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.

January 13 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 13 *

1869 – A National Convention of African American leaders meets in
Washington, DC. Frederick Douglass is elected president.

1869 – The first African American labor convention is held when the
Convention of the Colored National Labor Union takes place.

1873 – P.B.S. Pinchback relinquishes the office of governor, saying
at the inauguration of the new Louisiana governor: “I now have
the honor to formally surrender the office of governor, with
the hope that you will administer the government in the
interests of all the people [and that] your administration
will be as fair toward the class that I represent, as mine has
been toward the class represented by you.”

1913 – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is founded on the campus of Howard
University. The sorority will grow, from the original 22
founders, to over 175,000 members in over 800 chapters in the
United States, West Germany, the Caribbean, Liberia, and the
Republic of South Korea.

1953 – Don Barksdale becomes the first African American person to play
in an NBA All-Star Game.

1966 – Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American appointed
to a presidential cabinet position, when President Lyndon B.
Johnson names him to head the newly created Department of
Housing and Urban Development.

1979 – A commemorative stamp of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is issued
by the U.S. Postal Service as part of its Black Heritage USA
commemorative series. The stamp of the slain civil rights
leader is the second in the series.

1979 – Singer Donnie Hathaway joins the ancestors after jumping from
the 15th floor of New York’s Essex House hotel.

1982 – Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson are elected to the Baseball Hall
of Fame.

1983 – Citing Muhammad Ali’s deteriorating physical condition, the AMA
calls for the banning of prizefighting because new evidence
suggests that chronic brain damage is prevalent in boxers.

1989 – Sterling Allen Brown joins the ancestors in Washington, DC. He
had devoted his life to the development of an authentic black
folk literature. He was one of the first scholars to identify
folklore as a vital component of the black aesthetic and to
recognize its validity as a form of artistic expression. He
worked to legitimatize this genre in several ways. As a
critic, he exposed the shortcomings of white literature that
stereotyped blacks and demonstrated why black authors are best
suited to describe the Black experience. As a poet, he mined
the rich vein of black Southern culture, replacing primitive
or sentimental caricatures with authentic folk heroes drawn
from Afro-American sources. He was associated with Howard
University for almost sixty years.

1990 – L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia is inaugurated as governor and
becomes the first elected African American governor in the
United States. Wilder won the election in Virginia by a mere
7,000 votes in a state once the heart of the Confederacy.
Later in the year, he will receive the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal
for his lifetime achievements.

1999 – Michael Jordan, considered the best player to ever play in the
NBA, retires from professional basketball after thirteen
seasons. This is the second time ‘His Airness’ has retired.
He leaves the game after leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA
championships and winning five MVP awards.

2010 – Rhythm & Blues singer Teddy Pendergrass, one of the most electric
and successful figures in music until a car crash 28 years ago
left him in a wheelchair, joins the ancestors after
succumbing to colon cancer at the age of 59.

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

November 22 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 22 *

1865 – The Mississippi legislature enacts “Black Codes” which
restrict the rights and freedom of movement of the
freedmen. The Black Codes enacted in Mississippi and
other Southern states virtually re-enslave the
freedmen. In some states, any white person could
arrest any African American. In other states, minor
officials could arrest African American “vagrants” and
“refractory and rebellious Negroes” and force them to
work on roads and levees without pay. “Servants” in
South Carolina were required to work from sunrise to
sunset, to be quiet and orderly and go to bed at
“reasonable hours.” It was a crime in Mississippi for
African Americans to own farm land. In South Carolina,
African Americans have to get a special license to
work outside the domestic and farm laborer categories.

1871 – Louisiana Lt. Governor Oscar J. Dunn, joins the
ancestors suddenly in the midst of a bitter struggle
for control of the state government. Dunn aides
charge that he was poisoned.

1884 – T. Thomas Fortune founds the “New York Freeman”, which
later becomes the “New York Age.”

1884 – The Philadelphia Tribune is founded by Christopher J.

1893 – Alrutheus Ambush Taylor, teacher and historian, is
born in Washington, DC. He will become Fisk
University’s Dean. He and other local African American
historians will come under the influence of Dr. Carter
G. Woodson, who spoke in Nashville on several occasions.
In 1941, Taylor will publish a Tennessee study from the
African American perspective. Taylor titled his study,
“The Negro in Tennessee, 1865-1880.” Taylor’s book
will go beyond slavery and cover Reconstruction history
and various aspects of African American life, including
business and politics. He will join the ancestors in
June, 1954 after succumbing to a cerebral hemorrhage.

