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!

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.

Meet Annie Malone, the Millionaire Black Hair Care Icon Who Owned Several Mansions

Annie Malone, First Black Woman Millionaire

Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone was the first Black woman to become a millionaire. She owned a Black hair care empire called Poro that reported assets of $14 million in the year 1920.

Meet Maggie Lena Walker, the First African American Woman to Own a Bank

Maggie Lena Walker, first Black woman to own a bank

In 1903, Maggie Lena Walker founded St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia making her the first African American woman to charter a bank in the United States. Her bank not only focused on adult clientele, but also marketed to children and encouraged them to save their money.

The First African American to Graduate College Was Alexander Lucius Twilight

Alexander Lucius Twilight, first Black person to graduate from college

The story of Alexander Lucius Twilight is an amazing one. When he graduated from from Middlebury College in 1823, he became the first Black American to graduate from college with a Bachelor's degree.

Charlotte E. Ray Was the First Black Woman to Become a Lawyer in the U.S.

Charlotte E. Ray, first Black woman to become a lawyer

The legal industry remains relatively hostile to African-Americans even to this day. That is why the accomplishments of Charlotte E. Ray are so impressive. In the 1800s, she became the first Black female lawyer in American history.

It Took Only 16 Hours to Destroy Black Wall Street — 1,000 Black-Owned Businesses and Homes!

Black Wall Street

Established in 1906, Black Wall Street (originally known as Greenwood Avenue) was a prominent African American community located in the Greenwood District in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sadly in 1921, the whole neighborhood was burned down after being attacked by a white lynch mob.

Meet the Founder of the Oldest and Largest Black-Owned Life Insurance Company

John C. Merrick, founder of North Carolina Mutual

North Carolina Mutual is one of the most influential African-American businesses in U.S. history. Founded in 1898 in Durham, NC by entrepreneur John C. Merrick, the company initially specialized in providing "industrial insurance," which was basically burial insurance for Black people.

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...]