Millie Ringold (1845-1906)

Millie Ringold was a gold prospector, boarding house proprietor, and long-time resident of the Yogo mining district in the Little Belt Mountains of central Montana. According to the 1900 census, Millie Ringold—whose names are variously spelled Molly, Ringo, and Ringgold—was born a slave in 1845 in Virginia. By the 1870s she … Read MoreMillie Ringold (1845-1906)

Thomas Day (1801—ca.1861)

Image Ownership: Public domain Thomas Day, master cabinetmaker and entrepreneur, was born in 1801 in Dinwiddie County in southern Virginia to free African American parents. He had an outstanding career and achieved remarkable social standing during the state’s antebellum period. By 1850, he operated the largest furniture business … Read MoreThomas Day (1801—ca.1861)

Elbert T. Hudson (1920-2017)

Image Ownership: Public domain Police official, business leader, and civil rights advocate Elbert T. Hudson was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on November 16, 1920. Three years later, his family moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1924, his father, H. Claude Hudson, became president of the … Read MoreElbert T. Hudson (1920-2017)

California The History of Allensworth (1908- )

In the article below retired California State University, Fresno historian Robert Mikell explores the history of the only all-black town created in the Golden State.  He traces that history including the role of its principal founder, Colonel Allen Allensworth, from 1908. Centennial Celebration at Allensworth … Read MoreCalifornia The History of Allensworth (1908- )

James Williams (1825- ?)

Cover: Fugitive Slave in Gold Rush California Image Ownership: Public domain James Williams, a fugitive from slavery and the author of the only known full-length slave narrative published independently (in California), was born John Thomas in Elkton, Maryland, April 1, 1825. At age thirteen, he … Read MoreJames Williams (1825- ?)

Charles H. Dodge (1868-1942)

Image Ownership: Public domain At a time in when educated, skilled, and ambitious African Americans were systematically excluded from even middle management positions in large white-controlled businesses, for decades Charles H. Dodge remained one of the extremely rare persons in the nation to occupy a … Read MoreCharles H. Dodge (1868-1942)

Freedmen’s Town Houston, Texas (1865- )

Freedmen’s Town is a nationally registered historical site. The site was originally a community located in the fourth ward of Houston, Texas that began in 1865 as the destination for former enslaved people from surrounding plantations in Texas and Louisiana after the Civil War. Freedmen’s … Read MoreFreedmen’s Town Houston, Texas (1865- )

Douglas Dollarhide (1923-2008)

Image Ownership: Public domain Douglas Dollarhide was the first African American mayor of the city of Compton, California, and a pioneer and role model for future black politicians across the state of California. Dollarhide was born in March 1923 in Earlsboro, Oklahoma. He was the … Read MoreDouglas Dollarhide (1923-2008)

Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas (1875- )

Image Courtesy of Gloria Lawsha Smith Following emancipation in 1865, former slaves across the South detached themselves from white-controlled congregations and established independent churches. In Fort Worth, Texas, historic Mt. Gilead Baptist Church was one of those new congregations. Over time it would serve the … Read MoreMt. Gilead Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas (1875- )