May 5 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 5 *

1857 – The Dred Scott decision, in the famous U.S. Supreme Court
case, declares that no black–free or slave–could claim
United States citizenship, therefore could not sue. It
also stated that Congress could not prohibit slavery in
United States territories. The ruling will arouse angry
resentment in the North and will lead the nation a step
closer to civil war. It also will influence the
introduction and passage of the 14th Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution after the Civil War (1861-1865). The
amendment, adopted in 1868, will extend citizenship to
former slaves and give them full civil rights.

1865 – Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. is born near Martin’s Mill in
Franklin County, Virginia. He will be a social and
religious leader at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem,
after becoming the pastor in 1908. Under his leadership,
he will expand the role of the church in the community and
increase its membership to 10,000. When he retires in
1937, Abyssinian Baptist Church will be the largest
Protestant church in the United States. He will be
succeeded in the pulpit by his son, Adam CLayton Powell,
Jr., who will become a future congressman. He will join
the ancestors on June 12, 1953.

1883 – Josiah Henson joins the ancestors in Dawn, Ontario, Canada
at the age of 93. He had escaped slavery in Maryland and
settled in Canada. He had been part of the creation of a
settlement for fugitive slaves near Dawn, Ontario.

1905 – Robert Sengstacke Abbott founds the Chicago Defender,
calling it “The World’s Greatest Weekly.”

1919 – The NAACP awards the Spingarn Medal to William Stanley
Braithwaite. Braithwaite’s publication of essays and verse
in notable mainstream magazines and editorial efforts on
three books of verse and poetry anthologies had earned him
wide acclaim among African Americans and whites.

1931 – Edwin A. Harleston joins the ancestors in Charleston, South
Carolina. One of the most popular and influential African
American painters of the day, his work will be exhibited at
the Harmon Foundation, the Gallery of Art in Washington, DC,
and in the exhibit “Two Centuries of Black American Art.”

1935 – Jesse Owens, of the United States, sets the long jump record
at 26′ 8″.

1943 – Maximiliano Gomez Horatio is born in San Pedro de Macoris,
Dominican Republic. After working in the sugar refineries
in his home area, be will become a politician, leading the
Dominican Popular Movement. He believed that the Dominican
Republic should be guided by its own historical and social
environment, not on any European model. He will participate
in an insurrection that is ended by a U.S. invasion in 1965.
He will later be imprisoned and after his release, he will
go into exile. He will join the ancestors under suspicious
circumstances in Brussels, Belgium, on May 23, 1971.

1965 – Edgar Austin Mittelholzer joins the ancestors in Farnham,
Surrey, England, after committing suicide at the age of 55.
He had been the first author from the Carribean to earn his
living as a writer. He was considered the father of the
novel in the English-speaking Caribbean.

1969 – Moneta Sleet becomes the first African American to win a
Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of Mrs. Martin Luther
King, Jr. and her daughter at her husband’s funeral.

1971 – A race riot occurs in the Brownsville section of New York

1975 – Hank Aaron surpasses Babe Ruth’s RBI mark. He will finish
his career with 755 home runs and over 2200 RBIs. Both
records will stand for many years. Aaron will be inducted
into Baseball’s Hall of Fame on August 1, 1982.

1977 – The Afro-American Historical and Genealogy Society is
founded in Washington, DC. The society’s mission is to
encourage scholarly research in African American genealogy.

1988 – Eugene Antonio Marino, is installed as the archbishop of
Atlanta, becoming the first African American Roman Catholic
archbishop in the United States.

2003 – Walter Sisulu, a major player in the fight against apartheid
in South Africa with Nelson Mandela, joins the ancestors at
the age of 90 after a long illness.

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


April 23 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – April 23 *

1856 – Granville Tailer Woods is born in Columbus, Ohio. He will
become an inventor of steam boilers, furnaces, incubators
and auto air brakes and holder of over 50 patents. He will
become the first American of African ancestry to be a
mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil War.
Self-taught, he will concentrate most of his work on trains
and streetcars. One of his notable inventions will be the
Multiplex Telegraph, a device that sends messages between
train stations and moving trains. His work will assure a
safer and better public transportation system for the
cities of the United States. He will join the ancestors on
January 30, 1910.

1872 – Charlotte E. Ray becomes the first African American woman
lawyer in ceremonies held in Washington, DC admitting her
to practice before the bar. She had received her law degree
from Howard University on February 27.

