May 2017



May 1 Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry “Annie Allen.”, 1950.
May 2 The Children’s Crusade began in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963.
May 3 The Supreme Court of the United States decided in the case of Shelley v. Kraemer that courts could not enforce racial covenants on real estate, 1948.
May 4 Thirteen Freedom Riders set off from Washington D.C. to New Orleans, LA, 1961.
May 5 Eugene Marino becomes first African American installed as a Roman Catholic archbishop in the U.S., 1988.
May 6 William Howard “Willie” Mays, Jr. hall of fame baseball player, was born in Westfield, Alabama, 1931.
May 7 Joseph R. Winters patents first fire escape ladder, 1878.
May 8 Matthew A. Cherry of Washington, D. C. received patent number 382,351 for improvements in velocipede (bicycle/tricycle), 1888.
May 9 John Albert Burr received patent number 624,749 for an improved rotary blade lawn-mower, 1899.
May 10 Pickney Benton Stewart Pinchback, the first African American to become governor of a state in the United States, was born in Macon, GA, 1837.
May 11 William Grant Still, the “Dean of African American Classical Composers” was born in Woodville, Mississippi, 1895.
May 12 Albert L. Murray, literary, music and social critic and novelist, was born in Nokomis, Alabama., 1916.
May 13 Joe Louis, hall of fame boxer known as “the Brown Bomber,” was born Joseph Louis Barrow in La Fayette, Alabama, 1914.
May 14 Rosa Jinsey Young, “the mother of Black Lutheranism in Alabama,” was born in Rosebud, Alabama, 1890.
May 15 Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (the Boulé), the first African American Greek lettered organization, was founded in Philadelphia, PA, 1904.
May 16 Dr. William Harry Barnes becomes first African American board-certified medical specialist, 1927.
May 17 U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation in public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education decision, 1954.
May 18 Plessy vs. Ferguson, Supreme Court upholds the doctrine of “separate but equal” education and public accommodations, 1896.
May 19 Malcolm X, was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, 1925.
May 20 John Matthew Shippen, Jr., the first African American professional golfer, died, 1968.
May 21 Katherine Mary Dunham, hall of fame dancer, choreographer, author, educator, activist and “Matriarch and Queen Mother of Black Dance,” died, 2006.
May 22 James Mercer Langston Hughes, poet, novelist and playwright, died, 1967.
May 23 Sgt. William H. Carney becomes the first African American awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, 1900.
May 24 Coleman Alexander Young, the first African American Mayor of Detroit, Michigan, was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1918.
May 25 Madam C.J. Walker, first American woman to become a millionaire through her own business, died, 1919.
May 26 Miles Dewey Davis III, hall of fame jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer, was born in Alton, Illinois, 1926.
May 27 Ernest Gideon Green became the first African American to graduate from Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1958.
May 28 Horace King, the most respected bridge builder in AL, GA, and northeastern MS during the mid-1800s, died, 1885.
May 29 Sojourner Truth delivered her famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, 1851.
May 30 Vivian Malone becomes the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama, 1965.
May 31 The Tulsa Race War in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma occurred, resulting in 35 city blocks of residences being destroyed and 10,000 predominantly African American people left homeless, 1921.
Share This