May 10 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 10 *

1652 – John Johnson, a free African American, is granted 550 acres
in Northampton County, Virginia, for importing eleven
persons to work as indentured servants.

1775 – Lemuel Haynes, Epheram Blackman, and Primas Black, in the
first aggressive action of American forces against the
British, help capture Fort Ticonderoga as members of
Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys.

1815 – Henry Walton Bibb is born a slave in Shelby County,
Kentucky. He will escape to Canada, return to get his
first wife, be recaptured in Cincinnati, escape again, be
recaptured again and sold into slavery in New Orleans. He
will be removed to Arkansas, where he will escape yet
again, this time for good in 1842. He will make his way
to Detroit, Michigan and will become an active
abolitionist. He will publish his autobiography, “Narrative
of The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American
Slave” in 1849. This narrative of his life will be so
suspenseful that an investigation is conducted that will
substantiate Bibb’s account. In 1850, the U.S. Congress
will pass the Fugitive Slave Act which will force his
immigration to Canada with his second wife. In 1851, he
will found the “Voice of the Fugitive”, the first Black
newspaper in Canada. He will join the ancestors in 1854 at
the age of 39.

1837 – Pinckney Benton Steward (P.B.S.) Pinchback is born near
Macon, Georgia. During the Civil War, he will recruit and
command a company of the “Corps d’Afrique,” a calvary unit
from Louisiana. He will resign his commission in 1863 after
unsuccessful demands that African American officers and
enlisted men be treated the same as white military
personnel. In 1868, he will be elected to the Louisiana
legislature as a Senator. In 1871, he will be elected
President Pro Temp of the Louisiana Senate, and will become
Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana in 1872 after the death of
Oscar Dunn. He will serve briefly (two months) as the
appointed Governor. He will be elected to the U.S. Senate
in 1873, but never be seated by that body, due to supposed
election irregularities. After the end of Reconstruction
and his political career, Pinchback will use his resources
to work as an advocate for African Americans as Southern
Democrats endeavor to take away the civil rights gained by
Blacks after the Civil War. He will publish the newspaper
“The Louisianan,” using it as a venue to help influence
public opinion. He will also become the leader of the
precursor to the Associated Negro Press, the Convention of
Colored Newspaper Men. At the age of sixty, he will
relocate to Washington, DC where he will live until he
joins the ancestors on December 21, 1921.

1876 – The American Centennial Exposition opens in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Included are works by four African American
artists, among them Edmonia Lewis’ “The Dying Cleopatra”
and Edward Bannister’s “Under the Oaks.” Bannister’s
painting will win the bronze medal, a distinct and
controversial achievement for the renowned painter.

1919 – A race riot occurs in Charleston, South Carolina. Two
African Americans are killed.

1934 – Sallie Jayne Richardson is born in Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
She will be better known as Jayne Cortez and will be a poet,
activist, small press publisher and spoken-word performance
artist whose voice will be celebrated for its political,
surrealistic and dynamic innovations in lyricism and visceral
sound. Her writing will be part of the canon of the Black
Arts Movement. She will marry jazz saxophonist Ornette
Coleman in 1954. After divorcing him in 1960, she will study
drama and poetry. She will become active in the civil rights
movement, registering African Americans to vote in Mississippi
as a worker for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
She will marry sculptor Melvin Edwards in 1975. She will be
the author of 12 books of poems and will perform her poetry
with music on nine recordings. She will present her work and
ideas at universities, museums, and festivals in Africa, Asia,
Europe, South America, the Caribbean and the United States.
Her poems will be translated into 28 languages and widely
published in anthologies, journals and magazines, including
“Postmodern American Poetry,” “Daughters of Africa,” “Poems
for the Millennium,” “Mother Jones,” and “The Jazz Poetry
Anthology.” In 1991, along with Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo,
she will found the Organization of Women Writers of Africa
(OWWA), of which she will be president. She will be the
organizer of “Slave Routes: The Long Memory” (2000) and “Yari
Yari Pamberi: Black Women Writers Dissecting Globalization”
(2004), both international conferences held at New York
University. She will appear on screen in the films “Women in
Jazz” and “Poetry in Motion.” She will also direct Yari Yari:
Black Women Writers and the Future (1999), which will document
panels, readings and performances held during the first major
international literary conference on women of African descent.
She will join the ancestors on December 28, 2012.

1935 – Larry Williams is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will
become a rhythm and blues singer and will be known for
his record hits “Short Fat Fannie,” “Bony Maronie,” and
“Dizzy Miss Lizzie.” He will join the ancestors on
January 7, 1980 after succumbing to a gunshot to the head.

