In honor of Black History Month, we seek to share with you some momentous occurrences for African-Americans in decades past and years remembered.
On this day, February 14th, in black history:
In 1817, Frederick Douglass was born. He was a well-known writer, statesman, and orator. After he escaped slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement and was recognized widely for his anti-slavery writings. His first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave was published in 1845 and described his life as a slave and his struggles to be free. He became a major speaker for the cause of abolition and was a strong believer in equality for all people.
In 1867, Morehouse College, a prestigious private all-male historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded as Augusta Institute just two years after the Civil War. The school was founded by William Jefferson White, a Baptist minister from Atlanta with the original consensus to educate African-American men on points of theology and education. The school moved to Atlanta in 1879 and was called the Atlanta Baptist Seminary, due to its instrumental support and influence by its leaders and religious organizations in the state. In 1929, the college joined Spelman College and Clark College in a city consortium called the Atlanta University Center. Morehouse is currently one of two black colleges in the nation to produce Rhode Scholars and is the alma mater for recognized leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, and Edwin Moses.
In 1946, Gregory Hines was born in New York City. Hines was a recognized actor, singer, and dancer. He became a leading star on Broadway and earned several Tony nominations for his appearances in Eubie! and Sophisticated Ladies. He co-hosted the ceremony in 1995 and 2002.