April 5 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – April 5 *

1839 – Robert Smalls is born into slavery in Beaufort, South
Carolina. He will become a Civil War hero by sailing an
armed Confederate steamer out of Charleston Harbor and
presenting it to the Union Navy. He will later become a
three-term congressman from his state. He will join the
ancestors on February 23, 1915.

1856 – Booker Taliaferro Washington is born a slave near Hale’s
Ford, Virginia. He will become a world reknown educator,
founder of Tuskegee Institute. He will become one of the
most famous African American educators and leaders of the
19th century. His message of acquiring practical skills and
emphasizing self-help over political rights will be popular
among whites and segments of the African American community.
His 1901 autobiography, “Up From Slavery”, which details his
rise to success despite numerous obstacles, will become a
best-seller and further enhances his public image as a
self-made man. As popular as he will be in some circles,
Washington will be aggressively opposed by critics such as
W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter. He will join the
ancestors on November 14, 1915. He will become the first
African American to be honored on a U.S. postage stamp.

1879 – Charles W. Follis is born in Cloverdale, Virginia. He is the
first African American to play professional football. He
will play halfback for the Blues of Shelby, Ohio in 1904.
The Blues were part of the American Professional Football
League, a forerunner of the National Football League.

1915 – Jess Willard defeats Jack Johnson for the heavyweight boxing
crown in twenty three rounds.

1934 – Stanley Turrentine is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He
will become a jazz saxophonist and in 1953, will replace the
famed John Coltrane in the popular big band of Earl Bostic.
After a three-year army stint, which affords him his only
formal musical training, Turrentine comes to prominence on
the New York Jazz scene as a member of Max Roach’s group
in 1959. Over the years, Turrentine’s recordings will
combine musical energies with friends such as Ron Carter,
Roland Hanna, Ray Charles, Freddie Hubbard, Jon Hendricks,
George Benson, Cedar Walton, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Burrell,
Milt Jackson, Joe Sample, Shirley Scott, Jimmy Smith, Grady
Tate, and many others. He will be nominated for the Grammy
Award four times. He will join the ancestors on September 12,

1937 – Colin Powell is born in New York City. He will become a
highly decorated Army officer, receiving the Bronze Star and
Purple Heart during the Vietnam War, and will be later
promoted to four-star general in 1988. He will become the
first African American to serve as the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff for the U.S. Armed Forces.

1956 – Booker T. Washington becomes the only African American
honored twice on a U.S. postage stamp. To commemorate the
centennial of his birth, the U.S. Postal Service issues a
stamp depicting the cabin where he was born.

1967 – Philadelphia ’76er Wilt Chamberlain sets a NBA record of 41
rebounds in a single game.

1976 – FBI documents, released in response to a freedom of
information suit, reveal that the government mounted an
intensive campaign against civil rights organizations in the
sixties. In a letter dated August 25, 1967, the FBI said
the government operation, called COINTELPRO, was designed
“to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise
neutralize the activities of Black nationalists, hate-type
groups, their leadership, spokesmen, membership and
supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and
civil disorders.” A later telegram specifically named the
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference as organizations having
“radical and violence prone leaders, members and followers.”

1977 – Gertrude Downing receives a patent for the corner cleaner

1984 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar breaks Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time career
scoring record of 31,419 points (31,421).

1990 – Seven African American journalists are inducted into the
newly created Hall of Fame of the National Association of
Black Journalists in Washington, DC. Dubbed “pioneers of
mainstream journalism,” the inductees include Dorothy Butler
Gilliam of the Washington Post, Malvin R. Goode of ABC
News, Mal H. Johnson of Cox Broadcasting, Gordon Parks of
Life Magazine, Ted Poston of the New York Post, Norma
Quarles of Cable News Network, and Carl T. Rowan of King
Features Syndicate. Twelve Pulitzer Prize winners are also
honored at the awards ceremonies.

2000 – Ending a two-year investigation, an independent counsel clears
Labor Secretary Alexis Herman of allegations that she had
solicited $ 250,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

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

March 15 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 15 *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 2 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 2 *

1807 – “The importation of slaves into the United States or the
territories thereof” after January 1, 1808 is banned by
Congress. Although abolitionists will hail the ban, it will
not significantly affect the U.S. supply of slaves. Illegal
importation will continue through Florida and Texas. The law
also has no provision to restrict the internal slave trade,
and the reproduction rate of American slaves is high enough
to allow an active trade. Therefore the domestic slave trade
continues to prosper after 1808.

