March 30 African American Historical Events


* Today in Black History – March 30 *

1869 – The 15th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, which
guarantees men, the right to vote regardless of “race, color
or previous condition of servitude.” Despite ratification
of the amendment, it will be almost 100 years before African
Americans become “universally” enfranchised. Editor’s Note:
The entire African American population of Washington DC
(approximately 300,000+ of the 550,000+ people who live
there) is still constitutionally denied any voting rights or
self-government in the United States. This is a gaping
exception to a so-called “universal” practice.

1923 – Zeta Phi Beta sorority is incorporated. It was founded on
January 16, 1920 at Howard University in Washington, DC.

1941 – The National Urban League presents a one-hour program over a
national radio network and urges equal participation for
blacks in the national defense program.

1946 – “St. Louis Woman” opens on Broadway. Based on a book by Arna
Bontemps and Countee Cullen from Bontemps’s novel “God Sends
Sunday,” the play brought wide attention to supporting
actress Pearl Bailey, who stopped the show nightly with her
renditions of “Legalize My Name” and “A Woman’s

1948 – Naomi Sims is born in Oxford, Mississippi. She will become a
trailblazing fashion model and founder of a beauty company
that will bear her name.

1960 – Eighteen students are suspended by Southern University for
participating in civil rights demonstrations. Southern
University students will rebel on March 31, boycotting
classes and requesting withdrawal slips. The rebellion will
collapse after the death of a professor from a heart attack.

1963 – Air Force Capt. Edward J. Dwight, Jr. is named to the fourth
class of aerospace research pilots at Edwards Air Force
Base, becoming the first African American candidate for
astronaut training. He will be dropped from the program in

1963 – Stanley Kirk Burrell is born in Oakland, California. He will
become a rapper known as “M.C. Hammer” and will come out in
1988 with the album, “Let’s Get It Started. He will be best
known for his hit, “U Can’t Touch This.”

1995 – Tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees, fleeing violence in
Burundi, begin a two-day trek to sanctuary in Tanzania.

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

March 29 African American Historical Events


* Today in Black History – March 29 *

1918 – Pearl Mae Bailey is born in Newport News, Virginia. She will
achieve tremendous success as a stage and film actress,
recording artist, nightclub headliner, and television
performer. Among her most notable movies will be “Porgy and
Bess” and “Carmen Jones” and she will receive a Tony Award
for her starring role in an all-African-American version of
“Hello Dolly.” Bailey will be widely honored, including
being named special advisor to the U.S. Mission to the
United Nations and receiving the Presidential Medal of
Freedom. She will join the ancestors on August 17, 1990.

1940 – Joe Louis knocks out Johnny Paycheck to retain his
heavyweight boxing title.

1945 – Walt Frazier is born in Atlanta, Georgia. He will become a
basketball player and, as a guard for the New York Knicks,
lead his team to NBA championships in 1970 and 1973. He
will also earn the nickname “Clyde” (from the movie Bonnie
and Clyde) for his stylish wardrobe and flamboyant lifestyle
off the court. Frazier will score 15,581 points (18.9 ppg)
during his career, lead the Knicks in scoring five times,
dish out 5,040 assists (6.1 apg), and lead the Knicks in
assists 10 straight years. He will be elected to the
Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

1955 – Earl Christian Campbell is born in Tyler, Texas. He will
become a star football player at the University of Texas and
will amass 4,444 rushing yards in his college career. He
will win the 1977 Heisman Trophy and will go on to become a
first player taken in the 1978 NFL draft. As a star running
back for the Houston Oilers, he will become NFL rushing
champion, Player of Year, All-Pro, Pro Bowl choice in 1978,
1979, and 1980. His career-high will be 1,934 yards rushing,
including four 200-yard rushing games in 1980. His career
statistics will be: 9,407 yards, 74 TDs rushing, 121
receptions for 806 yards and five Pro Bowls. He will retire
after nine seasons and will be enshrined in the Pro Football
Hall of Fame in 1991.

