Little-Known Facts About Black History, Culture, Inventions, and More!

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Welcome to BlackHistory.com! This web site features unique stories and facts about Black history, culture and accomplishments. We profile African Americans who made and/or are still making significant contributions to technology, business, entertainment, politics, and even sports!


Dr. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., the First Black CEO of a Fortune 500 Company

Dr. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.

In 1987, Dr. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr. became the first black CEO and chairman of a Fortune 500 company. It was TIAA-CREF, a multi-billion dollar corporation that is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural, and governmental fields.

Kurtis Blow, the First Rapper to be Signed by a Major Label

Kurtis Blow

Often regarded as a founding father of Hip-Hop, Kurtis Blow became a huge part of music history at the age of 20. In 1979, Blow, born Kurtis Walker, became the first rapper to be signed by a major label.

Charlie Sifford, the First African-American to Join the PGA Tour

Charlie Sifford

The world of golf has had a long history of exclusivity regarding race and sex. In fact, it took many years before even lower-class white men were allowed to participate as a player instead of a caddy. But as time went on, so more people were allowed to play the sport. However, it wasn't until 1960 when a man named Charlie Sifford became the first African American male to earn a PGA Tour card. This was during a time when the PGA of America still upheld a "Caucasian Only" membership clause that kept black men from being allowed to participate.

Meet Robert Tanner Freeman, the First African American Dentist

Robert Tanner Freeman

Born in 1846, Robert Tanner Freeman was a child of slaves. However, he grew up to make history as the first professional Black dentist in America. According to BlackPast.org, Freeman "befriended Henry Bliss Noble, a local white dentist in the District of Columbia," and "began working as an apprentice to Dr. Noble and continued until he was a young adult." This led to Freeman applying to multiple dental colleges.

Vivian Malone Jones, the First Black Graduate of the University of Alabama

Vivian Malone Jones

In 1965, a woman named Vivian Malone Jones became the first African American to ever graduate from the University of Alabama. However, this accomplishment took years of dedication and fighting through trials against both her race and her character.

First African American Woman to Win a Golden Globe

Whoopi Goldberg, first Black woman to win Golden Globe

In 1986, Whoopi Goldberg became the first Black actress to win a Golden Globe award. However, it wasn't until 2021 that another Black woman won a Golden Globe in succession to Goldberg's example. This award-winning actress is Andra Day, and she won the award as Best Actress for her role as Billie Holiday in a film titled The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

First African American to Receive a Ph.D. From Harvard University

W.E.B. Du Bois

In 1895, history was made when a man named William Edward Burghardt Du Bois became the first African American man to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University. This amazing accomplishment went on to open the door for hundreds of future Black American students and even led to a series of lectures, aptly named The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures.

Meet the First Black Woman to Win a Gold Medal in Olympic Wrestling

Tamyra Mensah-Scott

In the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, 28-year old Tamyra Mensah-Scott made history by becoming the first Black woman to win a gold medal for wrestling. She is also only the second woman in history to accomplish this.

Daisy Bates Launched One of the First Black Newspapers and Helped Desegregate Schools

Daisy Bates

Daisy Bates was a natural-born leader, known commonly as a heroine of the civil rights movement. After getting married, Bates and her husband started a newspaper called The Arkansas Weekly, which at the time was one of the only African American newspapers solely dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement.

Lusia Harris, the First and Only Black Woman to Play in the NBA

Lusia Harris, first woman to play in the NBA

In 1977, professional basketball changed forever when a player named Lusia Harris became the first and only Black woman to play in the NBA. Growing up in Mississippi, Harris began her basketball career as the captain of her high school team as well as earning the most valuable player award three years in a row.


Helpful Resources:


Top Black History Museums and Cultural Centers:
There are hundreds of Black history museums in the United States that preserve artifacts, records, documents, and more related to African Americans. They vary in size and popularity, but all of them have exclusive exhibits and collections that millions of people from all ethnic backgrounds take interest in. [Find one to visit...]



Top Black History Organizations and Projects:
There are many organizations and projects that are dedicated to African American history. These include foundations and other educational initiatives. All of them typically have the common goal of preserving Black culture and heritage for those who are interested in gaining more awareness about the African American experience over the past 500 years or longer. [Learn more...]



The History of Black History:
The heritage and experience of African Americans that typically dates back to the mid 1500's when Black people were captured in Africa and brought against their will to America to become slaves. After nearly 400 years of slavery and dehumanization, African Americans were eventually freed but were oppressed, discriminated against, and were initially not even recognized as legal citizens of the United States. [Learn more...]