June 24 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 24 *

1844 – Boston African Americans hold the first of a series
of meetings protesting Jim Crow schools.

1884 – John Lynch is the first African American to preside
over a major political party convention when he is
elected temporary Chairman of the Republican National

1885 – Samuel David Ferguson is consecrated bishop of the
Protestant Episcopal Church and named bishop of
Liberia. He is the first African American with full
membership in the House of Bishops.

1896 – Booker T. Washington is the first African American to
receive an honorary Master of Arts degree from
Harvard University.

1898 – United States troops, including the African American
Tenth Cavalry, drive Spanish forces from their
entrenched positions at La Guasimas, Cuba.

1933 – Dramatic soprano Matilda Sissieretta Jones joins the
ancestors after succumbing to cancer in Providence,
Rhode Island. Called the “the first Negro prima
donna,” Jones toured with the Tennessee Jubilee
Singers and performed at Carnegie Hall, Madison
Square Garden and at the White House in 1892. She
will be dubbed “Black Patti,” a name she reportedly
disliked for its allusion to white contemporary,
Adelina Patti.

1933 – Samuel ‘Sam’ Jones is born in Wilmington, North
Carolina. He will become a professional basketball
player with the Boston Celtics after graduating from
North Carolina Central College. He will be a five time
NBA All Star, and will have the second most NBA
championships of any player (10), behind his teammate
Bill Russell (11). He will also be only one of 3 Celtics
(Along with Teammates Bill Russell and K.C. Jones) to be
part of the Celtics’s 8 consecutive championships from
1959 to 1966. He will be enshrined into the Basketball
Hall of fame in 1984. He will be named as one of the 50
greatest players in NBA history in 1996.

1936 – Mary McLeod Bethune, founder-president of Bethune-
Cookman College in Daytona, Beach, Florida, is named
director of Negro Affairs of the National Youth
Administration. She is the first African American
woman to receive a major appointment from the federal
government. The educator will hold the post until
January 1, 1944.

1943 – Georg Stanford Brown is born in Havana, Cuba. He will
become an actor and director. He will star in the TV
series, “The Rookies,” and the mini-series “Roots.”
He will direct “The Jesse Owens Story,” “In Defense of
Kids,” “Ava’s Magical Adventure” and many others.

1949 – “Billboard Magazine” replaces the term ‘Race Record’ on
its record charts with ‘Rhythm & Blues’.

1968 – Joe Frazier TKOs Manda Ramos for the world heavyweight
boxing title.

1968 – Resurrection City is Washington, DC is closed. More than
one hundred residents are arrested when they refuse to
leave the site. Other residents, including Ralph
Abernathy, will be arrested during a demonstration at the
U.S. Capitol. National Guard troops will be mobilized later
in the day to stop the disturbances.

1972 – The rules committee of the Democratic National Convention
approves the nomination of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke as
co-chairperson of the convention. She becomes the first
African American woman to serve in that position in any
major political party in the United States.

1974 – Boston’s National Center for Afro-American Artists becomes
the first African American cultural center to be awarded
a Ford Foundation grant.

1996 – A jury orders the city of Philadelphia to pay $1.5 million
in damages for the bombing of MOVE headquarters in 1985
that killed 11 people.

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

June 23 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 23 *

1824 – The Reverend William Levington, Deacon, establishes St.
James’ First African Protestant Episcopal Church in the
“Upper Room” at Park Avenue and Marion Street. The St.
James Episcopal Church, in Baltimore, Maryland, becomes
the oldest African American Episcopal Church established
south of the Mason-Dixon line.

1888 – Abolitionist Frederick Douglass receives one vote from
the Kentucky delegation at the Republican convention
in Chicago, effectively making him the first African
American candidate nominated for U.S. president.

1893 – Willie Sims, the wealthiest jockey of his time, rides
winning horses in five of six races at Sheepshead Bay
in Brooklyn, New York. Sims will repeat the feat two
years later in addition to winning two Kentucky Derbys
and two Belmont Stakes.

