May 29 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 29 *

1938 – Ronald Milner is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will become
trained as a writer and will exhibit his skills as a
playwright when he produces his first play , “Who’s Got
His Own” on Broadway in 1966. In 1969, he will help start
“The Black Theater Movement,” which will promote plays in
which African Americans could represent their lives on
stage. His works will include “What The Wine-Sellers Buy,”
“Jazz Set,” “Don’t Get God Started,” and “Checkmates.” He
will join the ancestors on July 16, 2004.

1944 – Maurice Bishop is born in Aruba and will be raised in
Grenada. While attending college in England during the
early 1960s, he will become involved in the Black Power
Movement and be heavily influenced by Malcolm X, Martin
Luther King, Jr. Kwame Nkrumah, and Walter Rodney, the
Guyanese activist. After returning to Grenada in 1970, he
will cofound a political organization, “Movement for
Assemblies of the People.” This organization will later
merge with another political group, forming the “New Jewel
Movement.” After constant conflict with, and harassment by,
Grenada’s ruling regime, Bishop will become the minority
leader in the Grenadian government in 1976. In 1979, Bishop
will become the Prime Minister after leading a bloodless
coup. He will develop close ties with Castro’s Cuba and
will obtain government funding from Cuba and the Soviet
Union. These relationships will cause the United States to
impose sanctions against Grenada which led to internal
turmoil in the Grenadian ruling party. After a party split,
Bishop and his primary supporters will join the ancestors
after being executed on October 19, 1983. Using this event
as an excuse to involve themselves in the politics of the
region, the United States will invade Grenada and keep a
“peacekeeping” mission on the island until 1985.

1950 – Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. Rebbie
will make her professional debut at the MGM Grand in Las
Vegas with her siblings, the Jackson’s. In the late 70s,
she will begin to consider a solo career. Artists such as
Betty Wright and Wanda Hutchinson of the Emotions will
mentor her, but it will be her brother Michael who pens
and produces her very first hit, “Centipede.” As the
title track of Rebbie’s 1984 debut, “Centipede,” introduces
the pop world to a Jackson most never knew existed.

1956 – La Toya Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. She will become a
singer and one of the most controversial members of the
Jackson family. She will be referred to as “The Rebel With
A Cause.” She will cause a big stir, when she poses for
Playboy Magazine. Her book, “La Toya: Growing Up in the
Jackson Family,” will be on the New York Times Best Seller
List for nine weeks. She will attract full capacity
audiences in her performances all over the world.

1962 – Buck (John) O’Neil becomes the first African American coach
in major-league baseball. He accepts the job with the
Chicago Cubs. O’Neil had previously been a scout with the
Cubs organization. He had been a notable first baseman in
Black baseball.

1965 – Ralph Boston sets a world record in the broad jump at 27
feet, 4-3/4 inches, at a meet held in Modesto, California.

1969 – Artist and art educator James V. Herring joins the ancestors
in Washington, DC. Herring organized the first American
art gallery to be directed and controlled by African
Americans on the Howard University campus in 1930, founded
and directed the university’s art department and, with
Alonzo Aden, opened the famed Barnett-Aden Gallery in
Washington, DC, in 1943.

1973 – Tom Bradley is elected the first African American mayor of
Los Angeles, California. Winning after a bitter defeat
four years earlier by incumbent mayor Sam Yorty, Bradley,
a Texas native and former Los Angeles Police Department
veteran, will serve an unprecedented five terms.

1980 – Vernon E. Jordan Jr., President of the National Urban League,
is critically injured in an attempted assassination in Fort
Wayne, Indiana.

1999 – Olusegun Obasanjo becomes Nigeria’s first civilian president
in 15 years, after a series of military regimes.

2003 – Wallace Terry joins the ancestors at the age of 65 after
succumbing to inflammation of blood vessels. He was a
journalist and author of “Bloods: An Oral History of the
Vietnam War by Black Veterans.”

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

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