1944 – Judith Jamison is born in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania. She
will begin her dancing career at the age of six. She
will complete her dance training at the Philadelphia
Dance Company (later the University of Arts). She will
make her debut with the Alvin Ailey American Dance
Theatre in Chicago, dancing in Talley Beaty’s Congo
Tango Palace. She will become the troupe’s premier dancer
in 1967 and will tour the world exhibiting her signature
dance “Cry.” She will win a Dance Magazine award for her
performances in 1972. She will leave the Ailey
troupe in 1980 to perform on Broadway and will choreograph
many of her own works such as “Divining,” Ancestral Rites”
and “Hymn.” She will form the twelve member group, The
Jamison Project, in 1987. After Alvin Ailey’s health
declines in 1988, she will rejoin the Ailey troupe as
artistic associate and will become artistic director upon
his death in 1989. She will continue the company’s
tradition of performing early works choreographed by
African Americans for many years.

1950 – Jackie Robinson appears on the cover of Life magazine. It
is the first time an African American has been featured on
the magazine’s cover in its 13-year history.

1951 – Z. Alexander Looby is the first African American elected to
the Nashville City Council.

1952 – Canada Lee joins the ancestors in England at the age of 45.
He had become an actor in 1933 after a professional boxing
match left him blind in one eye. He was able to be cast in
non-traditional roles for African Americans at a time when
most were cast in stereotypical parts. He was best known
for his portrayal of “Bigger Thomas” in the play “Native
Son” in 1940 and 1941. He was blacklisted by the House
Committee on Un-American Activities and the FBI for his
outspoken views on the stereotyping of African Americans
in Hollywood and Broadway.

1962 – Southern School News reports that 246,988 or 7.6 per cent of
the African American pupils in public schools in seventeen
Southern and Border States and the District of Columbia
attended integrated classes in 1962.

1963 – Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth announces agreement on a limited
integration plan which will end the Birmingham

1974 – “Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely” earns a gold record for the
group, The Main Ingredient. The trio began as the Poets
in 1964. Cuba Gooding is the lead singer. (Gooding’s
son, Cuba Jr., will star in the 1991 film “Boyz N The Hood”
and will win an Academy award for his role in the movie
“Jerry Maguire in 1997.) The Main Ingredient’s biggest
hit, “Everybody Plays The Fool,” will make it to number
three on the pop charts in 1972.

1986 – Navy Lt. Commander Donnie Cochran becomes the first African
American pilot to fly with the celebrated Blue Angels
precision aerial demonstration team.

1994 – Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as president of South Africa.
In an historic exchange of power, former political
prisoner Nelson Mandela becomes the first Black president
of South Africa. In his acceptance speech, he says, “We
enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in
which all South Africans, both black and white, will be
able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts–a
rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”

1998 – Jose’ Francisco Pena Gomez joins the ancestors at the age
of 61 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic after succumbing
to pancreatic cancer. He had risen from a childhood of
extreme poverty to become one of the most prominent black
political figures in Latin America. He had led a successful
civil-military revolt in 1965 which was curtailed by the
interference of United States Marines sent to the Dominican
Republic to put down the rebellion. He was later forced
into exile. He later returned to the Dominican Republic and
became heavily involved in politics as leader of the Partido
Revolucionario Dominicano. He ran for president
unsuccessfully three times.

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

April 17 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – April 17 *

1758 – Frances Williams, the first African American to graduate
from a college in the Western Hemisphere, publishes a
collection of Latin poems.

1818 – For unknown reasons, Daniel Coker is expelled from the
AME Church. Coker had been a key organizer in the
church’s early history and was elected its first bishop,
a position he declined possibly because of his fair

1947 – Jackie Robinson bunts safely for his 1st major league

1978 – Thomas W. Turner, founder of the Federation of Colored
Catholics, civil rights pioneer and charter member of
the NAACP, joins the ancestors in Washington, DC, at
the age of 101.

1980 – Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia, gains its
independence. Reggae stars Bob Marley and the Wailers
and others perform in the celebration festivities.
Robert Mugabe will be sworn in the following day as
prime minister of the newly formed nation.

1987 – Julius Erving becomes the 3rd NBA player to score 30,000

1990 – Reverend Ralph Abernathy, civil rights activist, joins
the ancestors at the age of 64 in Atlanta, Georgia.

1991 – African American and African leaders meet in Abidjan,
Ivory Coast, in the first Summit Meeting of Africans
and African Americans. The summit, organized by the
Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, calls for closer ties
between Africans and African Americans and urges
Western governments to cancel Africa’s foreign debt.
“Hold on, Africa!” the Rev. Sullivan says in his
keynote speech. “We are coming! Home of our heritage,
land of our past, we can help. We have 2 million
college graduates in America. We earn $300 billion a
year. Three centuries ago they took us away in a boat,
but today we have come back in an airplane.”

1993 – A federal jury in Los Angeles convicts two former police
officers of violating the civil rights of beaten
motorist Rodney King. Two other officers are acquitted.

2003 – Earl King, Rhythm & Blues guitarist, joins the ancestors
at age 69 after succumbing to complications of diabetes.
His hits include the Mardi Gras favorite “Big Chief”
and “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll).”

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

April 15 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – April 15 *

1861 – President Lincoln calls for 75,000 troops to put down
the rebellion. The Lincoln administration rejects
African American volunteers. For almost two years
straight African Americans fight for the right, as one
humorist puts it, “to be kilt”.

