CuriShorts
CuriPow on 07/15/2020

The Forgotten Samurai

Yasuke (1555 - 1590) was Japan's first samurai of black African origin. Yasuke’s origins are shrouded in mystery. He was probably born between 1555 and 1566, but even that is not certain. Historians are not even sure of the origin of his name, though it is most likely the Japanese form of his original name. According to one source, he may have been a Makua from Mozambique. It has also been suggested that he was from Angola or Ethiopia. Additionally, he may have been a European-born slave from Portugal.

CuriPow on 07/13/2020

Fashion Forward

Born in Guadalupe, Adrienne Fidelin posed for several photographers in Paris in the 1930s, including Roger Parry, Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze, and Man Ray.

CuriPow on 07/12/2020

Hall of Fame Inductee

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Thomas Jesse Fears was the son of an American mining engineer, Charles William Fears, who had married a Mexican local, Carmen Valdes. The family moved to Los Angeles when Tom was age six. There, he began to display his ample work ethic by unloading flowers for 25 cents an hour, and later serving as an usher at football games for double that amount.

CuriPow on 07/11/2020

Dancer, Actor, Trailblazer

Sono Osato, the Japanese-American ballet dancer who created the role of Ivy Smith in the 1944 Broadway premiere of On the Town was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1919 to a French-Canadian mother and Japanese father, Osato began her professional career at the age of 14, when she auditioned for and was hired to join the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1934. She made history not only as the company’s youngest dancer, but also as the first American, and the first dancer of Japanese descent to join the internationally renowned troupe.

CuriPow on 07/10/2020

Getting My Pulitzer

The first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize for drama was Charles Gordone in 1970 for the dramatic work No Place To Be Somebody. Gordone took the theater world by storm and brought a new type of race consciousness to the stage. His play came on the scene in the 1960s when people embraced the emergence of long-silenced African American voices. Its truths brought many awards to Gordone and the opportunity to produce more plays, screenplays, and creative projects.

CuriPow on 07/09/2020

The Killing Fields

Dith Pran was a Cambodian-American, journalist, and photojournalist. He was also the inspiration for the Academy-Award winning film The Killing Fields, a story about the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia based on the experiences of two journalists.

CuriPow on 07/08/2020

Wave Runner

Duke Kahanamoku came to be known as the father of international surfing, but the Hawaiian native made his first splash as a swimmer at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Born in Honolulu in 1890, Kahanamoku struck gold by setting a world record in the 100-meter freestyle and earned a silver medal in the 200-meter relay. He won two more golds at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, a silver at the 1924 Paris Olympics, and a bronze at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Kahanamoku's swimming and surfing talents caught the attention of Hollywood, and over the course of nine years, he appeared in nearly 30 movies. Kahanamoku went on to serve as sheriff for the City and County of Honolulu for 26 years. When the legendary swimmer and surfer died at the age of 77, he was remembered for his athletic talent and sportsmanship.

CuriPow on 07/08/2020

Intellectually Speaking

In 1895 W.E.B Du Bois was the first black to receive a doctorate from Harvard University and the first black to receive a Ph.D. Du Bois is universally recognized as an educator, writer, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist and influential leader.

CuriPow on 07/06/2020

Chocolate ER

In 1891 Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois was the first African American hospital owned and operated in the United States. Founded by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, his aim was to create a hospital where black doctors and nurses could be prepared, and black patients could receive care without fear of racial bias.

CuriPow on 07/05/2020

Estebanico

Some scholars trace the first Afro-Latino in the United States to Estebanico (Mustafa Azemmouri), an explorer from Spain. Estebanico was one of the four survivors of the infamous voyage of the Spanish explorer Panfilio de Narvarez, which shipwrecked along the Florida coast in 1528 and was later immortalized in the memoirs of Cabrez de Vaca.

CuriPow on 07/03/2020

First In The Country

Charles Hobson wanted to bring that community and residential feeling to the screen with “Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant,” which premiered in April 1968. The public affairs television program, which aimed to capture a realistic portrait of the neighborhood that countered negative stereotypes in the wake of local riots in 1964. A first of its kind in the United States at the time, a television series specific to African-American audiences.

