* Today in Black History – November 28 *
1868 – John Sengstacke Abbott is born in Frederica, Georgia.
The son of former slaves, he will attend Hampton
Institute and prepare himself for the printing trade.
He will also go on to law school, and will work as an
attorney for a few years, but will change careers to
become a journalist. He will found the Chicago Defender,
a weekly newspaper on May 6, 1905. He will start the
paper on $25, and in the beginning, operate it out of
his kitchen. Under his direction, the Defender will
become the most widely circulated African American
newspaper of its time and a leading voice in the fight
against racism. He will cultivate a controversial,
aggressive style, reporting on such issues as violence
against blacks and police brutality. The Defender will
raise eyebrows with its anti-lynching slogan – “If you
must die, take at least one with you,” its opposition
to a segregated Colored Officers Training Camp in Fort
Des Moines, Iowa in 1917, and its condemnation of Marcus
Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
Through the Defender, he will also play a major role in
the “Great Migration” of many African Americans from the
South to Chicago. He will join the ancestors on
February 22, 1940.
1871 – The Ku Klux Klan trials begin in Federal District Court
in South Carolina.
1907 – Charles Alston is born in Charlotte, North Carolina.
After studying at Columbia University and Pratt
Institute, he will travel to Europe and the Caribbean,
execute murals for Harlem Hospital and Golden State
Mutual Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles, earning
the National Academy of Design Award, and the First
Award of the Atlanta University Collection’s 1942 show
for his watercolor painting, “Farm Boy”. As a teacher,
he will teach at the Harlem Community Art Center, Harlem
Art Workshop, and Pennsylvania State University. He
will be an associate professor of painting at The City
University of New York and a muralist for the WPA during
the Depression. His two-panel mural of that period,
“Magic and Medicine,” can be seen at Harlem Hospital. He
will become a full professor at City University of New
York in 1973. He will join the ancestors on April 27,
1929 – Berry Gordy is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will become
the the founder and president of Motown Records, the
most successful African American-owned record company.
Gordy’s “Motown Sound” will become synonymous with the
1960’s and will launch the careers of Diana Ross and the
Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson
and the Miracles, the Jackson Five, and many others.
1942 – Richard Wright, author of “Native Son” and “Black Boy”,
joins the ancestors in Paris, France at the age of 52.
1942 – Paul Warfield is born in Warren, Ohio. He will become an
wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.
Over his career, he will catch 427 passes for 8,565 yards
and 85 touchdowns. He will have a sensational 20.1-yard
per catch average and will be All-NFL five years. He also
will be named to eight Pro Bowls. He will be enshrined in
the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
1958 – Chad, Congo, and & Mauritania become autonomous members of
the French World Community.
1960 – Mauritania gains independence from France.
1961 – The Downtown Athletic Club awards the Heisman Trophy to
Ernie Davis, a halfback from Syracuse University. He is
the first African American to win the award.
1966 – A coup occurs in Burundi overthrowing the monarchy. A
republic is declared as a replacement form of government.
1981 – Pam McAllister Johnson is named as publisher of Gannett’s
Ithaca (New York) Journal. She is the first African
American woman to head a general circulation newspaper in
the United States.
1992 – In King William’s Town, South Africa, four people are
killed, about 20 injured, when black militant gunmen
attack a country club.
2011 – Comedian and Actor, Patrice O’Neal, joins the ancestors at
the age of 41, succumbing to complications of a stroke he
suffered in September. O’Neal had appeared on shows like
“The Office” and “The Chappelle Show” as well as being a
regular guest on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.