1959 – Barthelemy Boganda, president and founder of the Central
African Republic, joins the ancestors in a plane crash.

1968 – Students seize building on the campus of Bowie State College
in Bowie, Maryland.

1990 – Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwan scores the 3rd NBA quadruple double
consisting of 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists & 11
blocked shots vs the Milwaukee Bucks.

2005 – Johnnie L. Cochran, whose legal career representing both
victims of police abuse and celebrities in peril reached its
peak under media scrutiny when he successfully defended O.J.
Simpson from murder charges, joins the ancestors after
succumbing to brain cancer, at the age of 67.

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

March 28 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – March 28 *

1870 – Jonathan S. Wright becomes the first African American State
Supreme Court Justice in South Carolina.

1925 – Sculptor Ed Wilson is born in Baltimore, Maryland. He will
study at the University of Iowa, receive sculpture awards
from the Carnegie Foundation, Howard University and the
State University of New York, and have his work shown at
Two Centuries of Black American Art, and other exhibitions.
Among his major works will be “Cybele.”

1939 – The Renaissance (Big 5) becomes the first African American
team on record to win a professional world championship

1958 – William Christopher (W.C.) Handy joins the ancestors in New
York City at the age of 85. In the same year, the movie of
his life, “St. Louis Blues” is released, starring Nat King
Cole as Handy.

1966 – Bill Russell is named head coach of the Boston Celtics and
becomes the first African American to coach an NBA team.

1984 – Educator and civil rights activist Benjamin Mays joins the
ancestors in Atlanta, Georgia. Mays had served as dean of
the School of Religion at Howard University and president of
Morehouse College, where he served as the mentor to the
young Martin Luther King, Jr.

1990 – Michael Jordan scores 69 points in a NBA game. This the 4th
time he scores 60 points or more in a game.

1990 – President Bush posthumously awards the Congressional Gold
Medal to Jesse Owens and presents it to his widow ten years
after he joins the ancestors. In 1936, Jesse Owens won four
Olympic Track and Field gold medals in a single day in
Berlin. The 1936 Berlin Olympics, the last Olympic Games
before the outbreak of WWII, were hosted by the Nazi
Germans, who intended the event as a showcase of their
racist theories of the superiority of the “Aryan” race.
But a 23-year-old African-American named Jesse Owens
shattered their plans, along with several world records,
when he dashed to victory in the 100-meter and 200-meter
sprints, anchored the victorious 400-meter relay team, and
won the broad jump. President George Bush adds the
Congressional Gold Medal to Owens’s collection. Congress had
voted the award in recognition of Owens’s humanitarian
contributions. After his athletic career, he had devoted
his energy and his name to organizations providing
opportunities to underprivileged youth.

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

March 27 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – March 27 *

1867 – African American demonstrators in Charleston, South Carolina
stage ride-ins on streetcars. On May 1, the Charleston City
Railway Company will adopt a resolution guaranteeing the right
of all persons to ride in streetcars.

1872 – Cleveland Luca, a musician, member of the famous musical Luca
Family Quartet and composer of the Liberian National Anthem,
joins the ancestors in Liberia.

1924 – Sarah Vaughan is born in Newark, New Jersey. On a dare, she
will enter a 1943 amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre in
Harlem and be hired by Earl “Fatha” Hines as a result of her
performance. She will begin recording in 1945, be considered
one of the finest jazz vocalists, and earn the nickname “The
Divine One.” She will join the ancestors on April 3, 1990.

1934 – Arthur Mitchell is born in New York City. The first male
recipient of the dance award from the High School of
Performing Arts in 1951, he will be the first African American
dancer to become a principal artist in the New York City
Ballet Company and will found the highly influential Dance
Theatre of Harlem in 1969.

1969 – The Black Academy of Arts and Letters is founded at a meeting
in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, professor of
religion and sociology at Union Theological Seminary, is
elected president of the organization.

