This Black History month we salute African Americans who made American history.

In 1989 on this day, Reverend Barbara Clementine Harris, became the first woman ever to become a bishop in the Anglican Communion. Bishop Harris entered the priesthood after a long and successful career in public and community relations in Philadelphia between 1949 and 1977.


On this day in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is a South African anti-apartheid activist, revolutionist.  He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.  In 1962 he was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges related to his stance against apartheid, and sentenced to life imprisonment.An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was finally granted after Mandela spent 27 years in prison, in1990.  He would later wrote his autobiography, and lead negotiations to abolish apartheid with President F.W. de Klerk and established multi-racial elections in 1994.  As president, he initiated the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses.  As far as the many programs he help to establish.  Mandela also introduced policies aimed at land reform and expanding healthcare.  Mandela is held in deep respect within South Africa as the "Father of the Nation".

In 1976 Clifford Alexander Jr,  is confirmed as the first African American Secretary of the Army. He will hold the position until the end of President Jimmy Carter's term.


On February 11th 1961, Robert Weaver was sworn in as administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, highest federal post to date by a Black American.


In 1783 Jarena Lee was born.  She was a former slave, born in Cape May, New Jersey. Jarena Lee is the considered the first female preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  In 1836, she published her autobiography, The Life and Religious Experiences, of Jarena Lee, a Coloured Lady, Giving an Account of Her Call to Preach the Gospel. The year of her death is uncertain.