February 22 African American historical events




* Today in Black History – February 22 *

* “Once a year we go through the charade of February being ‘Black *
* History Month.’ Black History Month needs to be a 12-MONTH THING. *
* When we all learn about our history, about how much we’ve *
* accomplished while being handicapped with RACISM, it can only *
* inspire us to greater heights, knowing we’re on the giant shoulders *
* of our ANCESTORS.” Subscribe to the Munirah Chronicle and receive *
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1841 – Grafton Tyler Brown is born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A
lithographer and painter, he will be the first African American
artist to create works depicting the Pacific Northwest and
California. His paintings will be collected by the Oakland
(California) Museum of Art, Washington State Museum, and private
individuals. He will join the ancestors in 1918.

1865 – Tennessee adopts a new constitution abolishing slavery. This
will allow Tennessee to become the first former confederate
state to be re-admitted to the Union.

1888 – Horace Pippin is born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His right
arm crippled in World War I (where he will earn a Purple
Heart), Pippin will paint holding the wrist of his practically
useless right arm in his left fist. The self-taught artist
will win wide acclaim for the primitive style and strong
emotional content of his work. He will join the ancestors on
July 6, 1946.

1898 – The African American postmaster of Lake City, South Carolina
joins the ancestors after being lynched. His wife and three
daughters are shot and maimed for life.

1906 – African American evangelist William J. Seymour first arrives
in Los Angeles and begins holding revival meetings. The
“Azusa Street Revival” later broke out under Seymour’s
leadership, in the Apostolic Faith Mission located at 312
Azusa Street in Los Angeles. It will be one of the pioneering
events in the history of 20th century American Pentecostalism.

1921 – Jean-Bedel Bokassa I is born in Bobangul, Oubangul-Chari,
French Equatorial Africa (present-day Central African
Republic). He will become a career soldier who will seize
power from President David Dacko in a 1965 coup. In 1972 he
will proclaim himself president-for-life, ruling the country
with brutal repression, using its revenues for personal
enrichment, and crowning himself emperor in 1976. He will be
deposed in September 1979 and was imprisoned for murder in
1986 after seven years in exile. He will be pardoned in 1993
and will join the ancestors on November 3, 1996 at the age of

1938 – Ishmael Scott Reed is born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He will
become a poet (nominated for the National Book Award for
“Conjure”), novelist (“Yellow Back,” “Radio Broke Down,”
“Mumbo Jumbo,” “Flight to Canada”), and anthologist of the
well-received “19 Necromancers from Now” and “The Yardbird
Reader, Volume I.” His texts and lyrics have been performed,
composed or set to music by Albert Ayler, David Murray, Allen
Toussaint, Carman Moore, Taj Mahal, Olu Dara, Lester Bowie,
Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Ravi Coltrane, Leo Nocentelli, Eddie
Harris, Anthony Cox, Don Pullen, Billy Bang, Bobby Womack,
Milton Cardona, Omar Sosa, Fernando Saunders, Yosvanni Terry,
Jack Bruce, Little Jimmy Scott, Robert Jason, Alvin Youngblood
Hart, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Cassandra Wilson, Gregory
Porter and others. Since 2012, he will maintain the honor of
being the first SF Jazz Poet Laureate from SF JAZZ, the leading
non-profit jazz organization on the West Coast. An installation
of his poem “When I Die I Will Go to Jazz” appears on the SFJAZZ
Center’s North Gate in Linden Alley. Litquake, the annual San
Francisco literary festival, will honor him with their 2011
Barbary Coast Award. Among his other honors will be writing
fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment
for the Arts. In 1995, he will receive the Langston Hughes Medal,
awarded by City College of New York; in 1997, the Lila Wallace
Reader’s Digest Award, establishing a three-year collaboration
with the Oakland-based Second Start Literacy Project in 1998. In
1998, he will also receive a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation Fellowship award. In 1999, he will receive a Fred
Cody Award from the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association, and be
inducted into Chicago State University’s National Literary Hall
of Fame of Writers of African Descent. Other awards will include
a Rene Castillo OTTO Award for Political Theatre (2002); a
Phillis Wheatley Award from the Harlem Book Fair (2003); and in
2004, a Robert Kirsch Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize,
besides the D.C. Area Writing Project’s 2nd Annual Exemplary
Writer’s Award and the Martin Millennial Writers, Inc.
Contribution to Southern Arts Award, in Memphis, Tennessee. A
1972 manifesto will inspire a major visual art exhibit, NeoHooDoo:
Art for a Forgotten Faith, curated by Franklin Sirmans for the
Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, where it will open on June 27,
2008, and subsequently travel to P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in
New York City, and the Miami Art Museum through 2009. Buffalo, New
York, will celebrate February 21, 2014, as Ishmael Reed Day, when
he will receive Just Buffalo Literary Center’s 2014 Literary Legacy

1940 – Chester ‘Chet’ Walker is born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He
will begin his NBA All-Star career with the Philadelphia
’76ers in 1963, averaging 17.3 points per game. The highlight
of his career will be capturing the NBA title in 1967 on a
team that included Wilt Chamberlain. The 76ers will defeat the
Boston Celtics in the Eastern Division finals, preventing them
from going to their ninth straight NBA final.

1950 – Julius Erving is born in Roosevelt (town of Hempstead), New
York. He will become a star basketball player, first for the
ABA’s Virginia Squires and later for the NBA’s Philadelphia
76ers. Known as “Dr. J.,” he will become the third pro player
to score more than 30,000 career points (after Wilt
Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). He will be enshrined in
the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain sets a NBA record with 34 free throw attempts.

1979 – St. Lucia gains its independence from Great Britain.

1989 – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, by Bobby McFerrin, wins the Grammy for
Song of the Year.

Munirah Chronicle is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry


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