Your History Online VII
Chronological History of Africans
Period: 1884 to 1895
“any power which henceforth takes possession of a tract of land on the Coast of the African Continent outside of its present possessions, or which, being hitherto without such possession, shall acquire them, as well as the Power which assumes a Protectorate there, shall accompany the respective Act with a notification thereof, addressed to the other Signatory Powers of the present Act,From Paul Fordham. Geography of African Affairs (Baltimore: Penguin Press, 1968), p. 59.
African resistance to the European scramble for colonies, Robert I.
“When the representatives of the nations of Europe demonstrated their desire to rule rather than merely to coexist commercially — an earlier pattern — Africans . . . managed to put up a show of resistance . . . it varied according to the nature of the alien thrust, . . . the structure of the society being defended, the political abilities of its leaders, and each side’s differential access to modern instruments of combat. Although primarily thought of as martial, resistance was equally political, and in many areas a resistance of mind rather than of the hands.”Leopold II of Belgium founds the Congo Free State.
South West Africa is annexed by Germany.
Christian missionary activity is expanded in Africa.
The Philadelphia Tribune, with Eustace Gay as its editor, begins publishing.
T. Woods of Cincinnati, Ohio, an inventor and owner of the Woods
patents many devices. He begins with a steam
boiler furnace in 1884, and continues
two electrical brakes, several kinds
of telegraphing apparatuses, at least four
railway improvements, a battery, a telephone system and a tunnel
for electrical use.
The schematics for some of the devices and apparatuses invented by
other African Ameri-
Imvo Zabantsundu, the first African political newspaper in South Africa, is edited by John Tengo Jabavu. Before the publication of this paper, there were numerous religious papers owned by missionaries printed for their African converts.
Ohio passes a Civil Rights Act. It is amended in 1894 and clearly prohibits discrimination in public facilities on the basis of race.
The Cleveland Globe begins publishing as a weekly.
During the years 1885–1889 only two Africans in the U.S. receive Ph.Ds; during the same period, 347 whites receive doctorates. ,
G.T. Woods invents and patents an apparatus for transmitting messages by electricity.
The Chicago Appeal, which later unites with the Northwestern Bulletin to form the North- western Bulletin Appeal, is first published. It continues in business until 1923.
Africans in New Orleans still perform in Congo Square where, since 1817, they have been permitted to dance, using African drums, gourds, chants, pieces of metal, bells and bones. Eventually European instruments and traditions are incorporated leading to the creation of jazz.
Lee S. Burridge and Newman R. Marshman, of New York City, invent and patent their type writing machine.
The Chicago Clipper is edited and published by Cornelius Lenox.
Grover Cleveland, a New Jersey Democrat, becomes the 22nd U.S. President.
Silas Xavier Floyd edits the Sentinel in Augusta, Georgia.
Italy declares war on Ethiopia.
Mahdi seizes Omdurman in the Egyptian Sudan and besieges Khartoum,
The Saraiva-Cotegipe Law frees all Brazilian slaves at 60 years of age.
An East Indian National Congress is established to work toward the prohibition of indentured emigration. Its primary target is the injustice meted out to East Indians in the Fiji Islands and South Africa; the West Indies become involved as recipients of Indian indentured laborers also.
The Tribune is published in Savannah, Georgia.
The Colored Farmers’ Alliance is organized in Houston County, Texas. In 1888 the organiza- tion applies for and receives a charter as a national organization, creating the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Cooperative Union. The superintendent of the Alliance is a bearded white Baptist missionary, General R.M. Humphrey; the other national officers are African, however. In 1891 it has approximately 1,300,000 members. See William W. Rogers, “The Negro Alliance in Alabama,” Journal of Negro History, January 1960.
The Laboring Man (first established as The Laborer with J.A. Penn as editor) is now edited by P.H. Johnson in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The Carrollton Massacre takes place in Carrollton, Mississippi. Twenty Africans are killed.
The Knights of Labor has 60,000 African members; total membership is 700,000.
The Delaware Delight, with A.W. Brinckley as editor and publisher, is printed in Wilmington.
Patronato, a patronage system, is terminated in Cuba; the patrocendos are now protected by the State.
Slavery is abolished in all Spanish colonies. In 1888, 723,419 slaves are freed in Brazil, a Portuguese colony.
The Mirror is published in St. Joseph, Missouri.
One hundred thirty–eight Africans are lynched.*
Gold is discovered in the Transvaal, South Africa, and intensifies the massive search for cheap labor.
Jordon S. Murray edits the Illinois State Capital in Springfield.
William L. Dawson, African congressman from Chicago, is born in Albany, Georgia.
Alain L. Locke, the first African Rhodes Scholar, is born. In 1925, while a professor of history at Howard University, he authors The New Negro. He dies in 1954.
State College opens in Wilberforce, Ohio. It becomes a university in
The Knoxville, Tennessee, Negro World, a daily, is published until 1895.
Lobengula, son of Mzilikazi, is defeated by mercenaries of Cecil John Rhodes’s British South Africa Company.
"Constitutionally they would take the same trail that Goldie had blazed in West Africa, and Mackinnon was about to use in East Africa. They would use the mechanism of a British public company empowered by royal charter to conquer, govern and develop the territory in the name of the Queen. But before applying for a charter from the Queen in London, they needed to wheedle some kind of concession out of King Lobengula, the Ndebele King who claimed sovereignty over neighbouring Mashonaland, conquered by the Ndebele when his father, Mzilikazi, led his people north to escape the spears of Shaka Zulu and the guns of the voortrekkers.William Murrell edits the Newark, New Jersey Trumpet.
Ohio repeals its law forbidding interracial marriages.
The Dawes Act attempts to improve the quality of life for some 260,000 Native Americans living on reservations in the U.S.
Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (and African Commu- nities League), is born in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica.
The first black baseball team, the “Union Giants,” is founded by Frank Peters.
G.T. Woods patents his telephone system and apparatus.
With T.H. Phillips as its editor and publisher, the Western Optic begins publishing in Moberly, Missouri.
TheColumbus Messenger, edited by B.T. Harvey, begins publication in Ohio.
Florida A & M University, a land grant institution, is founded at Tallahassee.
John Wesley Adams edits the daily Public Ledger in Baltimore, Indiana.
One hundred twenty–two more Africans are lynched this year.
T. Thomas Fortune begins editing the New York Age.
Edward Wilmot Blyden publishes his Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race, a collection of masterful essays.
The American Citizen is first published in Kansas City, Kansas; this newspaper ceases in 1900. Another paper, under same title, is published in 1888 in Topeka.
King Jaja of Opobo is deposed by Harry Johnston who further extends British control over southern Nigeria.
Roland Hayes, world–famous tenor, who includes spirituals, folk, opera, and German songs in concert repertoire, is born. He gives a farewell performance at Carnegie Hall on his 75th birth- day.
The Brotherland is published in Natchez, Mississippi.
Africans number 32.4% of the Cuban population.
Zululand is annexed to the British Empire.
H.H. Hatcher edits the Louisville, Kentucky, Informer.
Disc recording method is invented by Emile Berliner, a Euro–American, whose company is the beginning of the Victor Recording Company.
The Florida Sentinel is first published in Jacksonville.
The Wide Awake is published in Birmingham, Alabama, until 1900.
The St. Paul, Minnesota, Afro–Independent is first published.
J.L. Fleming edits the Free Speech in Chicago, Illinois.
Frederick III becomes German Emperor in March of this year; William II succeeds him in June.
Browne establishes the first African–owned bank in the U.S. in
The Capital Savings Bank of Washington, DC., is also established. By 1917, over 55 African–owned banks have been established in the United States.
Two Africans, Pedro Guillermo and Ulises Heureaux campaign to be elected to the presidency of Santo Domingo. Heureaux emerges victorious, governs the country for ten yeas, and is assassinated in 1899.
Joseph T. Wilson edits the Richmond, Virginia Industrial Day.
One hundred forty–two Africans are lynched in the U.S. during the year.
The Leavenworth Advocate is published in Kansas.
H.S. Doyle publishes the Birmingham, Alabama American Press until 1895.
The Negro Question is published by George W. Cable.
The Petersburg, Virginia Herald is edited and published by Scott Wood.
Slavery in Brazil is abolished. Princess–Regent Isabel signs the Lea Aurea — the Golden Law — which declares 723,419 African men, women and children free human beings. Brazil is the last nation in the western hemisphere to abolish this peculiar institution.
The Leader is established in Alexandria, Virginia, with M.L. Robinson as its editor. From 1894–1898 it merges with the Clipper. Afterwards it resumes its original title.
S.B. Davis becomes publisher and first editor of the Athens, Georgia Clipper.
Frederick Douglass is appointed minister to Haiti. Blanche K. Bruce becomes the Recorder of Deeds in DC.