1867 – Howard University is chartered by Congress in Washington, DC.
Also founded or chartered are Talladega College in Talledega,
Alabama, Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland, Johnson
C. Smith College in Charlotte, North Carolina, and St.
Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

1867 – The first of a succession of Reconstruction acts is passed by
Congress. The acts divide the former Confederate states into
five military districts under the command of army generals.

1867 – African Americans vote in municipal election in Alexandria,
Virginia, for perhaps the first time in the South. The
election commissioners refuse to count the fourteen hundred
votes and military officials suspend local elections pending
clarification of the status of the freedmen.

1867 – Elections are ordered for constitutional conventions and
freedmen are enfranchised. Commanders in some states change
the status of African Americans by military orders. Major
General E.R.S. Canby opens the jury box to African Americans.
African Americans are named policemen in Mobile, Alabama.

1885 – George W. Williams, minister, lawyer and historian, is named
minister to Haiti. The appointment is vacated by the new

1896 – In the battle of Aduwa, Abyssinia (Ethiopia) defeats the
troops of the invading Italians.

1919 – Claude A. Barnett establishes the Associated Negro Press (ANP),
the first national news service for African American
newspapers. The goal of the ANP is to provide national news
releases to African American publishers. The ANP will operate
for the next 48 years and have, at one time, 95% of all
African American newspapers as subscribers.

1921 – Harry Pace establishes Pace Phonograph Corporation to produce
records on the Black Swan label. It is the first African
American owned and operated record company and will record
blues, jazz, spirituals, and operatic arias.

1938 – Operatic baritone, Simon Estes is born in Centerville, Iowa.
He will be noted for his leading roles in Wagnerian operas
and will sing at the opening of the 1972 Summer Olympic
Games in Munich, Germany. He will enjoy the acclaim of
audiences and critics around the globe. Since his debut
with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1965, he will perform with
major international opera companies including the
Metropolitan Opera, New York; Lyric Opera, Chicago; San
Francisco Opera; La Scala Milan; Deutsche Opera, Berlin;
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; The Washington Opera;
L’Opéra de Paris; Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; the
States Operas of Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Zurich and at
the Bayreuth, Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festivals. A noted
recitalist and orchestra soloist as well, he will sing with
the world’s leading orchestras. His love and concern for
youth is manifested in the four scholarship organizations
that bear his name; The Simon Estes Scholarship Fund at the
University of Iowa; The Simon and Westella H. Estes
Scholarship Fund at Centerville Community College, Centerville,
Iowa; The Simon Estes Iowa Arts Scholarship and The Simon Estes
Educational Foundation, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This latter
Foundation being the most broad-based will spawn the formation
of The Simon Estes International Foundation, Inc., Zurich,
Switzerland in 1984 and The Simon Estes Foundation, Cape Town,
South Africa in 1996. Restricted music scholarships are offered
in his name at Centerville Community College, the University of
Iowa and through the Simon Estes Iowa Arts Scholarship Fund.

1957 – Mark Dean is born in Jefferson City, Tennessee. He will
receive a BSEE degree from the University of Tennessee in
1979, a MSEE degree from Florida Atlantic University in
1982, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford
University in 1992. He will become an engineer for the IBM
Corporation. During his career with IBM, he will hold
several engineering positions in the area of computer
system hardware architecture and design. He will work on
establishing the strategy, architecture, design and
business plan for proposed video server offerings and
studyd the technology and business opportunity for settop
boxes. He will also be chief engineer for the development
of the IBM PC/AT, ISA systems bus, PS/2 Model 70 & 80, the
Color Graphics Adapter and numerous other subsystems. He
will become an IBM Fellow and Vice President of Systems in
IBM Research. He will be responsible for the research and
application of systems technologies spanning circuits to
operating environments. Key technologies in his research
team will include cellular systems structures (Blue Gene),
digital visualization, DA tools, Linux optimizations for
Pervasive, SMPs & Clusters, Settop Box integration, MXT,
S/390 & PowerPC processors, super dense servers, formal
verification methods and high speed low power circuits.
His awards will include induction as a member of the
National Academy of Engineering, the Black Engineer of the
Year Award, the NSBE Distinguished Engineer award, the
Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award, induction
into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in Akron, OH and
recipient of the Ronald H. Brown American Innovators Award
in Washington, DC. He will be appointed to IBM Fellow in
1995, IBM’s highest technical honor. Only 50 out of
310,000 IBM employees have the level of IBM Fellow. He will
also be a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, serving
on the Technology Council Board. He will receive several
academic and IBM awards, including thirteen Invention
Achievement Awards and six Corporate Awards. He will also
have more than 30 patents or patents pending.

