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