April 30 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – April 30 *

1864 – A regiment captures a rebel battery after fighting
rearguard action. Six infantry regiments check rebel
troops at Jenkins’ Ferry, Saline River, Arkansas. The
troops are so enraged by atrocities committed at Poison
Spring two weeks earlier, that the Second Kansas Colored
Volunteers went into battle shouting, “Remember Poison

1931 – William Lacy Clay is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will
become a congressman from Missouri and chairman of the
Post Office and Civil Service Committee.

1940 – Jesse E. Moorland joins the ancestors in Washington, DC.
He was a clergyman, key force in fund-raising for African
American YMCAs, alumnus and trustee of Howard University.
The donation of his substantial private library to Howard
forms the basis of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center
on the university’s campus.

1961 – Isiah Lord Thomas is born in Chicago, Illinois. One of
nine children raised by a single mother, Thomas will become
a basketball star, first for Indiana University and later
for the Detroit Pistons, where he will lead the team to
1989 and 1990 NBA championships.

1983 – Robert C. Maynard becomes the first African American to gain
a controlling interest in a major metropolitan newspaper
when he buys the Oakland Tribune from Gannett.

1994 – The counting of ballots begins in South Africa’s first all-
race elections.

1994 – Some 100,000 men, women and children fleeing ethnic slaughter
in Rwanda cross into neighboring Tanzania.

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

April 29 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – April 29 *

1854 – Ashmun lnstitute, later Lincoln University, is founded in
Oxford, Pennsylvania. It will be “the first institution
founded anywhere in the world to provide a higher
education in the arts and sciences for youth of African
descent.” (This applies to the modern era).

1881 – Julian Francis Abele is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He will become an architect widely believed to have
designed Philadelphia’s Museum of Art and the Free Library,
as well as major buildings on the Duke University campus.

1899 – Edward “Duke” Kennedy Ellington is born in Washington, DC.
He will form his first band in 1919, and move to New York
City in 1922. His five-year tenure at the famed Cotton
Club will garner him wide acclaim. Scoring both his first
musical and making his recording debut in 1924, Ellington
will be known as the first conventional jazz composer,
although he will also become renowned for his Sacred
Concerts in the mid-1960’s. His most notable works
include “Take the A Train,” “Mood Indigo,” “Sophisticated
Ladies,” and “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good.” He will
join the ancestors on May 24, 1974.

1915 – Donald Mills is born in Piqua, Ohio. With his brothers,
Herbert, Harry and John, the Mills Brothers will begin
performing in 1922 in their hometown and over time will
sell an estimated 50 million records. The group will break
racial barriers in the era of Jim Crow and sing before
royalty in London. From the early 1930s onward, the Mills
Brothers will be a nationwide hit on radio and in record
sales. In 1931, the song “Tiger Rag” will sell 1 million
copies. Some of their other hit songs will include “You
Always Hurt the One You Love,” “Glow Worm,” “Yellow Bird,”
and “Paper Doll.” The brothers will also appear in several
movies, including “The Big Broadcast” in 1932, and “Twenty
Million Sweethearts” in 1934. Donald will be the last
surviving member of the group and will tour in his later
years with his youngest son, John, after his brothers
retire in 1982. He will accept a Grammy Award for Life
Achievement for the Mills Brothers in 1998. He will join
the ancestors in 1999.

1922 – Parren James Mitchell is born in Baltimore, Maryland. In
1971, he will become the first African American elected to
Congress from the State of Maryland.

1928 – Carl Edward Gardner is born in Tyler, Texas. He will become
a singer and a member of the 1960’s Rhythm and Blues group,
The Coasters.

1934 – Otis Rush is born in Philadelphia, Mississippi. He will
become a blues musician and will help to shape Chicago’s
West Side blues sound.

1948 – Willi Smith is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A noted
designer, he will take his first job with Arnold Scaasi in
New York City and form his own fashion label, Willi Wear
Ltd., in 1976. He will be a Coty Award winner in 1983 and
will lead his company until he joins the ancestors in 1987.