1961 – 180 African American students and a white minister are arrested
in Columbia, South Carolina after anti-segregation march.

1962 – Philadelphia 76er Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in an NBA
game against the New York Knicks. It is a feat Chamberlain
will repeat but one which has not been equaled by another NBA
player to date.

1963 – Suzette DeGaetano is born in Mays Landing, New Jersey. As
Suzette Charles, she will represent New Jersey in the 1984
Miss America competition. She will win the preliminary talent
competition but will finish as first runner-up to Vanessa Lynn
Williams. When Williams is asked to resign her crown after
nude photographs of her came to light, Charles will be
declared to be the second Miss America for 1984, making her
the second African American Miss America after Williams.

1980 – Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns wins the vacant USBA Welterweight
title. This is one of five weight classes in which he wins
a boxing title, making him the first African American to win
boxing titles in five different weight classes.

1986 – Sidney Barthelemy is elected mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana,
succeeding Ernest Morial as the second African American mayor
of the city.

1988 – J. Saunders Redding, author, joins the ancestors in Ithaca,
New York at the age of 81.

1990 – Carole Gist, of Detroit, Michigan, is crowned Miss USA. She
becomes the first African American to win the title.

2003 – Hank Ballard, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, joins the
ancestors after succumbing to throat cancer in Los Angeles,
California. He wrote “The Twist” and other hits.

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

February 23 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – February 23 *

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1763 – A major slave rebellion occurs in the Dutch South American
colony of Berbice (part of present-day Guyana). Slaves,
led by Cuffy, Atta, Accara, and others, fire a rebellion at
Plantation Magalenenburg because of the harsh and inhumane
treatment of the slave population. Cuffy, proclaims himself
Governor of Berbice and orders the Dutch Governor, Hoogenheim,
to leave with the white inhabitants. The slaves will control
the territory for months. Major resistance will continue
beyond October, 4th. There will be a split at the leadership
level of the rebellion. The final collapse of the revolution
will occur just before the trial of the last resisters on
March 16, 1764.

1868 – William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois is born in Great
Barrington, Massachusetts. He will become one of the
greatest men of letters of his time, serving as an editor,
teacher, political theorist, and novelist. His
accomplishments will include founding and editing the NAACP
“Crisis Magazine,” writing the influential “Souls of Black
Folk,” being one of the founding fathers of the NAACP, and
the first African American to become a member of the National
Institute of Arts and Letters. He will join the ancestors on
August 27, 1963 in Accra, Ghana.

1942 – Don Luther Lee is born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He will become
a major African American literary critic, author of nonfiction
and poetry, and founder of the influential Third World Press
known as Haki Madhubuti. The Chicago State University
professor, poet, and publisher will score a hit for his Third
World Press with his own “Groundwork: Selected and New Poems
1966-1996.” “Groundwork” and the second volume of Gwendolyn
Brooks’ autobiography-along with continuing sales of
Madhubuti’s 1995 “Million Man March/Day of Absence”, will
increase the number of successful titles at Third World Press
to 25 by 1997.

1964 – Roberto Martin Antonio “Bobby” Bonilla is born in New York
City. He will become a major league baseball player in 1981
and will play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox,
New York Mets, and the Baltimore Orioles, before ending up
with the Florida Marlins in 1996.

1968 – Wilt Chamberlain becomes the first NBA player to score 25,000

1970 – Guyana becomes a republic. The Republic of Guyana changes its
name to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. February 23 is
chosen to celebrate the start of the Berbice Slave Revolt of
1763, which was led by Cuffy, a slave who became a national
hero. One of the first actions of the new republic will be
to nationalize foreign-owned companies.

