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Meet BlackFacts.com, the Internet's longest running Black History Encyclopedia - Delivering Black History, Culture, Vides and News to our followers. This podcast series provides your daily Black Facts Of The Day™. In addition there will be occasion bonus episodes focused on diversity or other key topics of interest to our BlackFacts audience Learn black history, Teach black history - https://blackfacts.com
 
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On March 31, Toni Morrison wins the Pulitzer. She was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. In the late 1960s, Morrison became the first Black female editor in fiction at Random House in New York City. She became noted for her examination of the Black experience within the Black community. In 1988, Morrison won the Pul…
 
On March 30, The 15th Amendment was ratified and gave blacks the right to vote. In the final years of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed, Congress repeatedly debated the rights of the millions who had been enslaved. After surviving a difficult ratification fight, the amendment was certified as duly ratified and part of …
 
Wilma Rudolph was an American sprinter, who became a world-record-holding Olympic champion and international icon in track and field. Rudolph was born prematurely at 4.5 pounds (2.0 kg) on June 23, 1940, in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee. She was able to overcome several early childhood illnesses, including pneumonia, scarlet fever and polio. She enrol…
 
March 29 is the birthday of Pearl Bailey. She was an American entertainer notable for her sultry singing and mischievous humor. A nightclub performer, Bailey shared the stage with entertainers such as Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. Bailey also had a television career and even hosted her own show, “The Pearl Bailey Show.” BlackFacts.com is the Int…
 
Diane Judith Nash is an American civil rights activist, and a leader and strategist of the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement. Nash was born in 1938 and raised in Chicago. After finishing Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Diane Nash went to Washington, D.C., to attend Howard University. She then went on to major in English at Fisk University…
 
On March 28, Bill Russell became the first African American to coach an NBA team. During his career, Russell supported the American civil rights movement, and spoke out against the Vietnam War. He won 11 NBA titles in the 13 seasons that he played with the Boston Celtics, and then he was named the player-coach of the Celtics in 1966. In 2011, Barac…
 
Marsha P. Johnson was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. She was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. She was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded the radical activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.). On the early morning hours of June 28…
 
On March 27, the Black Academy of Arts and Letters was founded. Founded in Boston, the Black Academy of Arts and Letters works to promote, cultivate, and preserve the work of African, African-American, and Caribbean artists in the fields of literature, fine arts, performing arts, visual arts, and cinema. The organization grew out of the American Ne…
 
Odetta Holmes was an American singer, actress, guitarist, lyricist, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Odetta was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on December 31, 1930. As an important figure in the American folk music of the 50s and 60s, she influenced many of the key figures of the fo…
 
On March 26, William H. Hastie became the first Black federal judge. After graduating with a degree in mathematics from Amherst College in 1925, Hastie taught at the Bordentown Manual School before going on to Harvard University to receive a law degree in 1930. He began his federal career as a solicitor for the Department of the Interior in 1933. U…
 
Marian Anderson was an American contralto. She performed a wide range of music, from opera to spirituals. Anderson was born in Philadelphia on February 27, 1897. On January 7, 1955, Anderson became the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. During her life, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional G…
 
March 25 is the Birthday of Aretha Franklin. As a young teen, Franklin performed with her father on his gospel programs in major cities throughout the country and was recognized as a vocal prodigy. She moved to New York City, where Columbia Records executive John Hammond arranged her recording contract. Her first recording session where she sang “T…
 
Mahalia Jackson, born Mahala Jackson, was an American gospel singer, widely considered one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. As a child, Mahalia found a home in her church, where Mahalia delivered God's word through song. She moved to Chicago as an adolescent and joined the Johnson Singers, one of the earliest gospel groups. Ja…
 
Halle Berry became the first African American woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress. Film roles in "Jungle Fever" (1991), directed by Spike Lee, and in "Boomerang" (1992), directed by Reginald Hudlin, first brought her notice. She won an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in "Monster's Ball"(2001), becoming the first African-American woman…
 
On March 23, Patricia Roberts Harris passed away. She was the first African American woman named to a U.S. ambassadorship and the first as well to serve in a presidential cabinet. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed her co-chairman of the National Women's Committee for Civil Rights. She worked in Lyndon Johnson's presidential campaign. Soo…
 
Condoleezza "Condi" Rice, born on November 14, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama, is an American diplomat, political scientist, civil servant, and professor who is the current director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In President Bush's second term, she succeeded Colin Powell as Secretary of State. She was the second female secretary of…
 