1889 – Asa Philip Randolph is born in Crescent Way, Florida.
He will become a labor leader and a tireless fighter for
civil rights. He will organize and lead the Brotherhood
of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African
American labor union (organized in 1925). In the early
Civil Rights Movement, he will lead the March on
Washington Movement, which will convince President
Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802 in
1941, banning discrimination in the defense industries
during World War II. The group will then successfully
pressure President Harry S. Truman to issue Executive
Order 9981 in 1948, ending segregation in the armed
services. In 1963, he will be the head of the March on
Washington, organized by Bayard Rustin, at which Reverend
Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I Have A Dream”
speech. He will inspire the Freedom budget, sometimes
called the “Randolph Freedom budget”, which will aim to
deal with the economic problems facing the black community.
In 1942, he will receive the NAACP Spingarn Medal. On
September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson will
present him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He will
join the ancestors on May 16, 1979. He will be named
posthumously to the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame in
January, 2014.

1919 – Elizabeth Catlett (later Mora) is born in Washington, DC.
In 1940, she will become the first student to receive an
M.F.A. in sculpture at the University of Iowa School of
Art and Art History. While there, she will be influenced
by American landscape painter Grant Wood, who will urge
students to work with the subjects they knew best. For
her, this will mean black people, and especially black
women, and it will be at this point that her work begins
to focus on African Americans. Her piece ‘Mother and
Child,’ done in limestone in 1939 for her thesis, will
win first prize in sculpture at the American Negro
Exposition in Chicago in 1940. In 1946, she will receive
a Rosenwald Fund Fellowship that allows her to travel to
Mexico where she will study wood carving with Jose L.
Ruiz and ceramic sculpture with Francisco Zúñiga, at the
Escuela de Pintura y Escultura, Esmeralda, Mexico. She
will later emigrate to Mexico, marry, and become a
Mexican citizen. She will become an internationally
known printmaker and sculptor and embrace both African
and Mexican influences in her art. She will be best
known for the black, expressionistic sculptures and
prints she produced during the 1960s and 1970s, which
will be seen as politically charged. She will join the
ancestors on April 2, 2012 in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

1922 – Harold Washington is born in Chicago, Illinois. He will
serve in the Illinois House of Representatives and
Senate as well as two terms in Congress before becoming
the first African American mayor of Chicago. He will
join the ancestors after suffering a massive heart
attack on November 25, 1987 after being re-elected to a
second term as mayor.

1928 – Pioneering architect Norma Merrick (later Sklarek) is
born in New York City. She become one of the first black
women to be licensed as an architect in the United States,
and the first to be licensed in the states of New York
(1954) and California (1962). She will also become the
first African American woman to become a fellow in the
American Institute of Architects (1980). In 1985, she will
become the first African American female architect to form
her own architectural firm: Siegel, Sklarek, Diamond,
which will be the largest woman-owned and mostly woman-
staffed architectural firm in the United States. Among her
designs will be the San Bernardino City Hall in San
Bernardino, California, the Fox Plaza in San Francisco,
Terminal One at the Los Angeles International Airport and
the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo, Japan. Howard
University will offer the Norma Merrick Sklarek
Architectural Scholarship Award in her honor. She will join
the ancestors on February 6, 2012.

1947 – Baseball player Jackie Robinson plays his first major-
league baseball game (he had played exhibition games
previously) for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the
first African American in the major leagues since Moses
Fleetwood Walker played in 1885. The Brooklyn Dodgers
promoted him to the majors from the Montreal Royals.

1957 – Evelyn Ashford is born in Shreveport, Louisiana. She
will grow up in Roseville, California becoming a track
star specializing in sprinting. She will be a four-
time winner of Olympic gold medals and one silver in
1976, 1984, 1988, and 1992. In 1979, she will set a
world record in the 200-meter dash. In 1989 she will
receive the Flo Hyman Award from the Woman’s Sports
Foundation. In 1992, the U.S. Olympic team will ask her
to carry the flag during the opening ceremonies in the
Barcelona Olympics. She will retire from track and
field in 1993 at the age of 36.

1958 – African Freedom Day is declared at the All-African
People’s Conference in Accra, Ghana.

1960 – The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is
formed on the campus of Shaw University in Raleigh,
North Carolina.

1985 – Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns wins the World Middleweight
title. This is one of five weight classes in which he
will win a boxing title making him the first African
American to win boxing titles in five different weight

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

February 4 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 4 *

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1794 – Slavery is abolished by France. France will have a very lukewarm
commitment to abolition and will, under Napoleon, reestablish
slavery in 1802, along with the reinstitution of the “Code
Noir,” prohibiting blacks, mulattos and other people of color
from entering French colonial territory or intermarrying with

1822 – The American Colonization Society founds the African colony for
free African Americans that will become the country of Liberia,
West Africa.

