Black History By Month – December


We celebrate Black History Month in February, but Black History is 365/24/7. Just because February came and went doesn’t mean we have to wait another year to celebrate Black history, we must remember to never stop celebrating the accomplishments and work of the Black community in our society. February should not be the only time we acknowledge all of the ways Black individuals in this country have left their mark. We must never let the energy die. We must keep fighting, keep learning, keep going, keep being activists, keep supporting and buying from our Black-owned businesses and we must do our part in continuing to learn and teach others about Black history.

We at Black Westchester challenge you to learn something new about Black history every day. Whether that means reading a book by a Black author, listening to music from an African-American artist you’ve never listened to before, or just researching the achievements of African-Americans who came before us. With that in mind, we share with you some events, dates, and achievements that took place in the month of December!!!

Top 5 Moments of Black History in December

December is not only a month of holiday festivities; it’s also a time to reflect on the impactful moments that have shaped Black history. From historic achievements to cultural milestones, here are five key moments in Black December that have left a lasting imprint on communities around the world.

December 1, 1955 — Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Seat
Rosa Parks, a seamstress and civil rights activist, courageously declined to surrender her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This act of defiance ignited the Montgomery Bus Boycott, an event that spurred the Civil Rights Movement. Parks’ indomitable spirit and the subsequent boycott played a pivotal role in challenging discriminatory practices, becoming an enduring symbol of courage for generations to come.

December 3, 1970 — Jennifer Josephine Hosten Becomes First Black Miss World
Jennifer Hosten made history on Dec. 3, 1970, at the Miss World contest, securing the title as the first Black woman ever to be crowned since the pageant’s inception in 1951. Despite her remarkable achievement representing a smaller nation (Grenada), Hosten faced the turbulent backdrop of global political unrest, with the Vietnam War, South African apartheid, and the British feminist movement shaping the narrative of her historic win. Her triumph became a testament to the resilience and grace of Black women, setting the stage for more diverse representations in the years to come

December 10, 1964 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. receives Nobel Peace Prize
Dec. 10, 1964, stands as a moment of global recognition for King, who became only the second African American, following Ralph Bunche, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Acknowledging King’s tireless efforts in advancing civil rights through nonviolent means, the Nobel Committee elevated his role as a pivotal leader in the pursuit of justice and equality.

December 20, 1956 — Montgomery Bus Boycott Ends
On Dec. 20, 1956, the African-American community in Montgomery, Alabama, voted unanimously to conclude the 385-day bus boycott. Triggered by Rosa Parks’ arrest on Dec. 1, 1955, this boycott was a 13-month mass protest culminating in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. Led by the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. serving as its spokesperson, the boycott showcased the power of collective action in the fight against systemic injustice.

December 26, 1966 — Kwanzaa Inaugurated
Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture. Observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, Kwanzaa revolves around seven core principles (the Nguzo Saba): unity (Umoja), self-determination (Kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (Ujima), cooperative economics (Ujamaa), purpose (Nia), creativity (Kuumba), and faith (Imani). This celebration has become a cherished tradition, weaving cultural pride into the fabric of Black communities.