1972 – Fleeta Drumgo and John Cluchette are acquitted by an all-white
jury of the murder of a white guard at Soledad prison. George
Jackson, the third “Soledad Brother,” is killed in the alleged
escape attempt.

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

March 26 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – March 26 *

1831 – Richard Allen joins the ancestors at the age of 71. He had been
nominated by author Vernon Loggins for the title, “Father of
the Negro.”

1872 – Thomas J. Martin is awarded a patent for the fire extinguisher.

1910 – William H. Lewis is appointed assistant attorney general of the
United States.

1937 – William Hastie is appointed to a federal judgeship in the Virgin
Islands. With the appointment, Hastie becomes the first African
American to serve on the federal bench in the U.S. or its
territories. Judge Hastie will serve on the bench for two years
then become dean and professor of law at Howard University in
Washington DC.

1944 – Diana Ross is born in Detroit, Michigan. Ross, with Mary Wilson
and Florence Ballard, will form the Supremes in 1961 and have
15 consecutive smash-hit singles with the group. Ross will
also pursue an acting career in such movies as “Lady Sings the
Blues” and receive a Tony Award for her Broadway show, “An
Evening with Diana Ross.” Both with the Supremes and as a solo
artist, she will have more number-one records than any other
artist in the history of the charts.

1950 – Theodore Pendergrass is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He
will become a lead singer for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
in 1970 and will pursue an active solo career in 1976. His solo
career will later be temporarily interrupted by an auto
accident that will leave him paralyzed from the chest down. His
debut album, “Teddy Pendergrass (1977),” struck Platinum, as
did the next four albums – “Life Is A Song Worth Singing,”
“Teddy,” “Teddy Live” and “T.P.” Other releases include “Love
Language,” “Working It Back” and “Joy.” He will be nominated
for a Grammy more than three times and be the holder of a 1980
“Best Rhythm & Blues Artist” award from Billboard Magazine. The
Philadelphia Music Foundation will honor him with a
Philadelphia Music Award for “Best Urban Album” in 1989. He will
join the ancestors on January 13, 2010 after succumbing to colon

1984 – Ahmed Sekou Toure’ joins the ancestors in a hospital in
Cleveland, Ohio. He was the country of Guinea’s first
president and a well-known political figure throughout Africa.

1991 – The Reverend Emanuel Cleaver becomes the first African American
mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. At this time, Kansas City is
seventy percent white, but he will win the election with 53
percent of the vote, while his opponent receives forty-seven

1992 – A judge in Indianapolis sentences former heavyweight boxing
champion Mike Tyson to six years in prison for raping a Miss
Black America contestant.

1995 – Former diplomat-turned-radio talk show host Alan Keyes enters the
race for the Republican presidential nomination.

1998 – President Clinton stands with President Nelson Mandela in a
racially integrated South African parliament to salute a country
that was “truly free and democratic at last.”

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

March 25 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 25 *

1807 – The British Parliament abolishes the African slave trade.
Although slavery was abolished within England in 1772, it
was still allowed in the British colonies, as was the slave
trade. The continued slave trade was not only accepted, but
considered essential to the power and prosperity of the
British Empire. English slave-merchants made fortunes
carrying slaves from Africa to the British colonies in
North America and the Caribbean, and many of England’s
industries, notably textiles and sugar refining, depended
on raw materials produced by slave labor on colonial
plantations. Still, there were opponents, and in 1787, they
launched a nationwide campaign to seek the abolition of the
slave trade.

1843 – African American explorer Dodson sets out in search of the
Northwest Passage.

1910 – The Liberian Commission recommends financial aid to Liberia
and the establishment of a U.S. Navy coaling station in the
African country.

1931 – Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, militant African American
rights and anti-lynching advocate, and a founder of the
NAACP, joins the ancestors in Chicago at the age of 78.