1894 – Jimmy Noone is born in Cut off, Louisiana. He will become a
jazz clarinetist and a major influence on the swing music of
the 1930’s and 1940’s. He will be a band leader and be best
known as the leader of “Jimmy Noone’s Apex Club Orchestra.”
Two of the people most influenced by Jimmy Noone’s style will
be Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey. He will join the ancestors
after suffering a fatal heart attack, while performing with
“Kid” Ory on April 19, 1944.

1895 – Jorge Mateus Vicente Lima is born in União dos Palmares, Brazil.
He will become a poet, novelist, essayist, painter, doctor,
and politician. He will become best known as a writer,
manipulating Brazilian subjects, at the same time analyzing
Afro-Brazilian culture and heritage. He will become a
fixture in the Brazilian experience during the 1920’s. Even
though he became a physician, he will exhibit his talents
as a writer in writings from his youth. His most famous
writing will be a poem, “Essa Nega Fulo” (That Black Girl
Fulo), written in 1928. The poem will explore the dynamics
between a slave master, the slave and her mistress. He
will join the ancestors on November 15, 1953 in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil.

1898 – Alfredo da Rocha Viana Jr. is born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He will become a composer and bandleader best known as
“Pixinguinha.” By the time he was a teenager, he will be
respected for his talent as a flutist. After traveling with
his first band to France in 1922, he will open the door of
Brazilian music to the world. He will be credited with
assisting to invent the “samba.” He is generally referred
to as the King of Samba and the Father of Musica Popular
Brasileira. He will join the ancestors on February 17, 1973
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1913 – The National Urban League is incorporated in New York City.
The organization is founded in 1910 when the Committee on
Urban Conditions Among Negroes met in New York to discuss
means to assist rural African Americans in the transition
to urban life. Founders include Mrs. Ruth Standish Baldwin
and Dr. George Edmund Haynes, who becomes the league’s
first executive director.

1941 – New Yorkers are treated to a performance of Cafi Society at
Carnegie Hall by a group of jazz artists that includes
Albert “Jug” Ammons, Hazel Scott, and Art Tatum. It also
marks the first performance of Helena (later Lena) Horne,
who sings “Summertime,” among other songs.

1944 – The NAACP Youth Council and Committee for Unity in Motion
Pictures selects its first Motion Picture Award recipients.
Given to honor actors whose roles advance the image of
African Americans in motion pictures, awards go to Rex
Ingram for “Sahara,” Lena Horne for “As Thousands Cheer,”
Leigh Whipper for “The Oxbow Incident” and “Mission to
Moscow,” Hazel Scott for her debut in “Something to Shout
About” and Dooley Wilson for his role as Sam in
“Casablanca,” among others. The awards will be the fore-
runner to the NAACP’s Image Awards.

1948 – Charles Richard Johnson in born in Evanston, Illinois. He
will become an novelist, essayist and screenwriter. He
will begin his career after graduating from the State
University of New York at Stonybrook with a Ph.D. in
philosophy. He will be mentored by W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph
Ellison, Jean Toomer, Richard Wright and John Gardner. He
will be known for his works, “Middle Passage,” “Oxherding
Tale,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and “Being and Race:
Black Writing Since 1970.” He will win the 1990 National
Book Award for “Middle Passage.”

1954 – Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, of the Milwaukee Braves, hits the
first of what will be 755 career home runs, in a game
against the St. Louis Cardinals. The score will be 7-5 in
favor of the Braves.

1955 – U.S. Supreme Court refuses to review a lower court decision
which would ban segregation in intrastate bus travel.

1964 – James Baldwin’s play, “Blues for Mr. Charlie” opens on
Broadway. Starring Al Freeman, Jr., Diana Sands, and
others, the play reveals the plight of African Americans in
the South.

1971 – Columbia University operations are virtually ended for the
year by African American and white students who seize five
buildings on campus.

1971 – William Tubman, president of Liberia, joins the ancestors at
the age of 76. He had been president of Liberia since

1998 – James Earl Ray, who confessed to assassinating the Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and then insisted he was
framed, dies at a Nashville hospital at age 70.

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

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.

April 4 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – April 4 *

1915 – McKinley Morganfield is born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. He
will be discovered in 1941 by two music archivists from the
Library of Congress, traveling the back roads of Mississippi
looking for the legendary Robert Johnson. They recorded two
of Morganfield’s songs and lit a fire in the ambitious young
man. He will leave Mississippi for Chicago two years later
to become a blues singer better known as “Muddy Waters.” He
will join the ancestors on April 30, 1983 in Chicago,

1928 – Marguerite Ann Johnson is born in St. Louis, Missouri. She
will become the first African American streetcar conductor
in San Francisco, a dancer, nightclub singer, editor, and
teacher of music and drama in Ghana and professor of
American Studies at Wake Forest University, better known as
Dr. Maya Angelou. She will also become noted as the author of
a multi-volume autobiographical series, as well as several
volumes of poetry. She will join the ancestors on May 28, 2014.

