January 24 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 24 *

1885 – Martin R. Delany joins the ancestors at the age of 72 in
Wilberforce, Ohio. Delany served as a physician and was
the first commissioned African American officer in the
Union Army during the Civil War. He also was a leader in
the fight to end racial job discrimination. Delany will
encourage African Americans to seek their own identity and
is considered by some historians to be the father of
American Black nationalism. He is the author of “Search
for a Place: Black Separatism and Africa,” and “The
Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the
Colored People in the United States.”

1941 – Aaron Neville is born in New Orleans Louisiana. He will
become a rhythm and blues singer and will enjoy his first
hit in 1967, “Tell It Like It Is.” He will win a Grammy for
his 1990 single, a duet with Linda Ronstadt, “Don’t Know
Much.” He will become equally well known for performing
vocals and keyboards with the group The Neville Brothers,
together with his three musically accomplished siblings.
Their albums, reflecting rock, R&B, soul, and jazz
influences, will be compiled in “Treacherous: A History of
the Neville Brothers, 1955-85” (1986).

1977 – Howard T. Ward becomes Georgia’s first African American
Superior Court Judge.

1985 – Four-term Los Angeles mayor Thomas Bradley is awarded the
NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his long career as a public
servant and for “demonstrating…that the American dream
not only can be pursued but realized.”

1988 – Forty-eight African American writers and literary critics
sign a controversial statement that appears in “The New York
Times Book Review” supporting author Toni Morrison and
protesting her failure to win the “keystone honors of the
National Book Award or the Pulitzer Prize.”

1989 – Reverend Barbara Harris’ election as suffragan bishop is
ratified by the Diocese of Massachusetts. Her election and
consecration occur amid widespread controversy regarding the
role of women bishops in the Episcopal Church. She will be
the first female bishop in the church’s 450-year history.

1993 – Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court
Justice, joins the ancestors in Washington, DC. He will be
buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was one of the
most well-known figures in the history of civil rights in
America and served on the Supreme Court for 24 years.

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

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January 7 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – January 7 *

1822 – A colony of free African Americans sent to Africa by the
American Colonization Society, is established on the west
coast of Africa. It is the beginning of the African American
colonization of Liberia. This colony will become the
independent nation of Liberia in 1847.

1868 – The Mississippi constitutional convention convenes in Jackson.
It is attended by seventeen African Americans and eighty-three
whites.

1868 – The Arkansas constitutional convention convenes in Little Rock.
It is attended by eight African Americans and forty-three
whites.

1890 – William B. Purvis is awarded patent #419,065 for the fountain
pen.

1891 – Zora Neale Hurston, who will become a brilliant folklorist,
novelist, and short story writer, is born in Notasulga,
Alabama. For reasons known only to her, she will claim 1901 as
her birth year and the all-Black town of Eatonville, Florida as
her birthplace. She will be one of the more influential writers
of the Harlem Renaissance, known for her novel “Their Eyes Were
Watching God” and her folklore collections, including “Of Mules
and Men.” She will join the ancestors on January 28, 1960.

1892 – A mine explosion kills 100 in Krebs, Oklahoma. African
Americans trying to help rescue white survivors, are driven
away at gunpoint.

1911 – Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen is born in Tampa, Florida. She will
be educated in Augusta, Georgia and Long Island, New York.
After graduation, she will study dance, joining the Venezuela
Jones Negro Youth Group. After performing in the “Butterfly
Ballet” (in a 1935 production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)
McQueen will be dubbed—and forever referred to
as—“Butterfly”. She will make her stage debut in George
Abbot’s “Brown Sugar”, and soon after, in 1939, she will appear
as Lulu in “The Women” and in her most famous role, Prissy in
“Gone With The Wind.” She will join the ancestors on December
22, 1995.

1917 – Ulysses Simpson Kay is born in Tucson, Arizona. He will become
a classical composer and one of the first American composers
to travel to the Soviet Union. He will be known for his works
for orchestra, piano, and chamber ensemble. He will join the
ancestors on May 20, 1995.

1927 – The first touring Harlem Globetrotter game is played in
Hinckley, Illinois before a crowd of 300 people. It will be a
success, bringing in $75 in profit.

