In The Spotlight

 Each month we will try to recognize members, ministries or  events of Best Grove who are during great things within the  communities, schools and work.

                February 2018                    


                              Notable Moments in Black History


The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified giving all women the right to vote. Nonetheless, African-American women, like African-American men, are denied the franchise in most Southern states.


The Michigan Chronicle is founded in Detroit by Louis E. Martin.

The Maryland Supreme Court rules in Murray v. Pearson that the University of Maryland must admit African Americans to its law school or establish a separate school for Blacks.

The University of Maryland chooses to admit its first Black students.

Mary McLeod Bethune calls together the leaders of 28 national women’s organizations to found the National Council of Negro Women in New York City.


The first meeting of the National Negro Congress takes place in Chicago. Nearly 600 Black organizations are represented.

Mary McLeod Bethune is named Director of the Division of Negro Affairs, the National Youth Administration. She is the highest ranking Black official in the Roosevelt administration and leads the Black Cabinet. She is also the first Black woman to receive a presidential appointment.


William H. Hastie, former advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt, is confirmed as the first Black federal judge after his appointment by Roosevelt to the federal bench in the Virgin Islands.


The U.S. Supreme Court in Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada rules that a state that provides in-state education for Whites must provide comparable in-state education for Blacks.


Jane M. Bolin becomes the first African-American woman judge in the United States when she is appointed to the domestic relations court of New York City.


Hattie McDaniel receives an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her role in “Gone with the Wind.” She becomes the first Black actor to win an academy award.

Dr. Charles R. Drew presents his thesis, Banked Blood, at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. The thesis includes his research which reveals that plasma can replace whole blood transfusions.

Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr., is named the first African-American general in the regular army.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is established in New York City.


The U.S. Army creates the Tuskegee Air Squadron, which will soon be known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

President Franklin Roosevelt issues Executive Order 8802, desegregating war production plants and creating the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC).

The United States enters World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Dorris “Dorie” Miller is later awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism during that battle.

The desperate need for factory labor to build the war machine needed to win World War II leads to an unprecedented migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West. This migration transforms American politics as Blacks increasingly vote in their new homes and put pressure on Congress to protect civil rights throughout the nation. Their activism lays much of the foundation for the national Civil Rights Movement a decade later.


While teaching at Livingstone College in North Carolina, Margaret Walker publishes the award-winning poem For My People, which she began as her master’s thesis at the University of Iowa.

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is founded in Chicago by James Farmer Jr., George Houser, Bernice Fisher, James Russell Robinson, Joe Guinn and Homer Jack.

The U.S. Marine Corps accepts African-American men for the first time at a segregated training facility at Camp Montford Point, N.C. 

They will be known as the Montford Point Marines.

Charity Adams Earley becomes the first Black woman commissioned officer in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs) while serving at Fort Des Moines.


An estimated 34 African-Americans are killed during the Detroit Race Riots.

The first African-American cadets graduate from the Army Flight School at Tuskegee University.

The largest concentration of African-American military personnel is stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. In total, there are 14,000 African-American soldiers as well as 300 women from the 32nd and 33rd companies of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.

The Tuskegee Airmen fly their first combat mission in Italy.


The U.S. Supreme Court declares that white only political primaries are unconstitutional in the Smith v. Allwright case.

The United Negro College Fund is established by Frederick Douglass Patterson to provide support to historically black colleges and universities and well as its students.


Benjamin O. Davis Jr. is named commander of the Goodman Field in Kentucky, becoming the first African-American to command a military base.

Nat King Cole becomes the first African-American to have a radio variety show.

Ebony magazine is published. The magazine is developed by the Johnson Publishing Company.


The U.S. Supreme Court rules that segregation on interstate bus travel is unconstitutional in Morgan v. Virginia.


The NAACP issues an appeal to racism entitled An Appeal to the World. The petition is presented to the United Nations.


President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981, desegregating the armed forces.

Alice Coachman becomes the first African-American woman to win an Olympic Gold medal when she wins the high jump competition.

The law banning interracial marriages in California is banned by its state supreme court.


June Wesley Brown becomes the first African-American to graduate from the Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Jesse Blayton Sr. launches WERD-AM, the first African-American owned radio station in the United States. The station is broadcast out of Atlanta.

William A. Hinton becomes the first African-American professor at the Harvard University Medical School.


Racial segregation in Washington D.C. restaurants is declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.


In June, African-American residents of Baton Rouge establish a boycott of the city’s segregated transportation system.


The U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation in public schools unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board of Education  case.


Rosa Parks is arrested after refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery Bus to a white patron. Martin Luther King Jr. is elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association. The organization leads a year-long boycott against Montgomery’s segregated transportation system.


The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Gayle v. Browder case declares it is unconstitutional to segregate transportation on intrastate travel. This ruling supports those participating in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.


Congress establishes the Civil Rights Act of 1957. This is the first legislative act protecting the rights of African-Americans since the Reconstruction period by establishing the Civil Rights section of the Justice Department. Federal prosecutors are now able to get court injunctions against those who interfere with the right to vote. Under this act, the Federal Civil Rights Commission is also established.


Four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter (Feb. 1). Six months later the "Greensboro Four" are served lunch at the same Woolworth's counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South.


Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala. He writes "Letter from Birmingham Jail," which advocated nonviolent civil disobedience.


President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. It prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin (July 2).


Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal (Aug. 10).


President Johnson appoints Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. He becomes the first black Supreme Court Justice.

The Supreme Court rules in Loving v. Virginia that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. Sixteen states still have anti-miscegenation laws and are forced to revise them.


The 1970s is known as the beginning of the Post-Civil Rights Movement Era. With several federal acts of legislation established to protect the rights of all Americans, the 1970s marked the start of a new era for African-Americans. During this decade, African-Americans made great strides in politics, academe as well as business. 


Guion Bluford Jr. was the first African-American in space. He took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the space shuttle Challenger on August 30.


Colin Powell becomes the first African American U.S. Secretary of State.


Condoleezza Rice becomes the first black female U.S. Secretary of State.


Sen. Barack Obama, Democrat from Chicago, becomes the first African American to be nominated as a major party nominee for president.

On November 4, Barack Obama, becomes the first African American to be elected president of the United States, defeating Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain.


Simone Biles became the first African-American and woman to bring home four Olympic gold medals in women’s gymnastics at a single game (as well as a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Also, in Rio, Simone Manuel was the first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming.


Feb 1, 2017, Mother Emeritus Ward was recognized at Best Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Goldsboro NC on her 100th Birthday.


Mother Emeritus Ward celebrates her 101st Birthday.