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.

May 2 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 2 *

1844 – Elijah McCoy is born in Colchester, Ontario, Canada. He
will become a master inventor and holder of over 50
patents. He will be the inventor of a device that allows
machines to be lubricated while they are still in
operation. Machinery buyers insisted on McCoy lubrication
systems when buying new machines and will take nothing
less than what becomes known as the “real McCoy.” The
inventor’s automatic oiling devices will become so
universal that no heavy-duty machinery will be considered
adequate without it, and the expression becomes part of
America culture. He will join the ancestors on October 10,

1920 – The first game of the National Negro Baseball League (NNL)
is played in Indianapolis, Indiana. The NNL was formed
earlier in the year by Andrew “Rube” Foster and a group of
African American baseball club owners to combat prejudice
and further enjoyment of the game.

1968 – The Poor People’s March, led by Ralph D. Abernathy, begins
as caravans from all over the country leave for Washington,
DC., to protest poverty and racial discrimination.

1990 – The government of South Africa and the African National
Congress open their first formal talks aimed at paving the
way for more substantive negotiations on dismantling

1992 – Los Angeles begins a massive cleanup and rebuilding effort
after three days of widespread civil unrest. The April 29
acquittal of four police officers in the 1991 beating of
motorist Rodney G. King fueled perceptions of unequal
justice for African Americans and sparked multiracial
violence that resulted in unprecedented figures of 58
deaths, over 2,000 injuries, over 600 fires, $1 billion in
property damage and spread to San Francisco, Las Vegas,
Seattle, Atlanta, Madison (Wisconsin), and Toronto.

1994 – Nelson Mandela claims victory in the wake of South Africa’s
first democratic elections. President F.W. de Klerk
acknowledges defeat.

1999 – Reverend Jesse Jackson, who leads a group of religious
leaders to the country of Serbia, obtains the release of
three American Army prisoners of war, Staff Sgt. Andrew A.
Ramirez, 24, of Los Angeles;Spc. Steven M. Gonzales, 21, of
Huntsville, Texas; and Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Stone, 25,
of Smiths Creek, Mich. at 4:45 EST.

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

February 11 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 11 *

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1783 – Jarena Lee, the first woman to preach in an AME church, at
Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, is born in Cape
May, New Jersey. She will chronicle her life’s work in her
book, “Religious Experiences and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee:
A Preachin’ Woman” (1849). Jarena Lee will be one of first
African American women to speak out publicly against slavery.
She will join the ancestors in 1849.

1790 – The Society of Friends (Quakers) presents a petition to
Congress calling for the abolition of slavery.

1958 – Mohawk Airlines schedules Ruth Carol Taylor on her initial
flight from Ithaca, New York to New York City. She becomes the
first African American flight attendant for a United States-
based air carrier.

1961 – Robert Weaver becomes the highest-ranking African American in
the federal government as he is sworn in as administrator of
the Housing and Home Finance Agency.

1966 – Willie Mays signs with the San Francisco Giants for $ 130,000
a year. At the time, this is one of the highest salaries in
professional baseball.

1977 – Clifford Alexander, Jr. is confirmed as the first African
American Secretary of the Army. He will hold the position
until the end of President Jimmy Carter’s term.

1977 – Lieutenant Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam is named head of state
in Ethiopia. He will rule Ethiopia and be backed by the
Soviet government until he loses the civil war in 1991 to the
forces supporting Meles Zenawi.

1989 – Rev. Barbara Clementine Harris becomes the first woman
consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church, in a ceremony
held in Boston.

1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from prison after being held for
nearly 27 years without trial by the South African government.
The founder and unofficial leader of the African National
Congress, Mandela became, during his imprisonment, a symbol
for the struggle of Black South Africans to overcome apartheid.

1990 – James “Buster” Douglas defeats Mike Tyson in a stunning upset
in Tokyo to win the heavyweight boxing championship. Almost two
years later to the day, Tyson will be convicted of rape and two
related charges filed by a Miss Black America contestant in
Indianapolis, Indiana.

2012 – Whitney Houston, the woman with the pitch-perfect voice who once
reigned as the queen of pop at the Grammys, joins the ancestors
at the age of 48.