1977 – “Roots,” an adaptation of Alex Haley’s best-selling novel, is
viewed by more Americans than any other program since the
invention of television. Approximately 130 million people
watched at least part of the series. The final episode was
watched by a reported 80 million viewers. Alex Haley spent
twelve years researching and writing the book. While the
show attracted many African American viewers, ratings
companies reported that millions of whites as well as
African Americans watched the show.

1979 – Colonel Frank E. Peterson, Jr. becomes the first African
American promoted to the rank of general in the Marine Corps.
He also was the first African American pilot to win Marine
Corps wings. He will retire in 1988 as commanding general
of the Marine Development Education Command in Quantico,

1990 – Comer J. Cottrell, President of Pro-Line Corporation, pays
$1.5 million for the Bishop College campus, traditionally
an African American college, in a bankruptcy auction.
Cottrell’s actions result in the relocation of Paul Quinn
College in Waco, another African American campus, to the
Dallas site.

1999 – Hughie Lee-Smith, a painter and former teacher at the Art
Students League in New York, joins the ancestors after
succumbing to cancer at the age of 83 in Albuquerque, New
Mexico. Lee-Smith was known for his paintings that
frequently included symbolic figurative scenes. His works
often included settings suggestive of theater stages or
bleak urban or seaside landscapes. In 1953, he won a
prize for his work from the Detroit Institute of Arts.
While serving in the Navy he did a mural titled, “History
of the Negro in the U.S. Navy.” He taught at the Art
Students League for 15 years, beginning in 1958. In 1963,
he became the second African American member elected to
the National Academy of Design in New York City. He became
a full member four years later. His paintings are in many
public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
the Detroit Institute of Arts, the National Gallery of Art in
Washington and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black
Culture in New York City.

1999 – A jury in Jasper, Texas convicts white supremacist John
William King of murder in the gruesome dragging death of an
African American man, James Byrd Jr. King will be sentenced
to death two days later.

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

February 22 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 22 *

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1841 – Grafton Tyler Brown is born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A
lithographer and painter, he will be the first African American
artist to create works depicting the Pacific Northwest and
California. His paintings will be collected by the Oakland
(California) Museum of Art, Washington State Museum, and private
individuals. He will join the ancestors in 1918.

1865 – Tennessee adopts a new constitution abolishing slavery. This
will allow Tennessee to become the first former confederate
state to be re-admitted to the Union.

1888 – Horace Pippin is born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His right
arm crippled in World War I (where he will earn a Purple
Heart), Pippin will paint holding the wrist of his practically
useless right arm in his left fist. The self-taught artist
will win wide acclaim for the primitive style and strong
emotional content of his work. He will join the ancestors on
July 6, 1946.

1898 – The African American postmaster of Lake City, South Carolina
joins the ancestors after being lynched. His wife and three
daughters are shot and maimed for life.

1906 – African American evangelist William J. Seymour first arrives
in Los Angeles and begins holding revival meetings. The
“Azusa Street Revival” later broke out under Seymour’s
leadership, in the Apostolic Faith Mission located at 312
Azusa Street in Los Angeles. It will be one of the pioneering
events in the history of 20th century American Pentecostalism.

1921 – Jean-Bedel Bokassa I is born in Bobangul, Oubangul-Chari,
French Equatorial Africa (present-day Central African
Republic). He will become a career soldier who will seize
power from President David Dacko in a 1965 coup. In 1972 he
will proclaim himself president-for-life, ruling the country
with brutal repression, using its revenues for personal
enrichment, and crowning himself emperor in 1976. He will be
deposed in September 1979 and was imprisoned for murder in
1986 after seven years in exile. He will be pardoned in 1993
and will join the ancestors on November 3, 1996 at the age of

1938 – Ishmael Scott Reed is born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He will
become a poet (nominated for the National Book Award for
“Conjure”), novelist (“Yellow Back,” “Radio Broke Down,”
“Mumbo Jumbo,” “Flight to Canada”), and anthologist of the
well-received “19 Necromancers from Now” and “The Yardbird
Reader, Volume I.”

