400 Years of African American History Commission

The 400 Years of African-American History Commission develops and facilitates activities throughout the United States, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia in 1619. We recognize and highlight the resilience and contributions of African Americans from that seminal moment forward, while simultaneously acknowledging the painful impact of slavery, racial discrimination, and racism on our Nation.

700 women die annually in the US as a result of pregnancy complications. African American women are 4-5 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. Most of those deaths are preventable.
In this episode, you will meet Edgar Patton, III who lost his wife Jasmine two days after their beautiful baby girl was born. You will also meet Rep. Lauren Underwood who, along with Rep. Alma Adams co-chair the Black Maternal Health Caucus aimed at addressing pregnancy-related deaths.

The Minority Majority is a 4-part series, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations (RWJF) that looks at these health issues and what should be done to address these disparities. Part 2, Maternal Health, premiered May 12.

400 Years of African American History Commission

Not only are Crowns worn by Pageant winners; but by women who have achieved greatness. The 2024 Stronger Than Crowning Achievements special recognizes women whose Crowning Achievements are stronger than the obstacles they face. Women like Dr. Andrea Gayle-Bennett, a retired Brigadier General who is the first Deputy Secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

400 Years of African American History Commission

Let Me Read You Your Rights

Civic literacy goes beyond basic knowledge of government structures and processes. It involves understanding the rights, responsibilities, and values that underpin a democratic society. Students with civic literacy grasp the significance of active citizenship, civil rights, social justice, and ethical decision-making. They develop a sense of belonging, ownership, and agency in their communities, inspiring them to contribute to positive change. Our 2024 Let Me Read You Your Rights Campaign begins with a commitment on Justice Sunday, a start on MLK Day, and continues through Read Across America Day. 

The 400 is committed to highlighting the contributions made by African Americans throughout history and today in medicine, the arts, politics, sports, science, and business. Our films and social media bring out stories you might not know, even about names you might recognize. Follow us @400YAAHC! 

Our programs range from virtual celebrations, to conferences, to focus groups and discussions about issues facing the African American community. From Juneteenth to Justice Sunday, we’ve got you covered with fascinating programs that’ll keep you coming back.

A major contribution from the 400 is the ability to recognize leaders in the community, and we do that both through our 400 Distinguished awards and our grant programs with partners like the National Alliance of Faith and Justice and the National Park Service.  

What’s Happening at the 400?


400 Years of African American History Commission