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.

May 19, 2014
| Samuel Greenlee Passed Away

Fiction writer and poet Samuel Greenlee passed away on this date at the age of 83.


May 19, 2014
| Vincent Harding Passed Away

Civil rights activist and theologian Vincent Harding passed away on this date at the age of 82.


May 19, 2007
| Carl Wright Dies

Actor and comedian Carl Wright dies on this date in Chicago, Illinois. Wright is best known for his film roles in Soulfood, Barbershop and Big Momma's House. Wright also co-hosted a Chicago cable access show entitled Blues and More with Pervis Spann.


May 19, 2006
| Eugenia Fortes Passed Away

Civil rights activist Eugenia Fortes passed away on this date at the age of 94.


May 19, 1991
| Ribbs Qualifies for the Indianapolis 500

Willy T. Ribbs becomes the first African American to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, the most prestigious NASCAR event of the year.


May 19, 1975
| Cicely Tyson Wins Emmys

Cicely Tyson wins two <a class="contenthref" href="http://www.thehistorymakers.com/historymakers/glossary/glossarytext.asp?... for "Best Lead Actress in a Drama" and "Actress of the Year, Special" for her moving portrayal of the fictional Civil War slave Jane Pittman in <I>The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman</I>.


May 19, 1957
| Howard Woolley is Born

Telecommunications executive Howard Woolley was born on this date in New York, New York.


May 19, 1949
| Capt. Avis T. Bailey is Born

Ship pilot and captain Capt. Avis T. Bailey was born on this date in Washington, District of Columbia.


May 19, 1948
| Frances Frazier is Born

Social activist and education consultant Frances Frazier was born on this date in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


May 19, 1937
| Archie C. Epps, III is Born

Academic administrator Archie C. Epps, III was born on this date in Lake Charles, Louisiana.


May 19, 1931
| Reverend Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. is Born

Pastor Reverend Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. was born on this date in Kansas City, Missouri.


May 19, 1930
| Lorraine Hansberry is Born

Playwright Lorraine Hansberry was born on this date in Chicago, Illinois. Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, was the first play produced by a Black woman for Broadway.


May 19, 1929
| The Honorable John H. Stroger, Jr. is Born

County commissioner The Honorable John H. Stroger, Jr. was born on this date in Helena, Arkansas.


May 19, 1925
| Malcolm X is Born

Civil Rights leader Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on this date in Omaha, Nebraska. Malcolm was an advocate for Black pride and self defense. He was a devoted follower of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. He broke away from the Nation and opened his own mosque. He was assassinated in 1965.