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

January 11 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 11 *

1870 – The first reconstruction legislature meets in Jackson,
Mississippi. Thirty one of the 106 representatives and five
of the 33 senators are African American.

1892 – William D. McCoy, of Indiana, is appointed United States
Minister to Liberia.

1902 – Acknowledging the increasing attention African American
athletes receive, the Baltimore “Afro-American” states, “Mr.
[Joe] Gans gets more space in the white papers than all the
respectable colored people in the state.” Gans is the world
lightweight boxing champion and first native African
American world title holder.

1924 – James Isaac Moore is born in Lobdell, Louisiana (outside of
Baton Rouge). During the 1940’s he will teach himself how
to play the harmonica and begin working juke joints, clubs,
parties, and picnics in Louisiana. He will become a major
blues musician, a leading exponent of the swamp blues style,
and “one of the most commercially successful blues artists
of his day”. His most successful and influential recordings
will include “I’m a King Bee” (1957), “Rainin’ In My Heart”
(1961), and “Baby Scratch My Back” (1966) which will reach
no.1 on the Rhythm & Blues chart and no.16 on the US pop
chart. A master of the blues harmonica, his stage name will
be derived from the popular nickname for that instrument,
the “harp”. He will work professionally with his brother-in
-law, Lightnin’ Slim and will be known as “Slim Harpo.” He
will be a big influence on British blues-rockers of the
mid-Sixties. He will join the ancestors on January 31, 1970,
after succumbing to a sudden heart attack.

1936 – Charles W. Anderson enters the Kentucky House of
Representatives as its first elected African American member.
He will serve for six consecutive terms and will help to
dismantle legal segregation in his state, when his bill
allowing African American and white nurses to go to the same
school is passed in 1948.

1947 – Evangelina Rodriguez joins the ancestors in San Pedro de
Macoris, Dominican Republic. She had been the first woman to
graduate from medical school in the Dominican Republic,
becoming the first woman physician to practice in that

1957 – Darryl Dawkins is born in Orlando, Florida. He will become
one of only five players to enter the NBA right out of high
school and survive. He will go on to play for fourteen
seasons as a center for the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia

1960 – Chad declares its independence from France.

1961 – Racially motivated disturbance erupts on the University of
Georgia campus as a result of civil rights demonstrations by
African American students. African American students
Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes are suspended but will
be reinstated by a federal court order. Hunter-Gault will
become an Emmy award-winning journalist with “The
MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.”

1962 – Nelson Mandela leaves South Africa, traveling to Ethiopia,
Algeria, and England to speak out against apartheid in South

1985 – Reuben V. Anderson is appointed as judge on the Mississippi
Supreme Court. Anderson is the first African American named
to the court.

1986 – L. Douglas Wilder, of Virginia, is sworn in as the first
African American Lt. Governor since reconstruction.

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

December 6 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 6 *

1806 – The African Meeting House is established in Boston,
Massachusetts and will become the oldest African
American house of worship still standing in the United
States. This house of worship will be constructed
almost entirely by African American laborers and
craftsmen, but funds will be contributed by the white
community. Because of the leadership role its
congregation takes in the early struggle for civil
rights, the African Meeting House will become known as
the Abolition Church and Black Faneuil Hall. Frederick
Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison will be speakers

1849 – Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in Maryland. She
will return to the South nineteen times and bring out
more than three hundred slaves.

1865 – Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution, abolishing slavery is completed. The
proclamation of its acceptance will take place on
December 18, 1865.

1869 – The National Black labor convention meets in Washington,

1870 – Joseph H Rainey becomes the first African American in
the House of Representatives, from the state of South

1871 – P.B.S. Pinchback is elected president pro tem of the
Louisiana Senate and acting lieutenant governor. He is
the first African American to serve in these positions
in state government.

1875 – The Forty-Fourth Congress of 1875-1877 convenes with a
high of eight African Americans taking office. They are
Senator Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi and congressmen
Jeremiah Haralson of Alabama, Josiah T. Walls of Florida,
John Roy Lynch of Mississippi, John A. Hyman of North
Carolina, Charles E. Nash of Louisiana,; and Joseph H.
Rainey and Robert Smalls of South Carolina.

