Charles H. Wright Museum Logo
Subscribe to feed The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

Today in Black History, 9/2/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Monday, 02 September 2013
in Today in Black History

• September 2, 1766 James Forten, abolitionist and businessman, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of 15, Forten served on a ship during the Revolutionary War and invented a device to handle ship sails. In 1786, he started a very successful sailmaking company and became one of the wealthiest African Americans in post-colonial America. Forten, with the help of Rev. Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, enlisted 2,500 African Americans to defend Philadelphia during the War of 1812. They also worked together to establish the Convention of Color in 1817. By the 1830s, Forten was one of the most powerful voices for people of color throughout the North. In 1833, he helped William Lloyd Garrison and Robert Purvis form the American Anti-Slavery Society and provided generous financial support to the organization over the years. When Forten died March 4, 1842, he left behind an exemplary family, a sizable fortune, and a legacy of philanthropy and activism that inspired generations of Black Philadelphians. On April 24, 1990, a historical marker was dedicated in his honor in Philadelphia and his biography, “A Gentleman of Color: The Life of James Forten,” was published in 2002.

Hits: 749 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 9/1/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 01 September 2013
in Today in Black History

• September 1, 1869 Robert Tanner Freeman became the first African American to receive a dental degree when he graduated from Harvard University Dental School. Freeman was born in 1846 in Washington, D.C. and was encouraged to pursue a career in dentistry as a way to help alleviate the suffering of other African Americans. Freeman applied to, and was rejected by, two colleges before he was accepted in the inaugural class at Harvard. Upon graduation, he returned to Washington, D.C. to set up a private practice. Unfortunately Freeman died four years later. The Washington, D.C. chapter of the National Dental Association in named The Robert T. Freeman Dental Society.

Hits: 729 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/31/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 31 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 31, 1842 Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, civil and women’s rights leader and publisher, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. After marrying in 1858, Ruffin and her husband became active in the fight against slavery. During the Civil War, they helped recruit Black soldiers for the Union Army. Ruffin also supported women’s suffrage and in 1869 co-founded the American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1884, she founded Women’s Era, the country’s first newspaper published by and for African American women. Ruffin served as editor and publisher from 1890 to 1897. The paper called on Black women to demand increased rights for their race. In 1895, she organized the National Federation of Afro-American Women which the next year merged with the Colored Women’s League to form the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. Ruffin served as vice president of the merged organization. In 1910, Ruffin helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and in 1918 co-founded the League of Women for Community Service. Ruffin died March 13, 1924.

Hits: 710 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/30/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Friday, 30 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 30, 1901 Roy Wilkins, civil rights leader, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Wilkins earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1923. In 1931, he became assistant executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. From 1934 to 1949, he served as the editor of the Crisis magazine, the official organ of the organization. In 1955, Wilkins was named executive secretary (renamed director in 1964) of the NAACP. In 1950, he co-founded the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Wilkins participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965, and the March Against Fear in 1966. In 1964, Wilkins was awarded the NAACP Spingarn Medal. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Lyndon B. Johnson January 20, 1967. Wilkins retired from the NAACP in 1977. He died September 8, 1981. His autobiography, “Standing Fast: The Autobiography of Roy Wilkins,” was published in 1982. The Roy Wilkins Centre for Human Relations and Human Justice was established at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs in 1992.

Hits: 827 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/29/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 29 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 29, 1910 Vivien Theodore Thomas, surgical technician and animal surgeon, was born in New Iberia, Louisiana. After graduating from high school, Thomas had hoped to go to college and become a doctor. However, the Great Depression derailed his plans. In 1930, he secured a job with Dr. Alfred Blalock at Vanderbilt University. Although doing the job of a laboratory assistant, Thomas was classified and paid as a janitor. In 1941, Blalock accepted the position of chief of surgery at John Hopkins Hospital and requested that Thomas accompany him. On November 29, 1944, using the tools adapted by Thomas from the animal lab and with Thomas at his shoulder coaching him, Blalock performed the first surgery to relieve “blue baby syndrome.” The operation came to be known as the Blalock-Taussig shunt and Thomas received no mention. Over his 38 years at John Hopkins, Thomas trained many surgeons that went on to become chiefs of surgical departments around the country and in 1968 they commissioned the painting of his portrait which hangs next to Blalock’s in the lobby of the Alfred Blalock Clinical Sciences Building. Thomas died November 26, 1985. The Vivian Thomas Young Investigator Awards are given by the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesiology and in 2004 the city of Baltimore opened the Vivian T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy. Thomas’ autobiography, “Partners of the Heart: Vivian Thomas and his Work with Alfred Blalock” was published in 1985 and in 2004 his story was told in the HBO film “Something the Lord Made.”

