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Unveiling The Past To Connect The Future...


Booker T. Washington dines with President Theodore Roosevelt at the White House. The Dinner meeting is bitterly criticized by many whites, who view it as a marked departure from racial etiquette.

1905: The Niagara Movement is founded as a group of black intellectuals from across the nation meet near Niagara Falls, Ontario, adopting resolutions demanding full equality in American Life.

1908: In Springfield, Ill., the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, the black community is assaulted by several thousand white citizens and two elderly blacks are lynched.

1909: A group of whites shocked by the Springfield riots of 1908 merge with W.E.B. Du Bois' Niagara Movement, forming the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Prople (NAACP)

1910: The Crisis, a monthly magazine publshed by the NAACP, is founded. W.E.B. Du Bois edits the magazine for its first 24 years.


1915: Historian Carter G. Woodson founds the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in an attempt to assist the accurate and proper study of African-American history.


1918: James Van Der Zee and his wife open the Guarantee Photo Studio in Harlem. The portraits he shoots later become a treasured chronicle of the Harlem Renaissance


1923: Pianist and orchestrator Fletcher Henderson becomes a bandleader. His prestigious band advances the careers of such black musicians as Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge.


1925: The New Negro, an anthology of fiction, poetry, drama, and essays associated with the Harlem Renaissance, is edited by Alain Locke.


1925: Josephine Baker, singer and dancer, goes to Paris to dance at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in La Revue negre, becoming one of the most popular entertainers in France.


1927: James Weldon Johnson, poet and anthologist of black culture, publishes God's Trombones, a group of black dialect sermons in verse accompanied by the illustrations of Aaron Douglas.


1928: Poet and novelist Claude McKay publishes "Home to Harlem", the first fictional work by an Arican-American to reach the best-seller list.


1903: W.E.B. Du Bois publishes The Souls of Black Folk, which declares that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line", and discusses the dual identity of black Americans.

1906: President Theodore Roosevelt orders 167 black infantrymen be given dishonorable discharges because of their conspiracy of silence regarding the shooting death of a white citizen in Brownsville, Texas.

1906: After educator John Hope becomes its president, Atlanta Baptist College expands its curriculum and is renamed Morehouse College.

1907: Black Primitive Baptist congregations formed by emancipated slaves after the Civil War organize the National Primitive Baptist Convention, Inc.

1911: The National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes (National Urban League) is formed in New York City with the mission to help migrating blacks find jobs and housing and adjust to urban life.

1913: Timothy Drew, known as Prophet Noble Drew Ali, founds the Moorish Science Temple of America in Newark, N.J. His central teaching is that blacks are of Muslim origin.

1914: The Universal Negro Improvement Association is founded by Marcus Garvey in his homeland of Jamaica to further racial pride and economic self-sufficiency and to establish a black nation in Africa.

1915: A schism in the National Baptist Convention yields the National Baptist Convention of America, the largest black church in the United States.

1917: Racial antagonism toward blacks newly employed in war industries leads to riots that kill 40 blacks and 8 whites in East Saint Louis, Ill.


1920: Marcus Garvey, leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association addresses 25,000 blacks at Madison Square Garden and presides over a parade of 50,000 through the streets of Harlem.

1921: Oscar Charleston, perhaps the best all-around baseball player in the history of the Negro leagues, leads his league in doubles, triples, and home runs, batting 434 for the year.

1926: The literary journal Fire!! edited by young writer Wallace Thurman, publishes its first and only issue. The short-lived publication remains highly influential among the participants of the Harlem Renaissance.


1923: Charles Clinton Spaulding becomes president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. He builds it into the nation's largest black-owned business by the time of his death in 1952.


1923: Bessie Smith, discovered by pianist-composer Clarence Williams, makes her first recording. She will eventually become known as "Empress of the Blues".


1925: Countee Cullen, one of the finest poets of the Harlem Renaissance, publishes his first collection of poems, Color, to critical acclaim before graduating from New York University.


1925: At a historic literary awards banquet during the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes earns first place in poetry with The Weary Blues, which is read aloud by James Weldon Johnson.


1927: Poet and playwright, Angelina Weld Grimke publishes "Caroling Dusk", an anthology of her poetry edited by Countee Cullen.


1904: Joe Gans, perhaps the greatest fighter in the history of the lightweight division, loses to welterweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott in a 20-round draw.


1905: Madame C.J. Walker develops and markets a method for straightening curly hair, on her way to becoming the first black famale millionaire in the United States.


1914: George Washington Carver of the Tuskegee Institute reveals his experiments concerning peanuts and sweet potatoes, popularizing alternative crops and aiding the renewal of depleted land in the South


1915: Jack Johnson, first black heavyweight champion of the world, loses the title to Jess Willard, in 26 rounds in Havana, Cuba. Rumors claim he lost to avoid legal difficulties.

1919: During the "Red Summer" following World War I, 13 days of racial violence in the South Side of Chicago leave 23 blacks and 15 whites dead, 537 people injured, and 1,000 black families homeless.

1919: A'Lelia Walker inherits the family business and estate upon the death of her mother, Madame C.J. Walker. In the 1920s she entertains the leading writers and artists of the
Harlem Renaissance.


1922: Louis Armstrong leaves New Orleans, arriving in Chicago to play second trumpet in cornetist King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. Armstrong's work in the 1920s would revolutionize jazz.


1923: Poet and novelist Jean Toomer publishes his masterpiece, Cane, an experimental novel often considered one of the greatest achievements of the Harlem Renaissance.


1924: Spelman Seminary, which began awarding college degrees in 1901, becomes Spelman College. The school began in 1881 with two Boston women teaching 11 black women in an Atlanta church basement.

1925: In an era when Ku Klux Klan membership exceeded 4,000,000 nationally, a parade of 50,000 unmasked members takes place in Washington, D.C.


1925: A. Philip Randolph, trade unionist and civil-rights leader, founds the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, which becomes the first successful black trade union.


1926: Pianist, composer, and self proclaimed inventor of jazz, Jelly Roll Morton records several of his masterpieces, including "Black Bottom Stomp" and "Dead Man Blues"


1927: Henry Ossawa Tanner, whose works include "The Raising of Lazarus", becomes the first black American to be granted full membership in the National Academy of Design.


1922: Bessie Coleman, who later refuses to perform before segregateed audiences in the South, stages the first public flight by an African-American woman.

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