March 31 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 31 *

1850 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court rejects the argument of
Charles Sumner in the Boston school integration suit and
established the “separate but equal” precedent.

1853 – At concert singer Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield’s New York
debut in Metropolitan Hall, African Americans are not
allowed to attend. Angered and embarrassed at the exclusion
of her race, Greenfield will perform in a separate concert
at the Broadway Tabernacle for five African American

1871 – John Arthur “Jack” Johnson is born in Galveston, Texas. He
will become a professional boxer and will become the first
African American to be crowned world heavyweight boxing
champion. His championship reign will last from 1908 to 1915.
He will join the ancestors on June 10, 1946 after succumbing
to injuries from an automobile accident. He will be inducted
into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954, and is on the roster of
both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World
Boxing Hall of Fame. In 2005, the United States National Film
Preservation Board deemed the film of the 1910 Johnson-
Jeffries fight “historically significant” and will place it
in the National Film Registry.

1930 – President Hoover nominates Judge John J. Parker of North
Carolina for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The NAACP
launches a national campaign against the appointment. Parker
is not confirmed by the Senate.

1948 – A. Phillip Randolph tells the Senate Armed Services Committee
that unless segregation and discrimination were banned in
draft programs he would urge African American youths to
resist induction by civil disobedience.

1949 – William Grant Still’s opera, “Troubled Island” receives its
world premiere at the New York City Opera. In addition to
marking Robert McFerrin’s debut as the first African American
male to sing with the company, the opera is the first ever
written by an African American to be produced by a major
opera company.

1967 – Jimi Hendrix begins the tradition of burning his guitar in
London, England.

1968 – The provisional government of the Republic of New Africa is
founded in Detroit, Michigan.

1973 – Ken Norton defeats Muhammad Ali in a 12 round split decision
in San Diego, California. Norton will break Ali’s jaw
during the bout.

1980 – Jesse Owens joins the ancestors in Tucson, Arizona at the age
of 66, and President Jimmy Carter adds his voice to the
tributes that pour in from around the world. Jesse won four
gold medals in track at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

1980 – Larry Holmes wins the vacant world heavyweight title by
knocking out Leroy Jones in the eighth round.

1988 – Toni Morrison wins the Pulitzer Prize for “Beloved,” a
powerful novel of a runaway slave who murders her daughter
rather than see her raised in slavery.

1995 – President Bill Clinton briefly visits Haiti, where he
declares the U.S. mission to restore democracy there a
“remarkable success.”

1999 – Four New York City police officers are charged with murder
for killing Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant, in
a hail of bullets. They shot at him 41 times, hitting him
with 19 shots. The officers will later be acquitted of all
charges, even involuntary manslaughter.

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

March 15 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 15 *

1809 – Joseph J. Roberts is born free in Norfolk, Virginia. He will
leave Virginia with his family for the West African coast in
1829, part of the colonization effort of the American
Colonization Society. He will become the first president of
Liberia in 1848 and the seventh president of Liberia in 1872.
He will join the ancestors on February 24, 1876.

1842 – Robert C. DeLarge is born in Aiken, South Carolina. He will
defeat a white opponent by 986 votes out of 32,000 cast to
earn a seat as a South Carolina representative to the United
States Congress in 1870. He will serve in the House of
Representatives from March 4, 1871 until January 24, 1873
when the seat will be declared vacant as the result of an
election challenge initiated by Christopher C. Bowen. After
leaving Congress he will serve as a local magistrate until he
joins the ancestors in Charleston, South Carolina on February
14, 1874.

1897 – The Fifty-fifth Congress (1897-99) convenes. Only one African
American congressman is in attendance: George H. White, of
North Carolina.

1912 – Sam John Hopkins is born in Centerville, Texas. He will become a
blues guitarist, better known as Lightnin’ Hopkins, and be
considered one of the last blues singers in the grand
tradition of “Blind” Lemon Jefferson, with whom he played as
a child. I n addition to being a blues guitarist, he will be a
country blues singer, songwriter and occasional pianist. Rolling
Stone magazine will include him at number 71 on their list of
the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Musicologist Robert
“Mack” McCormick will state that he “is the embodiment of the
jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the
single creator whose words and music are one act”. He will join
the ancestors on January 30, 1982 after succumbing to cancer.

