In honor of Presidents’ Day I find it necessary to shine a little light on the history of our known and unknown presidents.
The very first President of the United States in Congress Assembled, under the Articles of Confederation was a man by the name of John Hanson. There have been many conflicting stories on whether or not this individual was African American, by ancestry. Some will argue that this man shares the same name as another individual who would surface as Senator in Liberia in the 1800s. (https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-articles-of-confederation/john-hanson-story/)
As the story goes, there is no way an African American would’ve been appointed such a high seat in Congress at this time in history. The most information I could find about the “black” John Hanson, after extensive research, was found on a Facebook post. There’s this worldwind of information that is supposed to be evident that this black man did not hold this office. Yet, there is no full history on this guy, outside of an image of him. (https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=917608498368380&id=685107708285128)
I did, however, find many images of the so-called “white” John Hanson. Yet, when looking up information about his parents, there is none. I found their names, their descendants, as well as their parents names. Yet, when it comes to definitive nationality, it is notably unclear. There is, however, proof that this individual was not necessarily of the European descent that our forefathers would like to drill into our heads. I also found that at some point or another both of these men ended up in Maryland, one as a slave and the other as a descendant of slave owners.
It is also believed that the “black” John Hanson bought his slavery to relocate to Liberia, while the “white” John Hanson moved on to become the first President of the unofficial United States.
My biggest issue with the stories of these two men is the fact that there is very little information available about the “black” John Hanson. Yet, there are these pictures that surfaced from the Library of Congress of both men. Many people reference these documents without realizing that there is no recorded date for the picture of the “white” John Hanson and the recorded date for the “black” John Hanson is “1856-1860”. Also, the “black” John Hanson has no recorded birthday to be found anywhere. Yet, he is believed to have died in 1860.
I’m eager to find out more information on the two. So, this will be a full post of its own. I’ve also found some interesting information about a few other known presidents, which I will be researching for a future post, as well.
Now, we will continue with our less than popular way of educating ourselves on the African American culture. Stepping outside of the well-known facts, we will also touch on a few modern day celebrity birthdays and some fairly current events.
Jerena Lee (1783-1855) First Authorized African American Female Preacher; Mary J. Blige (1971) Singer/Songwriter, Model, Producer, Actress; Brandy R Norwood (1979) Singer/Songwriter, Producer, Actress; Kelly Rowland ( 1981) Singer/Songwriter, Actress, Personality, Mogul
Robert C. Weaver was sworn in as Administrator of Housing and Home Finance Agency (1961) This is the highest Federal post to date held by and African American.
Clifford L. Alexander, Jr. became the first African American Secretary of Army (1977)
Nelson Mandela was released from Robbin Island Prison by South African President, Frederik Willem de Klerk, after serving 27 years on a life sentence (1990)
( http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/Feb/On-this-Day–Nelson-Mandela-Released-From-Prison.html; http://www.usar.army.mil/Featured/Special-Features/HistoryandHeritageMonths/AfricanAmericanHeritage/CliffordAlexanderJrProfile/; https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-02-11-A.aspx )
Robert T. Duncan (1903-1998) Opera Singer, Actor, Professor; William “Bill” Russell (1934) Pro Basketball Player- NBA; Arsenio Hall (1956) Comedian, Actor, Host; Robert L. Griffin III (1990) Pro Football Player- NFL
Henry H. Garnet was first African American to speak in House Chambers (1865)
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded (1909)
Augustus N. Lushington died (1939) First African American to earn Doctorateof Vet Medicine (D.V.M.)
( http://www.naacp.org/oldest-and-boldest/; http://history.house.gov/HistoricalHighlight/Detail/35139?ret=True; https://webfiles.uci.edu/mcbrown/display/lushington.html )
Randy G. Moss (1977) Pro Football Player- NFL; Aqib Talib (1986) Pro Football Player- NFL; Mamadou Sakho (1990) French Pro Football Player; Memphis Depay (1994) Dutch Pro Football Player.
The Renaissance Team was established in New York (1923) First African American Basketball Team.
Joseph Searles became the first African American Member if the New York Stock Exchange (1970)
Gertrude E. Downing and William Desjardin received Patent completed for Corner Cleaner Attachment (1973)
( https://eyhcs2010.com/2014/02/13/day-44-william-desjardin-black-inventor-patent-the-reciprocating-corner-cleaner-attachment-1973/; http://blackinamerica.com/content/246064/black-history-moment-joseph-searles-the-first-african-american-staff-member-of-the-new-york-stock-exchange; http://www.blackenterprise.com/lifestyle/this-day-in-history-first-black-pro-basketball-team-established/ )
Richard Allen (1760-1831) Minister, Educator, Writer, Influential African American Leader; Frederick Douglas (1818-1895) Social Reformer, Abolitionist, Orator, Writer, Stateman; Charlotta A. Bass (1874-1969) Educator, Publisher, Editor, Civil Rights Activist; Gregory Hines (1946-2003) Dancer, Actor, Singer, Choreographer
Blanche K. Bruce became the first African American and former slave to preside over the Senate (1879)
The National Negro Congress was organized in Chicago (1936)
( http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3214.html; https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Former_Slave_Presides_Over_Senate.htm )
Bryan “Birdman” Williams (1969) Rapper, Producer, Entrepreneur; Olivia Longot (1981) Singer; Amber P. Riley (1986) Actress, Singer, Author; Richard “Rich” Swann (1991) Pro Wrestler- WWE
Sarah Roberts, five year old girl, barred from attending any nearby “white” schools in Boston (1848)
Austin Steward died (1869) Born slave, abolitionist and author.
Leon Spinks defeats Muhammad Ali in 15 round Heavyweight title match (1978)
( http://boxrec.com/media/index.php/Leon_Spinks_vs._Muhammad_Ali_(2nd_meeting); https://blackhistorywall.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/february-15-school-segregation-in-the-courts/ )