The Month Of December in Black History

December 1, 1940 — Comedian/Actor Richard Pryor born in Peoria, Illinois
December 2, 1983 — MTV aired Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video for the first time.
December 3, 1847 — Frederick Douglass, a former slave, and Dr. Martin Delaney, a black physician, published the first issue of the anti-slavery newspaper The North Star—named for the celestial icon followed by fugitive slaves escaping to freedom.
December 3, 1935 — Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune receives Spingarn Medal for her work in building and founding Bethune Cookman College
December 4, 1807 — Prince Hall, abolitionist and creator of the Prince Hall Freemasonry, dies
December 4, 1990 — New Rochelle-based Hip-Hop group, Brand Nubian released their classic Five Mic debut album, “One For All,” on Elektra Records. Boasting production from Dante Ross, Skeff Anslem, the SD 50s (Stimulated Dummies), and Jam as well as their own hands on the boards, Brand Nubian arguably released one of the most influential debut albums in Hip-Hop history.
December 5, 1935 — Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune founds National Council of Negro Women
December 5, 2022 — Leilani Yizar-Reid makes history when she is sworn in as the first African American Woman elected to the Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees
December 6, 1849 — Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in Maryland
December 6, 2019 — Mount Vernon’s Sochie Nnaemeka becomes New York Working Families Party State Director
December 7, 1941 — Novelist Richard Wright is awarded The Spingarn Medal, which is awarded annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for an outstanding achievement by an African American. 
December 7, 1941 — Lester Granger is appointed as executive director of the National Urban League
December 8, 1850 — Lucy Ann Stanton makes history as the first woman to graduate from college
December 8, 1936 — NAACP files first suit to equalize salaries of Black and white teachers
December 8, 1936 — The Michigan Chronicle, a weekly African-American newspaper based in Detroit, Michigan is founded by by John H. Sengstacke, editor of the Chicago Defender.
December 8, 2003 — Cynthia Hood shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the first African-American Female Detective in the White Plains Police Department.
December 12, 1899 – Dr. George F. Grant, a dentist, inventor, and avid golfer receives the patent for a wooden golf tee
December 13, 2011 — Jennifer Carpenter became the first Black Female Supervisor in the Mount Vernon Police Department when she was promoted to Sergeant
December 16, 2003 — President George W. Bush signs H.R. 3491 into law. The bill establishes the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Smithsonian Institution.
December 16, 2018 — noted Civil Rights and Union Icon, Doris Turner Keys passed away at the age of 88. Keys served in many capacities that championed the causes of worker and civil rights as well as freedom, justice, and equality. 
December 16, 2021 — “Richard Pryor: Live in Concert” Has Been Added To The National Film Registry
December 17, 2002 — Robert Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) became owner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Charlotte expansion franchise.Making Johnson the league’s first African American majority owner and the first African American owner in major professional sports.

December 18, 1970 — Rapper, and actor DMX was born Earl Simmons
December 19, 1996 —The school board of Oakland, Calif., voted to recognize Black English, also known as “ebonics.”
December 20, 1956 — On this day, the African American community of Montgomery, Alabama, voted unanimously to end its 385-day bus boycott.
December 21, 1886 — Lucy Parsons’ “I Am An Anarchist” speech appears in the Kansas City Journal
December 22, 1998 — DMX releases his sophomore album, ‘Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood’ his second album in 1998 to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and his second of five consecutive number 1 albums
December 23, 1919 — Inventor Alice H. Parker receives a patent for the gas heating furnace.
December 24, 1992 — Alphonso Michael “Mike” Espy became the first African American appointed as Secretary of Agriculture.
December 25, 1863 — Robert Blake became the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on board the U.S. Steam Gunboat Marblehead off Legareville, Stono River, in an engagement with the enemy on John’s Island.
A bomb tore through the Mims, Florida, home of Florida’s NAACP president Harry T. Moore, and his wife, Harriet. It was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Moore died on the way to the hospital in Mims, Florida. His wife died nine days later from her injuries.
December 26, 1908 — Jack Johnson made history as the first Black World Heavyweight Champion, when he defeated Canadian world champion Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia. Americans were so outraged by his victory and subsequent dominance of the sport that they desperately sought for the “Great White Hope.
December 26, 1924 — Harmonica player DeFord Bailey Sr. makes history as the first Black person to perform on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville
December 26, 1999 — Singer and songwriter Curtis Mayfield died at age 57.
December 27, 1956 — Segregation on buses is outlawed in Tallahassee, Fla
December 28, 1954 — Actor Denzel Washington was born in the city of Mount Vernon, NY. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia.
December 28, 1977 — Karen Farmer becomes the first African American member of the Daughters of the American Revolution when she traces her ancestry back to William Hood, a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
December 30, 1984 — NBA basketball star LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio. In his first season, he received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and in the following three seasons, he received All-NBA and All-Star honors. He currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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