1940 – Chester ‘Chet’ Walker is born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He
will begin his NBA All-Star career with the Philadelphia
’76ers in 1963, averaging 17.3 points per game. The highlight
of his career will be capturing the NBA title in 1967 on a
team that included Wilt Chamberlain. The 76ers will defeat the
Boston Celtics in the Eastern Division finals, preventing them
from going to their ninth straight NBA final.

1950 – Julius Erving is born in Roosevelt (town of Hempstead), New
York. He will become a star basketball player, first for the
ABA’s Virginia Squires and later for the NBA’s Philadelphia
76ers. Known as “Dr. J.,” he will become the third pro player
to score more than 30,000 career points (after Wilt
Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). He will be enshrined in
the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain sets a NBA record with 34 free throw attempts.

1979 – St. Lucia gains its independence from Great Britain.

1989 – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, by Bobby McFerrin, wins the Grammy for
Song of the Year.

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

February 17 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 17 *

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1870 – Congress passes a resolution readmitting Mississippi to the
Union on the condition that it will never change its
constitution to disenfranchise African Americans.

1918 – Charles Hayes is born in Cairo, Illinois. He will be elected
to the House of Representatives succeeding Harold Washington
in 1983. He will join the ancestors on April 8, 1997.

1933 – Bobby Lewis is born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He will become a
Rhythm and Blues singer, who will be at his peak in the 1960’s,
and will be best-known for his recordings of “Tossin’ & Turnin’,”
and “One Track Mind.”

1936 – James Nathaniel (Jim) Brown is born in Saint Simons, Georgia. He
will become a professional football player and actor. He is best
known for his exceptional and record-setting nine year career as
a fullback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football
League (NFL) from 1957 to 1965. In 2002, he will be named by
Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever.
He is widely considered to be one of the greatest professional
athletes in the history of the United States. He will be selected
in the first round of the 1957 draft by the Cleveland Browns. He
will depart as the NFL record holder for both single-season (1,863
in 1963) and career rushing (12,312 yards), as well as the all-time
leader in rushing touchdowns (106), total touchdowns (126), and
all-purpose yards (15,549). He will be the first player ever to
reach the 100-rushing-touchdowns milestone, and only a few others
will do so to date, despite the league’s expansion to a 16-game
season in 1978. Note: His first four seasons were only 12 games,
and his last five were 14 games. His record of scoring 100
touchdowns in only 93 games will stand until LaDainian Tomlinson
did it in 89 games during the 2006 season. He will hold the record
for total seasons leading the NFL in all-purpose yards (five:
1958–1961, 1964), and will be the only rusher in NFL history to
average over 100 yards per game for a career. In addition to his
rushing, He will be a superb receiver out of the backfield, catching
262 passes for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns, while also adding
another 628 yards returning kickoffs. Every season he played, he
will be voted into the Pro Bowl, and he will leave the league in
style, by scoring three touchdowns in his final Pro Bowl game.
Perhaps the most amazing feat, is that he will accomplish these
records despite never playing past 29 years of age. His six games
with at least 4 touchdowns will remain an NFL record, to date.
LaDainian Tomlinson and Marshall Faulk will both have five games
with 4 touchdowns. He will lead the league in rushing a record eight
times. He will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
The Sporting News will select him as the greatest football player of
all time. His football accomplishments at Syracuse will garner him a
berth in the College Football Hall of Fame. He will also earn a spot
in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, giving him a rare triple crown of sorts,
as well as being one of the few athletes to become a Hall of Fame
member in more than one sport. After his football career, he will
become a movie star and will establish the Negro Industrial and
Economic Union, and work with African American youth with the
Amer-I-Can program, which he will establish.

1938 – Mary Frances Berry is born in Nashville, Tennessee. She will
be an influential force in education and civil rights, become
the first woman of any race to serve as chancellor of a major
research university (University of Colorado in 1976), and a
member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

1941 – Joe Louis retains his world heavyweight boxing crown by
knocking out Gus Dorazio.

