About Black History Facts You Might Not Have Known

Black history facts: Black historical individuals have impacted American history throughout decades, from pioneers to inventors, Olympic athletes, and politicians. Unfortunately, many of their achievements go unrecognized and unappreciated.

Slavery & Jim Crow desegregation stifled their successes. While racial tensions have risen in recent decades, African Americans have paved the road for historic milestones even today. 

Black History Facts

Black history in the United States is rich, ranging from developing everyday conveniences like elevators and traffic lights to the wide range of cultural expressions now available on television. Here are some interesting facts about African-American history in commemoration of Black History Month.


The “Father of Black History,” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, created the first Negro Background Week during 1926 to ensure that children were taught Black history. In 1976, it was renamed Black History Month.

Black history facts: This was the first recorded birth of a Black individual in 13 original American colonies. In 1624, he was born in the vicinity of Jamestown, Virginia. His parents had indentured laborers transported to British soil by the United Kingdom as part of the first batch of Africans to arrive. Elizabeth City County was established in Virginia in 1634, and his parents were involved in its formation.

1738 saw the founding of Florida’s Gracia True De Santa De Mose village by a group of newly emancipated men and women. The town’s population was approximated at 100 persons. 

It’s the first free Black colony in the United States, and it’s only two miles from St. Augustine. As a result of the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) was abandoned, and you bestowed the National Historic Landmark status upon it in 1994. Between 1810 and 1850, an estimated 100,000 enslaved people escaped for freedom in the North on the Underground Railroad.

Since 1777, Vermont has been a slave-free state. Slavery was abolished in Vermont’s legislature, and the state also sought to grant full voting rights to African-American males.

Lucia Stanton was the first African-American woman to earn a college degree. In 1850, she finished a women’s academic program at Oberlin College and graduated, and it was an anti-slavery rant in her graduating address.

Black history facts: Founded and funded by African Americans, Allensworth is 1st all-black Californian town. Created in 1908, the town’s goal was to create a self-sufficient city where African Americans could live their lives without fear of discrimination.

As far as we know, Cathay Williams was also the first woman to serve as a Buffalo Soldier. While serving in the Union Midst of the Civil War, Williams was born into slavery. As William Cathay, she joined the 38th Infantry Unit in 1866 and was discharged in 1868 due to a medical condition.


In 1853, a chef & restaurant keeper named George “Crum” Speck accidentally invented the potato chip. Ever since a potato slice dropped together into a hot frying pan and formed Saratoga chips, his sister, Kate, said she was the one who came up with the idea.

 In the early 1920s, a salesman called Herman Lay (the guy behind Lay’s chips) began marketing potato chips to new areas and bringing Crum’s chips to a wider audience in New York City.

The inventions of Garrett Morgan have saved many lives. In 1922, he developed a traffic signal design that included a third “caution” signal. Today commonly referred to as yellow light. In 1922, he invented the traffic light, which he patented. 

Black history facts: First-ever gas mask patents were issued to Morgan in 1912 for his “Breathing Device.” His car was the first-ever owned by a black guy in Cleveland, Ohio.

Using elevators became safer because of Alexander Miles’s design. Before introducing automatic elevators, humans had to actively open & shut the curtains of the vehicle and the elevator shaft. 

Black History Facts

Miles’ invention included the use of flexible belts linked to the hoist cage, which made it possible for doors to open and close on their own. Innovator Hall of Fame inducts him every year.

Even though Mary Beatrice Davidson invented the sterile belt in the 1920s, she patented it in 1957. A moisture-proof napkin pouch on the belt kept the pads in place and prevented them from leaking.

More than 300 new goods are manufactured from peanuts thanks to agricultural scientist George Carver, who was in charge of the research and development. He made 118 goods ranging from flour to vinegar to ink to glue for postage stamps from sweet potatoes.

Mark Dean, a computer scientist and engineer, is a co-inventor of IBM’s first personal computer and the PC color monitor, which revolutionized technology. He helped develop the technology that makes it possible to connect peripherals like printers, keyboards, disc drives, and displays directly to computers.


Bill Pickett International Rodeo was founded in 1984 and is the first traveling African American rodeo.

Gabby Douglas became the first African-American woman to win the Individuals All-Around title at London Olympics in 2012.

When Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics, she became the first African American woman to accomplish this feat. She rose to fame as the world’s quickest woman. After Sheryl Swoopes signed with the WNBA in 1996, you launched the league a year later.


On April 4, 1968, the birthday of Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King was slain. Coretta Scott King’s widow, Scott King, received flowers from Angelou for further than 30 years through her death in 2006.

About a week after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Father of Soul James debuted in front of a broadcast audience in Boston. The performance is credited with averting further unrest.

Hiram Rhodes Basks was just the first African-American senator elected to the Senate of the United States. Between February 1870 and March 1871, he served as the state’s representative in Congress.

Arts And Entertainment: Black History Facts

Esther Jones, a Harlem-based jazz vocalist, was the inspiration for cartoon character Betty Boop. Jones’s vocal style was characterized by “boops,” a childlike scat sound.

A 14-year-old Black girl, Penny Proud is the protagonist of Disney Channel’s first original animated series, The Proud Family.

Referred To As: The 41 Greatest Black Comedy Films Ever Made

Black History Facts

Hattie McDaniel, who played a secondary role in Gone Only with Wind, was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for best-supporting actress in 1940. Twenty-four decades previously, Sidney Poitier became the first Black man who won an Oscar as the lead in Lilies of Field.

Singer & music producer Sylvia Robinson has been dubbed “Hip-First Hop’s Godmother” for her work on The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” the first commercially successful rap record. Sugar Hill Records was the first hip-hop record label co-owned by her and her husband.

Barack Obama has won 2 Grammy Awards as a performer. At the time of Dreams by My Father (best-spoken word album), he won a Grammy for the audiobook version of the memoir; in 2007, he won another one (in the same categories) for The Audacity of Hope (best-sung word album). The audiobook adaptation of his novella A Promised Land was nominated for an Audiobook Emmy in 2022.

Black history facts: The only museum aimed at preserving the legacy and honoring the accomplishments of the numerous musical genres developed, influenced, and inspired by African Americans is set to open in 2021 as the History Museum of African Americans Music (NMAAM).