May 11 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 11 *

1885 – Joseph Nathan Oliver is born in Aben, Louisiana near
Donaldsville. He will become a professional musician after
learning his craft playing with local street musicians in
New Orleans. After playing in the band of Edward “Kid” Ory,
he will be dubbed “King” Oliver. After being recruited to
Chicago, Illinois to play in the band of Bill Johnson, King
Oliver will assume leadership of the Creole Jazz Band. He
will recruit some of best available jazz talent of the time
including Louis Armstrong. The Creole Jazz Band will disband
after the exit of Louis Armstrong. King Oliver will lead
various other bands until 1937 when he retires from music.
Due to severe gum problems, he will stop playing the cornet
in 1931. He will join the ancestors on April 10, 1938. King
Oliver will be considered one of the pioneering musicians in
New Orleans and Chicago style jazz.

1895 – William Grant Still is born in Woodville, Mississippi.
Considered one of the nation’s greatest composers, he will
begin his career by writing arrangements for W.C. Handy and
as musical director for Harry Pace’s Phonograph Corporation.
One of his most famous compositions, Afro-American Symphony,
will be the first symphonic work by an African American to
be performed by a major symphony orchestra, the Rochester
Philharmonic Symphony, in 1931. He will also be the first
African American to conduct a major U.S. symphony, the Los
Angeles Philharmonic, in 1936. He will create over 150
musical works including a series of five symphonies, four
ballets, and nine operas. Two of his best known compositions
will be “Afro-American Symphony” (1930) and “A Bayou Legend”
(1941). He will join the ancestors on December 3, 1978.

1899 – Clifton Reginald Wharton is born in Baltimore, Maryland. He
will receive his law degree in 1920 and his master’s of laws
degree both from the Boston University School of Law. He
will be the first African American to enter the Foreign
Service and the first African American to become the U.S.
ambassador to an European country. He will begin his career
in the Foreign Service in 1925. He will become the first
African American to pass the foriegn service’s written and
oral examinations. He will serve in a variety of diplomatic
positions in Liberia, Spain, Madagascar, Portugal, and
France before becoming minister to Romania in 1958 and the
Ambassador to Norway in 1961. He will be the first African
American to attain the rank of minister and ambassador
before retiring from the State Department in 1964. He will
join the ancestors on April 23, 1990 after succumbing to a
heart attack.

1930 – Lawson Edward Brathwaite is born in Bridgetown, Barbados. He
will become a poet, critic, historian and editor better
known as Edward Kamau Brathwaite. He will be considered by
most literary critics in the English speaking Caribbean to
be the most important West Indian Poet. He will be best
known for his works “Rights of Passage,” “Masks,” and
“Islands” which will later be combined in a trilogy “The
Arrivants.” His other works will be “Other Exiles,”
“Mother Poem, Sun Poem,” “X/Self,” “Middles Passages,” and
“Roots.” He will be the recipient of a Guggenheim
Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, the Casa de las
Americas prize, and the Neustadt International Prize for
Literature. After teaching at the University of the West
Indies for twenty years, he will join the faculty of New
York University.

1933 – Louis Eugene Walcott is born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. In
1955 he will convert to Islam and join The Nation of Islam
after attending the Saviour’s Day Convention in Chicago,
Illinois. He will be known as Louis X and will later adopt
the name Louis Farrakhan. Within three months of joining
the Nation, he will have to choose between his life in show
business or life in the Nation of Islam. He chooses to
leave his life as an entertainer and dedicates his life to
the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. After moving
to Boston at the request of Malcolm X, he will rise to the
rank of Minister and will head the Boston Temple from 1956
until 1965 when he was asked by Elijah Muhammad to take over
Temple # 7 in New York City. After the death of Elijah
Muhammad and three years of subsequent changes in the Nation
from his teachings, Minister Farrakhan decided to return to
the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and since then, has
continued programs to uplift and reform Blacks. In 1995, he
will exhibit his influence as a Black leader when he
successfully organizes and speaks at the Million Man March
in Washington, DC.

1963 – One day after Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth announces agreement
on a limited integration plan in Birmingham, Alabama, his
home is bombed and a civil disturbance ensues.

1965 – African Americans hold a mass meeting in Norfolk, Virginia
and demand equal rights and ballots.

