* Today in Black History – November 30 *
1869 – John Roy Lynch is elected to the Mississippi House of
1912 – Gordon Parks, Sr. is born in Fort Scott, Kansas. In the
late 1930’s, while working as a railroad porter, he
will become interested in photography and launch his
career as a photographer and photojournalist. From
1943 to 1945, he will be a correspondent for the Office
of War Information, giving national exposure to his
work. This will lead to him becoming a staff
photographer for Life magazine in 1948. He will branch
off into film and television in the 1950’s and in 1968
will produce, direct, and write the script and music
for the production of his book, “The Learning Tree.”
He will also direct and write the music scores for the
movies “Shaft,” “Shaft’s Big Score,” The Super Cops,”
“Leadbelly,” “Odyssey of Solomon Northrup” and “Moments
Without Proper Names.” He will also direct “Superfly,”
“Three The Hard Way,” “Aaron Loves Angela,” and be
called a “Twentieth Century Renaissance Man” by the
NAACP, who will award him its Spingarn Medal in 1972.
The Library of Congress will honor him in 1982 with the
National Film Registry Classics designation for his
film, “The Learning Tree.” He will join the ancestors
on March 7, 2006.
1924 – Shirley Anita St. Hill (later Chisholm) is born in
Brooklyn, New York. While an education consultant for New
York City’s day-care division, she will become active in
community and political activities that included the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) and her district’s Unity Democratic Club. She
will begin her political career at the age of 40, when she
is elected to the state assembly. In 1968, she will be the
first African American woman elected to Congress,
defeating civil-rights leader James Farmer, who had
asserted in his campaign that African American voters
needed “a man’s voice in Washington.” She will run for
President in 1972 and continue her Congressional duties
1933 – Sam Gilliam is born in Tupelo, Mississippi. He will become
an artist known for his unique manipulation of materials
that result in painted sculpture or suspended paintings.
His work will be shown at the 36th Venice Miennale as well
as in the exhibit “African-American Artists 1880-1987.”
1937 – Robert Guillaume (Williams) is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
He will become an actor and be best known for his roles in
the sit-coms “Soap” and “Benson”.
1944 – Luther Ingram is born in Jackson, Mississippi. He will
become a rhythm and blues musician and singer and will be
best known for the song, “(If Lovin’ You is Wrong) I Don’t
Want to be Right.”
1948 – The Negro National League (Professional Baseball) officially
disbands. Although black teams will continue to play for
several years, they will no longer be major league caliber.
The demise of the Negro Leagues was inevitable as the
younger black players were signed by the white major league
1953 – Albert Michael Espy is born in Yazoo City, Mississippi. In
1987, he will be sworn in as the state’s first African
American congressman since John Roy Lynch more than 100
years before. He will become Secretary of Agriculture
during the Bill Clinton administration. Leaving the
cabinet under fire and indicted for corruption, he will
later be vindicated when he is found not guilty.
1956 – Archie Moore is defeated by Floyd Patterson, as Patterson
wins the heavyweight boxing title vacated by the retired
Rocky Marciano. At the age of 21, Patterson becomes the
youngest boxer to be named heavyweight champion.
1962 – Bo Jackson is born in Bessemer, Alabama. The 1985 Heisman
Trophy winner will be one of the few professional athletes
to play in two sports – football and baseball.
1965 – Judith Jamison makes her debut with Alvin Ailey’s American
Dance Theatre in Chicago, dancing in Talley Beaty’s Congo
Tango Palace. Jamison will rejoin the company in 1988 as
artistic associate due to the failing health of Alvin
Ailey. she will become the company’s artistic director in
1989 upon Ailey’s death.
1966 – Barbados gains its independence from Great Britain.
1975 – The state of Dahomey becomes the People’s Republic of
1981 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Coleman A. Young
“in recognition of his singular accomplishments as mayor
of the City of Detroit.”
1990 – Ruth Washington, long-time publisher of the Los Angeles
Sentinel, joins the ancestors. Following the death of
her husband Chester, Washington acted as publisher of the
weekly newspaper, founded in 1933, for sixteen years.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.