Black History Facts of The Week


  1. The sanitary pad was developed by a Black woman named Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner. She also co-invented, with her sister, the bathroom tissue holder.
  2.  Diahann Carroll was the first Black woman to win a Tony award for her performance in “No Strings” musical which premiered in 1962 at the Fisher Theater.
  3. John Pickering is known for his creation of the first patent for a blimp powered by an electric motor.
  4. Fashion designer Dapper Dan was the father of Logomania which takes the logos of brands and puts them on clothing, furniture and more. This style is still evident with the luxury clothes and design items found today with well-known name brands displayed throughout.
  5. Valerie Thomas is a NASA scientist and inventor who developed 3D movies.
  6. February 13 is Black Love Day. Founded in 1993, the day is a 24-hour celebration and display of things tied to Black love, whether familial or romantic.
  7. Patricia Bath, an ophthalmologist, received a patent in 1986 for laser probe used in cataract surgery.
  8. WGPR-TV was officially acknowledged as a historic location by the National Register. It was founded in Detroit as the first independently owned and operated African American TV station in the United States. The station first went on air in September 1975 and ended in the mid-1990s.
  9. Do you know the name, Claudette Colvin? She preceded Rosa Parks in refusing to give up her seat to another on the bus. She was 15 at the time in 1955 and was arrested for her actions.
  10. Ester Jones was the original Betty Boo. The character, introduced by cartoonist Max Fleischer in 1930, is an icon known for her sex appeal, dress, curvy figure and voice. Jones was known for performing regularly at Harlem’s Cotton Club during the 1920s.
  11. The Michigan Chronicle newspaper, a historic weekly Black newspaper based in Detroit, was founded in 1936 by publisher John H. Sengstacke and is celebrating decades of writing timely and culturally-relevant stories about the Black community and beyond. It is owned by Detroit-based Real Times Media, with headquarters in Midtown Detroit.
  12. Detroit, codenamed “Midnight,” was considered one of the final stops along the Underground Railroad, a network of safe passages and houses that helped African American slaves escape to free states like Michigan and on to Canada.
  13.  Michigan’s first African American congregation was founded by 13 former slaves in 1836 at the Second Baptist Church in Detroit.
  14.  Detroit native Berry Gordy Jr. founded Motown Records and put groups like the Supremes and The Temptations among many others on the map into an otherworldly level of stardom. These performers went on to become household names that people around the world cherish to this day for their famous songs and their larger-than-life personalities.
  15.  Phillis Wheatley (also spelled Phyllis) was the first African American, and one of the first women, to publish a book of poetry. Her book, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral,” was published in 1773. Born in Gambia and sold to the Wheatley family in Boston when she was around seven years old, Wheatley was emancipated a short time after her book was released.


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