April 8 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – April 8 *

1922 – Carmen McRae is born in the village of Harlem in New York
City. She will study classical piano in her youth, even
though singing was her first love. She will win an
amateur contest at the Apollo Theater and begin her
singing career. She will be influenced by Billie
Holiday, who will become a lifelong friend and mentor.
She will devote her albums and the majority of her
nightclub acts to Lady Day’s memory. Her association
with jazz accordionist Matt Mathews will lead to her
first solo recordings in 1953-1954. In her later years,
McRae’s original style will influence singers Betty
Carter and Carol Sloane. Her best known recordings will
be “Skyliner” (1956) and “Take Five” with Dave Brubeck
(1961). She will also work in films and will appear in
“Hotel” (1967) and “Jo Jo Dancer Your Life is Calling”
(1986). She will receive six Grammy award nominations
and the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Jazz
Masters Fellowship Award in 1994. She will join the
ancestors on November 10, 1994.

1938 – Cornetist and bandleader Joe “King” Oliver joins the
ancestors in Savannah, Georgia. He was considered one
of the leading musicians of New Orleans-style jazz and
served as a mentor to Louis Armstrong, who played with
him in 1922 and 1923.

1953 – Louis “Sweet Lou” Dunbar is born in Houston, Texas. He will
become a professional basketball player (for 27 years) with
the Harlem Globetrotters. After his playing days, he will
become the Director of Player Personnel. He will be the 25th
person to receive the Globetrotter “Legends” Distinction,
awarded on February 9, 2007 at Houston’s Toyota Center. He
will also become a member of the National Basketball Retired
Players Association (Legends of Basketball).

1974 – Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th home run
against a pitch thrown by Los Angeles Dodger Al Downing
at a home game in Fulton County Stadium. Aaron’s home
run breaks the long-standing home run record of Babe

1975 – Frank Robinson, major league baseball’s first African
American manager, gets off to a winning start as his
team, the Cleveland Indians, defeat the New York
Yankees, 5-3.

1980 – State troopers are mobilized to stop racially motivated
civil disturbances in Wrightsville, Georgia. Racial
incidents are also reported in Chattanooga, Tennessee,
Oceanside, California, Kokomo, Indiana, Wichita, Kansas,
and Johnston County, North Carolina.

1987 – Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Al Campanis is fired
for alleged racially biased comments about the
managerial potential of African Americans.

1990 – Percy Julian, who helped create drugs to combat glaucoma
and methods to mass produce cortisone, and agricultural
scientist George Washington Carver are the first African
American inventors admitted into the National Inventors
Hall of Fame in the hall’s 17-year history.

1992 – Tennis great Arthur Ashe announces at a New York news
conference that he has AIDS. He contracted the virus
from a transfusion needed for an earlier heart surgery.
He will join the ancestors on February 6, 1993 of
AIDS-related pneumonia at age 49.

2001 – Tiger Woods becomes the first golfer to hold all four
major professional golf titles at one time when he wins
the 2001 Masters tournament.

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

February 9 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 9 *

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1906 – Never fully recovering from a bout of pneumonia in 1899, poet
and author Paul Laurence Dunbar joins the ancestors in Dayton,
Ohio, at the age of 33. He nonetheless produced three novels
(including “The Sport of the Gods”), three books of verse,
three collections of short stories, two unpublished plays,
and lyric pieces set to music by Will Marion Cook.

1944 – Alice Walker is born In Eatonton, Georgia. Best known for “The
Color Purple,” which will win the American Book Award and the
Pulitzer Prize, she will also write a variety of other
critically praised and award-winning works including poetry
and children’s books and edit a book on Zora Neale Hurston,
whom she will credit as her role model.

1944 – John Rozelle is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will become an
artist and professor at the Art Institute of Chicago. His
work reflects his self identification as an “African American
sentinel,” or visual historian, guide, and advocate of
contemporary African American culture.

1951 – Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas is born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He will
become a rhythm and blues musician with the group, ‘Kool & the

1953 – Gary Franks is born in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1990, he
will be elected to Congress from Connecticut’s 5th District
and become the first African American Republican congressman
since Oscar De Priest left office in 1934.

1962 – Jamaica signs an agreement with Great Britain to become

1964 – Arthur Ashe, Jr. becomes the first African American on a United
States Davis Cup Team.

1964 – A speech by U.S. Representative Martha Griffiths in Congress,
on sex discrimination, results in civil rights protection for
women being added to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

1971 – Satchel Paige becomes the first African American elected to
professional baseball’s Hall of Fame for his career in the
Negro Leagues.

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

February 6 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 6 *

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1810 – The Argentine national hero from Buenos Aires, Argentina,
Antonio Ruiz (El Negro Falucho), joins the ancestors, fighting
for his country.

1820 – The first organized emigration back to Africa begins when
86 free African Americans leave New York Harbor aboard the
Mayflower of Liberia. They are bound for the British colony
of Sierra Leone, which welcomes free African Americans as well
as fugitive slaves.

1867 – The Anglo-American merchant George Peabody, founds the $ 2
million Peabody Education Fund. It is the first philanthropy
established in the wake of the Civil War to promote free public
education in 12 Civil War devastated southern states for whites
and African Americans. The Peabody Fund will provide funding
for construction, endowments, scholarships, teacher and
industrial education for newly freed slaves.

