This Black History month, we continue to recognize and remember the great works of African Americans that helped change and shape America. 

Photo by Chris JacksonGetty Images
Photo by Chris JacksonGetty Images

1990- Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years.

1989 - Barbara Clemintine Harris becomes first African American woman to be ordained Bishop.
Born in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania Bishop Harris attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls, excelled in music and even wrote a weekly column for the Pittsburgh Courier called "High School Notes by Bobbi".
Harris was ordained Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts on February 11, 1989.  She would become the first African American woman ordained a bishop in the Anglican Communion.
Bishop Harris  was known for her out spokeness and chastized the Episcopal Church for racism and sexism, even arguing for gay rights.  Bishop Harris also had a long history of community and public relations including participating in freedom rides and marches during the civil rights movement.
1976- Clifford Alexander Jr became the first African American Secretary of the Army.
1961-  Robert Weaver sworn in as the first African American administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency(HUD).

Robert Weaver is the first African American to hold the highest federal post to date.  In addition Weaver was one of 45 prominent African Americans appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to his Black Cabinet.  He also acted as an informal adviser to President Roosevelt, as well as directing federal programs during the New Deal.

1644- First Black legal protest in America for freedom.
First Black legal protest in America took place when eleven Blacks petitioned for freedom in New Netherlands known today as New York.
As it would turn out the New Netherlands Council freed the eleven petitioners, because they had "served the Company seventeen or eighteen years" and had been "long since promised their freedom on the same footing as other free people in New Netherlands."

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