Hits: 885 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/28/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 28 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 28, 1818 Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, The Father of Chicago, Illinois, died. Du Sable’s birth date is unknown, but it is generally believed that he was born around 1745 in what is now Haiti. Not much is known of his early life. Du Sable first arrived on the western shores of Lake Michigan around 1779 where he built the first permanent non-indigenous settlement just east of the present Michigan Avenue Bridge. From 1780 to 1784, he managed a huge tract of woodlands on the St. Clair River. Du Sable also operated the first fur-trading post. He left Chicago in 1800 for Peoria, Illinois and in 1813 moved to St. Charles, Missouri where he died. In 1968, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago declared Du Sable “the Founder of Chicago” and erected a granite marker at his grave. His home site in Chicago was designated a National Historic Landmark May 11, 1976 and in 1987 the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor. DuSable High School and the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago are named in his honor.

Hits: 882 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/27/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 27 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 27, 1884 Rose Virginia Scott McClendon, a leading Broadway actress of the 1920s, was born in Greenville, South Carolina. McClendon started acting in church plays as a child, but did not become a professional actress until she won a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Art when she was in her thirties. McClendon made her stage debut in the 1919 play “Justice.” She was one of the few Black actresses who worked consistently in the 1920s and was considered “the Negro first lady of the dramatic stage,” appearing in productions such as “Deep River” (1926), “Porgy” (1928), and “Mulatto” (1936). In 1935, McClendon co-founded the Negro People’s Theatre in Harlem. She died July 12, 1936. In 1937, the Rose McClendon Players was established in her honor.

Hits: 1095 Continue reading
0 votes

ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss Star to Kick Off Season 4 of 30 Days To Lose It!

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Monday, 26 August 2013
in Today in Black History

Oakwood nurse Trina Miller, whose year-long quest to transform her life was featured this summer on the hit ABC television show, Extreme Weight Loss, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming season kick-off of the women’s health and fitness program 30 Days To Lose It!, taking place Tuesday, September 3 at 6 pm at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit.

Miller, a 47-year-old wife and mother of three, will share her battles and ultimate success in losing 145 pounds before a national television audience. Miller was selected from thousands of applicants around the country to be a part of Season 3 of Extreme Weight Loss after an open casting call in Detroit in February 2012. Nearly 300 pounds at the time, she found out shortly after that six fellow Oakwood Healthcare nurses, also struggling with their weight, would join her to form “Team Trina.” With lots of exercise, nutritional improvements, self-motivation and team support, the women collectively lost more than 500 pounds.

30 Days To Lose It! launched at The Wright Museum in March 2010 as a one-month initiative for Women’s History Month but quickly expanded into a year-long campaign. The weekly workouts that are at the program’s core, held every Tuesday at the museum from September through June, are free for museum members and $5 for non-members per session. Non-members who attend 8 consecutive sessions receive a complimentary museum membership, making their next 12 months free. Sponsors of 30 Days To Lose It! include St. John Providence Health System and Beaumont.

In addition to Miller and others from “Team Trina,” the Season 4 kickoff event on September 3rd will also feature healthy refreshments courtesy of Beans & Cornbread restaurant in Southfield, free health screenings by the Henry Ford Health System, and prizes from Weight Watchers and Detroit’s new Whole Foods Market to those who bring the most guests to work out. Plus, Carla Triplett, a former contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, will make a special appearance. The evening will conclude with a one-hour workout conducted by former Miss USA, Carole Gist Stramler, so attendees are encouraged to bring bottled water and an exercise mat, and come dressed for exercising.

Before beginning any exercise program, an individual should first consult with a physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 30 Days To Lose It! attendees should enter the museum through its rear entrance off of Farnsworth. Parking is free on Brush Street, and available in the Cultural Center parking lot behind the museum for $5 before 4 pm and $3 afterwards. Metered parking on Warren and Farnsworth is enforced until 10 pm Monday through Saturday. For more information, please email 30 Days To Lose It! program coordinator Angela King at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Founded in 1965 and located in the heart of Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. For more information visit www.TheWright.org.

