January 4 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 4 *

1787 – Prince Hall, founder of the first African American Masonic
lodge, and others petition the Massachusetts legislature for
funds to return to Africa. The plan is the first recorded
effort by African Americans to return to their homeland.

1832 – A major insurrection of slaves on Trinidad occurs.

1901 – Cyril Lionel Richard James is born in Tunapuna, Trinidad. He
will become a writer, historian, Marxist social critic, and
activist who deeply influenced the intellectual underpinnings
of West Indian and African movements for independence. He was
born into an educated family in colonial Trinidad. At the age
of nine He earned a scholarship to Queen’s Royal College, in
Port of Spain, Trinidad, and graduated in 1918. In 1932 James
left Trinidad for England. He will become involved in socialist
politics, gravitating toward a faction of anti-Stalinist
Marxists. He applied Leon Trotsky’s views about a worldwide
workers’ revolution to his colonial home. The result, in part,
was “The Life of Captain Cipriani: An Account of British
Government in the West Indies” (1932), in which he called for
Caribbean independence. For a time in the 1970s he taught at
Federal City College in Washington, D.C. He lived the last
years of his life in London. Three volumes of his collected
works appeared as “The Future in the Present” (1977), “Spheres
of Existence” (1980), and “At the Rendezvous of Victory”
(1984). He will join the ancestors on May 31, 1989 in London,

1920 – Andrew “Rube” Foster organizes the Negro National Baseball

1935 – Floyd Patterson is born in Waco, North Carolina. He will become
a boxer, winning a gold medal in the 1952 Summer Olympic Games
in the middleweight class. He will become the first gold
medalist to win a world professional title. He will join the
ancestors on May 11, 2006.

1937 – Grace Ann Bumbry is born in St. Louis, Missouri. She will grow
up at 1703 Goode Avenue in the city. She will join the Union
Memorial Methodist Church’s choir at eleven, and sing at Sumner
High School. She will be a 1954 winner on the “Arthur Godfrey
Talent Scouts” show. After her concert debut in London in 1959,
Bumbry debuts with the Paris Opera the next year. In 1961,
Richard Wagner’s grandson features her in Bayreuth, Germany’s
Wagner Festival. The first person of African descent to sing
there, Bumbry will be an international sensation and win the
Wagner Medal. A mezzo-soprano who also successfully sang the
soprano repertoire, Grace Bumbry will record on four labels and
sing in concerts world wide. Her honors will include induction
into the St. Louis Walk of Fame, the UNESCO Award, the
Distinguished Alumna Award from the Academy of Music of the
West, Italy’s Premio Giuseppe Verdi, and being named Commandeur
des Arts et Lettres by the French government.

1944 – Dr. Ralph J. Bunche is appointed the first African American
official in the U.S. State Department.

1971 – Dr. Melvin H. Evans is inaugurated as the first elected governor
of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

1985 – Congressman William H. Gray is elected chairman of the House
Budget Committee, the highest congressional post, to date, held
by an African American.

1986 – David Robinson blocks a N.C.A.A. record 14 shots while playing
for the U.S. Naval Academy.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.

2015 Reading Challenges

Every new year, I often look for, but often fail to participate in, Reading Challenges.  This year, I am participating in two Reading Challenges: Diversity on the Shelf 2015  and The Unconventional Librarian’s 2015 Diversity Reading Challenge.  Both challenges support the need to read diverse books in a variety of ways.

Check back to see which books I have read for both challenges!

I have finally begun to read for the Reading Challenges!  The books I have read so far:

Bayou Magic, Jewell Parker Rhodes

Stella by Starlight, Sharon Draper

Chasing Freedom, Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Michele Wood

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Gone Crazy in Alabama, Rita Garcia-Williams

According to the Diversity on the Shelf 2015, I have finished my first shelf! Yes!

I have also read some books that meet the Unconventional Librarian’s 2015 Diversity Reading Challenge:

1.  A book written by an author of color: Gone Crazy in Alabama and Stella by Starlight

2. A book with a person of color on the cover: Gone Crazy in Alabama

4. A book in which the main character or a strong secondary character has a disability: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

6. A non-fiction or biography about someone of diverse background: Chasing Freedom by Nikki Grimes

7.  A book with an illustrator of color: Chasing Freedom, illustrated by Michele Wood

January 3 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 3 *

1621 – William Tucker is born in Jamestown, Virginia. He is the first
African American child, on record, born in the American

1945 – The Albany Institute of History and Art in New York State opens
its exhibit “The Negro Artist Comes of Age: A National Survey of
Contemporary American Artists.” The show includes works by
Aaron Douglas, William H. Johnson, Palmer Hayden, Eldzier
Cortor, Lois Mailou Jones, and others and will run for five weeks.