1933 – The NAACP begins a coordinated attack on segregation and
discrimination, filing a suit against the University of North
Carolina on behalf of Thomas Hocutt. The case is lost on a
technicality after the president of an African American
college refuses to certify the records of the plaintiff.

1933 – The Los Angeles Sentinel is founded by Leon H. Washington.

1933 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to YMCA secretary Max
Yergan for his achievements as a missionary in South Africa,
“representing the gift of cooperation…American Negroes may
send back to their Motherland.”

1933 – Cecil Percival Taylor is born in New York City. He will
become a international jazz pianist concert artist and
composer. He will also teach African American music and lead
the Black Music Ensemble at the University of Wisconsin,
Antioch College, and Glassboro State (in New Jersey). He is
considered to be one of the most controversial figures in
“jazz”. For many observers, his work ranks as some of the
most profound art ever produced. Classically trained, he is
generally acknowledged as one of the pioneers of free jazz.

1938 – Emilio Cruz is born in New York City. He will become a painter
who will study in his teens with the influential African
American artist Bob Thompson, study European masters in
Italy, Paris, London, and Amsterdam and become noted in the
United States for both his figurative and abstract paintings.
His work will be exhibited or collected by the Museum of
Modern Art, National Museum of American Art, the Studio
Museum of Harlem, and prestigious private galleries. He will
join the ancestors on December 10, 2004 in New York City
after succumbing to pancreatic cancer.

1944 – Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart is born in Dallas, Texas. He
will become a popular disc jockey in the San Francisco Bay
area. This popularity will fuel his career as a musician and
singer. He will achieve fame with his group: Sly & The
Family Stone and record the hits “Dance to the Music,”
“Everyday People,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “Thank You,”
and “Family Affair.” In 2010, he will file suit, claiming that
manager Gerald Goldstein and attorney Glenn Stone in the late
1980s, induced him to sign an employment and shareholder
agreement with Even Street Productions, but that they instead
used the arrangement to divert millions in royalties, leaving
him unable to get the money he said was due him. In 2015, a
jury in Los Angeles Superior Court, will award him 2.5 million
dollars in damages against Even St. Productions, 2.45 million
dollars against Goldstein and 50,000 dollars against attorney
Glenn Stone.

1946 – Bobby Lee Bonds is born in Riverside, California. He will
become a major league baseball player and hit a grand slam in
his first Major League game on June 25,1968 against the Los
Angeles Dodgers. He will be a 3-time All-Star (1971 and 1973
in the National League and 1975 in the American League). He
will amass a total 332 home runs, 1,024 RBIs, 461 stolen
bases and a .268 batting average for 8 teams. He will hold
the Major League record for most HRs as a lead-off batter in
a game in a season with 11 in 1973. He will be named by The
Sporting News as the National League Player of the Year in
1973, hitting .283 with 39 homers, 96 RBI and 43 stolen
bases. He will join the ancestors on August 23, 2003 after
succumbing to complications of lung cancer and a brain tumor.

1946 – Howard E. Scott is born in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California.
He will become a Rhythm and Blues singer, guitarist, and be
best known for his performances as part of the Rhythm & Blues
group “War.” Scott will contribute lyrics, music, and
co-produced some of War’s greatest hits, such as ‘Cisco Kid,’
‘Slipping into Darkness’ and ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?.’ He
will also be the frontman and leader of the group.

1958 – Cincinnati Royals basketball star Maurice Stokes collapses
during a playoff game suffering with encephalitis. It will
be determined that this was the result of an earlier injury,
when his head hit the floor, knocking him unconscious, in the
last game of the regular season. He will go into a coma and
become permanently disabled.

1959 – Saxophonist and major influence on the “Cool School” of jazz,
Lester “Prez” Young joins the ancestors at the age of 49 in
New York City.

