Being that it is Black History month I found it prudent that in the midst of the shade, foolery, and other entertainment foolishness that I carved out a little time to educate my captive audience. I’ve decided to team up with @Anti_Intellect of the Anti Intellect Blog to bring to you guys a few nuggets of Black History.
Greetings fans and followers of Funky Dineva,
It is my pleasure to bring you Black History Month facts and information for the duration of this celebratory, and hopefully, empowering month. As a graduate of Florida A&M University, with a degree in History, I have a particular interest in the Black past. It is my hope that you find my collected Black history facts useful and inspiring. There have been many monumental moments throughout Black history, so picking a “first” to mark this Black History Month proved a little difficult. I know that it can seem like we only hear about Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom x, and Rosa Parks. Ergo, I like to present unconventional Black History. My first pick will come from what I consider to be a little known Black History fact.
Does the name Isaac Murphy mean anything to you? Odds are that you haven’t heard much about this forerunner of the popular Black professional athletes of today. According to Toni Morrison’s foreword in the incredible chronicler of Black History, The Black Book, “Isaac Murphy, a Black jockey, was the first to win three Derbys.” In fact, according to Morrison, “Fourteen of the first twenty-seven Kentucky Derby races were won by Black jockeys.”
Isaac Burns Murphy was born April 16, 1861 in Frankfort, Kentucky. He became a jockey at 14, and would go on to compete in, and win, many titles between the 1880s and 1890s. According to the National Museum of Racing, Murphy died of pneumonia at age 36 in 1896. Like other notable Blacks such as Zora Neale Hurston, his unmarked grave was forgotten. It wouldn’t be rediscovered again until the 1960s.
To learn more about Isaac Murphy and other Black jockeys, please check out The Great Black Jockeys by Edward Hotaling.