December 9 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – December 9 *

1867 – The Georgia constitutional convention, consisting of 33
African American and 137 whites, opens in Atlanta,
Georgia.

1872 – P. B. S. Pinchback is sworn in as governor of Louisiana
after H.C. Warmoth is impeached “for high crimes and
misdemeanors.” He becomes the first African American
governor of a state.

1919 – Roy Rudolph DeCarava is born in New York City. He will
become a leading photographer of the African American
experience. He will win a scholarship to study at the
Cooper Union School of Art (1938–40), but will leave
after two years to attend the more congenial Harlem
Community Art Center (1940–42), where he will have
access to such figures as the artists Romare Bearden
and Jacob Lawrence and the poet Langston Hughes, He
will then attend the George Washington Carver Art
School (1944–45), where he will study with the Social
Realist, Charles White. He will initially take up
photography to record images he would use in his
painting, but he will come to prefer the camera to the
brush. In the late 1940s he will begin a series of
scenes of his native Harlem, aiming for “a creative
expression, the kind of penetrating insight and
understanding of Negroes which I believe only a Negro
photographer can interpret.” Edward Steichen, then
curator of photography for the Museum of Modern Art in
New York City, will attend his first solo show in 1950
and purchase several prints for the museum’s collection.
In 1952, he will be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship,
the first African American photographer to receive the
grant. Many of the photos enabled by this award will be
compiled in the book, “The Sweet Flypaper of Life” (1955;
reissued 1988), with text written by Langston Hughes. In
1958, he will become a freelance photographer. His
interest in education will lead him to found “A
Photographer’s Gallery” (1955–57), which will attempt to
gain public recognition for photography as an art form,
and a workshop for African American photographers in
1963. He will also teach at the Cooper Union School of
Art from 1969 to 1972. In 1975, he will join the faculty
at Hunter College. He will be perhaps best known for his
portraits of jazz musicians, which capture the essence
of such legends as Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Duke
Ellington, and Billie Holiday in the midst of performances.
These portraits, which he will begin in 1956, will be
shown in 1983 in an exhibit at Harlem’s Studio Museum.
Many of his jazz portraits will be published in “The Sound
I Saw: Improvisation on a Jazz Theme” (2001). In 1996, the
Museum of Modern Art will organize a DeCarava retrospective
that will travel to several cities and introduce his work
to a new generation. He will receive a National Medal of
Arts in 2006, the highest award given to artists by the
United States Government. He will join the ancestors on
October 27, 2009.

1922 – John Elroy (Redd Foxx) Sanford, is born in St. Louis,
Missouri. His off-color records and concerts will
catapult him to fame and his own television show,
“Sanford and Son,” and a later series, “The Royal
Family,” his last before he suddenly joins the ancestors
on October 11, 1991.

1938 – The first public service programming aired when Jack L.
Cooper launches the “Search for Missing Persons” show.
In 1929, he debuted “The All-Negro Hour on WSBC in Chicago.
He is considered to be the first African American disc
jockey and radio announcer.

1953 – Lloyd B. Free is born in Brooklyn, New York. He will
become a professional basketball player and will later
change his name to World B. Free. He will be a NBA
guard with the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers,
Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the
Houston Rockets. He will leave the NBA in 1988 with
17,955 career points and a career scoring average of
20.3 points per game.

1961 – Tanganyika gains independence from Great Britain and
takes the name Tanzania.

1961 – Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores
67 points vs. the New York Knicks.

1962 – Tanzania becomes a republic within the British
Commonwealth.

1963 – Zanzibar gains independence from Great Britain.

1971 – Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize winner and
Undersecretary of the United Nations from 1955 to his
retirement in October, 1971, joins the ancestors in New
York City at the age of 67.

1971 – Bill Pickett becomes the first African American elected
to the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. He is the
cowboy that invented the bulldogging event famous in
today’s rodeos.

1976 – Tony Dorsett is awarded the Heisman Trophy. Dorsett, a
running back for the University of Pittsburgh, amasses
a total of 6,082 total yards and will go on to play
with the Dallas Cowboys and help lead them to the Super
Bowl.

1984 – The Jackson’s Victory Tour comes to a close at Dodger
Stadium in Los Angeles, after 55 performances in 19
cities. The production is reported to be the world’s
greatest rock extravaganza and one of the most
problematic. The Jackson brothers receive about $50
million during the five-month tour of the United States
– before some 2.5 million fans.

1984 – Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears records another first
as he runs six plays, as quarterback. He is intercepted
twice, but runs the ball himself on four carries. The
Green Bay Packers still win 20-14. Payton says after
the game, “It was OK, but I wouldn’t want to do it for a
living.”

1984 – Eric Dickerson, of the Los Angeles Rams, becomes only the
second pro football player to run for more than 2,000
yards (2,105) in a season. He passes O.J. Simpson’s
record of 2,003 as the Rams beat the Houston Oilers
27-16.

1989 – Craig Washington wins a special congressional election in
Texas’ 18th District to fill the seat vacated by the
death of George “Mickey” Leland.

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

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November 20 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – November 20 *

1865 – African Americans hold a protest convention in Zion
Church in Charleston, South Carolina and demand equal
rights and repeal of the “Black Codes.”