1930 – The Nation of Islam is founded in Detroit.

1942 – Guion S. Bluford, Jr. is born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. He will become a Colonel in the United
States Air Force, an astronaut and the first African
American to fly in space (four times – STS 8, STS 61A,
STS 39, STS 53).

1957 – The Miles Davis Quintet debuts with a jazz concert at
Carnegie Hall in New York.

1961 – Frank Robinson becomes the first baseball player to be
named “Most Valuable Player” in both major leagues.

1965 – Muhammad Ali defeats Floyd Patterson. Ali, a recent
convert to the Muslim faith, taunts the former champ
and ends the fight in 12 rounds to win the world
heavyweight title.

1968 – A portrait of Frederick Douglass appears on the cover
of Life magazine. The cover story, “Search for a Black
Past,” will be the first in a four-part series of
stories in which the magazine examines African
Americans, a review of the last 50 years of struggle
and interviews with Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond,
Eldridge Cleaver, Dick Gregory, and others.

1986 – 24 year-old George Branham wins the Brunswick Memorial
World Open. It is the first time an African American
wins a Professional Bowlers Association title.

1986 – Mike Tyson, 20 years, 4 months old, becomes the
youngest to wear the world heavyweight boxing crown
after knocking out Trevor Berbick in Las Vegas.

1988 – Bob Watson is named assistant general manager of the
Houston Astros, the team where he began his
professional career in 1965. One of a select few
African American assistant general managers in the
sport, Watson’s spikes hang in the Baseball Hall of
Fame for scoring baseball’s 1,000,000th run in 1976.

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

November 8 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 8 *

1920 – Esther Rolle is born in Pompano Beach, Florida. She
will become an actress, primarily on television. She
will win an Emmy Award for her role in “Summer of My
German Soldier”. She will be best-known, however, for
her role as Florida, in the television sit-com, “Good
Times.” Even though Ms. Rolle will play characters who
worked as maids, off-stage, she will be a tireless
crusader against black stereotypes in Hollywood. She
will join the ancestors in 1998 at the age of 78. Note:
At the time of her death, her manager will give her date
of birth as November 8, 1920, though some references
list the year as 1922.

1932 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Robert R. Moton,
president of Tuskegee Institute, for his “thoughtful
leadership in conservative opinion and action.”

1938 – Crystal Bird Fauset of Philadelphia, is elected to the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She is the first
African American woman elected to a state legislature.

1947 – Minnie Ripperton is born in Chicago, Illinois. She will
study opera under Marion Jeffrey. She will spend months
and months learning how to breathe and listening to and
holding vowels. Eventually, she will begin singing
operas and operettas with a show tune every so often.
Despite her natural talent (a pure five to six octave
soprano) for opera, Minnie will be more attracted to
“Rock N Roll” and the promise of a touring career. She
will eventually discontinue her classical training to
follow her dream of becoming a famous songstress. It
will, however, be her classical training which will
bring her recording success. She will be best known for
her recording of “Loving You.” She will join the
ancestors in July, 1979 at the age of 31 after
succumbing to breast cancer.

1953 – Alfre Woodard is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She will
become an actress after her education at Boston
University, School of Fine Arts. She will receive a
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television
Miniseries/Movie, an Emmy Award for Best Actress, as
well as ACE and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best
Actress for her performance in the 1997 HBO original
movie, “Miss Evers’ Boys.” Woodard’s many feature
film credits include “Star Trek: First Contact,”
“Heart and Souls,” “Primal Fear” opposite Richard Gere,
the ensemble film “How to Make An American Quilt,” Spike
Lee’s family drama, Crooklyn,” Dr. Maya Angelou’s “Down
in the Delta” starring Wesley Snipes, and “Passionfish,”
for which she will receive a 1998 Golden Globe
Nomination for Best Actress. In 1984, she will receive
an Academy Award nomination for her performance in
Martin Ritt’s “Cross Creek.”