Hits: 1056
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/26/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Monday, 26 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 26, 1843 Norbert Rillieux of New Orleans, Louisiana was granted patent number 3237 for the multiple-effect evaporation system for refining sugar. His invention addressed all of the shortcomings of prior sugar refining processes and by 1849 thirteen Louisiana sugar factories were using his invention. His invention was an important development in the growth of the sugar industry. Rillieux was born March 17, 1806 in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a Creole from a prominent family, he had access to education and privileges not available to many other Black people. In the early 1820s, he traveled to Paris to attend the prestigious Ecole Centrale, studying physics, mechanics, and engineering. He became an expert in steam engines and published several papers about the use of steam to work devices. At the age of 24, Rillieux became the youngest teacher at Ecole Centrale. While in France, Rillieux started researching ways to improve the sugar refining process and after returning to the United States in 1833 began to develop the machine for which he was granted the patent. In the 1850s, Rillieux presented a plan to the government of New Orleans to eliminate the moist breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that were causing a Yellow Fever outbreak. His plan was turned down. Several years later, as the Yellow Fever outbreak continued, the city accepted a plan from White engineers that was similar to the plan proposed by Rillieux. In the late 1850s, Rillieux returned to France where he died October 8, 1894.

Hits: 886 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/25/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 25 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 25, 1746 Native Americans attacked two White families in Deerfield, Massachusetts in an area called “The Bars.” Lucy Terry, an enslaved Black woman, composed a ballad about the attack titled “Bars Fight” which is considered the oldest known work of literature by an African American. Her poem was preserved orally until it was published in 1855. Terry was born around 1830 and stolen from Africa and sold into slavery as an infant. A successful Black man purchased her freedom and married her in 1756. A persuasive orator, Terry won a case against false land claims before the Supreme Court of Vermont in the 1790s. She also delivered a three hour address to the Board of Trustees of Williams College to support the admittance of her son to the college. Although unsuccessful, the speech was remembered for its eloquence and skill. Terry died July 11, 1821.

Hits: 855 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/24/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 24 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 24, 1854 The National Emigration Convention of Colored People opened in Cleveland, Ohio. The convention was led by early African American nationalist Martin R. Delany and attracted 106 delegates from around the United States. The three day convention was called to discuss the merits of emigration and to develop a practical plan for African Americans to emigrate to the West Indies or Central or South America. Delegates approved a series of resolutions which commented on the political and social conditions of Black people in the U.S. They also approved a document, “Political Destiny of the Colored Race,” which urged emigration to areas of Central and South America “which provide opportunity for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty.” The convention established a Board of Commissioners with Delany as president and William Webb and Charles W. Nighten as commissioners. The movement was dissolved in 1861.

Hits: 880 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/23/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Friday, 23 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 23, 1899 Moses Williams, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, died. Williams was born October 10, 1845 in Carrollton, Louisiana. Not much is known of his early life, but by August 16, 1881, he was serving as a first sergeant in Company I of the 9th Cavalry Regiment during the Indian Wars. On that day, he participated in an engagement in the foothills of the Cuchillo Negro Mountains in New Mexico and his actions earned him the medal, America’s highest military decoration. His citation reads, “Rallied a detachment, skillfully conducted a running fight of 3 or 4 hours, and by his coolness, bravery, and unflinching devotion to duty in standing by his commanding officer in an exposed position under a heavy fire from a large party of Indians saved the lives of at least 3 of his comrades.” Williams was awarded the medal November 12, 1896. He later reached the rank of ordinance sergeant and left the army in 1898.

Hits: 858 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/22/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 22 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 22, 1791 The African descended enslaved people of Saint Domingue (Haiti) rose in revolt and plunged the colony into a 12 year revolution that freed them from colonization and slavery. One of the most successful leaders of the revolution was Toussaint L’Ouverture. On January 1, 1804 Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the new leader of the revolution, declared the former colony independent and renamed it the Republic of Haiti, making it the first independent nation in Latin American and the first post-colonial independent Black-led nation in the world.

Hits: 921 Continue reading
0 votes

Voices of the Civil War Episode 19 "Douglass and Lincoln"

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 21 August 2013
in Voices of the Civil War

AUGUST 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On August 9, 1863, Frederick Douglass met with President Abraham Lincoln to discuss the fair treatment and equal pay of African American soldiers within the Union Army. Although African American soldiers had proven themselves in battle, recruitment declined as black soldiers still faced racial discrimination and prejudice. Douglass expressed three specific grievances directly to President Lincoln and Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, in an effort to improve the treatment of African American soldiers.

Credits

1-3, 6-7, 9-13, 16-20, 23 Library of Congress

4 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

5, 21 National Archives and Records Administration

8, 22 Massachusetts Historical Society

14-15 Wikimedia Commons

Hits: 1572 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/21/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 21 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 21, 1831 Nat Turner’s rebellion began in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner was an enslaved Black man who started with a few trusted fellow enslaved men and grew into more than 50 enslaved and free Black men. The rebels traveled from house to house, freeing enslaved people and killing their White owners. The rebellion was suppressed within 48 hours with 55 White men, women and children killed. Turner was captured October 30. On November 5, he was convicted and sentenced to death and was hung November 11, 1831. The state executed 56 other Black men suspected of being involved in the uprising and another 200 Black people, most of whom had nothing to do with the uprising, were beaten, tortured, and murdered by angry White mobs. Also, the Virginia General Assembly passed new laws making it unlawful to teach enslaved or free Black or Mulatto people to read or write and restricting Black people from holding religious meetings without the presence of a licensed White minister. “The Confessions of Nat Turner,” a novel, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968 and a film, “Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property,” was released in 2003. Turner’s name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan.