1938 – Vertamae (Vera Mae) Smart-Grosvenor is born in Hampton County,
South Carolina. She will become a culinary anthropologist/griot,
food writer, and broadcaster on public media. She will be known
for her cookbook-memoir, Vibration Cooking: or, The Travel
Notes of a Geechee Girl (1970). She will also appear in several
films, including “Daughters of the Dust” (1992), about a Gullah
family in 1902, at a time of transition on the Sea Islands; and
“Beloved” (1998), based on the Toni Morrison novel.

1939 – Hugh Masekela is born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa.
He will become a musician and band leader. He will be a major
force in South African Jazz, and will become known throughout
the world.

1948 – Richard Dean ‘Dick’ Parsons is born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1988,
he will be recruited to serve as chief operating officer of the
Dime Savings Bank of New York, becoming the first African American
CEO of a large, non-minority U.S. savings institution. In 1990, he
will become Chairman and CEO and will oversee a merger with Anchor
Savings Bank, gaining a substantial sum when the Dime Bank was
demutualized. In 1991, on the recommendation of Nelson Rockefeller’s
brother Laurance to the then CEO Steven Ross, he will be invited to
join Time Warner’s board. He will subsequently become president of
the company in 1995, recruited by Gerald Levin. He will help
negotiate the company’s merger with America Online in 2000, creating
a $165-billion media conglomerate. In December, 2001, it will be
announced that chief executive Gerald Levin would retire and he will
be selected as his successor. The announcement will surprise many
media watchers who expected chief operating officer Robert Pittman
to take the helm. In 2003, he will announce the name change from
AOL-Time Warner to simply Time Warner. He will become chairman
of Citigroup on February 23, 2009.

1959 – The Federation of Mali is formed, consisting of Senegal & the
territory of Mali in the French Sudan. It will dissolve in

1960 – Senegal and Mali gain separate independence.

1968 – Acknowledged leader of the U.S. civil rights movement, Martin
Luther King, Jr. joins the ancestors after being assassinated
in Memphis, Tennessee. His death will result in a national day
of mourning and the postponement of the beginning of the baseball
season. Over 30,000 people will form a funeral procession behind
his coffin, pulled by two Georgia mules. King’s death will also
set off racially motivated civil disturbances in 160 cities
leaving 82 people dead and causing $ 69 million in property
damage. President Lyndon B. Johnson declares Sunday, April 6, a
national day of mourning and orders all U.S. flags on government
buildings in all U.S. territories and possessions to fly at

1972 – Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., former congressman and civil rights
leader, joins the ancestors in Miami, Florida at the age of

1974 – Hank Aaron ties the baseball career home run record set by
Babe Ruth, when he hits his 714th home run in Cincinnati,

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.

September 8 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 8 *

1866 – Charles Harrison Mason is born on the Prior Farm near
Memphis, Tennessee. He will be inspired by the
autobiography of evangelist Amanda Berry Smith in 1893.
He and Charles Price Jones will form a fellowship of
churches, named “Church of God.” He will rename the
group the “Church of God in Christ,” to distinguish the
group from the other “Church of God” forming around that
time. After attending the “Azusa Street Revival” in Los
Angeles, California, he will adopt the new Pentecostal
teachings of Elder William Seymour, such as ‘speaking in
tongues.’ After the opposition of Charles Jones in these
new beliefs, they will split and he will win the legal
rights to the “Church of God in Christ” name. He will be
elected General Overseer of the Church in Memphis,
Tennessee in 1907, later becoming the Senior Bishop (now
referred to as Presiding Bishop). He will lead the COGIC
group of churches until he joins the ancestors on November
17, 1961. At this time, the Church membership totals
around 400,000. Afterwards, the Church will grow
exponentially, until in 2000, it is estimated over 6
million people were members of the denomination.

1875 – The governor of Mississippi requests federal troops to
protect African American voters. Attorney General Edward
Pierrepont refuses the request and says “the whole
public are tired of these annual autumnal outbreaks in
the South…”

1925 – Ossian Sweet, a prominent Detroit doctor, is arrested on
murder charges after shots are fired into a mob in front
of the Sweet home in a previously all-white area. Sweet
is defended by Clarence Darrow, who won an acquittal in
the second trial.

1940 – Willie Tyler is born in Red Level, Alabama. He will
become a well known ventriloquist along with his wooden
partner, Lester.

