African-American History Timeline: 1890 to 1899

Dr Carver circa 1935: American agriculture
Hulton Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Overview

Like many decades before, the 1890’s were filled with great achievements by African-Americans as well as many injustices. Almost thirty years after the establishment of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, African-Americans such as Booker T. Washington were establishing and heading schools. Ordinary African-American men were losing their right to vote through Grandfather clauses, poll taxes, and literacy exams.

1890:

William Henry Lewis and William Sherman Jackson become the first African-American football players on a white college team.

1891:

Provident Hospital, the first African-American owned hospital, is established by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams.

1892:

Opera soprano Sissieretta Jones becomes the first African-American to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Ida B. Wells launches her anti-lynching campaign by publishing the book, Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws and in All Its Phases. Wells also delivers a speech at Lyric Hall in New York. Wells' work as an anti-lynching activist is highlighted with the high number of lynchings--230 reported--in 1892.

 

The National Medical Association is established by African-American doctors because they are barred from the American Medical Association.

African-American newspaper, The Baltimore Afro-American is established by John H. Murphy, Sr., a former slave.

1893:

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams successfully performs an open heart surgery in Provident Hospital.

Williams' work is considered the first successful operation of its kind.

1894:

Bishop Charles Harrison Mason establishes The Church of God in Christ in Memphis, Tn.

1895:

W.E.B.DuBois is the first African-American to receive a PhD from Harvard University.

Booker T. Washington delivers the Atlanta Compromise at the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition.

The National Baptist Convention of American is established through the merging of three Baptist organizations--the Foreign Mission Baptist Convention, the American National Baptist Convention and the Baptist National Educational Convention.

1896:

The Supreme Court rules in the Plessy v. Ferguson case that separate but equal laws are not unconstitutional and do not contradict the 13th and 14th Amendments.

The National Association of Colored Women (NACW) is established. Mary Church Terrell is elected as the organization's first president.

George Washington Carver is selected to head the agricultural research department at Tuskegee Institute. Carver's research advances the growth of soybean, peanut and sweet potato farming.

1897:

The American Negro Academy is founded in Washington D.C. The purpose of the organization is to promote African-American work in the fine arts, literature and other areas of study. Prominent members included Du Bois, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Arturo Alfonso Schomburg.

The Phillis Wheatley Home is established in Detroit by the Phillis Wheatley Women's Club. The purpose of the home--which quickly spread to other cities--was to provide shelter and resources for African-American women.

1898:

The Louisiana Legislature enacts the Grandfather Clause. Included in the state constitution, the Grandfather Clause only allows men whose fathers or grandfathers were qualified to vote on January 1, 1867, the right to register to vote. In addition, to meeting this stipulation, African-American men had to meet educational and/or property requirements.

When the Spanish-American War begins on April 21, 16 African-American regiments are recruited. Four of these regiments fight in Cuba and the Philippines with several African-American officers commanding troops. As a result, five African-American soldiers win Congressional Medals of Honor.

The National Afro-American Council is established in Rochester, NY. Bishop Alexander Walters is elected the organization's first president.

Eight African-Americans are killed in the Wilmington Riot on November 10.

During the riot, white Democrats removed--with force-Republican officers of the city.

The North Carolina Mutual and Provident Insurance company is established. The National Benefit Life Insurance Company of Washington D.C. is also founded. The purpose of these companies is to provide life insurance to African-Americans.

African-American voters in Mississippi are disenfranchised through the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Williams v. Mississippi.

1899:

June 4 is named as a national day of fasting to protest lynching. The Afro-American Council spearheads this event.

Scott Joplin composes the song Maple Leaf Rag and introduces ragtime music to the United States.