* Today in Black History – January 13 *
1869 – A National Convention of African American leaders meets in
Washington, DC. Frederick Douglass is elected president.
1869 – The first African American labor convention is held when the
Convention of the Colored National Labor Union takes place.
1873 – P.B.S. Pinchback relinquishes the office of governor, saying
at the inauguration of the new Louisiana governor: “I now have
the honor to formally surrender the office of governor, with
the hope that you will administer the government in the
interests of all the people [and that] your administration
will be as fair toward the class that I represent, as mine has
been toward the class represented by you.”
1913 – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is founded on the campus of Howard
University. The sorority will grow, from the original 22
founders, to over 175,000 members in over 800 chapters in the
United States, West Germany, the Caribbean, Liberia, and the
Republic of South Korea.
1953 – Don Barksdale becomes the first African American person to play
in an NBA All-Star Game.
1966 – Robert C. Weaver becomes 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.
1979 – A commemorative stamp of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is issued
by the U.S. Postal Service as part of its Black Heritage USA
commemorative series. The stamp of the slain civil rights
leader is the second in the series.
1979 – Singer Donnie Hathaway joins the ancestors after jumping from
the 15th floor of New York’s Essex House hotel.
1982 – Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson are elected to the Baseball Hall
1983 – Citing Muhammad Ali’s deteriorating physical condition, the AMA
calls for the banning of prizefighting because new evidence
suggests that chronic brain damage is prevalent in boxers.
1989 – Sterling Allen Brown joins the ancestors in Washington, DC. He
had devoted his life to the development of an authentic black
folk literature. He was one of the first scholars to identify
folklore as a vital component of the black aesthetic and to
recognize its validity as a form of artistic expression. He
worked to legitimatize this genre in several ways. As a
critic, he exposed the shortcomings of white literature that
stereotyped blacks and demonstrated why black authors are best
suited to describe the Black experience. As a poet, he mined
the rich vein of black Southern culture, replacing primitive
or sentimental caricatures with authentic folk heroes drawn
from Afro-American sources. He was associated with Howard
University for almost sixty years.
1990 – L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia is inaugurated as governor and
becomes the first elected African American governor in the
United States. Wilder won the election in Virginia by a mere
7,000 votes in a state once the heart of the Confederacy.
Later in the year, he will receive the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal
for his lifetime achievements.
1999 – Michael Jordan, considered the best player to ever play in the
NBA, retires from professional basketball after thirteen
seasons. This is the second time ‘His Airness’ has retired.
He leaves the game after leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA
championships and winning five MVP awards.
2010 – Rhythm & Blues singer Teddy Pendergrass, one of the most electric
and successful figures in music until a car crash 28 years ago
left him in a wheelchair, joins the ancestors after
succumbing to colon cancer at the age of 59.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.