1898 – Haywood Hall is born in South Omaha, Nebraska. After
relocating to Minneapolis, Minnesota with his family, he will
join the U.S. Army. He will serve with the 370th Infantry in
France during World War I. Returning to Chicago, Illinois after
the war, he will be active as a Black Nationalist, becoming a
member of the African Blood Brotherhood and the Communist Party
of the USA. In 1925, he will adopt the pseudonym, Harry
Haywood. He will be a leading proponent of Black Nationalism,
self-determination, and the idea that American Blacks are a
colonized people who should organize themselves into a nation.
From 1926 to 1930, he will study in the Soviet Union, where he
will meet several anti-colonial revolutionaries, including
Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh. On his return to the U.S. in 1931, he
will be chosen to lead the Communist Party’s Negro Department,
and in 1934 will be elected a member of its politburo. The
Spanish Civil War will take him to Spain in 1937, where he
will fight in a volunteer Communist brigade against General
Francisco Franco’s fascist regime. During World War II, his
belief in black self-determination and territorial autonomy
will put him at odds with Communist Party policy, which had
gravitated away from support for a Black nation in the American
south. His agitation on “The Negro Question” led to his
expulsion from the Party in 1959. He will remain in Chicago,
supporting Black Nationalist movements such as the Nation of
Islam. He will publish “Negro Liberation” (1948), a detailed
analysis of the national character of Black oppression,
particularly in the South. In his later years he will write
his memoirs, “Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-
American Communist” (1978). Harry Haywood’s greatest
contribution will be his central role in developing a
theoretical understanding of the Black nation in the United
States. He will join the ancestors on January 4, 1985.

1898 – Melvin Beaunorus Tolson, author and educator, is born in
Moberly, Missouri. Educated at Fisk, Lincoln, and Columbia
Universities, his first volume of poetry, “Rendezvous with
America,” will be published in 1944. He will be best known
for “Libretto for the Republic of Liberia,” published in
1953. He will join the ancestors on August 29, 1966.

1931 – The Harlem Experimental Theatre Group performs its first play
at St. Philips Parish House. The group’s advisory board
includes famed actress Rose McClendon, author Jesse Fauset,
and Grace Nail.

1933 – Walter E. Fauntroy is born in Washington, DC. He will become a
civil rights leader and minister. He will later become the
non-voting delegate to the United States Congress for the
District of Columbia from 1971 to 1991.

1945 – Robert Nesta Marley is born in St. Ann, Jamaica to Captain
Norval and Cedella Marley. He will become a successful singer
along with his group, The Wailers. Bob Marley and The Wailers
were among the earliest to sing Reggae, a blend of Jamaican
dance music and American Rhythm & Blues with a heavy dose of
Rastafarianism, the Jamaican religion that blends Christian and
African teachings. He will join the ancestors on May 11, 1981
at the age of 36, succumbing to cancer. As a result of his
accomplishments, he will be awarded Jamaica’s Order Of Merit,
the nation’s third highest honor, (April, 1981) in recognition
of his outstanding contribution to the country’s culture. He
will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

1950 – Natalie Maria Cole is born to Nat “King” and Maria Cole in Los
Angeles, California. She will follow in her famous father’s
footsteps and become a recording star. She will become a
Grammy Award-winning singer, and Best New Artist in 1975. She
will attain musical success in the mid-1970s as a Rhythm & Blues
artist with the hits “This Will Be”, “Inseparable”, and “Our
Love”. After a period of failing sales and performances due to a
heavy drug addiction, She will reemerge as a pop artist with the
1987 album, “Everlasting,” and her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s
“Pink Cadillac”. In the 1990s, she will re-record standards by
her father, resulting in her biggest success, “Unforgettable…
with Love,” which will sell over seven million copies.

1961 – The “jail-in” movement starts in Rock Hill, South Carolina,
when arrested students demand to be jailed rather than pay

1993 – Arthur Ashe, tennis champion, joins the ancestors at the age of
49. He succumbs from complications of AIDS, contracted from a
transfusion during a earlier heart surgery.

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

January 28 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 28 *

1858 – John Brown organizes the raid on the federal arsenal at
Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. The raid was an attempt to
obtain arms and ammunition to free African Americans from
slavery by force.

1901 – James Richmond Barthe’ is born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Educated at the Art Institute of Chicago, he will begin to
attain critical acclaim as a sculptor at 26. He will drop
the use of his first name when producing his works of art
and will be best known as Richmond Barthe. His first
commissions will be of Henry O. Tanner and Toussaint
L’Ouverture. He will also become the first African
American commissioned to produce a bust for the NYU Hall of
Fame (of Booker T. Washington). He wil join the ancestors
on March 5, 1989.

1938 – Crystal Byrd Fauset is elected to the Pennsylvania House of
Representatives, becoming the first African American woman
to be elected to a state legislature.

1944 – Matthew Henson is a recipient of a joint medal by Congress
for his role as co-discoverer of the North Pole. It is the
U.S. government’s first official recognition of the explorer
who accompanied Commander Robert Peary on his 1909

1958 – Brooklyn Dodger catcher Roy Campanella’s career ends when he
loses control of his car on a slick highway. He will become
a paraplegic and be confined to a wheelchair the remainder
of his life. The accident ends his ten-year playing career
with the Dodgers, where he had been named the National
League’s MVP three times, but he will remain a part of the
Dodgers organization for many years. He will join the
ancestors on June 26, 1993.

1960 – Zora Neale Hurston joins the ancestors in Fort Pierce,
Florida at the age of 71. She had been a prominent figure
during the Harlem Renaissance.

1970 – Arthur Ashe is denied entry to compete on the U.S. Team for
the South African Open Tennis Championships due to Ashe’s
sentiments on South Africa’s racial policies.

1972 – Scott Joplin’s Opera “Treemonisha,” published 61 years
earlier, has its world premiere with Robert Shaw and
Katherine Dunham directing.

1986 – The space shuttle “Challenger” explodes 73 seconds after
lift-off at Cape Canaveral, Florida. One of the seven
crew members killed is physicist Dr. Ronald McNair, the
only African American aboard.

