Today in Black History – June 27 *
1833 – The operator of an academy for African American females
in Canterbury, Connecticut, Prudence Crandall – a white
woman, is arrested for providing this service.
1872 – Paul Laurence Dunbar, short story writer, is born in
Dayton, Ohio. He will be so talented and versatile that he
will succeed in two worlds. He will be so adept at
writing verse in Black English that he will become known
as the “poet of his people,” while also cultivating a white
audience that appreciated the brilliance and value of his
work. “Majors and Minors” (1895), Dunbar’s second
collection of verse, will be a remarkable work containing
some of his best poems in both Black and standard English.
When the country’s reigning literary critic, William Dean
Howells reviews “Majors and Minors” favorably, Dunbar
becomes famous. And Howells’ introduction in “Lyric of
Lowly Life” (1896) will help make Dunbar the most popular
African American writer in America at the time. Dunbar will
join the ancestors after succumbing to tuberculosis on
February 9, 1906. The U.S. Postal Service will issue a
commemorative stamp in his honor on May 1, 1975.
1890 – George Dixon, a Canadian, becomes the first person of
African descent to win a world boxing championship. He
defeats Nunc Wallace to win the bantamweight title. He will
also become the first person of African descent to win an
American title in any sport, when he knocks out Cal McCarthy
1914 – The United States signs a treaty of commerce with Ethiopia.
1919 – Archibald H. Grimke’, noted lawyer and civil rights advocate
who had served as U.S. Consul in Santo Domingo, Dominican
Republic and president of the American Negro Academy among
his accomplishments, receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.
An original member of the “Committee of Forty” that helped
establish the NAACP, Grimke’ is honored for his “years of
distinguished service to his race and country.”
1941 – Richard Wright is awarded the Spingarn Medal. He is cited
for the power of his books “Uncle Tom’s Children” and
“Native Son” in depicting “the effects of proscription,
segregation and denial of opportunities on the American
1960 – British Somaliland becomes part of Somalia.
1967 – A racially motivated disturbance occurs in Buffalo, New York.
200 persons are arrested. The disturbance will last four
1970 – The Jackson Five: Marlon, Tito, Jackie, Jermaine and Michael,
jump to number one on the music charts with “The Love You
Save”. The song will stay at the top of the charts for a
two week run. It will be the third of four number-one hits
in a row for the group. The other three are: “I Want You
Back”, “ABC” and “I’ll Be There”. In 15 years, from 1969
to 1984, The Jackson Five/Jacksons will have 23 hits, score
two platinum singles (“Enjoy Yourself” and “Shake Your Body
[Down To The Ground]”) and one gold record (“State of
1972 – Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African American U.S.
Ambassador, is named permanent chairman of the Democratic
National Convention. The Mattoon, Illinois native will
later break new ground as Secretary of Health and Human
Services and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
1977 – Djibouti gains independence from France. Djibouti is located
in East Africa, bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and
the Gulf of Aden.
1978 – Henry Rono of Kenya sets a world record for 3,000 meters,
running in 7 minutes 32 and 1/10 seconds.
1979 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules, in Weber v. Kaiser Aluminum
and Chemical Corporation, that employers and unions can
establish voluntary programs, including the use of quotas,
to aid minorities in employment.
1988 – Mike Tyson knocks out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the
first round, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
1989 – The Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 16-6. Each
team is coached by an African American, Frank Robinson of
the Orioles and Cito Gaston of the Blue Jays. Robinson,
who will direct his team to an 87-75 season, will be named
manager of the year by both the Associated Press and the
United Press International.
1991 – Justice Thurgood Marshall, 82, the first African American on
the U.S. Supreme Court, announces his retirement after 24
years service, citing “advancing age and medical condition.”
As chief counsel for the NAACP, Marshall had played a major
role in the legal fight that led to the Brown v. Board of
Education decision, overturning legal segregation. In his
final dissent on the court on June 27, Marshall says that
the court’s conservative majority was recklessly overturning
decisions protecting the right of African Americans and
1994 – U.S. Coast Guard cutters intercept 1,330 Haitian boat people
on the high seas in one of the busiest days since refugees
began leaving Haiti following a 1991 military coup.
2014 – Bobby Womack, the legendary soul singer whose career spanned
seven decades, joins the ancestors at age 70. He was in the
first rank of songwriters, penning classics such as “It’s All
Over Now,” which became the Rolling Stones’ first Number One
single in the UK. He was a top-notch guitarist, backing up
everyone from Ray Charles to Aretha Franklin. And when he sang
on his own records, he could compel you to get on your feet
(“Looking for a Love”), reinvent standards as Rhythm & Blues
anthems (“Fly Me to the Moon”) or express yearning like nobody
else (“Across 110th Street”). In 2009, he was inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by his old friend and collaborator
Ron Wood, who described him as “a great inspiration to my band
and all of the musicians that I know.” In his acceptance speech,
he remembered playing guitar for Sam Cooke, cited Cooke’s civil
rights anthem “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and astonished by how
society had changed, addressed his dead friend: “Sam, we have
our first black president.”
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.