1947 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s
annual report calls 1946 “one of the grimmest years in the
history of the NAACP.” The report details violence and
atrocities heaped on “Negro veterans freshly returned from a
war to end torture and racial extermination,” and said “Negroes
in America have been disillusioned over the wave of lynchings,
brutality and official recession from all of the flamboyant
promises of post war democracy and decency.”

1947 – William Dawson becomes the first African American to head a
congressional committee; Congressional proceedings are televised
for the first time as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and
New York got to see some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th

1956 – The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, established in 1870,
officially changes its name to the Christian Methodist Episcopal
Church. The denomination is headquartered today in Memphis,
Tennessee, and comprises a membership of nearly 500,000.

1961 – Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. is elected Chairman of The House
Education and Labor Committee.

1966 – Floyd B. McKissick, a North Carolina attorney, is named national
director of The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

1969 – Louis Stokes is sworn in as the first African American
congressman from the state of Ohio. He will serve more that ten
terms in Congress and be distinguished by his leadership of the
1977 Select Committee on Assassinations and chairmanship of the
House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics

1969 – Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. is seated by Congress
after being expelled by Congress in 1967, and re-elected by the
voters in his Harlem district.

1983 – Tony Dorsett sets an NFL record with a 99-yd rush, in a game
between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings.

1984 – Syria frees captured U.S. pilot Robert Goodman, shot down over
Damascus, after a personal appeal from Rev. Jesse Jackson.

1985 – Soprano, Leontyne Price bids adieu to the Metropolitan Opera in
New York. She sings the title role of “Aida”. Price had been
part of the Metropolitan Opera since 1961.

1985 – The Israeli government confirms the resettlement of 10,000
Ethiopian Jews.

1987 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first female artist –
“Lady Soul,” Aretha Franklin.

1989 – “The Arsenio Hall Show” premieres. It is the first regularly
scheduled nightly talk show to star an African American.

1997 – Bryant Gumbel co-hosts his final “Today” show on NBC.

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

January 2 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 2 *

1800 – Members of the Free Black Commission of Philadelphia petitions
Congress to abolish slavery.

1831 – The “Liberator” is published for the first time. An abolitionist
newspaper, it is started by William Lloyd Garrison.

1837 – The first National Negro Congress is held in Washington, DC.

1872 – The Mississippi legislature meets and elects John R. Lynch as the
Speaker of the House, at the age of twenty-four.

1898 – Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander is born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. She will become the first African American to
earn a Ph.D. in economics. She will join the ancestors on
November 1, 1989.

1903 – President Theodore Roosevelt shuts down the U.S. Post Office in
Indianola, Mississippi, for refusing to accept its appointed
postmistress because she is an African American.

1915 – John Hope Franklin is born in Rentlesville, Oklahoma. He will
become a scholar and historian most famous for his book “From
Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans,” which will
sell over two million copies. He will join the ancestors on
March 25, 2009.

1947 – Calvin Hill is born in the Turner Station neighborhood in
Dundalk, Maryland. He will be a running back with a 12 year
National Football League career from 1969 to 1981. He played for
the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.
He will be named to the Pro Bowl team 4 times (1969, 1972, 1973
and 1974). He will be the father of NBA star Grant Hill.

1957 – Sugar Ray Robinson is defeated by Gene Fullmer for the world
middleweight boxing title.

1963 – Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “That’s The Way Love Is” is released by
Duke Records.

1965 – The Selma, Alabama voter registration drive begins, led by the
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a major effort to get
African American voters registered to vote in Alabama.

1970 – Clifton Reginald Wharton, Jr. becomes the first African American
president of Michigan State University and the first African
American president of a major American university in the
twentieth century.

1970 – Dr. Benjamin E. Mays is named the first African American
president of the Atlanta, Georgia Board of Education.

1977 – Erroll Garner, pianist and composer, joins the ancestors in Los
Angeles, California. He was considered the best-selling jazz
pianist in the world, most famous for the jazz standard “Misty.”

1977 – Ellis Wilson joins the ancestors. An artist known for his
striking paintings of African Americans, his work had been
exhibited at the New York World’s Fair of 1939, the Harmon
Foundation, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Among his
best-known works are “Funeral Procession,” “Field Workers,” and
“To Market.”

1980 – Larry Williams, rhythm and blues singer best known for “Bony
Maronie”, joins the ancestors. He is found dead with a
gunshot wound to the head at the age of 45.