1959 – Elgin Baylor of the Minneapolis Lakers, scores 64 points
and sets a National Basketball Association scoring record.

1960 – Otis M. Smith is elected auditor general of Michigan and
becomes the first African American chosen in a statewide
election since Reconstruction.

1966 – Edward W. Brooke (Republican, Massachusetts), is elected
to the U.S. Senate and becomes the first African American
senator since Reconstruction and the first African
American senator elected by popular vote.

1966 – Frank Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles, the American
League’s batting and home-run champion, is named the
league’s Most Valuable Player.

1966 – John H. Johnson, publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines,
is awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal “for his productive
imagination…in the perilous field of publishing” and
“for his contributions to the enhancement of the Negro’s
self-image through his publications.”

1983 – W. Wilson Goode of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Harvey Gantt
of Charlotte, North Carolina, and James A. Sharp, Jr. of
Flint, Michigan, are the first African Americans elected
mayor of their respective cities.

2011 – Dwight Arrington Myers, better known as rapper “Heavy D”,
joins the ancestors at the age of 44. He was rushed to a
Los Angeles hospital after collapsing at his Beverly Hills

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

October 3 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 3 *

1856 – T. (Timothy) Thomas Fortune is born a slave in Marianna,
Florida. In Chicago on January 25, 1890, he will
co-found the militant National Afro-American League to
right wrongs against African Americans authorized by law
and sanctioned or tolerated by public opinion. The league
will fall apart after four years. When it is revived in
Rochester, New York on September 15, 1898, it will have
the new name of the “National Afro-American Council”,
with him as President. Those two organizations will play
a vital role in setting the stage for the Niagara Movement,
NAACP, and other civil rights organizations to follow. He
will also be the leading advocate of using “Afro-American”
to identify his people. Since they are “African in origin
and American in birth”, it is his argument that it most
accurately defines them. With himself at the helm as co-
owner with Emanuel Fortune, Jr. and Jerome B. Peterson, the
New York Age will become the most widely read of all Black
newspapers. It will stand at the forefront as a voice
agitating against the evils of discrimination, lynching,
mob violence, and disenfranchisement. Its popularity is due
to his editorials which condemn all forms of discrimination
and demand full justice for all African Americans. Ida B.
Wells’s newspaper “Memphis Free Speech and Headlight” will
have its printing press destroyed and building burned as
the result of an article published in it on May 25, 1892. He
will then give her a job and a new platform from which to
detail and condemn lynching. His book, “The Kind of Education
the Afro-American Most Needs” is published in 1898. He will
publish “Dreams of Life: Miscellaneous Poems” in 1905. After
a nervous breakdown, he will sell the New York Age to Fred R.
Moore in 1907, who will continue publishing it until 1960.
He will publish another book, “The New York Negro in
Journalism” in 1915. He will join the ancestors on June 2,
1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1904 – The Daytona Normal and Industrial School opens in Daytona
Beach, Florida. In 1923, the school merges with Cookman
Institute and becomes Bethune-Cookman College. One of
the leading institutions for training teachers, founder
Mary McLeod Bethune will later say the college was
started on “faith and a dollar and a half.”

1926 – Marques Haynes is born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He will
become a professional basketball player with the Harlem
Globetrotters after four years at Langston University. He
will be known as “The World’s Greatest Dribbler.” In the
publication, “Harlem Globetrotters: Six Decades of Magic”
(1988), he will be cited as dribbling the ball as many as
six times a second. He will retire in 1992 after a 46-year
professional career as player and coach. He will be
inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on October 2,

1935 – Ethiopia is invaded by Italy, despite Emperor Haile
Selasse’s pleas for help to the League of Nations.

1941 – Ernest Evans is born in Spring Gulley, South Carolina.
Later adopting the name “Chubby Checker” after the
renowned Fats Domino, his best-known recording will be
the 1960’s “The Twist,” which will spark the biggest
dance craze since the Charleston in the 1920’s. In
September 2008, “The Twist” will top Billboard
Magazine’s list of the most popular singles to have
appeared in the “Hot 100” since its debut in 1958.

1949 – The first African American owned radio station, WERD-AM
in Atlanta, Georgia, is founded by Jesse Blanton, Sr.

1950 – Ethel Waters becomes the first African American star in
a TV series, when “Beulah” is aired.