1956 – Maurice Cheeks is born. He will become a professional
basketball player and will play guard for the New York
Knicks and the Philadelphia ’76ers.

1957 – Tennis champion, Althea Gibson, becomes the first
African American athlete to win a U.S. national tennis

1965 – Dorothy Dandridge, nominated for an Oscar for her
performance in “Carmen Jones,” joins the ancestors at
the age of 41 in Hollywood, California.

1968 – Black Panther Huey Newton is convicted of voluntary
manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an Oakland
policeman. He will later begin a 2 to l5-year jail

1968 – Saundra Williams is crowned the first Miss Black America
in a contest held exclusively for African American
women in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

1973 – Hank Aaron sets the record for most Home Runs in 1
league (709).

1975 – The city of Boston begins court ordered citywide busing
of public schools amid scattered incidents of violence.

1981 – Roy Wilkins, longtime and second executive director of
the NAACP, joins the ancestors.

1990 – Marjorie Judith Vincent of Illinois is selected as Miss
America in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Haitian
native, a third-year law student at Duke University,
is the fourth woman of African descent to become Miss

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

August 29 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – August 29 *

1920 – Charlie “Bird” (Charles Christopher) Parker is born in
Kansas City, Kansas. The jazz saxophonist will become one
of the leaders of the bebop movement and be noted for his
works “Ko Ko” and “In the Still of the Night,” among
others. He will receive numerous awards from Downbeat
magazine and have the famous jazz club, Birdland, in New
York City named in his honor. He will be commonly
considered one of the greatest jazz musicians, ranked with
such players as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Jazz
critic Scott Yanow speaks for many jazz fans and musicians
when he states that “Parker was arguably the greatest
saxophonist of all time.” A founding father of bebop, his
innovative approaches to melody, rhythm, and harmony were
enormously influential on his contemporaries, and his
music remains an inspiration and resource for musicians in
jazz as well as in other genres. Several of Parker’s songs
have become standards, such as “Billie’s Bounce,”
“Anthropology,” “Ornithology,” and “Confirmation”. He will
join the ancestors on March 12, 1955.

1924 – Ruth Lee Jones is born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She will be
better known as “Dinah Washington.” She will perform with
Lionel Hampton from 1943 to 1946 and become one of the
most popular Rhythm & Blues singers of the 1950’s and
early 1960’s. Her family will move to Chicago while she
is still a child. As a child in Chicago she will play
piano and direct her church choir. She will later study
in Walter Dyett’s renowned music program at DuSable High
School. There will be a period when she both performed in
clubs as Dinah Washington, while singing and playing piano
in Sallie Martin’s gospel choir as Ruth Jones. Her
penetrating voice, excellent timing, and crystal-clear
enunciation added her own distinctive style to every piece
she undertook. While making extraordinary recordings in
jazz, blues, R&B and light pop contexts, she will refuse
to record gospel music despite her obvious talent in
singing it. She believed it wrong to mix the secular and
spiritual, and after she enters the non-religious
professional music world, she will refuse to include
gospel in her repertoire. She will begin performing in
1942 and soon join Lionel Hampton’s band. There is some
dispute about the origin of her name. Some sources say
the manager of the Garrick Stage Bar gave her the name
Dinah Washington, while others say Hampton selected it.
In 1943, she will begin recording for Keynote Records and
release “Evil Gal Blues”, her first hit. By 1955, she will
release numerous hit songs on the R&B charts, including
“Baby, Get Lost”, “Trouble in Mind”, “You Don’t Know What
Love Is” (arranged by Quincy Jones), and a cover of “Cold,
Cold Heart” by Hank Williams. In March of 1957, she
marry tenor saxophonist Eddie Chamblee, (formerly on tour
with Lionel Hampton) who led the band behind her. In 1958,
she will make a well-received appearance at the Newport
Jazz Festival. With “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” in
1959, she will win a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and
Blues Performance. The song will be her biggest hit,
reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. She will join the
ancestors on December 13, 1963.

1933 – Eloise Gwendolyn Sanford is born in New York City. She
will become an actress better known as Isabel Sanford and
will star as Louise on the long-running sitcom “The
Jeffersons”, “All in the Family”, and will star in many
movies including “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, “Original
Gangstas”, “South Beach”, “Love at First Bite”, “The
Photographer”, “The New Centurions”, “Pendulum”, and
“Buffalo Soldiers”. She will be the first African American
actress to win a Lead Actress Emmy (for Outstanding Lead
Actress in a Comedy Series in 1981), and will receive a
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She will join the
ancestors on July 9, 2004, succumbing to cardiac arrest
and heart disease at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los
Angeles at the age of 86.

