Black History and Women Timeline 1930-1939

African-American History and Women Timeline

Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Women and African American History: 1930-1939


• Black women called for white Southern women to oppose lynching; in response, Jessie Daniel Ames and others founded the Association for the Prevention of Lynching (1930-1942), with Ames as director

• Annie Turnbo Melone (business executive and philanthropist) moved her business operations to Chicago

Lorraine Hansberry born (playwright, wrote Raisin in the Sun)


• Nine African American "Scottsboro Boys" (Alabama) were accused of raping two white women and convicted quickly. The trial focused national attention on the legal plight of African Americans in the South.

• (February 18) Toni Morrison born (writer; first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature)

• (March 25) Ida B. Wells (Wells-Barnett) died (muckraking journalist, lecturer, activist, anti-lynching writer and activist)

• (August 16) A'Lelia Walker died (executive, arts patron, Harlem Renaissance figure)


Augusta Savage began the largest art center in the US at the time, the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts, New York


• Caterina Jarboro performed the title role in Verdi's Aida at the Chicago Civic Opera

• (February 21) Nina Simone born (pianist, singer; "Priestess of Soul")

• (-1942) Civilian Conservation Corp employed more than 250,000 African American women and men


• (February 18) Audre Lorde born (poet, essayist, educator)

• (December 15) Maggie Lena Walker died (banker, executive)


• National Council of Negro Women founded

• (July 17) Diahann Carroll born (actress, first African-American woman to star in a television series)


• Mary McLeod Bethune appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the National Youth Administration as Director of Negro Affairs, the first major appointment of an African American woman to a federal position

Barbara Jordan born (politician, first African-American woman from the South elected to Congress)


Zora Neale Hurston published Their Eyes Were Watching God

• (June 13) Eleanor Holmes Norton born (some sources give her date of birth as April 8, 1938)


• (November 8) Crystal Bird Fauset elected to the Pennsylvania House, becoming the first African American woman state legislator


• (July 22) Jane Matilda Bolin appointed justice of the Domestic Relations Court of New York, becoming the first African American woman judge

• Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar -- about playing the role of a servant, she said, "It's better to get $7,000 a week for playing a servant than $7 a week for being one."

Marian Anderson, denied permission to sing at a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) hall, performed outdoors for 75,000 at the Lincoln Memorial. Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR in protest of their refusal.

Marian Wright Edelman born (lawyer, educator, reformer)