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

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

When Hattie McDaniel Won an Oscar, She Was Banned From Sitting With Her Co-Stars

Hattie McDaniel at the Academy Awards ceremony

Hattie McDaniel became the first Black Oscar winner in 1940 for her portrayal of a slave named Mammy in the 1939 film Gone With the Wind. Sadly though, when she attended the Academy Awards ceremony at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in The Ambassador Hotel, she wasn't even allowed to sit with her co-stars.

The Fourth of July Used to Be a Black Holiday

African Americans celebrating the 4th of July

In 1852, famed abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass told a large, mostly white crowd in Rochester, New York, "This Fourth [of] July is yours not mine." And many other African Americans of that time period felt the same way. But after the Civil War in 1865, things had changed. African Americans in the South had transformed Independence Day into a celebration of their newly won freedom.

5 Showstopping Musicals with Black Leading Roles

The Color Purple musical

There is something so captivating about sinking into your seat at a theater and watching stories come to life on the stage before you. These five musicals with Black leading roles have enamored audiences around the world, transporting them back through history or to magical lands far beyond their wildest dreams.

A Black Woman Invented the First Home Security System With TV Surveillance in 1966

Marie Van Brittan Brown, inventor of the first home security system

Marie Van Brittan Brown, born on January 7, 1922, was an African American nurse and inventor from Queens, New York City. In 1966, at the age of 44, she came up with the brilliant idea to create a unique home surveillance device with a closed circuit television security system.

Rare Footage of Black Couple Kissing in 1898 Silent Film Discovered

Black couple kissing in silent film, Something Good-Negro Kiss

Extremely rare footage from an 1898 silent film titled Something Good-Negro Kiss shows an African American man and woman kissing. The clip is only 29 seconds, and is believed to be the earliest cinematic depiction of African-American affection.

The Best Black Female Authors of the 20th Century

Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston

America owes so much of its rich literary tradition to these three women: Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston. Today, we celebrate their contributions as three of the best Black female authors of the 20th century.

Striking a Chord: The History of Blues Music

Early blues history makers

The musical genre of the blues has been around for as long as any of us can remember, but - like anything else - it has its roots. The history of the blues traces back over a century and a half to post-Civil War America, originating with freed slaves. Though slavery was abolished in 1865, Americans in the Deep South still found ways to obtain free labor. Free Black men were placed in prison farms, which served as inspiration for many blues songs. Jim Crow laws continued to incite violence against African Americans; as they had for centuries, Black musicians told the stories of their pain through song.

8 Famous Black Talk Show Hosts You Should Know

Arsenio Hall Show

Day time talk shows, a guilty pleasure for us all, has given rise to some of the most famous people in the world. Media empires have been built on the backs of this simple format. When it’s time to sit on the couch and tell the world your most intimate secrets, these famous Black talk show hosts were there to catch it all.

Bessie Coleman Was the First Black Woman to Become a Licensed Pilot

Bessie Coleman, first Black woman pilot

Bessie Coleman was raised by a poor family in a time of discrimination and segregation, but this didn't stop her from becoming the first Black woman to become a licensed pilot. In fact, her passion for aviation was inspired by the stories of soldiers who had been returning from World War I.

Phillis Wheatley Was Just 12-Years Old When She Became the First Black Female Author to Be Published

Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley, known for her literature and poetry work, had quite an interesting experience in her early life. She was kidnapped from her home in West Africa when she was just 9 or 10 years old, and sold to the Wheatley family in Boston, Massachussetts. But they were they ones who taught her to read and write in English, and encouraged her to write poetry when they discovered that she had a talent for it.

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...]