October 26 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 26 *

1868 – White terrorists kill several African Americans in St.
Bernard Parish, near New Orleans, Louisiana.

1868 – B.F. Randolph, state senator and chairman of the state
Republican party, is assassinated in broad daylight at
Hodges Depot in Abbeville, South Carolina.

1911 – Mahalia Jackson is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Known
as the “Gospel Queen,” Jackson will become instrumental
in the popularization of gospel music and songs.
Jackson’s traditional gospel audiences transcended
beyond African American churchgoers through her
recordings, radio performances and concert tours in
America and abroad. Her recordings will sell millions of
copies. She will join the ancestors on January 27, 1972.

1919 – Edward William Brooke III is born in Washington, DC.
After serving in World War II and obtaining a law degree
from Boston University, he will be elected attorney
general of the State of Massachusetts and serve a term
of four years before being elected to the United States
Senate as a Republican in 1966, the first African
American Senator elected since Reconstruction. In the
Senate, Brooke will oppose President Nixon’s policies in
Southeast Asia, advocate low-income housing, and oppose
quotas to meet affirmative action goals. Among his
awards will be the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1967.

1921 – Solomon Porter Hood is named minister to Liberia.

1934 – At a New York City conference, representatives of the
NAACP and the American Fund for Public Service plan a
coordinated legal campaign against segregation and
discrimination. Charles H. Houston, Vice-dean of the
Howard University Law School, is named director of the
NAACP legal campaign.

1950 – Walter E. “Chuck” Foreman is born in Frederick, Maryland.
He will become a star running back for the Minnesota
Vikings. He will be NFC Rookie of the Year in 1973 and
NFC Player of the Year in 1974 and 1976. He will also
play in losing efforts in Super Bowls VIII, IX, and XI.

1951 – William Collins is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He will
become a rhythm and blues performer and bandleader known
as “Bootsy” Collins. He will form his first group, the
Pacesetters, in 1968. From 1969 to 1971, the group will
function as James Brown’s backup band and will be dubbed
the JB’s. In 1972, Bootsy will join George Clinton’s
Parliament/Funkadelic. He will launch Bootsy’s Rubber
Band as a spin-off of P-Funk in 1976. He will record
with Warner Brothers from 1976 through 1982. After a
six year hiatus, he will sign with Columbia Records in
1988 and actively record into the 1990s.

1951 – Joe Louis is defeated by Rocky Marciano in the eighth
round in a bout at Madison Square Garden.

1962 – Louise Beavers, who starred in more than 100 films,
including “Imitation of Life”, “The Jackie Robinson
Story”, and “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House”,
joins the ancestors in Los Angeles, California.

1970 – Following 3 1/2 years of forced isolation from boxing,
Muhammad Ali returns to the ring and beats Jerry Quarry
in Atlanta, Georgia.

1976 – Trinidad & Tobago becomes a republic.

1977 – Dr. Clifford R. Wharton Jr. is named chancellor of the
State University of New York.

1980 – Ten African American Roman Catholic bishops issue a
pastoral letter asserting that “the Church must seize
the initiative to ‘share the gift of our blackness with
the Church in the United States.'”

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

October 25 African American Historical Events


* Today in Black History – October 25 *

1806 – Benjamin Banneker joins the ancestors at the age of 74
in Ellicott Mills, Maryland. Banneker was a self-
taught mathematician and builder (at age 21) of the
first striking clock built in the United States. An
amateur astronomer, Banneker’s calculations for solar
and lunar eclipses appeared in 29 editions of his
almanacs, published from 1792 to 1797.

1915 – Attorney James L. Curtis is named minister to Liberia.

1926 – Crisis magazine, led by editor W.E.B. DuBois, awards its
first prizes in literature and art. Among the winners
will be Arna Bontemps’ poem “Nocturne at Bethesda,”
Countee Cullen’s poem “Thoughts in a Zoo,” Aaron
Douglas’ painting “African Chief” and a portrait by
Hale Woodruff.

1940 – The Committee on the Participation of Negroes in the
National Defense Program met with President Roosevelt.

1940 – The National Newspaper Publishers Association is

1940 – The Spingarn Medal is presented to Dr. Louis T. Wright
for his civil rights leadership and his contributions
as a surgeon.

