Category: 1850 – 1899

August 2 1887- Joseph H. Rainy

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you the story of the first African American to be elected and seated as a United States House of Represenatives member from South Carolina. Still today, you may be elected by the people of your home district but if not seated in Washington, D.C. by the body that you were elected to you will not represent them in Congress. Article I, section 5 of the U.S. Constitution provides the House with the authority to determine whether Members -elect are qualified to be seated. Did you know that? or U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 2, clause 2, kept many Blacks from serving in Washington during the early stages of Reconstruction. “Each house shall be the judge of the … qualifications of its own members.” Read the constitution and learn. Enjoy!

Remember – “We love freedom more, vastly more, than slavery. Consequently, we hope to keep clear of the Democrats!” – Speech on the the Ku Klux Klan Bill of April 1871 on the floor of the U.S. House of Represenatives – Joseph H. Rainey (R-SC)

Today in oue History – August 2, 1887 – Joseph Hayne Rainey died in Georgetown,S.C., the city of his birth – of congestive fever, interment in the Baptist Cemetery.

In 1870 Republican Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African American to be elected to the United States House of Representatives and take his seat. Others were elected earlier but were not seated. Rainey was born in Georgetown, South Carolina, on June 21,1832. His parents had been slaves but his father purchased his family’s freedom and taught him to be a barber. The family moved to Charleston in 1846. Rainey, however, traveled frequently outside the South and married in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1859.

In 1861 Joseph Rainey was drafted to work on a Confederate blockade runner during the Civil War. In 1862 he escaped to Bermuda with his wife and worked there as a barber before returning to South Carolina in 1866.

Once back in the state, he joined the executive committee of the newly formed South Carolina Republican party. In 1868 he was elected a delegate to the state Constitutional Convention. Two years later in 1870 Rainey was elected to a four-year term in the state senate where he soon became the Chairman of the Finance Committee. His tenure in the South Carolina State Senate was brief. When South Carolina Congressman Benjamin F. Whittemore resigned Rainey won the seat in a special election. He served in the 41st Congress and was appointed to the Committee on Freedmen’s Affairs and the Committee on Indian Affairs. Rainey ran for reelection in 1872 without opposition. In May 1874 he became the first African American representative to preside over a House session.

In 1876, with the Democrats reemerging as the dominant force in South Carolina at the end of Reconstruction, Rainey barely defeated Democrat John S. Richardson for Congress. Richardson, who never conceded the election, contested Rainey’s seat for the next two years. In 1878 Richardson won the seat, ending Rainey’s Congressional career.

Rainey returned to South Carolina and in 1879 was appointed an Internal Revenue Agent in the state by President Rutherford B. Hayes. He held the post until 1881 when he returned to Washington, D.C. where he hoped to serve as Clerk of the House of Representatives. Unable to obtain the appointment, Rainey instead started a brokerage and banking firm. After this failed he managed a coal and wood yard before returning to South Carolina impoverished and ill. Joseph Hayne Rainey died in Georgetown on August 2,1887, leaving a widow and five children. Research more about Blacks serving in Congress during Reconstruction and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 1 1894-Benjamin Elijah Mays

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you, a man who was considered to be one of America’s best educatuers. Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays was a giant in the Christian ministry and American education. He is remembered for his outstanding leadership and service as a teacher, preacher, mentor, scholar, author and activist in the civil rights movement.

Remember – “It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream.” – Benjamin E. Mays

Today in our History – August 1, 1894 – Benjamin Elijah Mays was born.

Born August 1, 1894 near Epworth, South Carolina, he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bates College in Maine. He served as pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church from 1921-1923 in Atlanta, Georgia. Recruited by Morehouse President John Hope, Mays would join the faculty as a mathematics teacher and debate coach. He obtained a master’s degree in 1925 and in 1935 a Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago. In 1934, he was appointed dean of the School of Religion at Howard University and served until 1940.

He became president of Morehouse College in 1940 and launched a 27-year tenure that shepherded the institution into international prominence. He upgraded the faculty, secured a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and sustained enrollment during wartime America. His most noted forum was Tuesday morning Chapel in historic Sale Hall, where he challenged and inspired the students to excellence in scholarship and in life itself. One of Morehouse’s most distinguished graduates, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ’48, remembers Dr. Mays as his “spiritual mentor” and “intellectual father.”

