What’s New on BlackPast

Ellis Marsalis (1934-2020)

Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr., jazz pianist and music educator, was considered the patriarch of the first family of New Orleans jazz. Marsalis passed away on April 1, 2020 of complications from the coronavirus (COVID-19), at the age of 85. He was one of the first … Read MoreEllis Marsalis (1934-2020)

Wilfred DeFour (1918-2018)

Wilfred DeFour was an aircraft technician and member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots and support personnel who were in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. DeFour was born on April 12, 1918 in Colon, Panama to … Read MoreWilfred DeFour (1918-2018)

San Juan Hill, New York City (ca. 1895-1940)

African Americans began a migration up the island of Manhattan in the early 1800s. Starting in Five Points, which is now New York City’s Chinatown, they moved in succession to Washington Street on the Lower West Side, then the Tenderloin in the West 20s and … Read MoreSan Juan Hill, New York City (ca. 1895-1940)

Miguel I de Buría (1510-1555)

Miguel I de Buría, also known as King Miguel and Miguel the Black, was a former enslaved person from San Juan, Puerto Rico who ruled as the King of Buría in the modern-day state of Lara, Venezuela from 1552 to 1555. He is best known … Read MoreMiguel I de Buría (1510-1555)

Earth, Wind & Fire (1970-2013)

Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) is multi-genre band that spans across R&B, soul, jazz, disco, funk, rock, and Latin musical styles. Some of the band’s most prominent members included Maurice White, Phillip Bailey, Verdine White, Fred White, Larry Dunn, Ralph Johnson, John Paris, Johnny Graham, … Read MoreEarth, Wind & Fire (1970-2013)

Ralph L. Crowder (1947-2020)

Historian and scholar Dr. Ralph Le Roy Crowder was born on Saturday, March 29, 1947 in Des Moines, Iowa, to parents Ralph L. Crowder and Allie Crowder. An only child, Crowder attended public schools in Des Moines where he played football, basketball, and track. He … Read MoreRalph L. Crowder (1947-2020)

The Nation of Islam’s Economic Program, 1934-1975

In the following article, historian Nafeesa Muhammad describes the often lauded but understudied economic program of the Nation of Islam (NOI). Here she focuses on the economic development plans put in place under the NOI’s longtime leader, Elijah Muhammad and their impact on African American … Read MoreThe Nation of Islam’s Economic Program, 1934-1975

Susan L. Taylor (1946- )

Magazine editor Susan L. Taylor was born in Harlem, New York on January 23, 1946. Her parents, Lawrence, from St. Kitts, and Violet, from Trinidad, came to New York in the 1920s and owned a clothing store for thirty years until it closed in the … Read MoreSusan L. Taylor (1946- )

Colonel Merryl Tengesdal (1971- )

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Merryl Tengesdal is the first African American female U-2 pilot in history and is the first African American woman to fly the Air Force’s U-2 Dragon Lady Spy Plane. She is the only black woman alongside five white women and … Read MoreColonel Merryl Tengesdal (1971- )