Did you know that when Allenworth was first established it was an all black township?
Allenworth, California was founded in 1908 by colonial Allen Allenworth and a few other men of color. The town was designated to be a refuge/ a safe space for African Americans, a place to get away from the oppression that they were facing at the time.
• By 1912 the town was able to run off of Agriculture, they had their own school district and they also owned small businesses.
• By the 1920’s the town was flourishing, they had a population of about 300.
In the 1960’s things began to go down hill,
The water in the land now had arsenic and they also faced a famine in the land, because of this there was loss of lives.
• By 1976 the town was dormant, after some time the town was built up into a state historical park.
Meet Mrs. Hattie McDaniel. 🌹
Did you know that Hattie McDaniel (she was the star of “Gone with the wind”) was not allowed to the movies national premier?
Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an oscar, despite the way that Hollywood was at that time towards black people Mrs. McDaniel made a name for herself and helped to open the door for many other African american women.
In 1939 her role in Gone with the wind won her the award of best supporting actress, the movie premier was held in Atlanta Georgia, she was not able to be present because of the Jim crow laws.
Mrs. Mcdonald went in to star in 300 other films, in 2006 she was inducted into the black filmmakers hall of fame, she was also the very first woman and film maker to appear on a stamp.
Although she was in her life criticized for settling for lesser roles such as servitude Mrs. Mcdonald went on to have a remarkable stellar career.
The Father of black History!
Carter G. Woodson also known as the father of negro history week.
Mr. Woodson along with his Omega psi phi fraternity brothers banded together and established Negro literature and history week in February of 1924 because he believed that african americans were not being taught enough about their heritage, after that mr woodson decided that he wanted a much wider celebration.
In 1926 Mr. Woodson took the opportunity to send out a press release that would announce the very first “Negro History week” the reason why he chose February was because it is the month that Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick douglas were born, Mr.Douglas and Mr. Lincoln were two men of historic achievements, since they were already celebrated by the black community Mr. Woodson saw it fit to choose february as the perfect month.
Mr. Woodson knew that Black history could not be limited to just One week so in the 1940’s he put forth the effort to push black history to not just a week but a month.
In the 1960’s young african americans on their college campuses asked that their schools and organizations would change with the times.
In 1976, the 50th anniversary of the very first negro history week, the change was finally made to black history month, since that dau, every president has made a proclimation honoring black history mohth.
President Gerald Ford in 1976 kicked off the tradition, he said that this celebration/month allowed people to give honor to the often neglected accomplishments of black americans.
President Ronald Regan during his term in his proclamation stated that “understanding the history of Black Americans is a key to understanding the strength of our nation.”
In 2016 President Barak Obama made his final proclamation in honor of Woodson’s initiative which is now recognized as one of the nation’s oldest organized celebrations of history.
Mr. Woodson passed away at home of a heart attack in 1950 but his legacy, accomplishments and endeavours live on to this day.
This is a letter from an unidentified slave that was written in 1859, it was said that both he and his mom were slaves.
My Dear Mother
I take this opportunity of writing to you to let you know that I am still in Alexandria. I expect to start about next tuesday. there is a young lady here that I am very much taken with and I think that my Master will buy her and take her out with us. since I was in Rappahanock, I have been in Faquier at the Widow Bailys and have seen all my friends. I do not think I can leave Virginia without carrying out a Virginia wife with me. I went to Mrs. Bailys expecting to meet My Old Master as he said he would be there. Mrs. Baily met me at the lot gate and was wondering who I was untill I got up to her when she knew me. I expected to come back to see you all again but as I bid you all good bye I thought I would not
My Dear Mother this all I can think of at present. If I succeed in my undertakings I will send you all the good news when I get home.
We have bought all our servants.
Direct your letters to
In Care of Mr R.W. Smith
• The letter was written in Alexandria Virginia
• The slave master was Mr. R.W. Smith who had a plantation and owned 74 slaves in Portland Alabama
• Francis Lee Smith was the brother of R.W, Francis lived in Alexandria, Virginia, at the time he had been visiting R.W and purchased slaves for his own plantation.
This letter was found in the possession of Colonel John A. Washington, George Washington’s great-grandnephew
It’s a wonder if Mr. John Washington had slaves for hire in 1859, maybe Mr Robert Smith was a temp master at the time?.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, on April 23, 1856, Mr. Woods was a rather uneducated young black man.
As a young man Mr. Woods worked several jobs, he was a railroad engineer, he was an engineer on a British ship, and he was a railroad worker from 1876-1878.
Mr Woods lived in NYC and he took courses in engineering and electricity, he soon realized that those courses would shape his future.
In the Summer of 1878 Mr woods for eight months worked for the Springfield, Jackson and pomeroy railroad company, there he worked at the pumping station, shortly after, he was hired by the Dayton and southeastern railway company as an engineer, he maintained this job for a total of 13 months.
While working and traveling, over time he began to formulate in his mind what would be his greatest invention,
In 1880 Mr. Woods moved to Cincinnati and set up his own company. In 1889 he filed his first patent for a better steam boiler furnace, his second patent was for a better telephone Transmitter.
