Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was founded on April 26, 1964 as part of a voter registration project for African Americans in the state.  For over half a century Mississippi blacks had attempted to attend regular Democratic Party meetings and conventions but were continually … Read MoreMississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Civil Rights Congress (1946-1956)

Founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1946, the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) arose out of the merger of three groups with ties to the Communist Party USA:  the International Labor Defense (ILD), the National Negro Congress, and the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties. Embodying the spirit … Read MoreCivil Rights Congress (1946-1956)

Council on African Affairs (1942-1955)

The Council on African Affairs (CAA) was founded in 1942 and quickly emerged as the leading voice of anti-colonialism and Pan-Africanism in the United States and abroad before becoming a casualty of Cold War liberalism and anti-communism in the early 1950s. Paul Robeson served as … Read MoreCouncil on African Affairs (1942-1955)

Montford Point Marines (1942-1949)

With the beginning of World War II African Americans would get their chance to be in “the toughest outfit going,” the previously all-white Marine Corps.  The first recruits reported to Montford Point, a small section of land on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on August 26, … Read MoreMontford Point Marines (1942-1949)

Lincoln Motion Picture Company

African American audiences were generally ignored by the major motion picture studios in the first two decades of the 20th Century. Nonetheless, demand for films aimed at black theaters in both the South and larger Northern cities prompted the formation of several “black” motion picture … Read MoreLincoln Motion Picture Company

Washington State Federation of Colored Women (1917- )

Founded on Aug. 9, 1917 in Spokane, Washington, the Washington State Federation of Colored Women (WSFCW) confederated several social and civic clubs organized by African American women during the early 1900s. The African American women’s club movement in Washington State began in 1908 with the … Read MoreWashington State Federation of Colored Women (1917- )

Oklahoma City Blue Devils (1923-1933)

The Oklahoma City Blue Devils were a territorial band with a legendary reputation among musicians in the Southwest. Starting in 1923 accompanying Billy King’s road show, “Moonshine,” at the Aldridge Theatre in Oklahoma City, they also performed for white and African American audiences from Texas … Read MoreOklahoma City Blue Devils (1923-1933)

African Company / African Grove Theatre

The African Company was the first known black theatre troupe. In 1816, William Henry Brown (1815-1884), a retired West Indian steamship steward, acquired a house on Thomas Street in lower Manhattan, New York. He offered a variety of instrumental and vocal entertainments on Sunday afternoons … Read MoreAfrican Company / African Grove Theatre

First Indian Home Guard Regiment (1862-1865)

The First Indian Home Guard Regiment was a tri-racial Union regiment first organized in Kansas in May 1862. The regiment was made up of Creek and Seminole Indians, African Creeks and African Seminoles with white officers commanding the unit.  Though their numbers were few, the … Read MoreFirst Indian Home Guard Regiment (1862-1865)