1904 – Willie Mae Ford (later Smith) is born in Rolling Fork,
Mississippi. She will become a leading gospel singer
and will be known as “the mother of gospel music.” She
will be one of the early associates of Thomas A. Dorsey
and an innovator in gospel style, introducing the “song
and sermonette” style that other singers, such as
Shirley Caesar and Edna Gallmon Cooke, made popular. She
will also be a major figure within the Baptist Church as
the Director of its Education Department of the National
Baptist Convention before she became a member of a
Pentecostal denomination. She will consider herself a
preacher and instill her singing and sermonettes with an
evangelical fervor. In 1990, she will be inducted into
the St. Louis Walk of Fame. She will join the ancestors
on February 2, 1994.

1919 – The Black Star Line of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro
Improvement Association (UNIA) is incorporated.

1926 – Langston Hughes’ articles “The Negro Artist and the
Racial Mountain” appears in “Nation “magazine. In it,
Hughes expresses African Americans’ bold new confidence
to create a new art during the Harlem Renaissance. “We
younger Negro artists who create now intend to express
our individual dark skinned selves without fear or

1940 – Wilma Rudolph is born in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee. A
polio victim as a child, she will overcome her illness
and win three gold medals at the Summer Games in Rome
(1960), the first American woman to achieve this feat
in a single Olympiad. She will be United Press Athlete
of the Year in 1960 and Associated Press Woman Athlete
of the Year for 1960 and 1961. Also in 1961, she will win
the James E. Sullivan Award, an award for the top amateur
athlete in the United States, and visit President John F.
Kennedy. She will be voted into the National Black Sports
and Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1973 and the National
Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974. She will be inducted
into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983, honored with
the National Sports Award in 1993, and inducted into the
National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994. She will join the
ancestors on November 12, 1994, after succumbing to cancer.

1944 – Rosetta Hightower is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She
will become a singer with the group, The Orlons. Some of
their hits will be “The Wah Watusi,” “Don’t Hang Up,” and
“South Street.”

1948 – Clarence Thomas is born in the Pinpoint community, near
Savannah, Georgia. He will become a U.S. Supreme Court
Justice in 1991, replacing Thurgood Marshall as the only
African American among the nine jurists. He is
appointed by the conservative Republican administration
to satisfy the need to have an African American on the
court, while at the same time have a justice that is very
conservative. This will serve to increase the court’s
decisions that negatively affect African Americans and
other minorities and weaken affirmative action.

1956 – Steven Randall “Randy” Jackson in born in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana. He will become an American musician and
record producer. He will be best known to the general
public for being a judge on the television show American
Idol. As a musician Randy Jackson will play the electric
bass. He will be the bass player for the band Journey
for a period in the 1980s. He will also record, produce,
or tour with many well-known artists and bands, ranging
from Mariah Carey (whom he knew when she was still a
teenager; he will be in her band at Live 8 in London in
2005) to *NSYNC, Céline Dion, Bruce Springsteen and
Madonna. He will also work as an executive with Columbia
Records and MCA Records. He will be a judge with American
Idol since its inception in 2002. On the show he will be
known for taking a middle road of criticism between the
supportiveness of Paula Abdul and the nastiness of Simon
Cowell. He will popularize “pitchy” as the way to describe
off-key singing. He will also be renowned for his heavy
use of slang terms and gestures, most notably the word
“dawg”. When Randy says “you can blow,” it means “you can
sing well.” Jackson will sometimes wear outrageous outfits
and supplies an endless inspirational resource for those
looking for eye glasses.

1958 – A federal judge ruled racial segregation in Little Rock,
Arkansas, must end in 30 months.

1966 – Jonathan “Chico” DeBarge is born in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He will launch a promising solo career on Motown in the
late ’80s. Despite a hit single and a hit debut album, his
career will be sidelined by imprisonment on a drug charge.
After he completes his sentence, DeBarge will launch a
comeback in November 1997 with the release of “Long Time
No See”. “The Game” will follow in 1999.