1931 – Nine African American youths are arrested in Scottsboro,
Alabama, for allegedly raping two white women. Although
they will be quickly convicted, in a trial that outraged
African Americans and much of the nation, the case will be
appealed and the “Scottsboro Boys” will be retried several

1939 – Toni Cade Bambara is born in New York City. She will become
a noted writer of such fiction as “Gorilla, My Love,” and
“The Salt Eaters.”

1942 – Aretha Louise Franklin is born in Memphis, Tennessee. She
will be abandoned by her mother when she was 6, and raised
by her father, the Reverend C. L. Franklin, who is one of
the most famous Black ministers in the North, and her aunt,
the legendary gospel singer Clara Ward. She will grow up
singing in her father’s New Bethel Baptist Church in
Detroit, Michigan. Family friends Mahalia Jackson and Sam
Cooke will encourage her recording career, and when Columbia
Records producer John Hammond first hears the 18-year-old,
he calls her “an untutored genius, the best natural singer
since Billie Holiday.” It will not be until her move from
Columbia’s pop/jazz orchestrations to Atlantic Records’
soulful, Rhythm and Blues style, in 1966, that her career
skyrockets. Under the auspices of Jerry Wexler, she will
sing fierce, frantic hits like “I Never Loved a Man,”
“Respect,” “Natural Woman,” and “Chain of Fools.” In 1968,
she will make the cover of Time magazine. From her first
singing experiences in her father’s church through a singing
career and 21 gold records, she will earn the title, “Queen
of Soul.” She will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of
Fame in 1987.

1965 – The Selma-to-Montgomery march ended with rally of some fifty
thousand at Alabama capitol. One of the marchers, a white
civil rights worker named Viola Liuzzo, is shot to death on
U.S. Highway 80 after the rally by white terrorists. Three
Klansmen are convicted of violating her civil rights and
sentenced to ten years in prison.

1967 – Debi Thomas is born. After being raised in San Jose,
California by her mother(who shuttled her back and forth
between home, school and practice at the rate of 3,000 miles
per month), she will become the first African American to
win the world figure skating championship (1986). She will
later become the first African American to win a medal in
the Winter Olympics (Bronze Medal in Figure Skating –
February 27, 1988).

1975 – Salem Poor, who fought alongside other colonists during the
Battle of Bunker Hill, is honored as one of four
“Contributors to the Cause,” a commemorative issue of the
U.S. Postal Service.

1991 – Whoopi Goldberg wins the Academy Award for best actress in a
supporting role for “Ghost.” Also winning an Oscar is
Russell Williams II, for best sound editing for the movie
“Dances with Wolves.” It is Williams’s second Oscar in a
row (the first was for “Glory”), a record for an African

1994 – American troops complete their withdrawal from Somalia.

2000 – Character actress Helen Martin, who played the little old
lady next door in the mid-1980s television series “227” and
Halle Berry’s matriarch in the political comedy “Bulworth,”
joins the ancestors at the age of 90. An original member
of Harlem’s American Negro Theater, Martin was one of the
first African American actresses to appear on Broadway when
Orson Welles cast her in his production of “Native Son.”
She worked primarily as a stage actress early in her career,
but was perhaps best known for appearing as grandmotherly
characters in television series about African American

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

March 24 African American Historical Events


* Today in Black History – March 24 *

1912 – Dorothy Irene Height is born in Richmond, Virginia. In 1965,
she will inaugurate the Center for Racial Justice, which is
still a major initiative of the National YWCA. She will
serve as the 10th National President of the Delta Sigma
Theta Sorority, Inc. from 1946 to 1957, before becoming
president of the National Council of Negro Women in 1958.
Working closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy
Wilkins, Whitney Young, A. Philip Randolph and others, She
will participate in virtually all major civil and human
rights event in the 1950’s and 1960’s. For her tireless
efforts on behalf of the less fortunate, President Ronald
Reagan will present her the Citizens Medal Award for
distinguished service to the country in 1989. She will
receive the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in July, 1993.
She will be inducted into the “National Women’s Hall of
Fame” in October, 1993 and President Bill Clinton will
present her the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in
August 1994. She will join the ancestors on April 20, 2010.