Upon his retirement, he served as president of the Atlanta Board of Education from 1970 to 1981.Throughout his educational career, he would receive 56 honorary degrees, including a posthumously awarded degree from Columbia University. He published nearly 2000 articles and nine books.

In 1926, he married Sadie Gray, a teacher and social worker, who died in 1969. Dr. Mays died in 1984. Research more about this great Amerivan and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 28 1868-

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share with you an article that I wrote for a newspaper back in 1996 – 128 years since the admendment was passed. Now it’s has been 150 years is there any changes since the article?

Remember – ” We as a people need all of the support of this President as the Civil War is ending and slaves will truely be free” – Frederick Douglass

Today in our History – July 28, 1868 – The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adoped by all states.

This is an artilce that I wrote back in 1996 when I was Teaching at Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver, New Jersey as Director of Black Studies:

What will it take for African-Americans to gain their citizenship? Brought to the shores of this land for the sole purpose of hard labor and a permanent, inherited and inherent state of servitude, Black people never were meant to become citizens. And yet this is what happened on July 28,1868, when the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. It was on that day that Secretary of State William Seward issued a proclamation in which he certified the ratification of the 14th Amendment by the states.

Since that time, it has been an uphill battle for the descendants of slaves to remove the badge of slavery, even when the physical shackles were removed.

Malcolm X articulated the extent of the problem of citizenship for African-Americans in a 1963 interview, when journalist Louis Lomax pressed the issue.

“If they were citizens, you wouldn’t have a race problem. If the Emancipation Proclamation was authentic, you wouldn’t have a race problem. If the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were authentic, you wouldn’t have a race problem,” Malcolm insisted. “If the Supreme Court desegregation decision was authentic, you wouldn’t have a race problem. All of this hypocrisy that has been practiced by the so-called white so-called liberal for the past 400 years, that compounds the problem, makes it more complicated, instead of eliminating the problem.”

Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer said, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” And Hamer wanted to become a “first-class citizen,” as she testified at the 1964 Democratic Convention as a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, in opposition to her state’s whites-only delegation. She spoke of the beatings, harassment and threats she faced from white supremacists for attempting to exercise her rights as a citizen.

“Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off of the hooks because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?” she asked.

Black people in America are constantly made to fight for their rights, and are subjected to the whims of a hostile white majority. Being a citizen on paper and under the law proves illusory when the institutional racism against us has not abated.

New movements are necessary every few decades or so in order to secure the rights we were told we already have. And even today, there is a struggle among Black people, who are fighting for an existence free from state violence, mass incarceration and institutional racism.

Section 1 of the amendment says the following:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

With the enactment of the 14th Amendment, the infamous Dred Scott v. Sanford decision — which held that the descendants of African people could not be citizens — was no more. In Dred Scott, Blacks, according to Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”

“The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment guaranteed formal citizenship to ‘all persons born in the United States’ including African Americans.

In its original conception, the 14th Amendment was an anti-subordination law designed to lift African-Americans out of slavery and allow them to be equal citizens. This requires remedial action ordered by the courts or passed by Congress (see Section 5). However, when the U.S. Supreme Court took a conservative turn in the 1970s, it began viewing the 14th Amendment as an anti-classification law, which meant that remedial actions designed to help African-Americans attain true citizenship became suspect. We saw this through the Court’s hostility toward desegregation and affirmative action.

Slavery was abolished in part to promote the industrial future of America and steer it away from being an agrarian society. De jure segregation was eliminated because it was an international embarrassment after World War II, when the United States wanted to expand its global influence and, in the wake of the Cold War, to prevent African-Americans from being drawn to communism.

So in my view, laws are not enough. Activism is not enough. But we need both laws and activism, and at the right historical moment, African-Americans will gain some more citizenship rights. It will not be full citizenship, and it is a slow climb — certainly not satisfying to advocates of racial justice. But this is the unfortunate reality in my view. Research more about this and the other Civil Rights Admendments and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 18 1863- William Harvey Carney

GM – FBF – Today, I want to remind you of the brave men who served in The Civil War. They like in the American Revaluation wanted to show that they (Negro’s) should be looked upon as free men. This individual today was one of the rare people who received one of the highest honors that one can get during battles. Enjoy!

Remember – “The bullet I now carry in my body came whizzing like a mosquito, and I was shot. Not being prostrated by the shot, I continued my course, yet had not gone far before I was struck be a second shot.” – William Carney

Today in our History – William H. Carney earns the Medal of Honor for his bravery during this Battle.

