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.

Black Girl with a Spanish Name

Latinxs in Kid Lit

By Libertad Araceli Thomas

“Do you know what your name means?”

This was a question that made me hate name tags since the second grade. “Libertad? You know it means ‘Freedom’ in Spanish, right?” Of course, I knew what my name meant. I knew what it meant when I was old enough to talk, I knew what it meant before I ever entered school, and I knew what it meant at 18 years old when I took my first job as a barista at a local coffee shop and was again subjected to wearing the name tags I so dreaded as a kid. At home, I was Libertad, but to the world I was a Black girl with a Spanish name.

From first glance, loads of people tell me I don’t “look” Latina. And what’s devastating is that for a while, I believed them. You see, a darker skinned girl…

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Holiday gift ideas from Cherrie Amour!


Hello Everyone:
If you missed Cherrie Amour’s Detroit appearance last month–you can enjoy reading her poetry book or listening to her CD available below.  Of course; anyone would be delighted to receive a Cherrie Amour gift for the holidays.  You’ll appreciate Cherrie’s take on “What Love Ain’t.  See the link below to download the track for free.  
For more info on Cherrie’s book and CD;  click on the Red Bows.
Christmas is December 25th, Hanukkah started at sundown on December 16th – December 24th andKwanzaa starts on December 26th – January 1st 2015.
Cherrie Amour
Baltimore-based Cherrie Amour is a poet/author who writes about love, life and relationships. She recently released her first book of poetry, Free to Be Me, Poems on Love, Life and Relationships (one of the poems, “Hermoso Negro” won a 2013 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and is featured in the 2014 Paterson Literary Review)

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