1940 – Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. is promoted to Brigadier
General, the first African American to attain that rank
in the United States Army or any other branch of the
Armed Forces.

1958 – Ten thousand students, led by Jackie Robinson, Harry
Belfonte and A. Phillip Randolph, participate in the
Youth March for integrated schools in Washington, DC.

1958 – Daisy Bates, head of the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP,
and the nine students who integrated Little Rocks’s
Central High School are awarded the Spingarn Medal for
their courage and leadership in the civil rights

1962 – Uganda is admitted as the 110th member of the United

1968 – The city of Chicago officially recognizes Jean Baptiste
Pointe du Sable as its first settler.

1973 – Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian marathoner who won the Olympic
Gold Medal in 1960 and 1964, joins the ancestors at
the age of 46.

1976 – Clarence “Willie” Norris, the last surviving member of
the nine Scottsboro Boys, who were convicted in 1931
of the alleged rape of two white women on a freight
train, is pardoned by Governor George Wallace. Norris
had spent 15 years in prison and had been a fugitive
fleeing parole in Alabama in 1946.

1983 – Mary Francis Berry, professor of history and law at
Howard University, and two other members of the Civil
Rights Commission are fired by President Ronald Reagan.
Considered a champion of minority concerns on the
Commission, Berry will charge the administration with
attempting to “shut up” criticism. She will later sue
and be reinstated.

1983 – The United States and six other Caribbean nations
invade the island nation of Grenada.

1988 – Two units of the Ku Klux Klan and eleven individuals
are ordered to pay $1 million to African Americans who
were attacked during a brotherhood rally in
predominately white Forsythe County, Georgia.

1990 – Evander Holyfield knocks out James “Buster” Douglas in
the third round of their twelve-round fight to become
the undisputed world heavyweight champion.
Holyfield’s record stood at 25-0, with 21 knockouts.

1997 – The Million Woman March, organized by grass root sisters,
led by Sister Phile Chionesu and Sister Asia Coney,
takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event
is attended by 1.3 million attendees (300,000 to 1
million according to Philadelphia officials). The MWM
had been promoted by word of mouth and avoided
traditional media and mainstream groups, such as
sororities and many civil rights groups. Sis. Chionesu
calls the march “a declaration of independence from
ignorance, poverty, enslavement, and all the things
that have happened to us that has helped to bring about
the confusion and disharmony that we experience with
one another.”

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

October 24 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 24 *

1892 – 25,000 African American workers strike in New Orleans,
Louisiana. This is the first major job stoppage in U.S.
labor history by African Americans.

1923 – The U.S. Department of Labor issues a report stating that
approximately 500,000 African Americans had left the South
in the preceding twelve months.

1935 – Langston Hughes’s play “Mulatto” opens on Broadway. It will
have the longest run of any play by an African American
until Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.”

1935 – Italy invades Ethiopia. African Americans hold mass meetings
of protest and raise funds for the Ethiopian defenders.

1936 – The Boston Chronicle blasts the soon-to-be-released movie
“The Big Broadcast” of 1937 for featuring a white pianist
who appears in the movie while Teddy Wilson actually plays
the music: “The form of racial discrimination and
falsification of acts…is frequently duplicated by many
whites in their daily dealings with Negroes…Negro farm
hands and laborers in other fields of industry produce
billions of dollars of wealth, but the white landowners and
sweat shop operators get all the profit.”

1942 – In recognition of the influence of so-called race music,
Billboard magazine creates its first ratings chart devoted
to African American music, The Harlem Hit Parade. The
number-one record is “Take It & Git” by Andy Kirk and His
Twelve Clouds of Joy, featuring Mary Lou Williams on piano.

1948 – Frizzel Gray is born in Baltimore, Maryland. Better known as
Kweisi Mfume, an adopted African name that means “Conquering
Son of Kings,” he will be elected a congressman from
Maryland’s 7th District in 1986. He will later leave the
Congress to become the head of the NAACP.

1964 – Kenneth David Kuanda becomes President of Zambia as Zambia
(Northern Rhodesia) gains independence from Great Britain.

1972 – Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson joins the ancestors at the
age of 53 in Stamford, Connecticut.

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

October 23 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 23 *

1775 – The Continental Congress approves resolution prohibiting
the enlistment of African Americans in the Army.

