May Releases


Book Fair in Baltimore


download.php On May 10 you will find me at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum for their second annual African American Children’s Book Fair . If you’re in the area, please stop by and bring the kids in your life to meet two dozen outstanding authors, illustrators, and storytellers that are scheduled to appear:
R. Gregory ChristieCorine HymanCrystal Marable
Bryan CollierDr. Mubina H. KirmaniDr. Tiffany Owens
Pat CummingsSteven Sellers LaphamCalvin Ramsey
Tara DoatyLondon LaddLaMarr Darnell Shield
Zetta ElliotChuku LeeJavaka Steptoe
Jan Spivey GilchristLori Nelson LeeShadra Strickland
Wade HudsonEB LewisRenee Watson
Cheryl Willis HudsonKelly Starling LyonsCharlotte Riley Webb

I hoped to have my five new books available for sale, but it’s crunch time and that’s looking less and less likely. Fingers crossed I’ll at least have copies of Max Loves Munecas to share with younger readers in…

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May 3 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 3 *

1845 – Macon B. Allen becomes the first African American formally
admitted to the bar in Massachusetts when he passes the
examination in Worcester. The previous year, he was
admitted to the bar in Maine, making him the first
licensed African American attorney in the United States.

1902 – African American jockey Jimmy Winkfield wins his second
Kentucky Derby in a row astride Alan-a-Dale. With
Winkfield’s wins, African American jockeys have won 15 of
28 Derby races.

1921 – Walker Smith, Jr. is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will
begin his career as a boxer by using the amateur
certificate of another boxer, Ray Robinson, which enables
him to enter contests at a young age. After winning the
welterweight Golden Glove titles in 1939 and 1940, he will
turn professional. He will continue to box under that name
as a professional and will be known as Sugar Ray Robinson.
He will be a world welterweight champion and five-time
middleweight champion, with a 175-19-6 record and 109
knockouts from 1940-65. He will win his last middleweight
title at the age of 38. He will join the ancestors on
April 12, 1989. He will be voted the Associated Press
Fighter of the Century in December, 1999.

1933 – James Brown is born in Barnwell, South Carolina. The only
child of a poor backwoods family, he will be sent, to
Augusta, Georgia at age five, to live at an aunt’s brothel.
He will evolve from a juvenile delinquent to become one of
the most influential Rhythm & Blues singers, with a career
that will span more than five decades and include the hits
“I Got You,” “Cold Sweat,” “Living in America,” “Prisoner
of Love,” “Sing It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.”
Incarcerated in 1988 for aggravated assault, Brown will be
released in 1991 and return to the recording scene, where
he will continue to influence a new generation of artists
including M.C. Hammer, Prince, and many others. He will be
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23,
1986 and on February 25, 1992, will receive a Lifetime
Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards. He will
join the ancestors on December 25, 2006.

1948 – In Shelley v. Kraemer, the Supreme Court rules that courts
cannot enforce segregational housing covenants, which bar
persons from owning or occupying property because of their

1967 – African American students seize the finance building at
Northwestern University and demand that African American
oriented curriculum and campus reforms be implemented.

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

May 2 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 2 *

1844 – Elijah McCoy is born in Colchester, Ontario, Canada. He
will become a master inventor and holder of over 50
patents. He will be the inventor of a device that allows
machines to be lubricated while they are still in
operation. Machinery buyers insisted on McCoy lubrication
systems when buying new machines and will take nothing
less than what becomes known as the “real McCoy.” The
inventor’s automatic oiling devices will become so
universal that no heavy-duty machinery will be considered
adequate without it, and the expression becomes part of
America culture. He will join the ancestors on October 10,

1920 – The first game of the National Negro Baseball League (NNL)
is played in Indianapolis, Indiana. The NNL was formed
earlier in the year by Andrew “Rube” Foster and a group of
African American baseball club owners to combat prejudice
and further enjoyment of the game.

1968 – The Poor People’s March, led by Ralph D. Abernathy, begins
as caravans from all over the country leave for Washington,
DC., to protest poverty and racial discrimination.

1990 – The government of South Africa and the African National
Congress open their first formal talks aimed at paving the
way for more substantive negotiations on dismantling

1992 – Los Angeles begins a massive cleanup and rebuilding effort
after three days of widespread civil unrest. The April 29
acquittal of four police officers in the 1991 beating of
motorist Rodney G. King fueled perceptions of unequal
justice for African Americans and sparked multiracial
violence that resulted in unprecedented figures of 58
deaths, over 2,000 injuries, over 600 fires, $1 billion in
property damage and spread to San Francisco, Las Vegas,
Seattle, Atlanta, Madison (Wisconsin), and Toronto.

1994 – Nelson Mandela claims victory in the wake of South Africa’s
first democratic elections. President F.W. de Klerk
acknowledges defeat.

1999 – Reverend Jesse Jackson, who leads a group of religious
leaders to the country of Serbia, obtains the release of
three American Army prisoners of war, Staff Sgt. Andrew A.
Ramirez, 24, of Los Angeles;Spc. Steven M. Gonzales, 21, of
Huntsville, Texas; and Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Stone, 25,
of Smiths Creek, Mich. at 4:45 EST.