1962 – Terence Trent D’Arby is born in New York City. He will become
a popular Rhythm and Blues singer, music producer, songwriter,
and composer. He will be best known for his recording
“Wishing Well.”

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain becomes the first and only player in NBA
history to score more than 4,000 points in a season (4,029).
He will average 50.4 points per game.

1968 – “LIFE” magazine calls Jimi Hendrix “the most spectacular
guitarist in the world.”

1968 – Bob Beamon sets an indoor long jump record as he leaps 27
feet, 2-3/4 inches.

1969 – St. Clair Drake is named director of the African and Afro
American Studies program at Stanford University. Drake’s
accomplishments in the position will form a model for such
programs across the country.

1970 – The musical, “Purlie” opens a run of 680 continuous
performances on Broadway in New York City.

1980 – Scores of people are injured in Klan-related incidents in
Georgia, Tennessee, California, Indiana and North Carolina.

1985 – Larry Holmes beats David Bey in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was
probably good for Bey, since no one had ever heard of him
before the fight. Holmes defends his International Boxing
Federation heavyweight boxing title with the win.

1991 – Four Los Angeles police officers-Sergeant Stacey Koon and
Officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno-
are charged with felony assault and related charges arising
from the Rodney King beating.

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.

November 3 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 3 *

1868 – John W. Menard, of Louisiana, is elected as the African
American representative to Congress. Menard defeats a 
white candidate, 5,107 to 2,833, in an election in 
Louisiana’s Second Congressional District to fill an 
unexpired term in the Fortieth Congress.

1874 – James Theodore Holly, an African American who emigrated 
to Haiti in 1861, is elected bishop of Haiti.

1883 – Race riots occur in Danville, Virginia, resulting in the 
death of four African Americans.

1896 – South Carolina State College is established.

1905 – Artist Lois Mailou Jones is born in Boston, Massachusetts. 
She will win her first award in 1926 and have major 
exhibitions at the Harmon Foundation, the Salon des 
Artistes Francais in Paris, the National Academy of 
Design, and many others. Despite her long career, she 
will not have a major retrospective of her work until 
the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston mounts a show in her 
honor in 1973. She will join the ancestors on June 9,

1920 – “Emperor Jones” opens at the Provincetown Theater with 
Charles Gilpin in the title role.

1933 – Louis Wade Sullivan is born in Atlanta, Georgia. He will 
become the founder and first dean of the Morehouse 
School of Medicine and Secretary of Health and Human 
Services, the highest-ranking African American in the 
Bush Administration.

1942 – William L. Dawson is elected to Congress from Chicago. 

1942 – Black and white advocates of direct, nonviolent action 
organized the Congress of Racial Equality in Chicago. 
Three CORE members stage a sit-in at Stoner’s Restaurant
in Chicago’s Loop.

1942 – The Spingarn Medal is presented to Asa Philip Randolph 
“for organizing the Sleeping Car Porters under the 
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and securing 
recognition for them; and because of his fearless, 
determined mobilization of mass opinion that resulted 
in… Executive Order No. 8802, which banned racial 
discrimination in defense industries and government work.”

1945 – Irving C. Mollison, a Chicago Republican, is sworn in as 
U.S. Customs Court judge in New York City.

1945 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Paul Robeson 
“for his outstanding achievement in the theater, on the 
concert stage, and in the general field of racial 

1949 – Larry Holmes is born in Easton, Pennsylvania. He will 
become a professional boxer and world heavyweight 
champion from 1978 to 1985. During his reign, he will 
defend his title more times than any other heavyweight 
in history, with the exception of Joe Louis.

1953 – Jeffrey Banks is born in Washington, DC. He will become 
an influential fashion designer and the youngest designer 
to win the prestigious Coty Award, for his outstanding 
fur designs. 

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA San Francisco Warriors, scores 
72 points vs the Los Angeles Lakers.

1964 – John Conyers, Jr. is elected to the House of 
Representatives from Detroit, Michigan.

