December 31 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 31 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #6 – Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) Creativity: To do always as much as *
* we can, in the way that we can, in order to leave our community *
* more beautiful than when we inherited it. *
* *

1775 – Alarmed by the impact of the British Dunmore proclamation, that
would give freedom to slaves who would fight on their side,
Gen. George Washington reverses himself and authorizes the
enlistment of free Blacks.

1783 – The importation of African slaves is banned by all of the
northern states in the United States.

1862 – The Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church holds a Watch
Night service in Suburban Maryland. It begins a tradition when
African Americans pray and worship in anticipation of the next
day, New Year’s Day 1863, when President Lincoln’s Emancipation
Proclamation is to take effect.

1871 – Annie Welthy Daughtry (later Holland) is born in Isle of Wight
County, Virginia. In 1921, she will be appointed North Carolina
Supervisor of Negro Elementary Education, a position she will
hold until she joins the ancestors. In 1927, she will found
North Carolina’s Colored Parent Teachers’ Association. She will
join the ancestors suddenly on January 6, 1934, while
addressing a county-wide meeting of Black teachers in
Louisburg, North Carolina.

1900 – Sculptor and educator Selma Burke is born in Mooresville, North
Carolina. She will be commissioned to create a profile of
President Franklin D. Roosevelt after a national competition
sponsored by the Fine Arts Commission in Washington, DC. The
completed project, a plaque, is unveiled and installed at the
Record of Deeds Building in Washington DC.

1930 – Odetta Felious Gordon Holmes is born in Birmingham, Alabama.
She will become a famous folksinger, known simply as “Odetta”,
who will sing all over the world and at major peace and civil
rights meetings, including the 1963 March on Washington. Among
the many musicians who cite Odetta as a major musical influence
have been Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.

1948 – Donna Summer is born in Boston, Massachusetts. She will be the
reigning “Queen of Disco” music in the 1970’s, known for her
renditions of “Bad Girls” and “Last Dance.”

1953 – Hulan Jack is inaugurated as Manhattan borough president, the
first African American to hold the post.

1953 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Paul R. Williams for
his achievements as an architect.

1962 – Katanga becomes part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

1964 – In a speech before a group of young people, Malcolm X urges them
“to see for yourself and listen for yourself and think for
yourself. This generation, especially of our people, have a
burden, more so than at any other time in history. The most
important thing we can learn to do today is think for

1972 – Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirate slugger, joins the ancestors
after a plane crash on his way to a humanitarian mission to

1976 – Roland Hayes joins the ancestors in Boston, Massachusetts at the
age of 89. He had been an acclaimed tenor whose pioneering
recitals of German lieder and other classical music opened the
concert stage for African American singers

1984 – The first nationally broadcast telethon for the United Negro
College Fund raises $14.1 million. The telethon will become an
annual fundraising drive that will support more than 40
historically African American institutions of higher learning
and draw widespread individual and corporate support.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 30 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 30 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #5 – Nia (nee-AH) Purpose: To make as our collective vocation *
* the building and developing of our community in order to restore *
* our people to their traditional greatness. *
* *

1842 – Josiah T. Walls is born near Winchester, Virginia. He will
become, in 1871, Florida’s first African American congressman.

1892 – Physician, Dr. Miles V. Lynk, publishes the first African
American medical journal.

1916 – Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, of Brown University, becomes
the first African American running back named to the All-
American team.

1928 – Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel is born in Magnolia, Mississippi. Better
known as Bo Diddley, he will influence a generation of musicians
including such groups as the Rolling Stones and the Doors. A
favorite of President John F. Kennedy, who invited Diddley to
play in the White House in 1962, he will be inducted into the
Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He will join the ancestors
on June 2, 2008.

1929 – The Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority is incorporated.

1929 – The “Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” campaign begins in Chicago
with picketing of Chain stores on the South Side. The campaign
spread to New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles and other cities and
continued throughout the Depression.