1950 – The James Weldon Johnson Collection officially opens at Yale
University. Established in 1941 through a gift by Grace Nail
Johnson, widow of the famed author, diplomat and NAACP
official, the collection will eventually include the papers of
Johnson, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Dubois, Richard Wright, Jean
Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, and many other writers of the
Harlem Renaissance.

1955 – Marian Anderson appears as Ulrica in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in
Maschera” with the New York Metropolitan Opera. In her debut
performance at the Met, Anderson becomes the first African
American ever to sing with the company.

1964 – The Bahamas achieve internal self-government & cabinet level
responsibility.

2003 – Thurgood Marshall, a famed civil rights lawyer and U.S. Supreme
Court Justice, is honored by the United States Postal Service
with the 26th stamp issuance in the Black Heritage
Commemorative Series.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. 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
Mississippi.

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 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
IV.

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
cancer).

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 23 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 23 *

1667 – In Williamsburg, Virginia, a law was passed, barring
slaves from obtaining their freedom by converting to
Christianity.

1862 – A draft of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is
published in Northern Newspapers.

1863 – Mary Church (later Terrell) is born in Memphis,
Tennessee. She will become an educator, civil and
woman’s rights advocate, and U.S. delegate to the
International Peace Conference. She will also be the
first African American to serve on the school board in
the District of Columbia. She will join the ancestors
on July 24, 1954.

1926 – John Coltrane, brilliant jazz saxophonist and composer who
will be considered the father of avant-garde jazz, is
born in Hamlet, North Carolina. He will join the ancestors
on July 17, 1967.

1930 – Ray Charles (Robinson) is born in Albany, Georgia. Blind
by the age of six, he will study music and form his own
band at the age of 24. A recorded performance at the
Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 will establish his career
as one of the premier soul singers in the United States.
Among Charles’s achievements will be three Grammys and
Kennedy Center honors in 1986. He will join the ancestors
on June 10, 2004 after succumbing to liver disease.

1952 – Jersey Joe Walcott, loses his heavyweight title in the
13th round, to Rocky Marciano, in Philadelphia
Pennsylvania. Pay Television for sporting events begins
with the Marciano-Walcott fight, coast to coast, in 49
theatres in 31 cities.

1954 – Playwright George Costello Wolfe is born in Frankfort,
Kentucky. He will become critically acclaimed for the
controversial plays, “The Colored Museum”, “Jelly’s Last
Jam”, and “Spunk”.

1957 – Nine African American students, who had entered Little
Rock Central High School in Arkansas, are forced to leave
because of a white mob outside.

1961 – President Kennedy names Thurgood Marshall to the United
States Circuit Court of Appeals.

1962 – Los Angeles Dodger, Maury Wills, steals record setting
base #97 on his way to 104.

1979 – Lou Brock steals record 935th base and becomes the all-
time major league record holder.

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

August 30 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – August 30 *

1800 – Jack Bowler and Coachman Gabriel Prosser’s plans for a
slave revolt in Richmond, Virginia, are betrayed by a
pair of house slaves attempting to save their master.
Prosser’s plan, which involved over 1,100 slaves, would
have resulted in the death of all slave-owning whites,
but would have spared Quakers, Frenchmen, elderly women,
and children.

1838 – The first African American magazine “Mirror of Freedom”,
begins publication in New York City by abolitionist
David Ruggles.

1843 – The Liberty Party has the first African American
participation in a national political convention.
Samuel R. Ward leads the convention in prayer — Henry
Highland Garnet, a twenty-seven-year-old Presbyterian
pastor who calls for a slave revolt and a general slave
strike. Amos G. Beman of New Haven, Connecticut is
elected president of the convention.

1856 – Wilberforce University is established in Xenia, Ohio under
the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1863,
the university was transferred to the African Methodist
Episcopal (AME) Church.

1861 – General John C. Fremont issues an order confiscating the
property of Confederates and emancipating their slaves.
The order causes wide-spread protest and is revoked by
President Lincoln.

1892 – S. R. Scottron patents a curtain rod.