1968 – Nine Caravans of poor people arrive in Washington, DC for
first phase of Poor People’s Campaign. Caravans started
from different sections of the country on May 2 and picked
up demonstrators along the way. In Washington,
demonstrators erect a camp called Resurrection City on a
sixteen-acre site near the Lincoln Monument.

1970 – Johnny Hodges joins the ancestors in New York City at the age
of 63. He had been a well known saxophone player and played
with the band of Duke Ellington for almost forty years. He
was Duke Ellington’s favorite soloist. Over his career, he
will be chosen as the best reed player by DownBeat Magazine
ten times.

1972 – The San Francisco Giants announce that they are trading
Willie Mays to the New York Mets.

1981 – Hoyt J. Fuller joins the ancestors in Atlanta at the age of
57. He was a literary critic and editor of “First World”
and “Black World” (formerly Negro Digest) magazines.

1981 – Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley, Jamaican-born singer who
popularized reggae with his group The Wailers, joins the
ancestors after succumbing to cancer in a Miami hospital at
the age of 36. He will enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame in 1994.

1981 – Ken Norton, former heavyweight boxing champion, is left on
the ropes and unconscious after 54 seconds of the first
round at Madison Square Garden in New York City, by Gerry

1986 – Frederick Douglass ‘Fritz’ Pollard joins the ancestors in
Silver Spring, Maryland at the age of 92. Pollard had been
the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl and the
second African American to be named All-American in college
football. After college he played professional football and
later became the coach of his team. When the league in
which he coached became the NFL in 1922, he became the
first African American coach in NFL history. No other
African American will coach in the NFL until the 1990s.

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

May 6 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 6 *

1787 – Prince Hall forms African Lodge 459, the first African
American Masonic Lodge in the United States.

1794 – Haiti, under Toussaint L’Ouverture, revolts against France.

1812 – Martin R. Delany is born free in Charlestown, Virginia. He
is considered to be the grandfather of Black nationalism.
He will also be one of the first three blacks admitted to
Harvard Medical School. Trained as an assistant and a
physician, he will treat patients during the cholera
epidemics of 1833 and 1854 in Pittsburgh, when many doctors
and residents flee the city. He will work alongside
Frederick Douglass to publish the North Star. Active in
recruiting blacks for the United States Colored Troops, he
will be commissioned as a major, the first African American
field officer in the United States Army during the American
Civil War. After the Civil War, he will work for the
Freedmen’s Bureau in the South, settling in South Carolina,
where he will become politically active. He will run
unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor and will be appointed
a Trial Judge. He will also be a noted author, explorer, and
a newspaper editor. He will join the ancestors on January 24,

1930 – Noted actor Charles Gilpin joins the ancestors. The founder
and manager of the Lafayette Theatre Company, one of the
earliest African American stock companies in New York,
Gilpin achieved fame for his performance as Brutus Jones
in Eugene O’Neill’s play “The Emperor Jones.” In 1921, he
won the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in recognition of his
theatrical career.

1931 – Willie Mays is born in Westfield, Alabama. He will become a
professional baseball player at the age of 16, for the
Birmingham Black Barons. After graduating from high school,
he will be signed by the New York Giants. His 7095 putouts
will be the all-time record for an outfielder. His career
batting average will be .302. For eight consecutive years,
he will drive in more than 100 runs a year, and his 660 home
runs will put him in third place for the all-time home run
record. He will win the Gold Glove Award 12 times. He will
be voted Most Valuable Player in the National League in
both 1954 and 1965. He will be inducted into the Baseball
Hall of Fame in 1979.

1960 – The Civil Rights Act of 1960 is signed by President
Eisenhower. The act acknowledges the federal government’s
responsibility in matters involving civil rights and
reverses its customary “hands-off” policy.

1967 – Four hundred students seize the administration building at
Cheyney State College.

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

May 4 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – May 4 *

1864 – Ulysses S. Grant crosses the Rapidan and begins his duel
with Robert E. Lee. At the same time Ben Butler’s Army
of the James moves on Lee’s forces. An African American
division in Grant’s army did not play a prominent role
in the Wilderness Campaign, but Ben Butler gave his
African American infantrymen and his eighteen hundred
African American cavalrymen important assignments.
African American troops of the Army of the James were
the first Union Soldiers to take possession of James
River ports (at Wilson’s Wharf Landing, Fort Powhatan
and City Point).

