African American History

  • Art and Literature

    Art and Literature
    Booker T. Washington's autobiography Up From Slavery is published
  • Black Entertainment

    Black  Entertainment
    On October 11, when Bert Williams and George Walker record their music for the Victor Talking Machine Company, they become the first African American recording artists.
  • Segregated America

    Segregated America
    On October 16, only one month after becoming President, Theodore Roosevelt holds an afternoon meeting at the White House with Booker T. Washington. At the end of the meeting the President informally invites Washington to remain for dinner, making the Tuskegee educator the first black American to dine at the White House with a president. Roosevelts casual act generates a national furor.
  • Black Politics

    Black  Politics
    The last African American congressman elected in the 19th Century, George H. White, Republican of North Carolina, leaves office. No African American will serve in Congress for the next 28 years.
  • African American Athletes

    African American Athletes
    In May jockey Jimmy Winkfield wins the Kentucky Derby in an era when African American jockeys dominate the sport.
  • The Souls of Black Folks

    The Souls of Black Folks
    W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folks is published on April 27. In it Du Bois rejects the gradualism of Booker T. Washington, calling for agitation on behalf of African American rights
  • Black Business

    Black Business
    Maggie Lena Walker founds St. Lukes Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Health and Medicine

    Health and Medicine
    Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller, who trains at the Royal Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Munich with Dr. Alois Alzheimer, becomes a widely published pioneer in Alzheimers disease research. Fuller also becomes the nations first black psychiatrist.
  • Black Organizations

    Black Organizations
    Sigma Pi Phi (the Boule) is founded in Philadelphia on May 15 by four wealthy African American college graduates.
  • Black Education

    Black Education
    Educator Mary McLeod Bethune founds a college in Daytona Beach, Florida that today is known as Bethune-Cookman University.
  • The Black Press

    The Black Press
    The black weekly newspaper, The Chicago Defender, is founded by Robert Abbott on May 5.
  • The Civil Rights Movement

    The Civil Rights Movement
    Nashville African Americans boycott streetcars to protest racial segregation.
  • The Niagara Movement

    The Niagara Movement
    The Niagara Movement is created on July 11-13, by African American intellectuals and activists, led by W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter.
  • 20th Century Black Religion

    20th Century Black Religion
    The Azusa Street Revival begins in the former African Methodist Episcopal Church building at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles in April. The revival, led by black evangelist William J. Seymour, is considered the beginning of the worldwide Pentecostal Movement.
  • Racial Violence

    Racial Violence
    The Atlanta Race Riot on September 22-24 produces twelve deaths; ten blacks and two whites.
  • African Americans and the Military

    African Americans and the Military
    On August 13 in Brownsville, Texas, approximately a dozen black troops riot against segregation and in the process kill a local citizen. When the identity of the killer cannot be determined, President Theodore Roosevelt discharges three companies of black soldiers on November 6.The episode would be called the Brownsville Affray.
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

    Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
    On December 4, seven students at Cornell University form Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the first college fraternity for black men.
  • Madam C.J. Walker

    Madam C.J. Walker
    Madam C.J. Walker of Denver develops and markets her hair straightening method and creates one of the most successful cosmetics firms in the nation.
  • Alain Locke

    Alain Locke
    Alain Locke of Philadelphia, a Harvard graduate, becomes the first African American Rhodes Scholar.
  • The Pittsburgh Courier

    The Pittsburgh Courier
    The Pittsburgh Courier is established by Edwin Harleston, a security guard and aspiring writer. Three years later attorney Robert Vann takes control of the paper as its editor-publisher.
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha

    Alpha Kappa Alpha
    On January 15, Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first black sorority, is founded on the campus of Howard University.
  • Springfield Race Riot

    Springfield Race Riot
    On August 14, the Springfield Race Riot breaks out in Springfield, Illinois, the home town of Abraham Lincoln. Two blacks and four whites are killed. This is the first major riot in a Northern city in nearly half a century.

