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Black History Month

Today in black history: Happy birthday, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson becomes TV exec and more

The Undefeated edition black facts for Feb. 4

1794 – The African Methodist Episcopal Church is founded in Philadelphia in 1787, after black church parishioners Richard Allen, Absalom Jones and William White were escorted out of church by a white usher while kneeling during prayer. They were worshiping in an area reserved for white members.

Seven years later on Feb. 4, 1794, Allen, a minister and abolitionist, slighted by the removal, founded Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. According to blackregistry.com, his efforts were expanded beyond Philadelphia as other black congregations were developed in Norristown, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; Baltimore; and Camden, New Jersey.

1794 – France abolishes slavery, but reversed its decision under Napoleon Bonaparte, re-established it in 1802 and named it “Code Noir,” which prohibited blacks, “mulattoes” and other people of color from entering French colonial territory or intermarriage with whites.

1913 – Civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913-2005) is born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger set off the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott in 1955.

1952 – Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson becomes an executive, taking his talents to television behind the scenes. He was named the director of community activities for radio station WNBC and television station WNBT.

1971 – MLB announces section of the Hall of Fame devoted to blacks,

and a special committee convened in June 1971 to decide which Negro League players would be inducted.

1986 – Stamp of Sojourner Truth is issued by the U.S. Postal Service honoring abolitionist and women’s rights activist. She was best known for her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, where she called out issues of gender and racial inequalities.

1986 –At the 38th NHL All-Star Game in Hartford, Connecticut, Edmonton Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr blocked all 15 shots on goal and was awarded the MVP award at the end of the game. The five-time Stanley Cup champion was the first black NHL player to receive the honor.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.