This Week in History, April 17-23:
Contributions of African-Americans
Note: Here, learn about some of the African-Americans who have influenced history and contributed to the culture we now enjoy. To learn more about each individual, click on that person's name. Information for "This Week in History" is taken from the African American Registry.

April 17
On this day in 1911, African-American clergyman and civil rights leader Isaiah Newman was born. The first African-American since 1887 to serve in the South Carolina state senate, he was both chief strategist for the protest movement and chief negotiator at the conference table, becoming the "unofficial liaison" between African-Americans and the white power structure in the South. He identified the struggle for racial equality as a matter of the spirit, as well as a social and political concern.

April 18
On this day in 1813, African-American physician and abolitionist James McCune Smith was born. The first degree-holding African-American physician, he worked with Frederick Douglass in the 1850s to establish the first permanent Black organization, The National Council of the Colored People. Also on this date in 1966, Bill Russell was named coach of the Boston Celtics basketball team, making him the first Black to coach an NBA professional basketball team.

April 19
on this date in 1916, African-American nurse, activist, and administrator Mary Lancaster Carnegie was born. She built the first Bachelor of Arts program for nursing in Virginia and became the first dean of the school of nursing at Florida A&M University.

April 20
On this day in 1909, African-American politician and businessman E. Frederic Morrow was born. He served President Dwight D. Eisenhower as Administrative Officer for Special Projects, and in 1964, he became the nation's first Black corporate executive, working for Bank of America.

April 21
On this day in 1911, the National Urban League was founded. The mission of the National Urban League is to assist African-Americans in achieving social and economic equality.

April 22
On this day in 1933, African-American administrator, activist, and labor leader Norman Hill was born. Active in the civil rights movement and in securing labor equality for Blacks, he was National Program Director of the Congress of Racial Equality and he planned and directed the civil rights demonstration at the 1964 Republican National Convention.

April 23
On this day in 1856, African-American businessman and inventor Granville Woods was born. He received his first patent in 1884 for a steam boiler furnace; during his prolific career, Woods received 35 patents for inventions that contributed to the development of the transportation and communication industries.