1929 – Mordecai W. Johnson receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his
work as the first African American president of Howard

1935 – Marian Anderson makes a historic appearance in New York City’s
Town Hall. Fresh from a triumphant tour in Europe, Anderson
will be hailed by New York critics as one of the “great singers
of our time.” Her performance will mark a new era in the
Philadelphian’s long and successful career. Her performance is
described by Howard Taubman, the New York Times reviewer, as
“music-making that probed too deep for words.”

1952 – Tuskegee Institute reports there were no lynchings during the
year for the first time in the 71 years it has been keeping such

1960 – Poet Langston Hughes is presented the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal and
cited as “the poet laureate of the Negro race.”

1960 – Two U.S. courts issues temporary injunctions to prevent eviction
of about seven hundred African American sharecroppers in Haywood
and Fayette counties, Tennessee.

1961 – Ben Johnson is born in Falmouth, Jamaica. He will become a world
class 100 meter runner. He win the Olympic gold medal in 1988
and will be later disqualified for using steroids.

1975 – The constitution of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar comes
into effect.

1975 – Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods is born in Cypress, California. He will
become the first African American or Asian American to win the
Masters Golf tournament. He will accomplish this feat in his
first year on the PGA tour at the age of 21 also making him the
youngest person to win the Masters tournament.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 29 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 29 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #4 – Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) Cooperative Economics: To build and *
* maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit *
* from them. *

1907 – Robert Weaver is born in Washington, DC. He will become the
first African American appointed to a presidential cabinet
position when President Lyndon B. Johnson names him to head
the newly created Department of Housing and Urban Development.
He will join the ancestors on July 17, 1997.

1917 – Thomas Bradley is born in Calvert, Texas. He will become a
successful politician in California and will be elected as the
first African American mayor of Los Angeles by winning 56% of
the vote. He will serve as mayor for twenty years (five terms).
He will join the ancestors on September 29, 1998.

1925 – At 67, Anna Julia Cooper receives her doctorate from the
University of Paris. Officials of the French Embassy present
the degree to her at ceremonies at Howard University. Cooper
had been a noted college and secondary school educator and will
continue to teach and work for educational improvement for
African Americans until her death at the age of 105.

1939 – Kelly Miller joins the ancestors in Washington, DC. The first
African American to be admitted to Johns Hopkins University (In
1887), and later a longtime professor and dean at Howard
University, Miller was a noted writer, essayist, and newspaper
columnist who opposed the accommodations policies of Booker T.
Washington. He was best known, however, as a champion for
educational development for African Americans, dramatically
increasing enrollment at Howard and founding a “Negro-Americana
Museum and Library,” which will become Howard’s Moorland-
Spingarn Research Center.

1952 – Noted jazz bandleader Fletcher Henderson joins the ancestors in
New York City. Henderson worked early in his career with Harry
Pace of Black Swan Records as a recording manager and, in 1924,
started playing at the Roseland Ballroom, the same year he
added New Orleans trumpeteer Louis Armstrong to the band.
Armstrong’s short tenure helped it evolve from a dance to a
jazz band and established Henderson as the founding father of
the big band movement in jazz.

1954 – The Kingdom of the Netherlands, with Netherlands & Netherlands
Antilles as autonomous parts, comes into being.

1982 – Jamaica issues a postage stamp to honor Bob Marley.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 28 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 28 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #3 – Ujima (oo-JEE-mah) Collective Work & Responsibility: To *
* build and maintain our community together and to make our Brother’s *
* and Sister’s problems, our problems and to solve them together. *
* *

1817 – The American Colonization Society, a private philanthropic
organization, is organized in Washington, DC in the hall of the
House of Representatives, for the purpose of relocating freeborn
and emancipated blacks to Africa. The Society’s supporters
espoused a wide range of viewpoints on slavery and the treatment
of blacks, ranging from advocacy of the abolition of slavery to
the removal of the Negro race from the United States. The
primary motivation for this group stemmed from the fact that
there were too many ‘free’ Blacks in the United States.

