February 7

On February 7, 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson first introduced “Negro History Week” during the second week of February, chosen because it coincided with Frederick Douglass’s February birthday as well as Abraham Lincoln’s (February 12). From the event's initial phase, primary emphasis was placed on encouraging the coordinated teaching of the history of American blacks in the nation's public schools. The first Negro History Week was met with a lukewarm response, gaining the cooperation of the Departments of Education of the states of North Carolina, Delaware, and West Virginia as well as the city school administrations of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Despite this far from universal acceptance, the event was regarded by Woodson as "one of the most fortunate steps ever taken by the Association," and plans for a repeat of the event on an annual basis continued.  In 1976, the Federal government expanded the week to “Black History Month.” (Image: “Carter G. Woodson - Teacher, Historian, Publisher, 1943” by Charles Henry Alston. National Archives, Record Group 208, ARC 535622.)


James Monroe Trotter (February 7, 1842 - February 26, 1892) taught in Ohio before traveling to Boston in 1863 to join the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry USCT, Company K. He was one of the few African American soldiers to be a commissioned officer. After the war he was hired by the U.S. Postal Service and He was appointed in 1887 by President Grover Cleveland as the second African American to be Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, one of the highest federal offices to be held by a man of color at that time. He was preceded in that position by Fredrick Douglass (1881–1886) and followed by U.S. Senator Blanche Kelso Bruce was appointed to the office, serving 1891–1893. He also wrote a book entitled Music and Some Highly Musical People, published in 1878, perhaps the first comprehensive study of music ever written in the United States. His son, William Monroe Trotter, attended Harvard University and founded the progressive newspaper The Guardian.

Emma Rochelle Wheeler (February 7, 1882 - September 12, 1957) was a physician in Chattanooga who, with her husband, Dr. John N. Wheeler, opened the 30-bed Walden Hospital in 1915. The only previous hospital care for African American patients in the city had been in the basements of the whites-only hospitals. Walden Hospital also trained nurses and other caregivers, and offered a pre-paid health plan that covered a hospital stay and home nursing for members.
James Hubert (Eubie) Blake (February 7, 1887 - February 12, 1983) was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, he and his long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans. Blake's compositions included such hits as "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find a Way", "Memories of You" and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The musical Eubie!, which opened on Broadway in 1978, featured his works

William Andrew (Bill) White, III (February 7, 1915 – January 23, 1981) was a Canadian composer and social justice activist, who was the first Black Canadian to run for federal office in Canada. He was the son of Baptist minister William A. White and the brother of famed Canadian concert singer Portia White, labor union leader Jack White, and television performer Lorne White.

Oscar William Adams, Jr. (February 7, 1925 - February 15, 1997) was the first African American Alabama Supreme Court justice and the first African American elected to statewide office in Alabama (including the Reconstruction era). Adams earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy at Talladega College in 1944, and a law degree at Howard University in in 1947. He had a private law practice in Birmingham, where he specialized in civil rights cases, often on behalf of Fred Shuttlesworth's Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. During the 1963 Birmingham Campaign he was a member of the Central Committee that met at the A. G. Gaston Motel to plan demonstrations.

Christopher Julius (Chris) Rock III (born February 7, 1965) is an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, film producer, and director. After working as a standup comic and appearing in small film roles, Rock came to wider prominence as a cast member of Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s. He went on to more prominent film roles, and a series of acclaimed comedy specials for HBO. He was voted as the fifth greatest stand-up comedian of all time by Comedy Central.


On February 7, 1871, Alcorn University opened in Lorman, Mississippi as the first land-grant HBCU. The name was changed to Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1878 and to Alcorn State College in 1974. U.S. Senator Hiram Revels resigned his seat in the Senate to become the school's first president. The university's most famous alumnus, Medgar Evers, a civil rights activist, graduated in 1948. Students at the college were part of the mid-twentieth century civil rights struggle, working to register residents for voting and struggling to end segregation.s in the nation's public schools. Other alumni include Horace R. Cayton, Sr., Alex Haley, and Michael Clarke Duncan.

Photo Gallery

Misty Copeland performing with Prince, Madison Square Garden on February 7, 2011

A wax likeness of the renowned abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad Harriet Ross Tubman is unveiled at the Presidents Gallery by Madame Tussauds in Washington in celebration of Black History Month, Tuesday, February 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Obama reacts as Joey Hudy of Phoenix, Arizona, launches a marshmallow from his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon in the State Dining Room of the White House during the second White House Science Fair in Washington February 7, 2012.


Marian Anderson, Jet Magazine, February 7, 1952

No comments:

Post a Comment