October 31 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 31 *

1893 – Football player, William Henry Lewis, is named as an All-
American, playing for Harvard College. This is the second
year in a row he is named to the All American Team. He is
the first African American athlete to be named All

1900 – Ethel Waters is born in Chester, Pennsylvania. She will
become a famous blues singer, the first woman to perform
W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues,” and an actress known for
her roles in the movie “Cabin in the Sky” and such
stageplays as “Member of the Wedding”, for which she
will be nominated for a New York Drama Critics Award.
She will join the ancestors on September 1, 1977.

1935 – John Henry Lewis wins the world light heavyweight crown
in St. Louis, Missouri by defeating Bob Olin. He will
become the first American-born light heavyweight champion
to retire undefeated.

1945 – Educator, Booker T. Washington, is inducted into the Hall
of Fame for Great Americans.

1950 – Earl Lloyd becomes the first African American to play in
an NBA game when he takes the floor for the Washington
Capitols in Rochester, New York. Lloyd is actually one
of three African Americans to become NBA players in the
1950 season. The other two are Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton
and Chuck Cooper. Lloyd will play 9 solid NBA seasons
from 1950 to 1960.

1953 – John Harding Lucas II is born in Durham, North Carolina.
He will become a professional basketball player and play
guard for the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks. He
will become a NBA coach after retiring as a player. He
will coach the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and
Cleveland Cavaliers, each for less than two seasons,
compiling a 174 – 258 overall record. Prior to accepting
the head coaching position for the Cavaliers, he will be
an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets for three

1969 – A racially motivated civil disturbance occurs in
Jacksonville, Florida. The disturbance is caused by
tensions between whites and Blacks during civil rights
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

October 30 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 30 *

1831 – Nat Turner is remembered for his role in the slave
revolt that took place in Southampton county,
Virginia on August 21.

1939 – Eddie Holland is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will
become one-third of an amazing songwriting and
production trio, Holland-Dozier-Holland. Eddie
Holland will not be as successful on his own as when
teamed with brother Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier.
Eddie Holland will score his biggest hit as a solo
artist back in 1962, with “Jamie” reaching number six
on the R&B charts and peaking at #30 pop. He recorded
three more songs for Motown in the mid-’60s, but none
of them were hits, and he then concentrated on
songwriting and production. The Holland-Dozier-
Holland trio will write numerous hits for Motown acts
through the ’60s before departing in 1968. They will
form their own label in 1970, Hot Wax/Invictus, and
will have success for a while with such acts as The
Chairmen Of The Board, Laura Lee, and the Honey Cone.
Some of the songs written by the trio are “Where Did
Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”,
“I Hear a Symphony”, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, “Reach
Out”, and “I’ll Be There.” Holland-Dozier-Holland will
be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

1941 – Otis Miles is born in Texarkana, Arkansas. He will
become a rhythm and blues singer known as Otis Williams
and will be one of the original members of the Motown
group, The Temptations. Some of their hits will be “I
Can’t Get Next to You”, “Cloud Nine”, “Runaway Child”,
“Running Wild”, “Just My Imagination”, “Papa was a
Rolling Stone”, and “Masquerade.”

1950 – Philip “Phil” Chenier is born in Berkeley, California.
He will become a professional basketball player and will
be best known as a member of the Washington Bullets

1954 – The Defense Department announces that all units in the
armed forces are now integrated. The announcement comes
six years after President Harry S. Truman issued
Executive Order 9981.

1966 – Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, students at Oakland City
College in Oakland, California, create the Black Panther
Party for Self Defense.

1976 – Joseph H. Evans is elected president of the United Church
of Christ, the first African American to hold the post
in this predominantly white denomination.

1978 – Esther Rolle wins an Emmy Award for her role in “Summer
of my German Soldier.”

1979 – Richard Arrington is the first African American to be
elected mayor of Birmingham, Alabama.

1989 – Frank Mingo, CEO of the Mingo Group, joins the ancestors
in New York City. He, along with D. Parke Gibson,
Barbara Proctor of Proctor and Gardner, and Tom Burrell
of Burrell Advertising was one of the pioneering
advertising executives who specialized in targeting
African American consumers.

1991 – Led by President Robert L. Johnson, BET Holdings, Inc.,
the parent company of Black Entertainment Television,
sells 4.2 million shares of stock in an initial public
offering on the New York Stock Exchange. BET is the first
African American company listed on the “Big Board.”

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

October 29 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 29 *

1902 – The Dinwiddle Quartet from Virginia is the first
African American singing group on record when they
record six single sided discs, including “Down at the
Old Camp Ground,” on the Victory Talking Machine
Company’s Monarch label.

1923 – Runnin’ Wild opens at the Colonial Theater, Broadway.
Miller and Lyles Productions introduced the Charleston
to New York and the world.

