Montana Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs (1921-1972)

The Montana Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs was a voice for Montana’s African American community for half a century, from 1921 to 1972.  Beginning in the late 1800s, women in the American West developed clubs and societies which helped them adjust to life far from … Read MoreMontana Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs (1921-1972)

Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Helena, Montana (1888- )

When African American citizens founded the St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Helena, Montana, in 1888, their population topped 250 people in a city of roughly 12,000 souls. Located in Helena’s eastside residential district on 114 N. Hoback, the church building rested on … Read MoreSaint James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Helena, Montana (1888- )

Booker T. Washington’s Visit to Spokane (1913)

In 1913 the famous African American activist and educator Booker T. Washington left Tuskegee, Alabama, to begin a speaking tour around the United States. The ultimate goal of this tour was to raise funds for the Tuskegee Institute in order to educate more young African … Read MoreBooker T. Washington’s Visit to Spokane (1913)

The Harlem Renaissance in the American West

In the following article historians Bruce Glasrud and Cary Wintz discuss their new book, The Harlem Renaissance in the American West which argues that the literary and artistic outpouring by African Americans during the third decade of the 20th Century was a national phenomenon which … Read MoreThe Harlem Renaissance in the American West

24th Infantry Regiment (1866-1951)

Twenty-Fourth Infantry Soldiers at Yosemite Park Image Ownership: Public Domain When the U.S. Army was reorganized on July 28, 1866 for peacetime service after the American Civil War, six regiments were set aside for black enlisted men.  These included four infantry regiments, numbered 38th through … Read More24th Infantry Regiment (1866-1951)

Buffalo Soldiers in Montana (1888-1898)

Black Cavalry in Montana, 1894 “Image Courtesy of Montana Historical Society” Between 1866 and 1917, African American soldiers served throughout the western United States, including the territory and later state of Montana. Beginning in 1888, the 24th and 25th Infantries and the 9th and 10th … Read MoreBuffalo Soldiers in Montana (1888-1898)

Susan Smith McKinney Steward (1847-1918)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward was the first African American woman to earn a medical doctorate (M.D.) in New York State and the third in the United States.  Susan Smith was born to elite Brooklyn parents, Ann Springstead and Sylvanus Smith.  … Read MoreSusan Smith McKinney Steward (1847-1918)