William Harvey Carney (February 29, 1840 – December 9, 1908) was an African American soldier during the American Civil War. Born as a slave, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1900 for his gallantry in saving the regimental colors (American Flag) during the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863. Because his actions preceded those of other medal honorees, he is considered to be the first African American to be granted the Medal of Honor.

William H. Carney was born as a slave in Norfolk, Virginia, on February 29, 1840. How he made his way to freedom is not certain. According to most accounts, he escaped through the Underground Railroad, and joined his father in Massachusetts. Other members of their family were freed by purchase or by the death of their master.

Carney joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in March 1863 as a Sergeant. He took part in the July 18, 1863, assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina. His actions there ultimately earned him the Medal of Honor. When the color guard was killed, Carney retrieved the American flag and marched forward with it, despite multiple serious wounds. When the Union troops were forced to retreat under fire, he struggled back across the battlefield, eventually returning to his own lines and turning over the colors to another survivor of the 54th, saying, “Boys, I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground!” He received an honorable discharge due to disability from his wounds in June 1864.

After his discharge, Carney returned to New Bedford, Massachusetts, and took a job maintaining the city’s streetlights. He then delivered mail for thirty-two years. He was a founding vice president of the New Bedford Branch 18 of the National Association of Letter Carriers in 1890. He married Susannah Williams, and they had a daughter, Clara Heronia. He spent a few years in California, then returned again in 1869.

Carney received his Medal of Honor on May 23, 1900, nearly 37 years after the events at Fort Wagner. (More than half such awards from the Civil War were presented 20 or more years after the fact.) Twenty African Americans had received the medal before him, but because his battle actions happened earlier than the others, he is generally considered the first. His citation reads,

When the color sergeant was shot down, this soldier grasped the flag, led the way to the parapet, and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back he brought off the flag, under a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded.
Carney died at the Boston City Hospital on December 9, 1908, of complications from an elevator accident at the Massachusetts State House where he worked for the Department of State. His body lay in state for one day at the undertaking rooms of Walden Banks 142 Lenox Street at the wish of his wife and daughter. It was buried in the family plot at Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Engraved on his tombstone is an image of the Medal of Honor.

Carney’s face is shown on the monument to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th on the Boston Common designed by Augustus Saint Gaudens. A New Bedford, Massachusetts, elementary school was named in his honor, and his New Bedford home at 128 Mill Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2015, Carney was honored as one of the Library of Virginia’s “Strong Men & Women in Virginia History” because of his actions during the Civil War.In December 1908, all the flags in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were lowered to half-mast in tribute to Sgt. William H. Carney, who had died on Dec. 8. Never before had this honor been paid to an ordinary citizen and African American; but Carney was far from ordinary.

Research more about Black Americans fighting in U.S. Wars and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 15 1864- Maggie Lena

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share with you a story of a great 
black woman who as an activist and business woman who rose to be a role model for her community and the Nation. Enjoy!

Remember – “Let us put our moneys together; let us use our moneys; let us put our money out at usury among ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves … Let us have a bank that will take the nickels and turn them into dollars.” – Maggie Lena Walker

Today in our History – July 15,1864 – the first woman—white or black—to establish and become president of a bank in the United States is born.

Maggie Lena Walker was grand secretary of the Independent Order of St. Luke, an organization dedicated to the social and financial advancement of African Americans.

Maggie Lena Walker was born on July 15, 1864, in Richmond, Virginia. She attended school and graduated in 1883, having been trained as a teacher. She married a brick contractor in 1886 and left her teaching job, at which point she became more active within the Independent Order of St. Luke, an an organization dedicated to the social and financial advancement of African Americans. In 1899, Maggie Walker became grand secretary of the organization—a position that she would hold for the rest of her life. During her tenure, she founded the organization’s newspaper, and opened a highly successful bank and a department store. By the time she died, on December 15, 1934, Walker had turned the nearly bankrupt organization into a profitable and effective one.

Maggie Lena Walker was born Maggie Lena Draper on July 15, 1864, in Richmond Virginia. Her mother, Elizabeth Draper, was a former slave and the assistant cook for Elizabeth Van Lew, an abolitionist on whose estate Maggie was born. Maggie’s biological father was Eccles Cuthbert, an Irish American who had met Elizabeth on the Van Lew estate. The two were never married, and shortly after Maggie’s birth, Elizabeth married William Mitchell, the butler of the estate. In 1870, the Mitchells had a child, Maggie’s half-brother Johnnie.