1892 – Theodore K. Lawless is born in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. He
will receive his medical degree from Northwestern
University, hold a fellowship at Massachusetts General
Hospital and receive further training at the University
of Paris’s premier Dermatology program. He will become a
dermatologist, medical researcher, and philanthropist.
He will known for his work related to leprosy and
syphilis. He will also be involved in various charitable
causes including Jewish causes. He will create the
Lawless Department of Dermatology in Beilison Hospital,
Tel-Aviv, Israel, the T. K. Lawless Student Summer
Program at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot,
Israel; the Lawless Clinical and Research Laboratory in
Dermatology of the Hebrew Medical School, Jerusalem;
Roosevelt University’s Chemical Laboratory and Lecture
Auditorium, Chicago; and Lawless Memorial Chapel,
Dillard University, New Orleans. His philantrophy in
Israel was ingratitude for the support received from
Jewish doctors in obtaining his appointment to his
position at the University of Paris. A shrewd investor
and businessman, he will have a remarkable business
career. He will be director of both the Supreme Life
Insurance Company and Marina City Bank. He will also be
a charter member, associate founder, and president of
Service Federal Savings and Loan in Chicago. He will
become a self-made millionaire. He will join the
ancestors in Chicago, Illinois on May 1, 1971.

1949 – Blues legend Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter joins the
ancestors in New York City.

1956 – Nelson Mandela and 156 others are jailed for political
activities in South Africa.

1960 – 500 store owners sign pledges of nondiscrimination in
Tucson, Arizona.

1961 – Dr. Frantz O. Fanon, noted author of “Black Skins, White
Masks” and “Wretched of the Earth”, joins the ancestors
in Washington, DC. He succumbs to leukemia at the
National Institutes of Health.

1977 – South Africa grants Bophuthatswana its independence.
The constitution, in effect after South Africa’s first
all-race elections in April 1994, will abolish this
black homeland, which will be reabsorbed into South

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

December 5 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 5 *

1784 – African American poet Phyllis Wheatley joins the
ancestors in Boston at the age of 31. Born in Africa
and brought to the American Colonies at the age of
eight in 1761, Wheatley was quick to learn both English
and Latin. Her first poem was published in 1770 and
she continued to write poems and eulogies. A 1773
trip to England secured her success there, where she
was introduced to English society. Her book, “Poems on
Various Subjects, Religious and Moral”, was published
late that year. Married for six years to John Peters,
Wheatley and her infant daughter died hours apart in a
Boston boarding house, where she worked.

1832 – Sarah Gorham, the first woman appointed by the African
Methodist Episcopal Church to serve as a foreign
missionary in 1881, is born.

1881 – The Forty-Seventh Congress (1881-83) convenes. Only two
African American congressmen have been elected, Robert
Smalls of South Carolina and John Roy Lynch of

1895 – Elbert Frank Cox is born in Evansville, Indiana. He will
become the first African American to earn a doctorate
degree in mathematics (Cornell University – 1925). He
will spend most of his life as a professor at Howard
University in Washington, D.C., where he will be known
as an excellent teacher. During his life, he will
overcome various difficulties which will arise because
of his race. In his honor, the National Association of
Mathematicians will establish the Cox-Talbot Address,
which will be annually delivered at the NAM’s national
meetings. The Elbert F. Cox Scholarship Fund, which will
be used to help black students pursue studies, is named
in his honor as well. He will continue teaching until
his retirement in 1966 – three years before he joins the
ancestors on November 28, 1969, at age 73 in Washington, DC.

1917 – Charity Adams (later Earley) is born in Kittrell, North
Carolina. She will become the first African American
commissioned officer in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps
in 1942. She will serve as the commanding officer and
battalion commander of the first battalion of African
American women (6888th Central Postal Direction) to serve
overseas during WWII, in England. She will serve in the
Army for four years and hold the rank of Lt. Colonel
at the time of her release from active duty. She will
join the ancestors on January 13, 2002.

