* Today in Black History – June 30 *
1881 – Henry Highland Garnet, former abolitionist leader and
Presbyterian minister, is named Minister to Liberia.
He will join the ancestors in Monrovia shortly after
1906 – John Hope becomes the first African American president
of Morehouse College.
1917 – Lena Horne is born in Brooklyn, New York. She will
begin her career at 16 as a chorus girl at the Cotton
Club in Harlem, appear in the movies “Cabin in the Sky”
and “Stormy Weather” and have a successful Broadway
career culminating in her one-woman show. Horne will
also be a strong civil rights advocate, refusing to
perform in clubs where African Americans are not
admitted and marching during the civil rights movement
in the 1960s. She will join the ancestors on May 9, 2010.
1921 – Charles S. Gilpin becomes the first actor to receive the
NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his portrayal of Emperor
Jones in the Eugene O’Neill play of the same name.
1940 – John T. Scott is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will
attend Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans and
receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. He will receive his
Master of Fine Arts degree from Michigan State University
in East Lansing, Michigan in 1965, after which he will
return to Xavier to become a professor of art. In 1995,
he will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities from
Michigan State University and a Doctor of Humanities from
Tulane University in 1997. In 1992, he will be awarded
the exclusive MacArthur Grant (also known as the “Genius
Grant”) from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation. He will also become a sculptor whose works
will be exhibited widely in the United States and at the
exhibit of “Art of Black America in Japan, Afro-American
Modernism: 1937-1987.” He will be best known for creating
large woodcut prints and for his African-Caribbean-New
Orleans-inspired kinetic sculptures. In 2005, he will be
the subject of a major retrospective exhibit at the New
Orleans Museum of Art entitled “Circle Dance: The Art of
John T. Scott.” He will also be commissioned to create
several pieces that will be placed throughout the City of
New Orleans. These public works in New Orleans include
Spirit Gates at the DeSaix Boulevard traffic circle (at
St. Bernard and Gentilly Boulevards) in the Seventh Ward
and River Spirit at Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi
River near the Port of New Orleans. He will join the
ancestors on September 1, 2007.
1958 – Alabama courts fined the NAACP $ 100,000 for contempt, for
refusing to divulge membership. The U.S. Supreme Court
will reverse the decision.
1960 – Zaire proclaims its independence from Belgium.
1966 – Michael Gerard “Mike” Tyson is born in Brooklyn, New York.
He will become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the
world and hold the record as the youngest boxer to win the
WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles at 20 years, 4 months,
and 22 days old. He will win his first 19 professional
bouts by knockout, 12 of them in the first round. He will
win the WBC title in 1986 after defeating Trevor Berbick
by a TKO in the second round. In 1987, he will add the
WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony
Tucker. He will be the first heavyweight boxer to
simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the
only heavyweight to successively unify them.
1967 – Maj. Robert H. Lawrence Jr. becomes the first African
American astronaut. He will join the ancestors after
being killed during a training flight accident on December
1969 – Jacob Lawrence receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal “in
testimony to his eminence among American painters.”
1974 – Alberta King, mother of the late Martin Luther King Jr.,
joins the ancestors after being assassinated during a
church service in Atlanta, Georgia. The assailant, Marcus
Chennault of Dayton, Ohio, is later convicted and sentenced
1978 – Larry Doby becomes the manager of the Chicago White Sox
baseball team. He will have a win-loss record of 37-50 and
will be fired at the end of the season (October 19).
1980 – Coleman A. Young is awarded the Spingarn Medal for his
“singular accomplishment as Mayor of the City of Detroit,”a
position he had held since 1973.
2001 – Saxophonist Joe Henderson joins the ancestors in San
Francisco. His improvisational style and compositions have
influenced jazz musicians everywhere. He had been suffering
from emphysema, and became ill at his home in San Francisco,
but did not go to the hospital until the following day, where
he died of heart failure.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.