December 23 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 23 *

1815 – Henry Highland Garnet is born in New Market, Maryland.
He will become a noted clergyman and abolitionist. He
will also be the first African American to deliver a
sermon before the House of Representatives.

1863 – Robert Blake, powder boy aboard the USS Marblehead, is
the first African American to be awarded the Naval Medal
of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary
heroism, and intrepidity at the risk of his own life.”
The heroic action occurred during a victorious battle
off the coast of South Carolina.

1867 – Sarah Breedlove is born in Delta, Louisiana. She will
be better known as Madame C.J. Walker, the first female
African American millionaire whose hair-care, toiletry,
and cosmetics products revolutionized the standard of
beauty for African American women. Her philanthropy and
generosity will make her a popular figure in the early

1919 – Alice H. Parker patents the gas heating furnace.

1935 – Esther Mae Jones is born in Galveston, Texas. She will
begin her career as a blues singer at 13 as “Little”
Esther Phillips, taking her name from a billboard for a
gasoline company. Problems with drugs and alcohol will
cause her to interrupt her career a number of times.
She will record several memorable songs including “And
I Love Him” and “Release Me.”

1946 – The University of Tennessee refuses to play Duquesne
University, because they may use an African American
player in their basketball game.

1990 – Wendell Scott joins the ancestors in Danville, Virginia.
He was a prominent African American in early stock car
racing, finishing among the top five drivers in 20 Grand
National events and winning 128 races in the sportsman
division. His story will be told in the movie “Greased
Lightning,” that starred Richard Pryor as Scott.

1999 – President Clinton pardons Freddie Meeks, an African
American sailor court-martialed for mutiny during World
War II when he and other sailors refused to load live
ammunition following a deadly explosion at the Port
Chicago Naval Magazine near San Francisco that had
claimed more than 300 lives.

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

Librarian-ing on Twitter

Highly Textured Librarian

A better title for this post might be “Readers’ Advisory on Twitter” but making up a word was more fun and less jargon-y.

Anywho, I have a break from school until classes start back up at the end of January which is very exciting. During that time I plan to – when I’m already on Twitter – search for people who have asked for book recommendations. I’ve been doing it sporadically for some time, sparked by the “Slam the Boards” assignment I had last spring (2013).

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 11.33.16 PM

I enjoy it and there’s a chance that the folks I interact with will go to their library to pick up these books. Muahhhaaa, my hidden agenda uncovered!!

P.S. My first year anniversary of working as a library associate at AACPL was yesterday. Cheers! 🙂

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Happy Birthday Jerry Pinkney!

On this day in 1939, Jerry Pinkney, a future award winner children’s book author/illusrator was born.  Read about this multifaceted and award winning author/illustrator here:

More information about Jerry Pinkney:


The Pinkney family:

New York Times Book Review:

Reading Rockets:


December 22 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 22 *

1873 – Abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond joins the ancestors.
He was the first African American lecturer employed by
the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.

1883 – Arthur Wergs Mitchell is born near Lafayette, Alabama.
He will become the first African American Democrat
elected to Congress, representing Illinois for four
terms. In 1937, after being forced from first-class
train accommodations in Arkansas to ride in a shabby
Jim Crow car, Mitchell will sue the railroad and
eventually argue unsuccessfully before the Supreme Court
that interstate trains be exempt from Arkansas’
“separate but equal” laws. He will join the ancestors
on May 9, 1968.

1898 – Chancellor Williams is born in Bennettsville, South
Carolina. He will become a historian and author of
“Destruction of Black Civilization.” He will join the
ancestors on December 7, 1992.

1905 – James A. Porter is born in Baltimore, Maryland. An
artist, chairperson of the department of art at Howard
University and one of the earliest scholars of African
American art, Porter will exhibit his works widely in the
United States, Europe, and Africa. He will join the
ancestors on February 28, 1970.

