* Today in Black History – January 21 *
1830 – The African American population in Portsmouth, Ohio is
forcibly deported by order of city officials.
1913 – Fanny M. Jackson Coppin joins the ancestors in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. She was a pioneering educator and missionary
and the first African American woman to graduate from an
American college (Oberlin, 1865). Coppin State College (now
University) in Baltimore, Maryland will be named after her.
1938 – Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is founded in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, by Marion Turner Stubbs Thomas. Dedicated to
providing educational, cultural, civic, and social programs
for African American youth, Jack and Jill will grow to have
180 chapters nationwide.
1941 – Richard “Richie” Pierce Havens is born in Brooklyn, New York.
He will grow up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community, the
eldest of nine children. He will become a folk singer,
influenced in his early days by Nina Simone. It will be as
a live performer, that he will first earn widespread notice.
Richie will play the 1966 Newport Folk Festival, the 1967
Monterey Jazz Festival, the January 1968 Woody Guthrie
Memorial Concert at Carnegie Hall, the December 1968 Miami
Pop Festival, the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, and of course,
the 1969 Woodstock festival in upstate New York. He will
join the ancestors on April 22, 2013 after succumbing to a
1950 – Leslie Sebastien Charles in born in Fyzabad, Trinidad. He
will emigrate to England at the age of eight and will later
become a popular singer known as “Billy Ocean.” He will
release hits such as “Suddenly,” “Caribbean Queen,” “Get
Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car,” “When The Going Gets
Tough, The Tough Get Going” (which was featured in the
movie, “The Jewel Of The Nile”), and “To Make You Cry.”
1963 – Akeem Abdul Olajuwon is born in Lagos, Nigeria. He will
become one of five boys born to his parents with one sister.
He will come to the United States and play collegiate
basketball for the University of Houston. He will be
selected by the Houston Rockets in the first round (first
pick overall) of the 1984 NBA Draft. After twelve years of
play in the NBA, he will be selected in 1996 as one of the
50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Olajuwon will add a “H”
to his first name on 3/9/1991 and become an United States
citizen on 4/2/1993. The University of Houston will retire
his jersey, # 34, on 2/12/97.
1964 – Carl T. Rowan is named director of the U.S. Information
Agency, the highest position ever held by an African
American to date. By virtue of his position, he also becomes
the first African American to sit on the National Security
1971 – Twelve African American congressmen boycott Richard Nixon’s
State of the Union Address because of his “consistent
refusal” to respond to the petitions of African Americans.
1982 – Blues guitar singer B.B. King donates his entire record
collection to the University of Mississippi’s Center for
the Study of Southern Culture. The collection includes
about 7,000 rare blues records he played when he worked as
a disc jockey in Memphis. Born Riley B. King, he called
himself the “Beale Street Blues Boy,” later shortened to
“B.B.” B.B. King is considered one of the most influential
blues musicians in history.
1990 – Quincy Jones is awarded the French Legion of Honor for his
contributions to music as a trumpeter, composer, arranger,
and record producer.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.