* Today in Black History – June 11 *
1799 – Richard Allen, the first African American bishop in
the United States, is ordained a deacon of the
Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania by Bishop Francis Asbury.
1915 – Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, the first African American in
the United States to be named a judge, joins the
ancestors in Little Rock, Arkansas at the age of 87.
1920 – Hazel Dorothy Scott is born in Port-of-Spain,
Trinidad and raised in New York City from the age of
four. A child prodigy, she will enroll at New York
City’s Juilliard School of Music and star in
nightclubs, Broadway shows, and films. A fixture in
jazz society uptown and downtown in New York, most
notably for her jazz improvisations on familiar
classical works, she will be credited with putting
the “swing in European classical music.” She will be
the first African American woman to have her own
television show, “The Hazel Scott Show”. The show will
be short-lived because she will publicly oppose
McCarthyism and racial segregation, and the show will be
cancelled in 1950 when she is accused of being a
Communist sympathizer. She will be married to Adam
Clayton Powell, Jr. from 1945 to 1956, with whom she will
have one child before their divorce. She will join the
ancestors after succumbing to cancer at the age of 61 on
October 2, 1981 in New York City.
1930 – Charles Rangel is born in New York City. He will defeat
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. for the latter’s Congressional
seat in the 16th District and serve on the House Judiciary
Committee hearings on the impeachment of President Richard
M. Nixon. He will also chair the Congressional Black
Caucus and be a strong advocate in the war on drugs and
drug crime as chairman of the House Select Committee on
Narcotics Abuse and Control.
1937 – Amalya L. Kearse is born in Vaux Hall, New Jersey. She
will become the first African American woman judge on the
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second District of New York. She
will earn her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College
and her law degree at University of Michigan Law School.
She will be active in legal circles, the National Urban
League, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
1937 – Johnny Brown is born in St. Petersburg, Florida. He will
become a comedian and will be known for his roles on “Good
Times,” and “The Jeffersons,” “Family Matters,” and
1951 – Mozambique becomes an oversea province of Portugal.
1963 – Vivian Malone and James Hood, accompanied by U.S. Deputy
Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, attempt to register at
the University of Alabama. They are met by Governor George
Wallace, who bodily blocks their entrance to a campus
building. When National Guardsmen return later in the day
with Malone and Hood to enter the building, Wallace steps
1964 – In South Africa, Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life
imprisonment for allegedly attempting to sabotage the white
South African government.
1967 – A race riot occurs in Tampa, Florida. The Florida National
Guard is mobilized to suppress the violence.
1972 – Hank Aaron, of the Atlanta Braves, ties Gil Hodges of the
Dodgers for the National League record for the most grand-
slam home runs in a career, with 14. The Braves will beat
the Philadelphia Phillies 15-3.
1978 – Joseph Freeman Jr. becomes the first African American
priest in the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
1982 – Larry Holmes defeats Gerry Cooney to retain the WBC
2003 – William Marshall, actor, joins the ancestors at the age of
78 after succumbing to complications from Alzheimer’s
disease. His roles ranged from Othello and Frederick
Douglas to a vampire in the 1972 movie “Blacula.”
2006 – Dr. James Cameron, who survived an attempted lynching by a
white mob in 1930 and went on to found America’s Black
Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, joins the
ancestors at the age of 92.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.