1945 – Wyomia Tyus, Olympic runner, who will become the first
woman sprinter to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in
the 100 meters (three total), is born in Griffin, Georgia.
She will also become a 10-time AAU National Champion and
an All-American Athlete in both the indoor and outdoor
competition. Tyus will compete in amateur and
professional track and field meets from 1960 – 1975. In
addition to her athletic achievements, Tyus will hold a
special place in Olympic history. At the XXIIIrd Olympic
Games in Los Angeles, Tyus will become the first woman
ever, in the history of the Olympic Games, to bear the
Olympic Flag.

1946 – Robert “Bob” Beamon is born in Jamaica, New York. He
will become a star in track and field, He will specialize
in the long jump and will win the 1968 Olympic gold medal
in the long jump and set the world record of 29 feet, 2
1/2 inches. His record will stand for twenty three years
until it is broken by Mike Powell at the World
Championships in Tokyo in 1991. His jump is still the
Olympic record to date. He will be inducted into the
National Track and Field Hall of Fame, and when the United
States Olympic Hall of Fame starts to induct athletes in
1983, he will be one of the first inductees.

1957 – The Civil Rights Act of 1957 is passed by Congress. It is
the first civil rights legislation since 1875. The bill
establishes a civil rights commission and a civil rights
division in the Justice Department. It also gave the
Justice Department authority to seek injunctions against
voting rights infractions.

1958 – Michael Joseph Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. First
with the family group the Jackson Five and later as a
solo artist, Jackson will be one of pop and Rhythm &
Blues’ foremost stars. His solo album “Off the Wall”
(1979) will sell 7 million copies worldwide, surpassed
only by “Thriller”, his largest-selling album (also the
biggest selling album of all time). He will be commonly
known as “MJ” as well as the “King of Pop”. His successful
career and controversial personal life will be a part of
pop culture for at least 40 years. He will be widely
regarded as one of the greatest entertainers and most
popular recording artists in history, displaying
complicated physical techniques, such as the robot and the
moonwalk, that have redefined mainstream dance and
entertainment. His achievements in the music industry will
include a revolutionary transformation of music videos,
establishing high-profile album releases and sales as a
new trend for record companies to generate profits,
dominating pop music during the 1980s, and becoming the
first Black entertainer to amass a strong following on MTV
while leading the relatively young channel out of
obscurity. His distinctive style, moves, and vocals will
inspire, influence, and spawn a whole generation of hip
hop, pop, and Rhythm & Blues artists. He will join the
ancestors on June 25, 2009.

1962 – Mal Goode becomes the first African American television
news commentator when he begins broadcasting on ABC.

1962 – Carl E. Banks, Jr. is born in Flint, Michigan. He will
become a star NFL linebacker with the New York Giants. He
will play for three teams from 1984 to 1995, the New York
Giants, the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Browns.
He will make the Pro Bowl in 1987, have 39.5 career
quarterback sacks, and be a member of the NFL’s 1980’s
All-Decade Team. He will attend Michigan State University
and be the 3rd overall pick in the 1984 NFL draft. He will
be a member of the Giants teams that win Super Bowls XXI
and XXV. Banks will be a standout in their Super Bowl XXI
victory in which he records 14 total tackles, including 10
solo tackles.

1970 – Black Panthers confront the police in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. One policeman is killed and six are wounded
in a racial confrontation.

1971 – Hank Aaron becomes the first baseball player in the
National League to drive in 100 or more runs in each of
11 seasons.

1977 – St. Louis Cardinal Lou Brock eclipses Ty Cobb’s 49-year-
old career stolen base record at 893.

1979 – The first completely Black-owned radio network in the
world, “Mutual Black Network” is purchased by the
Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation.

1984 – Edwin Moses wins the 400-meter hurdles in track competition
in Europe. It is the track star’s 108th consecutive

