In the week of February 24, the following events impact Black business history:
2007- On the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly passes a resolution expressing “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery.
1983 - Michael Jackson’s Thriller album reaches Number One on the Billboard Chart and remains there for 37 weeks. Thriller eventually became the best-selling album of all time, with worldwide sales of over 60 million copies.
1966 - President Lyndon B. Johnson nominates Federal Reserve Bank economist Dr. Andrew Brimmer as the first African American governor of the Federal Reserve Board.
2007- In Response to the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons consents to amend the institution’s role in benefiting from the American slave trade. Dr. Simmons pledges to: (1) create a center for the study of slavery and injustice; (2) rewrite Brown’s history to acknowledge the role of slavery; (3) create a memorial to the slave trade in Rhode Island; and (4), and recruit more minority students.
1708 - One of the first recorded slave revolts occurs in Newton, Long Island, New York. A small group of slaves rebels and kills seven Whites. This results in the execution of four slaves, including a woman and an Indian. Vigilantes burn the woman alive and hang the men.
1879 – Nine hundred African American families from Mississippi reach St. Louis, on their way to Kansas and the West. During the Exodus of 1879, over 40,000 Blacks escape from the Southern political and economic exploitation which continues to enslave them after Reconstruction.
1968 - President Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (The Kerner Commission) reports that racism is causing America to move “toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.” The panel demands aid for Blacks at Federal and local levels in law enforcement, welfare, employment, education and the news media.
743 – Roman Council under Pope Zachary forbids the sale of Christian slaves to heathens.
1940 - Harper & Brothers publishes Richard Wright’s Native Son—the first Book-of-the-Month Club selection and the first bestselling novel by an African American. Within its first three weeks of publication, Wright’s protest novel sells 215,000 copies and makes him the wealthiest Black writer in the United States.
1807 - Congress passes an act to ban the importation of slaves to the United States, effective January 1, 1808.
1888 - The Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain United Order of the True Reformers (GFUOTR) forms by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. On April 3, 1889, the bank will become the first Black-owned and –operated financial institution to attain charter in the United States.
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