1878 – Charles Sidney Gilpin, is born in Richmond, Virginia.
In the early 1920s, Gilpin will secure his place in
American theater history by creating the title — and
only major — role in Eugene O’Neill’s’ “The Emperor
Jones.” Gilpin’s portrayal in the long one-act play
becomes a box-office sensation in New York’s Greenwich
Village. The play and its principal actor will transfer
to Broadway and will later go on tour. After the post-
Broadway tour, which played Richmond to great acclaim,
Gilpin’s insistence on eliminating racial epithets from
the play will anger O’Neill. O’Neill, who at one time
is said to be writing a play especially for Gilpin, will
cast budding actor Paul Robeson in the London production
of Emperor Jones. Robeson will also play Jones on film.
Except for Ira Aldridge, who lived and performed mostly
in Europe before the Civil War, Gilpin will be the first
African American to be widely lauded as a serious actor
on America’s mainstream stage. He will lose his voice
in 1929 and join the ancestors at his home in Eldridge,
New Jersey in 1930.

1910 – Pauli Murray is born. A lawyer and author of “Song in a
Weary Throat,” “Proud Shoes,” and “Dark Testament and
Other Poems,” she will also be a powerful theologian and
the first African American woman priest to be ordained
in the Episcopal Church.

1919 – Jane Cooke Wright is born in New York City, one of two
daughters of Dr. Louis Tompkins Wright and Corinne Cook
Wright. Her father was a physician who practiced in New
York City and later established the Cancer Research
Foundation at Harlem Hospital. She will live in New York
City until 1938 when she leaves to enroll in Smith
College. She will begin college intending to major in
art, but will switch to pre-medicine. She will graduate
from Smith in 1942, one of only two graduates in that
class later accepted to medical school. She will bring
the field of chemotherapy to the forefront of cancer
treatment, publishing over 130 papers. Her research team
will focus on the investigation of a wide variety of
anticancer drugs and develop procedures for the sequential
use of these drugs in cancer treatment. She will be
awarded a full scholarship to New York Medical School and
receive an M.D. degree upon graduating with honors, third
in her class. In 1945. She will intern at Bellevue
Hospital, followed by two residencies at Harlem Hospital.
At this point, she will set up private practice since no
medical institution will offer her a position. In 1949 She
will join the medical staff at the Cancer Research
Foundation at Harlem Hospital as a clinician and research
scientist and begin her work in cancer research. After her
father joins the ancestors in 1952, she will become
director of the foundation. In 1955 she will move to New
York University Medical Center as director of cancer
chemotherapy research and instructor of research surgery.
In 1964, she will be appointed to President Lyndon
Johnson’s Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke.
Her subcommittee’s recommendation to develop regional
centers will be an important outcome of this commission.
By 1967, Jane Wright will be promoted to associate dean
and professor of surgery at NYU Medical Center where she
will continue to be active in research until retiring in
1987. Her honors will include the Spirit of Achievement
Award of the Women’s Division of the Albert Einstein
College of Medicine (1965); the Hadassah Myrtle Wreath
(1967); the Smith Medal from Smith College (1968);
featured by Ciba Geigy on its Exceptional Black Scientist
poster (1980); and be honored by the American Association
for Cancer Research (1975). She will receive several
honorary degrees and serve on boards of trustees for
various organizations.

1922 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Mary B. Talbert,
the former president of the National Association of
Colored Women, for service to African American women and
for the restoration of the Frederick Douglas home in
Southeast Washington, DC.

1923 – Garrett A. Morgan receives a patent for his three-way
traffic signal. The device, which will revolutionize
traffic control, is one of many inventions for the Paris,
Kentucky, native, which include a hair-straightening
process and the gas mask.

1939 – Morgan State College is established in Baltimore,
Maryland, succeeding Morgan State Biblical College,
founded in 1857.

1962 – President John F. Kennedy issues an executive order
barring racial discrimination in federally financed
housing.

1962 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Robert C.
Weaver, economist and government official, for his
leadership in the movement for open housing.

1969 – Pele’, the Brazilian soccer star, scores his 1,000th
soccer goal.

1973 – The gravesite of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who
served in the Crimean War, is restored in England.
Traveling to the battlefield at her own expense, when
her expert services are rejected by English authorities
and Florence Nightingale, Seacole opens her own nursing
hotel, which she operates by day, serving as a
volunteer with Nightingale at night. Seacole’s skills
saved the lives of many soldiers wounded during the war
or infected with malaria, cholera, yellow fever, and
other illnesses.

1977 – Walter Payton, of the Chicago Bears, rushes for NFL
record 275 yards in one game.

1981 – The Negro Ensemble Company’s production of Charles
Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play” opens the Theatre Four.
The play will win a New York Drama Critics Award for
best American play and the Pulitzer Prize.

1997 – A.C. Green sets the NBA “Iron Man” record for consecutive
games played at 907 games. The previous record had
stood for fifteen years. Iron Men from professional
baseball and professional hockey were present at
courtside to observe the record-breaking performance.

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

November 16 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 16 *

1873 – William Christopher Handy is born in Florence, Alabama.
He will be best known as a composer and blues musician
and earn the nickname “Father of the Blues.” Among
his most noteworthy compositions will be “Memphis
Blues,” “St. Louis Blues,” and “Beale Street Blues.”
He will also form a music publishing company with
Harry Pace and become one of the most important
influences in African-American music. His 1941
autobiography, “Father of the Blues,” will be a
sourcebook and reference on this uniquely African
American musical style. W.C. Handy will join the
ancestors on March 28, 1958 in New York City, the same
year “The St. Louis Blues”, an biographical movie of
his life debuts.

