* Today in Black History – January 11 *
1870 – The first reconstruction legislature meets in Jackson,
Mississippi. Thirty one of the 106 representatives and five
of the 33 senators are African American.
1892 – William D. McCoy, of Indiana, is appointed United States
Minister to Liberia.
1902 – Acknowledging the increasing attention African American
athletes receive, the Baltimore “Afro-American” states, “Mr.
[Joe] Gans gets more space in the white papers than all the
respectable colored people in the state.” Gans is the world
lightweight boxing champion and first native African
American world title holder.
1924 – James Isaac Moore is born in Lobdell, Louisiana (outside of
Baton Rouge). During the 1940’s he will teach himself how
to play the harmonica and begin working juke joints, clubs,
parties, and picnics in Louisiana. He will become a major
blues musician, a leading exponent of the swamp blues style,
and “one of the most commercially successful blues artists
of his day”. His most successful and influential recordings
will include “I’m a King Bee” (1957), “Rainin’ In My Heart”
(1961), and “Baby Scratch My Back” (1966) which will reach
no.1 on the Rhythm & Blues chart and no.16 on the US pop
chart. A master of the blues harmonica, his stage name will
be derived from the popular nickname for that instrument,
the “harp”. He will work professionally with his brother-in
-law, Lightnin’ Slim and will be known as “Slim Harpo.” He
will be a big influence on British blues-rockers of the
mid-Sixties. He will join the ancestors on January 31, 1970,
after succumbing to a sudden heart attack.
1936 – Charles W. Anderson enters the Kentucky House of
Representatives as its first elected African American member.
He will serve for six consecutive terms and will help to
dismantle legal segregation in his state, when his bill
allowing African American and white nurses to go to the same
school is passed in 1948.
1947 – Evangelina Rodriguez joins the ancestors in San Pedro de
Macoris, Dominican Republic. She had been the first woman to
graduate from medical school in the Dominican Republic,
becoming the first woman physician to practice in that
1957 – Darryl Dawkins is born in Orlando, Florida. He will become
one of only five players to enter the NBA right out of high
school and survive. He will go on to play for fourteen
seasons as a center for the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia
1960 – Chad declares its independence from France.
1961 – Racially motivated disturbance erupts on the University of
Georgia campus as a result of civil rights demonstrations by
African American students. African American students
Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes are suspended but will
be reinstated by a federal court order. Hunter-Gault will
become an Emmy award-winning journalist with “The
MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.”
1962 – Nelson Mandela leaves South Africa, traveling to Ethiopia,
Algeria, and England to speak out against apartheid in South
1985 – Reuben V. Anderson is appointed as judge on the Mississippi
Supreme Court. Anderson is the first African American named
to the court.
1986 – L. Douglas Wilder, of Virginia, is sworn in as the first
African American Lt. Governor since reconstruction.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.