1997 – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa
announces that as part of their petition for amnesty,
five Afrikaner police had admitted to killing Steve Biko.
The announcement confirms what his admirers and followers
had never doubted: Steve Biko was a martyr to the struggle
against the apartheid government. Steve Biko was one of
the major figures in the struggle against South Africa’s
system of apartheid. Founder and leader of the Black
Consciousness Movement, the charismatic Biko was the first
president of the all-black South African Students
Organization before organizing the Black People’s
Convention, a coalition of over 70 black organizations
committed to ending apartheid. In 1977, Biko was arrested.
While in custody in Port Elizabeth, on the Indian Ocean
coast, he was apparently severely beaten. He was denied
medical attention and driven in the back of a police van
nearly 700 miles to Pretoria, where he died, naked and
shackled in a police hospital at the age of 29. The police
first claimed that Biko starved himself to death, then that
he died of self-inflicted injuries.

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

December 12 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 12 *

1870 – Joseph Hayne Rainey is the first African American to serve
in Congress representing South Carolina. He is sworn in
to fill an unexpired term.

1872 – U.S. Attorney General George Williams sends a telegram to
“Acting Governor Pinchback,” saying that the African
American politician “was recognized by the President as
the lawful executive of Louisiana.”

1892 – Minnie Evans, visual artist and painter, is born in Pender
County, North Carolina. One of her more famous works will
be “Lion of Judah.” She will be inducted into the
Wilmington, NC “Walk of Fame.” She will join the ancestors
on December 16, 1987.

1899 – Boston native, dentist, and avid golfer, George F. Grant
receives a patent for a wooden golf tee. Prior to the
use of the tee, wet sand was used to make a small mound
to place the ball. Grant’s invention will revolutionize
the manner in which golfers swing at the ball.

1912 – Henry Melody Jackson, Jr. is born in Columbus, Mississippi.
He will move with his family to St. Louis, Missouri and
become a boxer known as Henry Armstrong. In 1938 he will
become the first boxer to hold three titles at the same
time after winning the lightweight boxing championship.
He will be inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame as well
as the International Boxing Hall of Fame. His boxing record
at the time of his retirement in 1945 will be 150 wins, 101
wins by knockout, 21 losses, and 10 draws. After retiring
from boxing, he will become a Baptist minister and will
teach young upcoming fighter how to box. He will join
the ancestors on October 22, 1988 in Los Angeles, California.

1913 – James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens is born in Oakville, Alabama.
He will become a world-class athlete in college, setting
world records in many events. He will go on to win 4 gold
medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, spoiling Hitler’s
plans to showcase Aryan sports supremacy. He will join the
ancestors on March 31, 1980.

1918 – Famed jazz singer Joe Williams is born in Cordele, Georgia.
Williams will sing for seven years in Count Basie’s band,
where he will record such hits as “Every Day I have the
Blues.” He will join the ancestors on March 29, 1980.

1929 – Vincent Dacosta Smith is born in New York City. He will
exhibit his works on four continents and be represented in
the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the National
Museum of American Art, and the National Museum of Afro-
American Artists in Boston. He will join the ancestors on
December 27, 2003.

1938 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Missouri that a state must
provide equal educational facilities for African Americans
within its boundaries. Lloyd Gaines, the plaintiff in the
case, disappears after the decision and is never seen

1941 – Dionne Warwick is born in East Orange, New Jersey. Warwick
will sing in a gospel trio with her sister Dee Dee and
cousin Cissy Houston, and begin her solo career in 1960
singing the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. She
will become a three-time Grammy winner.

1943 – Grover Washington, Jr. is born in Buffalo, New York. He
will become a renown jazz artist and famous for his
recording of “Mr. Magic.” He will join the ancestors on
December 17, 1999.

1961 – Martin Luther King Jr., along with over seven hundred
demonstrators is arrested in Albany, Ga., after five mass
marches on city hall to protest segregation. The arrests
trigger the militant Albany movement.

1963 – Kenya achieves its independence from Great Britain with
Jomo Kenyatta as its first prime minister.

1963 – Medgar Wiley Evers is awarded the Spingarn Medal
posthumously for his civil rights leadership.

1965 – Johnny Lee, an actor best known for his portrayal of
“Calhoun” on “The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show,” joins the ancestors
at the age of 67.

1965 – Gale Sayers, of the Chicago Bears, scores 6 touchdowns and
ties the NFL record.

1968 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American to be ranked
Number One in tennis.

1975 – The National Association of Black Journalists is formed in
Washington, DC. Among its founding members are Max
Robinson, who will become the first African American anchor
of a national network news program, and Acel Moore, a
future Pulitzer Prize winner.

1979 – Rhodesia becomes the independent nation of Zimbabwe.

1986 – Bone Crusher Smith knocks out WBA champion Tim Witherspoon
in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

2007 – Ike Turner, whose role as one of rock’s critical architects
was overshadowed by his ogre-like image as the man who
brutally abused former wife and rock icon Tina Turner,
joins the ancestors at his home in suburban San Diego at the
age of 76.

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

September 9 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – September 9 *

1739 – Led by a slave named Jemmy (Cato), a slave revolt occurs
in Stono, South Carolina. Twenty-five whites are killed
before the insurrection is put down.

1806 – Sarah Mapps Douglass is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She is the daughter of renowned abolitionists Robert
Douglass, Sr. and Grace Bustill Douglass. As a child, she
enjoys life among Philadelphia’s elite and will be well
educated by a private tutor. She will become a teacher in
New York, but will return to Philadelphia where she will
operate a successful private school for Black women,
giving women of color the opportunity to receive a high
school education. As the daughter of one of the
Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society’s founding
members, she will become active in the abolitionist
movement at a young age. She will develop a distaste for
the prejudices of white Quakers early on and will devote
much of her life to combating slavery and racism. She
will develop a close friendship with white Quaker
abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke. At the urgings
of the Grimke sisters, She will attend the Anti-Slavery
Convention of American Women, held in New York in
1837–the first national convention of American
antislavery women to integrate Black and white members–
and serve on the ten-member committee on arrangements for
the convention. Throughout her abolitionist career, she
will also serve as recording secretary, librarian, and
manager for the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society,
contribute to both the Liberator and the Anglo-African
Magazine, become a fundraiser for the Black press, give
numerous public lectures, and serve as vice-president of
the women’s branch of the Freedmen’s Aid Society. From
1853 to 1877, she will serve as a supervisor at the
Institute for Colored Youth, a Quaker-sponsored
establishment. During this time, she will also acquire
basic medical training at the Female Medical College of
Pennsylvania and at Pennsylvania Medical University,
where she will study female health and hygiene–subjects
on which she will lecture in evening classes and at
meetings of the Banneker Institute. In 1855, she will
marry African American Episcopal clergyman William
Douglass. She will join the ancestors on September 8, 1882.