Soon thereafter, William obtained a job as the headwaiter at the St. Charles Hotel in Richmond, and the family moved away from the estate and into a small house of their own. Tragedy struck, however, when in 1876 William was found drowned in the river. His death was ruled a suicide by police, though Elizabeth maintained that he had been murdered. William’s death left Elizabeth and her children in poverty. To make ends meet, Elizabeth began a laundry business, with which Maggie assisted by delivering clean laundry to their white patrons. It was during this time that she first developed an awareness of the gap between the quality of life for whites and blacks in the United States—a gap that she would soon devote her life to narrowing.

In her teens, Maggie attended the Lancaster School and, later, the Richmond Colored Normal School, both institutions dedicated to the education of African Americans. While attending the latter, she also joined the Independent Order of St. Luke, a fraternal organization dedicated to the advancement of African Americans in both financial and social standing.

Maggie graduated in 1883, having completed her training as a teacher. She returned to the Lancaster School to teach and remained there until 1886, when she married Armstead Walker Jr., a brick contractor, and was forced to leave her job, due to the school’s policy against married teachers. Over the next decade, Maggie Walker’s life was split between family and her work for the Order of St. Luke. In 1890, she gave birth to her first son, Russell, and in 1893, Armstead, who died while still an infant.

In 1895, Walker, who had been rising quickly through the ranks of the Order, became grand deputy matron. She also established a youth arm of the order to inspire social consciousness in young African Americans. In 1897, Walker gave birth to another son, Melvin, and two years later, became the Order of St. Luke’s grand secretary.

When Maggie Walker assumed control of the Order of St. Luke, the organization was on the verge of bankruptcy. In a speech she gave in 1901, she outlined her plans to save it, and in the coming years, she would follow through on each item she had described. In 1902, Walker founded the St. Luke Herald to carry news of the Order of St. Luke to local chapters and to help with its educational work. The following year, she opened the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank (of which she would be remain president until 1929). In 1905, she opened the St. Luke Emporium, a department store that offered African-American women opportunities for work and gave the black community access to cheaper goods.

In the midst of all of these accomplishments, however, tragedy visited Maggie Walker once more: In 1915, Russell Walker, mistaking his father for an intruder, shot and killed him as he was returning home one night. Russell was tried for murder, but was found innocent. Also around this time, Maggie Walker developed diabetes. Yet this did not deter her in her work.

In 1921, Walker ran for the seat of superintendent of public instruction on the Republican ticket, though she was defeated along with the other black Republican candidates. Her work for the Order of St. Luke, however, was meeting with much more favorable results. By 1924, under Maggie Walker’s continued leadership, the bank served a membership of more than 50,000 in 1,500 local chapters. Additionally, she managed to keep the bank alive during the Great Depression, despite the fact that many were failing, by merging it with two other banks in 1929.

For the last few years of her life, Maggie Walker was confined to a wheelchair and continued to suffer from her diabetic condition, and on December 15, 1934, at age 70, she died from complications of the disease. She was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Richmond. In 1979, her home on East Leigh Street, in the Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond, known as the “Harlem of the South,” was purchased by the National Parks Service and became a National Historic Site. Research more about Black women in finance and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 8 1895- John Lee Love

GM – FBF – Today, let me share with you a stroy of a Black Inventor, who had two great Ideas that are still used today. One by mason’s or construction workers for finishing walls and the other by Elementary school students. Enjoy!

Remember – ” I love coming up with Ideas that will make a project be done more safely, quicker and cheeper” – John Lee Love

Today in our History – July 8, 1895 –

Black Inventor John Lee Love – Invents The Plasterer’s Hawk –

John Lee Love – Inventor (d. 1931)

John Lee Love was a carpenter in Fall River, Massachusetts, who invented a couple of devices. In 1895, Lee patented a lightweight plasterer’s hawk. In 1897, he patented a portable pencil sharpener known as the “Love Sharpener.” Lee died in a car and train collision in North Carolina on December 26, 1931.

Little is known about the life of John Lee Love, the inventor of the portable pencil sharpener. It is speculated that he was born sometime during the reconstruction period – between 1865-1877. Love later worked as a carpenter in the community of Fall River, Massachusetts.

On July 8,1895, he created and patented an improved plasterer’s hawk, used by plasterers and masons. Love’s design featured a detachable handle and a foldable aluminum board, making it portable and lightweight.

