James Washington

Did You Know Africa is the Birthplace of Mankind?

— ADVERTISEMENT — Before the 1920s, many scholars and scientists believed that the origins of human beings were traced back to Europe or Asia based on archaeological finds in those regions. But in 1924, a discovery in South Africa became the first step to changing this perception of where mankind first began. In that year, …

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Did You Know in This Year Moneta Sleet Jr. of Ebony Magazine was the First African American Male to be Cited by the Pulitzer Committee?

Moneta Sleet Jr. received his first camera (a box version) as a child, but professional photography wouldn’t become a calling until he went to college at Western Kentucky State College when he switched majors to photography. After World War II, he continued his studies in New York and received a master’s degree in journalism from …

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Did You Know This Black Man, Isaac R. Johnson, Created and Patented the Bicycle Frame?

For an African American, it was a challenge to patent an invention, especially in the late 1800s.  However, Isaac R. Johnson succeeded in this challenge when he patent the bicycle frame on October 10, 1899.[1] Isaac R. Johnson was born in New York sometime during 1812.  While he was not the first person to invent …

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Charlotte E. Ray: First Black Female Lawyer in United States

Born on January 13, 1850 in New York, Charlotte E. Ray began teaching at Howard University but was unfulfilled by this occupation because her real aspiration was to become a lawyer.[1] This ambition made Ray enroll in Howard University School of Law under C.E. Ray because the school discouraged women from gaining their education at …

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Did You Know the Black Codes Were Meant to Control the New Freedom of African Americans?

After the Civil War, there was a lot of question from the former southern slave states on what was going to happen with the freedmen.  The freedmen wondered what the future held while the former slave owners had other questions. In late 1865, the end of the Civil War and the 13th amendment gave about …

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Blacks became Democrats the Day the KKK & Dixiecrats moved to the Republican Party

From the end of the Civil War to about the early 20th century, African Americans considered themselves Republicans, which is not surprising being Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.  However, over time and usually dozens at once, they started to switch to the Democratic Party. While African Americans were switching political lines, whites who believed in …

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Denmark Vesey: Freedom Rebellion in Charleston, South Carolina

Denmark Vesey, an illiterate and skilled carpenter, was born around 1767 in St. Thomas. In late 1799, Denmark Vesey, who was then known as Telemaque, won over $1,000 in the lottery.  He gave his owner $600 in order to buy his own freedom, after which he created the name Denmark, from the area he was …

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Charlotte Manye: First Native African to Graduate from American University

While there is debate on exactly where Charlotte Manye Maxeke was born, the date she was born was April 7, 1874 in South Africa. Throughout her life, education was always a big focus, and it was for this reason she traveled to the United States of America with her church choir in 1894.  Once the …

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Did You Know Ralph J. Bunche Was the First Black Nobel Peace Prize Winner?

Ralph J. Bunche, born on August 7, 1904 in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised by his grandparents due to the deaths of his parents. However, the difficulties in Ralph’s childhood did not stop him from succeeding in school, becoming the valedictorian both in high school at South Central Los Angeles and in College at the …

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