1924 – Dixie to Broadway, “the first real revue by Negroes,”
opens at the Broadhurst Theater, New York City, with
Florence Mills in the starring role.

1929 – The collapse of the stock market and the beginning of
the Great Depression. By 1937, 26 per cent of African
American males will be unemployed.

1945 – Beatrice Moore is born in New York, New York. She will
become an actress and singer better known as Melba
Moore. Her big break will come when she joins the cast
of the Broadway musical “Hair.” She will eventually win
the lead role. It will be the first time that an African
American actress replaces a white actress (Diane Keaton)
for a lead role on Broadway. That engagement will be
followed with another Broadway hit, “Purlie,” which
earns her a Tony Award and rave reviews. This success
will be followed by appearances in film and television.
In addition to her success in acting, she will have a
fruitful recording career.

1947 – The President’s Committee on Civil Rights condemns racial
injustices in America in a formal report, “To Secure
These Rights.”

1947 – Texas Southern University is established.

1947 – The NAACP Spingarn Medal is awarded to Dr. Percy L. Julian
for his achievements as a scientist.

1949 – Alonzo G. Moron, from the Virgin Islands, becomes the
first person of African descent to become president of
Hampton Institute (now University) in Hampton, Virginia.

1960 – Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) boxes in his first professional
fight, beating Tunney Hunsaker in 6 rounds.

1961 – Randy Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. He will become a
member of the famed family group, “The Jackson Five.”

1969 – Johnson Products Company of Chicago, Illinois, the largest
African American hair-care products manufacturer, is
incorporated. Founded by George Johnson in 1954, in 1971,
it will become the first African American owned company
listed on the American Stock Exchange.

1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court states that school systems must end
segregation “at once” and “operate now and hereafter only
unitary schools.” In the Mississippi case, Alexander v.
Holmes, the Court abandons the principle of “all
deliberate speed.”

1974 – Muhammad Ali defeats George Foreman in Zaire to regain his
heavyweight crown in a fight billed as “The Rumble in the
Jungle.” In addition to the fight being the first
heavyweight title fight held in Africa, it is the 14th
Anniversary of Ali’s professional boxing debut.

1981 – William Otis Walker, publisher of the “Cleveland Call &
Post,” joins the ancestors at the age of 85. He was the
first African American to hold a post in the Ohio Cabinet
in 1963, and was national chairman for “Black Republicans
for Reagan and Bush” in 1980.

1987 – Thomas Hearns wins an unprecedented 4th boxing title in
different weight classes.

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

October 28 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 28 *

1862 – The First Kansas Colored Volunteers, while greatly
outnumbered, repulse and drive off a rebel force at Island
Mound, Missouri. This is the first engagement for African
American troops in the Civil War.

1873 – Patrick Healy becomes president of Georgetown University,
the oldest Catholic University in the United States and
becomes the first African American president of a
predominantly white university in the United States.

1914 – Omega Psi Phi fraternity is incorporated. Founded in 1911
by three students, Frank Coleman, Oscar J. Cooper and
Edgar A. Love and their faculty adviser, Ernest Everett
Just, the fraternity will grow to have over 90,000 members
in chapters throughout the United States and abroad.

1937 – Leonard Randolph “Lenny” Wilkens is born in Brooklyn, New
York. He will become a professional basketball player for
the St. Louis Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail
Blazers and Seattle Supersonics. He will also coach every
team for which he played. In 1995, he will surpass Red
Auerbach as the NBA winningest coach, with his 939th
victory. On March 1, 1996, he will become the first coach
to win 1,000 regular season games. He and John Wooden will
become the only two persons to be elected to the Basketball
Hall of Fame as a player and coach.

1948 – Telma Louise Hopkins is born in Louisville, Kentucky. She will
become a member of the 1970’s group, “Tony Orlando and Dawn”,
and later a television actress. She will be best known for
her roles in “Bosom Buddies,” “Gimme a Break!,” “Family
Matters,” “Getting By,” and “Half & Half.”

1965 – Earl Bostic, popular jazz alto saxophonist and winner of the
1959 Playboy Jazz poll, joins the ancestors in Rochester,
New York. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native had begun his career
in the Midwest and, after studying music and playing with
bands in the South, landed with Lionel Hampton’s big band,
among others.

1973 – Elmore Smith of the Los Angeles Lakers blocks 17 shots in a
game to establish a NBA record.

1981 – Edward M. McIntyre is elected as the first African American
mayor of Augusta, Georgia.

