Today in Black History – November 5 *
1828 – Theodore Sedgwick Wright becomes the first African
American person to get a Theology Degree in the United
States, when he graduates from Princeton Theological
1867 – First Reconstruction constitutional convention opens in
Montgomery, Alabama. It has eighteen African Americans
and ninety whites in attendance.
1901 – Etta Moten (later Barnett) is born in San Antonio, Texas.
She will become an actress starring in “Porgy and Bess”
and have a successful career on Broadway. She will
appear in the movie “Flying Down to Rio”(1933), singing
and dancing the Carioca, and as a singer in “The Gold
Diggers of 1933″(1933). In her later years, she will be
active as an Advisory Board Member of The Black Academy
of Arts and Letters.
1917 – The Supreme Court (Buchanan vs Warley) rules that a
Louisville, Kentucky, ordinance mandating blacks and
whites live in separate areas is unconstitutional.
1926 – Negro History Week is initiated by Carter G. Woodson.
1931 – Ike Wister Turner is born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He
will become a singer, songwriter/pianist, bandleader,
record producer and talent scout. In a career that will
last for more than a half century, his repertoire will
include blues, soul, rock, and funk. He will be most
popularly known for his 1960s work with his then wife,
Tina Turner in the Ike & Tina Turner revue. Throughout his
career, he will win two Grammy Awards and be nominated for
three others. Alongside his former wife, Turner will be
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and
in 2001 be inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. He
will join the ancestors on December 12, 2007.
1935 – The Maryland Court of Appeals orders the University of
Maryland to admit African American student, Donald
1956 – Art Tatum, joins the ancestors at age 46 in Los Angeles,
California. Despite impaired vision, he received formal
training in music and developed a unique improvisational
style. He was an accomplished jazz pianist who impressed
even classicist Vladimir Horowitz. Perhaps the most
gifted technician of all jazzmen, Tatum had other assets
as well, among them an harmonic sense so acute as to make
him an almost infallible improviser. This aspect of his
style, as well as his great rhythmic freedom, influenced
the young players who became the founders of a new style
1956 – The Nat King Cole Show premiers. The 15-minute show
starring the popular singer will run until June 1957 and
reappear in July in a half-hour format. The first network
variety series hosted by an African American star, it was
cancelled due to lack of support by advertisers.
1968 – Eight African American males and the first African American
female, Shirley Chisholm, are elected to the U.S. Congress.
Including previously elected Massachusetts senator Edward
Brooke, it is the largest number of African American
representatives to serve in Congress since the 44th
Congress of 1875-1877.
1970 – The National Guard is mobilized in Henderson, North
Carolina, as a result of racially motivated civil
1974 – George Brown of Colorado and Mervyn Dymally of California
are the first African American lieutenant governors elected
in the 20th century, while Walter Washington becomes the
first African American to be elected mayor of the District
of Columbia, and Harold Ford is elected to Congress from
Tennessee, the first African American from the state.
1974 – The Spingarn Medal is awarded to Damon J. Keith “in tribute
to his steadfast defense of constitutional principles as
revealed in a series of memorable decisions he handed down
as a United States District Court judge.”
1989 – The first memorial to the civil rights movement in the
United States is dedicated at a ceremony in Montgomery,
Alabama. The memorial was commissioned by the Southern
Poverty Law Center, a legal and educational organization
located in Montgomery.
1994 – George Foreman, 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight
champion by knocking out Michael Moorer in the 10th round
of their WBA fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.