Landon Jessup and D. Betts Robinson begin editing the Standard in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Little Rock, Arkansas American Guide begins publishing.
As a result of the Republican Party’s betrayal of African people, African Americans in North Carolina burn President Harrison and his cabinet in effigy.
In Jackson, Mississippi, W. Newman edits the People’s Defender.
Dinizulu is arrested in South Africa for organizing continued resistance and banished to St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic Ocean about 1200 miles off the South African coast.
The Progress is published in Omaha, Nebraska.
Edwin H. Hackley edits the Statesman in Denver, Colorado.
The Chicago Tribune reports that one hundred seventy–six Africans are lynched during the year.
Anti–Portuguese riots break out in Guyana.
The Augusta Union is published for first time in Georgia and continues publishing until 1904.
Hampton Institute incorporates the Peoples Building and Loan Association. By 1909 it will lend more than $375,000 to African people.
The Southern News is published in Richmond, Virginia.
State College opens in Georgia.
Approximately twenty percent of all African Americans reside in urban areas; eighty percent live in rural areas and are probably engaged in agriculture. African Americans also own 120,738 farms.
Bismarck is dismissed from his post as “The Iron Chancellor” of Germany.
Heligoland is ceded to Germany by Lord Salisbury.
W.B. Purvis, a Philadelphian, patents his invention of a fountain pen.
Cleveland, Ohio, only three American Africans are employed in the
rapidly expanding steel industry. No African males work as semi–skilled
operators in factories. Only 14.8 per-
John Clinton edits the Richmond, Virginia Reporter.
The so–called “Progressive Era” begins in the U.S. and lasts until 1920.
The United States is clearly dominant in the economies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Honduras.
Mashonaland is invaded by Cecil Rhode’s British South Africa Company.
The first all–African musical show to employ black women on the professional stage, “The Creole Show,” is produced by white management in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
One hundred twenty–seven American Africans are lynched.
The Montgomery, Alabama Argus, with William F. Crockett and T.A. Curtis as editors, begins publishing.
Harry L. Jones patents his corn harvester.
The Second Morrill Act passes with the provision
“. . . That no money shall be paid out under this Act to State or Territory for the support and maintenance of a college where a distinction of race or color is made in the admission of students, but the establishment and maintenance of such colleges separately for white and colored students shall be held to be in compliance with the provisions of this Act if the funds received in such State or Territory be equitably divided as hereinafter set forth . . .” Since the Second Morrill Act applies only to funds appro- priated in 1890 and afterward, the funds appropriated by the Hatch Act in 1887, to establish agricultural experiment stations in land grant colleges, did not go to African American colleges at all. The primary contribution of the African American land grant colleges is the preparation of teachers and not the training of workers in scientific agriculture or the mechanic arts.The Mississippi Constitutional Convention (August 12–November 1) begins the systematic exclusion of Blacks from the political life of the South. This second Mississippi Plan, i.e., literacy and “understanding” tests, is later adopted with embellishments by other states:
South Carolina, 1895; Louisiana, 1898; North Carolina, 1900; Alabama, 1901; Virginia, 1901; Georgia, 1908; Oklahoma, 1910.
The Herald is published in Austin, Texas, until 1930.
Claude McKay, poet and novelist, is born in Jamaica. He dies in 1948.
A religious war erupts in Buganda (now a part of modern–day Uganda) between Catholic and Protestant factions.
J. Gordon Street begins to edit the Boston Courant.
The National Afro–American League, the forerunner to the NAACP, is organized in Chicago; Professor J.C. Price is President and T. Thomas Fortune is Secretary. This organization inspires other branch leagues and conventions throughout the nation. See Emma Lou Thorn- brough, “The Afro–American League,” Journal of Southern History, 1961.
The Item is published in Fort Worth, Texas.
which is established as an afternoon paper by the Roanoke Daily
One hundred ninety–three American Africans are lynched this year.
The Des Moines, Iowa Avalanche is first published with A.S. Burnett as editor.
Elizabeth City State University opens its doors in North Carolina.
J.M. Gee edits the Selma, Alabama New Idea.
Charles Wesley, historian, educator, and president of Central State College in Ohio in 1942, is born in Louisville, Kentucky.
George R. Nevels publishes the National Independent in Detroit.
The remains of pithecantropus erectus, or “Java Man,” are found.
Delaware State College is established in Dover, Delaware.
The Southern Age is edited by H.A. Hagler in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Hehe People in modern–day Tanzania obstruct German seizure of East Africa. (See Allison Redmayne, “Mkwawa and the Hehe Wars,” Journal of African History, 1968.)
The Advocate is first published in Jacksonville, Flordia.
North Carolina A & T University opens in Greensboro. Sixty–nine years later students of this University spark the Civil Rights Sit–In Movement which jolts the tranquility of segregated America, North and South.
The People’s Advocate is published in Atlanta.
The Lodge Bill, which provides for federal supervisors of elections, is buried in the U.S. Senate.
The Topeka Call is published by W.M. Pope.
“The Creole Show” is staged in Boston.
Chicago’s Provident Hospital is incorporated by its founder, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who establishes the first training school for African American nurses.
W.H. Rogers edits the Light in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Jomo “Burning Spear” Kenyatta, the first President of Kenya, is born in Ichaweri, Kenya.
The New Orleans Ferret & Journal of the Lodge is edited by Dr. E.A. Williams.
The People’s Elevator is published in Kansas City, Kansas.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper publishes her novel, Iola Leroy or Shadows Uplifted. (See also 1825.)
Levi Jolley becomes the editor of the newly established Philadelphia Afro–American. During the same year, another Afro–American is published in Washington, DC.
The Lexington, Kentucky Standard begins its publication history.
President Harrison puts before Congress a bill forbidding the lynching of non–white foreigners.
Anthony L. Lewis invents and patents his squeegee–type window cleaner.
The Northwestern Recorder (or the Wisconsin Afro–American) is published in Milwaukee.
Winston–Salem State University opens in North Carolina.
F.L. Jeltz of Topeka edits the Kansas State Ledger.
Sissieretta Jones is invited to sing at the White House. Later she organizes “Black Patti’s Troubadours” which performs throughout the U.S. for the next 19 years.
George T. Sampson, of Dayton, Ohio patents his invention of a clothes drier.
Edward C. Williams is one of the first African students to graduate from Western Reserve Uni- versity in Cleveland, Ohio. Williams, however, graduated as valedictorian of his class and became one of the 19th century’s six African American Phi Beta Kappas. John Sykes Fayette is the very first documented African to graduate from the university in 1836, when it was still a college in Hudson.
The Reverend William McGill publishes the Metropolitan Journal in Birmingham, Alabama.
William H. Lewis, while studying at Harvard College becomes the first African to become an all–American football player.
The Baltimore Afro–American is founded; Carl Murphy is the editor. From 1901–1916 this semi–weekly is known as the Afro–American Ledger.
At World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, Pan–African exhibitions and a week–long Con- gress on Africa are held.
In Pulaski, Virginia, R.J. Buckner edits the People’s Light.
American Federation of Labor (AFofL) unanimously adopts resolution on labor unity regardless of race.
The New Orleans Rescue begins publishing with Simms & Gould as its editor and publisher respectively.
The Colored American begins publication in Washington, DC.
Britain and France threaten Liberia’s territorial integrity.
The Houston Freeman is first published.
Two hundred more Africans are brutally lynched by white mobs.
The Afro–American Sentinel begins publication in Omaha, Nebraska; the paper expires in 1911.
George R. Pratt begins editing the Press in Port Royal, Virginia.
The Dallas Express is published for one year in Texas.
The Afro–American Steamship and Mercantile Company is formed by African American entre- preneurs for the express purpose of emigration to the African motherland.
William M. Smith publishes and edits the Echo in Beaumont, Texas.
The Newport News, Virginia Evening Recorder is first published.
M.N. Lewis edits the Norfolk, Virginia, Recorder.
Bishop Henry McNeal Turner publishes the Voice of Missions for the A.M.E. Church. This paper is used to publicize the Bishop’s African Exodus schemes and circulates among more than 4,000 readers. In the same year he calls an African Repatriation Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. This convention represents the last of the great black conventions of the nineteenth century.
The Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Indicator begins publication with Peter Boyd as editor.
Mohandas K. Gandhi, called the Mahatma, (i.e., the great souled), arrives in South Africa from India.
Cleveland becomes the 24th U.S. President. This is the second time he
The Indianapolis Courier is first published by Charles Stewart.
S.I.R. Hoodes edits the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Journal.
Lobengula’s Ndebele state is conquered by the forces of Cecil Rhode’s British South Africa Company.
The Advance, a weekly, is published in Norfolk, Virginia. It goes out of business a year later.
The French complete their conquest of the Tokolor Empire in West Africa.
The Chicago Church Organ begins publication.
