September 15 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 15 *

1830 – The first National Negro Convention begins in Philadelphia,

1876 – White terrorists attack Republicans in Ellenton, South
Carolina. Two whites and thirty-nine African Americans are

1890 – Claude McKay is born in Sunnyville, Jamaica. Emigrating to
the United States in 1912, he will be come a poet and
winner of the 1928 Harmon Gold Medal Award for Literature.
Author of the influential poetry collection “Harlem
Shadows”, he will also be famous for the poems “The
Lynching,” “White Houses,” and “If We Must Die,” which
will be used by Winston Churchill as a rallying cry during
World War II. He will join the ancestors on May 22, 1948.

1898 – The National Afro-American Council is founded in Rochester,
New York. Bishop Alexander Walters of the AME Zion Church
is elected president. The organization proposes a program
of assertion and protest.

1915 – Julius “Nipsey” Russell is born in Atlanta, Georgia. He
will become a comedian and actor. He will star in “Car 54
Where Are You?” (the movie), “Barefoot in the Park,”
“Masquerade Party, and Varsity Blues.” He will also be a
panelist on “Match Game” and “Hollywood Squares.” He will
join the ancestors on October 2, 2005.

1923 – The governor of Oklahoma declares that Oklahoma is in a
“state of virtual rebellion and insurrection” because of
Ku Klux Klan activities. Martial law is declared.

1924 – Robert Waltrip “Bobby” Short is born in Danville, Illinois. He
will become a singer and pianist. In 1968, he will be offered
a two-week stint at the Café Carlyle in New York City, to
fill in for George Feyer. He (accompanied by Beverly Peer on
bass and Dick Sheridan on drums) will become an institution at
the Carlyle, as Feyer had been before him, and will remain
there as a featured performer for over 35 years. In 2000, The
Library of Congress will designate him a Living Legend, a
recognition established as part of its bicentennial
celebration. He will join the ancestors on March 21, 2005.

1928 – Julian Edwin Adderly is born in Tampa, Florida. He will be
best known as “Cannonball” Adderly, a jazz saxophonist who
will play with Miles Davis as well as lead his own band
with brother Nat Adderly and musicians such as Yusef
Lateef and George Duke. Songs made famous by him and his bands
include “This Here” (written by Bobby Timmons), “The Jive
Samba,” “Work Song” (written by Nat Adderley), “Mercy, Mercy,
Mercy” (written by Joe Zawinul) and “Walk Tall” (written by
Zawinul, Marrow and Rein). He will join the ancestors on August
8, 1975. Later that year, he will be inducted into the Down Beat
Jazz Hall of Fame.

1943 – Actor and activist Paul Robeson acts in the 296th
performance of “Othello” at the Shubert Theatre in New
York City.

1963 – Four African American schoolgirls – Addie Collins, Denise
McNair, Carol Robertson and Cynthia Wesley – join the ancestors
after being killed in a bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist
Church in Birmingham, Alabama. It is an act of violence that
will galvanize the civil rights movement.

1964 – Rev. K.L. Buford and Dr. Stanley Smith are elected to the
Tuskegee City Council and become the first African
American elected officials in Alabama in the twentieth

1969 – Large-scale racially motivated disturbances are reported
in Hartford, Connecticut. Five hundred persons are
arrested and scores are injured.

1978 – Muhammad Ali wins the world heavyweight boxing championship
for a record third time by defeating Leon Spinks in New
Orleans, Louisiana.

1987 – Boxer, Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, becomes the first African
American to win boxing titles in five different weight

1991 – San Diego State freshman, Marshall Faulk, sets the NCAA
single game rushing record of 386 yards.

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


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