* Today in Black History – June 9 *
1877 – Meta Vaux Warwick (later Fuller) is born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. She will become a sculptor who will train at
the Pennsylvania Museum and School for Industrial Arts and
travel to Paris to study with Auguste Rodin. Her sculptures
will be exhibited at the salon in Paris as well as
extensively in the U.S. for 60 years. Her most famous works
will include “Ethiopia Awakening,” “Mary Turner (A Silent
Protest Against Mob Violence),” and “The Talking Skull.”
1934 – Jack Leroy “Jackie” Wilson, entertainer who will be known as “Mr.
Excitement,” is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will be important
in the transition of Rhythm and Blues into Soul. He will be
considered a master showman, and one of the most dynamic and
influential singers and performers in R&B and Rock n’ Roll
history. Gaining fame in his early years as a member of the R&B
vocal group Billy Ward and His Dominoes, he will go solo in 1957
and record over 50 hit singles that span R&B, pop, soul, doo-wop
and easy listening. During a 1975 benefit concert, he will
collapse on stage from a heart attack and subsequently fall into
a coma that persists for nearly nine years until he joins the
ancestors on January 21, 1984, at the age of 49. By this time,
he will be one of the most influential artists of his generation.
A two-time Grammy Hall of Fame Inductee, he will be inducted in
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2004, Rolling Stone
magazine will rank him #69 on their list of the 100 Greatest
Artists of All Time.
1948 – Oliver W. Hill becomes the first African American to be
elected to the Richmond, Virginia City Council.
1963 – Fannie Lou Hamer and five other voter registration workers
were arrested in Winona, Mississippi on their way home from
a workshop in Charleston, SC. They were held in the Winona
jail for four days, during which they were severely beaten
with nightsticks and fists by policemen, and with leather
straps by prison trustees under the direction of police
1978 – Larry Holmes wins the WBC heavyweight title by defeating Ken
Norton in Las Vegas, Nevada.
1980 – Comedian Richard Pryor suffers almost fatal burns at his San
Fernando Valley, California home, when a mixture of “free-
base” cocaine explodes.
1983 – Scott Joplin, noted jazz musician and composer of ragtime
music, is the sixth African-American depicted in the U.S.
Postal Service’s Black Heritage USA commemorative series of
1998 – Three white men are charged in Jasper, Texas, with the brutal
dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an African American.
1998 – Artist Lois Mailou Jones joins the ancestors in Washington,
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.