1969 – Joe Frazier defeats Jerry Quarry for the heavyweight boxing

1970 – Charles Rangel defeats Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in the New
York Democratic primary in Harlem. This will end the
political career of one of the major political symbols of
the post-World War II period.

1982 – The House of Representatives approves the extension of the
Voting Rights Act of 1965, despite North Carolina Senator
Jesse Helms’ attempt to block the House vote. The Senate
had approved the extension of the bill five days before the
historic House vote.

1990 – TV Guide selects Arsenio Hall as Television Personality of
the Year.

1994 – After decades as an international outcast, South Africa
reclaims its seat in the United Nations.

1994 – French marines and Foreign Legionnaires head into Rwanda to
try to stem the country’s ethnic slaughter.

1997 – Dr. Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X, joins the ancestors
in New York City at the age of 61, 3 weeks after receiving
burns over 80% of her body. Her burns were the result of a
fire set by her grandson, Malcolm.

2003 – Maynard Jackson Jr., who was elected the first African
American mayor of Atlanta in 1973 and transformed urban
politics in America by forcing the city’s white business
elite to open doors to minorities, joins the ancestors at
the age of 65. Thirty years earlier, Jackson survived a
racially charged primary to become the first African
American mayor of a major Southern city. The victory, the
same year that African American mayors were elected in
Detroit and Los Angeles, helped solidify the political
power of urban African Americans.

2003 – Max Manning, star pitcher in the Negro Leagues, joins the
ancestors at the age of 84 after a long illness. His 1937
tryout offer from the Detroit Tigers was rescinded when
they learned that he was African American.

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

June 22 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 22 *

1772 – Slavery is outlawed in England.

1868 – Congress readmits the state of Arkansas on the
condition that it would never change its constitution
to disenfranchise African Americans.

1909 – Katherine Dunham is born in Joliet, Illinois. She
will become one of the revolutionary forces in modern
dance through her introduction and use of African and
Caribbean styles. Successful on the stage and in
movies, including “Stormy Weather”, in the late 1960’s,
she will form the Katherine Dunham Center for the
Performing Arts and in 1983 will be awarded Kennedy
Center honors. She will spend her later years residing
in East St. Louis, Illinois. She will join the
ancestors on May 21, 2006.

1937 – Joe Louis knocks out James Braddock to become the
heavyweight boxing champion of the world. The fight
is won in eight rounds before 45,000 fans, the largest
audience, to date, to witness a fight.

1938 – Joe Louis defeats German boxer Max Schmeling in a
rematch of their 1936 fight and retains his world
heavyweight crown. Because of the Nazi persecution of
Jews in Europe and Hitler’s disdain for people of
African descent, the fight will take on mythic
proportion, with Louis seen by many as fighting to
uphold democracy and the race. He succeeds
convincingly, ending the fight in 2:04 of the first
round at Yankee Stadium.

1941 – Ed Bradley is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A
CBS correspondent covering the Vietnam conflict,
Bradley will become co-anchor of CBS’ “60 Minutes” and
win at least six Emmy awards. He will join the ancestors
on November 9, 2006 after succumbing to leukemia at the
age of 65.

1947 – Octavia Butler is born in Pasadena, California. She
will become a science fiction writer and winner of the
Hugo Award for excellence in science fiction writing in

1949 – Ezzard Charles defeats Jersey Joe Walcott to win the
heavyweight championship of the world.

1962 – Clyde ‘The Glide’ Drexler is born in Houston, Texas.
He will become a basketball star at the University of
Houston and will lead Houston’s “Phi Slamma Jamma” team
to the NCAA Final Four two years in a row, 1983 and 1984.
He will be drafted by the NBA Portland Trailblazers,
where he will play twelve seasons, and will lead them to
the NBA FInals twice. In 1992, he will be selected to the
U.S. Olympics basketball team, nicknamed “The Dream Team”,
which will win the gold medal in Barcelona. After being
traded to the Houston Rockets, he will join his teammate
from the University of Houston, Hakeem Olajuwon and help
the Rockets win the NBA championship in 1995. After
retiring from the NBA, he will become the head coach at
his alma mater, the University of Houston. He will later
become the color commentator for the Houston Rockets. He
will be inducted into the Naismth Memorial Basketball Hall
of Fame on September 10, 2004, in his first year of
eligibility. He will be named one of basketball’s fifty
greatest players by the NBA.

