome the fiscal limits of the system to fight against external aggression.” And Menelik managed this transformation to a new economic base in such a way as to prepare Ethiopia for the most decisive battle. Emperor Menelik took immediate steps upon hearing of Italy’s plans to annexe Ethiopia. He called, on September 17, 1895, for national mobilisation, and within two months more than 100,000 troops were assembled in the specified areas: Addis Ababa, Were Illu, Ashenge, and Mekele. About two-thirds of these troops were raised through the Geber Madriya system.
The Emperor himself mobilised some 35,000 troops, commanded by his court officials. His Queen — Empress Taitu — also mobilised her own force of some 6,000 men. The Imperial Army also included troops raised by governors-general, such as Ras Makonnen (the father of Ras Tafari Makonnen, later Emperor Haile Selassie I) who commanded some 12,000 troops. Dejazmatch Tesema commanded some 5,000 soldiers; Ras Welde Giorgis about 5,000; Ras Bitwoded Mengesha Atakim, about 6,000; and so on. Troops of the regional princes numbered about 35,000, and of these, Ras Mengesha of Tigré commanded about 8,000; King (Negus) Tekle Haimanot of Gojjam about 6,000; Ras Welle of Begémder another 6,000; Wagshum Guangul of Wag a further 5,000. In all, Menelik (shown at left) was able to mobilise some 70,000 to 100,000 modern rifles for Adwa. By 1895, he had obtained at least 5,000,000 cartridges.
He had spent more than $1-million (in 1895 currency), a sum which would have been unthinkable to Emperor Téwodros, or even Emperor Yohannes IV. And this sum did not even include the artillery which Emperor Menelik had secured. This component of the force — the Corps of Gunpowder and Shell — was commanded by a Bejirond: a treasurer in charge of finance and the storehouse of the Palace, and by the Lij Mekuas, who was also commander of the Royal cavalry. The logistical tail of the Adwa campaign, from the Ethiopian side, was no less impressive than the logistical effort put forth to carry and support the invading force of some 17,000 Italian troops from Europe, supplemented by local recruits. Italy had already occupied the highlands of Eritrea, and therefore was well-placed with forward support for the battle. Moreover, it was aware of the problems which had been challenging Ethiopia and Menelik. Famine and internecine squabbling were preoccupying the country, and Menelik was initially unable to mobilise forces to resist Italy’s occupation of Eritrea and its expansion into the hinterland.
An emboldened Italy pushed further into Ethiopia, crossing the Mereb River and chasing out Ras Mengesha, the ruler of Tigré; full control of the region seemed at hand, and Italian forces settled in for a permanent occupation. Italian General Baraterie, commander of the occupation force and governor of the Eritrean colony, sought and obtained an additional budget of four-million lira and 10,000 more trained troops. But Gen. Baraterie seemed unaware of Menelik’s main strategic imperative, which was to wait for the opportunity to confront — with infantry and artillery — the main Italian force and its supplies, rather than engage in piecemeal battles at the enemy’s choosing. To this end, Menelik focused his efforts on building a large coalition force, capable of the mission. This entailed a process of diplomacy with the regional princes and rulers, not only to secure the participation of their individual armies, but also to be able to access their logistical support base. The strategy and tactics employed by Menelik were not only due to the Emperor’s diplomatic and military skills, but also to the unique doctrines developed by Ethiopia literally over several millennia. These doctrines were also created in virtual isolation from the military lessons learned by the rest of the world, and reflected Ethiopia’s own history and topography.
In this sense, then, the Ethiopian forces under Menelik did not conform to the expectations of the Italians. As a result, the Battle of Adwa was to become a significant case study for military schools for the next century, and almost certainly well into the future. It would not be fair to say that the Italians had failed to study Ethiopian military history. But by basing their perspectives on the very different strategies of the Rist-Gult system used by Téwodros and Yohannes, they could not comprehend the vastly superior mobilisation capabilities of Menelik’s Geber Madriya system. Thus, when the Italians expected to meet a force of about 30,000 Ethiopians, they met instead some 100,000. Having said that, the Geber Madriya system was based on a form of recompense to the soldiers which involved grants of land and the payment of food, drink and honey, etc., to the soldiers from tenants working the land. In other words, it was a non-monetarised system which provided for the welfare of the troops. As a result, it was not a system which could be projected far beyond the supporting geography. The Battle of Adwa came in such a way that — because Emperor Menelik had lured the Italian main force into his own territory — it fitted perfectly the criteria of the Geber Madriya system. But Menelik, after the stupendous victory at Adwa, could not use the same structure to pursue the Italians into Eritrea and throw them entirely into the Red Sea.
The result was that, although Ethiopia was, as an Empire, saved by the Battle of Adwa, the Italians remained lodged on the periphery. More importantly, the concept of seizing Ethiopia remained in the Italian psyche, so that when fascist Italy once more dreamed of empire in the 1930s, it again embarked upon an attempt to conquer Ethiopia. And, in that campaign, even though they met with initial success, it was once again an overreaching of Italian resources and Italy was thrown not only out of the Ethiopian heartland but also out of Eritrea. Thus, less than 50 years after Adwa, Eritrea, too, was restored to Ethiopia.