1829 – Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman joins the ancestors. Freeman, born
into slavery, ran away from her owners after she was mistreated
by her master’s wife. She petitioned successfully for her
freedom, citing her knowledge of the Bill of Rights and the new
constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in her
argument that all men were created equal, thereby justifying
her petition for freedom. Her victory effectively abolished
slavery in Massachusetts. Freeman was the great-grandmother of
W.E.B. Dubois, one of America’s most renowned scholars,
leaders, and fighters for civil rights.

1905 – Earl “Fatha” Hines is born in Duquesne, Pennsylvania. He will
be considered the “Father of Modern Jazz Piano.”

1918 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to William Stanley
Braithwaite, poet, literary critic and editor, for
distinguished achievement in literature.

1918 – George H. White joins the ancestors at the age of 66 in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the last of the post
Reconstruction congressmen.

1954 – Denzel Washington is born in Mount Vernon, New York. He will
become an actor, playing Dr. Phillip Chandler for six seasons
on television’s “St. Elsewhere” and have a successful movie
career that will include roles in “A Soldier’s Story” and an
Oscar-winning performance in “Glory.”

1959 – Everson Walls is born. He will become a NFL corner back with
the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.

1977 – Karen Farmer becomes the first African American member of the
Daughters of the American Revolution, when she traces her
ancestry back to William Hood, a soldier in the Revolutionary

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 27 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 27 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #2 – Kujichagulia (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah) Self Determination: *
* To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak *
* for ourselves. *

1873 – William A. Harper is born in Cayuga, Canada. A student at the
Art Institute of Chicago, he will study with Henry O. Tanner
and be considered one of the most gifted African American
artists of the early 20th century.

1904 – Monroe Nathan Work marries Florence Evelyn Hendrickson of
Savannah, Georgia. Greatly assisted by his wife, Work will
publish “The Negro Year Book,” an annual encyclopedia of
African American achievement. He will later publish “A
Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America” (1928), with
over 17,000 entries. Reviewers will laud it as “absolutely
indispensable” and call it “a monument of which any race may
well be proud.” It will be reprinted in 1965.

1939 – John Amos is born in Newark, New Jersey. He will become an
actor and will be known for his roles in “Good Times,” “Coming
to America,” and “Roots.”

1941 – Pioneer of blood plasma research, Dr. Charles Richard Drew,
establishes the first blood bank in New York City.

1956 – After a boycott by African Americans that lasted more than six
months, segregation is outlawed on Tallahassee, Florida buses.

1956 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Jack Roosevelt
(“Jackie”) Robinson, the first African American in the major
leagues, for his conduct on and off the baseball field.

1980 – Calvin Murphy, of the Houston Rockets, begins the longest NBA
free throw streak of 78.

1998 – A week after she was born weighing just 10.3 ounces, the
smallest of the Houston octuplets, Odera Chukwu, joins the
ancestors, succumbing to heart and lung failure. In a statement
released through the hospital, her parents, Nkem Chukwu and Iyke
Louis Udobi, say: “We are very saddened by the passing of our
beloved baby Odera. She is now safe with God in heaven and we
remain most grateful to him for having blessed our lives with

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 26 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 26 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #1 – Umoja (oo-MOE-jah) Unity: To strive for and maintain unity *
* in the family, community, nation and race. *
* *
* *

1848 – William & Ellen Craft escape from slavery in Georgia. Mrs. Craft
impersonates a slave holder and her husband, William, assumes
the role of her servant, in one of the most dramatic of the
slave escapes.

1849 – David Ruggles joins the ancestors in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Often called the first African American bookseller (for his
bookstore established in 1834), Ruggles was an early
abolitionist, speaker, and writer as well as a “conductor” on
the Underground Railroad. He published the first African
American magazine, the “Mirror of Liberty in August of 1838. He
was a noted hydropathist, erecting the first building
constructed for hydropathic treatments in the United States and
was known as the “water cure doctor.”

1894 – Jean Toomer is born in Washington, DC. The grandson of P.B.S.
Pinchback, Toomer will become the author of the influential

1908 – Jack Johnson wins the heavyweight title in Australia, defeating
Tommy Burns. After avoiding fighting Johnson for over a year,
Burns will say of his loss, “Race prejudice was rampant in my
mind. The idea of a black man challenging me was beyond
enduring. Hatred made me tense.”

