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African American History and Women Timeline 1920-1929

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1920s

• Harlem Renaissance: also called the New Negro Movement, a blossoming of arts, culture, and social action in the African American community

• 19th Amendment to the US Constitution became law, but practically this did not give the vote to Southern African American women, who, like African American men, were largely prevented by other legal and extra-legal measures from exercising the vote

• Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds recorded the first blues record, which sold more than 75,000 copies in its first month

• National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes shortens its name to National Urban League

• Katy Ferguson Home founded, named for 19th century African American educator

• Universal African Black Cross Nurses founded, for public education, by the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) led by Marcus Garvey

• Zeta Phi Beta Sorority founded at Howard University, Washington, DC

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander received a Ph.D, the first African American woman to do so.  Eva B. Dykes (Radcliffe) and Georgiana R. Simpson (University of Chicago) follow.

• (October 12) Alice Childress born (writer)

• Bessie Coleman became the first African American woman to earn a pilot"s license

• Alice Paul reversed an invitation to Mary Mary Burnett Talbert of the NAACP to speak to the National Woman"s Party, asserting that the NAACP supported racial equality and did not address gender equality

• three African American women became the first African American women Ph.D."s

• (September 14) Constance Baker Motley born (lawyer, activist)

• Lucy Diggs Stowe became Howard University"s Dean of Women

• Anti-lynching bill passes United States House, fails in the United States Senate

• United Negro Improvement Association appointed Henrietta Vinton Davis as Fourth Assistant President, responding to criticism by women members of gender discrimination

• (August 14) Rebecca Cole died (second African American woman to graduate from medical school, worked with Elizabeth Blackwell in New York)

• Bessie Smith

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