Random Musings: A Blog Curated by beYOUteous — Black History RSS

Lorraine Hansberry: Playwright, Dramatist, Activist

Lorraine Hansberry was born the youngest of four to Carl Hansberry and Nannie Hansberry in Chicago, IL on May 19, 1930. She became the first African American, the youngest playwright, the fifth woman to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for the best play of the season on April 7, 1959 for her a play A Raisin in the Sun, which addressed equal rights in work/housing, and freedom.

Continue reading

Annie Turnbo: Founder of Poro College & Pioneer Manufacturer of Cosmetics Products

Considered to be one of the first African American women to become a millionaire, Annie Minerva Turnbo was born in Metropolis, Illinois on August 9, 1869 to Robert and Isabella Turnbo. Turnbo took an interest in hair styling, in particular, developing a better way to straighten African American hair without damaging it. By 1920, Turnbo's hair care empire employed 300 people locally and 75,000 agents nationally.

Continue reading

Josephine Baker: The “Black Venus” from Boxcar Town

Born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3 ,1906 in St. Louis, MO, Josephine Baker was a world renowned performer, World War II spy, and civil rights advocate who took part in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with 250,000 other civil rights supporters. In 1922, she joined the cast of Shuffle Along, which became the first successful African American musical, running for more than 500 performances.

Continue reading

Elizabeth Freeman: First Enslaved African American Freed Under the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780

It’s believed that Elizabeth Freeman, Mumbet, was born between 1742-1744, to enslaved African parents in Claverack, New York. Ruled in their favor, Mumbet and Brom became the first enslaved African Americans to be freed under the Massachusetts constitution of 1780 in Brom & Bett v. Ashley which was argued before a county court in August 1871.

Continue reading

Black History is World History: 7 Influential Black Women

Carter G. Woodson, one of the first African-Americans to graduate from Harvard University with a doctorate degree, is credited with establishing Black History Week (then called “Negro History Week”) in 1926, designed to highlight and celebrate the Black experience. Since then, U.S. presidents have proclaimed February as National Black History Month. In this post, you discover seven influential women of African descent who have left their mark in shaping Black history.

Continue reading