1924 – DeFord Bailey, Sr., a harmonica player, becomes the first African
American to perform on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville,

1931 – Lonnie Elder is born in Americus, Georgia. He will be known as
an author, playwright (“Ceremonies in Dark Old Men”), and
screenwriter (“Sounder,” “A Woman Called Moses”). He will become
the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award
(Sounder – 1972). He will join the ancestors in 1996.

1937 – La Julia Rhea becomes the first African American to sing with the
Chicago Civic Opera Company during the regular season. She
opens in the title role of Verdi’s “Aida.”

1956 – African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama begin mass defiance of
Jim Crow bus laws.

1966 – Kwanzaa, originated by Dr. Maulana Karenga, is first celebrated
by a small number of African American families in Los Angeles,
California, to “restore and reaffirm our African heritage and
culture.” Kwanzaa, a Kiswahili word meaning first or first
fruit, will celebrate over the next seven days the Nguzo Saba,
or seven principles, of Umoja(Unity), Kujichagulia(self-
determination), Ujima(Collective Work and Responsibility),
Ujamaa(Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba
(Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

1999 – Prolific singer, songwriter & producer Curtis Mayfield joins
the ancestors at the age of 57 in North Fulton Regional Hospital
near Atlanta, Georgia. Mayfield introduced social
consciousness into African American music and continued to
record for a decade after an accident left him paralyzed. His
many hits included “People Get Ready,” “I’m So Proud,” and “Keep
On Pushing.” His soundtrack for the 1972 movie “Superfly” sold
over 4 million copies and produced two classic hit singles, the
title track and “Freddie’s Dead.” In addition to his wife, he
leaves behind his mother, 10 children, a brother, two sisters
and seven grandchildren to celebrate his life.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 25 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 25 *

1760 – Jupiter Hammon, a New York slave who was probably the
first African American poet, publishes “An Evening
Thought:Salvation by Christ”.

1776 – Oliver Cromwell and Prince Whipple are among soldiers who
cross the Delaware River with George Washington to
successfully attack the Hessians in Trenton, New Jersey,
during the Revolutionary War.

1807 – Charles B. Ray is born in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He
will enter Wesleyan University in Connecticut and be
forced to withdraw due to objections from northerners
and southerners. He will later become a prominent
African American leader.

1835 – Benjamin Tucker Tanner is born in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. Father of famous painter Henry O. Tanner,
he will become an A.M.E. bishop and editor of the
“Christian Recorder” and founder in 1884 of the A.M.E.
Church Review,” a leading magazine of the day.

1837 – Cheyney University is established in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. It will be first known as the “Institute
for Colored Youth”. The school will be moved to George
Cheyney’s farm, 24 miles west of Philadelphia, in 1902.
It will be renamed in 1913 to “The Cheyney Training
School for Teachers.” Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
is the first historically Black institution of learning
in America. It is also the first college in the United
States to receive official state certification as an
institution of higher academic education for African

1837 – Charles Lenox Remond begins his career as an antislavery
agent. Remond will be one of the first African Americans
employed as a lecturer by the antislavery movement. He
will work many years for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery

1865 – Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, Shaw University
in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Virginia Union University
in Richmond, Virginia are founded.

1875 – Charles Caldwell joins the ancestors after being
assassinated in Clinton, Mississippi. He was the first
African American in the state of Mississippi to be accused
of the murder of a white man and found “not guilty” by an
all-white jury. He was later elected to the state senate.

1907 – Cabell “Cab” Calloway III is born in Rochester, New York. A
versatile jazz bandleader and singer who will popularize
scat singing, his song “Minnie the Moocher” will be the
first million-selling jazz record. Calloway will also
appear in the movie “Porgy and Bess” as well as perform as
a singer in the touring companies of “Porgy” and “Hello
Dolly.” He will join the ancestors on November 18, 1994.

1951 – Harry T. Moore, a Florida NAACP official, joins the
ancestors after being killed by a bomb in his home in Mims,
Florida. Active in expanding the African American vote in
Florida and in desegregating the University of Florida,
Moore will be posthumously awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn
Medal in 1952.