1951 – Dave Winfield is born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He will
be selected in four major sports league drafts in 1973
– NFL, NBA, ABA, and MLB. He will choose baseball and
play in 12 All-Star Games over a 20-year career with
the San Diego Padres, the New York Yankees, and the
California Angels.

1974 – Frank Robinson is named manager of the Cleveland Indians.
He becomes the first African American manager in major
league baseball.

1979 – Artist Charles White, joins the ancestors at the age of
61 in Los Angeles, California.

1989 – Art Shell is named head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders.
He is the first African American coach named in the
National Football League in over 60 years.

1994 – U.S. soldiers in Haiti raid the headquarters of a pro-
army militia that is despised by the general Haitian

1994 – Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy announces his
resignation because of questions about gifts he had

1994 – South African President Nelson Mandela addresses the
United Nations, urging the world to support his
country’s economy.

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

September 13 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 13 *

1663 – The first known slave revolt in the thirteen American
colonies is planned in Gloucester County, Virginia.
The conspirators, both white servants and African
American slaves, are betrayed by fellow indentured

1867 – Gen. E.R.S. Canby orders South Carolina courts to
impanel African American jurors.

1881 – Louis Latimer patents an electric lamp with a carbon

1886 – Alain Leroy Locke is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He will graduate from Harvard University in 1907 with a
degree in philosophy and become the first African
American Rhodes scholar, studying at Oxford University
from 1907-10 and the University of Berlin from 1910-11.
He will receive his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard in
1918. For almost 40 years, until retirement in 1953 as
head of the department of philosophy, Locke will teach
at Howard University, Washington, DC. He will be best
known for his involvement with the Harlem Renaissance,
although his work and influence extend well beyond.
Through “The New Negro”, published in 1925, Locke
popularized and most adequately defined the Renaissance
as a movement in Black arts and letters. He will join
the ancestors on June 9, 1954.

1915 – The first historically black and Catholic university for
African Americans in the United States, Xavier
University, is founded by Blessed Katherine Drexel and
the religious order she established, the “Sisters of
the Blessed Sacrament,” in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1948 – Nell Ruth Hardy is born in Birmingham, Alabama. She will
be better known as Nell Carter and become a Broadway
sensation as a singer and actress in Broadway’s
“Bubbling Brown Sugar”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’ “(for which
she will win a Tony), and for five seasons in
television’s “Gimme a Break”. She will join the ancestors
on January 23, 2003 after succumbing to heart disease
complicated by diabetes and obesity.

1962 – Mississippi Governor Ross R. Barnett defies the federal
government in an impassioned speech on statewide radio-
television hookup, saying he would “interpose” the
authority of the state between the University of
Mississippi and federal judges who had ordered the
admission of James H. Meredith. Barnett says, “There is
no case in history where the Caucasian race has survived
social integration.” He promises to go to jail, if
necessary, to prevent integration at the state
university. His defiance set the stage for the gravest
federal/state crisis since the Civil War.

1962 – President John F. Kennedy denounces the burning of
churches in Georgia and supports voter registration
drives in the South.

1965 – Willie Mays hits his 500th career home run.

1967 – Michael Johnson is born in Dallas, Texas. He will become
a world class sprinter, Olympic athlete, and the first
person to break 44 (43.65) seconds for the 400-meter run.
At the Atlanta Olympics, he also will become the first
man to win the double gold in the 400 ad 200 meters.

1971 – Two hundred troopers and officers storm the Attica
Correctional Facility in upstate New York under orders
from Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Thirty-three
convicts and ten guards are killed. Later investigations
show that nine of the ten guards were killed by the
storming party. This riot will focus national attention
on corrections departments nationwide and the practice
of imprisonment in the United States. A National
Conference on Corrections will be convened in December,
1971 resulting in the formation of the National
Institute of Corrections in 1974.

1971 – Frank Robinson hits his 500th career home run.

1972 – Two African Americans, Johnny Ford of Tuskegee and A.J.
Cooper of Prichard, are elected mayors in Alabama.

1979 – South Africa grants Venda independence (Not recognized
outside of South Africa). Venda is a homeland situated
in the north eastern part of the Transvaal Province of
South Africa.