1783 – Virginia emancipates slaves who fought for independence
during the Revolutionary War.

1790 – A major slave revolt occurs in Haiti, which is later

1847 – William Leidesdorff brings his ship Sitka from Sitka,
Alaska, to San Francisco, California. Earlier in the
year, the Danish West Indies Native had launched the
first steamboat ever to sail in San Francisco Bay. The
ventures were one of many activities for Leidesdorff,
which included appointment as United States vice-counsel
for property acquisition in San Francisco.

1886 – Wiley Jones operates the first streetcar system in Pine
Bluff, Arkansas.

1911 – Three organizations, The Committee for Improving the
Industrial Conditions of Negroes in New York, The
Committee on Urban Conditions and The National League
for the Protection of Colored Women merge, under the
leadership of Dr. George E. Hayne and Eugene Kinckle
Jones, to form the National Urban League. Eugene
Kinckle Jones is named executive secretary.

1940 – Edson Arantes do Nascimento is born in a small village
in Brasil called Três Corações in the Brasilian state
of Minas Gerais. He will become a soccer player and at
the age of sixteen will join the Brasilian National
team. He will be known world-wide as Pele’, seen as
the greatest player in history of soccer. After
retiring from his team, the Santos, he will be
recruited to play for the New York Cosmos in 1971,
playing an additional three years. He will score
1,281 goals in his career.

1945 – Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers signs Jackie
Robinson to the club’s Triple A farm team, the Montreal
Royals. In a little under 18 months, Robinson will be
called up to the majors, the first African American to
play major league baseball in the twentieth century.

1947 – The NAACP petition on racism and racial injustice, “An
Appeal to the World,” is presented to the United
Nations at Lake Success, New York.

1951 – The NAACP pickets the Stork Club in support of Josephine
Baker, who had been refused admission to the club a
week earlier. After a city-convened special committee
calls Baker’s charges unfounded, Thurgood Marshall will
call the findings a “complete and shameless whitewash
of the long-established and well-known discriminatory
policies of the Stork Club.”

1966 – “Supremes” Album Tops U.S. Charts. The record “Supremes
A Go Go” becomes the top-selling LP album in the U.S.
It is the first album by an all-female group to reach
that position. One of the most successful groups of
its kind, the Supremes, fronted by Diana Ross, will
have seven albums reach the top 10 during the 1960s.

1968 – Kip Keino of Kenya wins an Olympic Gold Medal for the
1,500 meter run (3 min 34.9 sec).

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

October 22 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 22 *

1854 – James Bland is born in Flushing, New York. He will
write over 700 songs including “Oh, Dem Golden
Slippers” and “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.” The
latter song will be selected in 1940 as the state
song of Virginia, the state’s legislators little
knowing the identity and race of its composer.
Virginia will decide to change their state song in
the late 1990s due to protest from civil rights
activists who say that the song glorifies slavery and
is inappropriate. He will join the ancestors on May
5, 1911 after succumbing to tuberculosis.

1906 – Three thousand African Americans demonstrated and
rioted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to protest a
theatrical presentation of Thomas Dixon’s “The

1936 – Bobby Seal is born in Dallas, Texas. He will become a
Black political activist and co-founder, with Huey
Newton, of the Black Panther Party.

1950 – Charles Cooper and Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton become two
of the first three African Americans to play in an
NBA game. Cooper had been drafted by the Boston
Celtics on April 25, 1950, becoming the first African
American ever drafted by a NBA team.

1952 – Frank E. Peterson, Jr. is commissioned as the first
African American marine aviation officer.

1963 – 225,000 students boycott Chicago public schools in a
Freedom Day protest against de facto segregation.

1986 – In an interview with the Washington Post, Spike Lee
says, “Movies are the most powerful medium in the world
and we just can’t sit back and let other people define
our existence, especially when they’re putting lies out
there on the screens.”

1990 – President Bush vetos major civil rights legislation,
arguing that the measure would force employers to adopt
hiring quotas. The veto is later upheld.

1991 – Thirty African American delegates conclude a three-day
visit to the Republic of South Africa at the invitation
of the African National Congress. While there,
TransAfrica’s Randall Robinson charges President Bush
with failing to exert his influence to end Black
township strife and Congresswoman Maxine Waters vows
to press United States’ cities and states to maintain
sanctions against the republic.