1951 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Mabel K. Staupers
for her leadership in the field of nursing.

1956 – The home of Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, a Birmingham,
Alabama protest leader, is destroyed by a dynamite bomb.

1958 – Rickey Henley Henderson is born in Chicago, Illinois. He
will grow up to become a baseball player with the Oakland
Athletics and New York Yankees and will become the stolen
base king. In 1982, Henderson will shatter Lou Brock’s
modern major league record by stealing 130 bases. He will
have 23 consecutive seasons in which he will steal more
than 20 bases. He will rank 4th all-time in games played
(3,081), 10th in at-bats (10,961), 20th in hits (3,055),
and first in runs scored (2,295) and stolen bases (1,406).

1959 – Michael P. Anderson is born in Plattsburgh, New York. He
will be raised in Spokane, Washington. He will graduate
from the University of Washington in 1981 and be
commissioned a second lieutenant in the USAF. He will
become Chief of Communication Maintenance for the 2015
Communication Squadron and later be Director of
Information System Maintenance for the 1920 Information
System Group. In 1986 he will be selected to attend
Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma. He
will serve as an aircraft commander and instructor pilot
in the 920th Air Refueling Squadron, Wurtsmith AFB
Michigan. He will be selected as an astronaut by NASA in
December 1994, and will become qualified for flight crew
assignment as a mission specialist. He will be initially
assigned technical duties in the Flight Support Branch of
the Astronaut Office. He will fly on the crew of STS-89
(Shuttle Endeavour to Space Station Mir) and will log
over 211 hours in space in 1998. Lt. Colonel Anderson
will be assigned to the crew of STS-107 (Shuttle Columbia)
and will join the ancestors when Columbia explodes during
re-entry on February 1, 2003.

1965 – The Congress of Racial Equality announces that its national
director, Dr. James Farmer, would resign on March 1.

2006 – James Brown, the dynamic “Godfather of Soul,” whose
revolutionary rhythms, rough voice and flashing footwork
influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap,
joined the ancestors early Christmas morning at the age of
73. He had been hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory
Crawford Long Hospital on 12/24 and succumbed to heart
failure around 1:45 a.m. He was one of the major musical
influences of the past 50 years. From Mick Jagger to
Michael Jackson, David Bowie to Public Enemy, his rapid-
footed dancing, hard-charging beats and heartfelt yet
often unintelligible vocals changed the musical landscape.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 24 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 24 *

1832 – The first hospital for African Americans is founded by
whites and chartered in Savannah, Georgia.

1853 – Octavia Victoria Rogers Albert is born in Olgethorpe,
Georgia. Albert is best known for her book “House of
Bondage”, a collection of seven informal narratives of
slaves’ lives.

1881 – Tennessee starts the modern segregation movement with
Jim Crow railroad car laws and is followed by Florida
(1887), Mississippi (1888), Texas (1889), Louisiana
(1890), Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas and Georgia (1891),
South Carolina (1898), North Carolina (1899), Virginia
(1900), Maryland (1904), and Oklahoma (1907).

1881 – The United Order of True Reformer, an African American
fraternal order, is established.

1881 – The exodus of five thousand Blacks from Edgefield County,
South Carolina begins. They become migrants, protesting
exploitation and violence, finally settling in Arkansas.

1898 – Irvin C. Mollison is born in Chicago, Illinois. In 1945,
he will be appointed the first African American judge to
the U.S. Customs Court.

1924 – Irving Lee Dorsey is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He
will become a vocalist, best known for the recording of
“Working in the Coal Mines.” He will join the ancestors
on December 1, 1986 after succumbing to emphysema.

1936 – Count Basie makes his New York debut at the Roseland

1954 – In a session with the Miles Davis All-Stars, Thelonius
Monk records “Bag’s Groove,” which many will regard as his
finest solo performance.

1992 – Alphonso Michael ‘Mike’ Espy becomes the first African
American to hold the position of Secretary of Agriculture.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 23 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 23 *

1815 – Henry Highland Garnet is born in New Market, Maryland.
He will become a noted clergyman and abolitionist. He
will also be the first African American to deliver a
sermon before the House of Representatives.