1913 – Rosa Louise McCauley is born in Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1932,
she will marry Raymond Parks. She will work at a number of
jobs, ranging from domestic worker to hospital aide. At her
husband’s urging, she will finish high school studies in 1933,
at a time when less than 7% of African Americans had a high
school diploma. Despite the Jim Crow laws that made political
participation by Black people difficult, she will succeed in
registering to vote on her third try. In December 1943, she
will become active in the Civil Rights Movement, joining the
Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. When the seamstress and
NAACP member refuses to yield her seat to a white man on a
Montgomery, Alabama bus on December 1, 1955, her actions will
spark a 382-day boycott of the buses in Montgomery, halting
business and services in the city and become the initial act
of non-violent disobedience of the American Civil Rights
movement. She will be honored with the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal
for her heroism and later work with Detroit youth(1979) and
be called the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” She will
join the ancestors on October 24, 2005. The United States
Senate will pass a resolution on October 27, 2005 to honor
Mother Parks by allowing her body to lie in honor in the U.S.
Capitol Rotunda. The House of Representatives approved the
resolution on October 28. Since the founding of the practice
of lying in state in the Rotunda in 1852, She will be the
31st person, the first woman, the first American who had not
been a U.S. government official, and the second non-
government official (after Frenchman Pierre L’Enfant). On
October 30, 2005 President George W. Bush will issue a
Proclamation ordering that all flags on U.S. public areas
both within the country and abroad be flown at half-staff on
the day of her funeral. On February 5, 2006, at Super Bowl XL,
played at Detroit’s Ford Field, the late Coretta Scott King
and Mother Parks, who had been a long-time resident of “The
Motor City”, will be remembered and honored by a moment of

1947 – Sanford Bishop is born in Mobile, Alabama. He will graduate
from Morehouse College and Emory University Law School. He
will specialize in civil rights law and will become a member
of the Georgia Legislature from 1977 to 1993 (House and
Senate). In 1993, he will be elected a member of the United
States House of Representatives from Georgia.

1952 – Jackie Robinson is named Director of Communication for WNBC in
New York City, becoming the first African American executive
of a major radio-TV network.

1965 – Joseph Danquah joins the ancestors in Nsawam Prison in Ghana at
the age of 69. He had been a Ghanaian scholar, lawyer and
nationalist. He had led the opposition against Kwame Nkrumah
who had him imprisoned.

1969 – The Popular Liberation Movement Of Angola begins an armed
struggle against Portugal.

1971 – The National Guard is mobilized to quell civil disobedience
events in Wilmington, North Carolina. Two persons are killed.

1971 – Major League Baseball announces a special Hall of Fame wing for
special displays about the Negro Leagues. These exhibits will
provide information on these most deserving but rarely
recognized contributors to Baseball.

1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps nineteen-year-old
newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst from her apartment in
Berkeley, California.

1980 – Camara Laye joins the ancestors in Senegal at the age of 52.
He was a Guinean novelist considered a pioneer of West African

1986 – A stamp of Sojourner Truth is issued by the United States
Postal Service as part of its Black Heritage USA commemorative
series. Truth was an abolitionist, woman’s rights activist and
a famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad.

1996 – Congressman J.C. Watts (R-Oklahoma) becomes the first African
American selected to respond to a State of the Union address.

1997 – Sixteen months after O.J. Simpson was cleared of murder charges,
a civil trial jury blames him for the killings of his ex-wife
and her friend and orders him to pay millions in compensatory

2003 – Charlie Biddle, a leader of Montreal’s jazz scene in the 1950s
and ’60s who played bass with Thelonious Monk and Charlie
Parker, joins the ancestors after a battle with cancer at the
age of 76. Biddle was a native of Philadelphia who moved to
Canada in 1948. Over the next five decades, the World War II
veteran and former car salesman became synonymous with jazz in
Montreal. Biddle opened his own club, Uncle Charlie’s Jazz
Joint, in suburban Ste-Therese in 1958. He later performed in
such legendary Montreal nightspots as The Black Bottom and the
Penthouse, where he worked with the likes of Oscar Peterson,
Art Tatum, Charlie Parker and Lionel Hampton. When there were
no jobs in Montreal, he played smaller Quebec cities with a
group called Three Jacks and a Jill. Until the time of his
passing, he played four nights a week at Biddle’s Jazz and
Ribs, a Montreal landmark for nearly 25 years. In 1979, he
organized the three-day festival that some say paved the way
for the renowned Montreal International Jazz Festival.

2005 – Ossie Davis, renown actor and civil rights advocate, joins the
ancestors in Miami, FL, while on location for yet another
acting project at the age of 87.

2007 – For the first time in Super Bowl history, two African American
coaches will lead their teams in the NFL Championship game.
The Chicago Bears will be coached by Lovie Lee Smith and the
Indianapolis Colts will be coached by Tony Dungee. The
Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears will be set to face
off in South Florida during Super Bowl XLI in a historic
meeting where both African American coaches will vie for the
Vince Lombardi Trophy. The winner will be the first African
American coach to win the Super Bowl.

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

January 22 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 22 *

1801 – Haitian liberator, Toussaint L’Ouverture, enters Santiago to
battle the French Armed Forces.