1981 – Isabel Sanford wins an Emmy award as best comedic actress
for “The Jeffersons”.

1989 – Archbishop Desmond Tutu leads huge crowds of singing and
dancing people through central Cape Town in the biggest
anti-apartheid protest march in South Africa for 30

1996 – Rap artist Tupac Shakur joins the ancestors six days after
being the target of a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas at
the age of 25.

1998 – Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs hits his 61st and 62nd home
runs of the season, passing Roger Maris’ record and
pulling into a tie with St. Louis Cardinals’ Mark McGwire
in this years home run derby.

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

September 11 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 11 *

1740 – An issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette reports on a Negro
named Simon who reportedly can “bleed and draw teeth.”
It is the first mention of an African American doctor or
dentist in the American Colonies.

1885 – Moses A. Hopkins, minister and educator, is named minister
to Liberia.

1923 – Charles Evers is born in Decatur, Mississippi. He will
become a civil rights worker who will assume the post of
field director of the Mississippi NAACP after his
brother, Medgar, is assassinated in 1963. He will be
elected mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, in 1969.

1943 – Loletha Elaine “Lola” Falana is born in Camden, New
Jersey. She will become a dancer, most notably in
Broadway’s “Golden Boy”, and be a successful performer
on television and in Las Vegas, where she will be called
“The First Lady of Las Vegas.” In the late 1980s, she
will suffer from a relapse of multiple sclerosis. Her
relapse will be severe, leaving her left side paralyzed
and becoming partially blind with her voice and hearing
impaired. Recovery will last a year and a half, during
which she will spend most of her time praying. She will
attribute her recovery to a spiritual experience
described as “Being able to feel the presence of the
Lord.” She will convert to Roman Catholicism and work
her newly-found spirituality into her everyday life.
Though she will perform again in Las Vegas shows in 1987,
her practice of religion and faith will become the center
of her life. After another bout with multiple sclerosis
in 1996, she will return to Philadelphia and live with
her parents for a short time. No longer performing, she
will tour the country with a message of hope and
spirituality. When not on tour, she will live a quiet
life in Las Vegas, working on the apostolate she will
found, “The Lambs of God Ministry.” The ministry will be
focused on helping children who have been orphaned in
Sub-Saharan Africa, and will work closely with the group,
“Save Sub-Saharan Orphans.”

1953 – J. H. Jackson, pastor of Olivet Baptist Church, Chicago,
Illinois, is elected president of the National Baptist
Convention at its Miami meeting.

1956 – Cincinnati Red’s Frank Robinson ties the rookie record
with his 38th home run.

1959 – Duke Ellington receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for
his outstanding musical achievements and contributions
to the field of music.

1962 – Two youths involved in a voter registration drive in
Mississippi are wounded by shotgun blasts fired through
the window of a home in Ruleville. A spokesperson for
SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) asks
the president to “convene a special White House
Conference to discuss means of stopping the wave of
terror sweeping through the South, especially where
SNCC is working on voter registration.”

1977 – Quincy Jones wins an Emmy for outstanding achievement in
musical composition for the miniseries “Roots”. It is
one of nine Emmys for the series, an unprecedented

1999 – Serena Williams wins the U.S. Open women’s title,
beating top-seeded Martina Hingis, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

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

September 2 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 2 *

1766 – Abolitionist, inventor, and entrepreneur, James Forten is
born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1833 – Oberlin College, one of the first colleges to admit
African Americans, is founded in Oberlin, Ohio.

1864 – In series of battles around Chaffin’s Farm in the suburbs
of Richmond, Virginia, African American troops capture
entrenchments at New Market Heights, make a gallant but
unsuccessful assault on Fort Gilmer and help repulse a
Confederate counterattack on Fort Harrison. The Thirty-
Ninth U.S. Colored Troops will win a Congressional Medal
of Honor in the engagements.

1902 – “In Dahomey” premieres at the Old Globe Theater in Boston,
Massachusetts. With music by Will Marion Cook and lyrics
by poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, it is the most successful
musical of its day.