The combined patent for the telephone and telegraph went on to be purchased by Mr. Alexander G. Bell. The payment from Mr. Bell allowed Mr. Woods to work on one of his greatest inventions and a huge success, it was called “The Troller”, a metal wheel that allowed what would become later known as “Trolleys” to collect electric overhead power to keep them moving.
In 1887 Mr Woods created his most important invention “The induction Telegraph”
This device allowed people to communicate by voice over telegraph wires which helped to speed up communication and helped to avoid train accidents
Mr woods went on to be known as “Black Edison”
In 1890 the 7 foot tall Mr Woods moved his company to NYC. In 1901 he created what’s known as “The power pick up device”
This invention is to this day used by electric powered transit systems.
Mr. Woods end of life took place on January 30th 1910 in NYC. At the time of his death he invented 15 appliances for electric railways.
Mildred and Richard Loving.
Did you know that the marriage of Mr. And Mrs. Loving was the reason why the ban on interracial marriage was overturned in 1967?
Mildred loving was African American and native American, she became a civil rights activist in the 1960s.
During that time she was married to her husband Richard loving who was white, the two choose to leave Virginia to go and get married, when they returned Mrs. Loving was arrested because the marriage violated Virginia state laws.
When Mrs. Loving was released the coupled was then referred to the ACLU by Robert Kennedy.
Mr. And Mrs. Loving soon took their case to court, it was the case of “Loving vs Virginia” which made it’s way all the way to the Supreme court and won!
It was then that the laws against interracial marriage were found and made to be unconstitutional. In the year 2000 in Alabama the law that forbid interracial marriage was also overturned..
when you think about It 2000 wasn’t that long ago, it’s funny to think that interracial marriage was still unacceptable in this day and age in the USA)
The Lovings came to be known as the hero’s who made it happen and opened the door for others in the same situation who were afraid.
We know that The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was and always will be the face of the March on Washington But!!!! Did you know that it was Mr Bayard who quietly organized the marches?, Mr. Bayard was the man who would rally the troops.
• In 1942 he helped form what is known as (CORE) the Congress of Racial Equality , Core, alongside the NAACP helped to lead in the struggle of the civil rights movement.
• In 1947 he helped to organize and take part in what was called “The journey of reconciliation” this would be the first of many freedom rides against segregation in the south.
The reason why Mr. Bayard was placed in the shadows was because he was a gay man and at that time he was considered to be to much of a liability to be on the front lines of the civil rights movement, he also had ties to communism that Dr. King and others felt weren’t to note worthy.
Mr. Rustin was said to be one of the
most brilliant minds of that time, he faithfully served the community all while being the voice that pushed for better jobs and better pay for black people.
When we hear and think of the underground railroad we often attribute that to Mrs. Harriet Tubman!! Did you know that the underground railroad didn’t start with Mrs. Tubman at all?, nope, it surely didn’t, the underground railroad was started by a gentleman named “Tice Davids” in 1831.
Mr Davids ran away from his slave owner in Kentucky, he swam across the Ohio River while his owner was right behind him on a boat trying to catch Tice, mr Davids made it to the Ohio Shore just moments before his master could catch up with him, when his master finally got to the shore mr Davids was already gone, his master could not find him, his master said Tice must have gone off on “an Underground railroad”
It is believed that he was hidden away by abolitionists who then helped him escape to freedom.
It was Mr. Davids running away that would soon lead to the naming of the underground railroad.
When we hear of Rosa parks, we think of “the lady who refused to move to the back of the bus” but did you know that before Mr.s Parks there was Mrs. Claudette Colvin?
Mrs. Claudette Colvin was born September 5th, 1939 in Montgomery, Alabama, she grew up in a very poor neighborhood and wanted to be President one day, she is a true civil rights activist.
In 1955 Mrs. Colvin was a 15 year old school girl who refused to move to the back of the bus, while in school she was studying another black leader, Mrs. Harriet Tubman, in her segregated school they would have discussions about the Jim Crow laws, so on the day that Mrs. Claudette was told to get up and move she refused, she said:
“It felt like Sojourner Truth was on one side pushing me down, and Harriet Tubman was on the other side of me pushing me down. I couldn’t get up.”
After that day Mrs. Claudette would continue to take a stand, she found herself arrested and thrown in Jail. Mrs. Claudette went on to challenge the courts rules on segregation.
The case of ‘Browder vs Gayle’ was the case that soon overturned bus segregation laws in Both Montgomery and Alabama.
Mrs. Gayle would eventually transition from Montgomery to Nyc where she would spend the rest of her days.
Mrs. Colvin after leaving the south and moving to NYC, worked in a nursing home until the day of her retirement.
In 1990 Mrs. Colvin was awarded the MLK medal of freedom by Governor Mario Cuomo and in 2009 she was the subject of Phillip Hoose’s Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, which won a National Book Award.
Mrs Colvin was an overlooked hero who helped set the wheels of a new era in motion.
Today’s feature: Cathay Williams
Did you know that Cathay Williams was the one and only female Buffalo Soldier, posing as a man named William Cathay to enlist in the 38th infantry in 1866?. She served for two years before a doctor discovered that she was a woman, leading to her discharge.