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

July 20 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – July 20 *

1934 – Henry Dumas is born in Sweet Home, Arkansas. He will move
to the village of Harlem in New York City at the age of
ten. He will attend City College and then join the Air
Force. While in the Air Force he will spend a year on
the Arabian Peninsula, where he will develop an interest
in the Arabic language, mythology, and culture. He will
be active in civil rights and humanitarian activities,
including transporting food and clothing to protesters
living in Mississippi and Tennessee. In 1967, he will
work at Southern Illinois University as a teacher,
counselor, and director of language workshops in its
“Experiment in Higher Education” program. It is there
where he meets Eugene Redmond, a fellow teacher in that
program. He and Redmond will read their poetry at common
gatherings; Redmond especially remembers him reading “Our
King Is Dead,” his elegy for Martin Luther King, Jr. He
will also frequent the offices of the East St. Louis
Monitor, which Redmond edits. He will inspire interest
for his unique vision of black people in the diaspora.
In many ways he will become a cultural icon in African
American literary circles. He will claim Moms Mabley and
gospel music as particular influences upon him. He will
join the ancestors on May 23, 1968 at the age of 33 after
being mistakenly shot and killed by a New York City
Transit policeman. Over the course of the ten months that
he lives in East St. Louis, he and Redmond will forge the
collaborative relationship that would prove so fruitful
to his posthumous Career. His literary legacy is kept
alive almost single-handedly by Redmond. His first
collection of short fiction is entitled “Arks of Bones
and Other Stories” (edited by Redmond in 1974), which
includes nine stories and in which his largely mythic
vision of African American existence is apparent.
Redmond’s commitment to making his work readily available
to scholarly communities will continue in the publication
of “Goodbye, Sweetwater” (1988) and “Knees of a Natural
Man: The Selected Poetry of Henry Dumas” (1989). The
first volume contains eight of the stories that first
appeared in “Ark of Bones,” along with excerpts from
Dumas’s unfinished novel, “Jonoah and the Green Stone”
(1976), stories from “Rope of Wind” (1979), and three
selections from “Goodbye Sweetwater.” One of the stories
in the final section is “Rain God,” which develops the
African American folk belief that, when it is raining and
the sun is shining, the devil is beating his wife. Three
young black boys literally witness this phenomenon as
they are on their way home one rainy-sunny day. The
second volume contains previously published as well as
unpublished poems, including several poems with the title
“Kef” and an accompanying number, and “Saba,” with the
same pattern. Some of the poems in “Knees” had appeared
in “Play Ebony: Play Ivory” (1974), a collection of his
poetry, which Redmond will edit singly in 1974 and which
he co-edits in 1970. His poetry is inspired by African
American music, particularly blues and jazz (he studied
with Sun Ra), and he develops themes consistent with the
Black Aesthetic of the 1960s. His poetry also focuses,
in keeping with his fiction, on themes of nature and the
natural world.

1954 – Freeman Bosley, Jr., St. Louis’ first African American
mayor, is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will attend
Saint Louis University and Saint Louis University Law
School. He will graduate from Saint Louis University in
1976 with two undergraduate degrees, a B.A. in Urban
Affairs and a B.A. in Political Science. He will receive
his Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University Law
School in 1979. His public service career will begin
when he becomes the first African American St. Louis
Circuit Clerk for the 22nd Judicial Circuit – a position
he will hold for ten years. He will serve as the 3rd
Ward Democratic Committeeman, chairman of the St. Louis
City Democratic Central Association, and the first
African American chairman of the Democratic Party in St.
Louis City. After winning the April 6, 1993 election
with 66.5% of the vote, he will become the first African
American Mayor of St. Louis. He will oversee the battle
against the Flood of 1993, help to orchestrate the $70
million bailout of Trans World Airlines and help to move
the Los Angeles Rams football team to St. Louis from
Anaheim, California. He will be defeated in his bid for

1967 – The first National Conference of Black Power opens in
Newark, New Jersey. The four-day meeting is attended
by 1,100 African Americans.

1967 – A night of racially motivated disturbances occurs in
Memphis, Tennessee.

1973 – The National Black Network begins operations. It is the
first African American owned and operated radio news

1974 – Baseball great, Hank Aaron, breaks Ty Cobb’s record, as
he appears in game number 3,034 of his career. Aaron,
age 40, is playing in his 20th season of major-league

1988 – In the most formidable attempt ever by an African
American to become President of the United States.
Jesse Jackson receives 1218 delegates votes of the
2,082 needed for the Democratic party’s nomination,
finishing second to Michael Dukakis. In his second bid
for the nomination, Jackson garners wide popular
support and captures 92% of African American and 12%
of white votes in primary elections and caucuses. The
previous night, Jackson electrifies the delegates with
a ringing speech encouraging them to “keep hope alive.”

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

July 14 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – July 14 *

1798 – The first direct federal tax on the states is enacted — on
dwellings, land & slaves.

