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

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Welcome to! 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!

Garrett Morris Was the First Black Cast Member on 'Saturday Night Live’

Garrett Morris

After premiering in 1975, Saturday Night Live grew exponentially to become one of TV’s longest, most adored shows. It has started the careers of many famous actors and sparked the joy of comedy into the hearts of millions. However, it took two years before Saturday Night Live debuted their first black cast member.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the First Black Woman in America to Become a Medical Doctor

Today, health workers have become some of the most important laborers around the world. However, even the medical profession had discriminative origins, as it wasn’t until 1864 until the first African American woman became a medical doctor. Her name was Rebecca Lee Crumpler.

Thomas L. Jennings Was the First African American to Ever Hold a Patent 

Thomas L. Jennings

In 1821, Thomas L. Jennings, an African American from New York City, became the first black man to receive a patent. According to an article by Smithsonian Magazine, Jennings invented ‘a process called ‘dry scouring,’ a forerunner of modern dry cleaning.’

Sam Cooke Was the First African American Pop Singer to Have His Own Record Label

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke, commonly know as the King of Soul, has been influential to the world of music for decades. Even at the age of 15, Cooke was a singer in a Chicago gospel group named The Highway QC’s. While following the influence of Ray Charles, Cooke was said to be ‘the pioneer cross-over artist from gospel to rhythm and blues.’

Black Men Built the Capitol

U.S. Capitol being built by Black men

It was the mid-1850s and the U.S. capitol was under construction, with plans for a new dome and a statue to sit on top of it. At first, the sculptor of this statue wanted to create the likeness of a freed slave. The statue would be simply titled, “Freedom.”

Jane Bolin: America’s First Black Female Judge

After graduating from Wellesley College as a top student in 1928, Jane Bolin went on to pursue a career in law. Although she didn’t receive much support, Bolin still went on to make American history throughout her career.

Meet America's First Ever Black Female Senator

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun was born on August 16, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. From an early age she showed a great interest in political and social issues. This interest resulted in her becoming the first African-American female senator and also the first African-American senator from the Democratic Party.

The Slave That Packed Himself in a Box and Mailed Himself to Freedom

Henry Box Brown, slave who mailed himself to freedom

Henry "Box" Brown was born in 1815 as a slave in Louisa County, Virginia. Later, he and his family were sold to a plantation in North Carolina. In 1849, he became a free man by putting himself in a box and mailing himself to freedom.

The Original Black Barbie Doll Debuted in 1980

Original Black Barbie doll

Mattel, one of the largest manufacturers of toys in the country, released the original Black Barbie® doll in 1980. Though beloved friends of Barbie® – like Christie and Francie – were introduced over the preceding decades, this was the first black fashion doll to be hailed as Barbie® herself.

The Slave Who Cleverly Stole a Confederate Ship and Freed Himself With 15 Others

Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls was born as a slave in 1839, but later became a free man after he cleverly managed to steal a confederate ship and steer his way to freedom.

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...]