* Today in Black History – January 25 *
1851 – Sojourner Truth addresses the first African American Women’s
Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
1890 – The National Afro-American League is founded at an organizing
meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Joseph Price, the president
of Livingston College, is elected the first president of
what will come to be considered a pioneering African
American protest organization.
1938 – Jamesetta Hawkins is born in Los Angeles, California. She
will become a rhythm and blues singer known as “Etta James.”
She will be described as “one of the great forces in
American Music.” She will become a star scoring her first
national pop hit, “Roll With Me, Henry”, at age sixteen, and
be recognized as a master in the fields of blues, R&B, jazz,
and pop, crossing genres time and again. Between 1955 and
1975, Etta will create a dozen Top-10 Rhythm & Blues hits
and more than 25 chart hits. They will include such soulful
performances as “All I Could Do Was Cry” (1960), “At Last”
(1961), “Trust in Me” (1961), “Stop the Wedding” (1962),
“Tell Mama” (1967), and “Security” (1968). She will be
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. She
will be nominated for six Grammy Awards and will win the
award for her 1994 recording of “Mystery Lady,” saluting
Billie Holiday. She will be inducted into the Blues Hall of
Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and
2008. Rolling Stone will ranked her number 22 on their list
of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the
list of the 100 Greatest Artists. She will join the ancestors
on January 20, 2012.
1942 – Carl Eller is born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He will
become a professional football player, spending many of his
years with the Minnesota Vikings. On the Vikings team, he will
play in four Super Bowl games (IV, VIII, IX, XI), in losing
efforts. He will be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
1950 – Gloria Naylor is born in New York City. She will become a
Jehovah Witnesses minister and ‘pioneer’ over a period of
seven years. After leaving the Witnesses and suffering a
nervous breakdown, she will read Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest
Eye”, and be inspired to become a writer. She will complete
her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and become a major writer
and is best known for her work, “The Women of Brewster
1966 – Constance Baker Motley becomes the first African American
woman to be appointed to a federal judgeship.
1972 – Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm begins her campaign for
President of the United States. Although she will
ultimately be unsuccessful, she will make known the concerns
of African Americans across the country.
1980 – Black Entertainment Television, better known as BET, begins
broadcasting from Washington, DC. Robert L. Johnson, who
established the company with a $ 15,000 personal loan, will
make BET one of the most successful cable television
networks, with 25 million subscribers by its tenth
anniversary and, in 1991, the first African American-owned
company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1989 – Michael Jordan scores his 10,000th NBA point in his 5th
season, the second fastest NBA climb to that position behind
1999 – Jury selection begins in Jasper, Texas, in the trial of white
supremacist John William King, charged in the dragging death
of African American James Byrd Jr.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.