1891 – The “Lodge Bill,” which called for federal supervision of U.S.
elections, is abandoned in the Senate after a Southern

1906 – Twenty-eight-year-old Meta Vaux Warrick’s sculpture “Portraits
from Mirrors” is exhibited at the 101st Annual Exhibition of
the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Although it is one of the first major showings
of her work, the young Warrick (later Fuller) has already
studied sculpture with the legendary Auguste Rodin and had
her work exhibited in Paris at S. Bing’s Gallery Nouveau.

1920 – William Caesar Warfield is born in West Helena, Arkansas, the
eldest of five sons. He will become a singer and have his
recital debut in New York’s famous Town Hall on March 19,
1950, putting him into the front ranks of concert artists
overnight. His career will span almost fifty years and among
his frequent appearances in foreign countries, this artist
has made six separate tours for the U.S. Department of State,
more than any other American solo artist. He will receive
a Grammy in the “Spoken Word” category (1984) for his
outstanding narration of Aaron Copeland’s “A Lincoln Portrait”
accompanied by the Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra. He is
best known for his role in “Showboat.” He will join the
ancestors on August 26, 2002.

1924 – James Louis (J.J.) Johnson is born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
He will become one of the greatest trombonists and composers
in jazz. He will be originally influenced by Fred Beckett of
Harlan Leonard’s band. Soon thereafter, he will join Benny
Carter. He will play with Count Basie (1945-1946) and record
his first solo improvisation. During the 1954-1956 period,
J.J. Johnson will take a brief break from bands and team up
with Kai Winding for a commercially successful trombone duo.
He will prefer the use of pure tones when playing the trombone,
focusing on line, interval and accent. His solos will show
virtuosity because of their remarkable mobility, which many
artists find difficult to duplicate or imitate. These
endeavors will be fruitless in the early 1950s and for a
couple of years he will work as a blueprint inspector. In the
1970s, Johnson will move from New Jersey to California,
concentrating exclusively on film and television scoring. In
1984, Johnson will reenter the jazz scene with a tour of the
“European Festival Circuit.” He will be voted into the Down
Beat Hall of Fame in 1995. He will join the ancestors on
February 4, 2001, after committing suicide by shooting himself.

1931 – Samuel “Sam” Cooke is born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He will
grow up in Chicago, Illinois, after moving there with his
family in 1933. He will become a singer and be best known for
his recordings “You Send Me” and “Twisting the Night Away.”
Cooke will be one of the most popular singers of the 1960’s.
He will join the ancestors on December 11, 1964. He will be
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23,

1960 – Sugar Ray Robinson loses the Middleweight Boxing Championship
to Paul Pender in a 15-round decision.

1961 – Wilma Rudolph, the 1960 Olympic gold medalist and track star,
sets a world indoor mark in the women’s 60-yard dash, with a
speedy 6.9 seconds in a meet held in Los Angeles, California.

1962 – Baseball Writers elect Jackie Robinson into the Baseball Hall
of Fame.

1973 – George Foreman takes the heavyweight boxing title away from
‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica in the second round.
Foreman will knock ‘Smokin’ Joe down six times on his way to

1981 – Samuel Pierce is named Secretary of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD). One of the few African Americans in the
Reagan administration, there will be high expectations for
his potential to effect change, but Pierce’s leadership will
be severely questioned as scandal rocks his department in
1989. An estimated $ 2 billion will be lost due to fraud and
mismanagement during Pierce’s tenure.

1988 – Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson knocks out former
champion Larry Holmes in 4 rounds.

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

January 5 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 5 *

1804 – Ohio begins the restriction of the rights and movements of
free African Americans by passing the first of several
“Black laws.” It is a trend that will be followed by most
Northern states.

1869 – Matilda Sissieretta Jones is born in Portsmouth, Virginia.
She will become a gifted singer (soprano), who will rise
to fame as a soloist and troupe leader during the later
part of the nineteenth century. She will be nicknamed
“Black Patti”, after a newspaper review mentioned her as
an African American equal to the acclaimed Italian soprano
Adelina Patti. American racism will prevent her from
performing with established white operatic groups. She will
tour Europe, South and North America and the West Indies as
a soloist. In 1896, she will form her own troupe, “Black
Patti’s Troubadours,” which will combine the elements of
opera and vaudeville, creating musical comedy. She will
join the ancestors on June 24, 1933.

1911 – Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity is founded on the campus of
Indiana University by Elder Watson Diggs, Byron Kenneth
Armstrong, and eight others. It will be the first African
American fraternity to be chartered as a national

1929 – Wilbert Harrison is born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He
will become a singer and will be best known for his
recordings “Kansas City,” and “Let’s Work Together.” In
2001, his recording of “Kansas City” will be given a Grammy
Hall of Fame Award. He will join the ancestors in Spencer,
North Carolina on October 26, 1994.

