* Today in Black History – June 14 *
1921 – Georgianna R. Simpson becomes the first African American
woman to receive a Ph.D. when she is awarded the degree,
in German, by the University of Chicago.
1931 – Margaret Bradley is born in Chicago, Illinois. She will
become a popular and enduring television personality known
as Marla Gibbs, notable for her roles as “Florence” in ‘The
Jeffersons’ and as “Mary” in the series ‘227’.
1941 – John Edgar Wideman is born in Washington, DC. He will become
the second African American to win a Rhodes Scholarship
(New College, Oxford, England), graduating in 1966. He will
also graduate from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the
University of Iowa. He is will become writer of such
fictional works as ‘Hurry Home’, ‘Damballah’, and
‘Philadelphia Fire’. He will become the only writer to be
awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction twice– once in
1984 for his novel “Sent for You Yesterday” and again in 1990
for “Philadelphia Fire.” In 1990, he will also receive the
American Book Award for Fiction. He will be awarded the
Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction in 1991 and the
MacArthur Award in 1993. Other honors will include the St.
Botolph Literary Award (1993), the DuSable Museum Prize for
Nonfiction for Brothers and Keepers (1985), the Longwood
College Medal for Literary Excellence, and the National
Magazine Editors’ Prize for Short Fiction (1987). In 1996,
he will edit the annual anthology “The Best American Short
Stories” (Houghton Mifflin). His academic teaching positions
will include the University of Wyoming, University of
Pennsylvania – where he will found and chair the African
American Studies Department, and the University of
Massachusetts Amherst’s MFA Program for Poets & Writers and as
a professor at Brown University.
1970 – Cheryl Adrienne Brown, Miss Iowa, becomes the first
African American to compete in the Miss America beauty
1971 – The Justice Department files suit against the St. Louis
suburb of Black Jack, charging the community with illegally
using municipal procedures to block an integrated housing
1989 – Congressman William Gray, chairman of the House Democratic
Caucus, is elected Democratic Whip of the House of
Representatives, the highest ranking leadership position
ever held by an African American in Congress.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.