1873 – Richard T. Greener, who was the first African American
graduate of Harvard University, is named professor of
metaphysics at the University of South Carolina.

1873 – African Americans win three state offices in the
Mississippi election: Alexander K. Davis, Lieutenant
governor; James Hill, secretary of state; T.W. Cardozo,
superintendent of education. African Americans win 55
of the 115 seats in the house and 9 out of 37 seats in
the senate, 42 per cent of the total number.

1930 – Chinua Achebe is born in Ogidi, Nigeria. He will become
the internationally acclaimed author of the novel
“Things Fall Apart,” among others.

1931 – Hubert Sumlin is born on a farm near Greenwood,
Mississippi. Sumlin will leave home at seventeen to
tour clubs and taverns throughout the South with his
childhood friend James Cotton. The Jimmy Cotton band
will record for the Sun label in Memphis from 1950 to
1953. In 1954, Sumlin will join the Howlin’ Wolf band
and move to Chicago. It will be Howlin’ Wolf who
mentors Sumlin, prodding and encouraging him to find
his own style and develop as a performer. He will
perform with Howlin’ Wolf for twenty five years.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA San Francisco Warriors
scores 73 points against the New York Knicks.

1963 – Zina Garrison, professional tennis player (1988 Olympic
Gold, Bronze), is born in Houston, Texas.

1964 – Dwight Gooden, professional baseball pitcher (New York
Mets), is born. “The Doctor” will set the record for
most strikeouts in a rookie season and become Rookie
of the Year in 1984. He also will become the youngest
to achieve that award. He will receive the Cy Young
Award in 1985.

1967 – A one-man showing of 48 paintings by Henry O. Tanner is
presented at the Grand Central Galleries in New York
City. The presentation of the canvases, not in the
best of condition, is criticized by The New York Times
as an “injustice to a proud man.”

1967 – Lisa Bonet, actress (“The Cosby Show”, “A Different
World”, “Angel Heart”, Bank Robber”, “New Eden”, “Dead
Connection”) is born in San Francisco, California.

1972 – The Louisiana National Guard mobilizes after police
officers kill two students during demonstrations at
Southern University.

1975 – Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears rushes for 105 yards
in a game against the San Francisco ’49ers. It will
be Payton’s first game of 100 plus yards. He will
repeat this feat over 50 times throughout his career
and add two 200-yard games.

1989 – South African President F.W. de Klerk announces the
scrapping of the Separate Amenities Act, opening up
the country’s beaches to all races.

1996 – Texaco agrees to pay $176.9 million dollars to settle
a two-year old race discrimination class action suit.

1998 – The Supreme Court rules that union members can file
discrimination lawsuits against employers even when
labor contracts require arbitration.

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

November 1 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 1 *

1787 – The first free school for African Americans, the African
Free School opens in New York City.

1866 – The first Civil Rights Act is passed over the veto of
President Andrew Johnson.

1901 – Grambling State University is founded in Grambling,
Louisiana as the “Colored Industrial and Agricultural
School” under the leadership of Charles P. Adams.

1910 – The first edition of Crisis magazine is published by the
NAACP with W.E.B. Du Bois as its editor.

1927 – Florence Mills joins the ancestors in New York City after
being hospitalized for an appendectomy at the age of 32.
She was one of the most popular entertainers of her day,
appearing in “Shuffle Along” and “From Broadway to Dixie”
as well as having successful tours in the United States
and Europe.

1940 – In the foreword to his book, “The Negro in Art”, Howard
University professor Alain Locke introduces the most
extensive retrospective of African American art published
to date. The selections appearing in the book span almost
300 years and include the work of 100 black artists from
Europe and the United States including Joshua Johnston,
Edward Bannister, Henry O. Tanner, Romare Bearden, Hale
Woodruff, Palmer Hayden, Allan Crite, James A. Porter,
and James Lesesne Wells, among others.

1942 – John H. Johnson publishes the first issue of Negro Digest.

1945 – The first issue of Ebony magazine is published in Chicago,
Illinois. The second publication of John H. Johnson’s
fledgling company, Ebony will be the catalyst for a
communications empire that will eventually include
magazines, book publishing, and radio.

1946 – Dr. Charles S. Johnson becomes the first African American
president of Fisk University.

1951 – Jet magazine is founded by John H. Johnson, publisher of
Ebony magazine.

1981 – Antigua & Barbuda gain independence from Great Britain.

1998 – John Kagwe of Kenya wins the New York City Marathon for
the second consecutive year.

1999 – Former Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, the NFL’s
all-time leading rusher, joins the ancestors after
succumbing to bile duct cancer at the age of 45.

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

October 7 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 7 *

1821 – William Still is born in Burlington County, New Jersey.
He will become an abolitionist and will be involved in
the anti-slavery movement working for the Pennsylvania
Society for the Abolition of Slavery. After the Civil
War, he will chronicle the personal accounts of former
runaway slaves, who had traveled on the Underground
Railroad. His publication, “Underground Railroad,”
published in 1872, will provide a revealing look into
the activities of the flight of fugitive slaves. Still
will be a civil rights activist, researcher and writer,
until he joins the ancestors on July 14, 1902.

