Black History Fact of the Day

It’s the last day of Black History Month, but I encourage you to continue educating yourself on black history. Today I would like to turn your attention to the first African American broadcaster.

Jack Leroy Cooper was born on September 18, 1888 in Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up poor in a single family home. He had to quit school at the age of 10 to work. He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to work at a racetrack.

He worked at different jobs as a teen, and he was a successful boxer. He started his radio career in the 1920s as a comedian at WSBC in Chicago. Due to the lack of representation of African Americans in the industry, he left. He returned in 1929 and became the host and producer of the The All-Negro Hour.


He also wrote for black newspapers in Memphis and Indianapolis. He became the assistant theater editor at the Chicago Defender. He was hired at WCAP in Washington to assist with writing and performing skits in 1925.

He created Searching for Missing Persons in 1938. The show focused on uniting listeners with their loved ones after losing contact. He started Listen Chicago, which focused on current events in 1940. He also popularized playing records on the radio.

Cooper built his own radio studio and created an advertising agency. He paved the way for black personalities.

Cooper died on January 12, 1970.

For more information visit:



Black History Fact of the day

John Russwurm was born on October 1, 1799 in Jamaica. He was the son of a white American merchant and an unknown black Jamaican woman. He was sent to Canada by his father to receive an education.

Russwurm became the second African American to earn a degree in the United States in 1826. He moved to New York the following year, and partnered with Samuel Cornish and together they published the first issue of Freedom’s Journal.


He obtained control of the Freedom’s Journal paper until 1829. Russwurm decided to move to Liberia due to his frustration over the impossibility of ending slavery. He was the first nonwhite to become governor in Liberia Colony, West Africa.

Russwurm learned African languages and participated in politics. He died in Liberia in 1851.

For more information visit:

Black History Month Day 11

An African American lawyer, publisher and newspaper editor. Robert Abbott founded the Chicago Defender, a black owned newspaper.

Abbott was born in 1870 to enslaved parents in Georgia. He attended Hampton Institute in Virginia then graduated from Kent Law school in 1899. He started publishing the Chicago Defender in 1905.


The newspaper spoke against racial injustice and lynching in the south. The newspaper was banned in different places in the south. Abbott convinced African Americans to move north. He was able to get railroad porters to deliver the newspapers south.

Over one million blacks migrated north. Majority of them moved to Chicago.

Abbott became a millionaire from the sales of his newspapers.

After his death in 1940, his newspaper was still a success.

For more information, visit:

Black History Month Day 10

Ignatius Sancho was born in 1729 on a slave ship. Around his second or third birthday, Sancho was brought to England to work as a servant for the Duke of Montagu. While working as a butler, he was reading, writing poetry and music.

In 1758, Sancho married a west Indian woman. They had six children. They began a grocer’s shop in Westminster in 1773. Sancho sold tea, sugar, tobacco and other little things out of his shop.


Sancho became the first black first person to vote in Great Britain. He was also known for his letters about slavery. He would send letters to novelists making it known that he was a black man and a former slave. He wanted his writings to condemn slavery in the British West Indies.

He also published his own music. He had a total of 62 short compositions. Sancho died in London in 1780.

For more information on Ignatius Sancho, visit

Black History Month-02/04/2018

Today, I would like to focus on the first African American woman who is believed to have published a novel in the United States.

Harriet E. Wilson was born around 1828, possibly in Milford, NH. When she was 23, she moved to Massachusetts working as a seamstress. In 1851 she married Thomas Wilson, but Wilson abandoned Harriet less than a year later before the birth of their son.

Wilson was living in a poorhouse. She had no choice but to abandon her son and move to Boston to make a living and regain custody of her son. Wilson would write to support herself and her child.


She published her novel: Our Nig, or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, in a Two-story White House, North. Showing that Slavery’s Shadows Fall Even Therein 1859.  Her son died six months later at the age of seven.

The few facts that we know of Wilson all comes from her book. Her story was published by Massachusetts publisher, George C. Rand and Avery.

Wilson died on June 28, 1900.

For more information visit:

Officially Black History Month

It is officially Black History month and I want to start it off by telling you the story of an African American artist by the name of Clarence Matthew Baker, also known as Matt Baker.

Baker was born on December 10th, 1921 in North Carolina. Baker and his two brothers moved to Pittsburgh, PA. with their parents. He graduated from high school in 1940, and moved to Washington working a government job.

Later on, Baker moved to New York city and there he studied art at the Cooper Union School of Engineering, Art and Design. Around 1944, he began his art career. He joined the S.M Igor Studio as a background artist.


For his first assignment, he was a penciller and inker for a comic called Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. Unfortunately most of his work was inked by others who took credit for it. Baker had a good reputation as a skilled practitioner of drawing female forms, and one of the best “Good Girl” artist.

Baker became the principle artist of Sky Girl, which was a regular feature in Jumbo Comics in 1944. Later on Baker illustrated characters such as Lorna Dorne and Phantom Lady.

Baker is often known as the first most successful African American in comics. He was a hard worker. He would work for days and collapse into a deep sleep that would last for days. Many described him as handsome, cool and a nice dresser.

Baker continued to draw until his heart failed him. He died on August 11, 1959 from a heart attack in New York. In 2009, Matt Baker was introduced into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

For more details on the life of Matt Baker, visit

Black History Month: Day 24

Lucy Parsons was a labor organizer who fought for the rights of the poor, women, and equality for people of color.

Parsons was born in Texas around 1853. Her ancestry consisted of African American, Native American, and Mexican. It is possible that she was born of slave parents. She would only claim that she was Mexican, and a Native American.


Provided by Bing


Around 1870, she met her soon to be husband, Albert Parsons. Since Albert was white, their marriage probably wasn’t legal. The couple was forced to leave Texas due to their political involvement. They moved to Chicago in 1873.

Parsons began to write for “The Socialist” in 1878. She would write about the homeless, women, and unemployed veterans. Throughout Chicago she became a powerful writer, and inspirational speaker.

She contributed to the founding of the International Working People’s Association(IWPA) in 1883. The IWPA organized a labor strike in 1886 to support the eight hour work day. Nearly 80,000 workers were involved, and the movement caused violence to erupt five days later.


Provided by Bing


Several of the organizers were jailed, including Albert. They were all hanged.

Parsons continued to raise awareness after her husband’s death. She condemned lynching, and continued to advocate for people of color. She also joined the Communist Party in 1939.

Parsons continued to work hard for change until her death. She died in a house fire in Chicago on March 7, 1942.