1911 – Romare Bearden is born in Charlotte, North Carolina. His
family will move to the village of Harlem in New York
City in 1914. He will call New York his home for the
rest of his life. A student at New York University, the
American Artists School, Columbia University, and the
Sorbonne, Bearden’s depiction of the rituals and social
customs of African American life will be imbued with an
eloquence and power that will earn him accolades as one
of the finest artists of the 20th century and a master
of collage. Among his honors will be election to the
American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National
Institute of Arts and Letters, and receiving the
President’s National Medal of Arts in 1987. He will join
the ancestors on March 12, 1988 after succumbing to
complications of bone cancer.

1928 – Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver is born in Norwalk,
Connecticut. He will become a jazz pianist, bandleader,
and composer who will initially lead the Jazz Messengers
with drummer Art Blakey before forming his own band in
1956. A pioneer of the hard bop style, he will attract
to his band the talents of Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and
Blue Mitchell, among others.

1945 – The end of World War II (V-J Day). A total of 1,154,720
African Americans have been inducted or drafted into the
armed forces. Official records list 7,768 African
American commissioned officers on August 31, 1945. At
the height of the conflict, 3,902 African American women
(115 officers) were enrolled in the Women’s Army
Auxiliary Corps (WACS) and 68 were in the Navy auxiliary,
the WAVES. The highest ranking African American women
were Major Harriet M. West and Major Charity E. Adams.
Distinguished Unit Citations were awarded to the 969th
Field Artillery Battalion, the 614th Tank Destroyer
Battalion, and the 332nd Fighter Group (Tuskegee Airmen).

1946 – William Everett “Billy” Preston is born in Houston, Texas.
He will become a musician songwriter and singer. His hits
will include “Will It Go Round in Circles”, “Nothing from
Nothing”, “Outa-Space”, “Get Back” (with The Beatles),
and “With You I’m Born Again”(with Syreeta). He also will
appear in film: “St. Louis Blues” and play with Little
Richard’s Band. He will collaborate with some of the
greatest names in the music industry, including the
Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Little Richard, Ray Charles,
George Harrison, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Sam
Cooke, King Curtis, Sammy Davis Jr., Sly Stone, Aretha
Franklin, the Jackson 5, Quincy Jones, Richie Sambora,
and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He will play the electric
piano on the Get Back sessions in 1969 and is one of
several people sometimes credited as the “Fifth Beatle”.
He is one of only two non-Beatles to receive label
performance credit on any Beatles record. He will join
the ancestors on June 6, 2006 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

1956 – The Tennessee National Guard is sent to Clinton, Tennessee,
to quell white mobs demonstrating against school

1960 – Eric Dickerson is born in Sealy, Texas. He will become a
professional football player and will become NFC Rookie
of the Year in 1983. He will also set a NFL single-
season rushing record of 2,105 yards in 1984.

1963 – Alabama Governor George Wallace blocks the integration of
Tuskegee High School in Tuskegee, Alabama.

1965 – Lennox Claudius Lewis, former WBC boxing champ, is born
in West Ham, London, England.

1966 – Frank Robinson is named Most Valuable Player of the
American League.

1971 – Cheryl White becomes the first African American woman
jockey to win a sanctioned horse race.

1975 – Joseph W. Hatchett sworn in as first African American
state supreme court justice in the South (Florida) in
the twentieth century.

1978 – Reggie Jackson is 19th player to hit 20 home runs in 11
straight years.

1989 – Rev. Al Sharpton leads a civil rights march through the
Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York.

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

August 31 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – August 31 *

1935 – Eldridge Cleaver is born in Wabaseka, Arkansas. He will join
the Black Panther Party in 1967, becoming its Minister of
Information and putting together The Black Panther
newspaper. He will be the 1968 Presidential candidate for
the Peace and Freedom Party. He and another Panther member,
will be assaulted by police in 1968 (Cleaver is arrested).
He and Kathleen Cleaver, his wife and a Panther leader in
her own right, flee the country, eventually founding the
Panther’s international branch in Algeria before moving to
France. Cleaver split from the Party in 1971, forming his
own version of the organization with several Party chapters
switching from Bobby Seale to him. Cleaver will return to
the United States in the late 1970’s as a born-again
Christian and a republican. He will spend his later years
as a conservative idealist concerned with the environment,
and will join the ancestors on May 1, 1998 at the age of

1935 – Frank Robinson is born in Beaufort, Texas. He will become
a professional baseball player and will become Most
Valuable Player in the National League in 1961 and Most
Valuable Player in the American League in 1966. Later, he
will become the first African American manager in major
league baseball.

