Everything to Know 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!

First Black-Owned Company to Go Public on the Stock Market

George Johnson, founder of Johnson Products

Johnson Products, which manufactures a popular line of hair care and cosmetic products for African Americans, is the first company owned by African Americans to be listed on the American Stock Exchange. Founded in 1954 by husband and wife team, George and Joan Johnson, the company officially went public in 1971.

Mexico Once Had a Black President — But He Was Executed!

Vicente Guerrero, Mexico's first Black president

Vicente Guerrero is the first and only Black person to have become President of Mexico. He served as President of the Central American country from April 1829 until February 1831 when he was captured and then assasinated. He was only 39 years old at the time of his death.

Meet the Inventor of the First Gas Mask and the Three-Position Traffic Light

Garrett Morgan, inventor of the gas mask and three-way traffic light

Garrett Augustus Morgan was born in 1877 in an almost all-Black community outside of Paris, Kentucky. He was an inventor, businessman and influencial political leader.

America’s First Black-Owned Shopping Plaza Celebrates 50 Years

Progress Plaza in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the country's first and oldest Black-owned shopping plaza. It was built and financed in 1968 by Rev. Leon Sullivan, a legendary business leader, civil rights advocate, and humanitarian.

Reginald Lewis Was America’s First Black Billionare — Long Before Oprah and Bob Johnson!

Reginald F. Lewis

Reginald F. Lewis was the first African American to build a billion dollar company. He was one of the wealthiest African Americans in the 1980's, and also one of the first to be included on the Forbes list of the richest Americans.

Meet the Former Slave Turned Real Estate Investor Who Owned Several Laundromats

Clara Brown

Clara Brown was a pioneer, a community leader, a philanthropist, and the first African American woman to live in Denver, Colorado. At the age of 56-years old, she became a real estate investor who established a successful laundromat chain during the Colorado Gold Rush in the 1800s.

Meet the Founder of One of the First 5-Story, Black-Owned Luxury Hotels

George Thomas Downing

George Thomas Downing was an entrepreneur who founded the first and largest Black-owned luxury hotel in the country. Built in 1854 in Newport, Rhode Island, his 5-floor establishment was called the Sea Girt Hotel, and primarily catered to rich white clientele. The hotel complex featured large stores, a fine dining restaurant, and accommodations for gentlemen boarders and families.

Meet the First Black Electrical Engineer Who Owned More Than 60 Patents

Granville Tailer Woods, first Black Electrical Engineer

Granville Tailer Woods was the first African-American to become a mechanical and electrical engineer. He was also an inventor who held more than 60 patents.

The First African American Woman to Become a Pilot For a Major U.S. Airline

Jill E. Brown-Hiltz, first Black woman pilot at a major airline

In 1978, Jill E. Brown-Hiltz was hired as a pilot for Texas International Airlines, making her the first African American woman pilot at a major airline. But it didn't always look like her dreams would come true. Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, she always wanted to fly more than anything else but she ended up graduating with a degree in Home Economics and began teaching.

Rodney Harrison Makes History as the First African American NYPD Chief of Detectives in 175 Years

Rodney Harris, first Black NYPD Chief of Detectives

The New York City Police Department has appointed Rodney Harrison as Chief of Detectives. He is the first African American in the department's 175-year existence to serve in this role.

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...]