African Americans (also known as Black Americans and Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group in the United States. The first achievements by African Americans in various fields historically marked footholds, often leading to more widespread cultural change. The shorthand phrase for this is "breaking the color barrier".
First African-American police officer in present-day New York City: Wiley Overton, hired by the Brooklyn Police Department prior to 1898 incorporation of the five boroughs into the City of New York. (See also: Samuel J. Battle, 1911)
First African-American police officer in New York City: Samuel J. Battle, following the 1898 incorporation of the five boroughs into the City of New York, and the hiring of three African-American officers in the Brooklyn Police Department. Battle was also the NYPD's first African-American sergeant (1926), lieutenant (1935), and parolecommissioner (1941). (See also: Wiley Overton, 1891)
First African-American artists to have a #1 hit on the Billboard charts: Mills Brothers ("Paper Doll"), topped "Best Sellers in Stores" chart on November 6 (See also: Tommy Edwards, 1958; The Platters, 1959)
First African-American consensus college All-American basketball player: Don Barksdale
First African-American artist to receive sole credit for a #1 hit on the Billboard charts: Count Basie ("Open the Door, Richard"), topped "Best Sellers in Stores" chart on February 22 (See also: Mills Brothers, 1943; Nat King Cole, 1950; Tommy Edwards, 1958; The Platters, 1959)
First African-American solo singer to have a #1 hit on the Billboard charts: Nat King Cole ("Mona Lisa"), topped "Best Sellers in Stores" chart on July 15 (See also: Mills Brothers, 1943; Count Basie, 1947; Tommy Edwards, 1958; The Platters, 1959)
First African-American to appear by herself on the cover of Playboy: Darine Stern (October issue)
First African American to campaign for the United States presidency in a major political party and to win a U.S. presidential primary/caucus: Shirley Chisholm (Democratic Party, New Jersey primary) (See also: 1968)
First African-American interracial romantic kiss in a mainstream comics magazine: "The Men Who Called Him Monster", by writer Don McGregor (See also: 1975) and artist Luis Garcia, in Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror-comics magazine Creepy #43 (Jan. 1972) (See also: 1975)
First African American inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame: Team-owner and coach Bob Douglas, in the category of "contributor" (See also: New York Renaissance, 1963; player Bill Russell, 1975; coach Clarence Gaines, 1982)
First African American to win a delegate-awarding U.S. presidential primary/caucus: Jesse Jackson (Louisiana, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, Virginia and one of two separate Mississippi contests).
First African-American New York City Police Commissioner: Benjamin Ward
^Because it was published in the U.K., the book is not the first African-American novel published in the United States. This credit goes to one of two disputed books: Harriet Wilson's Our Nig (1859), brought to light by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in 1982; or Julia C. Collins' The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride (1865), brought to light by William L. Andrews, an English literature professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Mitch Kachun, a history professor at Western Michigan University, in 2006. Andrews and Kachun document Our Nig as a novelized autobiography, and argue that The Curse of Caste is the first fully fictional novel by an African American to be published in the U.S.
^Founded earlier; not fully owned and operated by African Americans until 1863
^Rainey, a South Carolina state senator, was elected to fill the seat vacated by B. Franklin Whittemore. Rainey took his seat on December 12, 1870. John Willis Menard was actually the first African-American elected to the House (1868) but he was denied his seat.
^Douglass did not seek the nomination or campaign after being nominated.
^Parker graduated from Mount Holyoke when it was still a seminary.
^This was previously thought to be Sarah E. Goode (for the cabinet bed, Chicago, Illinois).
^Gravely was also the first African American to command a U.S. Navy warship (1962), and the first promoted to the rank of admiral (1971).
^L. Clifford Davis applied to the law school in 1946, and after several failed attempts was granted admission in September 1947, but was unable to enroll in classes. Hunt later enrolled on February 2, 1948.
^While considered a network for regulatory reasons, CBS TV was viewable only locally in 1948. By 1956, CBS and other networks were viewable nationwide.
