Black History Month - Looking Back

The below content was created for our Tiedemann Advisors’ family. Diversity and Inclusion is one of our core values as a firm and as a community, and as such, we are committed to using this celebration of Black History Month to continue to learn and grow - both as individuals and as an organization.


How much do you know about Black History?

Test your knowledge by taking this Quiz
and watch the video below.

To learn even more, read the below overview with links to supplemental information.

How Black History Month Began

  • That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
  • In the decades that followed, mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness of Black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.
  • President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Eight Little Known Facts About Black History

#1. Slavery was foundational, not ancillary, to the building of America and its economy. By 1860, nearly 4 million American slaves worth more than $3.5 billion, made forced, free labor the largest single financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined.

#2. Enslaved and free Africans were present in the Americas as early as the 1400s. 1619 is the year the first documented enslaved Africans were transported to the Americas.

#3. The earliest recorded protest against slavery was by the Quakers in 1688.

#4. In 1921, during the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877) and Jim Crow laws (post civil war – 1968), the flourishing black community in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as “Black Wall Street” was the site of the “Tulsa Race Massacre”. Sadly, this was not the only instance.

#5. Allensworth is the first all-Black California township, founded and financed by African Americans. The town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient city where African Americans could live their lives free of racial prejudice.

#6. The song “Strange Fruit”, made famous by blues singer Billie Holiday, is a song about Black lynching in the south. It was originally a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx.

#7. In the 1800s, Philadelphia was known as the “Black Capital of Anti–Slavery” because of its strong abolitionist presence, which included groups like the Philadelphia Female Anti–Slavery Society.

#8. Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1968. and four years later she was the first female and Black candidate to seek the nomination for President of the United States.

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