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

October 21 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 21 *

1832 – Maria W. Stewart, an African American women’s rights and
abolitionist speaker, says in her farewell address
“…for it’s not the color of the skin that makes the
man or woman, but the principle formed in the soul.”

1865 – Jamaican National Hero, George William Gordon, is
unfairly arrested and charged for complicity in what is
now called the Morant Bay Rebellion. George William
Gordon was a free colored land owner. Born to a slave
mother and a planter father, who was attorney to several
sugar estates in Jamaica, he was self-educated and
became a landowner in St. Thomas. Gordon had urged the
people to protest against and to resist the oppressive
and unjust conditions under which they were forced to
live. He is illegally tried by court martial and, in
spite of a lack of evidence, convicted and sentenced to

1872 – John H. Conyers, Sr. becomes the first African American
admitted to the United States Naval Academy.

1917 – John Birks (“Dizzy”) Gillespie is born in Cheraw, South
Carolina. He will, with Charlie Parker and Theolonious
Monk, be the founder of the revolutionary bebop movement
in the very early 1940’s. His music accomplishments
will include formation of the Dee Gee and Verve labels.
He will perform in clubs and concert halls in Harlem,
Canada and Europe. His music will earn him a Grammy
Award in 1974 and 1980. He will join the ancestors on
January 6, 1993 in Englewood, New Jersey.

1950 – Ronald E. McNair is born in Lake City, South Carolina.
He will become an astronaut and the first African
American astronaut to perish during a mission (Challenger
– STS 41B, 51L disaster).

1950 – Earl Lloyd, becomes the first African American person to
play in an NBA game (beating out Charles Cooper and Nat
Clifton by one day). He will later become the first
African American NBA Assistant Coach and first African
American NBA chief scout.

1969 – A bloodless coup occurs in Somalia (National Day).

1977 – The United States recalls William Bowdler, ambassador to
South Africa, due to the country’s apartheid policies.

1979 – The Black Fashion Museum is opened in Harlem by Lois
Alexander to highlight the achievements and
contributions of African Americans to fashion.

1980 – Valerie Thomas invents the illusion transmitter.

1989 – Bertram M. Lee and Peter C.B. Bynoe sign an agreement to
purchase the National Basketball Association’s Denver
Nuggets for $54 million. They become the first African
American owners of a professional basketball team.

1999 – Gaston T. Neal, a community activist and influential
performance poet, who was best known for his work in the
genre of the Black power movement and social change,
joins the ancestors after a bout with lymphatic cancer,
at his home in Washington, DC.

2003 – Fred Berry, actor, joins the ancestors at the age of 52
after succumbing to a stroke. He played the character
“Rerun” on the TV sitcom “What’s Happening!!”

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

October 20 African American Historical Events


* Today in Black History – October 20 *

1895 – Rex Ingram is born near Cairo, Illinois. He will attend
medical school and earn a Phi Beta Kappa key but forsake
medicine for the stage, becoming a powerful actor on the
stage and screen, most notably as “De Lawd” in the 1936
film “The Green Pastures.” He will also appear in
“Cabin in the Sky” and “Anna Lucasta.”

1898 – North Carolina Mutual Life and Provident Association is
organized by seven African Americans: John Merrick, Dr.
Aaron M. Moore, P.W. Dawkins, D.T. Watson, W.G. Pearson,
E.A. Johnson, and James E. Shepard. Each invests $50 in
the company, which will grow to become North Carolina
Mutual Life Insurance Company and have over $211 million
in assets and over $8 billion of insurance in force by

1924 – The “First Colored World Series” of baseball is held in
Kansas City, Missouri. The series, which pits the Kansas
City Monarchs against the Hillsdale team from Darby,
Pennsylvania, is won by the Monarchs, five games to four,
and was organized by Rube Foster.

1932 – Roosevelt Brown is born in Charlottesville, Virginia. He
will become a football star at Morgan State College in
Baltimore, Maryland, and will be drafted in the 27th
round by the New York Giants in 1953. Over his career
he will be All-NFL for eight straight years (1956-1963),
play in nine Pro Bowl games, and named NFL’s Lineman of
Year (1956). He will play for the Giants for 13 seasons
and will be elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1975.