The world’s first successful open–heart operation is performed by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams at Chicago’s Provident Hospital.
The New Orleans Monitor is published with C.F. Melne as editor.
The Blade is first published in Eatonton, Georgia with E.W. Low as editor.
The U.S. Congress repeals the voting rights provisions of the Enforcement Act of 1870 and refuses to provide funds for special Federal marshals and election supervisors.
The Mobile Weekly Press Forum is published in Alabama until 1928.
Several thousand American Africans emigrate to Mexico.
The People’s Choice is edited by P. Lawrence in Opelika, Alabama.
The American Eagle is published in St. Louis. The paper continues until 1907.
The Western Outlook is published in Oakland, California, until 1928.
During elections of 1894 African Americans are openly bribed.
The Press begins publishing on a weekly basis in Mobile, Alabama.
The Mobile, Alabama, Delta News is first edited by T.J. Ellis.
The United States and Congo National Emigration Company transports a colony of Georgia Africans to the Congo.
The Orphan Aid Society of Charleston, South Carolina, publishes the Messenger.
Jacob S. Coxey’s “Army” of 500 unemployed Midwestern white workers marches on the Capitol in Washington, DC. Coxey is arrested for trespassing on Capitol grounds.
TheIowa Bystander is published in Des Moines.
Robert P. Scott, an African American inventor, patents his corn silker.
The Baltimore, Maryland, Race Standard begins its four–year publication history.
The International Migration Society is formed by four wealthy white men. Bishop Henry McNeal Turner is on the “Advisory Board.”
The Sedalia, Missouri, Times, edited by W.H. Carter, begins publishing.
The Denver, Colorado Statesman is first published.
Harry T. Burleigh becomes a soloist at Saint George’s Episcopal Church, in New York City.
Albert S. White edits the New South in Louisville, Kentucky.
E. Franklin Frazier, noted sociologist and author of The Negro Family in the United States (1939) and The Black Bourgeoisie (1957), is born in Baltimore. He dies in 1962.
J.M. Griffin edits the Sunday Unionist in Owensboro, Kentucky.
The Albany, New York, Capitol, edited by W.H. Johnson, is first published.
The Seattle Republican is published until 1915 in Washington.
Bessie Smith, blues singer, is born on April 15 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She dies in 1937.
An African American extravaganza is held in Brooklyn.
One hundred seventy African Americans are lynched during the year.
The Japanese declare war on China.
Part III: Accommodation and Protest
The imperialist “Unionist” government takes over in Britain.
Booker T. Washington makes his famous Atlanta Cotton Exposition speech . . .
One–third of the population of the South is of the Negro race. No enterprise seeking the material, civil, or moral welfare of this section can disregard this element of our population and reach the highest success . . . A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal, ‘Water, water; we die of thirst!’ The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, ‘Cast down your bucket where you are.’ A second time the signal, ‘Water, water; send us water!’ . . . was answered, ‘cast down your bucket where you are.” The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River. To those of my race who depend on bettering their condition in a foreign land or who underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly relations with the Southern white man, who is their next–door neighbor, I would say: ‘Cast down your bucket where you are’ — cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded. . . . Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labour and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life . . . No race can prosper until it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. . . . To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what I say to my race, ‘Cast down your bucket where you are.’ Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides. . . . As we have proved our loyalty to you in the past, in nursing your children, watching by the sickbed of your mothers and fathers, and often following them with tear–dimmed eyes to their graves, so in the future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner can approach . . . In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential o mutual progress. . . . The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing. No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized. . . . I pledged that in your efforts to work out the great and intricate problems which God has laid at the doors of the South, you shall have at all times the patient, sympathetic help of my race; only let this be constantly in mind, that, while from representations in these buildings of the product of field, of forest, of mine, of factory, letters, and art, much good will come, yet far above and beyond material benefits will be that higher good, that . . . will come, in a blotting out of sectional differences and racial animosities and suspicions. . . .”The Georgia Speaker is published in Atlanta.
W.E.B. DuBois receives his PhD from Harvard University, the first ever awarded by this university to an African. DuBois later distinguishes himself as a sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, editor and author of The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Black Reconstruction (1935), The World and Africa (1946), and Color and Democracy (1945).
The X-ray is discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German physist. In 1901 he wins the Nobel Prize for this discovery.
The National Reflector is published in Wichita, Kansas.
North Carolina legislature, dominated by black Republicans and white Populists, adjourns to mark the death of Frederick Douglass.
Indian conflicts break out in Wyoming.
Fort Valley State College, a land grant institution, is founded in Georgia.
W. Forrest Cozart edits the Chicago Free Lance.
Bluefield State College opens in West Viriginia.
Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital is founded in Philadelphia.
A.A. Gordon begins editing the Reporter in Atlanta, Georgia.
As many as 171 Africans are lynched during the year.
Susan Elizabeth Frazier, a graduate of Hunter College, is the first African American teacher appointed to a predominantly white school in New York City.
The Huntsville Journal, edited by H.C. Binford, is first published in Alabama. After 1896, it is known as the Journal.
The all–African National Medical Association is formed.
D.A. Scott edits the Texas Headlight in Austin.
The Exodus–to–Africa fever reaches its peak as racism and white mob violence intensify in the South and North. (See Edwin S. Redkey, “Bishop Turner’s African Dream,” Journal of American History, 1967.)
The Reporter is published in Richmond, Virginia, until 1931.
Britain annexes southern Botswana as “British” Bechuanaland.
Creole villages virtually unite the Agricultural Movement in Guyana with the move to create larger and more viable local government. By 1902 there are 214 villages, 96 in Berbice, 66 in Demerara, 52 in Essequibo. The village population doubles since 1848 going from 44,456 to 86,935 people. The value of village property increases by a half million dollars. There are 13,969 proprietors owning 77,234 acres. One contemporary publicist makes an interesting assessment: “Local self-government has been seriously curtailed because the villages began to show that they understood what it meant.”
The all–African National Baptist Convention is formed in Atlanta.
The Newport News, Virginia, Caret, with C.D. Cooley as editor, is first published.
William Grant Still is born in Woodville, Mississippi.
In this year and in 1904, 1907, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1916 and1920, African Americans are used to help break strikes of New York City longshoreman, laborers, street cleaners, baggage handlers, hod carriers, waiters and garment workers.
Walter Francis White, Executive Secretary of NAACP from 1931–1955, is born in Atlanta. See his autobiography, A Man called White (1970).
John T. White patents his invention of a lemon squeezer.
South Carolina State College, a land grant institution, is founded at Orangeburg.
TheKansas City Observer begins a four–year publication history in Missouri.
As many as one hundred eighty–one Africans are lynched.
At the Battle of Adowa, in Northern Ethiopia, Menelik II wins a decisive victory over the Italian invaders. See Richard Pankhurst, “Ethiopian Emperor Menelik Repulsed Italian Invasion, 1895,” in Colonial Africa, W. Cartey and M. Kilson, eds. (1970).
Ohio passes an Anti–Mob Violence Act.
Utah is admitted to the Union.
“Oriental America” is the first African American musical show to play on Broadway.
Charles B. Brooks invents and patents a street sweeper.
The Rising Sun is published in Kansas City, Missouri, until 1918.
Harvard University gives the first honorary degree ever offered to an African in the U.S. to Booker T. Washington.
The Forrest City, Arkansas, Herald is edited by G.M. Thomason.
G.A. Neal and F. Clark publish the Broad Axe in Pittsburgh.
William S. Grant invents and patents his curtain rod support.
The U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy vs. Ferguson decides in favor of Jim Crow by upholding the “separate–but–equal” doctrine. See O.H. Olsen, The Thin Disguise (1967).
W.R. Davis edits the Republic in New York City.
W.E.B. DuBois publishes The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the U.S.A., 1638–1870, while teaching at Wilberforce University in Ohio. The monograph is the first title in the Harvard Historical Studies. Between 1896–1914 DuBois is at Atlanta University where he conducts the first sociological studies of Southern black people.
The Watchman is published in Shreveport, Louisiana, with S.H. Ralph as editor.
Paul Laurence Dunbar publishes his Lyrics of a Lowly Life. Among the poems included are . . .
In the Morning
T.P. Rawlings publishes the weekly, All about Us, in Chicago.
E.D. Minton edits the Record in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Arkansas Appreciator, with L.J. Van Pelt as editor, starts to publish in Fort Smith.
George Washington Carver joins the faculty of Tuskegee Institute.
William McKinley, a Republican from Ohio, is elected the 25th U.S. President.
The National Association of Colored Women is founded in Washington, DC. In 1901 it has chapters in 26 states.
The Shona and Ndebele peoples revolt against white–settler rule in Southern Rhodesia (present–day Zimbabwe).
Fante chiefs and educated Africans in the Gold Coast form the Aborigine’s Rights Protection Society to act as a watchdog over African interests.
