July
This Month in Black History

On July 5, 1852 Frederick Douglass gave a speech that is now known as the “What To The Slave Is The 4th Of July” speech.  Douglass was asked to give a speech on July 4th during a commemoration of the Declaration of Independence. However he choose to give one on July 5th instead. When Douglass gave his speech he acknowledged the signers of the Declaration of Independence but he made it clear that there was too much work to be done before the  4th of July would be a day of celebration for Blacks. Read SPEECH

July 1905


In July 1905 a group of Black activists and intellectuals met on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls to discuss the issue of civil liberties for African Americans. That meeting was the start of The Niagara Movement. The group had planned to meet on the New York side of the Falls, but were forced to change location after being denied accommodations. The organization, formed by W.E.B Du Bois (l) and William Monroe Trotter (r), was made up of critics of Booker T. Washington, President of Tuskegee Institute. During this period, Washington was viewed by most as the authority figure on issues that concerned Black Americans.  Washington’s view that Black Americans should help themselves, while being patient and accommodating, was denounced by members of the Niagara Movement, who demanded that blacks be granted the same rights and liberties as whites.

July 1943
Tthe Tuskegee Airmen had its first aerial victory when Lieutenant Charles B. Hall, of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, shot down a German fighter plane.

July 1948

Althea Gibson became the first Black woman
to win the
tennis championship at Wimbledon.

July 1975
Arthur Ashe became the first Black man
to win the
tennis championship at Wimbledon.