1848 – Walter ‘Wiley’ Jones is born a slave in Madison county, Georgia.
He will become a barber after the Civil War. He will establish
the first streetcar system in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the
Wiley Jones Street Car Line, in 1886. He will invest his
income wisely and by 1890, he will be estimated to be worth
$300,000. He will own real estate, a large general store, a
popular saloon, a race track, and a horse stable “of the
finest trotters in the South.” Each day, hundreds of Pine
Bluff residents will ride the six-mile-long Jones Street
Car Line. Conductors in neat uniforms with distinctive caps
will assist riders and collect fares. He will join the
ancestors on December 7, 1904 after succumbing to a heart
attack and Bright’s disease. At the time of his transition,
he will be the richest African American in Arkansas.

1876 – Sarah A. Dicket opens a seminary for African American girls
in Mississippi.

1888 – The “Indianapolis Freeman”, the nation’s first illustrated
African American newspaper, is founded by Edward Cooper. It
will be subsidized by the Republican Party for some of its
existence and will enjoy a large circulation because of its
news coverage’s variety and scope and its attention to
Black culture. In the 1890s, the Freeman will acquire a
reputation as the country’s leading black journal. Black
press historian, I. Penn Garland, will call it “The
Harper’s Weekly of the colored race.” During WW I, the
paper will editorialize on the hypocrisy of a nation
fighting a war to save democracy at the same time it
tolerates blatant racism in its laws and institutions. The
Freeman also will cover extensively the wartime
achievements of Black Hoosiers. In the 1920s, the Freeman
will experience economic problems and subsequently fold in

1891 – J. Standard is awarded a patent for the refrigerator.

1893 – Spencer Williams is born in Vidalia, Louisiana. After
serving in the U.S. Army, he will become a writer for a
series of African American films being produce by an
affiliate of Paramount Pictures. This will lead to a career
in Hollywood. He will appear in some of the early African
American talking movies including “The Lady Fare,” “Oft in
the Silly Night,” and Music Has Charms.” “He will produce
“Hot Biscuits,” “Bronze Buckaroo,” and “Harlem Rides the
Range.” He will write, direct, and star in “The Blood of
Jesus” and “Juke Joint. He will star as Andy in the
television production of “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” a role for which
he is best remembered. He will join the ancestors on
December 13, 1969.

1895 – J.B. Allen receives a patent for a clothes line support.

1914 – Dr. Kenneth Bancroft Clark is born in the Canal Zone, Panama.
He will become a noted psychologist who will co-found the
Northside Center for Child Development in New York City in
March, 1946 with his wife, Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark. Their
pioneering research on the psychological damage to African
American children caused by segregation will be used as
part of the basis for the “Brown vs. Board of Education”
school desegregation decision of the Supreme Court. In
1996, exactly fifty years after its founding, a history of
Northside Center will be published by The University Press
of Virginia. “Children, Race, and Power, Kenneth and Mamie
Clark’s Northside Center,” by Gerald Markowitz and David
Rosner, will tell the fascinating story of how Northside
began, survived, and exerted its influence, during a
formative time in our country’s history. He will join the
ancestor on May 1, 2005. The Northside Center will
celebrate sixty years of excellence in June, 2006.

1932 – Roosevelt “Rosey” Grier is born in Cuthbert, Georgia. He
will become a professional football player and will play
for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. After
retiring from football in 1968, he will become an movie
actor. His film credits will include “Roots-The Next
Generations,” “Reggie’s Prayers,” “The Sophisticated
Gents,” “The Glove,” “The Seekers,” “The Timber Tramps,”
“The Treasure of Jamaica Reef,” “The Thing with Two
Heads,” “The Desperate Mission,” “Black Brigade,” “The Big
Push,” and “A Second Chance.” He will also become a singer
who will perform in Carnegie Hall, the author of “Needle-
Point for Men” and “Rosey: The Gentle Giant” and an
ordained minister. He will enter history when he apprehends
Sirhan Sirhan after the assassin shoots Bobby Kennedy.

1934 – Robert Lee Elder is born in Dallas, Texas. He will be
introduced to the game of golf as a caddie when he was a
teenager in southern California. After serving in the Army
on a golf team, he will become an active player on the
United Golf Association Tour. He will dominate the tour,
capturing titles in 1963, 1964, 1966, and 1967. In 1967,
he will become the second African American to qualify and
play in the previously whites-only Professional Golfer’s
Association (PGA). His achievements will include being the
first African American to be invited and play in the South
African Open (1971), the first African American to qualify
for the Ryder Cup Team (1979) and the first African
American to play in the Masters Tournament (1975). Among
his victories will be The Monsanto Open (1974) and The
Houston Open (1976). He will join the Senior PGA Tour in

1943 – Julius Bledsoe joins the ancestors in Hollywood, California.
He was an important stage and film actor whose roles in
“Deep River”, “In Abraham’s Bosom”, and the stage and film
versions of “Showboat” won him wide acclaim.