^Clifton was the first to sign an NBA contract and subsequently play, Cooper was the first to be drafted by an NBA team, and Lloyd was the first to play in an NBA regular-season game because his team's opening game was one day before the others.
^At that time, nominations were announced in November of the year of release, instead of early the following year.
^While two black players won Gold Gloves that year, only Mays is African-American. The other, Minnie Miñoso, is Afro-Cuban.
^In 1998, the award would be renamed the Oscar Robertson Trophy after its first recipient.
^ abcThe first Black superhero, Marvel's Black Panther, introduced in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966), is African, not African-American. This is also true of the first Black character to star in his own mainstream comic-book feature, Waku, Prince of the Bantu, who headlined one of four features in the multiple-character omnibus series Jungle Tales (September 1954 – September 1955), from Marvel's 1950s predecessor, Atlas Comics.
^At the time, the NCAA had not yet adopted its three-division system. Illinois State was in the NCAA University Division, which became Division I in 1973. The NCAA retroactively considers University Division members to have been Division I members.
^Lewis Hamilton became the first black Formula One racer in 2006, but he is a British citizen of Grenadan ancestry, and not an African American. Ribbs did not compete in a race, but drove a Formula One car professionally in January 1986 as a tester for the Brabham–BMW at Estoril, Portugal.
^Announced as Bobcats owner in December 2002, although team did not begin play until 2004.
^Juguo, Zhang (2001). W. E. B. Du Bois: The Quest for the Abolition of the Color Line. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-93087-1
^Herbst, Philip H (1997). The Color of Words: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Ethnic Bias in the United States. Intercultural Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-877864-97-1
^Sailes, Gary Alan (1998). "Jackie Robinson: Breaking the Color Barrier in Team Sports". African Americans in Sport: Contemporary Themes, Transaction Publishers. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7658-0440-2
^O'Neale, Sondra (2002). "Hammon, Jupiter". In William L Andrews, Frances Smith Foster, Trudier Harris (eds.). The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195138832.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^He was of mixed race, one-quarter African and three-quarters European, and listed in the US Census as white.
^Haverington, Christine (July 2012). Middletown. Arcadia Publishing. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7385-9248-0. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
^Jacobs, Claude F. (2007). "James Derham (b. 1762)". In Junius P. Rodriguez (ed.). Slavery in the United States: a social, political, and historical encyclopedia. 2. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781851095445.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Konhaus, Timothy (2006). "Delany, Martin Robison". In Finkelman, Paul. Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895: From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass. 2. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 373–375. ISBN 9780195167771.
^Finkelman, Paul (2007). "Not Only the Judges' Robes Were Black: African-American Lawyers as Social Engineers". In Steve Sheppard (ed.). The History of Legal Education in the United States: commentaries and primary sources. 1. Clark, N.J: The Lawbook Exchange. pp. 913–948. ISBN 9781584776901.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Bartley, Abel A. (January 2003). "Bassett, Ebenezer Don Carlos". In James George Ryan and Leonard C. Schlup (eds.). Historical dictionary of the Gilded Age. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0765621061. Retrieved 29 May 2013.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Linda Joyce Brown (April 2006). "Coppin, Fanny Jackson". In Elizabeth Ann Beaulieu (ed.). Writing African American Women. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 220–222. ISBN 0313024626. Retrieved 29 May 2013.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Hine, William C. "Rainey, Joseph Hayne (1832–1887)". In Walter B. Edgar (ed.). South Carolina Encyclopedia. Columbia, South Carolina: Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-28.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Darraj, Susan Muaddi (2009-01-01). Mary Eliza Mahoney. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 1438107609.
^O'Toole, James M. (2004). "Healy, Michael". In Gates, Henry Louis; Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks. African American Lives. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 387–388. ISBN 978-0-19-988286-1. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
^Sewell, George Alexander; Dwight, Margaret L. (January 20, 2012). Mississippi Black History Makers. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-1-61703-428-2. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
^Hine, Darlene Clark (2005). Black women in America. 1. Oxford University Press. p. 385. ISBN 978-0-19-515677-5. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
^Susan Love Brown (2006). "Economic Life". In Paul Finkelman (ed.). Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895: from the colonial period to the age of Frederick Douglass. 1. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 121–129. ISBN 0195167775.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Sawyers, June Skinner (2012). "Oscar De Priest". Chicago Portraits: New Edition. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press. pp. 90–91. ISBN 9780810126497.
