* Today in Black History – June 3 *
1833 – The fourth national Black convention meets in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania with sixty-two delegates from eight states.
Abraham D. Shadd of Pennsylvania is elected president.
1854 – Two thousand United States troops escort celebrated fugitive
slave, Anthony Burns through the streets of Boston.
1871 – Miles Vandehurst Lynk is born near Brownsville, Tennessee. A
physician at 19, he founds the first African American medical
journal, the “Medical and Surgical Observer,” and will be one
of the organizers of what will later become the National
Medical Association. He will join the ancestors on
December 29, 1956.
1887 – Roland Hayes is born in Curryville, Tennessee. A noted
concert artist, Hayes will be the first African American to
give a concert in Boston’s Symphony Hall. His career will
take him throughout the U.S. and to London for a command
performance before King George V. He will be awarded the
Spingarn Medal in 1924 for his musical accomplishments. He
will join the ancestors 0n January 1, 1977.
1904 – Charles R. Drew, creator of the plasma method of blood
preservation, is born in Washington, DC. He will receive
the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his contributions in 1944
and, in 1981, be posthumously honored by the U.S. Postal
Service with a commemorative stamp. He will join the
ancestors on April 1, 1950.
1906 – Freda McDonald is born in St. Louis, Missouri. She will
become a singer and entertainer known as Josephine Baker.
A chorus girl in the 1923 musical “Shuffle Along,” she will
travel to Paris, introduce “le jazz hot” in the show “La
Revue Negre,” and will cause a sensation with the Folies
Bergeres when she performs topless on a mirror, wearing a
rubber banana skirt. A World War II Red Cross volunteer,
Baker will perform for the Allied troops and in the 1950’s
she will tour the U.S., fighting for desegregated theaters
and restaurants. She will join the ancestors on April 12,
1919 – Liberty Life Insurance Company in Chicago, Illinois, the
first old-line legal reserve company organized by African
Americans in the North, is incorporated.
1930 – Dakota Staton is born in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. She will attend George Westinghouse High School
and study music at the Filion School of Music in Pittsburgh.
She will later perform regularly in the Hill District, a jazz
hotspot, as a vocalist with the Joe Westray Orchestra, a popular
Pittsburgh orchestra. She will spend the next several years in
the nightclub circuit in Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland and
St. Louis. While in New York, she will be noticed singing at a
Harlem nightclub called the ‘Baby Grand’, by Dave Cavanaugh, a
producer for Capitol Records. She will be signed and will
release several singles. Her success will lead her to win Down
Beat magazine’s “Most Promising New Comer” award in 1955. In
1958, She will wed Talib Ahmad Dawud, a Black Antiguan Ahmadi
Muslim trumpeter and noted critic of Elijah Muhammad. Shw will
be known by the Muslim name Aliyah Rabia for a time, due to her
conversion to Islam as interpreted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim
Community. She will release several critically acclaimed albums
in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including: ‘The Late, Late
Show’ (1957), whose title track will be her biggest hit, ‘In the
Night’ (1957), a collaboration with pianist George Shearing,
‘Dynamic!’ (1958) and ‘Dakota at Storyville’ (1961), a live
album recorded at the Storyville jazz club in Boston. She will
move to England in the mid-1960s. She will continue to record
semi-regularly, her recordings taking an increasingly strong
gospel and blues influence. She will join the ancestors on April
10, 2007 in New York City at the age of 76.
1942 – Curtis Mayfield is born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and will
be raised in Chicago, Illinois. He will become a singer,
songwriter, and producer. He will be a member of the group
The Impressions. He will write many hits for the group,
Jerry Butler and himself. He will start a successful solo
career in 1970. He will become paralyzed from the chest
down in 1990 when a stage lighting tower falls on him.
After recuperating, he will still continue to perform. He
will join the ancestors on Sunday, December 26, 1999.
1946 – In its “Morgan vs. Commonwealth of Virginia” ruling, the U.S.
Supreme Court bars segregation in interstate bus travel.
1949 – Wesley Anthony Brown becomes the first African American to
graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy.
1951 – Deniece Chandler is born in Gary, Indiana. She will become a
singer and will be known as Deniece Williams. She will get
her first break as a member of Stevie Wonder’s backup group
Wonderlove during 1972-75. She will grow into a successful
solo career in both secular and gospel music.
1997 – Harvey Johnson, who defeats the incumbent mayor in the
Democratic Primary, is elected Jackson, Mississippi’s first
African American mayor, defeating the Republican candidate
by more than two-to-one. Johnson, an urban planner and
former state tax commissioner, was making his second run to
head the city of about 200,000. He upset incumbent Kane
Ditto to earn the right to face GOP businesswoman Charlotte
Reeves in the general election.
1997 – Rene’ A. Perry, a.k.a. Bro. Mosi Hoj, issues the email that will
establish the beginning of the “Today in Black History” series
that will eventually be known as the “Munirah Chronicle.”
2009 – Cora Walton “KoKo” Taylor joins the ancestors at the age of 80,
after succumbing to complications from surgery for
gastrointestinal bleeding. She had been known as the “Queen
of the Blues,” over the course of her almost 50-year career.
2013 – David D. ‘Deacon’ Jones joins the ancestors at the age of 74.
He specialized in quarterback sacks, a term attributed to him.
Nicknamed the “Secretary of Defense”, He is considered one of
the greatest defensive players ever. The Los Angeles Times
called him “Most Valuable Ram of All Time,” and former Rams
head coach George Allen called him the “Greatest Defensive
End of Modern Football.”
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.