The Liberty Ship George Washingtion Carver

SS George Washington Carver

SS George Washington Carver

The U.S. Army Hospital Ship Dogwood (of 7933 gross tons), built in Richmond, California, entered mercantile service upon completion in May 1943 as the Liberty ship George Washington Carver. Delivered to the Army in November 1943, she was converted to a Hague Convention hospital ship in 1943-44 and renamed for a flower.

Between July 1944 and the spring of 1945, Dogwood made seven trips between the U.S. East Coast and England. Ordered to the Pacific in May 1945, she arrived in the Philippines in late June. Continue reading

The Phoenix Society

Goals of THE PHOENIX SOCIETY of New York
The Liberator, 29 June 1833

Christopher Rush

Rev. Christopher Rush, a founder of the Phoenix Society

In 1833 several black leaders in New York City formed the Phoenix Society to promote the education of the city’s African Americans – children and adults alike – through classes, lectures, lending libraries, job centers, and the mutual support needed to pursue these goals. The Society began several programs yet folded later in the decade for lack of funds. Other black mutual aid and literary societies in the city continued to pursue the goals envisioned by the Phoenix Society.


John Casor

casorIn 1654, John Casor became the first legal slave in America. Anthony Johnson, previously an African indentured slave, claimed John Casor as his slave. The Northampton County rule against Casor, and declared him propter for life by Anthony Johnson. Since Africans were not English, they were not covered by the English Common Law.

The First Black Slave was brought by the Dutch to the colony of Jamestown, 1619.

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison

Born in 1956 in Decatur, Alabama – the youngest of three children- to Charlie and Dorothy Jemison, Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel to space! Her father was a maintenance supervisor for charitable organization and her mother taught English and math. When she was three her family moved to Chicago.

In 1977, at the age of 16, Mae received a National Achievement Scholarship to go to Stanford University in Northern California. There she double majored in chemical engineering and African-American Studies. She went on to medical school at Cornell where she received her MD in 1981. Not one to shy away from challenges, she traveled to Cuba, Kenya and Thailand providing medical care to those in need.  Continue reading

The Secret Game: 1st integrated collegiate basketball game in the US South

.nccueaglesDuring the Jim Crow era, African American college teams were barred from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). But a brave few found ways around these restrictions. A secret game held in 1944 between a white team from Duke University and a black team from North Carolina Central University was one of the first integrated sports events in the South.

In early 1944, black and white students from North Carolina Central University and Duke University met at the Durham YMCA for clandestine prayer meetings. A friendly challenge led to a basketball game between the NCCU varsity team and the team from Duke’s medical school to determine the best team in Durham. Continue reading

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