1967 – Mrs. Robert W. Clayton is elected president of the YWCA, the
first African American president of the organization.

1983 – Harold Washington is sworn in as the first African American
mayor of Chicago.

1992 – Rioting erupts in Los Angeles after a jury acquits four
white policemen of charges related to the videotaped
beating of African American motorist Rodney King. The
National Guard and federal troops are mobilized to deal
with the civil disturbance, which will last several days
and cost the lives of 58 persons. There are demonstrations
and riots in other American cities.

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

April 28 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – April 28 *

1910 – Martin Morua Delgado joins the ancestors in Havana, Cuba.
He had been a labor and political activist, statesman,
journalist and author. He had been a leading opponent of
slavery in Cuba and after emancipation, a leading proponent
for racial equality. He also was active in the struggle for
Cuban independence from Spain. Cuba will celebrate the
centennial of his birth in 1956.

1911 – Mario Bauza is born in Havana, Cuba. He will become a
professional trumpet player, bandleader and arranger. He
will be a leading player in the creation of Afro-Cuban
jazz. While in Cuba, he will be primarily a classical
musician, playing for the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra.
He will leave Cuba for New York City in 1930 and find
himself working in mostly jazz venues. He will play with
Noble Sissle, Chick Webb (musical director), Don Redman,
and Cab Calloway. While working with Chick Webb, he will
convince Webb to hire the young Ella Fitzgerald as a
vocalist for the band. While collaborating with these
talents, he will integrate Afro-Latin influence into the
music whenever possible. He will be active in the jazz
musical scene until the last year of his life. He will
join the ancestors on July 11, 1993.

1924 – Kenneth David Kuanda is born in Lubwe, Northern Rhodesia
(Northern Rhodesia will eventually become the country of
Zambia). He will become president of Zambia from its day of
independence until 1991. He will begin his political career
with the Northern Rhodesia African Congress, which will
become the African National Congress. Like most African
politicians who called for independence from colonial rule,
he will be imprisoned multiple times. After his release
from prison in 1960, he will continue to be active and will
promote many activities of civil disobedience. Under his
leadership, the colonial administration will relent and the
British will grant Zambia its independence on October 24,

1934 – Charles Patton joins the ancestors in Indianola, Mississippi.
He was a bluesman who is considered to be the creator of the
Delta variation of the blues. His recordings between 1929
and 1934 will contribute to the national influence of the
Mississippi Delta style on the blues.

1935 – Akin Euba is born in Lagos, Nigeria. He will become a
classical composer whose work will integrate European and
Yoruba influences into his compositions. His music will be
introduced to the world at the 1972 Olympics in Munich,
Germany. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1974, he will become
a music educator and continue to create his unique African
musical art form. He will eventually become a professor of
African music at the University of Pittsburgh.

1941 – In a famous Jim Crow railroad case brought by congressman
Arthur W. Mitchell, the Supreme Court rules that separate
facilities must be substantially equal.

1950 – William Anthony Colon in born in the Bronx in New York City.
He will begin his musical career, while a teenager, creating
recordings that will emphasize his Afro-Puerto Rican
heritage in the form of salsa music. His music will
integrate the influence of Puerto Rican life in New York
City with the African influence on the Puerto Rican
experience. He will create and produce over thirty
recordings and be nominated for at least five Grammy awards
in Latin music.

1957 – W. Robert Ming, a Chicago lawyer, is elected chairman of the
American Veterans Committee. He is the first African
American to head a major national veterans organization.

1967 – Muhammad Ali refuses induction into the U.S. Army and is
stripped of his boxing titles by the World Boxing
Association and the New York Athletic Association.

1983 – Two African American women, Alice Walker and Gloria Naylor,
win prestigious American Book Awards for fiction. Alice
Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” will be dramatized as a
theatrical movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover,
and Oprah Winfrey. Naylor’s first novel, “The Women of
Brewster Place,” will be made into a made-for-television
movie and series starring Oprah Winfrey, Jackee’, and
Paula Kelly.

