- A Nubian Pharaoh of Egypt, Tarharka (710-664 B.C.), controlled the largest empire in Ancient Africa. Mention of his great campaigns can be found in the Bible (Isaiah 37:9, 2 Kings 19:9). The majesty of his building projects was legendary, with the greatest being the temple at Gebel Barkal in the Sudan.
- The Black Ancient Empire of Ghana flourished from around the 8th-11th centuries, developing a huge economy that comprised manufacturing, agriculture, and trade. Situated on a major trade route from North Africa, its capital, Kumbi Saleh, was one of the greatest and most populous cities of the world. Historians wrote that Ghana's gold was so abundant that the King's dogs wore gold collars!
- In 1773, slave poet Phillis Wheatley wrote the first book by an African American, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.”
- “Freedom’s Journal” was the first Black newspaper published in the United States (1827).
- Hiram Rhoads Revels (R-MS) became the first African American U.S. Senator (1870).
- An outstanding scientist, George Washington Carver revitalized the Southern economy by developing some 300 different products from the peanut including butter, face powder, soaps, ink, vinegar, and wood stains. From the sweet potato he made over 100 by products including flour, shoe polish and candy.
- “Roots” by Alex Haley was initially titled, “Before This Anger.”
- Over 5,000 Blacks, both slaves and freemen, fought in the Continental Army on the Patriot side during the American Revolution.
Vivant Denon drew this image of the Sphinx of Giza around 1798, prior to its defacement. This image and written account (a part of the collection) is from the 1803 issue of Universal Magazine. From that same magazine, here is the written account in Denon's own words, "...Though its proportions are colossal, the outline is pure and graceful; the expression of the head is mild, gracious, and tranquil; the character is African, but the mouth, and lips of which are thick, has a softness and delicacy of execution truly admirable; it seems real life and flesh. Art must have been at a high pitch when this monument was executed; for, if the head wants what is called style, that is the say, the straight and bold lines which give expression to the figures under which the Greeks have designated their deities, yet sufficient justice has been rendered to the fine simplicity and character of nature which is displayed in this figure..." -- order postcard of Sphinx of Giza
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