1901 – Roy Wilkins is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will become
a civil rights leader, assistant executive secretary of
the NAACP under Walter White and editor of the Crisis
Magazine for 15 years. He will become Executive Secretary
of the NAACP in 1955, a post he will hold for 22 years.
During his tenure, he will be a champion of civil rights
committed to using constitutional arguments to help obtain
full citizenship rights for all African Americans. He will
join the ancestors on September 8, 1981.

1931 – Carrie Saxon Perry is born in Hartford, Connecticut. In
1987, she will be elected mayor of Hartford, becoming the
first African American mayor of a major eastern United
States city.

1953 – Robert Parish is born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He will
become a professional basketballplayer. Playing 14 years
with the Boston Celtics from 1980 to 1994, he will win
three NBA titles (1981, 1984 and 1986) teaming with
legendary small forward Larry Bird, and, from 1983 to 1992
with Kevin McHale. The trio will be regarded by many as the
best front court in NBA history.

1956 – A white mob prevents the enrollment of blacks at Mansfield
High School in Texas.

1961 – James Benton Parsons is confirmed as the first African
American judge of a United States District Court in the
continental United States (Northern Illinois). He had
been appointed by President John F. Kennedy on April 18,
1961.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African
American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He had been
appointed by President Lyndon Johnson on June 13, 1967.

1969 – Racially motivated civil disturbances occur in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida.

1983 – Lt. Colonel Guion S. Bluford is the first African American
in space when he serves as a mission specialist on the
Challenger space shuttle. The space shuttle, launched
from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, stayed in orbit
almost six days. This was the Challenger’s third flight
into space.

1987 – Ben Johnson of Canada runs 100 meters in world record time
of 9.83 seconds.

1990 – Ken Griffey & Ken Griffey, Jr. become the first father &
son to play on the same professional sports team (Seattle
Mariners). Both single in the first inning.

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

July 13 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – July 13 *

1787 – The Continental Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance,
which, in addition to providing for a government and
civil liberties for the new territory, excludes slavery
northwest of the Ohio River except as punishment for a
crime.

1863 – Over 1,200 people, mostly African Americans, are killed in
anti-draft rioting in New York City. Rioting begins, in
part, when poor whites revolt against military service
exemptions that allow for a payment of $ 300 in lieu of
being drafted, a price that they cannot afford. The
“Draft Riots” also reflect a growing hostility toward
African Americans, who are seen as the cause of the war.

1868 – Oscar J. Dunn, a former slave, is installed as Lieutenant
Governor of Louisiana.

1919 – Race riots break out in Longview & Gregg counties in Texas.

1928 – Robert N.C. Nix, Jr. is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 1971, he will be the first African American to serve on
the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and, in 1984, the first
African American chief justice of a state supreme court.
Chief Justice Nix will be further honored when he is named
president of the Conference of Chief Justices, a national
organization of judges and justices in the U.S. He will
join the ancestors on August 23, 2003.

1948 – Daphne Maxwell (later Reid) is born in Manhattan, New York.
While pursuing a major in Interior Design and Architecture
at Northwestern University, an English teacher from her
high school will submit her photograph to a magazine editor
and friend who was preparing an article on college women.
The result will be a trip to New York and her first full-
page photograph in Seventeen magazine. Quickly signed by
the Eileen Ford Agency, she will appear in many magazines,
and will also become the first Afican American woman to
grace the cover of Glamour magazine. She will transition
into the acting field. She will have the opportunity to
audition for a part in the series “The Duke” starring
Robert Conrad, who will promise her a continuing role, and
keep his word. In 1979, she will go to Los Angeles where
she will continue to work with Robert Conrad, who enlists
her as the villainess in his series, “A Man Called Sloane,”
and subsequently her first movie of the week, “The Coach of
the Year.” She will meet her husband, Tim Reid, who she had
previously known in Chicago. She is most widely recognized
for her role as Aunt Viv on NBC’s hit comedy “The Fresh
Prince of Bel Air.” She is also known for her role on the
CBS comedy series “Frank’s Place,” in which she co-starred
with her husband, Tim. The couple will team up again when
she stars as Mickie Dennis on CBS’ “Snoops,” and also on
the King World syndicated talk show, “The Tim and Daphne
Show” for 76 1-hour episodes. She will also star as Eartha
on the Showtime series, “Linc’s.” She and Tim will
establish New Millennium Studios in Petersburg, Virginia
in 1997. It will be Virginia’s only full-service film
production studio.

