Today in Black History – December 22 *
1873 – Abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond joins the ancestors.
He was the first African American lecturer employed by
the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.
1883 – Arthur Wergs Mitchell is born near Lafayette, Alabama.
He will become the first African American Democrat
elected to Congress, representing Illinois for four
terms. In 1937, after being forced from first-class
train accommodations in Arkansas to ride in a shabby
Jim Crow car, Mitchell will sue the railroad and
eventually argue unsuccessfully before the Supreme Court
that interstate trains be exempt from Arkansas’
“separate but equal” laws. He will join the ancestors
on May 9, 1968.
1898 – Chancellor Williams is born in Bennettsville, South
Carolina. He will become a historian and author of
“Destruction of Black Civilization.” He will join the
ancestors on December 7, 1992.
1905 – James A. Porter is born in Baltimore, Maryland. An
artist, chairperson of the department of art at Howard
University and one of the earliest scholars of African
American art, Porter will exhibit his works widely in the
United States, Europe, and Africa. He will join the
ancestors on February 28, 1970.
1939 – Jerry Pinckney is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He
will become an award-winning illustrator of children’s
books and numerous U.S. postage stamps featuring notable
1943 – W.E.B. Du Bois is elected as the first African American
member of the National Institute of Arts & Letters.
1980 – Samuel R. Pierce, Jr., a New York City lawyer and former
judge, is named to President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet as
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
1984 – Four African American youths on a New York City subway
train, are shot by Bernhard Goetz. The white man shoots
because he thought they were going to rob him. He claims
he was seconds from becoming a mugging victim when he
opened fire, and will be acquitted of attempted murder in
1987 but will serve 8 months on a weapons charge. In
1996, he will lose a civil case brought against him by
one of the youths that he shot and paralyzed. The civil
judgment brought against him will be $ 43 million.
1988 – South Africa signs an accord granting independence to South
1989 – The art exhibit “Afro-American Artists in Paris: 1919-1939”
closes at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery on the
Hunter College campus in New York City. The exhibit of
eight artists including William Harper, Lois Mailou Jones,
Archibald Motley, Jr., Henry O. Tanner, and Hale Woodruff,
among others, powerfully illustrates the results achieved
by African American artists when they were able to leave
the confines and restrictions imposed upon them by race in
the United States.
1996 – Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs 80 yards
for a touchdown in the first half of an 18-14 loss to the
Carolina Panthers, the longest scoring run by a quarterback
in NFL history.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.