1942 – Sixty leading southern African Americans issued the
“Durham Manifesto”, calling for fundamental changes in
race relations after a Durham, North Carolina, meeting.

1952 – The Mau Mau uprising against British rule in Kenya begins,
with attacks against both British settlers and Africans
who refused to join the rebellion. Although British rule
is widely resented in Kenya, the Mau Mau fighters are
mostly members of the Kikuyu ethnic group, whose land had
been taken over by British settlers. The British will
respond harshly to the rebellion, killing nearly 11,000
rebels and confining 80,000 Kikuyus in detention camps.
Although it will be a military failure, the Mau Mau
rebellion will bring international attention to the
Africans’ grievances, and contribute to Kenya’s
independence in 1963.

1953 – Jomo Kenyatta and five other Mau Mau leaders are refused
an appeal of their prison terms in British East Africa
(Kenya). Members of the Mau Mau guerilla troops all took
an oath to commit themselves to expelling all white
settlers in Kenya and to eliminate the Africans who
cooperated with or benefited from colonial rule.

1963 – Jim Brown, of the Cleveland Browns, sets the then NFL
all-time rushing record, 8,390 yds.

1963 – South Africa begins the trial of Nelson Mandela & eight
others on charges of conspiracy.

1967 – An all-white federal jury in Meridian, Mississippi
convicts 7 white men in the murder of 3 civil rights
workers. They are convicted of civil rights’ violations.

1968 – Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, joins the ancestors at
the age of 84. His church services were broadcast weekly,
first on radio, then on television. The theme song of his
broadcasts was “Happy am I, I’m always happy!”

1976 – New York Nets’ (ABA), Julius “Dr. J” Erving is traded to
the Philadelphia 76ers. This will be the beginning of his
All-Star career in the NBA.

1989 – The Senate convicts U.S. District Judge Alcee L. Hastings
of perjury and conspiracy and removes him from office. The
conviction will be overturned and Hastings is later
elected to the House of Representatives.

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

October 19 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 19 *

1859 – Byrd Prillerman is born a slave in Shady Grove,
Franklin County, Virginia. He will become an
educator, reformer, religious worker, political
figure, and lawyer. He will be best known as the co-
founder of the West Virginia Colored Institute in
1891. The school will be changed to the West
Virginia Collegiate Institute in 1915. The school,
under Prillerman’s leadership, will become the first
state school for African Americans to reach the rank
of an accredited college whose work is accepted by
the universities of the North. The school will
eventually become West Virginia State College, then
West Virginia State University. He will join the
ancestors on April 25, 1929.

1870 – The first African Americans are elected to the House
of Representatives. African American Republicans
won three of the four congressional seats in South
Carolina: Joseph H. Rainey, Robert C. DeLarge and
Robert B. Elliott. Rainey was elected to an un-
expired term in the Forty-first Congress and was the
first African American seated in the House.

1920 – Alberta Peal is born in Cleveland, Ohio. She will
become a television and movie actress better known as
LaWanda Page and will star in “Mausoleum,” “Women Tell
the Dirtiest Jokes,” “Shakes the Clown,” and “Don’t Be
a Menace.” She will be best known for her role as Aunt
Esther in the long-running television series, “Sanford
and Sons.” She will join the ancestors on September 14,

1924 – “From Dixie to Broadway” premieres at the Broadhurst
Theatre in New York City. The music is written by
Will Vodery, an African American, who arranged music
for the Ziegfeld Follies for 23 years.

1936 – Johnnetta Betsch (later Cole) is born in Jacksonville,
Florida. She will have a distinguished career as an
educator and administrator and will become the first
African American woman to head Spelman College.

1944 – Winston Hubert McIntosh is born in Westmoreland, Jamaica.
He will become a founding father of reggae music and be
part of the song writing magic of the Wailers, Bob
Marley’s group. He will be better known as Peter Tosh.
He will join the ancestors in September 11, 1987 after
being shot during a robbery attempt.

1944 – The Navy announces that African American women would be
allowed to become WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer
Emergency Service).

1946 – The first exhibition of the work of Josef Nassy, an
American citizen of Dutch-African descent, is held in
Brussels. The exhibit consists of 90 paintings and
drawings Nassy created while in a Nazi-controlled
internment camp during World War II.