1936 – Marva Collins is born in Monroeville, Alabama. She will
become an innovative educator who uses her pension funds
to open Westside Preparatory School in Chicago, dedicated
to reverse the educational decline in the city’s African
American neighborhoods. Collins’ motto for the school is
“entrance to learn, exit to serve.”

1943 – The USS Harmon, a destroyer escort, is launched. It is
named after Mess Attendant 1st Class Leonard H. Harmon, a
1942 Navy Cross recipient. It is the first United States
warship named for an African American.

1958 – Edwin Corley Moses, track star (hurdler, Olympic-gold-
1984), is born in Dayton, Ohio. He will be referred to as
“the greatest hurdler in the history of track and field”
for his 122 consecutive wins in the 400 meter hurdles
(spanned eleven years and 22 countries).

1962 – Joint independence is granted to Trinidad and Tobago by
Great Britain.

1983 – Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson retires from the Army
Nurse Corps. She is the first African American woman to
achieve the rank of Brigadier General and the first
African American to be chief of the Army Nurse Corps.

1983 – Edwin Moses of the United States sets the 400 meter hurdle
record (47.02) in Koblenz, Germany.

1984 – Pinklin Thomas defeats Tim Witherspoon for the WBC
heavyweight boxing title.

1990 – Nat (Sweetwater) Clifton, former New York Knickerbocker
star, joins the ancestors after succumbing to a heart
attack at the age of 65.

1991 – KQEC-TV of San Francisco begins broadcasting under new
owners, the Minority Television Project. It is the
second minority-owned public television station.

Munirah Chronicle is edited by Rene’ A. Perry

June 26 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 26 *

1893 – William Lee Conley “Big Bill” Broonzy, blues singer,
is born in Scott, Mississippi.

1894 – The American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, calls
a general strike in sympathy with Pullman workers.

1934 – W.E.B. Du Bois resigns from the NAACP over the
association’s policies and strategies. Du Bois had
been editor of the association’s “Crisis” magazine and
director of publicity and research. The resignation
brings control of the magazine under the leadership of
chief executive Walter White and its new editor and
NAACP assistant secretary, Roy Wilkins.

1938 – James Weldon Johnson, joins the ancestors after
succumbing to injuries received in an automobile
accident near his summer home in Wiscosset, Maine.

1940 – Billy Davis Jr., singer with the 5th Dimension, is
born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will later leave the
group with his wife, Marilyn McCoo, with whom he will
enjoy continued success as a duo.

1950 – The American Medical Association seats the first
African American delegates at its convention.

1952 – The African National Congress begins its Defiance of
Unjust Laws campaign in South Africa.

1956 – Jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown joins the ancestors
after being killed in an auto accident on the
Pennsylvania Turnpike. Founder of the Brown-Roach
Quintet with Max Roach two years earlier, Brown had
built a reputation as one of the finest jazz
trumpeters of his day as a major proponent of hard bop.

1959 – Prince Edward County, Virginia, abandons (closes) the
public school system in an attempt to prevent school

1959 – Floyd Paterson loses the Heavyweight Boxing
Championship to Ingemar Johansson of Sweden.

1966 – The 220-mile voter registration march from Memphis,
Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi ends with a rally of
some thirty thousand at the Mississippi state capitol.

1970 – Frank Robinson hits 2 grand slams as Baltimore Orioles
beat the Washington Senators 12-2.

1960 – Madagascar becomes independent from France.

1978 – “Girl,” a single-sentence two page short story of a
mother’s preachy advice to her daughter, appears in the
“New Yorker” magazine. Written by Jamaica Kincaid, the
story will make her a literary celebrity and will be
followed by short story collections and the novels
“Annie John” and “Lucy”.

1979 – Muhammad Ali announces that he was retiring as world
heavyweight boxing champion. The 37-year-old fighter
said, “Everything gets old, and you can’t go on like
years ago.” The “Float like a butterfly, sting like a
bee” act was no more.

1990 – African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela
addresses the U.S. Congress, asking for “material
resources” to hasten the end of white-led rule in South

1995 – During a state visit to Ethiopia, Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak escapes an attempt on his life.

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