1942 – Huey Percy Newton is born in Monroe, Louisiana. He will become a
political and urban activist who, along with Bobby Seale, will co-
found the Black Panther Party in 1966. He will be the party’s Minister
of Defense. He will have a long series of confrontations with law
enforcement, including several convictions, while participating in
political activism. He will continue to pursue an education, eventually
earning a Ph.D. in Social Science from the University of California
Santas Cruz in 1980. He will spend time in prison for manslaughter, due
to his alleged involvement in a shooting that killed a police officer,
but was later acquitted. On August 22, 1989, he will join the ancestors.
after being shot and killed in Oakland, California, by Tyrone “Double R”
Robinson, a member of the Black Guerrilla Family.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain, of the NBA Philadelphia Warriors, scores 67
points against St. Louis.

1963 – Michael Jeffrey Jordan, who will be a star basketball player
for the University of North Carolina, the 1984 Olympic gold
medal team and the Chicago Bulls, is born in Brooklyn, New
York. Jordan’s phenomenal style and scoring ability will earn
him universal acclaim and selection on more than eight all-
star NBA teams and NBA Most Valuable Player more than four

1982 – Thelonious Monk, jazz pianist and composer, joins the ancestors
at the age of 64.

1989 – The African countries of Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia
& Libya form an economic common market.

1997 – The Virginia House of Delegates votes unanimously to retire the
state song, “Carry me back to Old Virginny,” a tune which
glorifies the institution of slavery.

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

February 16 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 16 *

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1801 – The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church officially
separates from its parent, the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Zion church will be incorporated as the African Episcopal
Church of the City of New York. James Varick will be its first
pastor and will later become the first black African Methodist
Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) bishop. It will hold its first national
conference in 1821. The name Zion will not be added to the
church’s name until 1848.

1874 – Frederick Douglass is elected President of Freedman’s Bank and
Trust Company.

1923 – Bessie Smith makes her first recording for Columbia Records.
The record, “Down Hearted Blues,” written by Alberta Hunter
and Lovie Austin, will sell an incredible 800,000 copies and
be Columbia’s first popular hit.

1944 – The U.S. Navy starts its first officer training class of
African Americans at Camp Robert Smalls, Great Lakes, Illinois.
In March, 1944,

1951 – James Ingram is born in Akron, Ohio. He will be raised there
on Kelly Avenue. He will later become a rhythm and blues
singer and will earn at least three Grammy Awards and
seventeen Grammy nominations.

1951 – The New York City Council passes a bill prohibiting racial
discrimination in city-assisted housing developments.

1957 – LeVar Burton is born in Landstuhl, Germany. He will become an
actor, winning a landmark role in the award-winning mini-
series, “Roots,” as the enslaved African youth Kunta Kinte,
while attending USC. He will go on to become a producer,
director and writer for numerous television series and films.

1970 – Joe Frazier knocks outs Jimmy Ellis in the second round to
become the undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion.

1972 – Wilt Chamberlain scores his 30,000th point in his 940th game,
a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the
Phoenix Suns. He is the first player in the NBA to score
30,000 points.

1992 – The Los Angeles Lakers retire Magic Johnson’s uniform, # 32.

1999 – Mary Elizabeth Roche, best known as Betty Roche, joins the
ancestors at the age of 81 in Pleasantville, New Jersey. She
was a singer who performed with Duke Ellington in the 1940s
and 1950s. She sang with the Savoy Sultans from 1941 to
1943, when she joined Ellington’s group. She scored high
marks from critics for the suite “Black, Brown and Beige,” at
Ellington’s first Carnegie Hall concert. She also performed
Ellington’s signature song “Take the A Train” in the 1943
film. “Reveille With Beverly.”

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

February 14 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 14 *

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* Black Facts every day of the year.
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* In the E-mail body place: Subscribe Munirah Your FULL Name

1760 – Richard Allen, is born into slavery in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. He will purchase his freedom in 1786 and will
become a preacher the same year. He will become the first
African American ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church
(1799), and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME)
Church in 1816, and first bishop of the AME Church. He will
join the ancestors on March 26, 1831.

1818 – The birth of Frederick Douglass in Tuckahoe (Talbot County),
Maryland, is attributed to this date. He will state, “I have
no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any
authentic record containing it… and it is the wish of most
masters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus
ignorant.” He will be a great African American leader and
“one of the giants of nineteenth century America. He was
born Frederick Bailey and will change his name to Douglass
after he escapes slavery in 1838. He will join the ancestors
on February 20, 1895 in Washington, DC.