1960 – Jennifer-Yvette Holiday is born in Riverside, Texas.
She will become a singer and actress and will have her
first big break as a star in the Broadway production
of “Dream Girls” in 1981. She will later become a
successful recording artist. She will be best known for
her debut single, the Dreamgirls showstopper and Grammy
Award-winning Rhythm & Blues/Pop hit, “And I Am Telling
You I’m Not Going.”

1960 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested in an Atlanta,
Georgia sit-in demonstration.

1962 – Evander Holyfield is born in Atmore, Alabama. He will
become a professional boxer. Over the course of his
career, he will become IBF Heavyweight Champion, WBA
Heavyweight Champion, three time World Champion, and
Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion.

1981 – The Martin Luther King, Jr. Library and Archives opens
in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded by Coretta Scott King,
the facility, is the largest repository in the world
of primary resource material on Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., nine major civil rights organizations, and
the American civil rights movement.

1983 – Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop joins the
ancestors after being assassinated after refusing to
share leadership of the New Jewel Movement with his
deputy, Bernard Coard. This event will indirectly
lead to the invasion of Grenada by the United States
and six Caribbean nations.

1983 – The U.S. Senate approves the establishment of the
Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday on the third
Monday in January.

1988 – South African anti-apartheid leader, Walter Sisulu wins
a $100,000 Human Rights prize.

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

October 18 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 18 *

1910 – Felix Houphouet-Boigny is born in the Ivory Coast when it
was part of French colonial West Africa. In 1960, after
the Ivory Coast (Cote’ d’Ivoire) gains independence from
France, he will become President, and hold that office
until he joins the ancestors in 1993.

1926 – Charles Edward Berry is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He
will become one of the foremost legends in rock and roll
and known as “Chuck” Berry. In the early Fifties, Berry
will lead a popular blues trio by night and work as a
beautician by day. After befriending Muddy Waters, he
will be introduced to Leonard Chess of Chess Records, who
signs him to a recording contract. Chuck Berry will also
be successful in crossing over to the largely white pop
market. His hits will include “Maybellene,” “Rock and
Roll Music,” “School Days,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet
Little Sixteen,” “No Particular Place to Go,” “You Never
Can Tell,” “Promised Land,” and “My Ding-a-Ling.” He
will inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in

1942 – Willie Horton is born. He will become a professional
baseball player with the Detroit Tigers, known for his
power hitting ability.

1945 – Paul Robeson, actor, singer, athlete and activist,
receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.

1953 – Willie Thrower becomes the first African American NFL
quarterback in modern times.

1961 – Wynton Marsalis is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. A
jazz trumpeter from the famous Marsalis family, which
includes father Ellis and brothers Branford and Delfayo,
he will at 19, become a member of Art Blakely’s Jazz
Messengers and in 1984 be the first musician to win
Grammys for jazz and classical music recordings

1968 – Bob Beamon of the United States, wins an Olympic gold
medal in the Mexico City Summer Games. His long jump of
29′-2.5″ betters the world record by over 21″.

1968 – United States Olympic Committee suspends Tommie Smith &
John Carlos for giving a “black power” salute as a
protest during a victory ceremony in Mexico City on
October 16.

1973 – “Raisin”, a musical adaptation of the Lorraine Hansberry
play, “A Raisin in the Sun”, opens on Broadway. It
marks the debut of Debbie Allen in the role of Beneatha
Younger and will act as the catalyst for her further
success in television and choreography.

1974 – The Chicago Bull’s Nate Thurmond, becomes first player
in the NBA to complete a quadruple double – 22 pts, 14
rebounds, 13 assists & 12 blocks.

1977 – Reggie Jackson hits 3 consecutive home runs, tying Babe
Ruth’s World Series record. The Yankees beat the Los
Angeles Dodgers 8-4 for 21st world championship, the
first in 15 years.

1990 – Filmmaker Charles Burnett’s 1977 movie “Killer of Sheep”
is declared a “national treasure” by the Library of
Congress. It is among the first 50 films placed in the
National Film Registry because of its significance.
Burnett’s film joins other significant films such as
“All About Eve”, “The Godfather”, and “Top Hat.”