1816 – Rev. John Gregg Fee, the son of white slaveholders, is
born in Bracken County, Kentucky. He will become member
of the American Missionary Association, and will found a
settlement called “Berea” on land donated to him by an
admirer, Cassius Marcellus Clay. It will be later that
he will be inspired to build a college, adjacent to the
donated land – Berea College, the first interracial
college in the state. During the American Civil War, He
will work at Camp Nelson to have facilities constructed
to support freedmen and their families, and to provide
them with education and preaching while the men were being
taught to be soldiers. He died on January 11, 1901.

1817 – Captain Paul Cuffe, entrepreneur and civil rights
activist, joins the ancestors at the age of 58, in Westport,
Masschusetts. Cuffe was a Massachusetts shipbuilder and
sea captain. He also was one of the most influential
African American freedmen of the eighteenth century. In
1780, Cuffe and six other African Americans refused to
pay taxes util they were granted citizenship.
Massachusetts gave African Americans who owned property
the vote three years later. Although Cuffe became
wealthy, he believed that most African Americans would
never be completely accepted in white society. In 1816,
Cuffe began one of the first experiments in colonizing
African Americans in Africa when he brought a group to
Sierra Leone. Cuffe’s experiment helped inspire the
founding of the American Colonization Society later
that year.

1823 – Alexander Lucius Twilight, becomes the first African
American to earn a baccalaureate degree in the United
States, when he graduates from Middlebury College with
a BA degree.

1915 – A group of visionary scholars (George Cleveland Hall,
W.B. Hartgrove, Alexander L. Jackson, and James E.
Stamps) led by Dr. Carter G. Woodson found the
Association for the Study of Negro Life and History
(ASNLH) in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Woodson is convinced
that among scholars, the role of his own people in
American history and in the history of other cultures
was being either ignored or misrepresented. Dr. Woodson
realizes the need for special research into the
neglected past of the Negro. The association is the
only organization of its kind concerned with preserving
African American history.

1928 – Silvio Cator of Haiti, sets the then long jump record at
26′ 0″.

1934 – Sonia Sanchez is born in Birmingham, Alabama. She will
become a noted poet, playwright, short story writer, and
author of children’s books. She will be most noted for
her poetry volumes “We a BaddDDD People”, “A Blues Book
for Blue Black Magical Women”, and anthologies she will
edit including “We Be Word Sorcerers: 25 Stories by
Black Americans.”

1941 – Otis Redding is born in Dawson, Georgia, the son of a
Baptist minister. He will become a rhythm and blues
musician and singer and will be best known for his
recording of “[Sittin’ on] The Dock of the Bay,” which
will be released after he joins the ancestors. Some of
his other hits were “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”,
“Respect”, and “Try A Little Tenderness.” He will join
the ancestors on December 10, 1967 after his plane
crashes en route to a concert in Madison, Wisconsin.

1942 – Inez Foxx is born in Greensboro, North Carolina. She will
become a rhythm and blues singer and will perform as
part of a duuo act with her brother, Charlie. Their
biggest hit will be “Mockingbird” in 1963. They will
record together until 1967.

1942 – Luther Simmons is born in New York City, New York. He
will become a rhythm and blues singer with the group
“The Main Ingredient.” They will be best known for
their hit, “Everybody Plays the Fool.”

1945 – Dione LaRue is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She
will become a rhythm and blues singer better known as
“Dee Dee Sharp.” Her first hit will be “It’s Mashed
Potato Time” in 1962. She will also record “Gravy” [For
My Mashed Potatoes], “Ride!”, “Do the Bird”, and “Slow
Twistin’ “(with Chubby Checker).

1957 – President Eisenhower signs the first civil rights bill
passed by Congress since Reconstruction.

1957 – Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth is mobbed when he attempts to
enroll his daughters in a “white” Birmingham school.

1957 – Nashville’s new Hattie Cotton Elementary School with
enrollment of one African American and 388 whites is
virtually destroyed by a dynamite blast.

1962 – Two churches are burned near Sasser, Georgia. African
American leaders ask the president to stop the “Nazi-
like reign of terror in southwest Georgia.”

1963 – Alabama Governor George Wallace is served a federal
injunction when he orders state police to bar African
American students from enrolling in white schools.

1968 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first (and first African
American) Men’s Singles Tennis Champion of the newly
established U.S. Open tennis championships at Forest
Hills, New York.

1971 – More than 1,200 inmates at the Attica Correctional
Facility in upstate New York gain control of the
facility in a well-planned takeover. During the initial
violence, 50 correctional officers and civilian
employees are beaten and taken hostage. Correctional
officer William Quinn receives the roughest beating and
is soon freed by the inmates due to the severity of his
injuries. Police handling of the takeover will result
in the deaths of many inmates and will turn the nation’s
interest toward the conditions in U.S. penal

1979 – Robert Guillaume wins an Emmy award for ‘Best Actor in a
Comedy Series’ for his performances in “Soap”.

1981 – Vernon E. Jordan resigns as president of the National
Urban League and announces plans to join a Washington DC
legal firm. He will be succeeded by John E. Jacob,
executive vice president of the league.