March 22 is the Birthday of George Benson In the late 1960s he sat in on Miles Davis' "Miles in the Sky sessions," and also put a personal spin on the tunes from the Beatles' "Abbey Road." Benson has won ten Grammy Awards and often plays the dual role of expert improviser and vibrant entertainer. Rounding out his singular approach with a strong sen…
 
Barbara Charline Jordan was an American lawyer, educator and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction. She won a seat in the Texas Senate in 1966, becoming the first African-American state senator since 1883 and the first Black woman to serve in that legislative body. P…
 
On March 21, James Baskett becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award. He was an American actor and singer, known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus in the 1946 Disney animated feature film "Song of the South." Baskett became the first live actor to be hired by Walt Disney. In recognition of his portrayal of the famous black storytell…
 
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne's career spanned over 70 years, appearing in film, television, and theatre. In the fall of 1933, Horne joined the chorus line of the Cotton Club in New York City. She made her debut at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Panama Hattie (1942). She was at the March o…
 
March 20 is the Birthday of Rosetta Tharpe. She was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist who attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings, characterized by a unique mixture that was a precursor of rock and roll. At the age of 23, Tharpe recorded for the first time. Her songs caused an immediate fu…
 
Bessie Coleman was an early American civil aviator. She was the first African-American woman and first Native-American to hold a pilot license. She was born on January 26, 1892, the tenth of thirteen children of George Coleman, whose grandparents were Cherokee, and Susan Coleman, who was African-American. At the age of 23, Coleman moved to Chicago,…
 
On March 19, Jan E. Matzeliger patented his revolutionary shoe machine. Matzeliger began work as a sailor on a merchant ship at the age of 19 and after about six years settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. He found employment in a shoe factory and became interested in the possibilities of lasting shoes by machine. Matzeliger obtained a patent for his inv…
 
Florynce Rae Kennedy was an American lawyer, feminist, civil rights advocate, lecturer and activist. Kennedy remembered a time in her childhood when her father had to be armed with a shotgun in order to ward off the neighborhood Ku Klux Klan. After getting her law degree from Columbia Law School in 1951, Kennedy opened her own office, doing matrimo…
 
March 18 is the Birthday of Vanessa Williams. She initially gained recognition as the first woman of African-American descent to receive the Miss America title in 1983. In addition to singing and performing, Williams has had a successful career in films and television. For her role in the romantic comedy Soul Food (1997), Williams earned an NAACP I…
 
Audrey Geraldine Lorde was a self-described "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior and poet." Lorde was born in New York City on February 18, 1934. She attended Hunter College, and graduated in the class of 1959. In 1961, she furthered her education at Columbia University, earning a master's degree in library science. In 1980, together with Barbara Smith…
 
On March 17, Maurice Ashley became the first African American to earn an International Grandmaster chess title. Ashley was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and then moved to the United States when he was 12. He soon took up chess and excelled at the game, becoming a national master in 1986 and an International Master in 1993. From 1991 to 1997 Ashley w…
 
Phillis Wheatley Peters, whose name was also spelled Phyllis Wheatly, was the first African-American author of a published book of poetry. Born in West Africa in 1753, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America. She was enslaved by the Wheatley family of Boston. The family afforded Phillis an education s…
 
March 16 is the Birthday of Rebecca Cole. In 1867, Rebecca J. Cole became the second African American woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. Cole was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she attended the Institute for Colored Youth, graduating in 1863. Cole practiced medicine for fifty years, unfortunately, only a few records …
 
Dorothy Irene Height was an American civil rights and women’s rights activist. She focused on the issues of African American women, including, illiteracy and voter awareness. Height earned an undergraduate degree and a master's degree in educational psychology at New York University. She pursued further postgraduate work at Columbia University. She…
 
March 15 is the Birthday of writer Ben Okri. He is a Nigerian novelist, short-story writer, and poet who used magic realism to convey the social and political chaos in the country of his birth. His novel The Famished Road won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1991, making him the youngest ever winner of the prize at the age of 32. His first-hand expe…
 
On March 14, Fannie Lou Hamer passed away. The youngest of 20 children, Fannie Lou was working the fields with her sharecropper parents at the age of six. Amid poverty and racial exploitation, she received only a sixth-grade education. Her civil rights activism began in August 1962, when she answered a call by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Co…
 