1963 – “Fingertips – Pt 2” by Little Stevie Wonder is released.
It becomes Wonder’s first number one single on August 10th.
Stevie Wonder will have 46 hits on the pop and Rhythm &
Blues music charts between 1963 and 1987. Eight of those
hits will make it to number one.

1989 – The government of Angola and the anti-Communist rebels of
the UNITA movement agree to a formal truce in their
14-year-old civil war.

1990 – African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, speaking
before the United Nations, states that a democratic,
nonracial South Africa is “within our grasp.”

1991 – “Kaleidoscope”, an exhibit of the work of over 30 African
American photographers, opens at the Anacostia Museum in
Washington, DC. Among those exhibited are masters Addison
Scurlock and Robert Scurlock as well as contemporary
photographers Matthew Lewis, Sam Yette, Sharon Farmer, and
Brian Jones.

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

Libros Latin@s: Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music

Latinxs in Kid Lit

By Sujei Lugo

drum dream girl cover  DESCRIPTION FROM THE BOOK JACKET: Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music and rhythm, no one questioned that rule — until the drum dream girl. She longed to play tall congas and small bongós and silvery, moon-bright timbales. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that boys and girls should be free to drum and dream.

Inspired by a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

MY TWO CENTS: Inspired by the childhood of Chinese Afro Cuban drummer Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, Margarita Engle and Rafael López enchantingly encapsulate through poetic text and dreamy illustrations a girl’s dreams and her desires to play music. By focusing on our girl’s “dreaming” period and the stage when…

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Bloodchildren and Octavia’s Brood

Highly Textured Librarian

Another Octavia E. Butler birthday is upon us. Her writing has inspired many people, so why not celebrate by reading a few of the writers she has influenced?

bloodchildrenBloodchildren, a collection of stories by Octavia E. Butler Scholars, takes it name from Butler’s story collection Bloodchild and Other Stories.

octavia's brood

The science fiction stories in Octavia’s Brood center around social justice movements and borrows it’s title from Butler’s series Lilith’s Brood.


Also, check out the Artists on Writers feature on Octavia Butler and feast your eyes on some of the amazing artwork, like the one above by Kimbot.

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Your 80s Were Not My 80s: Author Sofia Quintero on Race, Class, Place & Hip-Hop in YA Historical Fiction

Latinxs in Kid Lit

23395349By Sofia Quintero

Almost immediately after finishing the last round of copyedits on Show and Provedid I find something that conjured my biggest fears about writing a novel set in the 1980s.

I discovered a blog post by a librarian expressing fatigue with the trend in young adult fiction about the 80s. She named a legitimate concern that haunted me throughout the writing of Show and Prove. Was setting the story in that decade integral to its telling or were the 80s just a hook driven by my personal nostalgia?

It’d be dishonest to deny that nostalgia had a role in my writing this novel. Maybe Show and Prove didn’t have to be set in the 80s to tell the stories of Smiles, Nike, Cookie and Sara.

But then I realized, so what?

With the overwhelming majority of young adult fiction set in the 80s centering on white, middle-class…

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Obama’s glad he used the N-word


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

~Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist 


Obama’s glad he used the N-word

By Edward-Isaac Dovere 

President Barack Obama’s glad he said what he said.

And he believes America proved his point on Monday: Even in the wake of an amateur white supremacist shooting nine African-Americans to death in a historically black church in the hopes of inciting a race war, we still struggle to have a genuine discussion about race in this country.