1984 – Walter Payton, of the Chicago Bears, breaks Jim Brown’s
combined yardage record — by reaching 15,517 yards.

1985 – President Reagan orders sanctions against South Africa
because of that country’s apartheid policies.

1990 – Liberian President Samuel K. Doe is captured and joins
the ancestors after being killed by rebel forces. In
1985, he was elected president, but Charles Taylor and
followers overthrew his government in 1989, which will
spark a seven-year long civil war.

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

August 1 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – August 1 *

1619 – Twenty African “Negroes” became the first Blacks to land in
Protestant America at Jamestown, Virginia. Surviving
evidence suggests that the twenty Africans were accorded
the status of indentured servants.

1834 – Slavery is abolished in the British Empire by the royal
ascent of the King of England after having been voted by
Parliament the previous year.

1838 – British slaves in the Bahamas are emancipated.

1852 – San Francisco Methodists establish the first African
American Zion Methodist Church.

1867 – African Americans vote for the first time in a state
election, in Tennessee, helping the Republicans sweep the

1867 – General Philip H. Sheridan dismisses the board of aldermen
in New Orleans and named new appointees, including several
African Americans.

1868 – Governor Henry C. Warmoth of Louisiana endorses a joint
resolution of the legislature calling for federal military
aid. Warmoth says there had been 150 political
assassinations in June and July.

1874 – Charles Clinton Spaulding is born in Columbus County, North
Carolina. He will become a businessman who will rise to the
presidency of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance
Company. His business acumen will help the company survive
the years of the Great Depression. Also active in the
Durham, North Carolina community where the corporation is
located, he will work to increase the numbers of registered
African American voters and convince the city to hire
African American police officers. He will lead the company
from 1900 until he joins the ancestors on August 1, 1952.

1879 – Mary Eliza Mahoney graduates from the nursing program at the
New England Hospital for Women and Children. She is the
first African American to graduate from a nursing school and
becomes the first African American in history to earn a
professional nursing license.

1894 – Benjamin Elijah Mays is born in Epworth, South Carolina. He
will become a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bates College in
Maine. He will serve as pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church from
1921-1923 in Atlanta, Georgia. Recruited by Morehouse President
John Hope, Mays will join the faculty as a mathematics teacher
and debate coach. He will obtain a master’s degree in 1925 and
in 1935 a Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago. In 1934,
he will be appointed dean of the School of Religion at Howard
University and serve until 1940. He will become president of
Morehouse College in 1940 and launch a 27-year tenure that
will shepherd the institution into international prominence. He
will upgrade the faculty, secure a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and
sustain enrollment during World War II. After retiring as the
president of Morehouse, he will be elected to the school board
of Atlanta, Georgia and later serve as its president. In
1982, he will be awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal. He
will join the ancestors on March 28, 1984.

1914 – Marcus Garvey establishes the Universal Negro Movement
Improvement and Conservation Association and African
Communities’ League, later shortened to UNIA. In New York
City six years later to the day, the UNIA will meet in
Madison Square Garden as Garvey presents his “Back to
Africa” plan and a formal Declaration of Rights for Black
people worldwide.

1918 – Theodore Juson Jemison, Sr. is born in Selma, Alabama. He
will become a Baptist minister and will later be elected
president of the National Baptist Convention USA, serving
from 1982 to 1994. It is the largest African American
religious organization. He will oversee the construction of
the Baptist World Center in Nashville, Tennessee, the
headquarters for the Convention. In 1953, while minister of
a large church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he will help lead
the first civil rights boycott of bus service. The
organization of free rides, coordinated by churches, was a
model used later by the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama,
which started in 1955. He will be one of the founders of
the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. In
2003 the 50th anniversary of the Baton Rouge bus boycott will
be honored with three days of events, organized by a young
resident born two decades after the action.

1920 – The national convention of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro
Improvement Association opens in Liberty Hall in Harlem.
The next night Garvey addresses twenty-five thousand Blacks
in Madison Square Garden. Garvey’s nationalist movement
reaches its height in 1920-21.

1925 – The National Bar Association, dedicated to “advance the
science of jurisprudence, uphold the honor of the legal
profession…and protect the civil and political rights of
all citizens of the several states of the United States,”
is formally organized in Des Moines, Iowa by 12 African
American legal pioneers including George H. Woodson, S.
Joe Brown, and Gertrude E. Rush.

1930 – Geoffrey Holder is born in Polrt of Spain, Trinidad. He will
become a Broadway dancer and actor and will be best known
for his performances in “Annie” and “The Wiz.” He will
teach at the Katherine Dunham School of Dance for two years.
He will be a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera
Ballet in New York from 1955 to 1956. In 1955, He will
marry dancer Carmen De Lavallade, whom he met when both
were in the cast of “House of Flowers,” a musical by Harold
Arlen (music and lyrics) and Truman Capote (lyrics and book).
They will be the subject of a 2004 film, “Carmen & Geoffrey.”
He will begin his movie career in the 1962 British film “All
Night Long,” a modern remake of Shakespeare’s Othello. He
will follow that with “Doctor Doolittle” (1967) as Willie
Shakespeare, leader of the natives of Sea-Star Island. This
will be a trying experience for him, as he had to contend
with casual racism from Rex Harrison’s then-wife, Rachel
Roberts, and his entourage. In 1972, he will be cast as the
Sorcerer in “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*”
(*But Were Afraid to Ask). The following year he will be a
henchman – Baron Samedi – in the Bond movie “Live and Let Die,”
also contributing to the film’s choreography. In addition to
his movie appearances, he will become a spokesman for the 1970s
7 Up soft drink “uncola” advertising campaign. In 1975, he will
win two Tony Awards for direction and costume design of “The
Wiz,” the all-black musical version of The Wizard of Oz. He
will be the first black man to be nominated in either category.
He also win the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design.
The show will run for 1672 performances over a four-year period,
reviving in 1984. As a choreographer, he will create dance
pieces for many companies, including the Alvin Ailey American
Dance Theater, for which he will provide choreography, music
and costumes for “Prodigal Prince” (1967), and the Dance
Theatre of Harlem, for which he provided choreography, music
and costumes for “Dougla” (1974) and designed costumes for
“Firebird” (1982). In 1978, he will direct and choreograph the
Broadway musical “Timbuktu!” His 1957 piece “Bele” is also part
of the Dance Theater of Harlem repertory. In the 1982 film
version of the musical “Annie,” he will play the role of Punjab.
He will also be the voice of Ray in “Bear in the Big Blue House”
and provide narration for Tim Burton’s version of Roald Dahl’s
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” He will reprise his role
as the 7 Up Spokesman in the 2011 season finale of The Celebrity
Apprentice, where he will appear as himself in a commercial for
“7 Up Retro” for Marlee Matlin’s team. He will also be a
prolific painter, ardent art collector, book author and music
composer. As a painter, he will win a Guggenheim Fellowship. A
book of his photography, “Adam,” was published by Viking Press
in 1986.