1970 – Twelve African Americans are elected to the Ninety-second 
Congress, including five new congressmen: Ralph H. 
Metcalfe (Illinois), George Collins (Illinois), Charles 
Rangel (New York), Ronald Dellums (California), and 
Parren Mitchell (Maryland).

1970 – Wilson Riles is elected as the first African American 
superintendent of Public Instruction in California. 

1970 – Richard Austin is elected as the first African American 
secretary of state in Michigan.

1974 – Harold G. Ford is elected U.S. Congressman from Tennessee. 

1978 – Dominica is granted its independence by Great Britain.

1979 – Klansmen fire on an anti-Klan rally in Greensboro, North 
Carolina, and kill five persons.

1981 – Coleman Young is re-elected mayor of Detroit. Thurman L. 
Milner is elected mayor of Hartford, Connecticut. James 
Chase is elected mayor of Spokane, Washington. 

1983 – Reverend Jesse Jackson announces his candidacy for 
President of the United States. Although unsuccessful in 
this and a later 1988 campaign, Jackson will win many 
Democratic state primaries. His candidacy will win him 
national attention and a platform for increased 
representation by African Americans in the Democratic

1992 – Carol Moseley Braun is the first African American woman to
be elected to the U.S. Senate. 

1992 – James Clyburn is the first African American to represent 
South Carolina since Reconstruction. He had previously 
served for 18 years as South Carolina’s Human Affairs 

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

October 2 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 2 *

1800 – Nat Turner is born in Southampton, Virginia. Believing
himself called by God to free his fellow bondsmen,
Turner will become a freedom fighter leader of one of
the most famous slave revolts, resulting in the death
of scores of whites and involving 60 to 80 slaves. He
will join the ancestors on November 11, 1831 after being
executed for his part in the rebellion.

1833 – The New York Anti-Slavery Society is organized.

1898 – Otis J. Rene’ is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. With
his younger brother Leon, he will move to Los Angeles,
California, and establish Exclusive and Excelsior
Records in the 1930’s. By the mid-1940’s, the brothers
will be leading independent record producers whose
artists will include Nat King Cole, Herb Jeffries, and
Johnny Otis. He will join the ancestors on April 5, 1970.

1929 – Moses Gunn is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will become
an Obie Award-winning stage player, and co-found the Negro
Ensemble Company in the 1960s. His 1962 Broadway debut was
in Jean Genet’s “The Blacks.” He will be nominated for a
1976 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for “The Poison Tree”
and will play Othello on Broadway in 1970. He will also
appear in “Amityville II,” “Shaft,” and “Good Times.” He
will join the ancestors on December 17, 1993 after
succumbing to complications from asthma,

1932 – Maurice Morning ‘Maury’ Wills is born is Washington, DC.
He will become a professional baseball player and
shortstop for the Dodger organization. He will become
the National League Most Valuable Player in 1962.

1936 – Johnnie Cochran is born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He
will become a criminal defense attorney and will be
best known for his defense of Black Panther Party
member Geronimo Pratt and ex-NFL superstar O.J.
Simpson. He will join the ancestors on March 29, 2005.

1958 – The Republic of Guinea gains independence under the
leadership of Sekou Toure.

1965 – Bishop Harold Robert Perry of Lake Charles, Louisiana,
is named auxiliary bishop of New Orleans by Pope Paul

1967 – Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American
member of the United States Supreme Court when he is
sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren. As chief
counsel for the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the 1940s
and ’50s, Marshall was the architect and executor of
the legal strategy that ended the era of official
racial segregation. The great-grandson of a slave,
Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1908.
After being rejected from the University of Maryland
Law School on account of his race, he was accepted at
all-black Howard University in Washington, DC. At
Howard, he studied under the tutelage of civil
liberties lawyer Charles H. Houston and in 1933
graduated first in his class. In 1936, he joined the
legal division of the NAACP, of which Houston was
director, and two years later succeeded his mentor
in the organization’s top legal post.

1967 – Robert H. Lawrence, who was named the first African
American astronaut, joins the ancestors after being
killed in a plane crash before his first mission.