1990 – Clifton Reginald Wharton, Sr. joins the ancestors in
Phoenix, Arizona. He was an attorney and was the first
African American to enter the U.S. Foreign Service and the
first African American to become a United States Ambassador
to a European country (Norway-1961).

1991 – Former CORE director and North Carolina judge Floyd Bixley
McKissick joins the ancestors in North Carolina at the age
of 69. He led CORE from 1963 to 1966 during its
transformation to a more militant civil rights organization.

1997 – Ann Lane Petry joins the ancestors in Old Saybrook,
Connecticut. She was a leading African American novelist
and was known for her works, “The Street,” “Country Place,”
“The Narrows,” “Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the
Underground Railroad,” “Tituba of Salem Village,” “The
Drugstore Cat,” and “Legends of the Saints.”

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

April 27 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – April 27 *

1883 – Hubert Henry Harrison, is born in St. Croix, Virgin Islands.
He will become, by the 1920s, one of the nation’s most
prominent atheists. Harrison will recognize the connection
between racism and religion, and point this out quite
bluntly. The Bible was a slave master’s book in Harrison’s
eyes, which not only sanctioned the keeping of slaves, but
even gave advice on their handling. He will state that
any African American person who accepts Christianity was
either ignorant or crazy. He also will address Islam by
stating that the slave masters may have been largely
Christian, but many of the slave traders were Muslims,
apparently not deterred by their faith. He will join the
ancestors on December 17, 1927.

1903 – The publication of W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Souls of Black Folk”
crystallizes opposition to Booker T. Washington’s program
of social and political subordination.

1903 – Maggie L. Walker is named president of Richmond’s St. Luke
Penny Bank and Trust Company and becomes the first woman to
head a bank.

1903 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds clauses in the Alabama state
constitution which disfranchises African Americans.

1927 – Coretta Scott is born in Marion, Alabama. She will marry
Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1953 and be an integral part of
his civil rights activities. After his assassination in
1968, she will continue her civil rights activities,
founding the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent
Change in Atlanta, Georgia. She will join the ancestors on
January 31, 2006 after succumbing to complications of a
stroke and heart attack.

1944 – Rhythm-and-blues singer Cuba Gooding is born.

1949 – Rhythm-and-blues singer Herbie Murrell (The Stylistics) is

1960 – Togo achieves its independence from France. Sylvanus
Olymplo serves as its first prime minister.

1961 – Sierra Leone obtains its independence from Great Britain
with Dr. Milton Margai as its first prime minister.

1961 – Kwame Nkrumah, African statesman and the first president of
Ghana, joins the ancestors in exile, in Conarky, Guinea at
the age of 62.

1977 – Artist Charles Alston joins the ancestors in New York City.
After studying at Columbia University and Pratt Institute,
he had traveled to Europe and the Caribbean before
executing murals for Harlem Hospital and Golden State
Mutual Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles. A recipient
of the National Academy of Design Award, he also received
the first-place award of the Atlanta University
Collection’s 1942 show for his gouache “Farm Boy.” His
best known works are “Family” and “Walking.” Among his
other notable works are “School Girl,” “Frederick Douglass,”
and “Nobody Knows.”

1994 – The first “Freedom Day” takes place in South Africa.


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

April 26 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – April 26 *

1798 – James Pierson Beckwourth is born in Fredericksburg,
Virginia. He will become a legendary American Western
mountain man, trapper, warrior, Indian chief, and
trailblazer. He will maintain a lifelong friendship with
the Crow Indian nation. He will work as an Army scout
during the third Seminole War and will be a rider for the
Pony Express. In 1850, he will discover a pass through the
Sierra Nevada mountains that will enable settlers to more
easily reach California. The Beckwourth Pass is still in
use today by the Union Pacific Railroad and the U.S.
Interstate Highway System. He will join the ancestors in

1886 – William Levi Dawson is born in Albany, Georgia. A graduate
of Fisk University, he will move to Chicago, serve in the
365th Infantry in World War I, become an attorney and
initially be involved in Republican politics upon his
return to the city after the war. Elected to his first
term in the United States Congress in 1942, he will serve
27 years in the House, where he will become the first
African American representative to chair a committee of
Congress, the Committee on Expenditures in Executive
Departments, in 1949.

