Fact # 1. Allensworth is the only California community to be founded, financed and governed by African-Americans. Created by Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient, all-black city where African-Americans could live their lives free of racial discrimination.
Fact # 2. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on friend Maya Angelou’s birthday on April 4th, 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for many years afterward, and sent flowers to King’s widow every year until Mrs. King’s death in 2006.
Fact # 3. As a child Muhammad Ali was refused an autograph by his idol, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. When Ali became a prize-fighter, he vowed never to deny an autograph request, which he has honored to this day.
Fact # 4. After African-American performer Josephine Baker expatriated to France, she famously smuggled military intelligence to French allies during World War II. She did this by pinning secrets inside her dress, as well as writing them in invisible ink on her sheet music.
Fact # 5. Before he was a renowned artist, Romare Bearden was also a talented baseball player. He was recruited by the Philadelphia Athletics on the pretext that he would agree to pass as white. He turned down the offer, instead choosing to work on his art.
Fact # 6. In 1938, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt challenged the segregation rules at the Southern Conference on Human Welfare in Birmingham, Alabama, so she could sit next to African-American educator Mary McLeod Bethune, whom she referred to as “her closest friend in her age group.”