John H. Johnson is a familiar name to nearly every African-American family. As the founder of Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of Ebony and Jet magazine, his publications were in nearly every African-American household in America. His vision to provide news and stories relevant to black people made him one of the most significant businessman and … Continue reading Black History Month: Day 16 – The Man Who Told Our Story
I thought about omitting this entry into the Travelbox History Corner, but recent events changed my mind. Though Emmett Till was not the first victim of racist terrorism in the American south, but his murder galvanized the Civil Rights Movement. While visiting family in Money, Mississippi, 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African American from Chicago, was … Continue reading Black History Month: Day 10 – The Brutal Murder of Emmett Till
Charles Hamilton Houston was born on September 3, 1895 in Washington, D.C. His father William was also a lawyer. Prior to his legal career, in the remarkable M Street High School, the first black high school in the United States. Houston then attended Amherst College in 1911 where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa and graduated as valedictorian in 1915. He would go on teach English at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Later he joined the U.S. Army as an artillery officer during World War I. At the time the army was racially segregated, and Houston bore witness to numerous situations in which black enlisted officers were treated unfairly. These incidents occurred inside the barracks, inside the military courts, and on the streets outside the Army camps (where he and several other officers came close to being lynched by white officers due to "niggers forgetting themselves just because they had a uniform on"). The racism that Houston experienced while serving fueled his determination to continue fighting for freedom once he got home. In his eyes, Houston was glad he hadn't died while serving the United States. His battlefield was back in America.