1937 – Melvin Edwards is born in Houston, Texas. He will become
a sculptor and will have one-man exhibits at the Santa
Barbara Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center in
Minneapolis, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in
New York City. His work will be represented in private
collections as well as that of the Museum of Modern Art,
the Schomburg Collection of the New York Public Library,
and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

1942 – Nickolas Ashford is born in Fairfield, South Carolina. He
will become a songwriter who, with his partner and wife
Valerie Simpson, will write such hits as “Reach out and
Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real
Thing,” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Becoming a
solo act in 1973, Ashford and Simpson will have a string
of successful albums including “Send It,” “Solid,” and
“Real Love.” He and wife Valerie will perform at Nelson
Mandela’s 70th birthday celebration in London in 1988,
sing for President Clinton at the 52nd Presidential
Inauguration in 1992, perform at the White House for the
CISAC 39th World Congress, and in April of 1996 they will
be awarded ASCAP’s highest honor: The Founder’s Award, at
the Motown Cafe in New York. He will join the ancestors on
August 22, 2011.

1943 – William Tubman is elected president of Liberia.

1951 – Sigmund Esco Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. Better known as
“Jackie,” he will become the oldest of the pop group, “The
Jackson Five” and later “The Jacksons.”

1961 – Thirteen CORE-sponsored Freedom Riders begin a bus trip in
Washington, DC to cities throughout the south, to force
desegregation of terminals. Ten days later, the bus will be
bombed and its passengers attacked by white segregationists
near Anniston, Alabama.

1965 – Willie Mays’ 512th home run breaks Mel Ott’s 511th National
League home run record.

1969 – “No Place to Be Somebody” opens at the Public Theatre in New
York City. Charles Gordone’s powerful play will earn its
author the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

1985 – The famed Apollo Theatre, once the showcase for the nation’s
top African American performers, reopens after a renovation
that cost $10.4 million. The landmark building on West
125th Street in New York was the first place The Beatles
wanted to see on their initial visit to the United States.
Ed Sullivan used to frequent the Apollo in search of new
talent for his CBS show.

1990 – The South African government and the African National
Congress conclude historic talks in Cape Town with a joint
statement agreeing on a “common commitment toward the
resolution of the existing climate of violence.”

1999 – Five New York police officers go on trial for the torture
of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. One officer will later
plead guilty; a second officer will be convicted; and three
will be acquitted.

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

February 20 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 20 *

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1864 – Confederate troops defeat three African American and six white
regiments at the Battle of Olustee, about fifty miles from
Jacksonville, Florida. The African-American units are the
8th U.S. Colored Troops, the 35th U.S. Colored Infantry, and
the famous 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry. It is the
54th Massachusetts’ fighting that allowed General Truman
Seymour’s Union forces to retreat. One white veteran of the
battle states: ” The colored troops went in grandly, and they
fought like devils.” A regrettable episode in the aftermath
of the battle is the apparent mistreatment of Union African
American soldiers by the Confederates.

1895 – Frederick Douglass, famous African American abolitionist and
diplomat, joins the ancestors in Washington, DC at the age of
78. His home in Washington will be later turned into a
national monument under the auspices of the National Park

1911 – Frances Ellen Watkins Harper joins the ancestors in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the age of 85. She had been a
writer and antislavery, women’s rights, and temperance

1925 – Alex La Guma is born in Cape Town, South Africa. He will
become a novelist whose writings reflect the lives of the
ghetto dwellers in the ‘Coloured’ sections of Capetown,
portrayed best in his novel, “A Walk in the Night.” The
ghettos and shanties of the Cape were his milieu, and he will
never depict the lives of the impoverished with either
rancor or self-pity. The powerful strokes of his pen will
paint a picture of the starkness and reality of their lives.
He allowed the tin and hessian fabrics of the rat-infested,
leaking hovels to spell it out. He will become involved
with the South African Coloured People’s Organisation,
playing a very active part in its affairs. He will be
exiled in 1966 and move with his family to London. At the
time he joins the ancestors on October 11, 1985, he was the
Chief Representative of the African National Congress in Cuba.

