Human Zoos and Ota Benga

In September of 1906, visitors to the Bronx Zoo found a new exhibit. Standing in a cage in the Monkey House was not an animal, but a young man, dressed in a loincloth and holding a bow with arrows. Though many details of his life are uncertain, what we do know of Ota Benga isContinue reading “Human Zoos and Ota Benga”

The Adventures of William Hall, VC

One extraordinary illustration of the breadth and diversity of the British empire is the fact that the first Black man to be awarded the Victoria Cross was a Canadian child of former American slaves fighting in India. The History Guy recalls a story of adventure in the Age of Empire.

The Strange Path of the Trelawny Maroons

Almost from the moment African slaves were taken to Jamaica, they started escaping into the mountains of the island’s interior. The Jamaican Maroons held off the British, but the Maroons of Trelawny Town would be given a unique path. The History Guy recalls the story of escaped slaves and warriors whose unique culture and historyContinue reading “The Strange Path of the Trelawny Maroons”

Abraham Galloway, Spy for the Union

While we remember Black leaders of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, many others are largely forgotten. An indisputable hero who risked his life spying on behalf of the Union, Abraham Galloway was, in his time, one of the most dynamic and popular of the Black Southern leaders. TheContinue reading “Abraham Galloway, Spy for the Union”

Jesse Brown and Thomas Hudner

Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner came from very different backgrounds, but their lives intertwined at the December 1950 battle of Chosin Reservoir. The History Guy recalls the human side of war as two F4U Corsair pilots struggle for survival during one of the fiercest battles of the Korean war. It is history that deserves toContinue reading “Jesse Brown and Thomas Hudner”

Bessie Coleman, Barnstorming Pioneer

Bessie Coleman was the first black person to earn an international aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. The History Guy remembers the fearless “Queen Bess” who inspired a generation of aviation pioneers. Her life is history that deserves to be remembered.

Onesimus and Variolation

Inoculation existed for centuries before it was accepted by Western medicine. Onesimus, an African slave in early eighteenth century Boston, played a critical role in legitimizing a procedure that saved millions of lives. The History Guy remembers Onesimus, one of “the Best Bostonians of All Time.”