CuriPow on 07/02/2020

Breaking The Ranks

Young-Oak Kim, a Korean-American and United States Army officer during World War II and the Korean War and a civic leader and humanitarian. He proudly led the famed all-Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II and volunteered to serve in the Korean War, where he fought with distinction.

CuriPow on 07/01/2020

State Governing

In 1872 Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback a former slave born in Virginia became the first black governor of any state. He served from December 9, 1827, to January 13, 1873, while the Louisiana governor Henry Clay faced impeachment proceedings.

CuriPow on 06/30/2020

Windy City

Jean-Baptist-Point Du Sable, born in St. Marc, Sainte-Domingue (now Haiti), was a black pioneer trader and discoverer of the settlement that later became the city of Chicago.

CuriPow on 06/29/2020

Seismic Activity

In 1977 veteran geophysicist and seismologist Waverly Person became the first black director of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Colorado. He was assigned to locate earthquakes, compute their size, and disseminate his findings quickly and efficiently to specific sites throughout the world.

CuriPow on 06/28/2020

Twenty-one black women

In 1828 21 black women met in New York to draw up plans for the African Dorcas Society. This was the first black women's charitable group. Its principal objective was to aid young blacks in attending schools and supplying them with clothes, hats, and shoes.

CuriPow on 06/27/2020

Changing Hearts And Minds

In 1820, The Emancipator was the first anti-slavery magazine, edited and published by abolitionist Elihu Embree who was once a slave owner himself.

CuriPow on 06/26/2020

Before The Pill

Recorded instances of Native American women taking contraceptives dates back to the 1700s, more than 200 years before the creation of a man-made substance by western medicine. One of the herbs used was the stone seed, employed by the Shoshone, while the Potawatomi used the herb dogbane.

CuriPow on 06/25/2020

Taking Flight

In 1933 Albert Ernest Forsythe (a physician and aviator) and Charles Alfred "Chief" Anderson (known as the father of Black aviation) were the first black pilots to make a round-trip transcontinental flight. They left Atlantic City on July 17, 1933, in their Fairchild 24 plane called The Pride of Atlantic City, arrived safely in Los Angeles, and completed their first round trip on July 28, 1933.

CuriPow on 06/24/2020

The Foreign Miner Tax

In addition to prospecting for gold in California, many Chinese also came as contract laborers to Hawaii to work in sugarcane plantations. However, while in California, Chinese miners experienced their first taste of discrimination in the form of the Foreign Miner Tax. This was supposed to be collected from every foreign miner but in reality, it was only collected from the Chinese, despite the multitude of miners from European countries there as well.

CuriPow on 06/23/2020

The Jones-Shafroth Act

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act, more commonly known as the Jones Act, which made residents of Puerto Rico, a Spanish-speaking U.S. possession, American citizens. It replaced the Foraker Act of 1900, which established a civilian government on the island and was named after its chief sponsor, Sen. Joseph Foraker (R-Ohio).

CuriPow on 06/22/2020

Intellectually Speaking

In 1897 The American Negro Academy was founded, with the purpose of studying various aspects of black life and establishing a black intellectual tradition. A leading figure in establishing the academy was Alexander Crummel, an American scholar and minister. Its membership of 40 included W.E.B. Du Bois, Kelly Miller, and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

CuriPow on 06/21/2020

1906 Bay Area Segregation

On October 11, 1906, the San Francisco Board of Education attempted to force the 93 Japanese students who were attending public school in San Francisco to attend the segregated Chinese school. The school board was responding to pressure from the Asiatic Exclusion Leauge in California that had the ultimate goal of ending Japanese immigration to California. Japanese Americans protested, but when they were unable to succeed in their efforts to change the School Board's decision, they alerted the Japanese media and Japanese government officials.

CuriPow on 06/20/2020

The President's Committee on Civil Rights

The President's Committee on Civil Rights was a United States Presidential Commission established by President Harry Truman in 1946. The committee was created by Executive Order 9980 on December 5, 1946, and instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the United States and propose measures to strengthen and protect them.