February 2 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 2 *

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1914 – William Ellisworth Artis is born in Washington, North
Carolina. He will become one of the finest African American
artists of the twentieth century. He will be educated at
Syracuse University and become a student of Augusta Savage.
Artis’s sculptures will exhibit a strong originality and a
romantic, almost spiritual appeal. His works will be
exhibited at Atlanta University, the Whitney Museum, the
“Two Centuries of Black American Art” exhibit and collected
by Fisk University, Hampton University, the North Carolina
Museum of Art, and private collectors. He will join the
ancestors in 1977 in Northport, New York.

1915 – Biologist Ernest E. Just receives the Spingarn Medal for his
pioneering research on fertilization and cell division.

1948 – President Harry S. Truman sends a message to Congress
pressing for civil rights legislation, including anti-
lynching, fair employment practices, and anti-poll tax
provisions.

1956 – Autherine J. Lucy becomes the first African American student
to attend the University of Alabama.

1956 – Seven whites and four African Americans are arrested after
an all-night civil rights sit-in at the Englewood, New
Jersey city hall.

1956 – Four African American mothers are arrested after a sit-in at
a Chicago elementary school. The mothers later receive
suspended $50 fines. Protests, picketing and demonstrations
continue for several weeks against de facto segregation,
double shifts and mobile classrooms.

1971 – Ugandan army strongman Major-General Idi Amin ousts Milton
Obote and assumes full power as military head of state and
forms an 18-man cabinet to run the country. Amin, a Muslim,
strengthens ties with Arab nations and launches a genocidal
program to purge Uganda’s Lango and Acholi ethnic groups.
He will order all Asians to leave the country, which will
thrust Uganda into economic chaos. During Amin’s regime,
about 300,000 Ugandans will be killed.

1984 – Ralph Sampson, one of the Houston Rockets ‘Twin Towers’, is
named Rookie of the Month in the National Basketball
Association. To earn the honor, Sampson averages 24.4
points, 12 rebounds and 2.43 blocked shots per game during
the month of January. In addition, Sampson will become the
only rookie (up to that time) to be named to the NBA’s All-
Star Game.

1988 – A commemorative stamp of James Weldon Johnson is issued by
the United States Postal Service as part of its Black
Heritage USA series.

1990 – In a dramatic concession to South Africa’s Black majority,
President F.W. de Klerk lifts a ban on the African National
Congress, and sixty other political organizations and
promises to free Nelson Mandela.

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

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