    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is formed on February 12 in New York City, partly in response to the Springfield Riot.
  • Exlporation and Discovery

    Exlporation and Discovery
    On April 6, Admiral Robert E. Peary and African American Matthew Henson, accompanied by four Eskimos, become the first men known to have reached the North Pole.
  • 20th Century Black Religion

    20th Century Black Religion
    The Knights of Peter Claver, the first permanent national black Catholic fraternal order, is founded in Mobile, Alabama.
  • New York Amsterdam

    New York Amsterdam
    On December 4, the New York Amsterdam News begins publication.
  • Black Population

    Black Population
    Census of 1910: U.S. population: 93,402,151, Black population: 9,827,763 (10.7 percent)
  • The National Urban League

    The National Urban League
    The National Urban League is founded in New York City on September 29. The League is organized to help African Americans secure employment and to adjust to urban life.
  • Crisis

    The first issue of Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP, appears on November 1. W.E.B. Du Bois is the first editor.
  • Jim Crow Legislation

    Jim Crow Legislation
    On December 19, the City Council of Baltimore approves an ordinance segregating black and white neighborhoods. This ordinance is followed by similar statutes in Dallas, Texas, Greensboro, North Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky, Norfolk, Virginia, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Richmond, Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia, and St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi

    Kappa Alpha Psi
    Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity is founded at Indiana University on January 5.
  • Omega Psi Phi

    Omega Psi Phi
    Omega Psi Phi Fraternity is founded at Howard University on November 17.
  • W.C. Handy

    W.C. Handy
    W.C. Handy published "Memphis Blues" sheet music in Memphis
  • Delta Sigma Theta

    Delta Sigma Theta
    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is founded at Howard University on January 13.
  • Moorish Science Temple

    Moorish Science Temple
    Noble Drew Ali founds the Moorish Science Temple in Newark, New Jersey.
  • Black Hollywood

    Black Hollywood
    Bert Williams plays the lead role in Darktown Jubilee, making him the first African American actor to star in a motion picture.
  • Woodrow Wilson administration

    Woodrow Wilson administration
    On April 11, the Woodrow Wilson administration initiates the racial segregation of work places, rest rooms and lunch rooms in all federal offices across the nation.
  • Black Holidays and Celebrations

    Black  Holidays  and  Celebrations
    The Jubilee year, the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, is celebrated throughout the nation over the entire year.
  • Black Migration

    Black Migration
    The Great Migration of African Americans from the South to Northern cities begins.

    In September, Carter G. Woodson founds the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) in Chicago.
  • Garrett Morgan

    Garrett Morgan
    On July 25, Garrett Morgan uses his newly invented gas mask to rescue men trapped after an explosion in a tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie.
  • St. Louis Race Riot

    St. Louis Race Riot
    The East St. Louis Race Riot begins on July 1 and continues to July 3. Forty people are killed, hundreds more injured, and 6,000 driven from their homes.
  • Philadelphia

    On July 26-29, in nearby Philadelphia, another race riot breaks out killing four, three blacks and one white.
  • Negro Press

    Negro Press
    The Associated Negro Press is established in Chicago by Claude A. Barnett on March 2.
  • Black Nationalism and Black Power

    Black Nationalism and Black Power
    Marcus Garvey leads the first international convention of the Universal Negro Improvement Association which he calls the International Convention of Negro Peoples of the World. The meeting is held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
  • Jesse Binga

    Jesse Binga
    Jesse Binga founds the Binga State Bank in Chicago. It will become the largest African American bank in the nation before it collapses during the 1929 Stock Market Crash.
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority

    Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
    Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority is founded on November 12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Cotton Club

    Cotton Club
    In September, the Cotton Club opens in Harlem.
  • U.S. Army

    U.S. Army
    The U.S. Army creates the Tuskegee Air Squadron who will soon be known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
  • Civil Rights Era

    Civil Rights Era
    Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the 26 year old pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, is elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association which leads the year-long boycott against the city's racially segregated bus line.
  • Nat King Cole

    Nat King Cole
    On April 10 popular entertainer Nat King Cole is assaulted on stage during a segregated performance at the Municipal Auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Lorraine Hansberry's

    Lorraine Hansberry's
    Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" opens in New York on March 11 with Sidney Poitier in the starring role. It is the first play by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1960

    The Civil Rights Act of 1960 is signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 6. The Act established federal inspection of local voter registration rolls and introduces penalties for anyone who obstructs a citizen's attempt to register to vote or to cast a ballot.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed by Congress on July 2. The act bans discrimination in all public accommodations and by employers. It also establishes the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) to monitor compliance with the law.
  • African Americans and the Military

    African Americans and the Military
    Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. is named commander of Goodman Field, Kentucky. He is the first African American to command a military base.