1886 – Gertrude Pritchett is born in Columbus, Georgia. She will
become a blues singer and vaudeville performer. She will
marry William “Pa” Rainey and will become the “Ma” half of
“Rainey and Rainey: The Assassinators of the Blues.”
Between 1923 and 1928, she will record 93 songs, many of
which were her own compositions. She will perform
nationwide and will have a loyal fan base, even after her
recording contract with Paramount is terminated. She will
have a great impact on performers who will follow her and
will be immortalized by being included in August Wilson’s
play, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and the poem of Sterling
Brown, “Ma Rainey.” She will join the ancestors on
December 22, 1939 and will be inducted into the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

1964 – The African nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form
Tanzania. The name is derived from the first syllable of
each country’s name.

1968 – Students seize the administration building at Ohio State.

1984 – Jazz musician great William “Count” Basie, joins the
ancestors in Hollywood, Florida at the age of 77. NOTE:
Many sources will have 1904 for Count Basie’s birth year.
Our source for his birth and death is the Kennedy Center
Archives documenting “The Honors” bestowed on him in 1981.

1991 – Maryann Bishop Coffey is named the first woman and the first
African American co-chair of the National Conference of
Christians and Jews.

1992 – “Jelly’s Last Jam” opens at Virginia theater on Broadway.
Gregory Hines will portray the great jazz composer Jelly
Roll Morton and will receive a Tony award as best actor in
a musical in that role.

1994 – Voting begins in South Africa’s first all-race elections.

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

April 25 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – April 25 *

1905 – Doxey Alphonso Wilkerson is born in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
He will become an educator at Howard University in Washington, DC
and Yeshiva University in New York City. In 1944, he will publish
an essay in the anthology, “What The Negro Wants,” which will
illustrate comparisons between the Allied struggle in Europe
during World War II and the civil rights struggle of African
Americans in the United States. As a member of the American
Communist Party, he will work as a civil rights activist. This
affiliation will cause him to be repeatedly investigated by
the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities. After
resigning from the Communist Party in 1957, he will continue to
be active in civil right activities and educational pursuits
until his retirement in 1984. He will join the ancestors on
June 17, 1993 in Norwalk, Connecticut.

1916 – Madeline M. Turner receives a patent for the fruit press.

1918 – Ella Fitzgerald is born in Newport News, Virginia. Discovered
at an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre in 1934, she will
be a leading jazz vocalist of the swing era. Known for her
renditions of such songs as “A Tisket, A Tasket” (her first
million-seller), her unique scat styling and series of recordings
of great American songwriters will make her an enduring favorite
of jazz lovers. She will join the ancestors on June 15, 1996 in
Beverly Hills, California.

1942 – Ruby Doris Smith Robinson is born in Atlanta, Georgia. She will
become a civil rights activist and a founding member of The
Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She will be
one of the original “Freedom Riders,” and will assist in creating
the policy of “jail, no bail,” employed by activists to fill
southern jails and bring national attention to the civil rights
struggle. After becoming SNCC’s first and only female executive
secretary, she will become ill with leukemia and joins the
ancestors on October 7, 1967 in Atlanta, Georgia.

1944 – The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is founded by Dr. Frederick
Douglass Patterson, then president of Tuskegee Institute, with 27
charter colleges and universities and a combined enrollment of
14,000 students.

1944 – George Herriman joins the ancestors in Los Angeles, California
at the age of 63. He had been a successful cartoonist who was
the author of the comic strip “Krazy Kat.” The comic strip ran
successfully from 1913 until this date.

1945 – The United Nations is founded at a San Francisco meeting
attended by African American consultants, most notably W.E.B.
Du Bois, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ralph J. Bunche and Walter White.

1950 – At the NBA’s annual players draft, the Boston Celtics select
Charles “Chuck” Cooper. He is the first African American ever
drafted by an NBA team.