1857 – Moses Fleetwood Walker is born in Steubenville, Ohio.
He will become a baseball player when he and his brother
Welday join the first baseball team at Oberlin College.
He will become a professional baseball player after
leaving Oberlin when he joins the Toledo Blue Stockings
of the Northwestern League in 1883. When he plays his
first game for the Blue Stockings in the American
Association the next year, he will become the first
African American to play in the major leagues. He will
join the ancestors on May 11, 1924. After the 1884 season,
no other African Americans will play in the major leagues
until Jackie Robinson in 1947.

1873 – Henry E. Hayne, secretary of state, is accepted as a
student at the University of South Carolina. Scores of
African Americans will attend the university in 1874 and
1875.

1886 – Spain abolishes slavery in Cuba.

1888 – Sargent C. Johnson is born in Boston, Massachusetts. He
will be a pioneering artist of the Harlem Renaissance,
known for his wood, cast stone, and ceramic sculptures.
Among his most famous works will be “Forever Free” and
“Mask.

1889 – Clarence Muse is born in Baltimore, Maryland. He will
become a pioneer film and stage actor. He will appear
in the second talking movie ever made and go on to appear
in a total of 219 films. His career will span over 60
years. He will join the ancestors on October 13, 1979.

1891 – Archibald John Motley, Jr. is born in New Orleans,
Louisiana. He will become one of the more renowned
painters of the 1920’s and 1930’s. He will join the
ancestors on January 16, 1981.

1897 – Elijah Poole is born in Sandersville, Georgia. He will
become better known as The Honorable Elijah Muhammad,
one of the most influential leaders in the Nation of
Islam. Poole will be trained by Master Wallace Fard
Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam, and will lead
the organization to become the largest African American
movement since Garveyism until he joins the ancestors
on February 25, 1975.

1931 – Desmond Mpilo Tutu is born in Klerksdorp, South Africa.
He will become the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1984, and
Archbishop of the Anglican Church (First Anglican bishop
of African descent) of Johannesburg, South Africa.

1934 – LeRoi Jones is born in Newark, New Jersey. He will be
better known as Amiri Baraka, influential playwright,
author, and critic of the African American experience.

1954 – Marian Anderson becomes the first African American singer
hired by the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York.

1981 – Egypt’s parliament names Vice President Hosni Mubarak to
succeed the assassinated Anwar Sadat.

1984 – Walter Payton passes Jim Brown as NFL’s career rushing
leader.

1985 – Lynette Woodward, is chosen as the first woman to play
with the Harlem Globetrotters.

1989 – Ricky Henderson steals a record 8 bases in a play off
(5 games).

1993 – Writer, Toni Morrison, is awarded the Nobel Prize in
literature.

1995 – Coach Eddie Robinson, of Grambling State University, wins
his 400th game and sets a NCAA record that clearly
establishes him as a legend.

1997 – MCA Records offers, for sale, fifteen previously
unreleased tracks of legendary guitarist, Jimi Hendrix.
Hendrix joined the ancestors in 1970.

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

September 20 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 20 *

1664 – Maryland enacts the first anti-amalgamation law to prevent
widespread intermarriage of English women and African
American men. Other colonies passed similar laws:
Virginia, 1691; Massachusetts 1705; North Carolina, 1715;
South Carolina, 1717; Delaware, 1721; Pennsylvania, 1725.

1830 – The National Negro Convention, a group of 38 free African
Americans from eight states, meets in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, at the Bethel A.M.E. Church, with the
express purpose of abolishing slavery and improving the
social status of African Americans. They will elect
Richard Allen president and agree to boycott slave-
produced goods.

1847 – William A. Leidesdorff is elected to San Francisco town
council receiving the third highest vote. Leidesdorff,
who was one of the first African American elected
officials, becomes the town treasurer in 1848.

1850 – Slave trade is abolished in Washington, DC, but slavery
will be allowed to continue until 1862.

1890 – Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe (“Jelly Roll” Morton) is born
in Gulfport (New Orleans), Louisiana. He will become a
renown jazz pianist and composer. Morton, whose fabulous
series of 1938 recordings for the Library of Congress are
a gold mine of information about early jazz, was a
complex man. Vain, ambitious, and given to exaggeration,
he was a pool shark, hustler and gambler, as well as a
brilliant pianist and composer. His greatest talent,
perhaps was for organizing and arranging. The series of
records he made with his “Red Hot Peppers” between 1926
and 1928 stands, alongside King Oliver’s as the crowning
glory of the New Orleans tradition and one of the great
achievements in Jazz. He will join the ancestors on
July 10, 1941

1915 – Hughie Lee-Smith is born in Eustis, Florida. He will
become a painter known for such surrealistic landscapes
as “Man with Balloons”, “Man Standing on His Head” and
“Big Brother”. He will join the ancestors on February 23,
1999.

1943 – Sani Abacha is born in Kano, Nigeria. After being educated
in his home state, will become a soldier and go to England
for advanced military education. He will achieve many
promotions as a soldier and by the mid-1980s, will enter
Nigeria’s military elite. In 1983 he will be among those
who will overthrow Shehu Shagari, leader of the Second
Republic, in a coup which led to the military rule of
Muhammadu Buhari. In 1985, Abacha will participate in a
second coup, which will replace Buhari with General
Ibrahim Babangida. As head of state, Babangida will
announce that free elections will be held in the early
1990s. In 1993, however, after Babangida nullifies the
results of these belated free elections, Abacha will
stage a third coup and oust his former ally. His regime
will be characterized by a concern with security that
verges on paranoia. Abacha will schedule elections for
August, 1998, but months beforehand, all five legal
parties nominate him as their “consensus candidate.” On
June 8, 1998, he will join the ancestors when he succumbs
unexpectedly to a heart attack.