1938 – Mateo Rojas (Matty) Alou is born in Haina, Dominican Republic.
He will spend fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB)
with the San Francisco Giants (1960–1965), Pittsburgh Pirates
(1966–1970), St. Louis Cardinals (1971–1972, 1973), Oakland
Athletics (1972), New York Yankees (1973) and San Diego
Padres (1974). He will also play in Nippon Professional
Baseball (NPB) with the Taiheiyo Club Lions from 1974 through
1976. He will be the middle of a trio of baseball-playing
brothers that include the older Felipe and Jesús. They will
be the first set of three siblings to play together in the
same outfield (on September 15), and all bat in the same half-
inning in the majors (September 10), accomplishing both with
the Giants in 1963. Matty will be teammates with Felipe during
the prior three campaigns, and will be likewise with Jesús for
the following two. Matty and Felipe will later reunite with
the Yankees in 1973. His best years as a player will be spent
with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he ill win the National
League (NL) batting title in 1966 and be a two-time All-Star
in 1968 and 1969. He will be a member of the World Series
Champion Oakland Athletics in 1972 and a NL pennant winner
with the New York Giants in 1962. On June 23, 2007, the
Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame will induct him
into their Hall of Fame. He will join the ancestors in Santo
Domingo, Dominican Republic on November 3, 2011 after
succumbing to complications of diabetes.

1939 – Jerry Pinkney is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He
will become an award-winning illustrator of children’s
books and numerous U.S. postage stamps featuring notable
African Americans. He will win the 2010 Caldecott Medal
for U.S. picture book illustration, recognizing “The Lion
& the Mouse,” a version of Aesop’s fable that he will
also write. He will also receive five Caldecott Honors,
five Coretta Scott King Awards, four New York Times Best
Illustrated Awards (most recently in 2006 for Little Red
Hen), four Gold and four Silver medals from the Society
of Illustrators, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award
(John Henry, 1994). In 2000 he will be given the Virginia
Hamilton Literary award from Kent State University and in
2004 the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for
outstanding contributions in the field of children’s
literature. For his contribution as a children’s
illustrator, he will be the U.S. nominee in 1998 for the
biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award,
the highest international recognition for creators of
children’s books.

1943 – W.E.B. Du Bois is elected as the first African American
member of the National Institute of Arts & Letters.

1980 – Samuel R. Pierce, Jr., a New York City lawyer and former
judge, is named to President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet as
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

1984 – Four African American youths on a New York City subway
train, are shot by Bernhard Goetz. The white man shoots
because he thought they were going to rob him. He claims
he was seconds from becoming a mugging victim when he
opened fire, and will be acquitted of attempted murder in
1987 but will serve 8 months on a weapons charge. In
1996, he will lose a civil case brought against him by
one of the youths that he shot and paralyzed. The civil
judgment brought against him will be $ 43 million.

1988 – South Africa signs an accord granting independence to South
-West Africa.

1989 – The art exhibit “Afro-American Artists in Paris: 1919-1939”
closes at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery on the
Hunter College campus in New York City. The exhibit of
eight artists including William Harper, Lois Mailou Jones,
Archibald Motley, Jr., Henry O. Tanner, and Hale Woodruff,
among others, powerfully illustrates the results achieved
by African American artists when they were able to leave
the confines and restrictions imposed upon them by race in
the United States.

1996 – Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs 80 yards
for a touchdown in the first half of an 18-14 loss to the
Carolina Panthers, the longest scoring run to date by a
quarterback in NFL history.

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

Happy Birthday Flo-Jo!

On this day in 1959, a glamorous athlete by the name of Delorenz Florence Griffith Joyner is born. She will win three gold medals at the 1988 Summer Olymic and a silver medal in the 1600-meter relay.  She will join the ancestors on September 21, 1998.

Information about this world-class athlete is listed below:


Olympic Medal Record:

ESPN Biography:

Youtube video:


December 21 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 21 *

1872 – Robert Scott Duncanson joins the ancestors in Detroit,
Michigan. He suffers a severe mental breakdown and ends
his life in the Michigan State Retreat. Duncanson
avoided painting in an ethnic style, favoring still
lifes and landscapes including “Mount Healthy,” “Ohio,”
“Blue Hole,” “Little Miami River,” and “Falls of
Minnehaha. The Detroit Tribune, on December 26, 1872,
refers to Duncanson as “an artist of rare

1911 – Joshua “Josh” Gibson is born in Buena Vista, Georgia. He
will become a professional baseball player in the Negro
Leagues. Gibson will begin playing in the Negro leagues
in 1930, at age 18. A catcher, he will play mostly for
teams in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, including
the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords. He will
also play winter baseball in Puerto Rico and the Dominican
Republic. He will join the ancestors suddenly in early
1947, the year that Jackie Robinson will become the first
African American player in the major leagues. In
recognition of his accomplishments, Gibson will be
inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. He will
be referred to as the “Negro Babe Ruth” hitting 800+ Home
Runs. Some say that Babe Ruth should have been referred
to as the “white Josh Gibson.”