1867 – Morehouse College is organized in Augusta, Georgia. The
school will be moved later to Atlanta.

1867 – New registration law in Tennessee abolishes racial
distinctions in voting.

1936 – The National Negro Congress is organized at a Chicago meeting
attended by eight hundred seventeen delegates representing
more than five hundred organizations. Asa Phillip Randolph
of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters is elected
president of the new organization.

1946 – Gregory Hines is born in New York City. A child tap-dancing
star in the group Hines, Hines, and Dad, Hines will lead a
new generation of tap dancers that will benefit from the
advice and teaching of such tap legends as Henry Le Tang,
“Honi” Coles, Sandman Sims, the Nicholas Brothers, and Sammy
Davis, Jr. He will also become a successful actor in movies
including “White Knights,” “Tap,” and “A Rage in Harlem.” He
will join the ancestors on August 9, 2003.

1951 – Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Jake LaMotta and wins the
middleweight boxing title.

1957 – Lionel Hampton’s only major musical work, “King David”, makes
its debut at New York’s Town Hall. The four-part symphony
jazz suite was conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos.

1966 – Wilt Chamberlain breaks the NBA career scoring record at
20,884 points after only seven seasons as a pro basketball

1978 – Maxima Corporation, a computer systems and management company,
is incorporated. Headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, it will
become one of the largest African American-owned companies
and earn its founder, chairman and CEO, Joshua I. Smith,
chairmanship of the U.S. Commission on Minority Business

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

December 18 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 18 *

1852 – George H. White is born in Rosindale, North Carolina.
He will become a lawyer, state legislator, and in 1896,
the only African American member of the United States
House of Representatives, where he will be the first to
introduce an anti-lynching bill. White will also found
the town of Whitesboro, New Jersey, as a haven for
African Americans escaping southern racism. He will join
the ancestors on December 28, 1918.

1860 – South Carolina declares itself an “independent

1865 – Congress proclaims the ratification of the thirteenth
Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. The
ratification process had been completed on December 6,

1917 – Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis is born in Cogdell, Georgia.
While he will be best known as an actor in such plays as
“Jeb” (where he will meet his wife, Ruby Dee) and “Purlie
Victorious” and films like “Let’s Do It Again,” “Do The
Right Thing,” and “Jungle Fever,” he will be a playwright,
screenwriter, and director(Cotton Comes to Harlem). In
1969, he will win an Emmy for his role in “Teacher,
Teacher” and will be a featured performer in television’s
“Evening Shade.” He will join the ancestors on February 4,

1958 – Niger gains autonomy within the French Community of Nations.

1961 – Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 78
points vs the Los Angeles Lakers.

1964 – Funeral services are held in Chicago for Sam Cooke. Hundreds
of fans will cause damage to the A.R. Leak Funeral Home,
where Cooke’s body is on display.

1971 – Jesse Jackson announces the formation of Operation Push
(People United to Save Humanity), a new African American
political and economic development organization. Jackson,
who resigned from Operation Breadbasket, the economic arm
of the SCLC, says, “the problems of the 1970’s are economic
so the solution and goal must be economic.”

1971 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Rev. Leon H.
Sullivan, founder of Opportunities Industrialization
Centers of America (OIC) for his leadership.

1989 – Ernest Dickerson wins the New York Film Critics Circle Award
for best cinematography for the movie “Do the Right Thing.”

1996 – The Oakland, California School board becomes the first in
the nation to recognize Black english, a.k.a. Ebonics, as a
separate language, NOT a dialect or slang.

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

December 16 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 16 *

1834 – George Lewis Ruffin is born in Richmond, Virginia. The
son of free African Americans, he and his wife, Josephine
St. Pierre Ruffin (1842–1924), will flee to England after
the Dred Scott decision (1857), and return soon to
Boston. While making his living as a barber, he will
speak out on matters concerning African Americans. He
will read the law in Boston and become the first Black
to graduate from Harvard Law School (1869). While
maintaining a thriving practice in Boston, he will serve
in the Massachusetts legislature (1869–71) and Boston
City Council (1876–8), and will be named a municipal
judge (1883). An active Baptist and able speaker, he will
attend national conventions of African Americans and
become a close friend of many prominent people of his
day, including Frederick Douglass. His wife was a partner
in his many efforts to improve the lot of fellow
African Americans. He will join the ancestors on
November 19, 1886.