1931 – James Cleveland is born in Chicago, Illinois. He will
sing his first gospel solo at the age of eight in a
choir directed by famed gospel pioneer Thomas Dorsey.
He will later sing with Mahalia Jackson, The Caravans,
and other groups before forming his own group, The
Gospel Chimes, in 1959. His recording of “Peace Be
Still” with the James Cleveland Singers and the 300-
voice Angelic Choir of Nutley, New Jersey, will earn him
the title “King of Gospel.” He will join the ancestors
on February 9, 1991.

1932 – Richard Wayne Penniman is born in Macon, Georgia. He will
become a Rhythm and Blues singer and composer. He will be
known for his flamboyant singing style, which will be
influential to many Rhythm and Blues and British artists.
His songs will include “Good Golly Miss Molly”, “Tutti
Frutti”, and “Lucille.” He will be honored by many
institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He will be
the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from The
Recording Academy and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. His
“Tutti Frutti” (1955) will be included in the Library of
Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2010, claiming
the “unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat
announced a new era in music.”

1935 – The National Council of Negro Women is established by Mary
McLeod Bethune.

1935 – Langston Hughes’s play, “The Mulatto”, begins a long run
on Broadway.

1935 – Mary McLeod Bethune is awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal
for her work as founder-president of Bethune Cookman
College and her national leadership.

1946 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Thurgood Marshall,
director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund,
“for his distinguished service as a lawyer before the
Supreme Court.”

1946 – President Truman created The Committee on Civil Rights by
Executive Order No. 9808. Sadie M. Alexander and Channing
H. Tobias were two African Americans who will serve as
members of the committee.

1947 – Jersey Joe Wolcott defeats Joe Louis for the heavyweight
boxing title. It is also the first time a heavyweight
championship boxing match is televised.

1949 – Ezzard Charles defeats Jersey Joe Walcott for the
heavyweight boxing title.

1955 – The Montgomery bus boycott begins as a result of Rosa
Parks’ refusal to ride in the back of a city bus four
days earlier. At a mass meeting at the Holt Street
Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr. is elected
president of the boycott organization. The boycott will
last a little over a year and be the initial victory in
the civil rights struggle of African Americans in the
United States.

1955 – Asa Philip Randolph and Willard S. Townsend are elected
vice-presidents of the AFL-CIO.

1955 – Carl Murphy, publisher of the Baltimore Afro-American, is
awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his contributions
as a publisher and civil rights leader.

1957 – New York City becomes the first city to legislate against
racial or religious discrimination in housing market
(Fair Housing Practices Law).

1957 – Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn
Medal for his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1981 – Marcus Allen, tailback for the University of Southern
California, wins the Heisman Trophy. Six years later,
Tim Brown of the Notre Dame “Fightin’ Irish” will win
the award.

1984 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at age 37, is the oldest player in
the National Basketball Association. He decides to push
those weary bones one more year by signing with the Los
Angeles Lakers – for $2 million.

2013 – Nelson Mandela, a South African anti-apartheid
revolutionary who was imprisoned and then became a
politician and philanthropist who served as President of
South Africa from 1994 to 1999, joins the ancestors at
the age of 95. He was the first black South African to
hold the office, and the first elected in a fully
representative, multiracial election.

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

October 20 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 20 *

1895 – Rex Ingram is born near Cairo, Illinois. He will attend
medical school and earn a Phi Beta Kappa key but forsake
medicine for the stage, becoming a powerful actor on the
stage and screen, most notably as “De Lawd” in the 1936
film “The Green Pastures.” He will also appear in
“Cabin in the Sky” and “Anna Lucasta.”

1898 – North Carolina Mutual Life and Provident Association is
organized by seven African Americans: John Merrick, Dr.
Aaron M. Moore, P.W. Dawkins, D.T. Watson, W.G. Pearson,
E.A. Johnson, and James E. Shepard. Each invests $50 in
the company, which will grow to become North Carolina
Mutual Life Insurance Company and have over $211 million
in assets and over $8 billion of insurance in force by

1924 – The “First Colored World Series” of baseball is held in
Kansas City, Missouri. The series, which pits the Kansas
City Monarchs against the Hillsdale team from Darby,
Pennsylvania, is won by the Monarchs, five games to four,
and was organized by Rube Foster.