March 1

"Nubian Monarchy Called Oldest," New York Times
March 1, 1979
New York Times comments on findings of archaeologist Bruce Williams finds at Qutsul. Evidence leads many to believe that Ta-Seti (most ancient Nubia) developed the world's first divine kingship, monarchy, which then travelled up the Nile to Egypt.

Alabama State Board of Education expelled nine
March 1, 1960
Alabama State Board of Education expelled nine Alabama State students for participating in sit-in demonstrations.
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February 17

Congress readmits Mississippi
February 17, 1870
Congress passed resolution readmitting Mississippi on condition that it would never change its constitution to disenfranchise Blacks.

Black Panther Party Founder Born
February 17, 1942
An illiterate high-school graduate, Newton taught himself how to read before attending Merritt College in Oakland and the San Francisco School of Law, where he met Seale. In Oakland in 1966 they formed the Black Panther group in response to incidents of police brutality and racism and as an illustration of the need for black self-reliance. At the hieght of its popularity during the late 1960s, the party had 2,000 members in chapters in several cities.
In 1967 Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of a police officer, but his conviction was overturned 22 months later, and he was released from prison. In 1971 he announced that the party would adopt a nonviolent manifesto and dedicate itself to providing social services to the black community. In 1974 he was accused of another murder and fled to Cuba for three years before returning to face charges; two trials resulted in hung juries.
Newton received a Ph.D in social philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz (1980); his dissertation, "War Against the Panthers" was subtitled "A Study of Repression in America." Succumbing to factionalism and pressure from government agencies, the party disbanded in 1982. In March 1989 Newton was sentenced to a six-month jail term for misappropriating public funds intended for a Panther-founded Oakland school. In August of that year he was found shot dead on a street in Oakland.

Naval Frigate named after African American
February 17, 1973
The Navy frigate USS Jesse L. Brown was commissioned. The ship was named for Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the first African American naval aviator killed in combat over Korea.
Virginia retires state song
February 17, 1997
Virginia House of Delegates votes unanimously to retire the state song, "Carry me back to old virginia" , a tune which glorifies slavery.
February 16

Bessie Smith's First Recording
February 16, 1923
On this day Bessie Smith makes her first recording, "Down Hearted Blues," which sells 800,000 copies for Columbia Records.

New York City Council passes bill prohibiting racial discrimination
February 16, 1951
New York City Council passed bill prohibiting racial discrimination in city-assisted housing developments.
Actor Levar Burton born
February 16, 1957
Actor Levar Burton was born in Landsthul, Germany. Burton won fame for his acting in the television movie "roots," which was based on the novel by Alex Haley. He became known once more in the 1980s and 1990s for his recurring role in the "Star Trek: Next Generation" series and movies.
February 15

New Jersey begins to abolish slavery
February 15, 1804
The New Jersey Legislature approved a law calling for "gradual" emancipation of African Americans. In so doing, New Jersey became the last Northern state to outlaw slavery.

