What’s New on BlackPast

The Florida Poll Tax (1889-1938)

By the end of the Civil War, African Americans made up nearly half of the population of Florida. As in other Southern states, most Blacks in Florida before the Civil War were enslaved people and none had the right to vote. The passage of the … Read MoreThe Florida Poll Tax (1889-1938)

The Links, Incorporated (1945- )

In 1945, two native Philadelphian friends, Margaret Hawkins and Sarah Scott, saw a need for African American women to be supported and uplifted in ways that existing clubs, sororities, and other organizations were not doing. In response, the two friends conceived of a new kind … Read MoreThe Links, Incorporated (1945- )

Establishing MLK Holiday (1983)

On November 2, 1983 President Ronald Reagan, during a White House Rose Garden ceremony, signed a bill that passed through both houses of Congress, establishing January 20th as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday, to be observed on the third Monday of January. … Read MoreEstablishing MLK Holiday (1983)

The Black Scholar (1969- )

The Black Scholar is a quarterly journal founded in 1969 by Nathan Hare, Robert Chrisman, and Allan Ross. It is the third oldest journal of black history and culture in the United States after The Crisis, the publication of the NAACP founded in 1910 and … Read MoreThe Black Scholar (1969- )

African Americans and the Knights of Labor (1869-1949)

Founded in Philadelphia in 1869, the Knights of Labor (KOL) was the largest, most important labor union in the 19th century United States. Unlike most unions (and predominantly White institutions), then, the KOL opened its membership to African Americans and women workers. Prior to the … Read MoreAfrican Americans and the Knights of Labor (1869-1949)

South Carolina’s Black Majority (1708-1920)

By 1708 South Carolina became the first British North American colony to have an African American majority. The first Africans to arrive in South Carolina likely came in 1526 as part of the San Miguel de Gualdape Colony organized and sponsored by Spain. When the … Read MoreSouth Carolina’s Black Majority (1708-1920)

The USS PC-1264 (1943-1946)

The USS PC-1264 was a PC-461- class submarine chaser built for the United States Navy. The vessel was one of two U.S. Navy ships operated primarily by an African American crew during World War II. The other ship was the escort destroyer, the USS Mason … Read MoreThe USS PC-1264 (1943-1946)

Johnson Products Company (1954- )

During a period in history when little attention was paid to Black consumers, husband and wife George and Joan Johnson cofounded Johnson Products Company in Chicago, Illinois to cater specifically to Black consumers. The Johnsons founded the company with just $254 in 1954. While the … Read MoreJohnson Products Company (1954- )

Margaret Abner Dixon (1923-2011)

Margaret Abner Dixon, the first African American president of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in August 8, 1923. She was reared by an aunt, Emily Clark Metz, and her grandfather, Mantle Birt Williams, as both parents died … Read MoreMargaret Abner Dixon (1923-2011)