Robert Morris, Sr (1823–1882)

Robert Morris became one of the first black lawyers in United States after being admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1847. Morris was born in Salem, Massachusetts on June 8, 1823.   At an early age, Morris had some formal education at Master Dodge’s School in Salem.  With the agreement … Read MoreRobert Morris, Sr (1823–1882)

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- )

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- )

Arch Colson “Colson” Whitehead (1969- )

Image Ownership: Public domain Born Arch Colson Whitehead on November 6, 1969, novelist Colson Whitehead spent his formative years in Manhattan, New York with his parents, Arch and Mary Anne Whitehead, who owned a recruiting firm, and three siblings. Of his childhood, he has said … Read MoreArch Colson “Colson” Whitehead (1969- )

Willis Augustus Hodges (1815-1890)

Image Ownership: Public domain Willis Augustus Hodges was born into a free black family on February 12, 1815, in Blackwater, Princess Anne County, Virginia. Both his parents were free, as well as his grandmother. His grandfather was enslaved as were his parents, but since Hodges’ parents … Read MoreWillis Augustus Hodges (1815-1890)

The United States Colored Troops (1863-1865)

The United States Colored Troops (USCT) was the designation given to the approximately 175 regiments of non-white soldiers that served during the Civil War. The troops were primarily African American, but Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders were all included within the ranks, as … Read MoreThe United States Colored Troops (1863-1865)

Ladies’ Refugee Aid Society (1864)

The Ladies Refugee Aid Society of Kansas was founded in 1864 by black freedwomen in Lawrence. It was the first black women’s club in the West, preceding the Kansas Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs (a larger amalgamation of various state women’s societies). LRAS was a … Read MoreLadies’ Refugee Aid Society (1864)

Indian Severalty (The Dawes and Curtis Acts) and Black Indian Freedmen

Black Descendant of Cherokee Freedman Image Ownership: Public domain In the late nineteenth century, black Indian freedmen were uniquely affected by the Indian Severalty Acts. Black freedmen had lived in the Indian Territory since before the Civil War, with many having originally come as slaves. … Read MoreIndian Severalty (The Dawes and Curtis Acts) and Black Indian Freedmen