Black abolitionists invaded Boston courtroom and
February 15, 1851
Black abolitionists invaded Boston courtroom and rescued a fugitive slave.
African Protests Disrupt UN
February 15, 1961
U.S. and African nationalist protesting the slaying of Congo Premire Patrice Lumumba distrupts U.N. sessions
Nationalists disrupted UN session on Congo
February 15, 1970
Nationalists disrupted UN session on Congo with demonstration for slain Congo Premier Patrice Lumumba.
February 14

Richard Allen born in slavery in Philadelphia
February 14, 1760
Richard Allen born in slavery in Philadelphia.
Possible birthday of Frederick Douglass
February 14, 1817
Possible birthday of Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and orator. Born into slavery as Frederick Baile, Douglass purchased his freedom in 1845 and went on to become the greatest abolitionist of his time.

National Negro Congress organized at Chicago
February 14, 1936
National Negro Congress organized at Chicago meeting attended by 817 delegates representing more than 500 organizations. Asa Phillip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was elected president of the new organization.
February 13

Wm. Desjardin patents corner cleaner attachment
February 13, 1973
Gertrude E. Downing and William Desjardin Corner Cleaner Attachment, Patent No. 3,715,772 on February 13, 1973

1st Black Pro basketball team -- "The Renaissance"
February 13, 1923
The first Black professional basketball team "The Renaissance" organized.
Wendell P. Dabney establishes The Union.
February 13, 1907
Wendell P. Dabney establishes The Union. The Cincinnati, Ohio paper's motto is "For no people can become great without being united, for in union there is strength."

February 11, 1644
First Black legal protest in America pressed by
First Black legal protest in America pressed by eleven Blacks who petitioned for freedom in New Netherlands (New York). Council of New Netherlands freed the eleven petitioners because they had "served the Company seventeen or eighteen years" and had been "long since promised their freedom on the same footing as other free people in New Netherlands."
Owen L. W. Smith - minister to Liberia
February 11, 1898
Owen L. W. Smith of North Carolina, AME Zion minister and educator, named minister to Liberia.
Nelson Mandela is released
February 11, 1990
Nelson Mandela's greatest pleasure, his most private moment, is watching the sun set with the music of Handel or Tchaikovsky playing. Locked up in his cell during daylight hours, deprived of music, both these simple pleasures were denied him for decades. With his fellow prisoners, concerts were organised when possible, particularly at Christmas time, where they would sing. Nelson Mandela finds music very uplifting, and takes a keen interest not only in European classical music but also in African choral music and the many talents in South African music.
But one voice stands out above all - that of Paul Robeson, whom he describes as our hero. The years in jail reinforced habits that were already entrenched: the disciplined eating regime of an athlete began in the 1940s, as did the early morning exercise. Still today Nelson Mandela is up by 4.30am, irrespective of how late he has worked the previous evening. By 5am he has begun his exercise routine that lasts at least an hour. Breakfast is by 6.30, when the days newspapers are read. The day s work has begun. With a standard working day of at least 12 hours, time management is critical and Nelson Mandela is extremely impatient with unpunctuality, regarding it as insulting to those you are dealing with.
When speaking of the extensive travelling he has undertaken since his release from prison, Nelson Mandela says: I was helped when preparing for my release by the biography of Pandit Nehru, who wrote of what happens when you leave jail. My daughter Zinzi says that she grew up without a father, who, when he returned, became a father of the nation. This has placed a great responsibility of my shoulders. And wherever I travel, I immediately begin to miss the familiar - the mine dumps, the colour and smell that is uniquely South African, and, above all, the people. I do not like to be away for any length of time. For me, there is no place like home.
Mandela accepted the Nobel Peace Prize as an accolade to all people who have worked for peace and stood against racism. It was as much an award to his person as it was to the ANC and all South Africa s people. In particular, he regards it as a tribute to the people of Norway who stood against apartheid while many in the world were silent. We know it was Norway that provided resources for farming; thereby enabling us to grow food; resources for education and vocational training and the provision of accommodation over the years in exile.
The reward for all this sacrifice will be the attainment of freedom and democracy in South Africa, in an open society which respects the rights of all individuals. That goal is now in sight, and we have to thank the people and governments of Norway and Sweden for the tremendous role they played. Personal Tastes Breakfast of plain porridge, with fresh fruit and fresh milk. A favourite is the traditionally prepared meat of a freshly slaughtered sheep, and the delicacy Amarhewu (fermented corn-meal).
February 10, 1868
Conservatives, aided by military forces, seized
Conservatives, aided by military forces, seized convention hall and established effective control over Reconstruction process in Florida. Republican conservatives drafted new constitution which concentrated political power in hands of governor and limited the impact of the Black vote.