1940 – Benjamin E. Mays, who has been called “the greatest school
master of his generation,” is named president of Morehouse

1941 – Ronald H. Brown is born in Washington, DC. He will become
the first African American chairman of the Democratic
National Committee and Secretary of Commerce. He will join
the ancestors on April 3, 1996 in Croatia when his plane crashes
while on an official tour of the Balkans for the Department
of Commerce.

1943 – Race-related rioting erupts in New York City’s village of
Harlem, resulting in several deaths.

1944 – Adam Clayton Powell is elected to congress and becomes the
first African American congressman from the East.

1950 – The American Bowling Congress ends its all-white-males rule.

1952 – Charles Clinton Spaulding joins the ancestors in Durham,
North Carolina at the age of 78.

1960 – Benin changes its name to Dahomey and proclaims its
independence from France.

1960 – Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” is released. The song
inspires the dance craze of the ’60s.

1961 – Whitney Young Jr. is named executive director of the
National Urban League.

1964 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American to be named
to the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.

1970 – “Black Enterprise” magazine is first published.

1970 – Willie Stargell, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, ties the record
of 5 extra base hits in a game.

1973 – Tempestt Bledsoe, actress, “The Cosby Show’s” Vanessa
Huxtable, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1977 – Benjamin L. Hooks becomes the Executive Director of the

1979 – James Patterson Lyke is installed as auxiliary bishop of
the Cleveland Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

1987 – Mike Tyson defeats Tony Tucker to become undisputed
Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

1992 – The Supreme Court permits the administration to continue
its special interdiction policy by which the U.S. Coast
Guard patrols international waters near Haiti to prevent
Haitian citizens from escaping from their country, and
Haiti is the only country in the world to receive such
treatment by the United States.

1992 – Gail Devers wins the women’s 100 meters at the Barcelona
Summer Games.

1993 – Ronald H. Brown, former chairman of the Democratic
National Committee, is appointed head of the Department
of Commerce by President Bill Clinton.

1994 – Supporters of Haiti’s military rulers declare their
intention to fight back in the face of a U.N. resolution
paving the way for a U.S.-led invasion.

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

July 13 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – July 13 *

1787 – The Continental Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance,
which, in addition to providing for a government and
civil liberties for the new territory, excludes slavery
northwest of the Ohio River except as punishment for a

1863 – Over 1,200 people, mostly African Americans, are killed in
anti-draft rioting in New York City. Rioting begins, in
part, when poor whites revolt against military service
exemptions that allow for a payment of $ 300 in lieu of
being drafted, a price that they cannot afford. The
“Draft Riots” also reflect a growing hostility toward
African Americans, who are seen as the cause of the war.

1868 – Oscar J. Dunn, a former slave, is installed as Lieutenant
Governor of Louisiana.

1919 – Race riots break out in Longview & Gregg counties in Texas.

1928 – Robert N.C. Nix, Jr. is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 1971, he will be the first African American to serve on
the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and, in 1984, the first
African American chief justice of a state supreme court.
Chief Justice Nix will be further honored when he is named
president of the Conference of Chief Justices, a national
organization of judges and justices in the U.S. He will
join the ancestors on August 23, 2003.

1948 – Daphne Maxwell (later Reid) is born in Manhattan, New York.
While pursuing a major in Interior Design and Architecture
at Northwestern University, an English teacher from her
high school will submit her photograph to a magazine editor
and friend who was preparing an article on college women.
The result will be a trip to New York and her first full-
page photograph in Seventeen magazine. Quickly signed by
the Eileen Ford Agency, she will appear in many magazines,
and will also become the first Afican American woman to
grace the cover of Glamour magazine. She will transition
into the acting field. She will have the opportunity to
audition for a part in the series “The Duke” starring
Robert Conrad, who will promise her a continuing role, and
keep his word. In 1979, she will go to Los Angeles where
she will continue to work with Robert Conrad, who enlists
her as the villainess in his series, “A Man Called Sloane,”
and subsequently her first movie of the week, “The Coach of
the Year.” She will meet her husband, Tim Reid, who she had
previously known in Chicago. She is most widely recognized
for her role as Aunt Viv on NBC’s hit comedy “The Fresh
Prince of Bel Air.” She is also known for her role on the
CBS comedy series “Frank’s Place,” in which she co-starred
with her husband, Tim. The couple will team up again when
she stars as Mickie Dennis on CBS’ “Snoops,” and also on
the King World syndicated talk show, “The Tim and Daphne
Show” for 76 1-hour episodes. She will also star as Eartha
on the Showtime series, “Linc’s.” She and Tim will
establish New Millennium Studios in Petersburg, Virginia
in 1997. It will be Virginia’s only full-service film
production studio.

