Harriet Tubman and the Dover Eight

What caused Harriet Tubman to fight back?  What political actions supported the existence of slavery?  This book explores the life of Harriet Tubman and some of the religious, political and social supports that made slavery exist for so long.  

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Danita Smith
Frederick Douglass's Mother: Harriet

Frederick Douglass was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in Talbot County, Maryland.  His mother’s name was Harriet and she was forced to leave her children, by the man who owned them.  She was hired out to neighboring farms and her children would stay with her mother, until they were several years old.

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Danita Smith
Sit-ins and Standing Up

Four young men from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College changed their world when they decided to stand up for their own rights. 

Their names were Ezell Blair, Jr., Franklin McCain, David Richmond, and Joseph McNeil.  They were freshmen at North Carolina A&T in the fall of 1959 and they became friends when they met that year.  One of the things that they had in common was that they shared a disdain for the inequalities that surrounded them.

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Danita Smith
Collingwood's Massacre

In 1781 a slave ship, named the Zong (based out of Liverpool, England), was on a horrible trip to get human beings—to sell them in Jamaica.  The ship made it to Africa, along the coast of present-day Ghana, and then to Sao Tome (or St. Thomas, an island near present day Gabon and Equatorial Guinea).  Luke Collingwood was the captain of the ship and he decided to go with a “tight” packing method.

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Danita Smith
Fannie Lou Hamer: "Is This America?"

Fannie Lou Hamer was born on October 6, 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi to Jim and Ella Townsend.  

When Fannie Lou was in her 20s, she married Perry Hamer and they tried, unsuccessfully, to have children.  Fannie suffered from a tumor and went into a hospital to receive treatment.  There she was given a full  hysterectomy, without her knowledge and without her consent.  She was furious and this was one of the things that set her on a path of freedom fighting...

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Danita Smith
Thurgood Marshall and His Life

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2nd in Baltimore, Maryland in 1908. His father was a porter or waiter for a railroad company and his mother was an elementary school teacher. They were very involved in teaching their children and, reportedly, Thurgood’s father would take him down to the courthouse in Baltimore just to view court proceedings.  His mother, being a schoolteacher, oversaw her children's development and made sure they got good educational foundations in school. 

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Danita Smith
Charles Langston (Grandfather of Langston Hughes)

Charles Henry Langston was born in 1817 in Louisa County, VA.  His mother’s name was Lucy Jane Langston and his father was a slaveowner named Ralph Quarles.  Ralph Quarles had served in the Revolutionary War and was, as we have said, a slaveowner.  He had a baby with Lucy Langston and, after the child was born, he freed both Lucy and their baby.

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Danita Smith
Laws from South Africa's Apartheid Era

In May of 1902 the Peace of Vereeniging was signed between Boer forces and the British (putting an end to a set of wars between the two sides).  After a few years, the former Boer republics joined with the British territories and, in May of 1910, they formed the Union of South Africa.  

The African National Congress was then created, just two years later, in 1912 to respond to the white-run government.  Ironically, eight years after this formation, in 1918, Nelson Mandela was also born.

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Danita Smith
Katherine Johnson and William W. S. Claytor: An HBCU Connection

Katherine Johnson was born on August 26, 1918 in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia and, by now, you may know that she grew up to be an integral part of the nation's space program as a valuable mathematician in NASA.  You may not know about the connection she shares with some members of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

As a child, Katherine Johnson began high school while 

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Stories about Black History: Vol. 2 - Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers

Charles Young was a Buffalo Soldier, a pioneer in many ways, and one of the most celebrated African-American military men, at the time of his death.

He was born in 1864, in Kentucky, to Gabriel and Arminta Young.  Gabriel and Arminta moved to Ripley, Ohio in 1866.  Gabriel Young was a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War and Charles grew up admiring his father's military background.  

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Danita Smith
Unfair and Unequal Drug Policy for Almost 40 Years

We have to examine our past to determine the impact of current drug policy in order to ensure that these results don't just happen again--while we stand by and watch. 

Since the 1980s no single issue has struck at the heart of the struggles of Black America quite like the "War on Drugs" has.  

Let me first state that the majority of black, white and Hispanic people in America do not use illicit drugs and if they do, they do so AT THE SAME RATES

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Danita Smith
Garrett Morgan: A Hero and An Inventor

Garrett Morgan was born around 1877 in Paris, Kentucky.  He did not receive a formal education beyond a several-year period of time when he was living with his parents.  He later hired a tutor, for himself, after he left his parents' home.  He eventually moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1895 where he became an entrepreneur, an inventor, the founder of a local newspaper, and a community leader.

When he moved to Cleveland he got a job as a machinist in a textile factory.  He and his wife then opened up a shirtwaist company, shirtwaist was a style of women's clothing (a long shirt) that was popular at the time.

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Danita Smith
Ida B. Wells-Barnett: A Voice Crying Out for Change

In September of 1900 Ida B. Wells stopped the project she was working on to report on the outrageous actions that took place in New Orleans in July of that year.  Robert Charles was an African-American man who had an encounter with police, while sitting on the steps of a building with his friend, one night.  In that encounter shots were fired and Charles wounded one of the police officers.  Over the ensuing days...

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Danita Smith
Remembering the People Who Helped to Shape This Country: Paul Jennings

Many people did the work that helped make the country function--people who were not given the respect and remembrance they were due.

Paul Jennings was born in 1799...enslaved to James and Dolley Madison, in Virginia.  

In 1808 James Madison was elected President of the United States and Paul Jennings, still a boy, moved to the White House with Dolley and James Madison.

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Danita Smith
Stories about Black History: Vol. 3 - Christiana, William Parker and the Horn

One of the most famous challenges to slavery took place at the home of an African-American man named, William Parker.  On September 11, 1851, Edward Gorsuch showed up at Parker’s home.  Gorsuch was seeking several escaped men whom he believed were being sheltered at Parker’s house.  William Parker was, himself, a person who escaped from slavery and settled in the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania (near Christiana). 

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