1941 – “Native Son,” a play adapted from Richard Wright’s novel of
the same name, opens at the St. James Theatre in New York

1944 – Patricia Louise Holt is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She will become a singer best known as Patti Labelle. As a
teenager, she and Cindy Birdsong (later a member of the
Supremes) will sing with the Ordettes. When two girls
leave the group, Nona Hendrix and Sarah Dash will sign on
and Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells will be born in 1961.
By the next year, they will have their first multimillion
seller, “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman.” With other hits,
including “All Or Nothing” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone,”
the group will develop a strong following worldwide. After
years of success and being “Rocked and Rolled out,” as
Patti describes it, the group will disband on good terms
in 1977. She will continue to perform as a solo artist and
will release top-selling albums. She will receive numerous
awards including Philadelphia’s Key to the City, a medal
from the Congressional Black Caucus, a citation from
Congress on her 20th anniversary in the music business,
another citation from President Reagan, a cable ACE, the
B’nai B’rith Creative Achievement Award, two NAACP
Entertainer of the Year Awards, the NAACP Image Award for
three consecutive years, the Ebony Achievement Award, the
Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award, three Emmy
nominations, eight Grammy nominations and a 1992 Grammy
Award for Best R&B Female Vocal performance for her album

1958 – Bill Russell, center for the Boston Celtics, becomes the
NBA’s MVP. He is again named as MVP in 1961, 1962, 1963
and 1965.

1962 – Benny ‘Kid’ Paret is knocked out in the twelfth round by
Emile Griffith, in a welterweight title bout in New York
City. Paret will join the ancestors 10 days later.

1969 – Joseph Kasavubu, President of the Congo, joins the ancestors.
In 1960, he and Mobutu Sese Seko overthrew the government of
Patrice Lumumba.

1972 – Z. Alexander Looby, the first African American to serve on
the Nashville City Council, joins the ancestors in
Nashville, Tennessee. He had also been a successful
Nashville attorney, in the forefront of the Civil Rights
Movement, for many years. In 1960, he survived the April
19th bombing of his home.

1975 – Muhammad Ali defeats Chuck Wepner in a 15-round bout to
retain his world heavyweight crown.

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

March 23 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – March 23 *

1784 – Tom Molineaux, who will become America’s most celebrated
early boxing success, is born into slavery in Georgetown,
Washington, DC. Emigrating to London after winning money
to purchase his freedom in a fight, Molineaux challenges
champion Tom Cribb in a fight attended by 10,000 spectators
in 1810, which he will apparently win but is ruled against
by a partisan referee. After a subsequent loss to Cribb in
1811, Molineaux will sink into alcoholism and will join the
ancestors penniless in Ireland at the age of 34.

1938 – Maynard Jackson is born in Dallas, Texas. He will be elected
the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Georgia for
two terms, 1974 to 1982, and be re-elected in 1989 for an
unprecedented third term. He will join he ancestor on June
23, 2003.

1953 – Yvette Marie Stevens is born in Great Lakes, Illinois. She
will become better known as Chaka Khan, lead singer of the
rock group Rufus (winner of a 1974 Grammy) and a three-time
Grammy-winning soloist.

1955 – Moses Malone is born in Petersburg, Virginia. He will begin
his career in professional basketball in 1974 when he
becomes the first player in ABA basketball history to make
the move directly from high school ball to playing in a
professional league. He will join the now-defunct American
Basketball Association’s Utah Stars. His career will peak
during his seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. Matched
with Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones and Andrew
Toney in the 1982-83 season, the 76ers will lead the league
with a 65-17 regular-season record and win the championship.
He will win both NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP that year. His
other achievements will include NBA MVP (1979, ’82), All-NBA
first team (1979, ’82, ’85), All-NBA second team (1980, ’81,
’84, ’87), NBA All-Defensive first team (1983) and NBA
All-Defensive second team (1979). He will also hold career
records for the most consecutive games without a
disqualification (1,212), most free throws made (8,531),
most offensive rebounds (6,731) and most turnovers (3,804).
He will achieve the milestone of playing his 45,000th
minute, on Dec. 14, 1994, against the Boston Celtics. He
will be recognized not only for greatness as an all-around
player, but also for his longevity, as he will play for two
ABA teams and eight NBA teams over 22 years.