1931 – Alvin Ailey is born in Rogers, Texas and will move to Los
Angeles, California at the age of twelve. There, on a
junior high school class trip to the Ballet Russe de Monte
Carlo, he will fall in love with concert dance. In 1958, Mr.
Ailey will found his own company, the Alvin Ailey American
Dance Theater, which makes its debut in New York. Mr. Ailey
will have a vision of creating a company dedicated to the
preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance
heritage and the uniqueness of Black cultural expression.
In 1969, Alvin Ailey will found the Alvin Ailey American
Dance Center, the official school of the Ailey Company, and
he will go on to form the Repertory Ensemble, the second
company, in 1974. His commitment to education is the
foundation of the organization’s long-standing involvement
in arts-in-education programs, including AileyCamp. He will
join the ancestors on December 1, 1989 in New York City.

1938 – James Ngugi is born in Kamiriithu, Kenya. He will become a
writer whose works will depict events in colonial and post
colonial Kenya. He will integrate Marxist-Leninist beliefs
into his novels, which will include “Weep Not Child,” “The
River Between,” “A Grain of Wheat,” “Petals of Blood,” and
“Matigari ma Mjiruumgi.” He will later change his name to
Ngugi wa Thiong’o. His writings will cause him to be
imprisoned by the Kenyan government and he will later leave
the country for England and the United States.

1943 – George Washington Carver joins the ancestors after succumbing
to anemia at the age of 81. He was a pioneering plant
chemist and agricultural researcher noted for his work with
the peanut and soil restoration while at Tuskegee Institute.

1943 – William H. Hastie, civilian aide to the secretary of war,
resigns to protest segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces.

1947 – Ted Lange is born in Oakland, California. He will become an
actor and be best known for his role as ‘Isaac’ on the TV
series, “The Love Boat.”

1948 – A commemorative stamp of George Washington Carver is issued
by the U.S. Postal Service. The posthumous honor bestowed
upon the famed agricultural expert and researcher is only
one of the many awards he received, including the 1923
Spingarn Medal and membership in the NYU Hall of Fame.

1957 – Jackie Robinson announces his retirement from professional

1971 – The Harlem Globetrotters lose 100-99 to the New Jersey Reds,
ending their 2,495-game win streak.

1975 – The Broadway premiere of “The Wiz” opens, receiving
enthusiastic reviews. The show, a Black version of “The
Wizard of Oz” will run for 1,672 shows at the Majestic
Theatre. Moviegoers, however, gave a thumbs down to the
cinema version of the play that starred Diana Ross and
Michael Jackson years later. One memorable song from the
show is “Ease on Down the Road.”

1987 – David Robinson becomes the first player in Naval Academy
history to score more than 2,000 points. This was
accomplished when the Midshipmen defeat East Carolina
91-66. He will go on to become a major star of the NBA.

1993 – Reggie Jackson is inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame with
94% of the votes.

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

November 18 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 18 *

1797 – Abolitionist and orator, Sojourner Truth, is born a
New York slave on the plantation of Johannes
Hardenbergh. Her given name is Isabelle VanWagener
(some references use the name Isabelle Baumfree).
She will walk away from her last owner one year
prior to being freed by a New York law in 1827, which
proclaimed that all slaves twenty-eight years of age
and over were to be freed. Several years later, in
response to what she describes as a command from God,
she becomes an itinerant preacher and takes the name
Sojourner Truth. Among her most memorable appearances
will be at an 1851 women’s rights conference in Akron,
Ohio. In her famous “Ain’t I a woman?” speech she
forcefully attacks the hypocrisies of organized
religion, white privilege and everything in between.

1900 – Howard Thurman is born in Daytona Beach, Florida. A
theologian who studied at Morehouse with Martin L.
King, Sr., he will found the interracial Church of
Fellowship of All Peoples. The first African American
to hold a full-time faculty position at Boston
University (in 1953), Dr. Thurman will write 22 books
and become widely regarded as one of the greatest
spiritual leaders of the 20th century. He will join the
ancestors on April 10, 1981.

1936 – John Henry Kendricks is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will
become a prolific songwriter as well as a major rhythm
and blues singer better known as Hank Ballard. He will
perform with his group, The Midnighters, and make the
following songs popular: “There’s A Thrill Upon The Hill”
(Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go), “The Twist”(made famous
later by Chubby Checker), “Finger Poppin’ Time”, “Work with
Me Annie”, “Sexy Ways”, and “Annie Had a Baby”. He will be
enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. He
will join the ancestors on March 2, 2003.

1949 – Jackie Robinson, of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is named the
National League’s Most Valuable Player.

1956 – Harold Warren Moon, professional football player
(Minnesota Vikings, Houston Oilers, and Seattle Seahawks
quarterback), is born in Los Angeles, California. He will
be the first undrafted quarterback and first African
American quarterback to be elected to the Football Hall
of Fame in 2006.

1964 – The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar
Hoover, describes Martin Luther King as a “most
notorious liar”. This statement is indicative of the
agency head’s dislike of the civil rights leader.

1969 – The National Association of Health Services Executives is
incorporated. NAHSE’s goal is to elevate the quality of
health-care services rendered to poor and disadvantaged

1975 – Calvin Murphy of the Houston Rockets, ends the NBA free
throw streak at 58 games.

1977 – Robert Edward Chambliss, a former KKK member, is
convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the
1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in
Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four African American
teenage girls.