1927 – Sidney Poitier is born prematurely in Miami, Florida, weighing
only three pounds. His parents are on a regular trip to the
U.S. to sell tomatoes and other produce. He will be raised
in the Bahamas and return to the United States as a teenager
to live with his older brother in Miami. He will move to New
York City in 1945 to study acting. He will become one of the
modern movies’ leading men, making his screen debut in 1950
and earning praise in such films as “Cry the Beloved Country,”
“Blackboard Jungle,” “Porgy and Bess,” “A Raisin in the Sun,”
“To Sir With Love,” “In the Heat of the Night,” and “Guess
Who’s Coming to Dinner.” His 1965 role in “Lilies of the
Field” will earn him an Oscar, the first for an African
American in a leading role.

1929 – Writer Wallace Thurman’s play “Harlem” opens in New York City.
It is the first successful play by an African American

1936 – John Hope, president of Atlanta University, joins the ancestors
at the age of sixty seven.

1937 – Nancy Wilson is born in Chillicothe, Ohio. She will become a
well-known jazz and pop singer, singing with Cannonball
Adderly, George Shearing, Art Farmer and Chick Corea, among
others. She will make more than 50 albums, including “With My
Lover Beside Me,” featuring the lyrics of Johnny Mercer and
the music of Barry Manilow.

1951 – Emmett L. Ashford, one of baseball’s most popular figures,
becomes the first African American umpire in organized
baseball. Ashford is certified to be a substitute in the
Southwestern International League. He will later (1966)
become the first African American major league umpire, working
in the American League.

1963 – Baseball great, Willie “The Say Hey Kid” Mays, signs with the
San Francisco Giants as baseball’s highest paid player (at
that time). He will earn $100,000 a year.

1963 – Charles Barkley is born in Leeds, Alabama. He will forego his
senior year at Auburn University to enter the NBA as a forward
for the Philadelphia 76ers. Barkley will post averages of 20
or more points and at least 10 rebounds per game for 11
seasons. His achievements during that span will be remarkable.
He will be an All-NBA First Team selection in 1988, 1989,
1990, 1991 and 1993, an All-NBA Second Team pick in 1986,
1987, 1992, 1994 and 1995 and an All-NBA Third Team choice in
1996. He will be selected to 10 consecutive All-Star Games,
and receive more All Star votes than any other player in 1994,
and will be MVP in the 1991 All-Star classic.

1968 – State troopers use tear gas to stop civil rights demonstrations
at Alcorn A&M College in Mississippi.

1991 – African Americans win Grammys including Mariah Carey for
Best New Artist and female pop vocal, Anita Baker for female
R&B vocal, Luther Vandross for male R&B vocal, Living Colour
for best hard rock performance, M.C. Hammer for best rap solo
and best R&B song for “U Can’t Touch This,” and Chaka Khan and
Ray Charles for best R&B vocal by a duo or group. Quincy
Jones becomes the all-time non-classical Grammy winner when he
wins six awards at these 33rd annual Grammy Awards, including
album of the year, “Back on the Block.”

1997 – T. Uriah Butler joins the ancestors in Fyzabad, Trinidad at the
age of 100. Born in Grenada, he had been a major labor
organizer and politician in Trinidad. In 1975, he was awarded
Trinidad’s highest honor, The Trinity Cross.

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.

November 9 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 9 *

1731 – Benjamin Banneker is born free in Ellicott Mills (now
Ellicott City), Maryland. He will become the builder
of the first clock made in America. He also will
become the key figure in the design of Washington, DC
after Pierre L’Enfant quit and took his plans for DC
with him. Banneker was able to save the project by
reproducing the plans from memory, in two days, a
complete layout of the streets, parks, and major
buildings. From 1792 to 1802, Banneker will publish
an annual Farmer’s Almanac, for which he did all the
calculations himself. He will join the ancestors on
October 9, 1806.

1868 – The Howard University Medical School opens with eight

1868 – Arkansas Governor Powell Clayton, declares martial law
in ten counties and mobilizes the state militia in a
Ku Klux Klan crisis.

1923 – Dorothy Dandridge is born in Cleveland, Ohio. She will
try vaudeville and a stint at the Cotton Club before
finding her most noteworthy success as an actress.
She will appear in such works as “Porgy and Bess” and
minor movie roles before her big break in a series of
low-budget movies including “Tarzan’s Perils”. While
simultaneously maintaining a singing career, Dandridge
will have her greatest success in “Carmen Jones”
opposite Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Diahann
Carroll, and Brock Peters, which will earn her an
Academy Award nomination, a first for an African
American actress. She will join the ancestors on
September 8, 1965.

