Important Figures

by | Jun 21, 2024 | African American, History | 0 comments

  1. In case you didn’t already know, the creator of Black History Month was historian Carter G. Woodson. Often referred to as the “Father of Black History,” he was notably the second African American to graduate from Harvard University with a doctorate degree, and is credited with being one of the first scholars to study and research the history of African Americans.
  2. William Tucker was the first known Black person to be born in the 13 colonies. He was born in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1624. According to BlackPast.org, his parents were indentured servants and part of the first group of Africans brought to colonial soil by Great Britain.
  3. After years of remarkable work as an attorney, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to serve in the U.S. Supreme Court. Officially nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967, he served as a justice until 1991.
  4. In 1854, John Mercer Langston notably became the first African American lawyer in the state of Ohio. He went on to serve as the dean of the law department and vice president of Howard University. He’s also remembered as the first African American from Virginia to be elected to public office, specifically to the U.S. Congress.
  5. Anthony Benezet, a white Quaker, abolitionist, and educator, is credited with creating the first public school for African American children in the early 1770s.
  6. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1850 with a literary degree, Lucy Stanton became the first Black woman in America to earn a four-year college degree.
  7. Martin Luther King, Jr. started as a freshman at Morehouse College at the young age of 15.
  8. James McCune Smith was the first African American person to earn a medical degree. He also started the nation’s first pharmacy under Black ownership, and was the first African American to have their work published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
  9. After attending Barnard College, Lila Fenwick graduated from Harvard Law School in 1956, becoming the first African American woman to graduate from the prestigious legal institution. She also later studied at the London School of Economics and worked at the United Nations.
  10. Hiram Rhodes Revels was sworn in as the first Black U.S. senator in 1870.
  11. Guion Bluford became the first Black person in space in 1983, and would spend 688 hours there over the course of his career as an astronaut.
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