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

October 27 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 27 *

1890 – Charles H. Garvin is born in Jacksonville, Florida. He will
graduate from Howard University”s medical school in 1915.
He will practice medicine in Cleveland, Ohio from 1916 until
he joins the ancestors on July 17, 1968. During WORLD WAR I,
he will become the first black physician commissioned in the
U.S. Army, serving in France as commanding officer in the
92nd Division. His interest in medicine will extended beyond
his practice to research and writing, especially tracing the
history of Africans and African Americans in medicine. He will
amass an important collection of books on the black experience
and also complete a manuscript (unpublished as of 1994) and
write several articles on the subject. His account of the
history of blacks in medicine in Cleveland will be published
in 1939 in the ‘Women”s Voice,’ a national women”s magazine.
He will be a founder of the Dunbar Life Insurance Company and
assist in organizing Quincy Savings & Loan, serving as a
director and board chairman. He will also pioneer integrated
housing during a period of intense racial separation in the
city, living in the home he built on Wade Park Ave., an
exclusive allotment, despite threats of violence and two
bombings. He will be a trustee of Karamu House, the Urban League
of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland branch of the NAACP, and the
Cleveland Public Library. He will also be 4th General President
of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity from 1912 to 1914.

1891 – Philip B. Downing, invents the street letter box and is
awarded patent # 462,093.

1924 – Ruby Ann Wallace is born in Cleveland, Ohio. She will become
one of the foremost actresses in America, better known as
Ruby Dee, beginning her career on Broadway in the early
1940’s. She will marry actor Ossie Davis and have a strong
personal career with such notable stage roles as “A Raisin
in the Sun”, “Purlie Victorious”, and “The Taming of the
Shrew” as well as work in numerous television series and
movies including “Raisin”, “Do the Right Thing”, and “Jungle
Fever.” She will be married to Ossie Davis until he joins
the ancestors in 2005. She will join the ancestors on June
11, 2014.

1951 – Jayne Kennedy is born in Washington, DC. She will become
an actress, writer and producer. Her movie credits will
include “Fighting Mad,” “Body and Soul,” “Mysterious
Island of Beautiful Women,” “Cover Girls,” “The Muthers,”
and “Group Marriage.”

1954 – Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes the first African American
general in the history of the United States Air Force.
He is designated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

1960 – Martin Luther King Jr. is released on bond from the
Georgia State Prison in Reidsville. Political observers
say the John F. Kennedy call for King’s release increased
the number of African American voters who ensured his

1971 – The Republic of the Congo becomes the Republic of Zaire.

1978 – President Carter signs the Hawkins-Humphrey full
employment bill.

1979 – St Vincent & the Grenadines becomes independent of Great

1981 – Andrew Young, former United Nations Ambassador, is elected
mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.

2003 – Walter Washington, ex-mayor of Washington, DC, joins the
ancestors at age 88. He was the first elected mayor of
the nation’s capital in modern times and the first
African American to head the government of a major U.S.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry

shut in/shut out


tumblr_m27x3nG6dD1r83fyio1_4001I always take a selfie on my birthday but this year I’ve been taking pictures all month long. Every time I’m out with friends, I ask someone to snap a photo with their phone so that there’s proof of our outing. I’ve just started writing again—850 words yesterday, 300 the day before. I’m hoping to get back up to a thousand words a day, which should allow me to finish The Return by Xmas. I have my first BPL-sponsored school visit in a few days and since I’m no longer teaching, I have plenty of days when I don’t have to leave the house. Which is good when I’m writing, but not so good when I’m not. Yesterday I went up to the Society of Illustrators to see The Original Art show and the Leo & Diane Dillon retrospective. The Original Art exhibit took up two floors and the…

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medieval mix


Hudson Just Us Books (February 1, 1997) Cover art by the Dillons for In Praise of Our Mothers & Fathers, Just Us Books (1997)

I’ve started planning my annual low-key birthday celebration. This Brooklyn photography exhibit is on the list along with the Dillons’ retrospective at the Society of Illustrators. Then on the actual day I think I’ll visit the Cloisters and maybe have Ethiopian food with friends. The best gift would be to start writing again…tired of editing and the endless administrative tasks that go into publishing a book. I’m prepping An Angel for Mariqua and Fox & Crow: a Christmas Tale for a Thanksgiving release; if I can then start working on Judah’s Tale, I’ll publish that YA novel and Billie’s Blues (a picture book) in early 2015. Happy Birthday…get busy!


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Dark Facade: Let the Party Begin


Dark Facade

“He is so damn cute!” Lisa said, dreamily staring at the screen of a slightly tanned white man with the widest smile.

Just getting into the office, Maxine sighed, not really wanting to listen to her co-worker’s machinations all day of cute guys. Lisa put work second and her personal life first, which was why Maxine ended up finishing projects Lisa was supposed to complete.

Maxine hadn’t had her coffee and a migraine was on the brink of overtaking her whole face.

Sighing in anxiety as she was highly irritated by all the work Lisa should have been doing, Maxine bit back her consternation and turned her attention on Lisa’s screen. Maxine wrinkled her nose at the screen, not really taking a good look, but just accessing the fact that this was a white man. She was never into white guys, but heck, it was a free country and Lisa…

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