May 11, 1895 – Composer William Grant Still, the first African American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, born.
May 12, 1820 – The New York African Free School population reaches 500.
May 13, 1872 – Matilda Arabella Evans, first African American woman to practice medicine in South Carolina, born.
May 14, 1888 – Slavery abolished in Brazil.
May 15, 1820 – U.S. Congress declares foreign slave trade an act of piracy, punishable by death.
May 16, 1927 – William Harry Barnes becomes first African American certified by any American surgical board.
May 17, 1954 – U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation in public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education decision.