* Today in Black History – June 1 *
1835 – The Fifth National Negro Convention recommends that Blacks
remove the word “African” from the titles of their
organizations and discontinue referring to themselves as
1843 – Sojourner Truth leaves New York and begins her career as an
1868 – The Texas constitutional convention convenes in Austin with
eighty-one whites and nine African Americans in attendance.
1868 – The Florida General Assembly meets in Tallahassee with
fifty-seven whites and nineteen African Americans in
1868 – Solomon George Washington Dill, white ally of African
American Republicans, is assassinated in his home by white
terrorists. Dill had allegedly made “incendiary speeches”
to South Carolina African Americans.
1921 – A major race riot occurs in the Greenwood section of Tulsa,
Oklahoma. Twenty-one whites and sixty African Americans
will be killed according to some sources. The destruction
caused in the area referred to as “Black Wall Street,”
prompts the first American Red Cross response to a man-
made disaster. The Red Cross will report that 1115 houses
and businesses belonging to African Americans were burned
down, and another 314 were looted. Their statistics will
also show that 300 persons were killed, a much higher
figure than chronicled by other historical sources. For
more information about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, go to
1921 – Paul Raymond Jones is born in Bessemer, Alabama. He will
become a major collector of African American art. During the
early 1960’s, he will decide to purchase his first three
paintings forming the beginning of his collection. They were
by artists, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, and Chagall. After
collecting for a couple of years, he will realize that African
American art was “abundant and affordable” yet hardly ever
represented in the collections of museums. As the years pass,
his collection of African American art and his reputation will
grow. His collection will be featured at several different
museums over the course of his lifetime. Currently, the Paul R.
Jones Collection resides at the University of Delaware where it
is a tool to educate and foster enjoyment. The University of
Alabama will also establish an art collection in his name after
receiving some 1,700 pieces valued at $5 million in 2008. He
will join the ancestors on January 26, 2010.
1935 – Frederick Eikerenkoetter is born in Ridgeland, South
Carolina. He will receive a B.A. in Theology from the
American Bible College in Chicago, Illinois in 1955 and
become a minister better known as “Reverend Ike.” He will
be the first African American minister with a television
show and will report a following of close to 7,000,000 by
1982. His ministry will reach its peak in the mid 1970s, when
his weekly radio sermons will be carried by hundreds of stations
across the United States. He will be famous for his Blessing
Plan–radio listeners will send him money and in return he
will bless them. He will say doing this would make radio
listeners who did it more prosperous. In the 1990s, he will be
active on the Internet and in a syndicated television programs.
He will join the ancestors on July 28, 2009.
1937 – Morgan Freeman is born in Memphis, Tennessee. Making his
acting debut in an all African American cast of “Hello
Dolly” in 1968, Freeman will also have a major role in the
television program “The Electric Company” before breaking
into movies. He will receive an Academy Award nomination
for his role in “Street Smart,” and star in “Clean and
Sober” and Lean on Me.” He will be nominated again for a
supporting role in “Glory” and for his starring role in
“Driving Miss Daisy.” He will make his directing debut in
1993 with the film, “Bopha,” a drama set in South Africa
under the policy of apartheid.
1941 – The first African American tank battalion, the 758th, is
1942 – The Marine Corps begins enlistment of African Americans at
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
1948 – Johnny Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson joins the ancestors in
Chicago, Illinois at the age of 34 after being murdered on
the front steps of his home. He was a master of the blues
harmonica and transformed the instrument from a novelty
into a major component of Chicago-style blues. He will be
inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame in 1980.
1966 – Approximately 2,400 persons attend a White House Conference
on Civil Rights.
1973 – WGPR-TV (Channel 62) in Detroit, Michigan, is granted a
permit to operate. It is the first television station
owned by African Americans.
1997 – Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X, is fatally burned in a
fire set by her 12-year-old grandson in her Yonkers, New
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.