Hits: 1297 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/20/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 20 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 20, 1619 The first 20 Africans were brought to what would become Jamestown, Virginia aboard a Dutch ship. The Africans were traded for food and supplies as temporary indentured servants in the same way that English White people were owned as laborers in the New World. Their labor arrangement was for a specified period of time after which they were free to live their lives, just as the English laborers were. The permanent enslavement of Africans in America was implemented later.

Hits: 764 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/19/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Monday, 19 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 19, 1791 Benjamin Banneker, a free African American astronomer, surveyor and almanac author, wrote a letter to United States Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson pointing out the hypocrisy of slavery. In the letter he stated, “I apprehend you will embrace every opportunity, to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas and opinions, which so generally prevails with respect to us; and that your sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are, that one universal Father hath given being to us all; and that he hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that he has also, without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations and endowed us all with the same faculties; and that however variable we may be in society or religion, however diversified in situation or color; we are all of the same family, and stand in the same relation to him.” Jefferson responded to Banneker on August 30 stating, “No body wishes more than I do, to see such proofs as you exhibit, that nature has given to our black brethren talents equal to those of the other colors of men.” The complete correspondence between the two can be found by doing a search on “Benjamin Banneker letter to Thomas Jefferson.”

Hits: 827 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/18/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 18 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 18, 1906 Clinton Greaves, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, died. Greaves was born August 12, 1855 in Madison County, Virginia. He joined the United States Army and by January 24, 1877 was serving as a corporal in Company C of the 9th Cavalry Regiment during the Indian Wars. On that day, his actions earned him the medal, America’s highest military decoration. His citation reads, “While part of a small detachment to persuade a band of renegade Apache Indians to surrender, his group was surrounded. Cpl. Greaves in the center of the savage hand-to-hand fighting, managed to shoot and bash a gap through the swarming Apaches, permitting his companions to break free.” Greaves received the medal June 26, 1879. Greaves rose to the rank of sergeant before leaving the army after 20 years of service. Camp Greaves, a U.S. Army installation in the Republic of South Korea which was closed in 2004, was named in his honor.

Hits: 911 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/17/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 17 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 17, 1849 Archibald Henry Grimke, lawyer, journalist, diplomat and community leader, was born enslaved in Charleston, South Carolina. Grimke and his family were freed by their owner at his death. Grimke went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, and his Master of Arts degree from Lincoln University in 1870 and 1872, respectively. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from Harvard University in 1874 and did graduate work at Princeton Theological Seminary before becoming an ordained Presbyterian minister. Grimke served as the American Consul to the Dominican Republic from 1894 to 1898. He served as president of the American Negro Academy from 1903 to 1916 and was a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. Throughout this period, Grimke published articles and pamphlets concerning Black life and history. In 1916, he testified against segregation before the House Committee on Reform in the Civil Service. In 1919, Grimke was awarded the NAACP Spingarn Medal. Grimke died February 25, 1930. His biography, “Archibald Grimke: portrait of a black independent”, was published in 1993.

Hits: 964 Continue reading
0 votes

Today in Black History, 8/16/2013

Posted by The Wright Museum
The Wright Museum
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American exp
User is currently offline
on Friday, 16 August 2013
in Today in Black History

• August 16, 1893 Charles Lewis Reason, mathematician, educator and civil rights activist, died. Reason was born July 21, 1818 in New York City. A mathematics child prodigy, Reason began teaching the subject at fourteen at the African Free School. He later studied at McGrawville College. In 1847, Reason co-founded the Society for the Promotion of Education among Colored Children, an organization authorized by the state legislature to oversee Black schools in New York City. In 1849, he was appointed professor of fine writing, Greek, Latin, and French and adjunct professor of mathematics at New York Central College, the first African American professor at a predominantly White college. Reason left that position in 1852 to become principal of the Quaker Institute for Colored Youth (later Cheney University), a post he held until 1855. That year, he returned to New York City where he served as a teacher and administrator in the public school system until his retirement in 1892. Reason was committed to the antislavery cause and worked for improvements in Black civil rights. He founded the New York Political Improvement Association which won the right for a jury trial for previously enslaved fugitives in the state. He also headed the successful 1873 effort to outlaw segregation in New York schools.

Hits: 989 Continue reading
0 votes

Comments