Richard Allen ~ founded the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia on this day
February 14, 1760 – March 26, 1831, Allen was a minister, educator, writer, and one of America’s most active and influential black leaders. In 1794 he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the United States. He opened his first AME church in 1794 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Joseph Boulogne Saint-Georges ~ (composer, violinist and champion fencer) dies
French: also Saint-George; December 25, 1745 – June 10, 1799, was a champion fencer, a virtuoso violinist and conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris. Born in Guadeloupe, he was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy planter, and Nanon, his African slave. During the French Revolution, Saint-Georges was colonel of the ‘Légion St.-Georges, the first all-black regiment in Europe, fighting on the side of the Republic. Today the Chevalier de Saint-Georges is best remembered as the first classical composer of African ancestry.
James Augustine Healey ~ becomes first Black Catholic Bishop in the United States
April 6, 1830 – August 5, 1900, Healey was the first Roman Catholic priest and the first bishop in the United (States of any known African descent. He identified and was accepted as a white Irish American, as he was of majority Irish ancestry; when he was ordained in 1854, his mixed-race ancestry was not widely known outside his mentors in the Catholic Church. (Augustus Tolton, a former slave who was publicly known to be black when ordained in 1886, is therefore sometimes credited as the first black Catholic priest in the U.S.) Healy was one of nine mixed-race siblings of the Catholic Healy family of Georgia who survived to adulthood and achieved many “firsts” in United States histor
Hattie McDaniel ~ (first Black person to win an Oscar (for Best Supporting Actress in Gone With The Wind, 1940)) was born
June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952, McDaniel was an American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedienne. She is best known for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939) for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first African American to win an Academy Award.
Jack Johnson ~ (first Black heavyweight champion) dies
John Arthur “Jack” Johnson (March 31, 1878 – June 10, 1946), nicknamed the Galveston Giant was an American boxer, who—at the height of the Jim Crow era—became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915). Johnson was faced with much controversy when he was charged with violating the Mann Act in 1912, even though there was an obvious lack of evidence and the charge was largely racially based. In a documentary about his life, Ken Burns notes that “for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth”.