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Guion S. Bluford, first Black astronaunt in space. Photo Credit: © NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Guion Stewart Bluford Jr., First African American to travel to outer space

Guion Stewart “Guy” Bluford, Jr., was the first African American astronaut. Between 1983-1992, Bluford traveled “out of this world” four times, beginning with a ride on the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger.  This first flight was on August 30th, 1983. References: Anderson, Brian.  April 16, 2021.  “Innovator’s Spotlight: Col. Guion S. Bluford.”  Official […]

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Stagecoach Mary fields. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Mary Fields, First African American woman employed as a stagecoach mail carrier

Mary Fields (1832–1914) also known as Stagecoach Mary and Black Mary was the first African American woman employed as a stagecoach mail carrier in the United States. In 1895, she hitched a team of six horses faster than all the other job applicants and was hired on the spot. She was just the second American

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Charles Young, first Black superintendent of federal parkland. Photo Credit: © Bain News Service via Library of Congress.

United States – Charles Young, First African American superintendent of federal parkland

Charles Young (March 12, 1864 – January 8, 1922) achieved many honors in the United States military.  He was the third African-American to graduate from the United States Military Academy, the first black military attaché, and the first Black man to achieve the rank of colonel in the United States Army.   When he died in

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Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands.

Jamaica – Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands

Mary Seacole was a nurse, world traveler and businesswoman.  She traveled from her home in Jamaica to Panama, England, and Ukraine and set up the “British Hotel” behind the lines during the Crimean War. Based on her life experiences, she wrote her autobiography titled “Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands.”  Published July 1857,

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Hand colored lithograph of Martin Robison Delany. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Martin Robison Delany led an exploring party to Niger Valley to find a homeland for African American repatriation

In 1859, Martin Robison Delany, physician, abolitionist, journalist, military officer, and the father of Black Nationalism, led an African American exploring party to Niger Valley in hopes to find a homeland for African American repatriation. Delany who was the only Black officer to receive the rank of Major during the Civil War, traveled to Africa

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Captain Paul Cuffee engraving, 1812, from a drawing by Dr. John Pole of Bristol, England. Photo Credit: © New York Public Library Digital Collections.

United States – Paul Cuffee spearheaded the first Black ‘Back to Africa’ initiative

Paul Cuffee spearheaded the first Black ‘Back to Africa’ initiative in United States history.  He was also the first free African American to visit the White House and have an audience with a sitting president. As a young man, he worked as a whaling ship captain. He eventually saved enough money to purchase his own

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Poems on various subjects, religous and moral by Phillis Wheatley. Photo Credit: © New York Public Library Digital Collections.

United States – Phillis Wheatley, Poet, and Writer Sailed to England

Poet and writer, Phillis Wheatley, sailed to England in 1773 with her slave master, Nathaniel Wheatley in search of a publisher for her work because none was available in the United States. Her book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral was published in London on September 1, 1773 by Archibald Bell, Bookseller. Wheatley became

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Henderson Travel Service logo

United States – Henderson Travel Service, First African American Travel Agency

In 1955, during the decade known as “the golden age of travel,” Freddye Henderson and her husband, Jacob, opened Henderson Travel Service in Atlanta to assist African-Americans who wanted to travel internationally.  The agency planned and booked thousands of trips for black travelers, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1964 visit to Oslo, Norway, where

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