1968 – Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a former aide of Martin Luther King
Jr., becomes the first non-voting congressional delegate
from the District of Columbia since the Reconstruction

1985 – Patricia Roberts Harris, Cabinet Member, ambassador and
first African American woman to head a law school, joins
the ancestors in Washington, DC.

1985 – “We Are The World”, by USA for Africa, a group of 46 pop
stars, enters the music charts for the first time at number

1998 – President Bill Clinton hails “the new face of Africa” as he
opens a historic six-nation tour in Ghana.

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

March 22 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – March 22 *

1492 – Alonzo Pierto, explorer of African descent, sets sail from
Spain with Christopher Columbus.

1873 – Slavery is abolished in Puerto Rico. The Spanish Crown
finally ends slavery in one of its last Latin American
colonies. Slave owners are compensated with 35 million
pesetas per slave. Despite the pronouncement of abolition,
slaves are still required to keep working for three more
years as indentured servants.

1882 – African American Shakespearean actor Morgan Smith joins the
ancestors in Sheffield, England. Smith had emigrated to
England in 1866, where he performed in Shakespeare’s Richard
III, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice, as well as

1931 – Richard Berry Harrison receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal
for his role as “De Lawd” in “The Green Pastures” and for
his “long years …as a dramatic reader and entertainer,
interpreting to the mass of colored people in church and
school, the finest specimens of English drama from
Shakespeare down.”

1943 – George Benson is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He will
begin playing the guitar at age 8, will sing in nightclubs
as a child and form a rock group at age 17. He will move to
New York City in 1963 and join Jack McDuff’s band but will
leave in 1965 to form his own group with Lonnie Smith,
Ronnie Cuber, and Phil Turner. He will become a session
guitarist in the late 1960s, working with such artists as
Miles Davis, Ron Carter, and Herbie Hancock and developing
a reputation as one of the best jazz guitarists. The release
of his triple Grammy Award-winning “Breezin'” in 1976, with
its hit single, “This Masquerade,” will mark Benson’s return
as a vocal artist. His follow-up album, “In Flight” (1977),
and his double live set “Weekend in L.A.” (1978) will
confirm his wide popularity. After “Livin’ Inside Your Love”
(1979), he will release the equally popular “Give Me the
Night” (1980), his first collaboration with Quincy Jones,
which will garner an impressive sweep of five Grammy Awards.
Later albums will include “While the City Sleeps” (1986),
“Twice the Love” (1988), “Tenderly” (1989), and “Love
Remembers” (1993).

1957 – Stephanie Mills is born in Brooklyn, New York. She will
become a singer and actress and be best known for her role
as Dorothy in the stage show of “The Wiz.” She will win a
talent show at the Apollo Theater six weeks in a row at age
nine. She will appear in the Broadway play “Maggie Flynn,”
tour with the Isley Brothers, and release her debut album
in 1973. She will land the part of Dorothy in 1975,
recording an album for Motown during the show’s four-year
run. In 1980, she will have a worldwide hit with “Never Knew
Love Like This Before,” which rises to the Top Ten in the
U.S. She will be married for a short while to Shalamar’s
Jeffrey Daniels and work with Teddy Pendergrass in 1981. In
1983, she will land a daytime television show on NBC. She
will also later play Dorothy in a revival of “The Wiz.”

1968 – Pennsylvania State troopers are mobilized to put down a
student rebellion on the campus of Cheyney State College.

1986 – Debi Thomas becomes the first African American woman to win
the world figure skating championship.

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