November 10 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 10 *

1891 – Granville T. Woods obtains a patent for the electric 
railway.

1898 – A race riot occurs in Wilmington, North Carolina 
resulting in the death of eight African Americans. 

1898 – The National Benefit Life Insurance Company is 
organized in Washington, DC, by Samuel W. Rutherford. 
National Benefit will be the largest African American 
insurance company for several years.

1919 – Moise Tshombe is born near Musumba, in the then-Belgian 
Congo. He will lead a secessionist movement in Katanga, 
the Congo’s (Zaire) richest province in 1960, following 
independence from Belgium. In January 1963, UN forces 
will succeed in capturing Katanga, driving him into 
exile in Northern Rhodesia, later to Spain. In July 1964, 
he will return to the Congo to serve as prime minister 
in a new Coalition government. Scarcely a year later he 
will be dismissed from his position in October 1965 by 
President Joseph Kasavubu. In late 1965, Prime Minister 
Joseph Mobutu, who had staged a successful coup against 
President Kasavubu, will bring charges of treason against 
him. He will again flee the country, this time settling 
in Spain. In 1967, he will be sentenced to death in 
absentia. On June 30, 1967, a jet aircraft in which he was 
traveling in will be hijacked. He will be taken to Algeria, 
jailed, then placed under house arrest. He will join the
ancestors on June 29, 1969, the official cause of death
listed as “death from heart failure”.

1930 – Clarence M. Pendleton, Jr. is born in Louisville, Kentucky. 
He will become the first African American chairman of the 
United States Civil Rights Commission in 1981(through 
1988), where he will oppose affirmative action and 
busing to achieve school desegregation. He will support 
the Reagan social agenda and hence come into conflict 
with long-established civil rights dogma. He will 
oppose the use of cross-town school busing to bring 
about racial balance among pupils. He will challenge 
the need for affirmative action policies because he will
claim that African Americans could succeed without 
special consideration being written into law. Under his
tenure, the commission will be split by an internal 
debate over fundamental principles of equality under the 
law. The commission will narrow the description of legal 
and political rights at the expense of social and economic 
claims. The debate will center principally between him
and Mary Frances Berry, an original appointee of President 
Jimmy Carter. Democrat Morris B. Abram, also a Reagan 
appointee, will be vice chairman under him. He will 
describe “an intellectual sea change” at the agency with 
the conservative view dominant at that time. Authorized 
under the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the commission will be
reconstituted by a 1983 law of Congress after Reagan 
dismisses three commissioners critical of his policies. He
will join the ancestors on June 5, 1988 after succumbing 
to a heart attack.

1951 – Hosea Richardson becomes the first African American 
jockey to ride in Florida. 

1956 – David Adkin is born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He will 
become a comedian and actor, better known as “Sinbad.” 
He will get his big break on television’s “Star Search” 
in 1984. He will appear in the television series 
“Different World,” and become the emcee of “Showtime at 
the Apollo.” His movie credits will include “Necessary
Roughness,” “The Meteor Man,” “Coneheads,” “Sinbad-Afros 
and Bellbottoms,” “The Frog Prince,” “The Cherokee Kid,”
“Jingle All The Way,” “First Kid,” ” and “Good Burger.”
He will also produce and emcee the successful “Soul 
Music Festivals” that were held annually for a few years
in Caribbean countries.

1957 – Charlie Sifford becomes the first African American to 
win a major professional golf tournament, by winning the 
Long Beach Open.

1960 – Andrew Hatcher is named associate press secretary to 
President John F. Kennedy. He is the highest-ranking 
African American, appointed to date, in the executive 
branch. 

1968 – Ida Cox, blues singer of such songs as “Wild Women Don’t 
Have the Blues,” joins the ancestors in Knoxville, 
Tennessee.

1989 – The Rhythm and Blues Foundation presents its first 
lifetime achievement awards in Washington DC. Among the 
honorees are bluesmen Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, Percy 
Sledge (“When a Man Loves a Woman”), and Mary Wells (“My 
Guy”).

2006 – Gerald Levert, the fiery singer of passionate Rhythm & 
Blues love songs and the son of O’Jays singer Eddie 
Levert, joins the ancestors at the age of 40, at his 
home in Cleveland, Ohio.

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

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