1932 – Roosevelt Brown is born in Charlottesville, Virginia. He
will become a football star at Morgan State College in
Baltimore, Maryland, and will be drafted in the 27th
round by the New York Giants in 1953. Over his career
he will be All-NFL for eight straight years (1956-1963),
play in nine Pro Bowl games, and named NFL’s Lineman of
Year (1956). He will play for the Giants for 13 seasons
and will be elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1975.

1942 – Sixty leading southern African Americans issued the
“Durham Manifesto”, calling for fundamental changes in
race relations after a Durham, North Carolina, meeting.

1952 – The Mau Mau uprising against British rule in Kenya begins,
with attacks against both British settlers and Africans
who refused to join the rebellion. Although British rule
is widely resented in Kenya, the Mau Mau fighters are
mostly members of the Kikuyu ethnic group, whose land had
been taken over by British settlers. The British will
respond harshly to the rebellion, killing nearly 11,000
rebels and confining 80,000 Kikuyus in detention camps.
Although it will be a military failure, the Mau Mau
rebellion will bring international attention to the
Africans’ grievances, and contribute to Kenya’s
independence in 1963.

1953 – Jomo Kenyatta and five other Mau Mau leaders are refused
an appeal of their prison terms in British East Africa
(Kenya). Members of the Mau Mau guerilla troops all took
an oath to commit themselves to expelling all white
settlers in Kenya and to eliminate the Africans who
cooperated with or benefited from colonial rule.

1963 – Jim Brown, of the Cleveland Browns, sets the then NFL
all-time rushing record, 8,390 yds.

1963 – South Africa begins the trial of Nelson Mandela & eight
others on charges of conspiracy.

1967 – An all-white federal jury in Meridian, Mississippi
convicts 7 white men in the murder of 3 civil rights
workers. They are convicted of civil rights’ violations.

1968 – Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, joins the ancestors at
the age of 84. His church services were broadcast weekly,
first on radio, then on television. The theme song of his
broadcasts was “Happy am I, I’m always happy!”

1976 – New York Nets’ (ABA), Julius “Dr. J” Erving is traded to
the Philadelphia 76ers. This will be the beginning of his
All-Star career in the NBA.

1989 – The Senate convicts U.S. District Judge Alcee L. Hastings
of perjury and conspiracy and removes him from office. The
conviction will be overturned and Hastings is later
elected to the House of Representatives.

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

October 6 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – October 6 *

1776 – Henri Christophe is born a slave in Grenada. He will
become a Haitian revolutionist and ruler and also become
provisional chief of northern Haiti. He will establish
himself as King Henri I in the north and build Citadelle

1847 – National Black convention meets in Troy, New York, with
more than sixty delegates from nine states. Nathan
Johnson of Massachusetts is elected president.

1868 – An African American state convention at Macon, Georgia,
protests expulsion of African American politicians from
the Georgia legislature.

1871 – The Fisk Jubilee Singers begin their tour to raise money
for the school. Soon they will become one of the most
popular African American folk-singing groups of the late
19th century, performing throughout the U.S. and Europe
and raising large sums for Fisk’s building program.

1917 – Fannie Lou Hamer is born near Ruleville, Mississippi. She
will become a leader of the civil rights movement during
the 1960’s and founder of the Mississippi Freedom
Democratic Party in Montgomery County, Mississippi.

1921 – Joseph Echols Lowery is born in Huntsville, Alabama. An
early civil rights activist, he will become a founder,
chairman of the board, and president of the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference. He will lead SCLC to
great levels of civil rights activism including a 2,700
mile pilgrimage to extend and strengthen the Voting
Rights Act, protesting toxic waste sites in African
American communities, and actions against United States’
corporations doing business in apartheid South Africa.

1965 – Patricia Harris takes the post as U.S. Ambassador to
Belgium, becoming the first African American U.S.

1981 – Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt, is assassinated by
extremists while reviewing a military parade.

