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Ida B Wells – July 16th in African American History

On July 16, 1862, prolific writer and civil rights crusader, Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Ida’s mother, Elizabeth, was famous for her cooking. Ida’s father was a carpenter. His name was James. The nation’s slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation six months after her birth. Both parents were […]

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Mother Bethel AME Church

Mother Bethel AME Church – July 29th in African American History

On July 29, 1794, Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, making it the oldest church owned by African Americans. Richard Allen, a former slave who bought his freedom after accepting the Methodist faith, founded the church. Allen, along with friend Absalom Jones, opened the separate church after whites at St. […]

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Ira Aldridge

Ira Aldridge – July 24th in African American History

July 24, 1807, is the date of birth of Ira Aldridge, the most prominent African American dramatic actor of the 19th century. Aldridge performed roles in plays written by Shakespeare in the United States and across Europe at a time when most African Americans remained enslaved. Born and raised in New York City, not the […]

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Wilberforce University

Wilberforce University – July 10th in African American History

July 10, 1863, marks the incorporation date of Wilberforce University, the first private institution of higher education for African Americans. Wilberforce University actually has a history that pre-dates this important milestone. Before the Civil War began in 1861, the school was a site of abolitionist activity and education for African Americans. Methodist abolitionists founded the […]

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Wallace Amos Jr

Wallace Amos Jr. – July 1st in African American History

On July 1, 1936, during the harsh years of the economic downturn known as the Great Depression, Wallace Amos, Jr., was born. Most people know him as “Famous Amos,” the face of the popular Famous Amos Cookies. By building his multi-million dollar franchise off the fame of his cookies, Amos instructed future generations of budding […]

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Spottswood William Robinson III

July 26th in African American History – Spottswood William Robinson III

July 26, 1916 Spottswood William Robinson III, educator, civil rights attorney, and judge, was born in Richmond, Virginia. Robinson earned his undergraduate degree from Virginia Union University in 1936 and in 1939 he received his law degree from Howard University, graduating first in his class and achieving the highest scholastic average in the history of […]

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July 25th in African American History – Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton

July 25, 1984 Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, R&B singer and songwriter, died. Thornton was born December 11, 1926 in Ariton, Alabama and began to sing at an early age. At the age of 14, she joined the Hot Harlem Revue and performed with them for 7 years. Thornton began her recording career in 1951 […]

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