1981 – David Lynch, singer with The Platters, joins the ancestors at the
age of 76.

1984 – W. Wilson Goode, the son of a sharecropper, is sworn in as the
first African American mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1991 – Sharon Pratt Dixon is sworn in as mayor of Washington, DC,
becoming the first African American woman to head a city of
Washington’s size and prominence.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perr.y


Kwanzaa, founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga, is “a celebration of family, community and culture” from December 26 through January 1.  The Nguzo Saba, also known as the Seven Principles, are featured during this time.  The Seven Principles are:

Day 1: Umoja-Unity: To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Day 2: Kujichagulia-Self Determination: To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Day 3: Ujima-Collective Work and Responsibility: To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and solve them together.

Day 4: Ujamaa-Cooperative Economics: To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Day 5: Nia-Purpose: To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Day 6: Kuumba-Creativity: To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Day 7: Imani-Faith: To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

As we begin a new day in a new year, let us model, apply, and practice these principles in our daily living.

More information on Kwanzaa can be found on the official Kwanzaa website

January 1 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 1 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #7 – Imani (ee-MAH-nee) Faith: To believe with all our hearts *
* in our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our people and the *
* righteousness and victory of our struggle. *

1788 – The Quakers in Pennsylvania emancipate their slaves.

1804 – Haiti achieves independence from France.

1808 – The slave trade is outlawed in the United States. This stopped
the legal importation of African slaves, but did not stop
domestic trading in slaves.

1831 – William Lloyd Garrison publishes the first issue of “The
Liberator” in Boston, Massachusetts. The newspaper will become
a major influence in the movement to abolish slavery in the
United States.

1856 – Bridget “Biddy” Mason and her children are granted their freedom
by the California courts. After gaining her freedom, she will
move to Los Angeles, where she will become a major landowner and
be known for her philanthropy to the poor.

1863 – President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation,
declaring freedom for slaves living in the states that joined
the rebellion that will become known as the Civil War.

1900 – The British protectorates of Northern & Southern Nigeria are

1916 – The first issue of the “Journal of Negro History” is published
with Carter G. Woodson as editor.

1956 – Sudan becomes independent.

1959 – Chad becomes an autonomous republic within the French Community.

1960 – Cameroon gains independence from France.

1962 – Rwanda is granted internal self-government by Belgium.

1964 – The Federation of Rhodesia & Nyasaland is dissolved.

1973 – The West African Economic Community is formed with Benin, Ivory
Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Upper Volta as

1986 – Aruba becomes an independent part of Kingdom of the Netherlands.

1990 – David Dinkins is sworn in as first African American mayor of
New York City.

2005 – Shirley Chisholm, an advocate for minority rights who became the
first African American woman elected to Congress and later the
first African American to seek a major party’s nomination for
the U.S. presidency, joins the ancestors at the age of 80. The
Rev. Jesse Jackson calls her a “woman of great courage.”

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

December 31 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 31 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #6 – Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) Creativity: To do always as much as *
* we can, in the way that we can, in order to leave our community *
* more beautiful than when we inherited it. *

1775 – Alarmed by the impact of the British Dunmore proclamation, that
would give freedom to slaves who would fight on their side,
Gen. George Washington reverses himself and authorizes the
enlistment of free Blacks.

1783 – The importation of African slaves is banned by all of the
northern states in the United States.

1862 – The Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church holds a Watch
Night service in Suburban Maryland. It begins a tradition when
African Americans pray and worship in anticipation of the next
day, New Year’s Day 1863, when President Lincoln’s Emancipation
Proclamation is to take effect.

1871 – Annie Welthy Daughtry (later Holland) is born in Isle of Wight
County, Virginia. In 1921, she will be appointed North Carolina
Supervisor of Negro Elementary Education, a position she will
hold until she joins the ancestors. In 1927, she will found
North Carolina’s Colored Parent Teachers’ Association. She will
join the ancestors suddenly on January 6, 1934, while
addressing a county-wide meeting of Black teachers in
Louisburg, North Carolina.

1900 – Sculptor and educator Selma Burke is born in Mooresville, North
Carolina. She will be commissioned to create a profile of
President Franklin D. Roosevelt after a national competition
sponsored by the Fine Arts Commission in Washington, DC. The
completed project, a plaque, is unveiled and installed at the
Record of Deeds Building in Washington DC. She will join the
ancestors on August 29, 1995.

1930 – Odetta Felious Gordon Holmes is born in Birmingham, Alabama.
She will become a famous folksinger, known simply as “Odetta”,
who will sing all over the world and at major peace and civil
rights meetings, including the 1963 March on Washington. Among
the many musicians who cite Odetta as a major musical influence
have been Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. She will join
the ancestors on December 2, 2008.