^Smith, Frederick D. (2009-01-01). "Pollard, Fritz". In Jessie Carney Smith, Linda T. Wynn (eds.). Freedom Facts and Firsts: 400 Years of the African American Civil Rights Experience. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1578591929.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^ abWilson, Joseph; David Addams (2006). "Football". In Paul Finkelman (ed.). Encyclopedia of African American history, 1619–1895. 1. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 234–237. ISBN 0195167775.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Uzelac, Constance Porter; Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (2004-03-23). "Coleman, Bessie". In Henry Louis Gates (ed.). African American Lives. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 182–184. ISBN 9780199882861.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Wynn, Linda T.; Bobby L. Lovett (December 14, 1995). "William Henry Hastie (1904–1976)". In Linda T. Wynn, Gayle Brinkley-Johnson (eds.). A Profile of African Americans in Tennessee History. Annual Local Conference on Afro-American Culture and History. Nashville, USA: Tennessee State University Library. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-01.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Whitten, David O. (January 1, 2006). "Davis, Benjamin Oliver, Sr.". In James Gilbert Ryan, Leonard C. Schlup (eds.). Historical Dictionary of The 1940s. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 076562107X.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Matt Baker at the Grand Comics Database. Archived from the original on April 24, 2015. Artist credits were not routinely given in comic books in the 1940s, so comprehensive credits are difficult if not impossible to ascertain.
^Catherine Reef (ed.), eds. (2010). "Brashear, Carl Maxie". African Americans in the Military. A to Z of African Americans. New York: Facts On File. pp. 40–42. ISBN 9781438130965. Retrieved 2013-06-27.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^"Black Airline Pilots: August Martin (1919–1968)". AvStop.com / Aviation Online. n.d. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Between 1946 and 1955, he flew only part time for such airlines as Buffalo Skylines, El Al Airlines and World Airways. ... In 1955, August Martin gained a foothold in the world of US aviation when he was hired by Seaboard World Airlines as the first Black captain of a US scheduled air carrier. During a thirteen-year period with Seaboard, Martin got a chance to pilot the DC-3, DC-4, Lockheed Constellation and Canadair CL-44.
^The earliest known humorous interracial kiss was in the story "Home Cooking" in Premier Magazine's satirical comic book Nuts #1 (March 1954), per its listing at the Grand Comics Database.
^"Sammy's Visit". All in the Family. Season 2. Episode 34. February 12, 1972. CBS. |access-date= requires |url= (help) In the comedy All in the Family, at the last moment as a picture is taken, Sammy Davis, Jr., playing himself, chides the bigoted but celebrity-fawning Archie Bunker with a humorous kiss on the cheek.
^ ab"Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter Make Oscar History for Black Women". New York Times. But on Sunday night, two African-American women won Oscars in nonacting categories: Hannah Beachler for production design and Ruth E. Carter for costume design, both for their work on “Black Panther.” They became the first African-American women to win Oscars in their categories, and the first to win in a nonacting category since Irene Cara in 1984
Smith, Jessie Carney (2002). Black Firsts (2 ed.). Detroit: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 978-1-57859-258-6. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
Donald Argee Barksdale (March 31, 1923 – March 8, 1993) was an American professional basketball player. He was a pioneer as an African-American basketball player, becoming the first to be named NCAA All-American, the first to play on a United States men's Olympic basketball team, and the first to play in a National Basketball Association All-Star Game. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Earl Francis Lloyd (April 3, 1928 – February 26, 2015) was an American professional basketball player and coach. He was the first black player to have played a game in the National Basketball Association. An All-American player at West Virginia State University, Lloyd helped lead the Syracuse Nationals to the NBA Championship in 1955. Lloyd was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.
First Baptist Church (est. 1774) was the first Baptist church in Petersburg, Virginia; one of the first African-American Baptist congregations in the United States, and one of the oldest black churches in the nation. It established one of the first local schools for black children in the nation.
