* Today in Black History – September 3 *
1783 – Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church, purchases his freedom with his earnings as a
1838 – Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, disguised as a
sailor, escapes from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland to
New Bedford, Massachusetts via New York City. He will
take the name Douglass, after the hero of Sir Walter
Scott’s poem “Lady of the Lake”.
1865 – The Union Army commander in South Carolina orders the
Freedmen’s Bureau personnel to stop seizing land.
1868 – Henry McNeal Turner delivers a speech before the Georgia
legislature defending African Americans’ rights to hold
state office. The lower house of the Georgia
legislature, rules that African Americans were ineligible
to hold office, and expels twenty-eight representatives.
Ten days later the senate expels three African Americans.
Congress will refuse to re-admit the state to the Union
until the legislature seats the African American
1891 – John Stephens Durham, assistant editor of the Philadelphia
Evening Bulletin, is named minister to Haiti.
1891 – Cotton pickers organize a union and stage a strike for
higher wages in Texas.
1895 – Charles Hamilton Houston is born in Washington, DC. He will
become a prominent African American lawyer, Dean of Howard
University Law School, and NAACP Litigation Director who
will play a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow
laws, which will earned him the title “The Man Who Killed
Jim Crow”. He will also be well known for having trained
future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Through his
work at the NAACP, He will play a role in nearly every civil
rights case before the Supreme Court between 1930 and Brown
v. Board of Education (1954). His plan to attack and defeat
Jim Crow segregation by demonstrating the inequality in the
“separate but equal” doctrine from the Supreme Court’s Plessy
v. Ferguson decision as it pertained to public education in
the United States will be the masterstroke that brings about
the landmark Brown decision. In the documentary “The Road to
Brown”, Hon. Juanita Kidd Stout describes his strategy, “When
he attacked the “separate but equal” theory his real thought
behind it was that “All right, if you want it separate but
equal, I will make it so expensive for it to be separate that
you will have to abandon your separateness.” And so that was
the reason he started demanding equalization of salaries for
teachers, equal facilities in the schools and all of that.”
He will take a movie camera across South Carolina to document
the inequalities between African American and white education.
Then, as Special Counsel to the NAACP he will dispatch
Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Hill and other young attorneys to
work to equalize teachers’ salaries. From 1935 to 1940, he
will serve as special counsel for the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), arguing several
important civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1939), he will argue that
it was unconstitutional for Missouri to exclude blacks from
the state’s university law school when, under the “separate
but equal” provision, no comparable facility for blacks
existed within the state. His efforts to dismantle the legal
theory of “separate but equal” came to fruition after he joins
the ancestors on April 22, 1950 with the historic Brown v.
Board of Education (1954) decision, which prohibited
segregation in public schools.
1910 – Dorothy Leigh Mainor (later Maynor) is born in Norfolk,
Virginia. She will become a renown soprano and will sing
with all of the major American and European orchestras.
She will found the Harlem School of the Arts in 1963, after
ending her performing career. She will retire as executive
director of the school in 1979. She will join the ancestors
on February 19, 1996 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
1918 – Five African American soldiers are hanged for alleged
participation in the Houston riot of 1917.
1919 – The Lincoln Motion Picture Company, owned by African
Americans Noble Johnson and Clarence Brooks, releases its
first feature-length film, “A Man’s Duty”.
1970 – Representatives from 27 African nations, Caribbean nations,
four South American countries, Australia, and the United
States meet in Atlanta, Georgia, for the first Congress of
1970 – Billy Williams ends the longest National League consecutive
streak at 1,117 games.
1974 – NBA guard, Oscar Robinson, retires from professional
1984 – A new South African constitution comes into effect, setting
up a three-chamber, racially divided parliament – White,
Indian and Colored (mixed race) people.
1990 – Jonathan A. Rodgers becomes president of CBS’s Television
Stations Division, the highest-ranking African American to
date in network television. Rodgers had been general
manager of WBBM-TV, CBS’s Chicago station.
2012 – Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for an Academy Award for his
role in the 1999 film “The Green Mile,” joins the ancestors
at the age of 54. He suffered a myocardial infarction on
July 13 and never fully recovered.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.