DID YOU KNOW…
The C.R. Patterson & Sons Company was a carriage building firm, and the first African American-owned automobile manufacturer. The company was founded by Charles Richard Patterson, who was born into slavery in April 1833 on a plantation in Virginia. His parents were Nancy and Charles Patterson. Patterson escaped from slavery in 1861, heading west and settling in Greenfield, Ohio around 1862.
Ida Gray Nelson Rollins, the first African American female dentist, was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, on March 4, 1867. Ida Gray Nelson Rollins participated in a number of women’s organization and served as president of the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago. She retired from her dentistry practice sometime in the mid-1930s.
Moses Fleetwood Walker, often called Fleet, was the first African American to play major league baseball in the nineteenth century. Born October 7, 1857, in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, Walker was the fifth of six children born to parents, Dr. Moses W. Walker, a physician, and Caroline Walker, a midwife. Oberlin College admitted Walker for the fall 1878 semester. In 1881, he played in all five games of the new varsity baseball team at Oberlin. Before the end of the year, however, Walker left Oberlin to play baseball for the University of Michigan. In July 1882, Walker married Bella Taylor and the couple had three children.
The author of the first known work of African American literature (the poem “Bars Fight”), Lucy Terry Prince was kidnapped in Africa as an infant and sold into slavery in Rhode Island. At the age of five, she became the property of Captain Ebenezer Wells of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Around the age of sixteen Lucy Terry responded to a 1746 Indian ambush of two white families in a section of town known as “the Bars” by composing the ballad poem “Bars Fight,” which earned her local acclaim. She remained enslaved until 1756, when Obijah Prince, a prosperous free black man, purchased her
freedom and married her.
Walter Moses Burton holds the distinction of being the first black elected sheriff in the United States. Burton was also a State Senator in Texas. Burton also served the Republican Party as a member of the State Executive Committee at the state convention of 1873, as vice president of the 1878 and 1880 conventions, and as a member of the Committee on Platform and Resolutions at the 1892 state convention. In January 1874, Burton was granted a certificate of election from the Thirteenth Senatorial District, but a white Democrat contested the election. The Texas Senate confirmed Burton’s election on February 20, 1874. Burton ran for and was reelected to the Senate in 1876. He left the Senate in 1882 but remained active in state and local politics until his death in 1913.
Djhuiti, was known as an Ancient Egyptian diety or Netcher of science, writing, measurement, divine articulation of speech and medicine.
Queen Tiye (c. 1398 BC – 1338 BC) was the daughter of Yuya and Thuya. She became the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III. She was the mother of Akhenaten and grandmother of Tutankhamun. In 2010, DNA analysis confirmed her as the mummy known as “The Elder Lady” found in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV35) in 1898. There has been grave attempt, by some, to disassociate African people from Egyptian history but the above photo of Queen Tiye is a popular image of her, which clearly illustrates her African features.
William Ansah Sessarakoo (c. 1736 – 1770), a prominent 18th-century Fante man, is best known for his wrongful in the West Indies and diplomatic mission to England. He was both prominent among the Fante people and influential among Europeans concerned with the transatlantic slave
trade. Ansah serves as an important precursor to the mainstream 18th century abolitionist movement in Britain. His time in England as “The Royal African” set precedence that some Africans were above slavery and comparable to British nobility. Furthermore, his visit forced London society to acknowledge the complex government and society in place in Annamaboe (Southern Ghana) and presumably many other African cities.
King Takyi was born into the Fante ethnic group (also part of the Akan) in the Gold Coast. He was a high-ranking chieftain, spoke fluent English, and admitted to selling enemies from other Akan states to be enslaved by the British. At some point, his people lost a war with another Akan state and he was himself sold into slavery under the British. While he was enslaved in Jamaica, Takyi rose to the position of overseer on his plantation. It was from this position of relative autonomy that he planned his rebellion, with the aid of many other Akan rebels. Takyi’s plan was to defeat the British and all slave masters and create Jamaica as a separate and independent black colony. Known as Tacky’s War or the 1760 Easter Rebellion of Port Maria, the rebellion took place a year later to become the second largest and most shocking rebellion 30 years after Breffu led the Akwamus in the 1733 St John slave insurrection. The massive Akwamu revolt is considered one of the longest lasting rebellion recorded in the history of the Americas.
Queen Amanirenas was a queen of the Kingdom of Kush from c. 40 BC to c. 10 BC. Her full title was Amnirense qore li kdwe li (“Ameniras, qore and kandake”). Queen
Amanirenas is one of the most famous kandakes, because of her role leading Kushite armies against the Romans in a war that lasted five years, from 27 BC to 22 BC. After an initial victory when the Kushites attacked Roman Egypt, they were driven out of Egypt by Gaius Petronius and the Romans established a new frontier at Hiere Sycaminos (Maharraqa). Amanirenas was described as brave, and blind in one eye. Meroitic inscriptions give Queen Amanirenas the title of qore as well as kandake suggesting that she was a ruling queen. She is usually referred to as “Candace” in Strabo’s account of the Meroitic war against the Roman Empire. Her name is associated with those of Teriteqas and Akinidad, but the precise relationship between these three is not clear in the historical record.
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