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

Happy Birthday Sterling A. Brown!

On this day, in 1901, Sterling Allen Brown was born.  He became a poet, literary critic, editor and more.  I curated some resources about Brown on my April 9 Poet of the Day post.  For more information about him, check out that post.

May 1 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 1 *

1863 – The Confederate congress passes a resolution which brands
African American troops and their officers criminals. The
resolution, in effect, dooms captured African American
soldiers to death or slavery.

1866 – White Democrats and police attack freedmen and their white
allies in Memphis, Tennessee. Forty-six African Americans
and two white liberals are killed. More than seventy are
wounded. Ninety homes, twelve schools and four churches
are burned.

1867 – Reconstruction of the South begins with the registering of
African American and white voters in the South. Gen.
Philip H. Sheridan orders the registration to begin in
Louisiana on May 1 and to continue until June 30.
Registration will begin in Arkansas in May. Other states
follow in June and July. By the end of October, 1,363,000
citizens had registered in the South, including 700,000
African Americans. African American voters constitute a
majority in five states: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana,
Mississippi and South Carolina.

1884 – Moses Fleetwood Walker becomes the first African American
in the Major Leagues when he plays for the Toledo Blue
Stockings in the American Association. A catcher, he goes
0-for-3 in his debut, allowing 2 passed balls and
committing 4 errors, as his team bows to Louisville 5-1. He
will do better in 41 subsequent games before injuries force
Toledo to release him in late September. In July he will be
joined by his brother Welday, an outfielder. Racial bigotry
will prevent his return to major league ball. No other
African American player will appear in a major league
uniform until Jackie Robinson in 1947.

1901 – Sterling Allen Brown is born on the campus of Howard University
in Washington, DC. He will become a poet, literary critic,
editor of “The Negro in American Fiction” and “Negro Poetry
and Drama,” and the co-editor of the anthology, “The Negro
Caravan.” He will begin his teaching career with positions at
several universities, including Lincoln University and Fisk
University, before returning to Howard University in 1929. He
will be a professor there for forty years. His poetry will
use the south for its setting and show slave experiences of
the African American people. He will often imitate southern
African American speech using “variant spellings and
apostrophes to mark dropped consonants.” He will teach and
write about African American literature and folklore. He will
be a pioneer in the appreciation of this genre. He will have
an “active, imaginative mind” when writing and “have a natural
gift for dialogue, description and narration.” He will be
known for introducing his students to concepts popular in
jazz, which along with blues, spirituals and other forms of
black music will form an integral component of his poetry. In
addition to his career at Howard University, he will serve as
a visiting professor at Vassar College, New York University,
Atlanta University, and Yale University. Some of his notable
students will include Toni Morrison, Kwame Ture (Stokely
Carmichael), Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sowell, Ossie Davis, and
Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones). He will retire from his
faculty position at Howard in 1969 and devote full-time to
poetry. He will join the ancestors on January 13, 1989.

1941 – A. Philip Randolph issues a call for 100,000 African
Americans to march on Washington, DC, to protest armed
forces and defense industry discrimination. In response,
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who attempted to persuade
Randolph and others to cancel the demonstration, will issue
Executive Order 8802, to ban federal discrimination, before
Randolph finally yields.

1946 – Mrs. Emma Clarissa Clement is named “American Mother of the
Year” by the Golden Rule Foundation.

1948 – Glenn H. Taylor, U.S. Senator from Idaho and Vice-
presidential candidate of the Progressive party, is
arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, for trying to enter a
meeting through a door marked “for Negroes.”

1950 – Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American to win a
Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry “Annie Allen.”

1975 – A commemorative stamp of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar is issued
by the U.S. Postal Service as part of its American Arts

1981 – Dr. Clarence A. Bacote, historian and political scientist,
joins the ancestors in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 75.

1990 – Robert Guillaume, former star of the Benson TV series,
premieres in the title role in “Phantom of the Opera” at
the Music Center in Los Angeles. Guillaume continues the
role that had been played to critical acclaim by the
English star, Michael Crawford.

1991 – Rickey Henderson steals his 939th base in the Oakland A’s
game against the New York Yankees, breaking Lou Brock’s
major league record.

1995 – Charges that Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X,
had plotted to murder Nation of Islam leader Louis
Farrakhan are dropped as jury selection for her trial is
about to begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1998 – Eldridge Cleaver, the fiery Black Panther leader who later
renounced his past and became a Republican, joins the
ancestors in Pomona, California, at age 62.

1998 – Former Rwandan Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, pleads guilty
to charges stemming from the 1994 genocide of more than
500,000 Tutsis.

2000 – Bobby Eggleston is sworn in as the new sheriff of Drew
County, Arkansas. He becomes the first African American
sheriff in Arkansas since Reconstruction.

2011 – “Obama Gets Osama”. President Barack Obama authorizes a
military special operations to capture the founder and
leader of terrorist organization al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden.
This operation resulted in his death and the removal of
his body from his sanctuary in Pakistan.

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