1921 – P.B.S. Pinchback, a major Reconstruction politician, joins
at the ancestors at the age of 84.

1959 – Delorez Florence Griffith is born in Los Angeles,
California. As Florence Griffith Joyner, she will bring
glamour to women’s track and field. A world-classrunner,
“FloJo” will win three gold medals (in the 100-meter, 200-
meter and 400-meter races) at the 1988 Summer Olympic
Games in Seoul and a silver medal in the 1600-meter relay.
She will join the ancestors on September 21, 1998.

1959 – Citizens of Deerfield, Illinois block the building of
interracial housing.

1969 – Diana Ross makes her final television appearance as a
member of the Supremes on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1976 – Patricia R. Harris is named Secretary of Housing and Urban

1986 – While seeking a tow for his disabled car in Howard Beach
(Queens), New York, Michael Griffith is struck by an
automobile and killed as he attempts to escape from a mob
of whites who were beating him. The incident will spark
a controversy that will further divide factions in New
York City, already troubled by racially motivated violence.

1988 – Jesse Jackson, in a speech in Chicago, urges the use of the
term “African American”: “Every ethnic group in this
country has reference to some land base, some historical
cultural base. African Americans have hit that level of

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

December 20 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 20 *

1854 – Walter F. Craig is born in Princeton, New Jersey. He will
obtain his music education in Cleveland, Ohio under
Hermon Troste, Edward Mollenhauer and Carl Christian
Muller. He will become an excellent violin soloist and
accomplished conductor and composer. He will become the
organizer of Craig’s Celebrated Orchestra, and the first
African American to be admitted to the New York Musician’s
Mutual Protective Union. The Cleveland Gazette will refer
to him as “The Leading Colored Violinist in the East.”
He will live primarily in New York City and will perform
in Carnegie Hall between 1892 and 1900. He will join the
ancestors in 1920.

1870 – Robert H. Wood, Mississippi political leader, is elected
mayor of Natchez.

1870 – Allen University, Benedict College and LeMoyne-Owen
College are established.

1870 – Jefferson F. Long of Macon, Georgia, is elected to an
unexpired term in the Forty-first Congress. Georgia
Democrats carry the state election with a campaign of
violence and political intimidation.

1893 – Paul Lawrence Dunbar publishes “Oak and Ivy.” Unable to
afford the $125 publishing costs, he accepts a loan from
a white friend. The loan will be quickly repaid through
book sales, often to passengers in the elevator of the
Dayton, Ohio, building where he works.

1893 – The first state anti-lynching statute is approved in

1942 – Robert Lee “Bullet Bob” Hayes is born in Jacksonville,
Florida. He will be a two-sport stand-out in college in
both track and football at Florida A&M University. He
will become a world class sprinter for the United States,
winning the Gold Medal in the 100 meter dash in the 1964
Olympic games. He will have one of the top 100 meter times
by NFL players. He will be enshrined in the Dallas Cowboys
Ring of Honor in 2001 and selected for induction in the
Pro Football Hall of Fame in January 2009. He will be
officially inducted in Canton, Ohio on August 8, 2009. He
will be the second Olympic gold medalist to be inducted to
Pro Football Hall of Fame, after Jim Thorpe. He will be
considered the world’s fastest man by virtue of his
multiple world records in the 60-yard, 100-yard, 220-yard,
and Olympic 100-meter dashes, He will be the first man to
win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. He
will join the ancestors in Jacksonville, Florida on
September 18, 2002, after succumbing to renal failure,
after battling prostate cancer and liver ailments.

1956 – The African American community of Montgomery, Alabama votes
unanimously to end its 385 day bus-boycott. Montgomery,
Alabama, removes race-based seat assignments on its city’s

1981 – “Dreamgirls” opens on Broadway at the Imperial Theater.
The musical, which chronicles the rise of a black female
group in the 1960’s, star Jennifer Holliday, Ben Harney,
and Cleavant Derricks. Holliday, Derricks and
choreographer Michael Peters will earn Tony awards for
their work in the musical.

1988 – Max Robinson, the first African American network (ABC) TV
anchor, joins the ancestors after succumbing to
complications of AIDS at the age of 49.