1925 – Oscar Micheaux’s movie “Body and Soul” is released. It
marks the film debut of Paul Robeson.

1931 – Eugene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb is born in Uniontown, Alabama.
He will be best known as a professional football star
with the old Baltimore Colts. He will enter the NFL
without ever playing college football. He will be
considered one of the greatest defensive tackles in NFL
history. He will join the ancestors on May 10, 1963.

1935 – Robert “Bob” Gibson is born in Omaha, Nebraska. He will
become a professional baseball player and pitcher for
the St. Louis Cardinals. He will be the National
League MVP in 1968. During his career, he will amass
3,000 career strike-outs, win the Cy Young Award in
1968 and 1970, win the Baseball Writers Award in 1968,
pitch in the 1964, 1967, and 1968 World Series, and win
Nine Gold Glove Awards. He will enter the National
Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

1961 – The Professional Golfers Association eliminates their
Caucasians only rule.

1965 – Willie Mays is named the National League’s Most Valuable

1970 – William L. Dawson, Democratic congressman and party
leader, in Chicago, Illinois, joins the ancestors at
the age of 84.

1976 – The United Nations General Assembly endorses 10
resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa,
including one that says the white-only government is

1982 – Sugar Ray Leonard retires from professional boxing for
the first time, because of a recurring eye problem
sustained in a welterweight title match.

1990 – Freedom Bank in New York City, one of the largest
African American-owned banks in the nation, is
declared insolvent. Its losses in 1988-1989 totaled
$4.7 million, and it was expected to lose $2 million
in 1990. A last-minute effort to revive the bank by
raising funds from the local Harlem community will
fail to meet the government-imposed deadline.

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

September 29 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 29 *

1864 – At the Battle of New Market Heights, Sergeant Major
Christian Fleetwood and 12 other African Americans
fight valiantly for the Union’s cause. They will
receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for their
action the following year.

1916 – Henry Green Parks, Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
He will be raised in Dayton, Ohio, attend public
schools, and enroll in Ohio State University in
Columbus, graduating with honors from the University
College of Commerce in 1939 with a B.S. degree in
Marketing. He will also become the first African
American on Ohio State University’s swim team. After
graduation, he will begin working with Pabst Brewing
Company as a sales representative, targeting the
African American market. He will become one of their
leading salesmen, but in 1942 will be given the
opportunity to join W.B. Graham and Associates, a New
York City public relations firm. He will explore the
ideas of many different enterprises and work at W.B.
Graham and Associates for seven years. In 1949, he will
leave W.B. Graham and Associates for Crayton’s Southern
Sausage Company, which creates sausages appealing to
the southern taste. He will be unsuccessful with
Crayton’s Sausage Company, but after learning from his
experiences and coming across southern recipes, 35-year
-old Henry Parks will found Parks Sausage Company in
1951 in Baltimore, Maryland. Parks Sausage Company will
start with only two employees, but rapidly grow to 240
employees with annual sales in the mid-1960s exceeding
$14 million. He will use his marketing and public
relations background to craft a radio commercial which
features a little boy saying, “More Parks Sausage, Mom,
please.” The radio ad will be enormously popular and
helps spur the company’s growth. By 1955 it will be the
largest Black-owned business in Baltimore and later will
become a publicly traded company. Parks Sausage will
also become the first African American firm to advertise
in a World Series, when its ads appear at one of the
seven games between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New
York Yankees in 1955. His company will also have the
distinction of being the first publicly traded Black-
owned firm on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In 1977, he will
sell the company to a conglomerate for $1.5 million
dollars, but will stay on the board until 1980. He will
serve on the corporate boards of Magnavox, Warner Lambert,
and W.R. Grace. He will be a trustee of Goucher College
in Baltimore. He will suffer from Parkinson’s disease in
the last years of his life, and will join the ancestors in
Towson, Maryland on April 14, 1989.

1918 – Edward Thomas Demby is elected suffragan bishop of the
Protestant Episcopal diocese of Arkansas.

