Black History of the week: Feb. 15-21

Caitlyn Dieckmann 

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Feb. 15, 1968 

     Henry Lewis, who at 16 joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was the youngest member to have joined, became the first Black person to lead a symphony orchestra in the United States. 

Feb. 16, 1857 

     Frederick Douglass, known for escaping slavery and becoming a leader of the abolitionist movement, was elected President of the Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company, also referred to as the Freedmen’s Bank. 

Feb. 17, 1997 

     The Virginia House of Delegates voted to retire the state song, “Carry Me Back to Old Virginia,” because the song lamented about the “old” life in Virginia, when slavery was tightly instituted. 

Feb. 18, 1688 

     The first formal protest against slavery was organized by a white body of English Americans gathered by Germantown Quakers.  

Feb. 19, 1923 

     In the Moore vs. Dempsey decision, the U.S. Supreme Court guaranteed, in a 6-2 decision, the due process of law in the 14th amendment to Black people in state courts.   

Feb20, 1934 

     “Four Saints in Three Acts,” an opera by Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein, premiered as the first opera on Broadway performed by an all-Black cast.  

Feb. 21, 1965 

     Black Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X, known for his activism in the Civil Rights era, was assassinated in New York. 

Feature Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash