African American History is Ohio History

African Americans have made a significant impact on Ohio and U.S. history. Here is a short list of some of the highlights.

1851 – Soujourner Truth gave her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech at the Women’s Convention in Akron.

1856 – Wilberforce University, the country’s oldest, private black university was founded.

1862 – African American men in Cincinnati were impressed to build fortifications to defend the city from Confederate attack. They were designated the Black Brigade.

127th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, also known as the 5th United States Colored Troops, in formation on Sandusky Street, Delaware, Ohio ca. 1863.

1863 – The first regiment of African American recruits from Ohio reported for Civil War service in Delaware, Ohio. They were the 127th Ohio Volunteer Infantry; renamed the 5th United States Colored Troops.

1880 – George Washington Williams was the first African American to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives.

1888 – George Myers purchased the barbershop in the Hollenden House, Cleveland’s finest hotel, and it became a hot spot for Republican Party operatives.

1893 – Paul Laurence Dunbar, renknowned poet from Dayton, published his first collection of poetry, Oak and Ivy.

1898 – Charles Young from Ripley and Wilberforce commanded the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers in Cuba during the Spanish American War.

1914 – Garrett Morgan from Cleveland patented the safety hood, an early version of the gas mask.

1923 – Garrett Morgan from Cleveland patented the three-way traffic symbol.

1930 – The Ohio Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was chartered in Columbus.

1946 – The Tuskegee Airmen 477th Composite Group was transferred to Lockbourne Army Air Base in Columbus.

1947 – Central State became a separate institution from Wilberforce University. In 1965 it attained the status of a university.

1958 – Martin Luther King gave the commencement address at Central State University.

1967 – Carl B. Stokes became the first African American elected mayor of a major American city when he was elected mayor of Cleveland.

Ellen Walker Craig, mayor of Urbancrest, Ohio, at her desk, 1975.

1972 – Ellen Walker Craig became the first African American woman elected to the office of mayor when she became mayor of Urbancrest.

1988 -National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center opened in Wilberforce.

1988 – Toni Morrison from Lorain won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her fifth novel Beloved.

2002 – Halle Berry, from Cleveland, was the first African American woman to win Best Actress for Monster’s Ball.

2004 – National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in Cincinnati.

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3 Responses to African American History is Ohio History

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention African American History is Ohio History | Ohio Historical Society Collections Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: African American History is Ohio History | Ohio Historical Society … | The African American Black Blog Directory

  3. March 6, 1787 African American James Davis was born at Harmar Village (Marietta, Ohio). He was the first American child born in the Northwest Territory and in Ohio.

    And there is so much more!

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