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On This Day in Black History: February 11
1644
Eleven blacks filed a petition for their freedom with the Council of New Netherland (New York), which was granted as they had "served the Company 17 or 18 years" and had been "long since promised their freedom on the same footing as other free peoples in New Netherland." They each received a parcel of land in the area known as Greenwich Village today.
1790
The Quakers petitioned the first United States Congress to abolish slavery.
1888
In South Africa, J.S. Moffat, the Assistant Commissioner in Bechuanaland, and King Lobengula signed an agreement, whereby the Matabele ruler agreed that he would not enter into any correspondence or treaty with any foreign state or power without the sanction of the British High Commissioner.
1951
Kwame Nkrumah won the first parliamentary election in the Gold Coast (now Ghana).
1958
Ruth Carol Taylor became the first black flight attendant on the Mohawk Airlines flight from Ithaca, New York to New York City, New York.
1961
In a UN plebiscite, British Southern Cameroon voted in favour of a union with the Republic of Cameroon.
1969
The Sir George Williams University affair came to a climax in Montreal.
1970
Federal Nigerian forces captured Owerri, Biafra, and Biafran leader General Ojukwu left the country.
1971
National Urban League director Whitney Young, Jr. drowned in Nigeria.
1977
Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam, who headed the junta which in 1974 overthrew the government of Emperor Haile Selassie in a bloody coup, became Ethiopia's head of state.
1989
Reverend Barbara Harris of the Protestant Episcopal Church became the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion.
1990
Nelson Mandela was released from jail after 27 years as a political prisoner.
2000
Lord Kitchener (born Aldwyn Roberts) a.k.a. "Kitch," the "Grandmaster" of calypso singing, died at age 77.
2006
The name of Sophiatown, the Harlem of South Africa, was restored. In 1955, its residents were evicted under the notorious Group Areas Act and the name changed to Triomf, meaning Triumph in the Afrikaans language.

Today's Featured Page
Lobengula
Caught between dissident factions within his military and Europeans searching for gold, Lobengula thwarted the internal dissent by signing a number of treaties with the Europeans without jeopardizing his sovereignty. More...


Previously Featured Pages
James Beckwourth
In 1823, James Beckwourth joined Gen. William H. Ashley's Rocky Mountain Fur Company Expedition, winning fame for legendary skill as a mountain man. More...

King Jaja of Opobo
Strategically located between Bonny and the production areas of the hinterland, King Jaja controlled trade and politics in the Niger Delta. More...

Cetshwayo
In 1873, Cetshwayo succeeded his father Mpande and the Zulu nation resurfaced as a powerful force in Southern Africa. Like his predecessors, he wanted to avoid conflict with the white settlers but he was obstructing the imperial endeavour. More...

The Golden Stool of the Asante
The Golden Stool of the Asante contains the soul or sunsum of the nation. It is considered to be so sacred that no one is allowed to sit on it. More...

Dr. George Carruthers
Dr. Carruthers is an astrophysicist of international renown. He was the principal inventor of the first moon-based observatory, the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph—a combination spectograph and camera, with an electron intensifier—used for the Apollo 16 mission to the moon in 1972. More...

Fannie Lou Hamer
Refusing to yield to the position designated to her by society, Fannie Lou Hamer eventually became the embodiment of the changes incited by the civil rights movement of the 1960s. More...