1958 – Martin Luther King Jr. is stabbed in the chest by a
deranged African American woman while he is autographing
books in a Harlem department store. The woman is placed
under mental observation.

1962 – Mississippi’s governor, Ross Barnett, personally refuses
to admit James Meredith to University of Mississippi as
its first African American student. (Meredith is later
admitted.)

1962 – The Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) is banned in an
order issued by Sir Edgar Whitehead, the prime minister of
Southern Rhodesia.

1973 – Willie Mays announces his retirement from major league
baseball at the end of the 1973 baseball season.

1979 – A bloodless coup overthrows Jean-Bedel Bokassa, self-styled
head of the Central African Empire, in a French-supported
coup while he is visiting Libya.

1984 – NBC-TV debuts “The Cosby Show”. Bill Cosby plays Dr.
Heathcliff (Cliff) Huxtable. His lovely wife, Clair, is
played by Phylicia Rashad. The Huxtable kids were Sondra,
age 20 (Sabrina Le Beauf), Denise, age 16 (Lisa Bonet),
Theodore, age 14 (Malcom-Jamal Warner), Vanessa, age 8
(Tempestt Bledsoe) and Rudy, age 5 (Keshia Knight Pulliam).
The premiere is the most watched show of the week and the
show goes on to become an Emmy Award-winner and one of the
most popular on television for eight years. The series,
which had been rejected by other network television
executives, will become one of the most popular in
television history.

1987 – Alfre Woodard wins an Emmy for outstanding guest performance
in the dramatic series “L.A. Law”. It is her second Emmy
award, her first having been for a supporting role in “Hill
Street Blues” in 1984.

1987 – Walter Payton scores the NFL record 107th rushing touchdown.

1999 – Lawrence Russell Brewer becomes the second white supremacist
to be convicted in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in
Jasper, Texas. He will be later sentenced to death.

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

September 9 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – September 9 *

1739 – Led by a slave named Jemmy (Cato), a slave revolt occurs
in Stono, South Carolina. Twenty-five whites are killed
before the insurrection is put down.

1806 – Sarah Mapps Douglass is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She is the daughter of renowned abolitionists Robert
Douglass, Sr. and Grace Bustill Douglass. As a child, she
enjoys life among Philadelphia’s elite and will be well
educated by a private tutor. She will become a teacher in
New York, but will return to Philadelphia where she will
operate a successful private school for Black women,
giving women of color the opportunity to receive a high
school education. As the daughter of one of the
Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society’s founding
members, she will become active in the abolitionist
movement at a young age. She will develop a distaste for
the prejudices of white Quakers early on and will devote
much of her life to combating slavery and racism. She
will develop a close friendship with white Quaker
abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke. At the urgings
of the Grimke sisters, She will attend the Anti-Slavery
Convention of American Women, held in New York in
1837–the first national convention of American
antislavery women to integrate Black and white members–
and serve on the ten-member committee on arrangements for
the convention. Throughout her abolitionist career, she
will also serve as recording secretary, librarian, and
manager for the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society,
contribute to both the Liberator and the Anglo-African
Magazine, become a fundraiser for the Black press, give
numerous public lectures, and serve as vice-president of
the women’s branch of the Freedmen’s Aid Society. From
1853 to 1877, she will serve as a supervisor at the
Institute for Colored Youth, a Quaker-sponsored
establishment. During this time, she will also acquire
basic medical training at the Female Medical College of
Pennsylvania and at Pennsylvania Medical University,
where she will study female health and hygiene–subjects
on which she will lecture in evening classes and at
meetings of the Banneker Institute. In 1855, she will
marry African American Episcopal clergyman William
Douglass. She will join the ancestors on September 8, 1882.

1816 – Rev. John Gregg Fee, the son of white slaveholders, is
born in Bracken County, Kentucky. He will become member
of the American Missionary Association, and will found a
settlement called “Berea” on land donated to him by an
admirer, Cassius Marcellus Clay. It will be later that
he will be inspired to build a college, adjacent to the
donated land – Berea College, the first interracial
college in the state. During the American Civil War, He
will work at Camp Nelson to have facilities constructed
to support freedmen and their families, and to provide
them with education and preaching while the men were being
taught to be soldiers. He died on January 11, 1901.

1817 – Captain Paul Cuffe, entrepreneur and civil rights
activist, joins the ancestors at the age of 58, in Westport,
Masschusetts. Cuffe was a Massachusetts shipbuilder and
sea captain. He also was one of the most influential
African American freedmen of the eighteenth century. In
1780, Cuffe and six other African Americans refused to
pay taxes util they were granted citizenship.
Massachusetts gave African Americans who owned property
the vote three years later. Although Cuffe became
wealthy, he believed that most African Americans would
never be completely accepted in white society. In 1816,
Cuffe began one of the first experiments in colonizing
African Americans in Africa when he brought a group to
Sierra Leone. Cuffe’s experiment helped inspire the
founding of the American Colonization Society later
that year.