R.I. Ruffin edits the Alabama Southern Sentinel.
Andrew J. Beard receives $50,000 for his invention of an automatic coupling device for railroad cars, the “Jenny Coupler.”
Queen Victoria celebrates her diamond jubilee.
The Philadelphia Defender is published and edited by George and H.C.C. Ashwood.
J.A. Sweeting invents and patents his device for rolling cigarettes.
Isaac Frederick begins editing the Radical in St. Joseph, Missouri.
The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians hold a council and war dance at Darlington, Oklahoma.
James M. Morris and Milton S. Malone edit the Valley Index in Staunton, Virigina, until 1905.
The Detroit Informer begins its 19–year publication history.
The Indianapolis Recorder is edited and published by Marcus Stewart.
The first ragtime piece published by an African is Tom Turpin’s Harlem Rag.
The “Resurrection of Lazarus,” a painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner, is purchased by the French Government for the Luxembourg Galleries. See Marcia M. Mathews, Henry Ossawa Tanner, American Artist (1969). For more information on Tanner and other African American artists visit these websites:
One hundred six African Americans are lynched, the lowest annual number since 1886.
The Negro Protective Party is organized in Ohio and garners more than 5,000 votes for its Afri- can gubernatorial candidate.
Alexander Crummell founds the American Negro Academy whose function it is to promote literature, science, art, higher education and African defense.
John H. Evans invents and patents his convertible setee and bed.
By the end of 1897, 7,372 cases are heard under the terms of the Enforcement acts — 5,172 in the South and 2,200 in the North. Of these cases only 1,432 (19.4%) lead to convictions.
Joseph H. Smith patents his lawn sprinkler.
The Signal begins publishing in Cumberland, Missouri, with W.H. Thomas as its editor.
Langston University, a land grant institution, is founded in Oklahoma as the Colored Agricul- tural and Normal School.
Storyville opens in New Orleans and becomes the city’s official Red Light District.
A.C. Banks edits and publishes the Major in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
John Lee Love patents his invention of a pencil sharpener.
Enoch Sontonga, gifted songwriter and a teacher at a Methodist mission school, writes the first stanza of "Nkosi Sikelel’ i-Afrika" (i.e., the South African National Anthem) or the "Azanian." Two years later at an induction ceremony in Nancefield, the anthem is sung in public for the first time. A few years later the famous Xhosa poet, S.E.K. Mqhayi, adds 7 stanzas. The full text is published in 1927 in Umthetheli waBantu and in Imihobe neti Bongo.
Xhosa and Sotho
Nkosi sikelel' i-Afrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo
Yizwa imithendazo yethu
Thina Lusapho lwayo
boloka setshaba sa etsho
Lord give your blessings to Africa
Let her glory rise above
Hear our pleas and hear our prayers
Her sons and daughters
Lord save our nation
Save it Lord
So let it be
.J. Toussaint edits and publishes the Alexandria, Louisiana, Progressive Age.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Messenger of Allah, and founder of the Nation of Islam, is born as Elijah Poole in Sandersville, Georgia.
George W. Kelley patents his steam table.
The Reverend J.H. Grant publishes the National Republican in Greenville, Georgia.
The Fashoda quarrel between France and England occurs when the French Colonel Marchaud, while crossing Central Africa from the west coast, tries to seize the Upper Nile.
Amos E. Long and Albert A. Jones, African inventors, patent their cap for bottles, jars, etc.
Germany acquires Kiau–Chau, China.
The Fair Play is published in Fort Scott, Kansas.
The Red Shirts terrorize Africans in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, by Samuel Coleridge–Taylor, son of a West African doctor and an English mother, is produced at the Royal College of Music in London.
J.R. Bennett edits the Crystal in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Hawaii is annexed to the United States.
D.L. Robinson edits the Tribune in Wichita, Kansas.
A.J. Rickman patents his invention of an overshoe.
The Madison, Georgia, Gleanor is first published.
African Wars of Resistance culminate in the defeat of the Venda people by the then South African Republic.
The Reverend Emanuel Johnson edits the New Light in Forrest City, Arkansas.
Congress passes an Amnesty Act removing the last disabilities from ex–Confederates.
The Galveston, Texas, City Times begins its publication history. The newspaper is defunct after 1930.
The first musical–comedy sketch written and performed by Blacks, Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk by Will Marion Cook, is presented in New York City.
The Atlanta Age, edited by W.A. Pledger(?), begins publishing in Georgia.
This year 127 African Americans are lynched by white mobs.
E.H. Quo edits the Plain–Dealer in Valdosta, Georgia.
One of the earliest trade unions in the West Indies — the Carpenters, Bricklayers, and Painters Union (commonly called the Artisans Union) — is organized in Jamaica.
The Milwaukee, Wisconsin Weekly begins publishing and continues until 1915.
S.W. Rutherford starts the National Benefit Insurance Company.
The first full–length musical comedy written, produced and performed by Africans, A Trip to Coontown by Robert Cole, is staged in New York City.
Blanche Kelso Bruce dies in Washington, DC. At the time of death he is Register of the U.S. Treasury.
Cuba becomes independent of Spain after Spanish–American War. The U.S. Marines occupy Cuba until 1902.
To date African people have published three magazines, three daily papers, 11 school papers, 136 weekly papers. Of the weeklies, 13 are published by religious, secret and fraternal organ- izations.
The Montgomery Enterprise begins its two–year publication history in Alabama.
An Anglo–Egyptian army led by Kitchener conquers the Mahdist state in the Nile Valley at the Battle of Omdurman in the Sudan near Khartoum; 11,000 Sudanese are killed while the invader’s dead number only forty–eight.
The Chronometer, edited and published by the Reverend S.T. Hawkins, appears in Americus, Georgia.
E.C. Spaulding opens the North Carolina Mutual Benefit Insurance Company.
Paul Robeson is born in Princeton, New Jersey.
Afro–Cubans and U.S. Army personnel clash repeatedly as discrimination against people of African descent continues on the island.
J.S. Jones edits and publishes the Searchlight in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The West Indian Department of Agriculture attempts to introduce a diversified economy.
The Observer is published in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Horatio Alger, author of boys’ books and creator of the American “from–rags–to–riches” myth, dies.
R.T. Berry edits the Louisville, Kentucky Reporter.
Outbreak of the Anglo–Boer War in South Africa. This War continues for three years.
The Negro Appeal is published in Annapolis, Maryland.
Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington is born in Washington, DC.
The Minnesota Afro–American begins publication on May 27. Six years later it is defunct.
Leonard C. Bailey patents his invention of a folding bed.
Between 1899–1937 about 150,000 African aliens legally enter the U.S.
The Macon Sentinel is first published in Georgia.
A race riot breaks out at Wilmington, North Carolina; eight Africans are killed.
The Advance of Wilmington, Delaware is first published. The paper is defunct after 1901.
One hundred seven African Americans are brutally lynched.
The New Era is edited by C. Marcellus Dorsey in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Maple Leaf Rag is published by the “King of Ragtime,” Scott Joplin.
The Valdosta, Georgia, Afro–American Mouthpiece begins publication.
With J.W. Wheeler as editor and W.E. Henderson as publisher, the Palladiumbegins its publication history in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Sixth Atlanta Conference for the Study of the Negro Problem reports that during the years 1870–1899 African people paid more than $15 million in tuition and fees to private educational institutions, more than $45 million in indirect taxes, and $25 million in direct school taxes.
The True Reformer is published in Littleton, North Carolina.
The Afro–American Citizen is published in Charleston, South Carolina and continues to publish for one year.
From 1895 to 1899 only three American Africans receive PhDs. During the same period 1,244 whites receive doctorates.
The Georgia Investigator begins publication in Americus.
Aaron Douglas, a well–known African artist, is born in Topeka, Kansas.
The Chicago Broadax is first published.
Imperium in Imperio, the first Black Nationalist novel, is published by Sutton Griggs. The storyline of Sutton Griggs' novel tells of a young Black Nationalist who forms a revolutionary secret society whose ultimate aim is to seize Texas and establish an African Republic.
". . . there's an interesting 'interracial' subplot in Sutton Griggs's 1899 novel . . . In it, a young African American woman commits suicide rather than marry the man she loves (a very light mulatto lawyer, one of the central figures of the book) because she has read a book, 'White Supremacy and Negro Subordination,' that has convinced her that 'the intermingling of the races in sexual relationship was sapping the vitality of the Negro race and, in fact, was slowly but surely extermi- nating the race.' Unable to resist his appeal while she lives, but unwilling to con- tribute to the extinction of her people, she chooses death" (From: "Richard Yarborough" YARBOROU@humnet.ucla.edu).During the early history of the United States, the term "imperium in imperio," i.e., "nullification and interposition," referred to a government independent of the general authorized government.