1998 – Nigerian American Nkem Chukwu gives birth in Houston, Texas
to five girls and two boys, 12 days after giving birth to
another child, a girl. The tiniest of the babies will
succumb a week later.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 19 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 19 *

1798 – Portrait painter Joshua Johnston places an ad in the
“Baltimore Intelligencer” describing himself as “a self-
taught genius.” Johnston, a freeman, will paint portraits
of some of the most successful merchant families in
Maryland and Virginia. Only three of his subjects will
be African American, among them “Portrait of an Unknown
Man” and “Reverend Daniel Coker.”

1875 – Carter G. Woodson is born in New Canton, Virginia. A
founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life
and History, of the “Journal of Negro History,” and Negro
History Week, Woodson will write many books on African
American history. The most popular of his books will be,
“The Negro in Our History,” which will be used extensively
in high schools throughout the United States. He will join
the ancestors on April 3, 1950.

1886 – Clementine Rubin (later Hunter) is born in Clourtierville,
Louisiana. Because there were no birth certificates
issued in rural Louisiana during this time, there is much
controversy about her exact date of birth. Sources mention
her birth in December 1886 and January 1887. The only
real documentation of her earliest existence is a
christening document dated March, 1887. She will become a
painter in the 1930’s after spending years working on the
Melrose Plantation, a haven for many rural Southern
artists. Her first artistic medium will be quilt making,
and her first piece will be in 1938 exhibiting the
hardships of plantation life. Her first painting will be
completed in 1939. In 1955, she will become the first
African American artist to have a one person show at the
Delgado Museum (now known as the New Orleans Museum of
Art). Her folk-art style will earn her the nickname “the
Black Grandma Moses.” By the time she joins the ancestors
on January 1, 1988, she will be considered one of the
twentieth century’s leading folk artists.

1891 – Charles Randolph Uncles becomes the first African American
Catholic priest ordained in the United States. He is
ordained in Baltimore, Maryland.

1910 – The first city ordinance requiring white and black
residential areas is passed by the Baltimore City Council.
Similar laws will be passed in Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke,
Greensboro, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Dallas and

1910 – The Pittsburgh Courier newspaper is founded.

1910 – North Carolina College is founded in Durham, North Carolina.

1910 – The Norfolk Journal and Guide is established under the
leadership of P. B. Young Sr.

1930 – James Weldon Johnson resigns as executive secretary of
NAACP citing health reasons.

1930 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Henry A. Hunt,
Principal, Fort Valley High and Industrial School, Fort
Valley, Georgia, for his pioneering work as an educator.

1930 – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, founded at Howard University in
1913, is incorporated.

1933 – Cicely Tyson is born in the Village of Harlem in New York
City. She will pursue a modeling career, appearing on the
covers of both “Vogue” and “Harper’s Bazaar at the age of
23. She will later pursue acting and win acclaim for her
roles on the stage and on television, as well as in the
movie, Sounder (for which she will be named best actress
by the National Society of Film Critics and receive an
Academy Award nomination) and “The Autobiography of Miss
Jane Pittman,” for which she will win two Emmys.

1941 – Maurice White is born. He will become a singer, musician
(drummer) and founder of Earth, Wind & Fire. Some of his
hits include “Shining Star,” “Sing a Song,” “Got to Get
You into My Life,” “After the Love Has Gone,” and “Best of
My Love”.

1944 – Timothy Reid is born in Norfolk, Virginia. He will become
a comedian and known for his role as “Venus Flytrap” on
“WKRP in Cincinnati, as well as “Frank’s Place.”

1961 – Reggie White is born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He will
become an all-pro defensive lineman for the NFL
Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers. He will play
with Green Bay as they win the 1997 Super Bowl. He will
hold the NFL record of 198 sacks until it is broken by
Bruce Smith of the Washington Redskins in 2003. He will
retire from football at the end of the 1998-1999 season.
He will join the ancestors on December 26, 2004, after
succumbing to a cardiac arrhythmia caused by cardiac and
pulmonary sarcoidosis.

1962 – Nyasaland secedes from Rhodesia.

1977 – Jimmy Rogers, a bluesman who played guitar for the original
Muddy Waters band and who will be inducted into the Blues
Hall of Fame in 1994, joins the ancestors in Chicago at the
age of 73. He succumbs to colon cancer. He recorded a
string of solo hits beginning in the 1950s, including
“Walking by Myself,” “Chicago Bound” and “Sloppy Drunk.”
He played with Water’s Band in Chicago clubs and in the
studio for about a decade. In 1996, he won the W.C. Handy
award for male traditional blues artist.

