On September 17, 1849, Harriet Tubman (born Aramita “Minty” Ross) escaped slavery with her brothers, Ben and Harry. Little is known about her journey or her early days in Philadelphia until she returned to guide family members and others to freedom. She was later quoted as saying, "When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven."
Mary Burnett Talbert (September 17, 1866 - October 15, 1923) became the first black woman in the country to serve as a high school assistant principal when she was appointed to that position at Little Rock's Union High. After her marriage to William Talbert she moved to Buffalo NY where meetings to form the Niagara Movement were held at the Talbert home in 1905. She was a founding member of the NAACP and its first female Spingarn Medal winner.
Dr. Lena Frances Edwards (September 17, 1900 - December 3, 1986) graduated from Howard Medical School in 1924 and began a medical practice serving the immigrant population of Hudson County, New Jersey but was not admitted to an OB/GYN residency until 1945. She began teaching at Howard in 1954, while continuing to bring medical care to low-income women. Dr. Edwards received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.
Joseph W. Hatchett (born September 17, 1932) was the first African American to be elected to the Florida Supreme Court (1976) and to be nominated to the Federal Court of Appeals in the south (1979). He is a graduate of FAMU and Howard School of Law.
On September 17, 1861 Mary Peake held the first class under the Emancipation Oak in Hampton VA for for children whose enslaved families had escaped to freedom at Fort Monroe. This was the first school for freedmen, and it was later known as the Butler School and Hampton Institute before taking its current form as Hampton University. The Emancipation Oak still stands on the campus.
On September 17, 1953, Ernie Banks became the first African American baseball player for the Chicago Cubs. He had played two seasons with the Kansas City Monarchs and was one of several former Negro league players who joined MLB teams without playing in the minor leagues. He finished second in Rookie of the Year votes the following year, and make fourteen All-Star Game appearances over his career. A fan favorite, he was known as "Mr. Cub" and his uniform number 14 was retired in 1982.
On September 17, 1983, Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America 1984, becoming the first African American to win the title. On July 23, 1984 she resigned after nude photos of her surfaced (taken before her pageant days).
|Mrs. Sally Fickland, viewing the Emancipation Proclamation in the|
Freedom Train at Philadelphia, on September 17, 1947.
|Black and white fourth graders at St. Martin School, Washington, DC,|
dash for the playground at recess, September 17, 1954.
|Pastor H.C. McClain looking over the burned ruins of his High Hope Baptist Church,|
Dawson, Georgia. It was the fourth in a series of African American church burnings,
presumably to discourage Civil Rights activism. September 17, 1962
|On September 17, 1968, the ABC sitcom Julia debuted.|
|September 17, 1970 “The Flip Wilson Show,” a variety show, premiered on NBC.|
|On September 17, 1984, Reggie Jackson hit his 500th home run, 17 years to the day after his first.|
|Jet Magazine, September 17, 1953|
|Jet Magazine, September 17, 1953|
|Jet Magazine, September 17, 1981|