Nick Chiles edits the Topeka, Kansas, Plaindealer; in the 1970s, it moves to Kansas City.
Africans represent 32% of Cuba’s population.
While Governor of the Gold Coast (Ghana), Sir Frederick Hodgson totally misapprehends the significance of the Golden Stool of Asante. He demands that this sacred object be brought for him to sit on! This disrespectful act touches off a bitter war between the British and the Asante.
"For the Asante people of West Africa the spiritual symbol of their nation is the famous Golden Stool. It represents the very soul of the nation. Tradition has said that this stool, covered with pure gold, flew out of the sky and landed on the lap of the first Asantehene, (Asante King), King Osei-Tutu, who united the Asante people in the seventeenth century. Osei-Tutu's chief priest declared that the soul of the new nation resided in the stool and that the people must preserve and respect it. The Asantes on certain occasions fought to protect the Golden Stool whenever its safety was threatened.John F. Pickering, of Gonaïves, Haiti, patents his invention of an airship.
A race riot erupts in New York City. The African population of the city is 60,666. They are scattered throughout all five boroughs with heaviest concentration in Manhattan; some 5,000 are from the Caribbean, primarily from the British West Indies. Approximately two–thirds of all Africans in New York State reside in the city. As the numbers of Africans increase in New York City and the North generally during the early 20th century, there is a concomitant increase in racial antagonism and alienation.
Between 1890–1900 white workers go out on strike more than 50 times to protest having to work with African people.
The Huntsville Star is first published.
It is reported that 115 African Americans are lynched during the year.
A race riot erupts in New Orleans. Several persons are injured and fourteen killed; schools and homes of Africans are burned.
Approximately 32,069 African Americans are members of labor unions.
At a Pan–African protest conference called by Henry Sylvester Williams of Trinidad and held in London, DuBois delivers his “Address to the Nations of the World,” in which he pronounces his famous dictum: “The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line — the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the Islands of the Sea.”
The Acme Real Estate Company is formed by Welcome T. Blue in Cleveland, Ohio. This later becomes the Mohawk Realty Company.
The Boxer Rebellion, led by a militaristic group called I Ho Ch’uan, (i.e., “Righteous, Harmon- ious Fists”) breaks out in China. The Chinese besiege the Legations at Peking and are defeated by a joint force of Western and allied nations—Britain, France, Italy, the United States, Germany, Japan and Russia. These Chinese radicals want simply to oust the Western powers and Japan to prevent them from continuing to occupy provinces of China.
Coppin State College opens in Baltimore, Maryland.
James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson write “Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing,” which soon comes to stand as the National Anthem of African America.
Ethel Waters, singer and movie star, is born in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Daniel Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, jazz trumpeter, is born in New Orleans.
Booker T. Washington’s autobiography, Up from Slavery, appears as a serial in Outlook magazine.
African Americans own farm property valued at $500,000,000.
James Augustine Healy, African Roman Catholic bishop, dies in Portland, Maine.
As much as 44.5% of all Africans in America are illiterate. Only two thousand Africans have college degrees, however.
The National Negro Business League is organized at a Boston meeting. Booker T. Washington is elected as its first president. Approximately 400 delegates from 34 states attend.
The Sokoto Caliphate in northern Nigeria is invaded and overthrown by the British army led by Frederick Lugard.
The Chicago World is published for the first time.
A team of Tuskegee graduates are dispatched by Booker T. Washington to Togoland (West Africa) at the request of the German colonial government to teach the colonized Africans how to grow cotton. The project lasts six years.
A rapid expansion of cocoa production is experienced by African farmers in the Gold Coast Colony, (i.e., Ghana).
The Norfolk, Virginia Journal and Guide is published by P.B. Young, Sr.
President William McKinney is assassinated. Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican from New York, succeeds him as the nation’s 26th President.
TheVoice of the People is established by Bishop Henry McNeal Turner when he is forced to relinguish editorship of the A.M.E.’s Voice of Missions newspaper.
During the year, 130 Africans are lynched in the United States.
The Ardmore Sun, which from 1901–1907 is known as the Indian Territory Sun, begins publishing until 1911.
In Boston, William Monroe Trotter and George Forbes publish the Guardian which attacks Booker T. Washington’s leadership.
The Colored National Emigration Association is formed in Nashville, Tennessee, with Bishop Turner as its chief executive officer.
Hiram R. Revels dies in Holly Springs, Mississippi.
The Newport News Star is established in Virignia by Matthew N. Lewis as the successor to his Evening Recorder. Lewis edits the Star until his death in 1926; J. Thomas Newsome succeeds him.
The Liberator is published in Kansas City, Missouri.
The African population of Canada is reported to be only 17,437; but Jamaicans and Haitians are not counted in the census as Africans.
The last African in the post–Reconstruction Congress, George H. White, ends his term of office.
Roy Wilkens, former Executive Secretary of the NAACP, is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He dies in 1980.
Booker T. Washington dines at the White House with President Theodore Roosevelt. The South is bitterly critical, and Roosevelt is forced to admit he should not have dined with an American African.
Sterling Brown, poet of African America, author and educator, is born in Washington, DC.
Sterling Brown was educated at Dunbar High School and received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College. He studied the work of Ezra Pound andT. S. Eliot, but was more interested in the works of Amy Lowell, Edgar Lee Masters, Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg. In 1923, he earned a master’s degree from Harvard University and was employed as a teacher at the Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg until 1926. Three years later, Brown began teaching at Howard University and in 1932 his first book, Southern Road, was published. His poetry was influenced by jazz, the blues, work songs and spirituals and, like Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullen, and other black poets of the period, his writing expresses his concerns about race in America. Southern Road was well received by critics and Brown became part of the artistic tradition of the Harlem Renaissance, but with the arrival of the Depression, Brown could not find a publisher for his second book of verse. He turned to writing essays and focused on his career as a teacher at Howard, where he taught until his retirement in 1969. He finally published his secondbook of poetry, The Last Ride of Wild Bill, in 1975. Brown is known for his frank, unsentimental portraits of black people and their experiences, and the incorporation of African American folklore and contemporary idiom into his verse. He died in 1989 in Takoma Park, Maryland.1902
Booker T. Washington sends agricultural advisors from Tuskegee Institute to the Sudan in Africa.
White women are granted the suffrage in Australia.
The African People’s Organization (APO), the pioneer political movement among South African “coloreds,” is founded and led for many years by Dr. Abdul Abdurahman.
Ninety–six more Africans are lynched by white terrorist gangs.
Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, blues singer, is born in Columbus, Georgia.
The Muskogee Lantern begins publishing with Napoleon Scott, Jr., as editor. This weekly ceases publication as the Watchman and Lantern in 1926.
Marion Anderson, concert singer, is born in Philadelphia.
Langston Hughes, poet, playwright, essayist, short story writer, is born in Joplin, Missouri. He dies in 1967.
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
By Langston Hughes
The Treaty of Vereeniging is signed between the British Imperialists and the Boers after their defeat.I've known rivers:
O.W. Adams edits the Reporter in Birmingham, Alabama.
Off to Bloomingdale Asylum is the first film in which a true–to–life African character appears.
Jimmy Lunceford is born in Seaside, Oregon.
Over 90,000 Haitians and Jamaicans migrate to Cuba.
The Leonard Sofa Bed Company is established in Cleveland, Ohio, by the African, S. Clayton Green, after he patents his sofa bed invention.
The Kansas Watchman is published in Topeka for two years.
Orville Wright makes the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
The Rome, Georgia Enterprise is edited and published by A.T. Alwater.
A gift of $1,000,000 leads to the formation of the General Education Board. By 1909 Rocke- feller will have donated some $53 million to this board which is primarily concerned with African education in the South.
The American Ethiopia, with W.A. Conway as editor, starts publishing in Norfolk, Virginia.
Bob Mott’s Pekin Theatre, African–owned, flourishes in Chicago, Illinois.
B.J. Davis edits the Independent in Atlanta, Georgia.
West Indian planters obtain partial deliverance from beet sugar competition when the British prohibit importation of bounty–fed beet sugar into Britain.
O. Kirkwood publishes the Beaumont, Texas Industrial Era.
Panama becomes an independent state. The U.S. acquires the Canal Zone. Africans from the Caribbean Islands come to Panama to work on the Canal. See Michael L. Conniff, Black Labor on a White Canal: Panama, 1904-1981 (1985)
The Interpreter begins publishing in Lynchburg, Virginia, with Robert W. Goff as editor.
The Platt Amendment allows the United States to intervene in Cuban affairs to preserve order and good government. It is rescinded in 1934.
Thomas Edison Films produces Uncle Tom’s Cabin with white actors in blackface; it is pro- duced again in 1909 by Thanhauser Films. In 1914 World Films produces it with Sam Lucas as Uncle Tom. The film is produced again by Paramount in 1918.