1948 – LaDonna Adrian Gaines is born in Boston, Massachusetts. She will
be best known by her stage name, Donna Summer. She will become
a singer and songwriter, gaining prominence during the disco era
of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she will be
the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach #1
on the United States Billboard album chart and chart four number
one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. She will
reportedly sell over 100 million records, making her one of the
world’s best-selling artists of all time. She will first become
involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a
number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Also influenced by
the counterculture of the 1960s, she will become the front singer
of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and move to New York City.
Joining a touring version of the musical “Hair,” she will leave New
York and spend several years living, acting, and singing in West
Germany, where she will meet music producer Giorgio Moroder. Also
while in Europe, she will marry Helmut Sommer. After their divorce,
she will keep his surname for her stage name; dropping the “o” and
replacing it with a “u” for “Summer”. After returning to the United
States, she will co-write the song “Love to Love You Baby” with Pete
Bellotte. The song will be released in 1975 to mass commercial
success. Over the following years She will follow this success with
a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”,
“MacArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”,
“No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “On the Radio”. She will
become known as the “Queen of Disco” and regularly appear at the
Studio 54 nightclub in New York City, while her music gains a global
following. She will continue to perform until 2011. She will join
the ancestors on May 17,2912 in Naples, Florida, after succumbing to
lung cancer at the age of 63. On December 11, 2012, after four prior
nominations, she will be posthumously announced to be one of the 2013
inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,and will be inducted on
April 18, 2013, at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater.

1953 – Hulan Jack is inaugurated as Manhattan borough president, the
first African American to hold the post.

1953 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Paul R. Williams for
his achievements as an architect.

1962 – Katanga becomes part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

1964 – In a speech before a group of young people, Malcolm X urges them
“to see for yourself and listen for yourself and think for
yourself. This generation, especially of our people, have a
burden, more so than at any other time in history. The most
important thing we can learn to do today is think for

1972 – Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirate slugger, joins the ancestors
after a plane crash on his way to a humanitarian mission to

1976 – Roland Hayes joins the ancestors in Boston, Massachusetts at the
age of 89. He had been an acclaimed tenor whose pioneering
recitals of German lieder and other classical music opened the
concert stage for African American singers

1984 – The first nationally broadcast telethon for the United Negro
College Fund raises $14.1 million. The telethon will become an
annual fundraising drive that will support more than 40
historically African American institutions of higher learning
and draw widespread individual and corporate support.

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

December 30 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 30 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #5 – Nia (nee-AH) Purpose: To make as our collective vocation *
* the building and developing of our community in order to restore *
* our people to their traditional greatness. *

1842 – Josiah T. Walls is born near Winchester, Virginia. He will
become, in 1871, Florida’s first African American congressman.

1892 – Physician, Dr. Miles V. Lynk, publishes the first African
American medical journal.

1916 – Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, of Brown University, becomes
the first African American running back named to the All-
American team.

1928 – Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel is born in Magnolia, Mississippi. Better
known as Bo Diddley, he will influence a generation of musicians
including such groups as the Rolling Stones and the Doors. A
favorite of President John F. Kennedy, who invited Diddley to
play in the White House in 1962, he will be inducted into the
Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He will join the ancestors
on June 2, 2008.

1929 – The Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority is incorporated.

1929 – The “Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” campaign begins in Chicago
with picketing of Chain stores on the South Side. The campaign
spread to New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles and other cities and
continued throughout the Depression.

1929 – Mordecai W. Johnson receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his
work as the first African American president of Howard

1935 – Marian Anderson makes a historic appearance in New York City’s
Town Hall. Fresh from a triumphant tour in Europe, Anderson
will be hailed by New York critics as one of the “great singers
of our time.” Her performance will mark a new era in the
Philadelphian’s long and successful career. Her performance is
described by Howard Taubman, the New York Times reviewer, as
“music-making that probed too deep for words.”

1952 – Tuskegee Institute reports there were no lynchings during the
year for the first time in the 71 years it has been keeping such

1960 – Poet Langston Hughes is presented the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal and
cited as “the poet laureate of the Negro race.”

1960 – Two U.S. courts issues temporary injunctions to prevent eviction
of about seven hundred African American sharecroppers in Haywood
and Fayette counties, Tennessee.

1961 – Ben Johnson is born in Falmouth, Jamaica. He will become a world
class 100 meter runner. He win the Olympic gold medal in 1988
and will be later disqualified for using steroids.