1823 – Alexander Lucius Twilight, becomes the first African
American to earn a baccalaureate degree in the United
States, when he graduates from Middlebury College with
a BA degree.

1915 – A group of visionary scholars (George Cleveland Hall,
W.B. Hartgrove, Alexander L. Jackson, and James E.
Stamps) led by Dr. Carter G. Woodson found the
Association for the Study of Negro Life and History
(ASNLH) in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Woodson is convinced
that among scholars, the role of his own people in
American history and in the history of other cultures
was being either ignored or misrepresented. Dr. Woodson
realizes the need for special research into the
neglected past of the Negro. The association is the
only organization of its kind concerned with preserving
African American history.

1928 – Silvio Cator of Haiti, sets the then long jump record at
26′ 0″.

1934 – Sonia Sanchez is born in Birmingham, Alabama. She will
become a noted poet, playwright, short story writer, and
author of children’s books. She will be most noted for
her poetry volumes “We a BaddDDD People”, “A Blues Book
for Blue Black Magical Women”, and anthologies she will
edit including “We Be Word Sorcerers: 25 Stories by
Black Americans.”

1941 – Otis Redding is born in Dawson, Georgia, the son of a
Baptist minister. He will become a rhythm and blues
musician and singer and will be best known for his
recording of “[Sittin’ on] The Dock of the Bay,” which
will be released after he joins the ancestors. Some of
his other hits were “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”,
“Respect”, and “Try A Little Tenderness.” He will join
the ancestors on December 10, 1967 after his plane
crashes en route to a concert in Madison, Wisconsin.

1942 – Inez Foxx is born in Greensboro, North Carolina. She will
become a rhythm and blues singer and will perform as
part of a duuo act with her brother, Charlie. Their
biggest hit will be “Mockingbird” in 1963. They will
record together until 1967.

1942 – Luther Simmons is born in New York City, New York. He
will become a rhythm and blues singer with the group
“The Main Ingredient.” They will be best known for
their hit, “Everybody Plays the Fool.”

1945 – Dione LaRue is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She
will become a rhythm and blues singer better known as
“Dee Dee Sharp.” Her first hit will be “It’s Mashed
Potato Time” in 1962. She will also record “Gravy” [For
My Mashed Potatoes], “Ride!”, “Do the Bird”, and “Slow
Twistin’ “(with Chubby Checker).

1957 – President Eisenhower signs the first civil rights bill
passed by Congress since Reconstruction.

1957 – Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth is mobbed when he attempts to
enroll his daughters in a “white” Birmingham school.

1957 – Nashville’s new Hattie Cotton Elementary School with
enrollment of one African American and 388 whites is
virtually destroyed by a dynamite blast.

1962 – Two churches are burned near Sasser, Georgia. African
American leaders ask the president to stop the “Nazi-
like reign of terror in southwest Georgia.”

1963 – Alabama Governor George Wallace is served a federal
injunction when he orders state police to bar African
American students from enrolling in white schools.

1968 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first (and first African
American) Men’s Singles Tennis Champion of the newly
established U.S. Open tennis championships at Forest
Hills, New York.

1971 – More than 1,200 inmates at the Attica Correctional
Facility in upstate New York gain control of the
facility in a well-planned takeover. During the initial
violence, 50 correctional officers and civilian
employees are beaten and taken hostage. Correctional
officer William Quinn receives the roughest beating and
is soon freed by the inmates due to the severity of his
injuries. Police handling of the takeover will result
in the deaths of many inmates and will turn the nation’s
interest toward the conditions in U.S. penal
institutions.

1979 – Robert Guillaume wins an Emmy award for ‘Best Actor in a
Comedy Series’ for his performances in “Soap”.

1981 – Vernon E. Jordan resigns as president of the National
Urban League and announces plans to join a Washington DC
legal firm. He will be succeeded by John E. Jacob,
executive vice president of the league.

1984 – Walter Payton, of the Chicago Bears, breaks Jim Brown’s
combined yardage record — by reaching 15,517 yards.

1985 – President Reagan orders sanctions against South Africa
because of that country’s apartheid policies.

1990 – Liberian President Samuel K. Doe is captured and joins
the ancestors after being killed by rebel forces. In
1985, he was elected president, but Charles Taylor and
followers overthrew his government in 1989, which will
spark a seven-year long civil war.

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

December 9 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 9 *

1867 – The Georgia constitutional convention, consisting of 33
African American and 137 whites, opens in Atlanta,
Georgia.

1872 – P. B. S. Pinchback is sworn in as governor of Louisiana
after H.C. Warmoth is impeached “for high crimes and
misdemeanors.” He becomes the first African American
governor of a state.

1919 – Roy deCarava is born in New York City. He will become a
leading photographer of the African American experience.
The first African American photographer to be awarded a
Guggenheim Fellowship, his first book, “The Sweet
Flypaper of Life,” will be a collaboration with poet
Langston Hughes. He will also found and direct Kamoinge
Workshop for African American photographers in 1963.

1922 – John Elroy (Redd Foxx) Sanford, is born in St. Louis,
Missouri. His off-color records and concerts will
catapult him to fame and his own television show,
“Sanford and Son,” and a later series, “The Royal
Family,” his last before he suddenly joins the ancestors
on October 11, 1991.

