Black History and Women Timeline 1900-1919

Black History and Women Timeline 1900-1919

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The following is a timeline of African American women's history from 1900-1919.


• (September) Nannie Helen Burroughts and others founded the Women's Convention of the National Baptist Convention


• Regina Anderson born (librarian, Harlem Reaissance figure)


• Local white protests of the appointment of Minnie Cos as postmistress of Indianola, Mississippi, led to President Theodore Roosevelt suspending postal services to the town.

• (February 27) Marian Anderson born (singer)

• (October 26) Elizabeth Cady Stanton died (antislavery and women's rights activist)


• Harriet Tubman signed over her home for the elderly to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

• Harriet Marshall founded the Washington (DC) Conservatory, admitting African American students

• Maggie Lena Walker founded St. Luke's Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia, becoming the first woman bank president

• Sarah Breedlove Walker (Madam C.J. Walker) begins her haircare business

• Ella Baker born (civil rights activist)

• Zora Neale Hurston born (writer, folklorist)


• Virginia Broughton published Women's Work, as Gleaned from the Women of the Bible

• Mary McLeod Bethune founded what is today Bethune-Cookman College


• Niagara Movement founded (out of which the NAACP grew)

• National League for the Protection of Colored Women founded in New York

• Ariel Williams Holloway born (musician, teacher, poet, figure in Harlem Renaissance)

• Constitution of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, "Wobblies") included a provision that "no working man or woman shall be excluded from membership in unions because of creed or color"

• first outdoor tuberculosis camp in the United States was opened in Indianapolis, Indiana, sponsored by the Women's Improvement Club


• after a riot in Brownsville, Texas, President Theodore Roosevelt delivered dishonorable discharges to three companies of African American soldiers; Mary Church Terrell was among those formally protesting this action

• second meeting of the Niagara Movement met at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, with about 100 men and women in attendance

• Josephine Baker born (entertainer)

• Susan B. Anthony died (reformer, abolitionist, women's rights advocate, lecturer)


• Negro Rural School Fund was established by Anna Jeanes, aimed at improving education for rural southern African Americans

• Gladys Bentley, Harlem Renaissance figure, became known for her risque and flamboyant piano playing and singing

• Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller received the first federal art commission awarded to an African American woman -- for figurines of African Americans to be used at the Jamestown Tercentenniel Exposition


• call issued which resulted in 1909 founding of NAACP; women signers included Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Jane Addams, Anna Garlin Spencer, and Harriot Stanton Blatch (daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton)

• in Los Angeles, the Woman's Day Nursery Association was formed to provide care for African American children whose mothers worked outside the home

• Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority founded


• Nannie Helen Burroughs founded the National Training School for Women, Washington DC

• Gertrude Stein's novel Three Lives characterizes a black female character, Rose, as having "the simple, promiscuous immorality of Black people."

• (February 12) National Negro Conference


• second conference of the National Negro Conference forms the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), with Mary White Ovington as a key organizer holding a variety of offices 1910-1947 including as member of the Executive Board and board chair, 1917-1919; later women leaders included Ella Baker and Myrlie Evers-Williams

• (September 29) Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes founded by Ruth Standish Baldwin and George Edmund Haynes


• Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, Committee for the Improvement of Industrial Conditions Among Negroes in New York, and National League for the Protection of Colored Women merged, forming the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes (later just National Urban League)

• (January 4) Charlotte Ray died (first African American woman lawyer in the United States and the first woman admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia)

• Edmonia Lewis last reported in Rome; died that year or after (her death date and location are unknown)

• Mahalia Jackson born (gospel singer)

• (February 11) Francis Ellen Watkins Harper died (abolitionist, writer, poet)


• Virginia Lacy Jones born (librarian)

• Margaret Washington, newly elected president of the National Association of Colored Women, founded the periodical National Notes


• Harriet Tubman died (Underground Railroad conductor, abolitionist, women's rights advocate, soldier, spy, lecturer)

• Fannie Jackson Coppin died (educator)

• (February 4) Rosa Parks born

• (April 11) federal government officially segregates by race all federal workplaces, including rest rooms and eating facilities

• (-1915) Ruth Standish Baldwin served as president of the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes


• Marcus and Amy Jacques Garvey founded the Negro Universal Improvement Association in Jamaica -- this moved later to New York, promoting a homeland in Africa and independence in America for African Americans

• (or 1920) Daisy Bates born (civil rights activist)


• National Negro Health movement began to offer services to black communities, serving and including as health workers many African American women

• Billie Holiday born as Eleanora Fagan (singer)



• Ella Fitzgerald born (singer)

• Gwendolyn Brooks born (poet)

• (June 30) Lena Horne born (singer, actress)

• (July 1-3) race riots in East St. Louis killed 40 to 200; 6,000 had to leave their homes

• (October 6) Fannie Lou Hamer born (activist)


• Frances Elliott Davis enrolled with the American Red Cross, the first African American nurse to do so

• (March 29) Pearl Bailey born


• NAACP founded with a number of women signing the call; Mary White Ovington became the first chairperson

• Pearl Primus born (dancer)

• Sarah Breedlove Walker (Madam C.J. Walker) died suddenly (executive, inventor, philanthropist); A'Lelia Walker becomes president of the Walker company

• Edmonia Highgate died (fundraiser, after the Civil War, for the Freedman's Association and the American Missionary Society, for educating freed slaves)

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