* Today in Black History – October 3 *
1856 – T. (Timothy) Thomas Fortune is born a slave in Marianna,
Florida. In Chicago on January 25, 1890, he will
co-found the militant National Afro-American League to
right wrongs against African Americans authorized by law
and sanctioned or tolerated by public opinion. The league
will fall apart after four years. When it is revived in
Rochester, New York on September 15, 1898, it will have
the new name of the “National Afro-American Council”,
with him as President. Those two organizations will play
a vital role in setting the stage for the Niagara Movement,
NAACP, and other civil rights organizations to follow. He
will also be the leading advocate of using “Afro-American”
to identify his people. Since they are “African in origin
and American in birth”, it is his argument that it most
accurately defines them. With himself at the helm as co-
owner with Emanuel Fortune, Jr. and Jerome B. Peterson, the
New York Age will become the most widely read of all Black
newspapers. It will stand at the forefront as a voice
agitating against the evils of discrimination, lynching,
mob violence, and disenfranchisement. Its popularity is due
to his editorials which condemn all forms of discrimination
and demand full justice for all African Americans. Ida B.
Wells’s newspaper “Memphis Free Speech and Headlight” will
have its printing press destroyed and building burned as
the result of an article published in it on May 25, 1892. He
will then give her a job and a new platform from which to
detail and condemn lynching. His book, “The Kind of Education
the Afro-American Most Needs” is published in 1898. He will
publish “Dreams of Life: Miscellaneous Poems” in 1905. After
a nervous breakdown, he will sell the New York Age to Fred R.
Moore in 1907, who will continue publishing it until 1960.
He will publish another book, “The New York Negro in
Journalism” in 1915. He will join the ancestors on June 2,
1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1904 – The Daytona Normal and Industrial School opens in Daytona
Beach, Florida. In 1923, the school merges with Cookman
Institute and becomes Bethune-Cookman College. One of
the leading institutions for training teachers, founder
Mary McLeod Bethune will later say the college was
started on “faith and a dollar and a half.”
1926 – Marques Haynes is born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He will
become a professional basketball player with the Harlem
Globetrotters after four years at Langston University. He
will be known as “The World’s Greatest Dribbler.” In the
publication, “Harlem Globetrotters: Six Decades of Magic”
(1988), he will be cited as dribbling the ball as many as
six times a second. He will retire in 1992 after a 46-year
professional career as player and coach. He will be
inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on October 2,
1935 – Ethiopia is invaded by Italy, despite Emperor Haile
Selasse’s pleas for help to the League of Nations.
1941 – Ernest Evans is born in Spring Gulley, South Carolina.
Later adopting the name “Chubby Checker” after the
renowned Fats Domino, his best-known recording will be
the 1960’s “The Twist,” which will spark the biggest
dance craze since the Charleston in the 1920’s. In
September 2008, “The Twist” will top Billboard
Magazine’s list of the most popular singles to have
appeared in the “Hot 100” since its debut in 1958.
1949 – The first African American owned radio station, WERD-AM
in Atlanta, Georgia, is founded by Jesse Blanton, Sr.
1950 – Ethel Waters becomes the first African American star in
a TV series, when “Beulah” is aired.
1951 – Dave Winfield is born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He will
be selected in four major sports league drafts in 1973
– NFL, NBA, ABA, and MLB. He will choose baseball and
play in 12 All-Star Games over a 20-year career with
the San Diego Padres, the New York Yankees, and the
1974 – Frank Robinson is named manager of the Cleveland Indians.
He becomes the first African American manager in major
1979 – Artist Charles White, joins the ancestors at the age of
61 in Los Angeles, California.
1989 – Art Shell is named head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders.
He is the first African American coach named in the
National Football League in over 60 years.
1994 – U.S. soldiers in Haiti raid the headquarters of a pro-
army militia that is despised by the general Haitian
1994 – Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy announces his
resignation because of questions about gifts he had
1994 – South African President Nelson Mandela addresses the
United Nations, urging the world to support his
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.