An African realtor, Philip A. Payton, Jr., begins developing Harlem for African people. Payton’s Afro–American Realty Company ceases to do business in 1908. He justifies charging African people higher rents than he charges whites on the grounds that he was forced to borrow money at higher interest rates and had to pay more for his options than white realtors did.
W.E.B. DuBois publishes his The Souls of Black Folk, which crystallizes his opposition to Booker T. Washington’s program of social and political accommodation. In this collection of masterful essays, DuBois prophetically writes . . .
“The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the colorline, — the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.” and “After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second–sight in this American World — A world which yields him no true self–consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double conscious- ness, this sense of always looking at one’s self, through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness, — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” When this book is published DuBois is on the faculty of Atlanta University where he had gone to teach Sociology and set up a program of studies of the African American which were to be “primarily scientific — a careful search for Truth conducted as thoroughly, broadly, and honestly as the material resources and mental equip- ment at command will allow.”The Star is published in Newport News, Virginia.
Cullen, poet, is born in New York
He dies in 1946.
By Countee Cullen
(For Harold Jackman)
Thomas “Fats” Waller, jazz musician, is born in New York City. He accompanies Bessie Smith and other blues singers in the 1920s. His “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose” are lasting popular hits.
The Bronx Zoo in New York City is the only American zoo ever to exhibit a human being in a cage. Otabenga, a 23–year old Congolese pygmy, had been brought to the U.S. by the Africa explorer Samuel Verner to appear at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. When a tribal war prevented Otabenga from being returned to his people, Verner gives the 4–foot–11 African to Bronx Zoo director William Hornaday. He exhibited Otabenga in a cage with an orangutan named Dohong and a parrot. The display drew strong protest from the black community and from churchmen who saw it as an attempt to prove the Darwinian theory. A group of outraged black clergymen formed a committee and appealed fruitlessly to New York’s mayor. The committee declared the exhibit degrading. Hornaday maintained that Otabenga was happy and absolutely free. Otabenga’s own thoughts are unrecorded — he neither wrote nor spoke English. After threatening legal action, the black clergyman did force the release of Otabenga. But even out of his cage, he attracted white tourists like a magnet as he strolled about the zoo in a natty white suit. Soon crowds began to beset and annoy Otabenga. Once he was forced to keep a tormenting mob at bay with his bow and arrows until he could escape. One visitor was slightly wounded. Eventually Otabenga left the zoo, becoming the ward of various individuals and institutions. Unhappy in his adopted land and lacking funds for the trip home, he shot himself in 1916.” The most definitive information on Otabenga is found in Phillips Verner Bradford and Harvey Blume, Ota: The Pygmy in the Zoo (1992). Of great significance are the book's appendices which contain some of the most racist social scientific and journalistic accounts of the events that took place in St. Louis iln the Bronx, New York.
Chinese laborers are imported into South Africa to work in the Rand mines.
The Haitian Benito Sylvain establishes the Universal Association for the Moral Improvement of Mankind.
Andrew Carnegie finances a meeting of 12 African American leaders called by Booker T. Washington. At this meeting the Committee of Twelve for the Advancement of the Interests of the Negro is formed. Since the Committee supports “absolute civil, political and public equality,” DuBois joins. He withdraws later because of Washington’s dictatorial control of the organization.
President Theodore Roosevelt enunciates his “Big Stick” policy, a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. In effect the United States, in order to prevent the intervention of European creditor states in Caribbean territories, assumes the right to intervene to regulate the financial and other affairs of the Caribbean states concerned. This policy and President Taft’s (1909–1913) “Dollar Diplomacy” provide the justification for U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Panama, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Haiti. In getting the Panama Canal constructed, Roosevelt boasts: “I took Panama!”
Bethune–Cookman College opens in Florida with Mary McLeod Bethune as its first President.
African people organize street–car boycotts in Augusta, Atlanta, and Columbia, Georgia, and New Orleans and Houston.
An African shoots and kills a white policeman in Springfield, Ohio. A rabid white mob breaks into jail, murders him, hangs his body on a telegraph pole and riddles it with bullets. Then the crazed whites invade the African community beating, burning and destroying.
The New Age-Dispatch is published in Los Angeles.
Palmer Memorial Institute is founded in North Carolina by Charlotte Hawkins Brown.
Ralph Bunche, diplomat, educator and Nobel laureate, is born in Detroit.
Charles Richard Drew, physician and founder of the Blood Bank, is born in Washington, DC. He dies in 1950.
F.L. Rogers edits the Springfield, Illinois Conservator.
Twenty–eight African–owned banks are established between 1899–1905.
Jane Edna Hunter moves to Cleveland, Ohio, and founds the local Phillis Wheatley Associa- tion (a home for African girls) in 1911. In 1928 a nine–story building is constructed on Cedar Avenue, its present location.
"Coming to Cleveland in 1905 as a trained nurse after her graduation from Hampton Institute, Jane Edna Hunter soon became impressed with the needs of single African American girls not attached to homes with a good environment. She conceived the idea of organizing an institution which would provide a whole- some atmosphere and social protection for those girls as there was a total lack of agencies for such a group.The American Problem begins its six–year publication history in Hampton, Virginia.
The League for the Protection of Colored Women is formed in New York City by Mrs. William Baldwin, Jr. and Frances Kellor. See Mary White Ovington, Half a Man: The Status of the Negro in New York (1911).
Giles B. Jackson and W.S. Blackburn edit the Richmond, Virginia Negro Criterion.
The Southern Negro Anti–Exodus Association is founded in Virginia to preach the gospel of contentment to African people south of the Mason and Dixon Line.
The Muskogee, Oklahoma Daily Search Light is published for one year.
On May 5, the first issue of The Chicago Defender appears.
Fifty–nine African American delegates from seventeen states led by W.E.B. DuBois and William Monroe Trotter organize the Niagara Movement in a meeting at Fort Erie, Ontario, and crisply call for . . .
The Muskogee Republican begins publishing and continues to do so until 1912.
One of the largest and most famous ranches in the early 20th century is the 101 in Oklahoma. William “Bill” Pickett, an African who works on this ranch as part of its crew, becomes the first to perfect the art of bulldogging or steer wrestling. Although Pickett performs this feat much earlier, it does not become a regular feature of rodeos until around 1932. However, no one can perform the feat like Pickett can. He bites the steers lips before bringing them down to the ground. Unfortunately, a horse kicks Pickett in the head in 1932; he dies eleven days later.
The first known American film with an all–African cast is the racist one–reeler, The Wooing and Wedding of a Coon.
The Maji Maji revolt against German colonialism erupts in Tanganyika (Tanzania).
President Theodore Roosevelt receives the Nobel Prize for his part in negotiating peace between Russia and Japan.
Shirley L. Graham (Mrs. W.E.B. DuBois), author, composer, founding editor of Freedomways (1960–1963); English editor of the Afro–Asian Writers Bureau in Peking, China (1968), is born in Indianapolis.
A race riot explodes in Greensburg, Indiana.
Pass laws for East Indians are introduced in the Transvaal. Gandhi leads a passive resistance campaign against these laws; he is back in India after 1915.
Alpha Phi Alpha, the first black Greek–letter society, is organized as a fraternity at Cornell University.
A race riot breaks out again in Springfield, Ohio.
The Bambata Rebellion erupts in South Africa when Zulus protest against the imposition of a “hut” and dog tax and against the furnishing of information for the census. Over 4,000 people die in the uprising, which is ruthlessly suppressed.
Supreme Court decision upholds clauses in Alabama Constitution which disfranchise Blacks.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, poet laureate of African America, dies in Dayton, Ohio.
The Cambridge Mirror is published for three years in Massachusetts.
Josephine Baker, entertainer, expatriate to France and relentless critic of racism and injustice in America, is born in St. Louis, Missouri. At age 15 she leaves home to be Bessie Smith’s maid. In 1925, she goes to Paris. During World War II she is a nurse with free French resistance forces. She dies in 1975.
A group of African soldiers raids Brownsville, Texas, in retaliation for racial insults. One white man is killed; two are wounded. President Theodore Roosevelt orders dishonorable discharge of the three companies of the 25th Regiment, 167 men. In 1972, the soldiers’ discharges are changed to “honorable” by President Nixon.
The Nashville Globe Independent begins publishing.
Cabell “Cab” Calloway is born in Rochester, New York.
A race riot explodes in Atlanta. Ten Africans and two whites are killed. Martial law is proclaimed. DuBois writes his Litanty of Atlanta: “Keep not Thou silent, O God! Sit not longer blind, Lord God, deaf to our prayer and dumb to our dumb suffering. Surely Thou, too, are not white, O Lord, a pale, bloodless, heartless thing!”
W.P. Dabney edits the Union in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Edward Wilmot Blyden Club is formed in Sierra Leone, West Africa, to project the “African Personality.” Blyden wrote in his essay “Africa’s Service to the World” (1880) that . . .
