On This Day in Black History: May 24
1832
The African Baptist Church was founded by Richard Preston in Halifax, Ontario.
1854
Famous fugitive slave Anthony Burns was arrested in Boston.
1856
The Pottawatomie Massacre occurred.
1861
A Confederate officer, seeking the return of three escaped slaves on the basis of the U.S. Fugitive Slave Law, was refused by Major Benjamin F. Butler, who stated that since the slaves were considered property, they were therefore "contraband of war." Butler's act not only paved the way for the First Confiscation Act but incorporated African-Americans into the Union war effort.
1887
Elijah McCoy patented the lubricator for safety valves.
1951
Racial discrimination in Washington, D.C. restaurants were ruled illegal by the Municipal Court of Appeals.
1978
Sese Seko Mobutu announced that the second Shaba War had been won and the Katangans were fleeing to Angola.
1993
Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia after a bloody thirty-year war.

Today's Featured Page
Sundiata
Sundiata was the son of Nare Fa Maghan, king of the Mandingo, and Sogolon Conde. The union of Maghan and Sogolon was based on the prophecy that Sogolon would give Maghan a son who would be Mali's greatest king. More...


Previously Featured Pages
Cowrie Shells
Cowrie shells were the most popular currency within Africa. Pictures of cowrie shells adorned cave walls. The Egyptians considered them to be magical agents and also used them as currency in foreign exchange transactions. Archaeologists have excavated millions of them in the tombs of the Pharaohs. More...

The Shona
The ruins of Great Zimbabwe still stand near the modern town of Masvingo in present-day Zimbabwe. They are three hundred feet long and two hundred feet wide. The walls are thirty feet high and, in many cases, twenty feet thick. They are the symbol of important political and economic developments among the Shona-speaking peoples in the twelfth century. More...

Nana Prempeh I
Nana Prempeh reunited the Asante nation, but this period coincided with the Scramble for Africa and the British viewed African unity as an impediment to their colonial expansion. Additionally, they wanted to colonize the Gold Coast before the French in the Ivory Coast did. More...

The Dogon of Mali
For centuries, the Dogon of Mali have had an excellent understanding of the solar system, particularly the Sirius star system. More...

Samori Ture
Born about 1830 in Sanankaro, a village southeast of Kankan in present-day Guinea, Samori Ture chose the path of confrontation, using warfare and diplomacy, to deal with the French colonial incursion into West Africa and established himself as the leading African opponent of European imperialism. More...

The Sharpeville Massacre
March 21, 1960: A large crowd of Black South Africans assembled in front of the Sharpeville police station to protest the pass laws imposed by apartheid. The pass laws were statutes requiring all black men and women of South Africa to carry a reference book with them when they travelled outside of their homes. More...