* Today in Black History – April 27 *
1883 – Hubert Henry Harrison, is born in St. Croix, Virgin Islands.
He will become, by the 1920s, one of the nation’s most
prominent atheists. Harrison will recognize the connection
between racism and religion, and point this out quite
bluntly. The Bible was a slave master’s book in Harrison’s
eyes, which not only sanctioned the keeping of slaves, but
even gave advice on their handling. He will state that
any African American person who accepts Christianity was
either ignorant or crazy. He also will address Islam by
stating that the slave masters may have been largely
Christian, but many of the slave traders were Muslims,
apparently not deterred by their faith. He will join the
ancestors on December 17, 1927.
1903 – The publication of W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Souls of Black Folk”
crystallizes opposition to Booker T. Washington’s program
of social and political subordination.
1903 – Maggie L. Walker is named president of Richmond’s St. Luke
Penny Bank and Trust Company and becomes the first woman to
head a bank.
1903 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds clauses in the Alabama state
constitution which disfranchises African Americans.
1927 – Coretta Scott is born in Marion, Alabama. She will marry
Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1953 and be an integral part of
his civil rights activities. After his assassination in
1968, she will continue her civil rights activities,
founding the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent
Change in Atlanta, Georgia. She will join the ancestors on
January 31, 2006 after succumbing to complications of a
stroke and heart attack.
1944 – Cuba M. Gooding, Sr. is born in New York City, New York. He will
become the lead singer of the soul group, The Main Ingredient
best known for its two biggest hits, “Everybody Plays the
Fool” (1972) and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely” (1974).
He will also have a brief solo career on Motown Records
during the late-1970s and early-1980s. His biggest
international success will be Brian Auger’s “Happiness Is
Just Around the Bend” in 1983, which in recent times will be
sampled by several Rhythm & Blues artists, as well as
hitting the charts again as a remix by United Kingdom
Hardcore Rave group Altern-8 in 1991. In the same year,
samples from the song will also feature prominently in
Bizarre Inc’s single “Playing With Knives.” He will release
a single called “Politics” in September, 2007. He will also
develop a film project called “Everybody Plays the Fool: The
Cuba Gooding Story.” The film will highlight three
generations of the Gooding Family: Dudley “Cuba” Gooding,
Cuba Gooding, Sr., and Cuba Gooding, Jr. 00n the Boat Trip DVD
trivia track, it will state that he will appear in the 2003
romantic-comedy “The Fighting Temptations,” which will star
his son Cuba Gooding, Jr., but he will not be in the movie.
In 1999 he, along with Mark Yardley and David James will write
the international house hit, “Back and Forth” by the Supakings.
1949 – Herbert Lee (Herbie) Murrell is born in Lane, South Carolina. He
will become a member of the Rhythm and Blues group, the
Stylistics. Formed in 1968 in Philadelphia, the Stylistics will
first achieve some regional attention in 1971 with the
simplistic “You’re A Big Girl Now,” most notable for its
contrast to the work they will record a year later. Their Avco
Records debut will be a Philly Soul masterpiece, containing a
basket of marvelous compositions by Thom Bell and co-writer
Linda Creed that will become soul standards covered by other
artists for the next 30 years. “You Are Everything,” “Betcha By
Golly Wow,” “Stop Look Listen” and “People Make the World Go
Round” will all rocket up the Pop and Soul charts, and
immediately make the Stylistics the most sought after Soul
balladeers. The Stylistics will team with veteran producer
Preston Glass in 2009 and record a new album, “That Same Way,”
which wILL be released in Europe and Asia in late 2009 and in
the United States in 2011. It will be a great return to form
and the group’s best album in a quarter century. It will also
win the group a nomination for the 2011 SoulTracks Readers’
Choice Awards. The Stylistics will continue to tour regularly
and actively around the world.
1960 – Togo achieves its independence from France. Sylvanus
Olymplo serves as its first prime minister.
1961 – Sierra Leone obtains its independence from Great Britain
with Dr. Milton Margai as its first prime minister.
1961 – Kwame Nkrumah, African statesman and the first president of
Ghana, joins the ancestors in exile, in Conarky, Guinea at
the age of 62.
1977 – Artist Charles Alston joins the ancestors in New York City.
After studying at Columbia University and Pratt Institute,
he had traveled to Europe and the Caribbean before
executing murals for Harlem Hospital and Golden State
Mutual Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles. A recipient
of the National Academy of Design Award, he also received
the first-place award of the Atlanta University
Collection’s 1942 show for his gouache “Farm Boy.” His
best known works are “Family” and “Walking.” Among his
other notable works are “School Girl,” “Frederick Douglass,”
and “Nobody Knows.”
1994 – The first “Freedom Day” takes place in South Africa.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.