March 28 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 28 *

1870 – Jonathan S. Wright becomes the first African American State
Supreme Court Justice in South Carolina.

1925 – Sculptor Edward N. Wilson, Jr. is born in Baltimore,
Maryland. He will study at the University of Iowa,
receive sculpture awards from the Carnegie Foundation,
Howard University and the State University of New York, and
will have his work shown at “Two Centuries of Black
American Art,” and other exhibitions. Among his major works
will be “Cybele.” His stainless steel and bronze Portrait
of Ralph Ellison (1974-1975, Ralph Ellison Library,
Oklahoma) commemorates the author of “The Invisible Man”
(1952), who will inspire him during the civil rights
movement. He will join the ancestors on November 26, 1996
in Vestal, New York.

1939 – The Renaissance (Big 5) becomes the first African American
team on record to win a professional world championship
(basketball).

1958 – William Christopher (W.C.) Handy joins the ancestors in New
York City at the age of 85. In the same year, the movie of
his life, “St. Louis Blues” is released, starring Nat King
Cole as Handy.

1966 – Bill Russell is named head coach of the Boston Celtics and
becomes the first African American to coach an NBA team.

1984 – Educator and civil rights activist Benjamin Mays joins the
ancestors in Atlanta, Georgia. Mays had served as dean of
the School of Religion at Howard University and president of
Morehouse College, where he served as the mentor to the
young Martin Luther King, Jr.

1990 – Michael Jordan scores 69 points in a NBA game. This the 4th
time he scores 60 points or more in a game.

1990 – President Bush posthumously awards the Congressional Gold
Medal to Jesse Owens and presents it to his widow ten years
after he joins the ancestors. In 1936, Jesse Owens won four
Olympic Track and Field gold medals in a single day in
Berlin. The 1936 Berlin Olympics, the last Olympic Games
before the outbreak of WWII, were hosted by the Nazi
Germans, who intended the event as a showcase of their
racist theories of the superiority of the “Aryan” race.
But a 23-year-old African American named Jesse Owens
shattered their plans, along with several world records,
when he dashed to victory in the 100-meter and 200-meter
sprints, anchored the victorious 400-meter relay team, and
won the broad jump. President George Bush adds the
Congressional Gold Medal to Owens’s collection. Congress had
voted the award in recognition of Owens’s humanitarian
contributions. After his athletic career, he had devoted
his energy and his name to organizations providing
opportunities to underprivileged youth.

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

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