1975 – The constitution of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar comes
into effect.

1975 – Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods is born in Cypress, California. He will
become the first African American or Asian American to win the
Masters Golf tournament. He will accomplish this feat in his
first year on the PGA tour at the age of 21 also making him the
youngest person to win the Masters tournament.

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

December 29 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 29 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #4 – Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) Cooperative Economics: To build and *
* maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit *
* from them. *

1907 – Robert Weaver is born in Washington, DC. He will become the
first African American appointed to a presidential cabinet
position when President Lyndon B. Johnson names him to head
the newly created Department of Housing and Urban Development.
He will join the ancestors on July 17, 1997.

1917 – Thomas Bradley is born in Calvert, Texas. He will become a
successful politician in California and will be elected as the
first African American mayor of Los Angeles by winning 56% of
the vote. He will serve as mayor for twenty years (five terms).
He will join the ancestors on September 29, 1998.

1925 – At 67, Anna Julia Cooper receives her doctorate from the
University of Paris. Officials of the French Embassy present
the degree to her at ceremonies at Howard University. Cooper
had been a noted college and secondary school educator and will
continue to teach and work for educational improvement for
African Americans until her death at the age of 105.

1939 – Kelly Miller joins the ancestors in Washington, DC. The first
African American to be admitted to Johns Hopkins University (In
1887), and later a longtime professor and dean at Howard
University, Miller was a noted writer, essayist, and newspaper
columnist who opposed the accommodations policies of Booker T.
Washington. He was best known, however, as a champion for
educational development for African Americans, dramatically
increasing enrollment at Howard and founding a “Negro-Americana
Museum and Library,” which will become Howard’s Moorland-
Spingarn Research Center.

1952 – Noted jazz bandleader Fletcher Henderson joins the ancestors in
New York City. Henderson worked early in his career with Harry
Pace of Black Swan Records as a recording manager and, in 1924,
started playing at the Roseland Ballroom, the same year he
added New Orleans trumpeteer Louis Armstrong to the band.
Armstrong’s short tenure helped it evolve from a dance to a
jazz band and established Henderson as the founding father of
the big band movement in jazz.

1954 – The Kingdom of the Netherlands, with Netherlands & Netherlands
Antilles as autonomous parts, comes into being.

1982 – Jamaica issues a postage stamp to honor Bob Marley.

2008 – Jazz trumpeter, Freddie Hubbard, joins the ancestors after
succumbing to a heart attack in Sherman Oaks, California.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

December 28 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 28 *

* The Nguzo Saba – The seven principles of Kwanzaa – Principle for *
* Day #3 – Ujima (oo-JEE-mah) Collective Work & Responsibility: To *
* build and maintain our community together and to make our Brother’s *
* and Sister’s problems, our problems and to solve them together. *

1817 – The American Colonization Society, a private philanthropic
organization, is organized in Washington, DC in the hall of the
House of Representatives, for the purpose of relocating freeborn
and emancipated blacks to Africa. The Society’s supporters
espoused a wide range of viewpoints on slavery and the treatment
of blacks, ranging from advocacy of the abolition of slavery to
the removal of the Negro race from the United States. The
primary motivation for this group stemmed from the fact that
there were too many ‘free’ Blacks in the United States.

1829 – Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman joins the ancestors. Freeman, born
into slavery, ran away from her owners after she was mistreated
by her master’s wife. She petitioned successfully for her
freedom, citing her knowledge of the Bill of Rights and the new
constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in her
argument that all men were created equal, thereby justifying
her petition for freedom. Her victory effectively abolished
slavery in Massachusetts. Freeman was the great-grandmother of
W.E.B. Dubois, one of America’s most renowned scholars,
leaders, and fighters for civil rights.

1905 – Earl “Fatha” Hines is born in Duquesne, Pennsylvania. He will
be considered the “Father of Modern Jazz Piano.”

1918 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to William Stanley
Braithwaite, poet, literary critic and editor, for
distinguished achievement in literature.

1918 – George H. White joins the ancestors at the age of 66 in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the last of the post
Reconstruction congressmen.

1954 – Denzel Washington is born in Mount Vernon, New York. He will
become an actor, playing Dr. Phillip Chandler for six seasons
on television’s “St. Elsewhere” and have a successful movie
career that will include roles in “A Soldier’s Story” and an
Oscar-winning performance in “Glory.”

1959 – Everson Walls is born. He will become a NFL corner back with
the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.

1977 – Karen Farmer becomes the first African American member of the
Daughters of the American Revolution, when she traces her
ancestry back to William Hood, a soldier in the Revolutionary

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