Black History Month

Jupiter Hammon, Earliest African-American Writer, Poem Discovered By Student

We’ve really been enjoying Black History Month, and it seems that there is always more history being written! This year, a poem was discovered by Julie McCown, a doctoral student, which dates all the way back to 1786 – making it the first documented poem of African American writer Jupiter Hammon. Here’s the story from Huffington Post and don’t forget to check out our free Black History Issue! Firsthand accounts of American slavery are certainly a limited treasure. Any opportunity to read a description of what being subjected to the…

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Black History Month: Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. One of his father’s favorite pastimes was to listen to cases at the local courthouse before returning home to rehash the lawyers’ arguments with his sons. Thurgood Marshall later recalled, “Now you want to know how I got involved in law? I don’t know. The nearest I can get is that my dad, my brother, and I had the most violent arguments you ever heard about anything. I guess we argued five out of seven nights at the dinner…

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Black History Month: Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson was born on April 9, 1898, in Princeton, New Jersey, to Anna Louisa and William Drew Robeson. Robeson’s mother died from a fire when he was 6 and his clergyman father moved the family to Sommerville, where the youngster excelled in academics and sang in church. When he was 17, Robeson earned a scholarship to attend Rutgers University, the third African American to do so, and became one of the institution’s most stellar students. He received top honors for his debate and oratory skills, won 15 letters in…

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Black History Month: Dred Scott

Dred Scott was born in sometime around the turn of the century, often fixed at 1795, in Southampton County, Virginia. Legend has it that his name was Sam, but when his elder brother died, he adopted his name instead. His parents were slaves, but it is uncertain whether the Blow family owned them at his birth or thereafter. Peter Blow and his family relocated first to Huntsville, Alabama, and then to St. Louis Missouri. After Peter Blow’s death, in the early 1830s, Scott was sold to a U.S. Army doctor,…

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Black History Month: James Baldwin

James Baldwin was a novelist and playwright during the mid-20th century. While not a marching activist, Baldwin emerged as one of the leading voices in the civil rights movement for his compelling work on race, notably Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time. Baldwin was out about his homosexuality and atheist beliefs. In addition to writing, he also taught at several universities. Writer and playwright James Baldwin was born August 2, 1924, in Harlem, New York. One of the 20th century’s greatest writers, Baldwin broke new literary…

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