One segment of the site that has garnered increased attention is our Black History postings. Listing pivotal moments of achievements, events, birthdays and even tragedy regarding African-Americans, it has been both a rewarding and informative project to undertake.
NewsOne takes a look back at 10 heavily discussed Black History moments of 2012.
1. Slave Gabriel Prosser’s Thwarted Revolt Happened On This Day In 1800 (originally published Aug. 30) – The story of the botched revolt of slave and blacksmith Gabriel Prosser was especially resonant, considering that his story has hardly been told. The annals of history would certainly have been altered if Prosser wasn’t betrayed by the very people he sought to liberate.
2. Nat Turner Led Southampton Slave Rebellion On This Day In 1831 (originally published 8/21) – Nat Turner and the tales of his infamous rebellion have been told in times past, but the posting inspired some great comments from our readers. Commentator Black Heywood dropped some especially poignant jewels at several points, including this one: “We are the only group of Americans who seek the approval of White folks to celebrate what is our history.”
3. 1st African American Designs U.S. Mint Coin 66 Years Ago Today (originally published 8/7) – Some posts highlighted individuals who are largely obscure in the realm of Black History. One such person was Isaac Scott Hathaway, a sculptor responsible for designing the first U.S. Mint coin 66 years ago.
4. Teen Emmett Till Victim Of Kidnapping, Brutal Murder On This Day In 1955 (originally published 8/28) – The details surrounding the tragic and still bone chilling case of the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till would rendered even the most loquacious person speechless. The horrible, racially motivated crime became a galvanizing moment in the growing Civil Rights Movement. The assailants would die sick and alone, pride fully justified in the murder of Till.
5. Opelousas Massacre Occurred On This Date In 1868, Hundreds Of Blacks Slain Over Voting Rights (originally published 9/28) – The Opelousas Massacre in Louisiana was shared over 2000 times via our Facebook page, sparking several streams of discussion surrounding the horrific event where hundreds of Blacks were slain simply for wanting to take part in democracy and exercise their right to vote.
6. S.C. Black Leaders Fought Racist ‘Black Codes’ Law On This Day In 1865 (originally published 11/20) – The power struggle between the North and South surrounding the abolishment of slavery spawned the racist “Black Code” laws to further oppress African-Americans. In 1865, a gathering of activists and church leaders gathered for the “Colored State Convention,” and called for an end to the new laws along with using language framed around the Constitution of the United States.
7. Profiles Of Courage: The Rich History Of African-American Firefighters (originally published 10/5) – Although there are many African-American firefighters present today, little has been written about the pioneering men and women who took on the high-risk profession. This post focused on the evolution of Black firefighters from the 1800s until present day.
8. Million Man March Took Place On Washington’s National Mall On This Day In 1995 (originally published 10/16) – Although the Million Man March happened 17 years ago, the aims of the gathering of 1.5 million people on the grounds of the National Mall still have relevance. Standing as one of the most significant moments of Black History, this post reminded many of how significant that event truly was.
9. Aviation Pioneer J. Herman Banning Makes Historic Cross-Country Flight On This Day In 1932 (originally published 9/19)– J. Herman Banning’s inspiring story proves that determination inspires success. Along with being the first Black aviator to receive a flying license, he was also the first African-American pilot to fly cross-country. His three-week, 3,300-mile trek was a popular news item at the time. Commentator “Voices Of Truth” said of the entry, “Great, inspirational story from an era when racism was more obvious and in your face. We need more inspirational stories today when it is less obvious.”
Recognize! Charlotte Ray Becomes 1st Black Female Lawyer 140 Years Ago (originally published 8/23) – Every young Black woman who ever aspired to practice law has Charlotte Ray to thank. Howard University alumni should be especially proud, since Ray came to her profession by way of the celebrated institution. She would go on to become the first woman of any race to practice law in the Nation’s Capital and the first woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court.