33 Little-Known Facts About Black History That You Didn’t Learn In School

Published February 5, 2022
Updated February 15, 2023

From forgotten war heroes to overlooked inventors, dive into some of the most fascinating stories from the annals of Black history.

Throughout American history, Black cowboys have roamed the plains, Black explorers have traveled to unseen lands, and Black women have broken barriers as doctors and activists. Black history is American history. And these 33 Black history facts are just the tip of the iceberg.

In the gallery below, you can explore the stories of some truly remarkable Black Americans. From Bass Reeves, the deputy who fearlessly patrolled the Wild West, to Hazel Scott, the musician who successfully played two pianos at once, these little-known Black history facts shed light on the past like never before.

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33 Little-Known Facts About Black History That You Didn’t Learn In School
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In the Black history facts gallery, you can also learn about Black Americans who turned their backs on racism in the United States and found fame abroad. Eugene Bullard became the first Black American fighter pilot by fighting for the French during World War I. He famously flew with a plane painted with the words "All Blood Runs Red."

Josephine Baker was another Black American who moved to France. There, she thrived as a dancer before she emerged as one of the French Resistance's most important spies during World War II.

But while many of these Black history facts are inspiring, some of them are heartbreaking, such as the tragic statistics that show how common lynching was in the United States during the Jim Crow era — and how many millions of people were stolen from Africa during the transatlantic slave trade.

The gallery above includes facts like these and more. From the lost history of Manhattan's Seneca Village to how Martin Luther King Jr. changed his famous "I Have A Dream" speech at the last moment, discover the most revealing Black history facts that don't show up in most textbooks.

Listen above to the History Uncovered podcast, episode 57: Doris Miller, From Kitchen Duty To Pearl Harbor Hero, also available on iTunes and Spotify.

After looking through these little-known Black history facts, read about unsung civil rights leaders who never got their due. Then, check out the forgotten stories of the most fascinating Black cowboys of the Wild West.

Kaleena Fraga
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Kaleena Fraga has also had her work featured in The Washington Post and Gastro Obscura, and she published a book on the Seattle food scene for the Eat Like A Local series. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she earned a double degree in American History and French.