* Today in Black History – May 22 *
1848 – Slavery is abolished on the French island of Martinique.
Abolition will create a shortage of labor in Martinique given
many former slaves preferred not to work in the sugar cane
plantations. To solve the problem, indentured servants will
be brought from China and India.
1863 – The War Department establishes the Bureau of Colored Troops and
launches an aggressive campaign for the recruitment of African
1940 – Bernard Shaw is born in Chicago, Illinois. He will become a
journalist and the principal Washington anchor for Cable News
Network, where he will be widely respected for his coverage of
world summit meetings, the historic student demonstrations in
Beijing, Presidential primaries and elections, and the Gulf
1941 – Paul Winfield is born in Los Angeles, California. He will
become an actor and will star in the movies “Tyson,” “Breathing
Lessons,” “Carbon Copy,” “Cliffhanger,” “Dennis the Menace,”
“Presumed Innocent,” “Sounder,” “The Terminator,” and “Star
Trek 2.” He will join the ancestors on March 7, 2004 after
succumbing to a heart attack.
1948 – Harlem Renaissance poet and author Claude McKay joins the
ancestors in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 58. His novel
“Home to Harlem” (1928) became the first best-seller written
by an American of African descent.
1959 – Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes the first African American major
general in the U.S. Air Force. In doing so, he improves upon
the accomplishment of his father, Davis Sr., who was the first
African American general in the U.S. Army.
1961 – The Attorney General orders two hundred additional U.S. Marshals
to Montgomery, Alabama. This is in addition to the four
hundred U.S. marshals already dispatched to Montgomery to keep
order in the Freedom Rider controversy.
1961 – Ernie K-Doe, Ernest Kador Jr., joins the growing list of “One
Hit Wonders” — recording artists who had only one hit. The
song, “Mother-In-Law”, is Ernie’s one hit — and a number one
tune on the nation’s pop music charts.
1966 – Bill Cosby, star of “I Spy,” receives an Emmy for best actor in
a dramatic series, the first African American in the category.
He will earn more than four Emmys.
1967 – Langston Hughes, noted poet, joins the ancestors in New York
City. He was the author of the poetry collections “The Weary
Blues,” “Not Without Laughter,” “The Way of White Folks,” the
autobiographies “The Big Sea” and “I Wonder as I Wander, and
plays and newspaper series. Hughes’s ashes will be buried at
the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
1970 – Naomi Campbell is born in London, England. She will be
discovered in a shopping mall when she is 15 years old. She
will become a super model and will open a chain of “Fashion
Cafe'” establishments along with models Claudia Schiffer, Elle
MacPherson, and Christy Turlington.
1994 – A worldwide trade embargo against Haiti, led by the United
States, goes into effect to punish Haiti’s military rulers for
not reinstating the country’s ousted elected leader,
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.