1954 – David Thompson is born in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.
He will become a college and professional all-star
basketball player. At North Carolina State in the mid-1970s,
he will be a three-time All-American and two-time College
Player of the Year. It was he who popularized the
“alley-oop.” He will bring his explosive game to the
professional level in 1975 when he is drafted by both the
NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the ABA’s Virginia Squires. He will
opt for the ABA with the Denver Nuggets, who acquire his
rights in a trade with the Virginia Squires. In the first of
nine professional seasons (Denver Nuggets 1975-82, Seattle
Supersonics 1982-84), he will average 26.0 points per game,
be chosen MVP in the ABA All-Star Game and the ABA’s Rookie
of the Year. He will enjoy similar success in the NBA. He
will be a four-time NBA All-Star and win the MVP Award in
the 1979 All-Star Game. A two-time First Team All-NBA
selection in 1977 and 1978, he will average 22.1 ppg in the
regular season and 22.9 ppg in the playoffs during his NBA
career. His prolific scoring career will be remembered most
for the 73-point outburst he had in the final game of the
1978 season. In what will be the closest race for the NBA
scoring title, his outburst (third highest in NBA history)
will leave him just .06 points behind George Gervin. The
Denver Nuggets will honor him for his career achievements
when they retire his number 33 jersey on Nov. 12, 1992.

1963 – Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb is born in Dallas, Texas. He will
become one of the shortest players in NBA history but with
a vertical jump of 44″ (112 cm). Webb is most famous for
his performance in the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He will
surprise teammate and defending dunk champion Dominique
Wilkins by entering the contest. He made history that day
not only because of his size, but also because he will win
by defeating Wilkins with 2 perfect 50 scores in the final
round. He is the shortest player ever to have competed in
the NBA Slam Dunk competition. He will play most of his NBA
career with the Atlanta Hawks, but will also have stints
with the Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and
Orlando Magic. He will retire from basketball in 1998 with a
9.9 points per game average over his 12 year NBA career. He,
along with Greg Grant and Keith Jennings, is the third-
shortest player in NBA history. Only Earl Boykins (5’5″) and
Muggsy Bogues (5’3″) are shorter.

1965 – Thurgood Marshall, an Appeals Court judge for three years,
is appointed Solicitor General of the United States, the
first African American to hold the office.

1985 – Arthur Ashe, the first African American male to win
Wimbledon, is inducted into the International Tennis Hall
of Fame.

1985 – The first “Live Aid”, an international rock concert in
London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, takes place to
raise money for Africa’s starving people. Over $70
million is collected for African famine relief.

1998 – A jury in Poughkeepsie, New York, rules that the Rev. Al
Sharpton and two others had defamed a former prosecutor
by accusing him of raping Tawana Brawley.

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

July 2 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – July 2 *

1777 – Vermont, not one of the original 13 states, becomes the
first U.S. territory to abolish slavery.

1822 – Denmark Vesey, slave freedom fighter, and 5 aides are
hanged in Blake’s Landing, Charleston, South Carolina.

1908 – Thurgood Marshall is born in Baltimore, Maryland. He
will have the most distinguished legal career of any
African American as the NAACP’s national counsel,
director-counsel of the organization’s Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, and leader of some of the most
important legal challenges for African Americans’
constitutional rights, including “Brown v. Board of
Education” in 1954. In addition to sitting as a circuit
judge for the Second Circuit, Marshall will be named
U.S. Solicitor General in 1965 and associate justice of
the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967, where he will serve for
24 years. He will join the ancestors on January 24, 1993.

1925 – Patrice Lumumba, revolutionary and first prime minister
of the Republic of the Congo, is born in Stanleyville,
Belgian Congo.