1968 – Bob Gibson, of the St. Louis Cardinals, sets a world
series record of 17 strikeouts.

1980 – Larry Holmes retains the WBC heavyweight boxing title
defeating Muhammad Ali.

1981 – Hazel Scott, renown jazz singer and pianist, joins
the ancestors at the age of 61 (succumbed to pancreatic

1986 – The United States Senate overrides President Ronald
Reagan’s veto of legislation imposing economic
sanctions against South Africa. The override is seen
as the culmination of efforts by Trans-Africa’s
Randall Robinson, Rep. Mickey Leland, and others
begun almost two years earlier with Robinson’s
arrest before the South African Embassy in
Washington, DC.

1989 – “Jump Start” premiers in 40 newspapers in the United
States. The comic strip is the creation of 26-year-
old Robb Armstrong, the youngest African American to
have a syndicated comic strip. He follows in the
footsteps of Morrie Turner, the creator of “Wee Pals,”
the first African American syndicated comic strip.

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

September 28 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 28 *

1829 – “Walker’s Appeal (To the Coloured Citizens of the World),”
a racial antislavery pamphlet, is published in Boston,
Massachusetts, by David Walker.

1833 – Lemuel Haynes, Revolutionary War veteran and first African
American to be ordained by the Congregational Church,
joins the ancestors at the age of 80.

1912 – W.C. Handy’s ground-breaking “Memphis Blues” is published
in Memphis, Tennessee. The composition was originally
entitled “Mr. Crump” and was written for the 1909
political campaign of Edward H. “Boss” Crump.

1938 – Benjamin Earl “Ben E.” King is born in Henderson, North
Carolina. He will become a rhythm and blues singer and
will be best known for his song, “Stand By Me.”

1941 – Charles Robert “Charley” Taylor is born in Grand Prairie,
Texas. He will become a NFL wide receiver/running back with
the Washington Redskins. He will be inducted into the Pro
Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

1945 – Todd Duncan debuts with the New York City Opera as Tonio
in Il Pagliacci. He is the first African American to
sing a leading role with a major American company, almost
ten years before Marian Anderson sings with the
Metropolitan Opera.

1961 – Ossie Davis’s “Purlie Victorious” opens on Broadway. The
play stars Davis, Ruby Dee, Godfrey Cambridge, Alan Alda,
and Beah Richards.

1961 – Atlanta’s segregated restaurants and other public
facilities are peacefully integrated, part of a plan
adopted by city officials earlier in the year.

1967 – Walter Washington takes office as the first mayor of the
District of Columbia.

1972 – The Secretary of the Army repeals the dishonorable
discharges of 167 soldiers involved in the Brownsville
(Texas) Raid. The soldiers, members of the 25th Infantry
who were involved in a riot with the city’s police and
merchants, were dishonorably discharged by President
Theodore Roosevelt without a trial.

1976 – Muhammad Ali retains the heavyweight boxing championship
in a close 15-round decision over Ken Norton at Yankee

1979 – Larry Holmes retains the heavyweight boxing championship
by knocking out Ernie Shavers in 11 rounds.

1981 – Joseph Paul Franklin, avowed racist, is sentenced to life
in prison for killing 2 African American joggers in Salt
Lake City, Utah.

1987 – The National Museum of African Art, now a part of the
Smithsonian Institution, opens on the National Mall in
Washington, DC. Founded by Warren M. Robbins in 1964 as
a private educational institution, it is the only museum
in the United States devoted exclusively to the
collection, study, and exhibition of the art of sub-
Saharan Africa.

1990 – Marvin Gaye gets a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

1991 – Miles Davis, jazz musician, joins the ancestors at the age
of 65 from pneumonia.

2003 – Althea Gibson, pioneering tennis player, joins the
ancestors at the age of 76 after succumbing to
respiratory failure. She was the first African American
woman to win the Wimbledon championship and was also a
professional golfer.