1954 – David Thompson is born in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.
He will become a college and professional all-star
basketball player. At North Carolina State in the mid-1970s,
he will be a three-time All-American and two-time College
Player of the Year. It was he who popularized the
“alley-oop.” He will bring his explosive game to the
professional level in 1975 when he is drafted by both the
NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the ABA’s Virginia Squires. He will
opt for the ABA with the Denver Nuggets, who acquire his
rights in a trade with the Virginia Squires. In the first of
nine professional seasons (Denver Nuggets 1975-82, Seattle
Supersonics 1982-84), he will average 26.0 points per game,
be chosen MVP in the ABA All-Star Game and the ABA’s Rookie
of the Year. He will enjoy similar success in the NBA. He
will be a four-time NBA All-Star and win the MVP Award in
the 1979 All-Star Game. A two-time First Team All-NBA
selection in 1977 and 1978, he will average 22.1 ppg in the
regular season and 22.9 ppg in the playoffs during his NBA
career. His prolific scoring career will be remembered most
for the 73-point outburst he had in the final game of the
1978 season. In what will be the closest race for the NBA
scoring title, his outburst (third highest in NBA history)
will leave him just .06 points behind George Gervin. The
Denver Nuggets will honor him for his career achievements
when they retire his number 33 jersey on Nov. 12, 1992.

1963 – Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb is born in Dallas, Texas. He will
become one of the shortest players in NBA history but with
a vertical jump of 44″ (112 cm). Webb is most famous for
his performance in the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He will
surprise teammate and defending dunk champion Dominique
Wilkins by entering the contest. He made history that day
not only because of his size, but also because he will win
by defeating Wilkins with 2 perfect 50 scores in the final
round. He is the shortest player ever to have competed in
the NBA Slam Dunk competition. He will play most of his NBA
career with the Atlanta Hawks, but will also have stints
with the Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and
Orlando Magic. He will retire from basketball in 1998 with a
9.9 points per game average over his 12 year NBA career. He,
along with Greg Grant and Keith Jennings, is the third-
shortest player in NBA history. Only Earl Boykins (5’5″) and
Muggsy Bogues (5’3″) are shorter.

1965 – Thurgood Marshall, an Appeals Court judge for three years,
is appointed Solicitor General of the United States, the
first African American to hold the office.

1985 – Arthur Ashe, the first African American male to win
Wimbledon, is inducted into the International Tennis Hall
of Fame.

1985 – The first “Live Aid”, an international rock concert in
London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, takes place to
raise money for Africa’s starving people. Over $70
million is collected for African famine relief.

1998 – A jury in Poughkeepsie, New York, rules that the Rev. Al
Sharpton and two others had defamed a former prosecutor
by accusing him of raping Tawana Brawley.

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

July 10 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – July 10 *

1775 – General Horatio Gates, George Washington’s adjutant
general issues an order excluding African Americans from
serving in the Continental Army.

1875 – Mary McLeod Bethune is born in Mayesville, South Carolina.
She will become a noted educator and founder of Daytona
Normal and Industrial Institute in Daytona Beach, Florida
in 1904 (now Bethune-Cookman College). With the help of
benefactors, she will attend college hoping to become a
missionary in Africa. When that did not materialize, she
will establish a school for African American girls in
Daytona Beach, Florida. From six students it will grow
and merge with an institute for African American boys and
eventually became the Bethune-Cookman School. Its quality
far surpassed the standards of education for African
American students, and rivaled those of schools for white
students. She will work tirelessly to ensure funding for
the school, and use it as a showcase for tourists and
donors, to exhibit what educated African Americans could
do. She will be president of the college from 1923 to 1942
and 1946 to 1947, one of the few women in the world who
will serve as a college president at that time. She will
also be active in women’s clubs, and her leadership in
them will allow her to become nationally prominent. She
will work for the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in
1932, and become a member of Roosevelt’s “Black Cabinet,”
sharing the concerns of Black people with the Roosevelt
administration while spreading Roosevelt’s message to
Blacks, who had been traditionally Republican voters. Upon
her ascension to the ancestors on May 18, 1955, columnist
Louis E. Martin will say, “She gave out faith and hope as
if they were pills and she some sort of doctor.” Her home
in Daytona Beach will become a National Historic Landmark,
and her house in Washington, D.C., in Logan Circle, will
be preserved by the National Park Service as a National
Historic Site. A statue will be placed in Lincoln Park
in Washington, D.C.

1927 – David Norman Dinkins is born in Trenton, New Jersey. He
will move as a child to Harlem. He will serve as a marine
during World War II and will attend and graduate from
Howard University after the war. He will receive his law
degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1956. He was in private
practice until 1975, even though he was active in politics
and held some office. He began full time elective office
in New York City that year and held the offices of City
Clerk and Manhattan Borough President. In 1989 he will be
elected as the first African American mayor of the city of
New York, defeating three-time mayor Ed Koch. He will
serve one term, being defeated in 1993 by Rudolph Giuliani.

1936 – Billie Holiday records “Billie’s Blues” for Okeh Records in
New York. Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw and Cozy Cole supported
Holiday, instrumentally, on the track.

1941 – Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton joins the ancestors in Los
Angeles, California at age 56. The innovative piano
soloist, composer, and arranger claims to have invented
jazz and makes a series of recordings for the Library of
Congress that immortalizes his style. Fifty years after
his death, playwright George C. Wolfe will present a well-
regarded play on Morton’s life, “Jelly’s Last Jam.”

1943 – Arthur Ashe is born in Richmond, Virginia. He will become a
professional tennis player winning 33 career titles. In
winning his titles, he will become the first African
American male to win Wimbledon (1975) and the U.S. Open
(1968) and will be the first African American enshrined in
the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He will also be the
author of “A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African-
American Athlete,” and “Days of Grace.” During a second
heart surgery in 1983, it is likely that he was given blood
tainted with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which
causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). After
acknowledging his disease, he became an active fundraiser
and speaker on behalf of AIDS research. He will join the
ancestors on February 6, 1993.