1938 – The first public service programming aired when Jack L.
Cooper launches the “Search for Missing Persons” show.
In 1929, he debuted “The All-Negro Hour on WSBC in Chicago.
He is considered to be the first African American disc
jockey and radio announcer.

1953 – Lloyd B. Free is born in Brooklyn, New York. He will
become a professional basketball player and will later
change his name to World B. Free. He will be a NBA
guard with the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers,
Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the
Houston Rockets. He will leave the NBA in 1988 with
17,955 career points and a career scoring average of
20.3 points per game.

1961 – Tanganyika gains independence from Great Britain and
takes the name Tanzania.

1961 – Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores
67 points vs. the New York Knicks.

1962 – Tanzania becomes a republic within the British
Commonwealth.

1963 – Zanzibar gains independence from Great Britain.

1971 – Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize winner and
Undersecretary of the United Nations from 1955 to his
retirement in October, 1971, joins the ancestors in New
York City at the age of 67.

1971 – Bill Pickett becomes the first African American elected
to the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. He is the
cowboy that invented the bulldogging event famous in
today’s rodeos.

1976 – Tony Dorsett is awarded the Heisman Trophy. Dorsett, a
running back for the University of Pittsburgh, amasses
a total of 6,082 total yards and will go on to play
with the Dallas Cowboys and help lead them to the Super
Bowl.

1984 – The Jackson’s Victory Tour comes to a close at Dodger
Stadium in Los Angeles, after 55 performances in 19
cities. The production is reported to be the world’s
greatest rock extravaganza and one of the most
problematic. The Jackson brothers receive about $50
million during the five-month tour of the United States
– before some 2.5 million fans.

1984 – Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears records another first
as he runs six plays, as quarterback. He is intercepted
twice, but runs the ball himself on four carries. The
Green Bay Packers still win 20-14. Payton says after
the game, “It was OK, but I wouldn’t want to do it for a
living.”

1984 – Eric Dickerson, of the Los Angeles Rams, becomes only the
second pro football player to run for more than 2,000
yards (2,105) in a season. He passes O.J. Simpson’s
record of 2,003 as the Rams beat the Houston Oilers
27-16.

1989 – Craig Washington wins a special congressional election in
Texas’ 18th District to fill the seat vacated by the
death of George “Mickey” Leland.

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

November 20 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – November 20 *

1865 – African Americans hold a protest convention in Zion
Church in Charleston, South Carolina and demand equal
rights and repeal of the “Black Codes.”

1878 – Charles Sidney Gilpin, is born in Richmond, Virginia.
In the early 1920s, Gilpin will secure his place in
American theater history by creating the title — and
only major — role in Eugene O’Neill’s’ “The Emperor
Jones.” Gilpin’s portrayal in the long one-act play
becomes a box-office sensation in New York’s Greenwich
Village. The play and its principal actor will transfer
to Broadway and will later go on tour. After the post-
Broadway tour, which played Richmond to great acclaim,
Gilpin’s insistence on eliminating racial epithets from
the play will anger O’Neill. O’Neill, who at one time
is said to be writing a play especially for Gilpin, will
cast budding actor Paul Robeson in the London production
of Emperor Jones. Robeson will also play Jones on film.
Except for Ira Aldridge, who lived and performed mostly
in Europe before the Civil War, Gilpin will be the first
African American to be widely lauded as a serious actor
on America’s mainstream stage. He will lose his voice
in 1929 and join the ancestors at his home in Eldridge,
New Jersey in 1930.

1910 – Pauli Murray is born. A lawyer and author of “Song in a
Weary Throat,” “Proud Shoes,” and “Dark Testament and
Other Poems,” she will also be a powerful theologian and
the first African American woman priest to be ordained
in the Episcopal Church.

1919 – Jane Cooke Wright is born in New York City, one of two
daughters of Dr. Louis Tompkins Wright and Corinne Cook
Wright. Her father was a physician who practiced in New
York City and later established the Cancer Research
Foundation at Harlem Hospital. She will live in New York
City until 1938 when she leaves to enroll in Smith
College. She will begin college intending to major in
art, but will switch to pre-medicine. She will graduate
from Smith in 1942, one of only two graduates in that
class later accepted to medical school. She will bring
the field of chemotherapy to the forefront of cancer
treatment, publishing over 130 papers. Her research team
will focus on the investigation of a wide variety of
anticancer drugs and develop procedures for the sequential
use of these drugs in cancer treatment. She will be
awarded a full scholarship to New York Medical School and
receive an M.D. degree upon graduating with honors, third
in her class. In 1945. She will intern at Bellevue
Hospital, followed by two residencies at Harlem Hospital.
At this point, she will set up private practice since no
medical institution will offer her a position. In 1949 She
will join the medical staff at the Cancer Research
Foundation at Harlem Hospital as a clinician and research
scientist and begin her work in cancer research. After her
father joins the ancestors in 1952, she will become
director of the foundation. In 1955 she will move to New
York University Medical Center as director of cancer
chemotherapy research and instructor of research surgery.
In 1964, she will be appointed to President Lyndon
Johnson’s Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke.
Her subcommittee’s recommendation to develop regional
centers will be an important outcome of this commission.
By 1967, Jane Wright will be promoted to associate dean
and professor of surgery at NYU Medical Center where she
will continue to be active in research until retiring in
1987. Her honors will include the Spirit of Achievement
Award of the Women’s Division of the Albert Einstein
College of Medicine (1965); the Hadassah Myrtle Wreath
(1967); the Smith Medal from Smith College (1968);
featured by Ciba Geigy on its Exceptional Black Scientist
poster (1980); and be honored by the American Association
for Cancer Research (1975). She will receive several
honorary degrees and serve on boards of trustees for
various organizations.