1931 – Dr. Lenora Moragne is born in Evanston, Illinois. She will
become one of the leading nutrition scientist in the United
States. She will become head of nutrition education and
training for the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. She will also co-author a junior
high school textbook on nutrition for McGraw-Hill Publishing
Company in New York named “Focus on Food.” She will also be
appointed to the Future Development Committee of the
American Home Economics Association. She will also be elected
to the Board of Directors of the Chicago-based American
Dietetic Association. She will also become the founding editor
and publisher of the Black Congressional Monitor.

1940 – The first United States merchant ship to be commanded
by an African American captain (Hugh Mulzac), is
launched at Wilmington, Delaware.

1947 – Dizzy Gillespie presented his first Carnegie Hall
concert in New York City, adding a sophisticated jazz
touch to the famous concert emporium. Dizzy will
become one of the jazz greats of all time. His
trademark: Two cheeks pushed out until it looked like
his face would explode.

1948 – Bryant Gumbel is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He
will become the editor of Black Sports magazine and a
successful sportscaster before joining NBC’s Today Show
as the first African American anchor of a national
network morning news entertainment program.

1954 – Willie Mays makes his famous “over-the-shoulder catch”
of Vic Wertz’ 460′ drive.

1962 – President John F. Kennedy sends federal troops to
enforce integration of the University of Mississippi.

1962 – Lt. Governor Paul Johnson of Mississippi is found guilty
of civil contempt for blocking the entrance of James
Meredith to the University of Mississippi.

1965 – Ralph Boston of the United States, sets the long jump
record at 27′ 4 3/4″.

1975 – The first African American owned television station in
the United States, WGPR-TV in Detroit, begins

1977 – In the most-watched prize fight in history to date,
Muhammad Ali beats Ernie Shavers (in a fifteen round
decision) to claim the heavyweight championship boxing
crown. The bout was televised from New York City’s
Madison Square Garden and was officiated by the first
woman official of a heavyweight title boxing match
before an estimated 70 million viewers.

1979 – Sir William Arthur Lewis, Professor of Economics at
Princeton University, becomes the first person of
African descent to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics.

1988 – Florence Griffith Joyner of the United States, sets the
200 meter woman’s record in 21.34 seconds.

1998 – Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley joins the ancestors
at the age of 80.

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

September 25 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – September 25 *

1861 – The Secretary of the Navy authorizes the enlistment of
African Americans in the Union Navy. The enlistees could
achieve no rank higher than “boys” and receive pay of
one ration per day and $10 per month.

1886 – Peter “The Black Prince” Jackson wins the Australian
heavyweight title, becoming the very first man of
African descent to win a national boxing crown.

1911 – Dr. Eric Williams, former prime minister of Trinidad and
Tobago, is born.

1924 – In a letter to his friend Alain Locke, Langston Hughes
writes “I’ve done a couple of new poems. I have no more
paper, so I’m sending you one on the back of this
letter.” The poem, “I, Too”, will be published two years
later and be among his most famous.

1951 – Robert Allen “Bob” McAdoo, Jr. is born in Greensboro, North
Carolina. He will become a one of the best-shooting big
men of all time in professional basketball. He will win
Rookie of the Year, a Most Valuable Player Award and three
consecutive scoring championships, all in his first four
years in the NBA. Over fourteen seasons, He will score
18,787 points and average 22.1 point per game. A five-time
NBA All Star, he will shoot .503 from the field and .754
from the line, scoring in double figures in all but one

1957 – With 300 U.S. Army troops standing guard, nine African
American children forced to withdraw the previous day
from Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas,
because of unruly white crowds, are escorted to back to

1962 – Sonny Liston knocks out Floyd Patterson in the first round
to become the world heavyweight boxing champion.

1962 – An African American church is destroyed by fire in Macon,
Georgia. This is the eighth African American church
burned in Georgia in one month.

1962 – Governor Ross Barnett again defies court orders and
personally denies James Meredith admission to the
University of Mississippi.

1965 – Willie Mays hits his fiftieth home run of the baseball
season, making him the oldest player to accomplish this.
He was 34 years old. Ten years before this, at the age
of 24, he was the youngest man to accomplish the same

1965 – Scottie Maurice Pippen is born in Hamburg, Arkansas. He
will become a professional basketball player and will be
traded to the Houston Rockets in 1998 after 11
distinguished seasons with the Chicago Bulls, for whom he
averaged 18.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 833
NBA games. He will earn All-NBA First Team honors three
times in his career and All-Defensive First Team honors in
each of seven seasons (1992-1999. In addition, he will
earn NBA World Championships in six of the eight years and
Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996. He will be selected
as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.
He will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame on August 13, 2010.

