Today in Black History – September 9 *
1739 – Led by a slave named Jemmy (Cato), a slave revolt occurs
in Stono, South Carolina. Twenty-five whites are killed
before the insurrection is put down.
1806 – Sarah Mapps Douglass is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She is the daughter of renowned abolitionists Robert
Douglass, Sr. and Grace Bustill Douglass. As a child, she
enjoys life among Philadelphia’s elite and will be well
educated by a private tutor. She will become a teacher in
New York, but will return to Philadelphia where she will
operate a successful private school for Black women,
giving women of color the opportunity to receive a high
school education. As the daughter of one of the
Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society’s founding
members, she will become active in the abolitionist
movement at a young age. She will develop a distaste for
the prejudices of white Quakers early on and will devote
much of her life to combating slavery and racism. She
will develop a close friendship with white Quaker
abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke. At the urgings
of the Grimke sisters, She will attend the Anti-Slavery
Convention of American Women, held in New York in
1837–the first national convention of American
antislavery women to integrate Black and white members–
and serve on the ten-member committee on arrangements for
the convention. Throughout her abolitionist career, she
will also serve as recording secretary, librarian, and
manager for the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society,
contribute to both the Liberator and the Anglo-African
Magazine, become a fundraiser for the Black press, give
numerous public lectures, and serve as vice-president of
the women’s branch of the Freedmen’s Aid Society. From
1853 to 1877, she will serve as a supervisor at the
Institute for Colored Youth, a Quaker-sponsored
establishment. During this time, she will also acquire
basic medical training at the Female Medical College of
Pennsylvania and at Pennsylvania Medical University,
where she will study female health and hygiene–subjects
on which she will lecture in evening classes and at
meetings of the Banneker Institute. In 1855, she will
marry African American Episcopal clergyman William
Douglass. She will join the ancestors on September 8, 1882.
1816 – Rev. John Gregg Fee, the son of white slaveholders, is
born in Bracken County, Kentucky. He will become member
of the American Missionary Association, and will found a
settlement called “Berea” on land donated to him by an
admirer, Cassius Marcellus Clay. It will be later that
he will be inspired to build a college, adjacent to the
donated land – Berea College, the first interracial
college in the state. During the American Civil War, He
will work at Camp Nelson to have facilities constructed
to support freedmen and their families, and to provide
them with education and preaching while the men were being
taught to be soldiers. He died on January 11, 1901.
1817 – Captain Paul Cuffe, entrepreneur and civil rights
activist, joins the ancestors at the age of 58, in Westport,
Masschusetts. Cuffe was a Massachusetts shipbuilder and
sea captain. He also was one of the most influential
African American freedmen of the eighteenth century. In
1780, Cuffe and six other African Americans refused to
pay taxes util they were granted citizenship.
Massachusetts gave African Americans who owned property
the vote three years later. Although Cuffe became
wealthy, he believed that most African Americans would
never be completely accepted in white society. In 1816,
Cuffe began one of the first experiments in colonizing
African Americans in Africa when he brought a group to
Sierra Leone. Cuffe’s experiment helped inspire the
founding of the American Colonization Society later
1823 – Alexander Lucius Twilight, becomes the first African
American to earn a baccalaureate degree in the United
States, when he graduates from Middlebury College with
a BA degree.
1915 – A group of visionary scholars (George Cleveland Hall,
W.B. Hartgrove, Alexander L. Jackson, and James E.
Stamps) led by Dr. Carter G. Woodson found the
Association for the Study of Negro Life and History
(ASNLH) in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Woodson is convinced
that among scholars, the role of his own people in
American history and in the history of other cultures
was being either ignored or misrepresented. Dr. Woodson
realizes the need for special research into the
neglected past of the Negro. The association is the
only organization of its kind concerned with preserving
African American history.
1928 – Silvio Cator of Haiti, sets the then long jump record at
1934 – Sonia Sanchez is born in Birmingham, Alabama. She will
become a noted poet, playwright, short story writer, and
author of children’s books. She will be most noted for
her poetry volumes “We a BaddDDD People”, “A Blues Book
for Blue Black Magical Women”, and anthologies she will
edit including “We Be Word Sorcerers: 25 Stories by
1941 – Otis Redding is born in Dawson, Georgia, the son of a
Baptist minister. He will become a rhythm and blues
musician and singer and will be best known for his
recording of “[Sittin’ on] The Dock of the Bay,” which
will be released after he joins the ancestors. Some of
his other hits were “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”,
“Respect”, and “Try A Little Tenderness.” He will join
the ancestors on December 10, 1967 after his plane
crashes en route to a concert in Madison, Wisconsin.
1942 – Inez Foxx is born in Greensboro, North Carolina. She will
become a rhythm and blues singer and will perform as
part of a duuo act with her brother, Charlie. Their
biggest hit will be “Mockingbird” in 1963. They will
record together until 1967.
1942 – Luther Simmons is born in New York City, New York. He
will become a rhythm and blues singer with the group
“The Main Ingredient.” They will be best known for
their hit, “Everybody Plays the Fool.”
1945 – Dione LaRue is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She
will become a rhythm and blues singer better known as
“Dee Dee Sharp.” Her first hit will be “It’s Mashed
Potato Time” in 1962. She will also record “Gravy” [For
My Mashed Potatoes], “Ride!”, “Do the Bird”, and “Slow
Twistin’ “(with Chubby Checker).
1957 – President Eisenhower signs the first civil rights bill
passed by Congress since Reconstruction.
1957 – Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth is mobbed when he attempts to
enroll his daughters in a “white” Birmingham school.
1957 – Nashville’s new Hattie Cotton Elementary School with
enrollment of one African American and 388 whites is
virtually destroyed by a dynamite blast.
1962 – Two churches are burned near Sasser, Georgia. African
American leaders ask the president to stop the “Nazi-
like reign of terror in southwest Georgia.”
1963 – Alabama Governor George Wallace is served a federal
injunction when he orders state police to bar African
American students from enrolling in white schools.
1968 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first (and first African
American) Men’s Singles Tennis Champion of the newly
established U.S. Open tennis championships at Forest
Hills, New York.
1971 – More than 1,200 inmates at the Attica Correctional
Facility in upstate New York gain control of the
facility in a well-planned takeover. During the initial
violence, 50 correctional officers and civilian
employees are beaten and taken hostage. Correctional
officer William Quinn receives the roughest beating and
is soon freed by the inmates due to the severity of his
injuries. Police handling of the takeover will result
in the deaths of many inmates and will turn the nation’s
interest toward the conditions in U.S. penal
1979 – Robert Guillaume wins an Emmy award for ‘Best Actor in a
Comedy Series’ for his performances in “Soap”.
1981 – Vernon E. Jordan resigns as president of the National
Urban League and announces plans to join a Washington DC
legal firm. He will be succeeded by John E. Jacob,
executive vice president of the league.
1984 – Walter Payton, of the Chicago Bears, breaks Jim Brown’s
combined yardage record — by reaching 15,517 yards.
1985 – President Reagan orders sanctions against South Africa
because of that country’s apartheid policies.
1990 – Liberian President Samuel K. Doe is captured and joins
the ancestors after being killed by rebel forces. In
1985, he was elected president, but Charles Taylor and
followers overthrew his government in 1989, which will
spark a seven-year long civil war.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.