Browse or search our African American History timeline. Events on the timeline include key moments in specific HistoryMaker's lives as well as important historical dates.

April 20, 2010
| Dorothy Height Dies

Social and civil rights activist Dorothy Height passes away on this date at the age of 98 in Washington, D.C. The former President of the National Council of Negro Women was called the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement in a statement by President Barack Obama.


April 19, 2010
| Rapper Guru Dies

Rapper Guru dies on this date at the age of 43.


April 15, 2010
| Rev. Benjamin L. Hooks Dies

Former executive director of the NAACP, Reverend Benjamin L. Hooks dies on this date in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 85.


March 17, 2010
| Michael Jordan Becomes Majority Owner of NBA Team

NBA legend Michael Jordan becomes the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats on this date in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jordan was previously a minority owner in the NBA franchise. Bob Johnson sold the rights to the franchise to Jordan. The business deal was accepted by the NBA's Board of Governors. Jordan is first former player to be a majority owner of a NBA franchise in league history.


March 7, 2010
| Mo’Nique Wins Best Supporting Actress Oscar

Comedienne, actress and talk show host Mo’Nique wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as “Mary Jones” in the film, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. She is the fourth African American woman to win this award (Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Hudson are the others).


March 7, 2010
| First Black Wins Adapted Screenplay Oscar

Screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher wins the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire on this date in Hollywood, California. Fletcher is the first African American to win this award, as well as any writing award from the Academy.


January 26, 2010
| Paul R. Jones Dies

Art collector and civic leader Paul R. Jones dies on this date in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 81.


January 13, 2010
| Albert W. Johnson Dies

Auto sales entrepreneur Albert W. Johnson dies on this date in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 89.


January 10, 2010
| Teddy Pendergrass Dies

R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass dies on this date in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the age of 59.


January 9, 2010
| Wesley South Dies

Radio personality Wesley South dies on this date in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 95. South was also part owner of Chicago radio station WVON.


January 3, 2010
| Eunice W. Johnson Dies

Widow of Johnson Publishing founder, John H. Johnson, Eunice W. Johnson dies on this date in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 93. Johnson was the founder of the Ebony Fashion Fair.


October 30, 2009
| Narvie J. Harris Dies

Educator Narvie J. Harris dies on this date in Georgia.


October 9, 2009
| Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

President Barack Obama is announced as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on this date. He is the third U.S. president to receive this honor while in office (fourth overall).


September 11, 2009
| Michael Jordan Inducted into Hall of Fame

Sports icon Michael Jordan is inducted into Pro Basketball's Hall of Fame on this date in Springfield, Massachusetts. Jordan is inducted along with women's college basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, fellow Olympic "Dream Team" teammates David Robinson and John Stockton and NBA coach and former player Jerry Sloan.


August 16, 2009
| Burl Toler, Sr. Dies

Former NFL referee Burl Toler, Sr. dies on this date in California at the age of 81.


August 16, 2009
| Usain Bolt Breaks Own World Record in 100 Meters

Jamaican track and field star Usain Bolt breaks his own 100 meter world record on this date at the Track and Field World Championship in Berlin, German with a time of 9.58 seconds.


August 11, 2009
| Margaret Bush Wilson Dies

Real estate lawyer and civil rights activist Margaret Bush Wilson passes away on this date at the age of 90.


July 23, 2009
| E. Lynn Harris Dies

Best-selling fiction writer, E. Lynn Harris dies on this date in California at the age of 54.


July 2, 2009
| Dempsey Travis Dies

Real estate entrepreneur, author and historian Dempsey Travis dies on this date in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 89.


June 25, 2009
| Michael Jackson Dies

Entertainer Michael Jackson dies on this date in Los Angeles, California at the age of 50.


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