Claudette Colvin is a retired American nurse aide who, on March 2, 1955, was arrested at the age of 15 in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a crowded, segregated bus. This occurred nine months before the more widely known incident in which Rosa Parks, secretary of the local chapter of the NAACP, helped spark …
 
Septima Poinsette Clark was an African American educator and civil rights activist. Martin Luther King Jr. commonly referred to Clark as "The Mother of the Movement." Clark graduated from high school in 1916. She was able to return to school in Columbia to complete her B.A. at Benedict in 1942 and then she received her M.A. from Hampton. In 1956, s…
 
March 13 is when the first Black Daily Newspaper was published. Founded by William A. Scott III in August 1928 as semi-weekly publication, the Atlanta Daily World would become the first successful African-American daily newspaper in the United States. On March 13, 1932, the Atlanta Daily World newspaper began running as a daily publication and was …
 
Mary Church Terrell was one of the first Black-American women to earn a college degree, and became known as a national activist for civil rights and suffrage. Terrell majored in Classics at Oberlin College, the first college in the United States to accept African- American and female students. She began her career in education in 1885, teaching mod…
 
March 12 is the Birthday of Andrew Young. Young graduated from Howard University in 1951 and earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut in 1955. A pastor at several black churches in the South, Young was an aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Young to serve as t…
 
Ida Bell Wells-Barnett was born into slavery at the Bolling Farm near Holly Springs, Mississippi, on July 16, 1862. She was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation during the American Civil War and went on to become one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). This American investigative journalist a…
 
March 11 is the Birthday of Edward R. Dudley. In 1949, Edward R. Dudley was the first African American to hold the rank of ambassador. His legacy also includes a long history of civil rights activism and a distinguished career as an attorney. Dudley was a civil rights lawyer in the 1940s, appointed to the New York Attorney General’s Office. He was …
 
Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Morrison’s works are praised for addressing the harsh consequences of racism in the United States. On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the P…
 
On March 10, Timothy Zachary Mosley was born--aka Timbaland. The rapper-producer began to learn how to use studio equipment under the direction of producer and musician DeVante Swing at the age of 19. Timbaland received three Grammy Awards for his work with Justin Timberlake. He also earned a Grammy for his contributions to Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love…
 
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was the first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize. She was six weeks old when her family moved to Chicago, and from then on, it remained her home. She published her first poem, "Eventide," in the magazine “American Childhood” when she was 13 years old. By the age of 16, she had already written and published appro…
 
On March 9, Walter Francis White was named National Association for the Advancement of Colored People executive secretary. He retained the role for almost a quarter of a century. White waged a long and ultimately successful campaign against the lynching of blacks by white mobs in the United States. BlackFacts.com is the Internet's longest running B…
 
Born to parents who were sharecroppers, Alice Malsenior Tallulah-Kate Walker is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist. She’s the author of the multi-award winning book “The Color Purple.” She published “The Color Purple” in 1982 and received in 1983 the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award. BlackFacts…
 
On March 8, Marjorie Edwina Pitter King was born. In 1944 she established a successful tax business called M and M Tax and Consultant Services. King was extremely active in politics, and was appointed to the State Legislature in 1965, becoming the first African American in the legislative body. She operated her tax business for nearly 50 years. Bla…
 
Alice Coachman Davis was the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She attended Tuskegee Preparatory and Albany State College, and went from cleaning sports facilities to becoming a teacher and track-and-field instructor, to dominating in the high jump to become an Olympic gold medalist. BlackFacts.com is the Internet's longest running Bl…
 
The single We Are the World is the eight best-selling physical single of all time. With more than 20 million copies sold, the song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie raised money for African famine relief. The recording brought together the most popular artists of its time, such as Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, and Ray Charles amongst many …
 
As a high-school senior in San Antonio, Texas, Shaquille O’Neal attracted the attention of college recruiters when his team won the state championship. O’Neal attended Louisiana State University. He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star Game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year (2000). BlackFacts.com is the Internet's longest …
 
Hosts Nicole Franklin and Bryant Monteilh remember American educator Mary Jane McLeod Bethune. Born on July 10, 1875 in Mayesville, South Carolina, to parents who had been enslaved, Bethune attended college hoping to become a missionary in Africa. She went on to have a career as an educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist and c…
 
On March 5, The American Negro Academy was founded by Alexander Crummell. It was the first organization in the United States to support African-American academic scholarship and operated from 1897 to 1928. Some of the most highly educated and socially prominent African Americans and other students of African descent attended. BlackFacts.com is the …
 
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