* Today in Black History – April 28 *
1898 – Sir Grantley H. Adams is born in Colliston Government Hill,
St. Michael Parish, Barbados. He will become an attorney and
political leader and will found the Barbados Progressive
League. The league will later become the Barbados Labour
Party on March 31, 1938. The Governor-General, in 1954,
will appoint him, the First Premier of Barbados, heading a
full ministerial government. In recognition of his
meritorious contribution to Barbados and the wider
Caribbean region, Her Majesty, the Queen of England, will
knight him in 1957. He will surrender his Premiership of
Barbados to assume the position of the first (and only)
Premier of the West Indies Federation from 1958-1962. The
federation will dissolve in 1962. In 1966, he will become
the first Leader of the Opposition in a newly independent
Barbados after being re-elected to the House of Assembly.
He will retire from politics in 1970 and will join the
ancestors. on November 28, 1971.
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 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, 1964. He will become president of Zambia from its day
of independence until November 2, 1991.
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
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.