1978 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Ambassador
Andrew J. Young “in recognition of the deftness with
which he has handled relations between this nation and
other countries” and “for his major role in raising the
consciousness of American citizens to the significance
in world affairs of the massive African continent.”

1980 – Wally “Famous” Amos’ signature Panama hat and embroidered
shirt are donated to the National Museum of American
History’s Business Americana collection. It is the
first memorabilia added to the collection by an African
American entrepreneur and recognizes the achievement of
Amos, who built his company from a mom-and-pop
enterprise to a $250 million cookie manufacturing

1983 – “Sweet Honey in the Rock,” a capella singers, perform
their 10th anniversary reunion concert in Washington, DC.

1994 – Bandleader Cab Calloway joins the ancestors in Hockessin,
Delaware, at age 86.

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

October 23 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 23 *

1775 – The Continental Congress approves resolution prohibiting
the enlistment of African Americans in the Army.

1783 – Virginia emancipates slaves who fought for independence
during the Revolutionary War.

1790 – A major slave revolt occurs in Haiti, which is later

1847 – William Leidesdorff brings his ship Sitka from Sitka,
Alaska, to San Francisco, California. Earlier in the
year, the Danish West Indies Native had launched the
first steamboat ever to sail in San Francisco Bay. The
ventures were one of many activities for Leidesdorff,
which included appointment as United States vice-counsel
for property acquisition in San Francisco.

1886 – Wiley Jones operates the first streetcar system in Pine
Bluff, Arkansas.

1911 – Three organizations, The Committee for Improving the
Industrial Conditions of Negroes in New York, The
Committee on Urban Conditions and The National League
for the Protection of Colored Women merge, under the
leadership of Dr. George E. Hayne and Eugene Kinckle
Jones, to form the National Urban League. Eugene
Kinckle Jones is named executive secretary.

1940 – Edson Arantes do Nascimento is born in a small village
in Brasil called Três Corações in the Brasilian state
of Minas Gerais. He will become a soccer player and at
the age of sixteen will join the Brasilian National
team. He will be known world-wide as Pele’, seen as
the greatest player in history of soccer. After
retiring from his team, the Santos, he will be
recruited to play for the New York Cosmos in 1971,
playing an additional three years. He will score
1,281 goals in his career.

1945 – Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers signs Jackie
Robinson to the club’s Triple A farm team, the Montreal
Royals. In a little under 18 months, Robinson will be
called up to the majors, the first African American to
play major league baseball in the twentieth century.

1947 – The NAACP petition on racism and racial injustice, “An
Appeal to the World,” is presented to the United
Nations at Lake Success, New York.

1951 – The NAACP pickets the Stork Club in support of Josephine
Baker, who had been refused admission to the club a
week earlier. After a city-convened special committee
calls Baker’s charges unfounded, Thurgood Marshall will
call the findings a “complete and shameless whitewash
of the long-established and well-known discriminatory
policies of the Stork Club.”

1966 – “Supremes” Album Tops U.S. Charts. The record “Supremes
A Go Go” becomes the top-selling LP album in the U.S.
It is the first album by an all-female group to reach
that position. One of the most successful groups of
its kind, the Supremes, fronted by Diana Ross, will
have seven albums reach the top 10 during the 1960s.

1968 – Kip Keino of Kenya wins an Olympic Gold Medal for the
1,500 meter run (3 min 34.9 sec).

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

September 12 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 12 *

1913 – James Cleveland Owens is born in Oakville, Alabama. He
will be better known as Jesse Owens, one of the greatest
track and field stars in history. Owens will achieve
fame at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, where
he will win four gold medals, dispelling Hitler’s notion
of the superior Aryan race and the inferiority of Black
athletes. Among his honors will be the Medal of Freedom,
presented to him by President Gerald Ford in 1976. He will
join the ancestors on March 31, 1980.

1935 – Richard Hunt is born in Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of
the Art Institute of Chicago, he will later study in
Europe and be considered one of the leading sculptors in
the United States. His work will be shown extensively
in the United States and abroad and his sculptures will
be collected by the National Museum of American Art, the
Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum
of Art, and the Museum of the Twentieth Century in
Vienna. On April 29, 2009, he will be awarded the Lifetime
Achievement Award by the International Sculpture Center.
His web site is

1944 – Barry White is born in Galveston, Texas. He will become a
singer and songwriter. Some of his hits will be “I’m
Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby”, “Can’t Get
Enough Of Your Love Babe”, and “Love’s Theme [with Love
Unlimited Orchestra]. He will join the ancestors on July
4, 2003 from complications of high blood pressure and
kidney disease.

1947 – The first African American baseball player in the major
leagues, Jackie Robinson, is named National League Rookie
of the Year.

1956 – African American students are barred from entering a Clay,
Kentucky elementary school. They will enter the school
under National Guard protection on September 17.

1958 – The United States Supreme Court orders a Little Rock,
Arkansas high school to admit African American students.

1964 – Ralph Boston of the United States, sets the long jump
record at 27′ 4”.