A plasterer’s hawk – also known as a hand board – is a small, square, hand-held surface on which a load of plaster or mortar is carried. It is used in tasks such as the skimming (plastering) of walls or pointing of brickwork (filling gaps between bricks on the face of a wall). It has a straight handle underneath for carrying.

It is thought that the name “hawk” derives from the way that the object sits – like a hawker’s bird – on the arm, and also from the “assistant” role that they play – like the birds – in helping their owner do their job.

A hawk is often used alongside a larger mixing (or spot) board, onto which building compounds, such as plaster, are poured. These boards are much larger and hold the bulk of the mixture throughout the job. Mixing boards are often mounted on a stand or trestle, to make them easier to use.

Unlike a mixing board, a plasterer’s hawk is small enough to carry around the room as you work and you can hold it close to the wall being plastered, preventing plaster spillage from the trowel. It is repeatedly loaded from the main board throughout the job. In pointing, again, the hawk is loaded with small quantities of mortar from the mixing board and is carried close to the wall.

What is the difference between a hawk and a float?
Hawks are different from plasterer’s floats, which are small rectangular boards with a curved handle underneath. These are smoothed over freshly-applied plaster when it has firmed up, to level out irregularities in the surface.

Love’s second invention was his most successful, the pencil sharpener even though both are still being used today in 2018.Love hired lawyers from New York and Boston firms to represent him while applying for both of his patents.

Love died along with nine other passengers on December 26, 1931, when the car they were riding in collided with a train near Charlotte, North Carolina. Reports from the time indicate that he was not married. Research more about Black Inventors and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 29 1894- William J. Simmons

GM- FBF – Today, I am reflecting back to when I was a public school (High School History) teacher. Trenton, Ewing, Red Bank and Franklin Twp, N.J. I am proud that 427 students who went on to college on scholarships. I am now going to tell you about another great educator who had a college named after him. Enjoy!

Remember – “When one takes the time to invest in education past their high school learning years, they will place themselfs
in the oppertunity for a better econimc life.” – Dr. William J. Simmons

Today in our History – June 29, 1894 – William J. Simmons is born. Who will become an educator and have a College named for his dedication to young people learning.

William J. Simmons was an ex-slave who became Simmons College of Kentucky’s second president (1880–1890) and for whom the school eventually was named. Simmons greatly developed Howard University’s teacher training programs when he took over the school. In addition, he was a writer, journalist, and educator. In 1886 he became president of the American National Baptist Convention, one of the organizations that would merge to form the National Baptist Convention, USA. He was elected president of the Colored Press Association for his work as editor of the American Baptist, a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky.

Rev. Dr. William J. Simmons was born a slave in Charleston, South Carolina, to Edward and Esther Simmons on June 29, 1849. While William was young, his Mother fled slavery with her three children, William and his two sisters Emeline and Anna. They initially landed in Philadelphia, PA, and was met by an uncle named Alexander Tardiff, who housed them, fed them and educated the children. Due to stemming pressures from slave traders, Tardiff relocated his extended family to Roxbury, Pennsylvania, Chester, PA, and ultimately settled down in Bordentown, New Jersey. Tardiff had received an education from the future Bishop Daniel Payneand undertook to give Simmons and his siblings an education on that basis. From 1862 to 1864 William served as an apprentice to a dentist.

He served in the Union Army during the US Civil War, enlisting September 15, 1864 and serving a one-year term. He took part in the siege of Petersburg, the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, and the Battle of Appomattox Court House and was present at the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. After the war, he returned to dentistry. In 1867, he converted to Baptist and joined a White Baptist church in Bordentown that was pastored by Reverend J. W. Custis. The congregation helped him through college. He attended Madison University (now Colgate University, graduated in 1868), Rochester University, and Howard University, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1873. As a student, he worked briefly in Washington D.C. at Hillsdale School. In Hillsdale, he boarded with Simithsonian Institute employee, Solomon G. Brown. After graduating he moved to Arkansas on the advice of Horace Greeley to become a teacher there, but returned to Hillsdale soon after where he taught until June 1874.

