February 22 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 22 *

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1841 – Grafton Tyler Brown is born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A
lithographer and painter, he will be the first African American
artist to create works depicting the Pacific Northwest and
California. His paintings will be collected by the Oakland
(California) Museum of Art, Washington State Museum, and private
individuals. He will join the ancestors in 1918.

1865 – Tennessee adopts a new constitution abolishing slavery. This
will allow Tennessee to become the first former confederate
state to be re-admitted to the Union.

1888 – Horace Pippin is born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His right
arm crippled in World War I (where he will earn a Purple
Heart), Pippin will paint holding the wrist of his practically
useless right arm in his left fist. The self-taught artist
will win wide acclaim for the primitive style and strong
emotional content of his work. He will join the ancestors on
July 6, 1946.

1898 – The African American postmaster of Lake City, South Carolina
joins the ancestors after being lynched. His wife and three
daughters are shot and maimed for life.

1906 – African American evangelist William J. Seymour first arrives
in Los Angeles and begins holding revival meetings. The
“Azusa Street Revival” later broke out under Seymour’s
leadership, in the Apostolic Faith Mission located at 312
Azusa Street in Los Angeles. It will be one of the pioneering
events in the history of 20th century American Pentecostalism.

1921 – Jean-Bedel Bokassa I is born in Bobangul, Oubangul-Chari,
French Equatorial Africa (present-day Central African
Republic). He will become a career soldier who will seize
power from President David Dacko in a 1965 coup. In 1972 he
will proclaim himself president-for-life, ruling the country
with brutal repression, using its revenues for personal
enrichment, and crowning himself emperor in 1976. He will be
deposed in September 1979 and was imprisoned for murder in
1986 after seven years in exile. He will be pardoned in 1993
and will join the ancestors on November 3, 1996 at the age of

1938 – Ishmael Scott Reed is born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He will
become a poet (nominated for the National Book Award for
“Conjure”), novelist (“Yellow Back,” “Radio Broke Down,”
“Mumbo Jumbo,” “Flight to Canada”), and anthologist of the
well-received “19 Necromancers from Now” and “The Yardbird
Reader, Volume I.”

1940 – Chester ‘Chet’ Walker is born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He
will begin his NBA All-Star career with the Philadelphia
’76ers in 1963, averaging 17.3 points per game. The highlight
of his career will be capturing the NBA title in 1967 on a
team that included Wilt Chamberlain. The 76ers will defeat the
Boston Celtics in the Eastern Division finals, preventing them
from going to their ninth straight NBA final.

1950 – Julius Erving is born in Roosevelt (town of Hempstead), New
York. He will become a star basketball player, first for the
ABA’s Virginia Squires and later for the NBA’s Philadelphia
76ers. Known as “Dr. J.,” he will become the third pro player
to score more than 30,000 career points (after Wilt
Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). He will be enshrined in
the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain sets a NBA record with 34 free throw attempts.

1979 – St. Lucia gains its independence from Great Britain.

1989 – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, by Bobby McFerrin, wins the Grammy for
Song of the Year.

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


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