1929: John Hope, noted advocate of advanced liberal arts instruction for blacks is chosen as president of Atlanta University,
the first graduate school for African-Americans.
1932: In Tuskegee, Ala., the U.S. Public Health Service, headed by Taliaferro Clark, begins examining the course of untreated
syphillis in black men, not telling them of their syphillis or their participation in the 40-year study.
August 4, 1936. Jesse Owens, “the fastest human being,” captured four gold medals
and became the hero of the Olympics. In the long jump he leaped 26 feet 5-1/2 inches, an Olympic record. Immediately after
the Games, Owens hoped to capitalize on his fame and quit the AAU's European tour of post-Olympic meets; for this action,
the AAU suspended him from amateur competition. It is not often mentioned, but there were a total of 18 young Arfican Americans
in the same Olympics, all of who excelled. For the complete story follow the link below.
African Americans in 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany
1938: In a knockout in the first round of their rematch, heavyweight champion Joe Louis wreaks vengeance on Max Schmeling
of Germany, the only boxer to have knocked out Joe Louis in his prime.
1939: The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund is organized. Charles Hamilton Houston spearheads the effort to consolidate
some of the nation's best legal talents in the fight against legally sanctioned bias.
1940: Duke Elllngton leads his greatest band, including bassist Jimmy Blanton, saxophonist Ben Webster, trumpeter Cootie
Williams, and composer-arranger Billy Strayhorn.
1942: Charles Richard Drew, developer and director of blood plasma programs during World War II, resigns as the armed
forces begin to accept the blood of blacks but resolve to racially segregate the supply.
1942: The interracial Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is founded in New York City. Its direct-action tactics
achieve national prominence during the Freeedom Rides of 1961.
1942: Bebop is born out of the musical experiments of jazz musicians in Harlem, including saxophonist Charlie Parker,
trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Thelonious Monk.
1945: Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
as a Democrat from Harlem, serving 11 successive terms.
1930: Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. becomes the first black colonel in the U.S. Army. He later oversees race relations and morale
of black soldiers in World War II and becomes the first black general in 1940.
1932: Wallace Thurman, young literary rebel of the Harlem Renaissance, publishes his satiric novel "Infants of the Spring".
1936: Delta blues musician Robert Johnson makes his legendary and influential recordings in Texas, including "Me and
the Devil blues", "Hellbound on My Trail", and "Love in Vain".
1938: Assisted by saxophonist Lester Young, her romantic companion during these years, jazz vocalist Billie Holiday makes
several of her finest recordings.
1939: Singer Marian Anderson performs at the Lincoln Memorial before an audience of 75,000 after the Daughters of the American
Revolution refused to allow her to sing at Constitution Hall.
1941: Bayard Rustin, chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, organizes the New York branch of the Congress on
1943: Bill "Bojangles" Robinson appears with singer Lena Horne in the wartime all-black musical "Stormy Weather"
1931: Walter White begins his tenure as executive secretary of the NAACP, his principal objective being the abolition of lynching.
By the time of his death in 1955, lynchings would become a rarity.
1934: Wallace D. Fard, founder of the Nation of Islam movement, disappears, leading to the rise of Elijah Muhammad.
1937: Writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston publishes her second novel, "Their Eyes Were Watching God", which
receives considerable acclaim and criticism within the black community.
1939: Count Basie leads his legendary Kansas City band, including saxophonist Lester Young, trumpeter Buck Clayton, guitarist
Freddie Green, bassist Walter Paige, and drummer Jo Jones.
1940: Author Richard Wright publishes his masterpiece "Native Son". The stark, tragic realism of this novel immediately
places Wright in the fromt ranks of contemporary American writers.
1940: Painter Jacob Lawrence begins work on his 60-panel "Migration" series, which depicts the jounrney of African-Americaans
from the South to the urban North.
1941: Following considerable protest, the War Department forms the all-black 99th Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air
Corps, later known as the Tuskegee Airmen, commanded by Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr.
1945: Ebony Magazine is founded by John H. Johnson of Chicago. Modeled after "Life" but intended for the black
middle class, the magazine is an instant success.