* Today in Black History – June 6 *
1716 – The first slaves arrive in Louisiana.
1779 – Haitian explorer Jean Baptiste-Pointe Du Sable founds the
first permanent settlement at the mouth of a river on the
north bank, that will become Chicago, Illinois.
1831 – The second national Black convention meets in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. There are fifteen delegates from five
1869 – Dillard University is chartered in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1934 – Roy Innis is born in the U.S. Virgin Islands and will be
raised in New York City. He will become a civil rights
activist and will join the Harlem chapter of CORE
(Congress of Racial Equality) in 1963. He will work with
the organization over the next 35 years in many capacities
1935 – Jesse Owens is elected Captain of the 1936 track team at
Ohio State University. He is the first African American to
hold such position on any Ohio State Team.
1935 – Robert Cornelius “Bobby” Mitchell is born in Hot Springs,
Arkansas. He will become a professional football player
starting as an eighth round draft selection by the
Cleveland Browns in 1958. He will play in four Pro Bowls
(one with Cleveland and three with Washington) over his
11-year playing career and is considered one of the NFL’s
all-time great multi-purpose players. When he is traded to
the Washington franchise in 1962, he becomes the first
African American to play for the team. He will become an
inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. He will
be a prominent part of the Washington Redskins
organization for over 41 years until he retires after the
1936 – Levi Stubbless is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will become
a rhythm and blues singer better known as Levi Stubbs. He
will be a member of the group, “The Aims.” The group
will start as a backup group for Levi’s cousin, Jackie
Wilson. The group will change their name to “The Four
Tops” in 1956, to avoid confusion with a band. Berry Gordy
will sign the group in 1963 and launch their first hit,
“Baby, I Need Your Loving.” The group will stay together
over forty years, longer than any other popular group,
with the original personnel intact. He will join the
ancestors on October 17, 2008.
1939 – Marion Wright (later Edelman) is born in Bennettsville,
South Carolina. In addition to becoming the first African
American woman admitted to the bar in Mississippi, she
will direct the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund
in New York and Mississippi and will found the Children’s
Defense Fund in 1973.
1939 – Gary Levone Anderson is born in Jacksonville, Florida. He
will be raised in Norfolk, Virginia where he will become
a singer as a teenager, with a group called The Turks. He
will solo as Gary “U.S.” Bonds in 1960 recording the hit
“New Orleans.” His name will be inspired by a poster in a
Norfolk shop urging Americans to “Carry U. S. Bonds.” In
1961 when Bonds records his version of a local group’s
song, “A Night with Daddy G.,” it will be re-titled
“Quarter to Three” and will be a huge hit. He will record
three additional hits in the next year. After a twenty
year decline in his career, he will make a comeback after
his fan, Bruce Springsteen, begins to use “Quarter to
Three” as his encore.
1944 – The 320th Negro Anti-Aircraft Barrage Balloon Battalion
assists in the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France.
1944 – Tommie Smith is born in Clarksville, Texas. He will become
a track star (sprinter), and Olympic athlete/runner. He
will win the Olympic Gold medal in the 200 meters in the
1968 Olympics. It will be, on the winners platform, that he
and John Carlos will raise clinched fists as the national
anthem is played. He will be inducted into the National
Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1978.
1947 – Harrison Branch is born in New York City. A student at the
San Francisco Art Institute and Yale University School of
Art, he will become a professor of art and photographer
whose works will be exhibited and collected in the U.S.
and in Europe and will appear in the landmark photography
book, “An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography of Black
Photographers,” 1940-1988, edited by Deborah Wills Ryan.
1966 – James Meredith is wounded by a white sniper, as he walked
along U.S. Highway 51 near Hernando, Mississippi, on the
second day of the Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson,
Mississippi, voter registration march. Meanwhile,
Stokely Carmichael, using his newly adopted name of Kwame’
Toure, launches the Black Power movement. Toure will say
that the use of the term is not anti-white, but a phrase
to denote a political strategy.
1973 – Barry White is awarded a gold record for “I’m Gonna Love
You Just a Little More Baby”. It is his first hit and his
first of five, number one, million sellers. White will
begin recording in 1960. He will form the group, Love
Unlimited, in 1969 and marry one of the group’s singers,
Glodean James. He will also form the 40-piece Love
Unlimited Orchestra which will have the number one hit,
“Love’s Theme.” He will join the ancestors on July 4,
2003 from complications of high blood pressure and kidney
1977 – Joseph Lawson Howze is installed as bishop of the Roman
Catholic diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi. He becomes the
first African American to head a U.S. diocese in the
Catholic Church in the twentieth century.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.