1960 – A consent judgment in a Memphis federal court ended restrictions
barring voters in Fayette County, Tennessee. This was the first
voting rights case under the Civil Rights Act.

1972 – Major General Frederick E. Davidson becomes the first African
American to lead an Army division when he is assigned command of
the 8th Infantry Division in Europe.

1979 – Olodum, an internationally recognized Afro-Brazilian Carnival
association, is founded in Bahia, Brazil. The music of this
group celebrates Black history and protests racial discrimination.
The name Olodum is derived from the name of the supreme Yoruba
deity, Olodumare’.

1990 – Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon joins the ancestors in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the age of 67. A leading influence
in the bop movement along with Billy Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie,
Gordon played in London in the early 1960’s and stayed until the
mid-1970’s. Elected to the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1980, his role in
the 1986 movie “‘Round Midnight” will revive interest in his music
and earn him an Academy Award nomination for best actor.

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

April 24 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – April 24 *

1867 – The first national meeting of the Ku Klux Klan is held at
the “Maxwell House” in Nashville, Tennessee.

1867 – African American demonstrators stage ride-ins on Richmond,
Virginia streetcars. Troops were mobilized to restore

1884 – The Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia
is founded. It is the first African American medical

1886 – Augustine Tolton is ordained as a Catholic priest after
studying at the College of the Propagation of the Faith in
Rome for five years. Tolton will distinguish himself as a
speaker and a pastor at Catholic churches in New Jersey,
New York City, Chicago, and Quincy, Illinois.

1895 – The National Association of Colored Physicians, Dentists and
Pharmacists is organized at the First Congregational Church
in Atlanta, Georgia. It will change its name to the
National Medical Association in 1903.

1937 – Joseph “Joe” Henderson is born in Lima, Ohio. He will make
his initial reputation in what might be called Blue Note
Records’ second classic phase in the early 1960s, when a
new generation of young musicians began to extend the basic
hard bop framework of the label’s seminal 1950s output in
more experimental directions. He will be one of the players
at the core of that development, both as a leader and in
recordings as a sideman with artists like Kenny Dorham, Lee
Morgan, Andrew Hill, McCoy Tyner, Larry Young and Horace
Silver, among others. His firm grasp of the root idiom
combined with his experimental nature made him an ideal
exponent of the new style, which did not abandon jazz
structures in as radical a fashion as the free jazz
movement. He will join the ancestors on June 30, 2001 in
San Francisco.

1943 – Speaking on race relations and racial equality at Wayne
State University, Langston Hughes says, “I am for the
Christianity that fights poll tax, race discrimination,
lynching, injustice and inequality of the masses. I don’t
feel that religion should be used to beat down Jews [and]
Negroes, and to persecute other minority groups.

1944 – In Smith v. Allwright, the Supreme Court rules that a
“white primary” law that excludes African Americans from
voting is a violation of the 15th Amendment and thus

1948 – James Melvin Washington is born in Knoxville, Tennessee.
He will become a leading theologian whose emphasis was the
African American religious experience. He will be a
professor at the Union Theological Seminary in New York
from 1975 until he joins the ancestors in 1997. His
published works will include “Frustrated Fellowship: The
Black Baptist Quest for Social Power” (1986), “A Testament
of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King Jr.”
(1986), and “Conversations with God: Two Centuries of
Prayers by African Americans” (1994).

1954 – Wesley Cook is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He will
become an activist during his teenage years and will be
arrested and beaten for demonstrating against presidential
candidate governor George Wallace of Alabama. He will be a
founding member of the Philadelphia chapter of the Black
Panther Party in 1968 and will be known as Mumia Abu-Jamal.
After spending the summer months in 1970 working on the BPP
newspaper in California, he will return to Philadelphia to
work as a radio journalist with the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting and will have his own talk show on station
WUHY. He will lose his position as a radio journalist after
his continual criticism of mayor Frank Rizzo and
specifically his coverage of the police treatment of the
militant organization MOVE. While working as a taxicab
driver, he will be accused of killing a Philadelphia
policeman, Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Faulkner is killed in
an altercation with Mumia’s brother, after wounding Mumia.
Mumia is presumed to be the shooter and will be convicted
of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. This
verdict is handed down ignoring testimony of witnesses who
saw the killer flee and irregularities during the trial.
On death row since the trial, Mumia will have numerous
appeals turned down. His case will attract worldwide
attention as a racist miscarriage of justice.