1986 – Abram Hill joins the ancestors in New York City. He was
the founder of the city’s American Negro Theatre in 1940,
where the careers of Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, and
Sidney Poitier were launched. Hill’s adaptation of the
play “Anna Lucasta” premiered on Broadway in 1944 and
ran successfully for 900 performances.

1991 – Williams College’s exhibit of African American photography
– “Black Photographers Bear Witness: 100 Years of Social
Protest” opens. The exhibit includes photography by C.M.
Battey, James Van Der Zee, Marvin and Morgan Smith,
Moneta Sleet, Carrie Mae Weems, and others.

1991 – Anita Hill, a former personal assistant to Supreme Court
justice nominee Clarence Thomas, accuses Thomas of sexual
harassment (from 1981-83) during his confirmation

1994 – South African President, Nelson Mandela, addresses a joint
session of Congress. He will warn against the lure of
isolationism, saying the U.S. post-Cold War focus should
be on eliminating “tyranny, instability and poverty”
across the globe.

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

October 4 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 4 *

1864 – The National Black Convention meets in Syracuse, New York.

1864 – The New Orleans Tribune, the first African American daily
newspaper, is founded by Dr. Louis C. Roudanez. The
newspaper, published in both English and French, starts
as a tri-weekly, but soon becomes an influential daily.

1934 – Malvin Gray Johnson joins the ancestors in New York City.
His deceptively simple paintings, with their warm colors
and serene, sensuous charm, had earned him a large and
loyal group of admirers during the Harlem Renaissance.

1935 – Joe Walcott, World Welterweight Boxing Champion during
the early 1900’s, joins the ancestors after being struck
and killed by a car. He is perhaps the only West Indian
(from Barbados), universally recognized as a boxing
legend. Walcott stood at five feet, one and a half
inches, his fighting weight at 142 pounds, basically a
midget version of Mike Tyson. His short powerful
physique enabled him to bob and weave, catching his
opponent’s punches on his powerful shoulders and his
granite-like head.

1937 – Lee Patrick Brown is born in Wewoka, Oklahoma. He will
become one of the top-ranking law-enforcement executives
in the United States, first as Public Safety Commissioner
in Atlanta, Georgia, then as the first African American
police chief in Houston, Texas, the second African
American police commissioner for New York City, and the
first African American mayor of Houston.

1943 – Hubert Gerold Brown is born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
He will be better known as H. Rap Brown, become a Black
nationalist and chairman of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, and later the
Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party. He will be
most famous for his proclamation during that period that
“violence is as American as cherry pie”, as well as once
stating that “If America don’t come around, we’re gonna
burn it down”. He is also known for his autobiography “Die
Nigger Die!”. He will spend five years (1971-1976) in
New York’s Attica Prison after a robbery conviction. While
in prison, he will convert to Islam and change his name to
Jamil Abdullah al-Amin. After his release, he will open a
grocery store in Atlanta, Georgia and become a Muslim
spiritual leader and community activist, preaching against
drugs and gambling in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood. He
will be sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of
parole, for the 2000 shooting of two Fulton County Sheriff’s
deputies, one of whom joins the ancestors.

1944 – Dancer Pearl Primus makes her Broadway debut at the
Belasco Theater. She will become widely known for
blending the African and American dance traditions.

1944 – Patricia Holt is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She
will become a singer known as Patti LaBelle and will be
a lead with the Ordettes, the Bluebells, and LaBelle.
She will eventually debut a solo career performing over
90 concerts a year. She will publish her life story,
“Don’t Block The Blessings: Revelations of a Lifetime.”

1945 – Clifton Davis is born in Chicago, Illinois. He will
become an actor and singer, performing in “That’s My
Mama,” and “Amen” on television. He will also become a
minister in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

1966 – Lesotho (Basutoland) gains its independence from Great

1976 – Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz resigns in the wake
of a controversy over a joke he had made about Blacks.

1991 – The Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Illinois is
dedicated in the memory of its beloved former mayor.

1994 – Exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide vows in
an address to the U.N. General Assembly, to return to
Haiti in 11 days.

1994 – President Clinton welcomes South African President Nelson
Mandela to the White House.

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

October 3 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 3 *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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