“Africa may yet prove to be the spiritual conservatory of the world. Just as in past times, Egypt proved the stronghold of Christianity after Jerusalem fell, and just as the noblest and greatest of the Fathers of the Christian Church came out of Egypt, so it may be, when the civilized nations, in consequence of their wonderful material development, shall have had their spiritual perceptions darkened and their spiritual susceptibilities blunted through the agency of a captivating and absorbing materialism, it may be, that they may have to resort to Africa to recover some of the simple elements of faith . . . ”The Painter’s Union is formed in Jamaica with Marcus Garvey as a member.
The Colored Alabamian is published in Tuscaloosa.
The National Negro Business League has 320 branches.
W.E.B. DuBois edits Horizon magazine .
Left out of the political process, Afro–Cubans form the Independent Negro Party led by former General Evaristo Esteñoz and Pedro Ivonet.
Miles College is established in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Pittsburgh Courier begins its long and distinguished publication history.
Cuba’s African population of 274,272 represents 13.4% of total.
Harlem Hospital opens on Lenox Avenue (now Malcolm X Boulevard) between 136th and 137th Streets. In 1969, it moves to its present location between 135th and 136th. In 1887, before the African “invasion” of Manhattan, there was a Harlem Hospital at 120th at East River Drive.
The U.S. Justice Department receives 83 complaints from Africans protesting their practical peonage resulting from laws to keep them working on Southern farms.
Youngstown University is chartered as a private institution; in 1967 it becomes a state–sup- ported university.
African voters switch to the Democratic Party in protest against T. Roosevelt’s actions in the Brownsville, Texas, riot.
Belgium takes over the Congo Free State in response to an international outcry against King Leopold’s brutal and inhumane methods of rubber collection. See E.D. Morel, Black Man’s Burden (1920).
Thomas A. Lawrence starts editing the Right House in Kentucky.
The Niagara Movement meets for the last time in Oberlin, Ohio.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the first Greek–letter organization for African American women, is founded at Howard University.
Richard Wright is born in Natchez, Mississippi. He dies in France in 1960.
The Kansas City Sun is published for 16 years in Missouri.
Ida B. Wells Barnett becomes the first president of the Negro Fellowship League. She is reputed to have walked the streets of Memphis, Tennessee, with two guns holstered about her waist as she organized African people to oppose lynching. See Ida B. Wells Barnett, A Red Terror (1895); and Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells, ed. by her daughter Alfreda M. Duster (1970).
The Pulaski, Virginia Enterprise is edited by J. Victor Adams.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., is born in New Haven, Connecticut.
Josh White, a noted folksinger, is born in Greensville, South Carolina. He dies in 1969.
The Negro Star is published in Wichita, Kansas.
Thurgood Marshall is born in Baltimore, Maryland.
A race riot erupts in Springfield, Illinois. Two Africans are lynched, 6 killed. Over 70 Africans and whites are wounded; 100 are arrested; 50 are indicted.
Jack Johnson wins the heavyweight championship from Tommy Burns.
The Reporter is published in Natchez, Mississippi.
The Washington American is published in the District of Columbia.
William Howard Taft, a Republican from Ohio, becomes the 27th U.S. President.
D.W. Griffith produces The Slave with whites in blackface.
Thomas W. Fleming, a Republican, becomes Cleveland, Ohio’s first African American city councilman.
Eighty–seven more American Africans are lynched during the course of the year.
The Chicago Bee is first published.
Morua Delgado, an African with mixed parentage, becomes the first and only Afro–Cuban elected president of the Cuban Senate. Nevertheless, Delgado’s obviously African wife is shunned at many social functions.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded. The Call for an organizational meeting is issued on the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. W.E.B. DuBois is the only African member of the initial National Executive Committee. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the only African woman among the founders was initially omitted from the "Committee of Forty" which constituted the interim governing body of the NAACP. [DuBois probably omitted her] from the original list of Forty because [Ida B.] "Wells-Barnett was a woman of unrestrained outspokenness who seldom acknowledged the gender etiquette of her day when fighting for a cause. She may have presumed on DuBois's large ego. The effront to Mrs. Wells-Barnett was exceedingly costly because it figured in her decision . . . to withdraw from the work of the NAACP" (see David Levering Lewis, W.E.B DuBois, Biography of a Race 1868-1919, p. 396. Liberal white attitudes determine the goals and objectives of the organization, i.e., integration of the races becomes paramount ideological strategy rather than institution–building within the African community. This situation continues well into the 1970s.
Joe Gans, former lightweight boxing champion, dies.
William Lewis Bulkley becomes the first American African principal of PS 125, a predomi- nantly white school in New York City.
The New York Amsterdam News is edited by C.B. Powell. This weekly becomes the Amsterdam Star News in 1941.
Chester Himes, author of numerous books, including Cotton Comes to Harlem and If He Hollers Let Him Go, is born in Jefferson City, Missouri.
The United States launches an invasion of Nicaragua in the Bluefields region, an area inhabited primarily by Africans.
Katherine Dunham, famous dancer, choreographer and anthropologist, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
A delegation of South African leaders goes to Britain in a vain attempt to prevent the British Parliament from approving the South Africa Act.
The Blackman, the Father of Civilization is published by James Morris Webb.
The life expectancy of African males is 34 years; for females it is 38 years.
Twenty–five percent of the African American population live in cities; 60.4 percent, however, live in central city districts.
American Africans own 218,972 farms, 98,234 more than they owned in 1890. The average farm is only 10 acres.
It is reported that in the U.S. 350,000 Africans are factory workers.
D.W. Griffith directs Honour of His Family. In this same year he also produces House with Closed Shutters.
Julius Rosenwald gives $25,000 to erect a YMCA for African youth on Wabash Avenue in Chicago. In succeeding years he will give for such purposes more than $325,000.
Art Tatum, jazz pianist, is born in Toldeo, Ohio.
The “Rastus” film series begins with titles such as Rastus in Zululand, Rastus Got His Turkey and Rastus’ Riotous Ride.
The American Colonization Society comes to an end.
“During the mid–1890s, when racial and economic crises within the United States made many blacks want to emigrate and when diplomatic crises in Liberia made that republic cry out for more American settlers, the society virtually withdrew from colonization activity. . . . [It] continued to provide information and stimulation to dissatisfied Afro–Americans well into the twentieth century, and its office served as a clearing house for information about Liberia and independent emigration schemes in the United States . . . the society could only dream of better times and more money. It did not finally surrender its avowed mission of repatriating blacks until 1910” (E.S. Redkey, Black Exodus: Black Nationalist and Back to Africa Movements, 1890–1910 ).There are 91,709 American Africans in New York City, the majority of whom are Southern born.
Cuba passes a law prohibiting all political parties based on race, effectively outlawing the Independent Negro Party.
The Chicago Tribune reports that 74 American Africans were lynched.
The Capital Savings Bank of Washington, DC., fails.
The African community of Cleveland, Ohio, is located primarily within an area circumscribed on the north by Euclid Avenue, on the south and west by the Cuyahoga River, and on the east by 55th Street. The African population numbers 8,500 persons. Central Avenue is the major thoroughfare having the most business establishments, churches, theaters, hotels, etc. By the eve of the Great Depression in 1929 at least 90 percent of the city’s African Americans will live in a region bounded by Euclid Avenue, East 105th Street, and Woodland Avenue.
Marcus Garvey is in Costa Rica working for the United Fruit Company. In Port Limón, he edits La Nación. Later he has to flee the country because of his political activities.
The Boy Scouts of America is organized and incorporated in the District of Columbia.
Japan annexes Korea.
Portugal becomes a republic.
James E. Sheppard founds North Carolina College for Negroes, now North Carolina Central University, in Durham.
As of 1910 there are 100 African public and private colleges and universities, most of which enroll women.
Helen Chesnutt, the daughter of Charles Waddell Chesnutt, is hired to teach Latin at Cleveland’s Central High School. In 1915, Cora Fields joins the faculty as a music teacher.
Three million five hundred thousand African Americans attend 35,000 African churches.
Of the 1,700 men enrolled in apprenticeship training in Cleveland, Ohio, only seven are African Americans. Of the 9,000 retail outlets in the city only 28 are owned by Africans. In contrast, 60 percent of all retail stores are owned by white immigrants.
The formal organization of the NAACP is completed without Booker T. Washington’s help. With DuBois on its staff, the organization is branded as radical. Some African people consider the NAACP unwise; white philanthropy denounces it because it espouses integration of the races. See Harold Cruse, Plural but Equal (1987) for another view on the role integration has played and still does play in social and political thought of Africans in America and their organizations.
