Betsey Stockton (c. 1798–1865) was an African American educator and missionary born into slavery in Princeton, NJ. She gained her freedom at 20 and travelled to Hawaii, Canada and Philadelphia teaching and serving as a nurse. She moved back to Princeton in 1835 and spent the rest of her life enriching the lives of the members of the local African American community. There is a window memorialized to her in the Witherspoon Street Church, Princeton, NJ.
"Cudjoe" is believed to be the last slave born in Africa and brought to the United States by the transatlantic slave trade. Before he died, he gave several interviews on his experiences, including one to the writer Zora Neale Hurston. During that interview in 1928, Hurston made a short film of Cudjoe, the only moving image that exists in the Western hemisphere of an African transported through the transatlantic slave trade.
Stagecoach Mary Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary, was the first African-American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States, driving her mail route by stagecoach from Cascade, Montana to St. Peter's Mission, Montana. When hired, she became the second American woman in all to work for the United States Postal Service. Born a slave circa 1832 in Hickman County, Tennessee. She was freed when American slavery was outlawed in 1865.
African-American inventor Elijah the Real McCoy was born in Canada on May 2, 1844, the son of escaped slaves. During his life time McCoy received 57 patents for devices which improved versions of his automatic lubrication process. The high quality of McCoy's inventions gained such notoriety that the phrase "the Real McCoy" was coined to distinguish his inventions from cheap imitations.
The bandleader who added "hi-de-ho" to the world's music vocabulary and made a cultural icon out of "Minnie the Moocher" moved to Baltimore in 1918, when he was 10. Check out the 1980 movie "The Blues Brothers" -- that's Calloway playing Curtis, the janitor, alongside John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.
Today in Black History, 4/21/2014 - James Carroll Napier and other Black members of the Nashville business community founded the Nashville One-Cent Savings Bank (now Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Company), the nation’s first bank owned and operated by African Americans. For more info, check out today's blog!
COL. CHARLES YOUNG ~ The first African American to attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 1. Colonel Charles Yong graduated from his high school in Ripley, Ohio at the top of his class at the young age of 16. After graduation, Charles became a teacher and went and taught at an all-black high school also located in Ripley. Later in his life he returned to his educator roots and taught Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and German as well as Military Science at Wilberforce University in Ohio.