1965 – An armed revolt against the dictatorship in the Dominican
Republic is ended with an invasion by United States troops.
Participating in the revolt is Maximiliano Gomez Horatio,
the leader of the Dominican Popular Movement.

1972 – James M. Rodger, Jr., of Durham, North Carolina, is honored
in a White House ceremony as National Teacher of the Year.
He is the first African American to receive the honor.

1972 – Robert Wedgeworth is named director of the American Library
Association. He is the first African American to head the

1993 – Oliver Tambo joins the ancestors in Johannesburg, South
Africa at the age of 75. He was the former president of
the African National Congress (ANC), law partner of Nelson
Mandela and an important anti-apartheid leader.

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

April 23 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – April 23 *

1856 – Granville T. Woods, who will become an inventor of steam
boilers, furnaces, incubators and auto air brakes and
holder of over 50 patents, is born in Columbus, Ohio.

1872 – Charlotte E. Ray becomes the first African American woman
lawyer in ceremonies held in Washington, DC admitting her
to practice before the bar. She had received her law degree
from Howard University on February 27.

1894 – Jimmy Noone is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will
become a jazz clarinetist and a major influence on the
swing music of the 1930’s and 1940’s. He will be a band
leader and be best known as the leader of “Jimmy Noone’s
Apex Club Orchestra.” Two of the people most influenced by
Jimmy Noone’s style will be Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey.
He will join the ancestors after suffering a fatal heart
attack, while performing with “Kid” Ory on April 19, 1944.

1895 – Jorge Mateus Vicente Lima is born in Alagoas, Brazil. He
will become a poet, novelist, essayist, painter, doctor,
and politician. He will become best known as a writer,
manipulating Brazilian subjects, at the same time analyzing
Afro-Brazilian culture and heritage. He will become a
fixture in the Brazilian experience during the 1920’s. Even
though he became a physician, he will exhibit his talents
as a writer in writings from his youth. His most famous
writing will be a poem, “Essa Nega Fulo” (That Black Girl
Fulo), written in 1928. The poem will explore the dynamics
between a slave master, the slave and her mistress. He
will join the ancestors in 1953 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1898 – Alfredo da Rocha Viana Jr. is born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He will become a composer and bandleader best known as
“Pixinguinha.” By the time he was a teenager, he will be
respected for his talent as a flutist. After traveling with
his first band to France in 1922, he will open the door of
Brazilian music to the world. He will be credited with
assisting to invent the “samba.” He is generally referred
to as the King of Samba and the Father of Musica Popular
Brasileira. He will join the ancestors on February 17, 1973
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1913 – The National Urban League is incorporated in New York City.
The organization is founded in 1910 when the Committee on
Urban Conditions Among Negroes met in New York to discuss
means to assist rural African Americans in the transition
to urban life. Founders include Mrs. Ruth Standish Baldwin
and Dr. George Edmund Haynes, who becomes the league’s
first executive director.

1941 – New Yorkers are treated to a performance of Cafi Society at
Carnegie Hall by a group of jazz artists that includes
Albert “Jug” Ammons, Hazel Scott, and Art Tatum. It also
marks the first performance of Helena (later Lena) Horne,
who sings “Summertime,” among other songs.

1944 – The NAACP Youth Council and Committee for Unity in Motion
Pictures selects its first Motion Picture Award recipients.
Given to honor actors whose roles advance the image of
African Americans in motion pictures, awards go to Rex
Ingram for “Sahara,” Lena Horne for “As Thousands Cheer,”
Leigh Whipper for “The Oxbow Incident” and “Mission to
Moscow,” Hazel Scott for her debut in “Something to Shout
About” and Dooley Wilson for his role as Sam in
“Casablanca,” among others. The awards will be the fore-
runner to the NAACP’s Image Awards.