1951 – The George W. Carver National Monument is dedicated in
Joplin, Missouri. This is the first national monument to
honor an African American.

1968 – Hank Aaron hit his 500th career home run in Atlanta, Georgia
leading the Braves to a 4-2 win over the San Francisco
Giants. (In April of 1974, Hammerin’ Hank will eclipse the
old home run mark of 714 held by Babe Ruth.)

1972 – Former New York State Senator Basil A. Paterson is elected
vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the
first African American to hold a leadership position in a
national political party.

1990 – Ernie Singleton is named president of MCA Records’ Black
Music Division. As president, Singleton oversees the
day-to-day activities of the division and the company’s
artist roster that includes Bobby Brown, Heavy D. & the
Boyz, Gladys Knight, and Patti LaBelle. He, along with
Jheryl Busby, president of Motown Records Company, Sylvia
Rhone, president of Atco EastWest Records, and Ed Eckstine,
president of Mercury Records, are the highest ranking
African Americans in the mainstream record business.

1994 – A tidal wave of Hutu refugees from Rwanda’s civil war floods
across the border into Zaire, swamping relief organizations.

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

June 11 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 11 *

1799 – Richard Allen, the first African American bishop in
the United States, is ordained a deacon of the
Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania by Bishop Francis Asbury.

1915 – Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, the first African American in
the United States to be named a judge, joins the
ancestors in Little Rock, Arkansas at the age of 87.

1920 – Hazel Dorothy Scott is born in Port-of-Spain,
Trinidad and raised in New York City from the age of
four. A child prodigy, she will enroll at New York
City’s Juilliard School of Music and star in
nightclubs, Broadway shows, and films. A fixture in
jazz society uptown and downtown in New York, most
notably for her jazz improvisations on familiar
classical works, she will be credited with putting
the “swing in European classical music.” She will be
the first African American woman to have her own
television show, “The Hazel Scott Show”. The show will
be short-lived because she will publicly oppose
McCarthyism and racial segregation, and the show will be
cancelled in 1950 when she is accused of being a
Communist sympathizer. She will be married to Adam
Clayton Powell, Jr. from 1945 to 1956, with whom she will
have one child before their divorce. She will join the
ancestors after succumbing to cancer at the age of 61 on
October 2, 1981 in New York City.

1930 – Charles Rangel is born in New York City. He will defeat
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. for the latter’s Congressional
seat in the 16th District and serve on the House Judiciary
Committee hearings on the impeachment of President Richard
M. Nixon. He will also chair the Congressional Black
Caucus and be a strong advocate in the war on drugs and
drug crime as chairman of the House Select Committee on
Narcotics Abuse and Control.

1937 – Amalya L. Kearse is born in Vaux Hall, New Jersey. She
will become the first African American woman judge on the
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second District of New York. She
will earn her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College
and her law degree at University of Michigan Law School.
She will be active in legal circles, the National Urban
League, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

1937 – Johnny Brown is born in St. Petersburg, Florida. He will
become a comedian and will be known for his roles on “Good
Times,” and “The Jeffersons,” “Family Matters,” and

1951 – Mozambique becomes an oversea province of Portugal.

1963 – Vivian Malone and James Hood, accompanied by U.S. Deputy
Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, attempt to register at
the University of Alabama. They are met by Governor George
Wallace, who bodily blocks their entrance to a campus
building. When National Guardsmen return later in the day
with Malone and Hood to enter the building, Wallace steps

1964 – In South Africa, Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life
imprisonment for allegedly attempting to sabotage the white
South African government.

1967 – A race riot occurs in Tampa, Florida. The Florida National
Guard is mobilized to suppress the violence.

1972 – Hank Aaron, of the Atlanta Braves, ties Gil Hodges of the
Dodgers for the National League record for the most grand-
slam home runs in a career, with 14. The Braves will beat
the Philadelphia Phillies 15-3.

1978 – Joseph Freeman Jr. becomes the first African American
priest in the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

1982 – Larry Holmes defeats Gerry Cooney to retain the WBC
heavyweight crown.

2003 – William Marshall, actor, joins the ancestors at the age of
78 after succumbing to complications from Alzheimer’s
disease. His roles ranged from Othello and Frederick
Douglas to a vampire in the 1972 movie “Blacula.”

2006 – Dr. James Cameron, who survived an attempted lynching by a
white mob in 1930 and went on to found America’s Black
Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, joins the
ancestors at the age of 92.

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