The following summer, he married Josephine A. Silence on August 25, 1874 and moved to Ocala, Florida. The couple had seven children, Josephine Lavinia, William Johnson, Maud Marie, Amanda Moss, Mary Beatrice, John Thomas, and Gussie Lewis. In Florida, he invested in land to grow oranges, became principal of Howard Academy’s teacher training program and served as the pastor of a church, deputy county clerk and county commissioner. He campaigned for the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. He served there until 1879. He was ordained that year and moved to Lexington, Kentucky where he pastored the First Baptist Church. The following year, he became the second president of the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute, which he worked for a decade. The school was eventually renamed the State University of Louisville and later to Simmons College of Kentucky after Simmons due to schools progression under his tenure. He was succeeded in 1894 at Simmons College by Charles L. Purce.

In Kentucky he was elected for several years the chairman of the State Convention of Colored Men. On September 29, 1882, he was elected editor of the journal, the American Baptist where he criticized the failures of both political parties to support blacks in their civil rights and progress. He was also president of the American Baptist Company. in 1886 he was elected over T. Thomas Fortune to president of the Colored Press Association, having lost to W. A. Pledger the previous year. In 1883, Simmons organized the Baptist Women’s Educational Convention, and in 1884, Blanche Bruce appointed Simmons commissioner for the state of Kentucky at the 1884 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1886, he organized and was elected president of the American National Baptist Convention.[The convention was a call for African American Baptist unity and was also led by Richard DeBaptiste and featured notable presentations by Solomon T. Clanton and James T. White. In 1889 in Indianapolis, Simmons was a leader at the American National Baptist Convention and wrote a resolution to provide aid for blacks fleeing violence in the South and moving to the North.

Simmons received an honorary master’s degree from Howard University in 1881 and an honorary Doctorate degree from Wilberforce University in 1885. In 1887, he published a book entitled Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising, which highlights the lives of 172 prominent African-American men, while serving as the school’s president. He was working on a sister edition of the title that would highlight the lives and accomplishments of prominent pre-1900 African-American women, but unfortunately died before its completion. He died on October 30, 1890, in Louisville, Kentucky. Research more about HBCU’s and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 25 1876- Isaiah Dorman

GM – FBF – Today I will tell you the story of the only Black man who was with General Armstrong Custer during that final engagement at the Rosebud, Montana Territory. Some people didn’t know this story. Enjoy!

Remember – “Goodbye, Rutten.” – Last words spoken by – Isaiah Dorman

Today in our History – June 25, 1876 – Battle of the Rosebud River – Some people will call it a massace.

On June 25, 1876, Dorman accompanied the detachment of Major Marcus Reno into the battle and was leftbehind when Reno retired across the river to the high bluffs. According to most accounts as in Connell (1985), he gave a good account of himself- shooting several braves with a non-regulation sporting rifle.

According to the account of one Indian survivor of the battle:
“We passed a black man in a soldier’s uniform and we had him. He turned on his horse and shot an Indian right through the heart. Then the Indians fired at this one man and riddled his horse with bullets. His horse fell over on his back and the black man could not get up. I saw him as I rode by.”
According to Connell 1985, white survivors tell a similar story. Dorman had been unhorsed but continued to fire at the Indians:
“Pvt. Roman Rutten, unlike Vestal, did fight at the Little Big Horn and his report of Isaiah’s last stand rings through. Rutten was on a horse that hated the odor of Indians so his immediate problem was how to stay in the saddle. During a wild ride he passed Isiaih, whose horse had been shot. The black man was on one knee, firing carefully with a non-regulation sporting rifle. He looked up and shouted, “Goodbye, Rutten.”

Other eyewitness accounts from survivors indicate that Dorman was tortured by a group of women who pounded him with stone hammers, slashed him repeatedly with knives, and shot his legs full of buckshot. One odd detail reported is that his coffee pot and cup were filled with blood.

A report that he had been ‘sliced open’ may be a translator’s error; near his body was that of one of the Ree (Arikara) scouts, which had been slashed open and a willow branch stuck in the opening. To the Indians, mutilations were characteristic of different tribes and particular marks meant certain things. As for the torture, the Indians considered him a traitor who had fought with the bluecoats against them.

Dorman’s body was found just out of the timber, near Charley Reynolds’s and he was buried on the Reno Battlefield. It was reinterred in 1877 in the Little Bighorn National Cemetery. In Quartermaster Nowlan’s official report on the 7th’s 1876 Campaign, an item of $62.50 is listed as being owed to Dorman for services rendered in June 1876.

A man named Isaac McNutt, who was a handyman at Ft Rice, attempted to claim the wages; but his claim was dismissed for lack of proof of connection.