Detroit’s African population reaches 5,700; Newark’s is 9,500; New Haven’s is 3,600. Patterson, New Jersey; Albany and Buffalo, New York; and Gary, Indiana, have black populations under 2,000. From 1910 to 1920, Cleveland, Ohio’s African population increases 308 percent; Detroit’s rises 611 percent; Chicago’s increases 148 percent.
The Union of South Africa is formed. The conceding of “independence” to South Africa is designed in the interests of British imperialism; power is transferred into the hands of the white minority (13%), resulting in the exclusive exploitation of the native South African majority (83%).
W.E.B. DuBois is made editor of the NAACP’s journal, Crisis. By 1918 the journal will have a circulation of 100,000. See DuBois’ An ABC of Color (1963) for an excellent selection of Crisis editorials written by him from 1910 until he resigns in 1934.
The Clef Club, an African musicians union, is organized in New York City.
Jack Johnson defeats Jim Jeffries for the heavyweight championship. The film of the bout sparks an edict against fight films, especially those recording an African overpowering a white man.
Jack Johnson vs. Tommy Burns
The fight of fights it might be called, was like unto that between a Colossus and a toy automaton. It had all the seeming of a playful Ethiopian at loggerheads with a small and futile white man. . . .
Johnson play-acted all the time, and
he played with
Burns from the gong of the opening round to the finish of the
vs. Jim Jeffries
Jack Johnson made the following statement after the fight:1911
The National League on Urban Conditions among African Americans (known as the National Urban League) is incorporated. The League represents the consolidation of three New York City–based organizations: (1) the Committee for Improving the Industrial Conditions of the Negro in New York (William Bulkley), (2) the National League for the Protection of Colored Women (Frances A. Kellor) and (3) the Committee on Urban Conditions among Negroes (George Haynes).
Claude McKay publishes, Songs of Jamaica, his first book of poems. In 1919, he writes . . .
We Must Die
McKay’s poem was often quoted, particularly by Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, during World War II.If we must die, let it not be like hogs
For Massa’s Sake, a film stereotypically depicting a faithful slave willing to sell himself to rid his kind master of debt, is produced by Sigmund Lubin.
The 27–year–old Missouri farmer, Harry S. Truman, who becomes the 33rd U.S. President in 1945, writes to his girlfriend, Bess Wallace, that “I think one man is as good as another as long as he’s honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman.”
The lynching of an African American appears in newspapers every six days on the average.
Robert Johnson, an African fieldhand born in Commerce, Mississippi becomes the first popular singer of the blues. Even though he sings throughout the South during his mid–teens and twenties, much of his life remains a mystery. Johnson’s style influences blues singer Muddy Waters and others. In addition, both Eric Clayton of the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan acknowledge their indebtedness to Johnson’s style. Robert Johnson is murdered in 1938. Despite his abbreviated career, Johnson writes and performs dozens of blues numbers. Several albums have been released posthumously and are still available in 25 countries.
John Edward Bruce, a future Garveyite, founds the Negro Society for Historical Research in Yonkers, New York.
In New York City, Booker T. Washington is severely beaten after soliciting a contribution from a white woman. His assailant is reputed to be her husband (see Basil Mathews, Booker T. Washington, Educator and Inter–racial Interpreter, 1949).
The Alpha Theater, the first African–owned theatre in Cleveland, Ohio, opens at 32nd and Central Avenue.
Essanay Films releases Dark Romance of a Tobacco Can.
David Roy Eldridge, jazz trumpeter, is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Phelps–Stokes Fund is established for the “education of Negroes, both in Africa and the U.S.” In 1929 the Fund establishes the Booker T. Washington Institute in Liberia, a cooper- ative institution on Tuskegee lines, at Kakata, fifty miles inland from Monrovia, with a thousand acres of good land granted by the Liberian government, and with good buildings. See Kenneth J. King, Pan–Africanism and Education (1971). This is a study of race philanthropy in the American South and Africa.
Oginga Odinga, revolutionary advocate of Pan–Africanism, is born in Nyamira Kango, Kenya.
W.E.B. DuBois joins the Socialist Party. In the same year he publishes his novel, TheQuest of the Silver Fleece, in which he correlates the cotton industry with structural racism, postulating the economic causes of the American race and caste system.
Seventy–one more U.S. Africans are added to the list of those lynched by terrorist white gangs.
Augusta Baker, innovative librarian, winner of numerous awards for library work with children and author of The Black Experience in Children’s Books, is born in Baltimore.
D.W. Griffith produces The Battle, another film that fantasizes events of the Civil War.
Jane Edna Hunter founds the Working Girls’ Home Association, better known as the Phillis Wheatley Association, in Cleveland, Ohio, at 40th Street and Central Avenue.
Thanhauser Films distributes The Judge’s Story, a sympathetic film about an African criminal.
William H. Lewis is appointed Assistant Attorney General of the United States.
Mahalia Jackson, renowned gospel singer, is born in New Orleans.
Sigmund Lubin has produced the Sambo film series since 1909.
Franz Boas, white anthropologist, refutes the superiority of any race in his influential study, The Mind of Primitive Man.
Arizona is admitted to the Union as the forty–eighth state.
The H.M.S. Titanic sinks at sea.
The Balkan League — Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece — declares war on Turkey.
A housing segregation law is passed in Louisville, Kentucky. Baltimore, Richmond and Atlanta follow suit.
Tennessee State University is established in Nashville.
It is reported that 64 lynchings of defenseless African Americans occur during the year.
J.E. Mitchell begins editing the St. Louis Argus in Missouri.
The NAACP, after three years of organizing, has 11 branches and 1,000 members.
Willard Motley, novelist, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for his novel, Knock on Any Door, which is made into a movie in 1947, starring Humphrey Bogart and John Derek. Motley dies in 1965.
Fifty percent of the Forest and Lumber Workers Union of the IWW (Southern District) are African Americans. The Union has a total membership of 35,000. The United Mine Workers have 40,000 African members; the Teamsters, 6,000; cigar makers, 5,000; hotel–restaurant employees, 2,500; carpenters, 2,500; painters, 250.
China becomes a republic. The “radical” Kuomintang regards President Yuan Shih–K’ai with suspicion.
In England, Marcus Garvey works for the Africa Times and Orient Review, the foremost Pan–Africanist journal of the day.
W.C. Handy’s Memphis Blues is published.
Carl Van Vechten, a white music critic, photographer and author, convinces Mabel Dodge to admit Blacks to her artist and intellectual soirees in New York City.
Edward Wilmot Blyden, champion of Pan–Africanism and the African Personality, dies in Freetown, Sierra Leone. See Edith Holden, Blyden of Liberia, an Account of the Life and Labors of Edward Wilmot Blyden, LL.D., as Recorded in Letters and in Print (1966).
Garrett A. Morgan invents the forerunner to today’s gas mask.
The Musokogee Star begins publishing.
The United States appoints Lee Christmas, an African American and former soldier of fortune, as the U.S. Consul to Honduras.
James Weldon Johnson publishes his The Autobiography of an Ex–Colored Man.
The African National Congress (ANC) is formed in South Africa to protect the rights of native South Africans. Dr. J.L. Dube is elected as its first President–General.
The Colored Citizen is edited and published by F.E. Washington in Pensacola, Florida.
DuBois withdraws from Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party to throw his support behind Woodrow Wilson, who, he believes, will treat the American African’s interests with fairness. Wilson also gets the support of the NAACP, the National Independent League and the Colored National Democratic League. Wilson, however, turns out to be a tried and true Southern racist.
France occupies Morocco, and Italy takes Libya from Turkey.
Tuskegee Institute hosts the First International Conference on the Negro to which represent- atives come from Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, England, and Portugal — whose govern- ments all held imperial rule over different parts of Africa — and from Latin America and the West Indies, as well as from the United States.
A major race riot breaks out in Cuba between May and October. More than 3,000 Afro– Cubans die, including the organizers of the outlawed Independent Negro Party. After the outbreak, some Afro–Cubans are given high–level positions in the Cuban government. Ten years later, however, not one Afro–Cuban holds any significant governmental office.
A depression in cotton prices occurs throughout the South.
Rex Films releases In Slavery Days, starring Margarita Fischer, a white actress, who is known for her blackface comedienne roles. She also stars in the film versions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
The New Orleans National Negro Voice is edited and published by R.A. Flynn until 1916.
Chief Alfred C. Sam from the Gold Coast Colony (present–day Ghana) forms the Akim Trading Company, Ltd., and urges Oklahoma Africans to emigrate to the Gold Coast. His ship Liberia sails from Galveston, Texas, with sixty emigrants and an African American crew. He leaves several hundred willing and disappointed potential emigrants behind.
D.W. Griffith produces The Battle of Elderbush Gulch, another distortion of the American Civil War.
The New York News is first published in New York City.
The National Alliance of Postal Workers and the National Negro Retail Merchants Association are organized.
Forum begins publishing in Ohio with John H. Rives as its
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