August 5 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – August 5 *

1763 – William Richmond is born in Cuckold’s Town, near,
Richmond, Virginia. He will relocate to Staten Island,
New York, where will he will become a freedman and the
first black professional boxer from America. He will
work as a shipyard laborer and be noticed by a British
commander named Hugh Percy on the docks having a fight
with a dock sailor. Percy convinced Richmond’s parents
to let him travel to England where he could establish a
better life. He will become a cabinetmaker, and learned
boxing for self-defense. Known as “Black Terror,” he will
knock out his first Englishman in just 25 seconds. By
1800, he will become a recognized semi-professional
boxer. After enough wins, he will be booked to fight the
English champion Tom Cribb. The Richmond/Cribb fight will
bring in thousands of English fans, including dukes and
nobles. The hype of the fight on October 8, 1805 will be
immediately publicized as Cribb and Richmond (The Black).
He will be 41 at the time, lose his fight to Cribb, and
“the crowd was pleased that a Black man had been put in
his place.” One of the first African Americans to attempt
winning a title in any sport, he will continue boxing
until he was 52. He will join the ancestors on Dec. 28,

1864 – John Lawson, an African American gunner on the flagship of
Admiral David Farragut, exhibits marked courage in the
Battle of Mobile Bay and wins the Congressional Medal of

1865 – President Andrew Johnson moves to reverse the policy of
distributing abandoned land to freedmen.

1892 – Harriet Tubman receives a pension from Congress for her
work as a nurse, spy, and scout during the Civil War.
She, along with Sojourner Truth, Susie King and almost
200 other African American women, served as nurses during
the war at 11 hospitals in three states.

1900 – James Augustine Healy, the first African American Roman
Catholic bishop, joins the ancestors in Portland, Maine.
He is the brother of Patrick Francis Healy, the first
African American to receive a Ph.D. and first African
American president of a predominantly white university
(Georgetown University).

1936 – Jesse Owens wins his third gold medal by running a 200-
meter race in 20.7 seconds at the Olympic Games held in
Berlin, Germany.

1938 – James Hal Cone is born in Fordyce, Arkansas. He will
become a theologian, best known for his advocacy of Black
liberation theology. His 1969 book “Black Theology and
Black Power” provides a new way to articulate the
distinctiveness of theology in the black Church. His work
will become influential from the time of the book’s
publication and remain influential today. His work has
been both utilized and critiqued inside and outside of the
African American theological community. He will become the
Charles Augustus Briggs “Distinguished Professor of
Systematic Theology” at Union Theological Seminary in the
City of New York and is currently in that position, at this

1945 – Jeannette (Ja’net) DuBois born in Brooklyn, New York. She
will become an actress and singer. In the late 1960’s, she
will perform in the original Broadway production of “Golden
Boy” with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Lou Gossett. This will be
her introduction to live theatre. She will go on to appear
in some of the biggest shows on Broadway, including “A
Raisin in the Sun” and “Nobody Loves An Albatross.” A role
on the soap opera, “Love of Life”, will give her
recognition as the first black female to regularly appear
on a serial. A pivotal point in her career will occur when
she relocates to the West Coast. During a performance of
“Hot L. Baltimore” in Los Angeles, she will capture the
attention of Norman Lear, creator of “Good Times.” She and
Lear will develop the vivacious and independent “Willona,”
for the popular sitcom, which will air on CBS from 1971 to
1979. She will usually find herself playing roles which
make her seem much older than she her actual age. For
example, when “Good Times” premiered in 1974, she was a
few years older than Jimmie Walker, while the show made
her out to be much closer in age to Esther Rolle, who was
53 at the time. In 1970, she will play the part of a
quarrelsome laundress alongside Carrie Snodgrass in the
cult classic, “Diary of a Mad Housewife”. She will co-star
in the movie “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and the sitcoms
“Moesha” and “The Steve Harvey Show.” She will play the
grandmother on the hit show, “The Wayans Bros.”. She will
appear in the 2003 movie “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”
Among her other credits, she will appear in the 1969 made-
for-TV holiday film “J.T.”. She will also appear in former
“Good Times” co-star Janet Jackson’s “Control” music video
as her mother. She will also appear in “Love of Life”
between 1970-1972 as Loretta Allen, years prior to
starring in “Good Times.” She will win an CableACE Award
for her work on the TV movie “Other Women’s Children”,
based on the novel by Perri Klass, and she will also win
two Emmy Awards for her voiceover work on the animated
program “The PJs.”

1962 – Nelson Mandela is charged with incitement and illegally
leaving South Africa.

1962 – Patrick Aloysius Ewing is born in Kingston, Jamaica. He
will star in cricket and soccer. He will be 13 years old
when he arrives in the United States with his family,
settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he will learn
to play basketball at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, a public
high school. He will attend Georgetown University in
Washington, DC. In the 1984 season, he and Georgetown will
win the NCAA title with an 84-75 win over the University of
Houston. He will be one of the best college basketball
players of his era, as Georgetown will reach the
championship game of the NCAA tournament three out of four
years. He will be a first team All-American in 1983, 1984,
and 1985. Although injuries will mar his first year in the
NBA, he will be named NBA Rookie of the Year, averaging 20
points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Soon after he
will be considered one of the premier centers in the
league. He will enjoy a successful career, eleven times
named a NBA All-Star, an All-NBA First Team selection once,
a member of the All-NBA Second Team six times and the NBA
All-Defensive Second Team three times. He will be a member
of the original Dream Team at the 1992 Olympic Games,
winning a second gold medal. In 1996, he will also be given
the honor of being named one of the 50 greatest players in
NBA history. While he will enjoy a stellar career in the
NBA, he will never win a title as a professional.

1966 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is stoned by hecklers during a
Chicago, Illinois civil rights march.

1968 – Senator Edward Brooke is named the temporary chairman of
the Republican National Convention in Miami, Florida.

1984 – Track and field stars Evelyn Ashford and Edwin Moses win
Gold medals in the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles,

1992 – Federal civil rights charges are filed against four Los
Angeles police officers acquitted of state charges in the
videotaped beating of Rodney King. Two of the officers
will be convicted later of federal charges of violating
King’s civil rights.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.


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