1922 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Mary B. Talbert,
the former president of the National Association of
Colored Women, for service to African American women and
for the restoration of the Frederick Douglas home in
Southeast Washington, DC.

1923 – Garrett A. Morgan receives a patent for his three-way
traffic signal. The device, which will revolutionize
traffic control, is one of many inventions for the Paris,
Kentucky, native, which include a hair-straightening
process and the gas mask.

1939 – Morgan State College is established in Baltimore,
Maryland, succeeding Morgan State Biblical College,
founded in 1857.

1962 – President John F. Kennedy issues an executive order
barring racial discrimination in federally financed
housing.

1962 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Robert C.
Weaver, economist and government official, for his
leadership in the movement for open housing.

1969 – Pele’, the Brazilian soccer star, scores his 1,000th
soccer goal.

1973 – The gravesite of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who
served in the Crimean War, is restored in England.
Traveling to the battlefield at her own expense, when
her expert services are rejected by English authorities
and Florence Nightingale, Seacole opens her own nursing
hotel, which she operates by day, serving as a
volunteer with Nightingale at night. Seacole’s skills
saved the lives of many soldiers wounded during the war
or infected with malaria, cholera, yellow fever, and
other illnesses.

1977 – Walter Payton, of the Chicago Bears, rushes for NFL
record 275 yards in one game.

1981 – The Negro Ensemble Company’s production of Charles
Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play” opens the Theatre Four.
The play will win a New York Drama Critics Award for
best American play and the Pulitzer Prize.

1997 – A.C. Green sets the NBA “Iron Man” record for consecutive
games played at 907 games. The previous record had
stood for fifteen years. Iron Men from professional
baseball and professional hockey were present at
courtside to observe the record-breaking performance.

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

November 16 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – November 16 *

1873 – William Christopher Handy is born in Florence, Alabama.
He will be best known as a composer and blues musician
and earn the nickname “Father of the Blues.” Among
his most noteworthy compositions will be “Memphis
Blues,” “St. Louis Blues,” and “Beale Street Blues.”
He will also form a music publishing company with
Harry Pace and become one of the most important
influences in African-American music. His 1941
autobiography, “Father of the Blues,” will be a
sourcebook and reference on this uniquely African
American musical style. W.C. Handy will join the
ancestors on March 28, 1958 in New York City, the same
year “The St. Louis Blues”, an biographical movie of
his life debuts.

1873 – Richard T. Greener, who was the first African American
graduate of Harvard University, is named professor of
metaphysics at the University of South Carolina.

1873 – African Americans win three state offices in the
Mississippi election: Alexander K. Davis, Lieutenant
governor; James Hill, secretary of state; T.W. Cardozo,
superintendent of education. African Americans win 55
of the 115 seats in the house and 9 out of 37 seats in
the senate, 42 per cent of the total number.

1930 – Chinua Achebe is born in Ogidi, Nigeria. He will become
the internationally acclaimed author of the novel
“Things Fall Apart,” among others.

1931 – Hubert Sumlin is born on a farm near Greenwood,
Mississippi. Sumlin will leave home at seventeen to
tour clubs and taverns throughout the South with his
childhood friend James Cotton. The Jimmy Cotton band
will record for the Sun label in Memphis from 1950 to
1953. In 1954, Sumlin will join the Howlin’ Wolf band
and move to Chicago. It will be Howlin’ Wolf who
mentors Sumlin, prodding and encouraging him to find
his own style and develop as a performer. He will
perform with Howlin’ Wolf for twenty five years.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA San Francisco Warriors
scores 73 points against the New York Knicks.

1963 – Zina Garrison, professional tennis player (1988 Olympic
Gold, Bronze), is born in Houston, Texas.

1964 – Dwight Gooden, professional baseball pitcher (New York
Mets), is born. “The Doctor” will set the record for
most strikeouts in a rookie season and become Rookie
of the Year in 1984. He also will become the youngest
to achieve that award. He will receive the Cy Young
Award in 1985.

1967 – A one-man showing of 48 paintings by Henry O. Tanner is
presented at the Grand Central Galleries in New York
City. The presentation of the canvases, not in the
best of condition, is criticized by The New York Times
as an “injustice to a proud man.”

1967 – Lisa Bonet, actress (“The Cosby Show”, “A Different
World”, “Angel Heart”, Bank Robber”, “New Eden”, “Dead
Connection”) is born in San Francisco, California.

1972 – The Louisiana National Guard mobilizes after police
officers kill two students during demonstrations at
Southern University.

1975 – Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears rushes for 105 yards
in a game against the San Francisco ’49ers. It will
be Payton’s first game of 100 plus yards. He will
repeat this feat over 50 times throughout his career
and add two 200-yard games.

1989 – South African President F.W. de Klerk announces the
scrapping of the Separate Amenities Act, opening up
the country’s beaches to all races.

1996 – Texaco agrees to pay $176.9 million dollars to settle
a two-year old race discrimination class action suit.

1998 – The Supreme Court rules that union members can file
discrimination lawsuits against employers even when
labor contracts require arbitration.

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