1863 – Robert Blake, powder boy aboard the USS Marblehead, is
the first African American to be awarded the Naval Medal
of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary
heroism, and intrepidity at the risk of his own life.”
The heroic action occurred during a victorious battle
off the coast of South Carolina.

1867 – Sarah Breedlove is born in Delta, Louisiana. She will
be better known as Madame C.J. Walker, the first female
African American millionaire whose hair-care, toiletry,
and cosmetics products revolutionized the standard of
beauty for African American women. Her philanthropy and
generosity will make her a popular figure in the early

1919 – Alice H. Parker patents the gas heating furnace.

1935 – Esther Mae Jones is born in Galveston, Texas. She will
begin her career as a blues singer at 13 as “Little”
Esther Phillips, taking her name from a billboard for a
gasoline company. Problems with drugs and alcohol will
cause her to interrupt her career a number of times.
She will record several memorable songs including “And
I Love Him” and “Release Me.”

1946 – The University of Tennessee refuses to play Duquesne
University, because they may use an African American
player in their basketball game.

1990 – Wendell Scott joins the ancestors in Danville, Virginia.
He was a prominent African American in early stock car
racing, finishing among the top five drivers in 20 Grand
National events and winning 128 races in the sportsman
division. His story will be told in the movie “Greased
Lightning,” that starred Richard Pryor as Scott.

1999 – President Clinton pardons Freddie Meeks, an African
American sailor court-martialed for mutiny during World
War II when he and other sailors refused to load live
ammunition following a deadly explosion at the Port
Chicago Naval Magazine near San Francisco that had
claimed more than 300 lives.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 22 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 22 *

1873 – Abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond joins the ancestors.
He was the first African American lecturer employed by
the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.

1883 – Arthur Wergs Mitchell is born near Lafayette, Alabama.
He will become the first African American Democrat
elected to Congress, representing Illinois for four
terms. In 1937, after being forced from first-class
train accommodations in Arkansas to ride in a shabby
Jim Crow car, Mitchell will sue the railroad and
eventually argue unsuccessfully before the Supreme Court
that interstate trains be exempt from Arkansas’
“separate but equal” laws.

1898 – Chancellor Williams is born. He will become a historian
and author of “Destruction of Black Civilization.”

1905 – James A. Porter is born in Baltimore, Maryland. An
artist, chairperson of the department of art at Howard
University and one of the earliest scholars of African
American art, Porter will exhibit his works widely in the
United States, Europe, and Africa.

1939 – Jerry Pinckney is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He
will become an award-winning illustrator of children’s
books and numerous U.S. postage stamps featuring notable
African Americans.

1943 – W.E.B. Du Bois is elected as the first African American
member of the National Institute of Arts & Letters.

1980 – Samuel R. Pierce, Jr., a New York City lawyer and former
judge, is named to President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet as
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

1984 – Four African American youths on a New York City subway
train, are shot by Bernhard Goetz. The white man shoots
because he thought they were going to rob him. He claims
he was seconds from becoming a mugging victim when he
opened fire, and will be acquitted of attempted murder in
1987 but will serve 8 months on a weapons charge. In
1996, he will lose a civil case brought against him by
one of the youths that he shot and paralyzed. The civil
judgment brought against him will be $ 43 million.

1988 – South Africa signs an accord granting independence to South
-West Africa.

1989 – The art exhibit “Afro-American Artists in Paris: 1919-1939”
closes at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery on the
Hunter College campus in New York City. The exhibit of
eight artists including William Harper, Lois Mailou Jones,
Archibald Motley, Jr., Henry O. Tanner, and Hale Woodruff,
among others, powerfully illustrates the results achieved
by African American artists when they were able to leave
the confines and restrictions imposed upon them by race in
the United States.

1996 – Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs 80 yards
for a touchdown in the first half of an 18-14 loss to the
Carolina Panthers, the longest scoring run by a quarterback
in NFL history.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle archives and  is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.