1989 – Police in Jacksonville, Florida, disarm a parcel bomb at the
local NAACP office, the fourth in a series of mail bombs to
turn up in the Deep South. One bomb kills a Savannah,
Georgia, alderman, and another a federal judge in Alabama.
Walter L. Moody Jr. will be convicted in both bombings.

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

December 18 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 18 *

1852 – George H. White is born in Rosindale, North Carolina.
He will become a lawyer, state legislator, and in 1896,
the only African American member of the United States
House of Representatives, where he will be the first to
introduce an anti-lynching bill. White will also found
the town of Whitesboro, New Jersey, as a haven for
African Americans escaping southern racism. He will join
the ancestors on December 28, 1918.

1860 – South Carolina declares itself an “independent

1865 – Congress proclaims the ratification of the thirteenth
Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. The
ratification process had been completed on December 6,

1917 – Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis is born in Cogdell, Georgia.
While he will be best known as an actor in such plays as
“Jeb” (where he will meet his wife, Ruby Dee) and “Purlie
Victorious” and films like “Let’s Do It Again,” “Do The
Right Thing,” and “Jungle Fever,” he will be a playwright,
screenwriter, and director(Cotton Comes to Harlem). In
1969, he will win an Emmy for his role in “Teacher,
Teacher” and will be a featured performer in television’s
“Evening Shade.” He will join the ancestors on February 4,

1958 – Niger gains autonomy within the French Community of Nations.

1961 – Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 78
points vs the Los Angeles Lakers.

1964 – Funeral services are held in Chicago for Sam Cooke. Hundreds
of fans will cause damage to the A.R. Leak Funeral Home,
where Cooke’s body is on display.

1971 – Jesse Jackson announces the formation of Operation Push
(People United to Save Humanity), a new African American
political and economic development organization. Jackson,
who resigned from Operation Breadbasket, the economic arm
of the SCLC, says, “the problems of the 1970’s are economic
so the solution and goal must be economic.”

1971 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Rev. Leon H.
Sullivan, founder of Opportunities Industrialization
Centers of America (OIC) for his leadership.

1989 – Ernest Dickerson wins the New York Film Critics Circle Award
for best cinematography for the movie “Do the Right Thing.”

1996 – The Oakland, California School board becomes the first in
the nation to recognize Black english, a.k.a. Ebonics, as a
separate language, NOT a dialect or slang.

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

December 17 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 17 *

1920 – South Africa receives League of Nations mandate over South
West Africa.

1937 – Art Neville is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will
become a member of the popular singing group, “The
Neville Brothers.”

1939 – Eddie Kendricks is born in Union Springs, Alabama. He will
become one of the original members of the Motown group,
“The Temptations”. He will begin a solo career in 1971 and
will have many successful hits such as “Keep on Truckin”
and “Boogie Down.” In 1982, he will rejoin the Temptations
for a reunion tour and again in 1989, when the group is
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He will
join the ancestors after succumbing to cancer on
October 5, 1992.

1945 – Ernie Hudson is born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He will
become an actor and best known for his role in the movie

1971 – Congressman Charles Diggs, Jr. resigns from the United
States’ delegation to the United Nations in protest of the
Nixon administration’s policies regarding Africa.

1975 – Noble Sissle joins the ancestors in Tampa, Florida at the
age of 86. A protege of James Reese Europe, Sissle traveled
with the famous bandleader to Europe as the drum major in
the 369th Regimental Band and teamed with Eubie Blake to
form the writing team of Sissle and Blake. Together with
Flourney Miller and Aubrey Lyles, Sissle and Blake wrote
“Shuffle Along” and other musicals. A founding member of
the Negro Actor’s Guild, Sissle was a successful orchestra
and bandleader in his own right, touring Europe in the
1930’s and with the USO during World War II.

1975 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Henry (“Hank”)
Aaron “for his memorable home-run record which stands as a
landmark” and for his sportsmanship.

1979 – In a case that aggravates racial tensions, Arthur McDuffie,
a Black insurance executive, is fatally beaten after a
police chase in Miami. Four white police officers are
later acquitted of charges stemming from McDuffie’s death.

1991 – Michael Jordan, outstanding guard for the Chicago Bulls, who
led his team to their first-ever NBA championship, is named
the 1991 “Sport Illustrated” Sportsman of the Year.
Jordan’s likeness will appear on the December 23rd issue of
the magazine in the form of a full-color holographic
stereogram, a first for a mass-market publication.

1999 – Jazz great Grover Washington, Jr. joins the ancestors
resulting from a heart attack following a taping session.

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