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

October 17 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 17 *

1711 – Jupiter Hammon is born a slave on Long Island, New York. He
will become a poet and the first published Black writer in
America, a poem appearing in print in 1760. He will be
considered one of the founders of African American
literature. He will be a slave his entire life, owned by
several generations of the Lloyd family on Long Island.
However, he will be allowed to attend school, and unlike
many slaves, will be able to read and write. In 1786,
He will give his “Address to the Negroes of the State of
New York” before the African Society. He will write the
the speech at age seventy-six after a lifetime of slavery,
and it will contain his famous quote, “If we should ever
get to Heaven, we shall find nobody to reproach us for
being Black, or for being slaves.” The speech draws
heavily on Christian motifs and theology. For example, He
will say that Black people should maintain their high
moral standards precisely because being slaves on Earth
had already secured their place in heaven. His speech
also will promote the idea of a gradual emancipation as a
way of ending slavery. It will be thought that he stated
this plan because he knew that slavery was so entrenched
in American society that an immediate emancipation of all
slaves would be more difficult to achieve. The speech will
be later reprinted by several groups opposed to slavery.
It is widely believed that he joined the ancestors in

1787 – Boston African Americans, led by Prince Hall, submit to
the State Legislature in Boston, Massachusetts, a
petition asking for equal educational rights and
facilities. The petition is not granted.

1806 – Jean Jacques Dessalines, revolutionist and Emperor of
Haiti, joins the ancestors as a result of an

1817 – Samuel Ringgold Ward is born on the Eastern Shore of
Maryland. He will be considered one of the finest
abolitionist orators. He will work for the Anti-Slavery
Society of Canada and will travel to Britain to further
the society’s work. His fundraising success in Britain
will provide the society to finance their support of
escaped slaves from the United States. After publishing
a book that will chronicle his anti-slavery achievements,
he will be able to retire to Jamaica, where he will join
the ancestors in 1866.

1871 – President Grant suspends the writ of habeas corpus and
declares martial law in nine South Carolina counties
affected by Ku Klux Klan disturbances.

1888 – The first African American bank, Capital Savings Bank of
Washington, DC, opens for business.

1894 – Ohio National Guard kills 3 members of a lynch mob while
rescuing an African American man.

1909 – William R. Cole is born in East Orange, New Jersey. He
will become a jazz drummer best known as “Cozy Cole.”
He will begin to play professionally as a teenager and
will make his first recording at age 20 with Jelly Roll
Morton’s Red Hot Peppers. Cozy Cole will join Cab
Calloway’s band in 1939 and will join CBS radio in 1943
to play in Raymond Scott’s Orchestra, becoming one of
the first African American musicians on a network
musical staff. In 1958, Cole will make a solo hit
record, “Topsy,” that sells more than a million copies.
He will join the ancestors on January 9, 1981.

1928 – James William “Junior” Gilliam is born in Nashville,
Tennessee. He will become a professional baseball player
for the Brooklyn Dodgers and will be the National League
Rookie of the Year in 1953. a key member of ten NL
championship teams from 1953 to 1978. The Dodgers’
leadoff hitter for most of the 1950s, he will score over
100 runs in each of his first four seasons and lead the
National League in triples and walks once each. He will
be the first switch hitter since the 19th century to
play regularly for the Dodgers for more than three years,
and will later became one of the first Black coaches in
the major leagues. He will join the ancestors on October
8, 1978 in Inglewood, California after succumbing to a
cerebral hemorrhage.

1956 – Mae C. Jemison is born in Decatur, Alabama. She will
grow up in Chicago, become a physician, serve in the
Peace Corps in Africa, and practice medicine in Los
Angeles, before being selected for the astronaut
training program in 1987.

1969 – Dr. Clifton R. Wharton Jr., is elected president of
Michigan State University and becomes the first African
American to head a major, predominantly white university
in the twentieth century.

1985 – Legendary jazz and blues singer Alberta Hunter joins the
ancestors in New York City. She achieved fame in
Chicago jazz clubs in the 1920’s, toured Europe in the
1930’s and, after over 20 years of anonymity as a nurse,
returned to performing in 1977.

1990 – Dr. Ralph Abernathy, civil rights leader, joins the

1991 – The 100th episode of “A Different World” airs on NBC.
The acclaimed show, a spin-off of “The Cosby Show” that
stars Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, and an ensemble of
young African American actors, is directed by Debbie

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