For the Week of july 31-August 6
1874—Father Patrick Francis Healy becomes the first Black president of a major White university when he is inaugurated on this day as president of Georgetown University. Healy was also the first African-American to earn a PhD. However, racial prejudice forced him to earn his degree in Europe not the United States. Healy was born in Macon, Ga., in 1834 to a Black slave woman and a White plantation owner who decided to acknowledge his five bi-racial children. They were all sent north to be educated. Although some felt he could have passed for White, Healy openly acknowledged his African ancestry. Healy died in 1910.
1960—Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad calls for an all-Black state in America during a speech in New York City. Muhammad was a fearless critic of American discrimination against and the mistreatment of Blacks and he also advocated independent, Black owned businesses, institutions and religion.
1961—Actor Lawrence Fishburn Jr. is born on this day in Augusta, Ga. He began his acting career at the age of 10.
1619—This is possibly the day that the history of Blacks in America begins. However, no one knows for sure the exact day that the ship arrived in Jamestown, Va., carrying at least 20 Africans who were sold as indentured servants. There is some authority that the ship arrived in late August. All that appears certain is that the month was August and the year was 1619—the beginning of Black history in America.
1834—Slavery is officially abolished in all British territories. It would take another 31 years and a Civil War before it was abolished in America.
1920—The national convention of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association begins at Liberty Hall in Harlem, N.Y. The next night Garvey addresses over 25,000 Blacks at Madison Square Garden. This period represented the height of the Garvey movement and the Black nationalism (non-integration with Whites) tendency within Black America. Garvey built the largest Black mass movement in history advocating Black pride, independent Black businesses and institutions as well as a strong and united Africa. He also brought motivation and showmanship unlike that of any other Black organization before or since.