Ron Brown elected Chairman of the Democratic Party
February 10, 1927
Attorney Ronald Brown was elected national chairman of the Democratic Party and became the first African American to hold the post. Brown was later appointed Secretary of Commerce under the Clinton administration in 1994. He served in this capacity until he was killed in 1996 when he and 32 others died in a plane crash while on a diplmatic mission in Croatia.
February 9, 1944
1944 Novelist Alice Walker was born in Eatonton, Georgia
1944 Novelist Alice Walker was born in Eatonton, Georgia.

Bernard Harris, astronaut
February 9, 1995
Bernard Harris, African-American astronaut, takes space walk.
February 8, 1925
Marcus Garvey entered federal prison in Atlanta
Marcus Garvey entered federal prison in Atlanta. Students staged strike at Fisk University to protest policies of white administration.
Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for heavyweight
February 8, 1978
Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for heavyweight boxing championship. Ali regained the title on September 15 and became the person to win the title three times.
Reporter at Large
February 8, 1985
Brenda Renee Pearson an official court reporter for the House of Representatives was the first black female to record the State of the Union message delivered by the president in the House chambers.
February 7, 1967
Chris Rock Born
Comedian, author, recording artist, actor, and talk show host Chris Rock was born in South Carolina. He will become a critically comedian, hosting his self titled show on HBO. He will also bring to the forefront a boycott of the flag of his birthplace. He will star in and make a few movies of his own.

Grenada achieves independence from Great Britain
February 7, 1974
Grenada achieves independence from Great Britain

Bob Marley
February 6, 1945
the Mayflower of Liberia
February 6, 1820
The first organized emigration back to Africa begins when 86 free African Americans leave New York Harbor aboard the Mayflower of Liberia. They are bound for the British colony of Sierra Leone, which welcomes free African Americans as well as fugitive slaves.
February 5, 1990
Columbia University graduate and Harvard University law student Barack Obama became the first African American named president of the Harvard Law Review.

February 4,

On this day in Black History:

J.C. Watts becomes the first Black selected to respond to a state of the unioun.


February 3

Black History Month 2011 begins today

By Elliot Crumpley

Black History Month for 2011 kicked off its 35th year of existence today. Black History Month takes place throughout all of February and is intended to be a showcase of the historic and notable contributions of the African-American community from scientists and scholars to musicians and politicians.

Why do we celebrate Black History Month?
The celebration has its roots in Negro History Week, which began as noted-historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s brainchild, according to the Richmond-Times Dispatch. The week was meant to an encouragement for people to learn more about black history and to instill a notion of racial pride amongst blacks. The week was chosen to overlap with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
The first time black history was celebrated was for one week in February 1926, which led the Library of Congress to remark about the “overwhelming” response for materials for teachers to instruct their students and the efforts of progressive whites to endorse the week-long celebration.
The Black Power Movement of the 1970’s popularized racial pride and cultural heritage and as a result of this and the changing vocabulary, Negro History Week was renamed Black History Week. In 1976, the same year the United States celebrated its bicentennial, The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History rededicated the celebration to encompass the entire month of February.
Since 1976, the President has issued a proclamation declaring Febraury as Black History Month.

Facts about prominent African-American people and culture from Biography.com:
—Andrew Jackson Beard invented the “Jenny Coupler” in 1897, a device which allowed train cars to hook themselves together when they are bumped into one another. The device saved the lives of many railroad workers, who originally had the dangerous job of hooking the moving cars together by hand.

—George Carruthers invented the far ultraviolet electrographic camera, used in the 1972 Apollo 16 mission. This invention revealed new features in Earth’s far-outer atmosphere and deep-space objects from the perspective of the lunar surface. Carruthers was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2003.

—The first sociology department in the U.S. was established by educator and civil rights leader, W.E.B. Du Bois.

—In 2006 Whitney Houston, a celebrated singer, songwriter and actress, was named the most awarded female artist of all time by the Guinness World Records.

—Jazz, an African–American musical form born out of the Blues, Ragtime and marching bands originated in Louisiana during the turn of the 19th century. The word Jazz is a slang term that at one point referred to a sexual act.