Aides said that walking into Marc Maron’s garage to tape a podcast on Friday, Obama knew he’d probably get asked about race, and he knew roughly what he wanted to say. When the taping ended, he could guess that most people would focus on the president of the United…

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June 21 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 21 *

1821 – The African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church is
formally constituted in New York City at its first annual
conference. Nineteen clergymen were present, representing
six African American churches from New York City,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Haven, Connecticut and
Newark, New Jersey. They voted to separate from the
white-controlled Methodist Episcopal Church, which had
insisted on ultimate control of the church’s leadership and
property. To distinguish between the two African Methodist
Episcopal organizations, as well as to honor their original
congregation, in 1848 they will vote to add Zion to their

1832 – Joseph Haynes Rainey is born in Georgetown, South Carolina.
He will become the first African American elected to the
U.S. House of Representatives, where he will serve five
terms. He will join the ancestors on August 1, 1887.

1859 – Henry Ossawa Tanner is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Son
of AME bishop Benjamin Tanner, young Tanner will forgo the
ministry to take up painting. Constantly facing the tension
between racial stereotypes and his art, Tanner will
eventually emigrate to France to pursue his art, considered
by many the finest produced by an African American. He will
be known for his commanding use of light and color in his
seascapes, scenes of everyday life, and religious paintings.
He will join the ancestors in Paris, France on May 25, 1937.

1868 – John Hope is born in Augusta, Georgia. He will become the
first African American president of Atlanta Baptist (later
Morehouse) College in 1906. He will be a pioneer in the
field of education. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown
University, He will encourage an intellectual climate
comparable to what he had known at his alma mater and will
openly challenge Booker T. Washington’s view that education
for African Americans should emphasize vocational and
agricultural skills. He will join the ancestors on February
22, 1936.

1923 – Marcus Garvey is sentenced by the U.S. government to 5 years
in prison for using the U.S. mail to defraud. He is
railroaded by a government that is terrified by the control
that one magnificent orator had over African Americans.
They did not want their major source of cheap labor in
America to leave for Africa.

1927 – Carl B. Stokes is born in Cleveland, Ohio. He will become the
first African American elected mayor of a major American
city. He will be elected to two terms as mayor of Cleveland,
Ohio at a time of urban riots and racial unrest in many major
U.S. cities. Civil rights leaders said his election was an
advance, both symbolic and genuine, for the cause of black
political empowerment. He will be instrumental in getting
through a law requiring city contractors to have minority
employment programs. President Clinton will appoint him, in
1994, as ambassador to the Seychelles, an island nation in
the Indian Ocean. He will join the ancestors on April 3, 1996.

1945 – Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes the first African
American to command a U.S. Army Air Force base when he
takes command of the 477th Composite Group of Godman Field
in Kentucky.

1951 – PFC William H. Thompson is posthumously awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor. He is the first African
American recipient since the Spanish-American War.

1964 – In Neshoba County in central Mississippi, three civil rights
field workers disappear after investigating the burning of
an African American church by the Ku Klux Klan. Michael
Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, both white New Yorkers, had
traveled to heavily segregated Mississippi in 1964 to help
organize civil rights efforts on behalf of the Congress of
Racial Equality (CORE). The third man, James Chaney, was a
local African American man who had joined CORE in 1963. The
disappearance of the three young men garnered national
attention and led to a massive FBI investigation that was
code-named MIBURN, for “Mississippi Burning.” They are later
found murdered.

1965 – Arthur Ashe leads UCLA to the NCAA tennis championship.

1990 – Little Richard gets a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

1997 – Patrice Rushen receives an NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award
for her contributions in the field of music.

2001 – Famed blues man John Lee Hooker joins the ancestors at the
age of 83 of natural causes in Los Altos, California. The
veteran blues singer from the Mississippi Delta estimated
that he recorded more than 100 albums over nearly seven
decades. He won a Grammy Award for a version of “I’m In The
Mood,” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in
1991 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2000
Grammys. Through it all, Hooker’s music remained hypnotic
and unchanged — his rich and sonorous voice, full of
ancient hurt, coupled with a brooding, rhythmic guitar. He
sang of loneliness and confusion. Neither polished nor
urbane, his music was raw, primal emotion.

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