1968 – Will Smith is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He
will become a rapper at the age of 12 and will be known
for his hits “Nightmare on My Street” and “Parents Just
Don’t Understand.” In 1990 he will start his acting
career with a six-year run as the “Fresh Prince of Bel
Air.” He will go to become a major motion picture box
office attraction, starring in “Six Degrees of
Separation,” “Made in America,” “Independence Day,”
“Men In Black,” and “Wild, Wild West.”

1974 – Barbara W. Hancock is the first African American woman
to be named a White House Fellow.

1988 – Florence Griffith Joyner runs 100 meters in record
Olympic time of 10.54 seconds.

1991 – Pioneer filmmaker Spencer Williams’s 1942 movie “Blood
of Jesus”, a story of the African American religious
experience, is among the third group of twenty-five
films added to the Library of Congress’s National Film
Registry. Williams, best known for his role of Andy in
the television series “Amos ‘n’ Andy”, was more
importantly, an innovative film director and a
contemporary of Oscar Micheaux. Williams’s film joins
other classics like “Lawrence of Arabia” and “2001: A
Space Odyssey”.

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

September 22 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – September 22 *

1853 – George Washington Murray is born a slave near Rembert,
South Carolina. A two-term congressman from his home
state, Murray will also be an inventor and holder of
eight patents for agricultural tools. He will join the
ancestors on April 21, 1926.

1862 – Five days after Union forces won the Battle of Antietam,
President Lincoln issues a preliminary emancipation
proclamation. It states that if the rebelling states
did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863, he
would declare their slaves to be “forever free.”

1906 – Race riots occur in Atlanta, Georgia, killing 21 people.

1915 – Xavier University of Louisiana opens in New Orleans, the
first Catholic college for African Americans in the
United States.

1941 – Chester Lovelle Talton is born in Eldorado, Arkansas. At
49, he will become the first African American
Episcopalian bishop to be ordained in the western
United States. As suffragan bishop of the diocese of Los
Angeles, he becomes the religious leader of
Episcopalians in the fourth-largest diocese in the
United States.

1949 – Lee Harold Carmichael is born in Jacksonville, Florida. He
will become an American football wide receiver in the NFL.
He will play 13 seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles from
1971 to 1983, and one season for the Dallas Cowboys in
1984. He will play his college football at Southern
University. He will be selected to four Pro Bowls in his
NFL career, and will lead the league in receptions during
the 1973 season. He will also be the Eagles’ top receiver
of Super Bowl XV, with 6 catches for 91 yards. He will
end his career with 590 receptions for 8,985 yards with
79 career touchdown catches, along with 64 rushing yards
on 9 carries. He will rank 18th all-time in career
touchdown receptions. He will be selected to the NFL
1970s All-Decade Team by voters of the Pro Football Hall
of Fame. He will become Director of Player Programs for
the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006.

1950 – Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, director of the UN Trusteeship
division and former professor of political science at
Howard University, is awarded the Nobel Peace prize for
successful mediation of the Palestinian peace accord.

1954 – Shari Belafonte (Harper, now Behrens) is born in New York
City, New York. She will become is an American actress,
model, writer and singer. The daughter of singer Harry
Belafonte, she will be best known for her role as Julie
Gilette on the 1980s television series “Hotel” and as a
spokesperson for the diet supplement “Slim-Fast” during
the 1990s.

1960 – The Republic of Mali proclaims its independence.

1961 – The Interstate Commerce Commission issues regulation
prohibiting segregation on interstate buses and in
terminal facilities.

1969 – San Francisco Giant, Willie Mays, becomes the first player
since Babe Ruth to hit 600 home runs.

1985 – Robert Guillaume wins an Emmy for best leading actor in a
comedy for Benson while The Cosby Show wins for best
comedy series.

1989 – Edward Perkins, the first African American ambassador to
the Republic of South Africa, becomes director-general of
the United States Foreign Service. The first African
American named to the post, Perkins will be credited with
bringing more minorities into the foreign service.

1990 – Andre’ Dawson steals his 300th base & is only player other
than Willie Mays to have 300 HRs, 300 steals & 2,000 hits.

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,

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

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.