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

July 9 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – July 9 *

1863 – Union troops enter Port Hudson, Louisiana. With the fall of
Vicksburg (on July 4) and Port Hudson, Union troops
control the Mississippi River and The Confederacy is
cut into two sections. Eight African American regiments
play important roles in the siege of Port Hudson.

1868 – Francis L. Cardozo is installed as secretary of the
state of South Carolina and becomes the first African
American cabinet officer on the state level.

1893 – Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performs the world’s first
open-heart surgery at Chicago’s Provident Hospital
(which he founded in 1891) on James Cornish, who had
been stabbed in the chest and was dying from blood
accumulation around the heart. Dr. Williams brought Mr.
Cornish to surgery, where he proceeded to open his
chest, drain the blood and successfully sutured the

1901 – Jester Hairston is born in Belew’s Creek, North Carolina,
and will move at a very early age to the Homestead
section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he will grow
up. He will attend the Massachusetts Agriculture College
(now University of Massachusetts), dropping out in the
1920s due to lack of money. After impressing a
benefactor with his singing, he will be sponsored at
Tufts University, graduating in 1929. He will move to New
York and will meet Hall Johnson, who will teach him to
respect Negro spirituals. He will begin his Hollywood
career in 1935 when Warner Brothers purchases the show,
“Green Pastures.” His early acting roles, will include
long-running parts on the radio and television versions
of “Amos ‘n’ Andy” as well as bit parts in Tarzan films.
Although many of his early acting jobs will portray less
than flattering images of Blacks, he will never apologize
for playing racial stereotypes. “We had a hard time then
fighting for dignity,” he will say years later. “We had
no power. We had to take it, and because we took it the
young people today have opportunities.” In addition to
his roles in television’s “Amos ‘n’ Andy” and “Amen,”
Hairston will excel as a musician, first with the Eva
Jessye Choir and later as assistant conductor of the Hall
Johnson Choir. He will also arrange choral music for
more than 40 film soundtracks. He will also become the
first African American to direct The Mormon Tabernacle
Choir. His film credits will include “The Alamo,” “To
Kill a Mockingbird,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Lady
Sings the Blues,” “The Last Tycoon” and “Lilies of the
Field,” for which he will compose the song “Amen.” That
song, which he dubbed for Sidney Poitier in the movie,
will reflect Hairston’s lifelong dedication to preserving
old Negro spirituals. He will be a sought-after choral
director who will organize Hollywood’s first integrated
choir and compose more than 300 spirituals. In his later
years, when working with students at college workshops,
Hairston will tell them, “You can’t sing legato when the
master’s beatin’ you across your back.” He will join the
ancestors in Los Angeles, California on January 18, 2000.

1927 – Attorney William T. Francis is named minister to Liberia.

1936 – June Millicent Jordan is born in the village of Harlem, New
York City. She will become a poet and author of books for
children and young adults and will be nominated for the
National Book Award in 1972 for “His Own Where.” Her
teaching career will begin in 1967 at the City College of
New York. Between 1968 and 1978 she will teach at Yale
University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Connecticut College.
She then will become the director of The Poetry Center and
be an English professor at SUNY at Stony Brook from 1978 to
1989. From 1989 to 2002 she was a full professor in the
departments of English, Women Studies, and African American
Studies at the University of California Berkeley. At
Berkeley, she will found Poetry for the People in 1991. The
program inspires and empowers students to use poetry as a
means of artistic expression. Reflecting on how she began
with the concept of the program, she said: “I did not wake
up one morning ablaze with a coherent vision of Poetry for
the People! The natural intermingling of my ideas and my
observations as an educator, a poet, and the African
American daughter of poorly documented immigrants did not
lead me to any limiting ideological perspectives or resolve.
Poetry for the People is the arduous and happy outcome of
practical, day-by-day, classroom failure and success”.
She will compose three guideline points that embody the
program, which will be published with a set of her students’
writings in 1995, entitled June Jordan’s Poetry for the
People: A Revolutionary Blueprint. She will join the
ancestors on June 14, 2002 after succumbing to breast cancer.