1948 – Charles Richard Johnson in born in Evanston, Illinois. He
will become an novelist, essayist and screenwriter. He
will begin his career after graduating from the State
University of New York at Stonybrook with a Ph.D. in
philosophy. He will be mentored by W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph
Ellison, Jean Toomer, Richard Wright and John Gardner. He
will be known for his works, “Middle Passage,” “Oxherding
Tale,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and “Being and Race:
Black Writing Since 1970.” He will win the 1990 National
Book Award for “Middle Passage.”

1954 – Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, of the Milwaukee Braves, hits the
first of what will be 755 career home runs, in a game
against the St. Louis Cardinals. The score will be 7-5 in
favor of the Braves.

1955 – U.S. Supreme Court refuses to review a lower court decision
which would ban segregation in intrastate bus travel.

1964 – James Baldwin’s play, “Blues for Mr. Charlie” opens on
Broadway. Starring Al Freeman, Jr., Diana Sands, and
others, the play reveals the plight of African Americans in
the South.

1971 – Columbia University operations are virtually ended for the
year by African American and white students who seize five
buildings on campus.

1971 – William Tubman, president of Liberia, joins the ancestors at
the age of 76. He had been president of Liberia since

1998 – James Earl Ray, who confessed to assassinating the Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and then insisted he was
framed, dies at a Nashville hospital at age 70.

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

April 22 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – April 22 *

1526 – The first recorded slave revolt occurs in a settlement of
some five hundred Spaniards and one hundred slaves, located
on the Pedee River in what is now South Carolina.

1882 – Benjamin Griffith Brawley is born in Columbia, South
Carolina. He will become a prolific author and educator,
serving as a professor of English at Morehouse, Howard,
and Shaw universities. He will also serve as dean of
Morehouse. His books, among them “A Short History of the
American Negro” and “A New Survey of English Literature,”
will be landmark texts recommended at several colleges. He
will join the ancestors in 1939.

1922 – Charles Mingus is born in Nogales, Arizona. Raised in Watts,
California, he will play double bass with Charlie Parker,
Duke Ellington, and Bud Powell before becoming a bandleader
and composer in his own right. Although not as popular as
Miles Davis or Ellington, Mingus, who also will play piano,
will be considered one of the principal forces in modern
jazz. He will join the ancestors in 1979 succumbing to Lou
Gehrig’s disease.

1950 – Charles Hamilton Houston, architect of the NAACP legal
campaign, joins the ancestors in Washington, DC at the age
of 54.

1964 – A Trinity College student occupies the school administration
building to protest campus bias.

1964 – New York police arrest 294 civil rights demonstrators at the
opening of the World Fair.

1970 – Yale University students protest in support of the Black

1981 – The Joint Center for Political Studies reports that 2991
African Americans held elective offices in 45 states and
the District of Columbia, compared with 2621 in April, 1973,
and 1185 in 1969. The Center reports 108 African American
mayors. Michigan had the largest number of African American
elected officials (194), followed by Mississippi (191).

1981 – Brailsford Reese Brazeal, economist and former dean of
Morehouse College, joins the ancestors in Atlanta, Georgia,
at the age of 76.

1989 – Huey Newton, black activist and co-founder of the Black
Panther Party, joins the ancestors, after being killed at
age 47.

2000 – The Rev. R.F. Jenkins, a pastor active in civil-rights
organizations, who led his church for 25 years, joins the
ancestors in Omaha, Nebraska, after suffering a heart attack
at the age of 87. He was the first African American Lutheran
Church Missouri Synod minister in the Nebraska district. He
and his wife, Beatrice, had come to Omaha in 1954 after
serving pastorates in Alabama and North Carolina. He had
also previously served eight years as a faculty member at
Alabama Lutheran College. He had returned to his hometown of
Selma, Alabama, to take part in a civil-rights march in
1965. He served on the Omaha School District board from 1970
to 1976, and retired from the pulpit in 1979.

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