1927 – George Fisher is born in New York City of African and West
Indian parentage. He will become an actor and will be
known as Brock Peters. He will set his sights on a show
business career as early as age ten. A product of New
York City’s famed Music and Arts High School, he
initially fielded more odd jobs than acting jobs as he
worked his way up from Harlem poverty. Landing a stage
role in Porgy and Bess in 1949, he will quit physical
education studies at City College of New York and go on
tour with the acclaimed musical. His film debut will come
in Carmen Jones in 1954, but he really began to make a
name for himself in such films as “To Kill a Mockingbird”
and “The L-Shaped Room.” He will receive a Tony nomination
for his starring stint in Broadway’s “Lost in the Stars.”
He will work with Charlton Heston on several theater
productions in the 1940s and 1950s. The two will befriend
each other and subsequently work together on several
films, including “Major Dundee,” “Soylent Green,” and “Two
Minute Warning.” He will join the ancestors on August 23,
2005, after succumbing to pancreatic cancer at the age of
78.

1930 – Frederick Russell Jones is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
A child prodigy who will begin to play the piano at the age
of 3, he will begin formal studies at age 7. While in high
school, he will complete the equivalent of college master
classes under the noted African American concert singer and
teacher Mary Caldwell Dawson and pianist James Miller. He
will join the musicians union at the age of 14, and begin
touring upon graduation from Westinghouse High School at
the age of 17, drawing critical acclaim for his solos. In
1950, he will form his first trio, The Three Strings.
Performing at New York’s The Embers club, Record Producer
John Hammond “discovers” The Three Strings and signed them
to Okeh Records (a division of Columbia, now Sony, Records).
He will change his name to Ahmad Jamal in 1952 when he
converts to Islam. He will be one of Miles Davis’s favorite
pianists and a key influence on the trumpeter’s 1st classic
quintet (featuring John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Red
Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe
Jones on drums). Davis had long admired his use of
space and dynamics. He will score a major popular “hit” in
his version of Poinciana, recorded while live on tour from
The Pershing nightclub in Chicago. His style will change
steadily over time – from the lighter, breezy style heard
on his 50s sides to the funk + Caribbean stylings of the
70s and onto the large open voicings and bravura-laden
playing of the nineties. He will always be distinctive
however for his use of space, his dramatic crescendos, and
for a very staccato orientation with chords. In addition
to being an excellent pianist, he is also very adept
with both the Rhodes electric piano and the Wurlitzer 200
electric piano.

1932 – Samuel Black is born in Paterson, New Jersey. He will become
a singer known as Sammy Turner. He will briefly achieve
fame in the late 50s as a rock ‘n’ roll balladeer, whose
specialty was recycled pop songs of the past, particularly
those by Guy Lombardo. His most notable record was a remake
of a Sammy Kaye hit from 1949, “Lavender Blue” (number 14
R&B/number 3 pop), in 1959. Three follow-ups were similarly
remakes of old pop hits: “Always” (number 2 R&B/number 20
pop), a frequently recorded pop song; “Symphony” (number 82
pop) and “Paradise” (number 13 R&B/number 46 pop). Turner’s
only success in the United Kingdom was with “Always”, which
went to number 26. Although essentially a pop performer,
because of his African American heritage he will also
garner considerable success on the R&B charts. However, he
will be unable to make the transition into the soul era,
and will rapidly fade as a recording artist after 1960.

1943 – Lt. Charles B. Hall of Indiana, flies the first combat
mission of the 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen)
which was attached to the 33rd Fighter Group flying out of
Fardjouna (Cap Bon, Tunisia). He is flying as wingman on
this first mission to Pantelleria.

1946 – Anthony Overton, lawyer, judge, publisher, cosmetics
manufacturer and banker, joins the ancestors in Chicago,
Illinois at the age of 81.

1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Bill,
which includes public accommodation and fair employment
sections. The Civil Rights Act prohibits segregation in
employment, education, and public accommodation on the
basis of race, sex, age, national origin or religion.

1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative action in two
rulings.

1990 – “Devil in a Blue Dress”, a mystery novel by Walter Mosley
set in South-Central Los Angeles, is published. Its
realism and strong African American characters will earn
its author enthusiastic praise and a nomination for best
novel by the Mystery Writers of America.

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

June 28 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – June 28 *

1770 – Anthony Benezet and other Quakers open a non-segregated
school for African American and white children in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1839 – Cinque, originally Sengbe, the son of a Mende king,
along with several other Africans, is kidnapped and sold
into slavery in Cuba. Cinque and his companions will
later carry out the famous successful revolt upon the
slave ship Amistad. The rebels were captured off Long
Island on August 26.