1947 – O.J. (Orenthal James) Simpson is born in San Francisco,
California. He will become a professional football player
after winning the Heisman Trophy – USC – in 1968. He will
be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after playing
for the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers. He will
then become an actor and be known for his roles in the
“Naked Gun” series, “The Towering Inferno,” “Roots,” and
“Capricorn One.” He will be charged with, and acquitted
of the murder of ex-wife, Nicole and Ron Goldman in 1995.

1951 – Dave Parker is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He will become a
professional baseball player and will replace Roberto
Clemente as the right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates
after Clemente’s death. In 1978, he will become the first
Pirate to become Most Valuable Player since Clemente. He
will win three Gold Glove awards. His career will diminish
after he suffers from weight and knee problems, eventually
leading to drug problems. He will be traded to Cincinnati
and then to the Athletics, where he will contribute to their
1988 and 1989 pennants as a Designated Hitter and team

1955 – E. Frederick Morrow is appointed an administrative aide to
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He is the first African
American to hold an executive position on a White House

1971 – Clergyman and activist Leon H. Sullivan is awarded the
NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his achievements in transmitting
“the social gospel into economic progress for his people.”

1978 – Larry Holmes wins a decision over Ken Norton for the WBC

1979 – Dr. Walter Massey is named director of the Argonne National

1987 – Percy E. Sutton, former New York State legislator, president
of the Borough of Manhattan, founder of Inner City
Broadcasting and owner of the Apollo Theatre, receives the
NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.

2006 – Milan B. Williams, one of the original members of the Rhythm &
Blues group, The Commodores, joins the ancestors at the
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,
Texas, after a long battle with cancer at the age of 58.
He was one of the founding members of the Commodores, which
formed in 1968 while all the members were in college at the
Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The group, whose best known
member was singer Lionel Richie, had a series of hits during
the 1970s and 1980s, including “Brick House,” “Easy” and
“Three Times A Lady.” He wrote the band’s first hit, “Machine

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

June 12 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 12 *

1826 – Sarah Parker Remond is born in Salem, Massachusetts. She will
become a major abolitionist. She will also be an African
American physician, lecturer and agent of the American
Anti-Slavery Society. She will deliver speeches throughout
the United States on the horrors of slavery. Because of her
eloquence, she will be chosen to travel to England to gather
support for the abolitionist cause in the United States and,
after the American Civil War starts, for support of the
Union Army and the Union blockade of the Confederacy. She
is the sister of orator Charles Lenox Remond. She will join
the ancestors on December 13, 1894.

1840 – The World’s Anti-Slavery Convention convenes in
London, England. Among those in attendance will be
African American Charles Remond, who will refuse to be
seated at the meeting when he and the other delegates
learn that women are being segregated in the gallery.

1876 – A monument is dedicated to Richard Allen in
Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. It is the first known
monument erected by African Americans to honor one of
their heroes.

1904 – William Hendrick Foster is born in Calvert, Texas. He will
become a star in the Negro Baseball League. He will play
for the Chicago American Giants from 1923-1937. A left-hander,
he will win 137 games, more than any other left-handed
pitcher. Throughout his career, he will regularly participate
in post-season play in the California Winter League and with
barnstorming squads of Negro Leagues all-stars. In exhibition
contests against major league stars, he will post a .600+ win
percentage. After his retirement from baseball, he will
pursue various coaching positions, ultimately landing the
post of head baseball coach and dean of men at his alma mater,
Alcorn College in Mississippi. He will join the ancestors on
September 16, 1978. He will be inducted into the Baseball
Hall Of Fame in 1996.

1935 – Ella Fitzgerald records her first record for Brunswick
Records. The songs on the record were “Love and Kisses”
and “I’ll Chase the Blues Away”. She is featured with
Chick Webb and his band. Ella is 17 years old at the
time and will conduct the Webb band for three years
after he joins the ancestors in 1939.

1961 – The Hinds County, Mississippi Board of Supervisors
announces that more than one hundred “Freedom Riders”
had been arrested.