1945 – Ronald E. ‘Ron’ Glass is born in Evansville, Indiana. He will
graduate from the University of Evansville with a major in
Drama and Literature. His acting career will begin at the
Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He will move to
Hollywood after four years in Minneapolis. He will be best
known for his television role as Sgt. Harris on the long-
running series, “Barney Miller.” His other television credits
will be roles in “The New Odd Couple,” “Rhythm & Blues,” “All
in the Family,” “Sanford & Sons,” “Streets of San Francisco,”
“Family Matters,” and “Murder, She Wrote.” His feature film
credits include “It’s My Party” and “House Guest.”

1949 – Frederick M. Jones patents a starter generator.

1951 – Sugar Ray Robinson is defeated for only the second time in
133 fights as Randy Turpin takes the middleweight crown.

1960 – Roger Timothy Craig is born in Davenport, Iowa. He will
become a professional football player, being drafted in the
second round of the 1983 NFL Draft out of the University of
Nebraska by the San Francisco 49ers. He will play for the
49ers eight years, claiming three Super Bowl titles and
selected for the Pro Bowl four times. In 1985, he will
become the first player to surpass 1,000 yards rushing and
receiving in the same season. By the end of his career, he
will become the 49ers’ second leading rusher all-time with
7,064 yards. He will also become co-Super Bowl record holder
for Most Points Per Game (18 vs. Miami, 1985) and Most TDs
Per Game (3).

1962 – Martin Luther King Jr. is arrested during a civil rights
demonstration in Albany, Georgia.

1966 – Martin Luther King, Jr. begins a Chicago campaign for fair
housing. It is his first foray into a northern city for
desegregation activities.

1972 – The Democratic convention opens in Miami Beach, Florida.
African Americans constitute 15 per cent of the delegates.
Representative Shirley Chisholm receives 151.95 of 2,000-
plus ballots on the first roll call.

1973 – The Bahamas attain full independence within the British
Commonwealth having been a British colony almost
uninterruptedly since 1718.

1984 – Dwight ‘Doc’ Gooden of the New York Mets becomes the youngest
player to appear in an All-Star Game as a pitcher. Gooden is
19 years, 7 months and 24 days old. He leads the National
League to a 3-1 win at Candlestick Park in San Francisco,

1993 – Kenyan runner Yobes Ondieki becomes the first human to run 10
km (6.25 miles) in less than 27 minutes. Ondieki, known for
his extremely arduous training sessions, will say after
setting his world record, “My world-record race actually felt
easier than my tough interval workouts.”

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

July 5 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – July 5 *

1852 – At a meeting sponsored by the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-
Slavery Society, in Rochester Hall, Rochester, New
York, Frederick Douglass illustrates the full shame
of slavery, delivering a speech that takes aim at
the pieties of the nation — the cherished memories
of its revolution, its principles of liberty, and its
moral and religious foundation. The Fourth of July,
a day celebrating freedom, is used by Douglass to
remind his audience of liberty’s unfinished business.
“What to the American Slave is Your Fourth of July?”:
“To him your celebration is a sham…to cover up
crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.
There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices
more shocking and bloody than are the people of the
United States at this very hour.” The text of this
speech can be seen on the Information Man’s web site
http://www.informationman.com/douglass.htm .

1892 – Andrew Beard is issued patent number 478,271 for his
rotary engine.

1899 – Anna Arnold (later Hedgeman) is born in Marshalltown,
Iowa. She will become the first African American
woman to serve in the cabinet of a New York City mayor
(1954), a special projects coordinator for the
Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council
of Churches, and recruiter of 40,000 Protestant
churchmen to participate in the 1963 March on Washington.
She will serve as teacher, lecturer, and consultant to
numerous educational centers, boards, and colleges and
universities, particularly in the area of African American
studies. She will travel to Africa and lecture throughout
the United States, especially in black schools and
colleges, as an example of a black hero. She will stress
to students the importance of understanding history as a
basis to achieve equality. She will hold memberships in
numerous organizations, such as the Child Study
Association, Community Council of the City of New York,
National Urban League, NAACP, United Nations Association,
Advisory Committee on Alcoholism, Advisory Committee on
Drug Addiction, and the National Conference of Christians
and Jews. She will author “The Trumpet Sounds” (1964),
“The Gift of Chaos” (1977), and articles in numerous
organizational publications, newspapers, and journals.
She will join the ancestors on January 17, 1990.
1913 – Overton Amos Lemons is born in Dequincy, Louisiana. He will
become a rhythm and blues vocalist better known as Smiley
Lewis. He will be best rememberd for his song, “I Hear You
Knockin’.” He will join the ancestors on October 7, 1966
after succumbing to stomach cancer.

1947 – The first African American baseball player in the American
League joins the lineup of the Cleveland Indians. Larry
Doby plays his first game against the Chicago White Sox.
He will play for both the Indians and the White Sox
during his 13-year, major-league career.

1949 – The New York Giants purchase the contracts of Monty Irvin
& Henry Thompson, their first African American players.

1966 – Three nights of race rioting in Omaha, Nebraska, result
in the calling out of the National Guard.

1969 – Tom Mboya, Economics Minister, joins the ancestors after
being assassinated in Narobi, Kenya.

1975 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American to win the
Wimbledon Men’s Singles Championship when he defeats
Jimmy Conners.

1975 – The Cape Verde Islands gain independence after 500 years
of Portuguese rule.

1975 – Forty persons are injured in racial disturbances in Miami,

1989 – Barry Bond’s home run sets father-son (Bobby) HR record at

1990 – Zina Garrison upsets Steffi Graf in the Wimbledon semi-

1994 – In an attempt to halt a surge of Haitian refugees, the
Clinton administration announces it is refusing entry to
new Haitian boat people.

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