Its congregation was active during the 20th century Civil Rights Movement. Today it has the largest community outreach program in the city.
Freedom's Journal was the first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. Founded by Rev. Peter Williams, Jr. and other free black men in New York City, it was published weekly starting with the 16 March 1827 issue. Freedom's Journal was superseded in 1829 by The Rights of All, published between 1829 and 1830 by Samuel Cornish, the former senior editor of the Journal.
Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard (January 27, 1894 – May 11, 1986) was an American Football player and coach. He was the first African American head coach in the National Football League (NFL). Pollard and Bobby Marshall were the first two African American players in the NFL in 1920. Football pioneer Walter Camp ranked Pollard as "one of the greatest runners these eyes have ever seen."
Jasmine Twitty (born December 4, 1989) is an African-American associate judge for the Easley, South Carolina municipal court. Appointed to the position of associate judge of the municipal court for the city of Easley, South Carolina in August 2015, she is the youngest judge to ever be appointed or elected in Easley, South Carolina at the age of 25. Twitty graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in political science. She previously worked for the Greenville County Bond Court as a night clerk. After completing a training program and passing a certification examination, Twitty was sworn in as a judge at the age of 25. In South Carolina, summary court judges are not required to have a law degree because they're appointed. In addition to her career as a judge, she regularly volunteers at the Urban League of the Upstate. Twitty also was a founding member of a group dedicated to the professional development of women in the Upstate called "LeadHER".
The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is a historic church and congregation at 419 South 6th Street in Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The congregation, founded in 1794, is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal congregation in the nation. Its present church, completed in 1890, is the oldest church property in the United States to be continuously owned by African Americans. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1972.
Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton (born Clifton Nathaniel; October 13, 1922 – August 31, 1990) was an American multi-sport athlete best known as one of the first African Americans to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Otelia Cromwell (April 8, 1874 – April 25, 1972) was a distinguished scholar and Professor of English Language and Literature at Miner Teachers College. She was the first African American to graduate from Smith College, receiving a B.A. in Classics. She later earned her M.A. at Columbia University in 1910 and a Ph.D. in English at Yale in 1926, becoming the first African American woman to earn a doctorate degree there.
Samuel James Battle (January 16, 1883 – August 7, 1966) was the first black police officer in New York City. After attending segregated schools in North Carolina, Battle moved north, first to Connecticut, then to New York City, where he took a job as a train porter and began studying for the New York City Police Department civil service exam. He was sworn in on March 6, 1911.
The Silver Bluff Baptist Church was founded in 1750 in Beech Island, South Carolina, by several enslaved African Americans who organized under elder David George.The historian Albert Raboteau has identified it as the first separate black congregation in the nation, although others contend for that distinction, including the First Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia. After the British captured Savannah in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War, George and his congregation of 30 slaves went to that city, seeking freedom, which the British had promised to slaves who escaped from rebel masters. Those church members who stayed in Savannah after the end of the American Revolutionary War evolved as the First African Baptist Church.George was highly influential in the early black Baptist movement. Resettling by the British with his family and other Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia, he founded a congregation there. George and his family chose to migrate to Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1792, when the British founded this new colony in West Africa. He founded a congregation and Baptist church there as well.
Thomas Mundy Peterson (October 6, 1824 – February 4, 1904) of Perth Amboy, New Jersey was the first African-American to vote in an election under the just-enacted provisions of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. His vote was cast on March 31, 1870.
Robert Todd Duncan (February 12, 1903 – February 28, 1998) was an American baritone opera singer and actor. One of the first African-Americans to sing with a major opera company, Duncan is also noted for appearing as Porgy in the premier production of Porgy and Bess (1935).
Wayne W. Howard (March 29, 1949 – December 9, 2007) was an African-American comic book artist. He is best known for his 1970s work at Charlton Comics, where he became American comic books' first series creator known to be credited on covers, with the horror anthology Midnight Tales announcing "Created by Wayne Howard" on each issue — "a declaration perhaps unique in the industry at the time".
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