1963 – Medgar Evers, field secretary for the Mississippi
NAACP, joins the ancestors after being killed in the
driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi.
The African American civil rights leader is shot to
death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. During
World War II, Evers volunteered for the U.S. Army and
participated in the Normandy invasion. In 1952, he
joined the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP). As a field worker for the NAACP,
Evers traveled through his home state encouraging poor
African Americans to register to vote and recruiting
them into the civil rights movement. He was instrumental
in getting witnesses and evidence for the Emmitt Till
murder case, which brought national attention to the
+ plight of African Americans in the South. He will be
widely mourned throughout the civil rights movement and
posthumously receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.

1963 – Civil rights group demonstrates at Harlem construction
sites to protest discrimination in the building trade

1967 – The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a Virginia
miscegenation law (marriage or cohabitation between
whites and non-whites). This decision establishes that
no state law can prohibit interracial marriages.

1967 – A racially motivated civil disturbance occurs in
Cincinnati, Ohio. Three hundred persons are arrested,
and the National Guard is mobilized.

1972 – The National Black MBA Association is incorporated.
An organization of over 2,000 minority holders of
advanced business degrees, the organization’s mission
is to assist the entry of interested minorities into
the business community.

1981 – Larry Holmes defends his heavyweight boxing title by
earning a third-round TKO (technical knockout) over
Leon Spinks in Detroit, Michigan.

1989 – The U.S. Supreme Court expands the abilities of white
males to challenge court-approved affirmative action
plans, even years after they take effect.

1995 – The Supreme Court deals a potentially crippling blow
to federal affirmative action programs, ruling Congress
was limited by the same strict standards as states in
offering special help to minorities.

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.

June 9 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 9 *

1877 – Meta Vaux Warwick (later Fuller) is born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. She will become a sculptor who will train at
the Pennsylvania Museum and School for Industrial Arts and
travel to Paris to study with Auguste Rodin. Her sculptures
will be exhibited at the salon in Paris as well as
extensively in the U.S. for 60 years. Her most famous works
will include “Ethiopia Awakening,” “Mary Turner (A Silent
Protest Against Mob Violence),” and “The Talking Skull.”

1934 – Jack Leroy “Jackie” Wilson, entertainer who will be known as “Mr.
Excitement,” is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will be important
in the transition of Rhythm and Blues into Soul. He will be
considered a master showman, and one of the most dynamic and
influential singers and performers in R&B and Rock n’ Roll
history. Gaining fame in his early years as a member of the R&B
vocal group Billy Ward and His Dominoes, he will go solo in 1957
and record over 50 hit singles that span R&B, pop, soul, doo-wop
and easy listening. During a 1975 benefit concert, he will
collapse on stage from a heart attack and subsequently fall into
a coma that persists for nearly nine years until he joins the
ancestors on January 21, 1984, at the age of 49. By this time,
he will be one of the most influential artists of his generation.
A two-time Grammy Hall of Fame Inductee, he will be inducted in
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2004, Rolling Stone
magazine will rank him #69 on their list of the 100 Greatest
Artists of All Time.

1948 – Oliver W. Hill becomes the first African American to be
elected to the Richmond, Virginia City Council.

1963 – Fannie Lou Hamer and five other voter registration workers
were arrested in Winona, Mississippi on their way home from
a workshop in Charleston, SC. They were held in the Winona
jail for four days, during which they were severely beaten
with nightsticks and fists by policemen, and with leather
straps by prison trustees under the direction of police

1978 – Larry Holmes wins the WBC heavyweight title by defeating Ken
Norton in Las Vegas, Nevada.

1980 – Comedian Richard Pryor suffers almost fatal burns at his San
Fernando Valley, California home, when a mixture of “free-
base” cocaine explodes.

1983 – Scott Joplin, noted jazz musician and composer of ragtime
music, is the sixth African-American depicted in the U.S.
Postal Service’s Black Heritage USA commemorative series of
postage stamps.

1998 – Three white men are charged in Jasper, Texas, with the brutal
dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an African American.

1998 – Artist Lois Mailou Jones joins the ancestors in Washington,

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