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Witness to Dr. King’s Assassination and Civil Rights Leader Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles Has Died

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles-(Sept. 26, 1934-Apr. 26, 2016) a longtime civil rights leader who was present when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on a hotel balcony, has died in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 81. Rev. Kyles was born in Shelby, Mississippi, on Sept. 26, 1934. He took the position as pastor of Monumental Baptist […]

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October 15, 1987: President Thomas Sankara Assassinated

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

Serving as President of Burkina Faso between 1983 and 1987, Thomas Sankara was a number of things in his 37 years on Earth. He came to power in 1983 following a coup against President of Upper Volta, Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo. His end would also come as the result of a coup 30 years ago. On one […]

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George Coleman Poage: First African-American Athlete to Win a Medal in the Olympic Games

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

George Coleman Poage, was the first African-American athlete to win a medal in the Olympic Games, winning two bronze medals at the 1904 games in St. Louis. Poage was born in Hannibal, Missouri. His family moved to La Cross, Wisconsin, in 1884. After the death of his father in 1888, Poage along with his mother […]

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Vinnette Carroll: Broadway’s First Black Female Director

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

Vinnette Carroll was a talented actress, playwright, and director. Although she initially trained to be a psychologist, she decided to pursue acting and ultimately became Broadway’s first African-American female director. Carroll was born on March 11, 1922, in New York City to Florence and Edgar Carroll. At the age of three, her family moved to […]

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Harry Belafonte: Renowned Entertainer and Social Activist

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

Born March 1, 1927, Harry Belafonte is one of the leading lights of American cinema and music. Born to a working class family with roots in the islands of Martinique and Jamaica, Belafonte joined the U.S. Navy during the second World War. After being discharged, he came to work as a janitor’s assistant, where he […]

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Rosa Slade Gragg: Founded the First Black Vocational School in Detroit

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

Rosa Slade Gragg understood the struggle for black progress, she founded the Slade-Gragg Academy of Practical Arts in 1947, the first black vocational school in Detroit. Known as the Tuskegee of the North, it trained over 2,000 women and returning veterans. This was the first black-owned and operated business on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Later […]

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Reverend Nathaniel Paul’s 1827 Speech About New York’s Abolition of Slavery

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

In 1827, Rev. Nathaniel Paul, a minister of The First African Baptist Society in the city of Albany, New York, hails the final abolition of slavery in that state.  His address  given on July 5, 1827 in Albany marks that occasion.  The address appears below. We look forward with pleasing anticipation to that period, when […]

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Flash Black Photo: African American Singing Group

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

At Black Then, we frequently see interesting photos that give us a glimpse into the past. They tend to show us a piece of black history that is often not covered in textbooks, in history classes, or shown in the media. In a photo that we found on Black History Album , we see this […]

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BloodHounds: The Bloodiest Threat to Runaway Slaves

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

Slaves who ran away from plantation life feared that they would hear the sound of hound dogs catching up to them. Interviews with former slaves have reiterated the fact that, despite the threat of other wild animals while being on the run, it was the use of trained dogs that worried them the most. Bloodhounds […]

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Sylvia Robinson: Mother of Hip Hop and the Real Cookie Lyon of Empire [VIDEO]

Feb 07, 2020 10:26 am

SYNOPSIS Sylvia Vanderpool-Robinson (March 6, 1936 – September 29, 2011) was an American singer, musician, record producer, and record label executive. She was best known for her work as founder/CEO of the hip hop label, Sugar Hill Records. She is credited as the driving force behind two landmark singles in the genre: “Rapper’s Delight” by […]

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