1874 – The Freedmen’s Savings & Trust Company, because of
mismanagement, closes its doors causing over 60,000
African American depositors to lose their $ 3 million in
deposits.

1927 – Anthony Overton, president of Victory Life Insurance
Company, receives the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for “his
successful business career climaxed by admission of his
company as the first Negro organization permitted to do
business under the rigid requirements of the State of
New York.”

1935 – Mary McLeod Bethune, founder and president of Bethune-
Cookman College, receives the Spingarn Medal from the
NAACP. Bethune is honored for speaking out against
racism and injustice “in the South as well as in the
North, without compromise or fear.”

1936 – Major Owens, who will succeed Shirley Chisholm as
Congressional representative from New York, is born in
Memphis, Tennessee.

1946 – Thurgood Marshall receives the Spingarn Medal for his
“distinguished service as a lawyer before the Supreme
Court of the United States and inferior courts.”

1951 – The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show premieres on television. While
criticized for racial stereotyping, it is the first show
with an all African American cast to be successful on
the small screen.

1964 – Malcolm X founds the Organization for Afro-American Unity
in New York.

1978 – The Supreme Court hands down its “Bakke” decision, ruling
that the University of California at Davis Medical
College’s special admissions program for minority students
is illegal. As a result, Allan P. Bakke, a white student,
is ordered admitted to the college to prevent what the
Court considers reverse discrimination.

1990 – Jurors in the drug and perjury trial of Washington, DC,
Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr. view a videotape showing Barry
smoking crack cocaine during an FBI hotel-room sting
operation. Barry will be later convicted of a single
count of misdemeanor drug possession.

1997 – Mike Tyson “sets a new standard for bizarre behavior” in
the heavyweight boxing championship bout with Evander
Holyfield at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada,
when he bites off a one-inch chunk of Holyfield’s ear in
the third round. Tyson is disqualified, and Holyfield is
spirited away to a local hospital, where the piece of his
ear is re-attached after being located on the canvas of
the ring.

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

January 24 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – January 24 *

1885 – Martin R. Delany joins the ancestors at the age of 72 in
Wilberforce, Ohio. Delany served as a physician and was
the first commissioned African American officer in the
Union Army during the Civil War. He also was a leader in
the fight to end racial job discrimination. Delany will
encourage African Americans to seek their own identity and
is considered by some historians to be the father of
American Black nationalism. He is the author of “Search
for a Place: Black Separatism and Africa,” and “The
Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the
Colored People in the United States.”

1941 – Aaron Neville is born in New Orleans Louisiana. He will
become a rhythm and blues singer and will enjoy his first
hit in 1967, “Tell It Like It Is.” He will win a Grammy for
his 1990 single, a duet with Linda Ronstadt, “Don’t Know
Much.” He will become equally well known for performing
vocals and keyboards with the group The Neville Brothers,
together with his three musically accomplished siblings.
Their albums, reflecting rock, R&B, soul, and jazz
influences, will be compiled in “Treacherous: A History of
the Neville Brothers, 1955-85” (1986).

1977 – Howard T. Ward becomes Georgia’s first African American
Superior Court Judge.

1985 – Four-term Los Angeles mayor Thomas Bradley is awarded the
NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his long career as a public
servant and for “demonstrating…that the American dream
not only can be pursued but realized.”

1988 – Forty-eight African American writers and literary critics
sign a controversial statement that appears in “The New York
Times Book Review” supporting author Toni Morrison and
protesting her failure to win the “keystone honors of the
National Book Award or the Pulitzer Prize.”

1989 – Reverend Barbara Harris’ election as suffragan bishop is
ratified by the Diocese of Massachusetts. Her election and
consecration occur amid widespread controversy regarding the
role of women bishops in the Episcopal Church. She will be
the first female bishop in the church’s 450-year history.

1993 – Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court
Justice, joins the ancestors in Washington, DC. He will be
buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was one of the
most well-known figures in the history of civil rights in
America and served on the Supreme Court for 24 years.

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