Dorman’s Indian widow could not be found and the account may be still drawing interest somewhere in the Army bureaucracy. Research more about the 7th Calvary and the battle at the Rosebud in Montana Territory and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 22 1893- Thomas W. Stewart

GM – FBF- Today I want to tell you about a man who invented many things to help Americans and the people of the world but this Invention is still needed today in homes, businesses and any building that has a hard service. Enjoy!

Remember – ” I like things to be clean and sanitized as much as possable and I think you do too.” – Thomas W. Stewart

Today in our History – June 22, 1893

Thomas W. Stewart, an African-American inventor from Kalamazoo, Michigan, patented a new type of mop (U.S. patent #499,402) on June 22, 1893. Thanks to his invention of a clamping device that could wring water out of the mop by using a lever, floor cleaning was not nearly the chore it once was.

Throughout much of history, floors were made out of packed dirt or plaster. These were kept clean with simple brooms, made from straw, twigs, corn husks, or horse hair. But some kind of wet cleaning method was needed to care for the slate, stone, or marble floors that were a feature of the homes of the aristocracy and, later, the middle classes. The word mop goes back probably as far as the late 15th century, when it was spelled mappe in Old English. These devices were likely nothing more than bundles of rags or coarse yarns attached to a long wooden pole.

Thomas W. Stewart, one of the first African-American inventors to be awarded a patent, lived his whole life trying to make people’s everyday lives easier. In order to save time and ensure a more healthy environment in the home, he came up with two improvements to the mop. He first designed a mop head that could be removed by unscrewing it from the base of the mop handle, allowing users to clean the head or discard it when it wore out. Next, he designed a lever attached to the mop head, which, when pulled, would wring water from the head without users getting their hands wet.

Stewart described the mechanics in his abstract:

1. A mop-stick, comprising a stick proper, provided with the T-head having the grooved ends, forming one portion of the clamp, the rod having a straight portion forming the other part of the clamp and from thence converging rearwardly to the sides of the stick, a lever to which the free ends of said rod are pivoted, a ring loose on the stick, to which the forked ends of the lever are pivoted, and a spring between said ring and the T-head; substantially as set forth.

2. The combination of a mopstick provided with a T-head, forming one part of the clamp, a moveable rod forming the other part of the clamp, a lever to which the free ends of said rod are pivoted, said lever being fulcrum-ed to a moveable support on the stick, and a spring exerting a resistance against the lever when the latter is thrown back; substantially as set forth. Research more about black inventions and inventors and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 19 1865- Juneteenth Day

GM – FBF – Today is the black holiday known as Juneteenth Day. Some of the people up North may or may not had heard about this day. So let’s take a deeper look at this. Enjoy!

Remember – The emancipation of Black people in Texas is finially here. So rejoyce! – Fredrick Douglass

Today in our History – June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth Day –

The Day Slaves Learned They Were Free

The 19th of June is known as Juneteenth, an African-American holiday begun at the end of slavery days. Its origins are Texan, not Louisianan, but Juneteenth has long had strong roots in the South and has since spread all over the country as a time for African-Americans to commemorate their freedom and accomplishments.

President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves in Confederate states, on New Year’s Day in 1863. Word didn’t reach the African-American slaves of Galveston, Texas, until June 19, 1865, when a force of two-thousand Union soldiers arrived and informed them of their freedom. Although news indeed did travel slowly in those days, two and a half years is a long time; historians suspect Texas slaveholders knew of the proclamation and chose not to free their slaves until they were forced to.

The African-Americans of Galveston began an annual observance of Juneteenth which over the years spread to other areas and grew in popularity. Early Juneteenth celebrations were picnics at churches and in rural areas with barbecues, horseback riding, fishing, and more. The early 20th century saw a weakening of the holiday’s observance due to African-American migration to urban centers,

The national celebration of Independence Day just a few weeks later, and the preference of white historians to emphasize the Emancipation Proclamation over Juneteenth as a date to mark the end of slavery. Although some activists objected that holiday’s associations with slavery were too backward-looking, Juneteenth’s visibility rose again during the Civil Rights Era of the 1950s and 60s, and its resurgence continues all over the country.

Like elsewhere, in New Orleans African-Americans celebrate Juneteenth with barbecues and picnics, with family and church gatherings that strengthen community bonds. Other events include jazz concerts and speaking engagements emphasizing African-American empowerment, education, and achievement. To participate in Juneteenth festivities, check listings in local newspapers or online as the next June 19th approaches. Research more about this great American Holiday and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!