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Black History Month

Source: Creative Services / creative services


1915 – Xavier University, the first Black Catholic college in the US, opens in New Orleans

Xavier is Catholic and historically black. However, its doors have always been open to qualified students of every race and creed. Today 25.1 percent of its students are not African-American and 74.3 percent are not Catholic.


1940 – Black Leaders Protested Discrimination

Leaders protested discrimination in the armed forces and war industries at a White House meeting with President Roosevelt.


1950 – Charles H. Houston Awarded The Spingarn Medal

Charles H. Houston was a prominent African-American lawyer, Dean of Howard University Law School, and NAACP Litigation Director who played a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws, which earned him the title “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow”. He is also well known for having trained future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.


1950 – Gwendolyn Brooks Awarded The Pulitzer Prize

Gwendolyn Brooks was an American poet and teacher. She was the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950, for her second collection, Annie Allen.


1950 – Ezzard Charles Defeated Joe Louis For Heavyweight Title

Ezzard Charles defeated numerous Hall of Fame fighters in three different weight classes. He retired with a record of 93 wins, 25 losses and 1 draw.


1954 – School Integration Begins in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD Public Schools

After a few months with integrated schools, teachers, students, and administrators began to realize that the schools gained some serious problems as a direct result of integration. The school administration never fully addressed the issue of racial tensions; the situation grew less volatile over time, but the problems never fully disappeared and continue to this day in D.C. public schools.