1974 – The beginning of court-ordered busing to achieve racial
integration in Boston’s public schools is marred by
violence in South Boston.

1974 – Eugene A. Marino, SSJ, is consecrated as the first
African American Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop in the
United States. He assumes his duties as auxiliary bishop
of Washington, DC.

1974 – Haile Selassie is deposed by military leaders after fifty-
eight years as the ruling monarch of Ethiopia.

1977 – Black South African student and civil rights leader Steven
Biko joins the ancestors after succumbing to severe
physical abuse while in police detention, triggering an
international outcry.

1980 – Lillian Randolph joins the ancestors at the age of 65. She
had been a film actress and had starred on television on
the “Amos ‘n’ Andy Show” and in the mini-series “Roots”.

1984 – Michael Jordan signs a seven-year contract to play
basketball with the Chicago Bulls. ‘Air’ Jordan will
become an NBA star for the Bulls and help make the team a
dominant force in the NBA.

1984 – Dwight Gooden, of the New York Mets, sets a rookie
strikeout record by striking out his 251st batter of the
season. He also leads the Mets to a 2-0 shutout over the
Pittsburgh Pirates.

1986 – The National Council of Negro Women sponsors its first
Black Family Reunion at the National Mall in Washington,
DC. The reunion, which will grow to encompass dozens of
cities and attract over one million people annually, is
held to celebrate and applaud the traditional values,
history, and culture of the African American family.

1989 – David Dinkins, Manhattan borough president, wins the New
York City’s Democratic mayoral primary, defeating
incumbent Mayor Ed Koch and two other candidates on his
way to becoming the city’s first African American mayor.

1992 – Mae C. Jemison becomes the first woman of color to go into
space when she travels on the space shuttle Endeavour.

1998 – Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs becomes the fourth major
league baseball player to hit 60 home runs in a single

1999 – Serena and Venus Williams (sisters) take home the U.S.
Open Women’s Doubles Championship trophy. After losing
the first set, they bounce back to win the remaining two
sets against Chandra Rubin of the U.S. and Sandrine
Testud of France. The Williams sisters are the first
African Americans to win a U.S. Open Doubles

2000 – James Perkins becomes the first African American mayor of
Selma, Alabama, defeating long-time mayor Joe Smitherman
with 60% of the vote. Smitherman had been mayor for
thirty six years. He was the mayor of Selma in 1965 when
sheriff’s deputies and state troopers attacked hundreds
of voting rights marchers on Selma’s Edmund Pettus
Bridge in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

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

August 28 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – August 28 *

1818 – Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, trader and founder of
Chicago, joins the ancestors.

1921 – Second Pan-African Congress meets in London, Brussels and
Paris, from August 28 to September 6. Of the 113
delegates, 39 are from Africa and 36 were from the United

1949 – Paul Robeson’s scheduled singing appearance at the
Lakeland picnic grounds near Peekskill in Westchester
County, New York, is disrupted by a riot instigated and
provoked by whites angry at Robeson’s political stands.

1945 – Brooklyn Dodgers’ owner Branch Rickey and future baseball
great Jackie Robinson meet. They will discuss the
difficulties Robinson, an African American athlete, would
face in major-league baseball. Robinson will receive
$600 a month and a $3,500 signing bonus to play for
Montreal of the International League. He would quickly
move up and enjoy a brilliant career with the Brooklyn

1955 – Fourteen-year-old Chicago youngster Emmett Till is
kidnapped in Money, Mississippi. Four days later he is
found brutally mutilated and murdered, allegedly for
whistling at a white woman. Two whites will be acquitted
of the crime by an all-white jury. The incident will
receive national publicity and highlight racism and
brutality toward African Americans. This incident is
chronicled on tape # 1 in the “Eyes on the Prize” series.

1962 – Seventy-five ministers and laymen–African American and
whites–primarily from the North, are arrested after
prayer demonstration in downtown Albany, Georgia.

1963 – Over 250,000 African-Americans and whites converge on the
Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, the
largest single protest demonstration in United States
history. The march, organized to support sweeping civil
rights measures, will also be the occasion of Martin
Luther King, Jr.’s most famous speech, “I have a Dream.”

1964 – A racially motivated civil disobedience riot occurs in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1966 – The National Guard is mobilized to protect Milwaukee,
Wisconsin marchers protesting a judge’s membership in
lily-white club.

1968 – Rev. Channing E. Philips of Washington, DC, becomes the
first African American to have his/her name placed in
nomination for president by a major national party.
Philips’ name is placed in nomination as the favorite
son candidate by the District of Columbia delegation at
the Democratic convention in Chicago and will receive 67
1/2 votes.

1984 – The Jacksons’ Victory Tour broke the record for concert
ticket sales. The group surpasses the 1.1 million mark
in only two months.

1988 – Beah Richards wins an Emmy for outstanding guest
performance in the comedy series “Frank’s Place.” It is
one of the many acting distinctions for the Vicksburg,
Mississippi native, including her Academy Award
nomination for best supporting actress in “Guess Who’s
Coming to Dinner.”

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