1838 – The Zulu chieftain Dingaan is defeated by the Boers in
South Africa.

1859 – Shields Green and John Anthony Copeland, two of five
African American freedom fighters, are hanged for their
participation in John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry.
Copeland will be led to the gallows shouting “I am dying
for freedom. I could not die for a better cause. I had
rather die than be a slave.”

1859 – The last slave ship, the Clothilde, landed a shipment of
slaves at Mobile Bay, Alabama.

1870 – The Colored Methodist Church of America is established at
Jackson, Tennessee. The organization will change its
name in 1954 to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
The denomination will grow to include approximately 3,000

1875 – Charles Caldwell, a militant African American militia
officer, joins the ancestors, after being assassinated in
Clinton, Mississippi.

1875 – Alabama A&M College, Knoxville College and Lane College are

1875 – Governor Daniel H. Chamberlain, acting in concert with
white Democrats and conservatives, refuses to resign his

1875 – William J. Whippers is elected judge of the circuit court
of Charleston by the South Carolina General Assembly.

1895 – Andriamanantena Paul Razafinkarefo(Andy Razaf) is born in
Washington, DC. He will become an important lyricist and
musical collaborator with Eubie Blake and Fats Waller. His
most famous songs will include “Ain’t Misbehavin’,”
“Honeysuckle Rose,” and the lyrics to “Stomping at the
Savoy.” He will be inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of
Fame in 1972. The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame entry on Andy
Razaf lists 215 compositions, giving co-writers and
publishers. He will join the ancestors on February 3, 1973.

1934 – John Edward Jacobs is born in Trout, Louisiana and will be
raised in Houston, Texas. He will serve the National
Urban League in many capacities and in 1982 will replace
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. as its president. In the early 1980s,
He will help develop a plan for urban recovery similar to
the 1947 Marshall Plan initiated to assist European nations
after World War II. Aid will be sought from private sectors
to facilitate entry-level job training programs, and he will
propose the League give direct assistance from its own
resources to poverty-stricken minorities and whites, to
include housing and job placement. In addition, he will
recommend the federal government institute full employment
through substantial public works and job training programs,
and along with other civil rights groups, will support
economic pressure in the corporate world to develop markets
and jobs for minorities. He will be an adherent of self-help.
He will promote SAT tutoring, comprehensive teenage pregnancy
prevention, and a male responsibility program for fatherhood,
to address issues contributing to the cycle of poverty in the
African American community. He will also add voter
registration, education, and drug control to the League’s
agenda of priorities. In contrast to Reagan, George H.W. Bush
will be initially receptive to his domestic Marshall Plan
proposal, and he will welcome dialogue with the new
administration. But Bush’s veto of the Civil Rights Act of
1990 will sour the relationship. The early 1990s will also
see new court decisions and conservative political pressure
against affirmative action policies the Urban League supported.
He will lead the National Urban League until 1994. His greatest
achievement with the Nation Urban League will be the
establishment of the Permanent Development Fund, which will
start as a $4.5 million Ford Foundation grant and grow to a
$15 million fund by 1994. After his retirement in 1994, he will
be named executive vice president and chief communications
officer for the Anheuser-Busch Corporation. He will direct
public relations, including consumer and business matters for
Anheuser-Busch until 2006. He will remain on the Anheuser-Busch
board of directors.

1937 – Augusta Savage, sculptress, is commissioned to sculpt a
piece for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The sculpture
is to symbolize the African American contribution to the
field of music. It is the first such commission given to
an African American.

1946 – The first coining honoring an African American and designed
by an African American is issued. The fifty-cent piece
contains the bust of Booker T. Washington.

1962 – William “The Refrigerator” Perry, is born in Aiken, South
Carolina. He will become a NFL defensive lineman with the
Chicago Bears. He will be best known for his occasional
performance as a running back on short yardage situations.

1967 – Wilt Chamberlain, of the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, scores 68
points against the Chicago Bulls.

1973 – Jim Brown’s single season rushing record in the NFL is
smashed by O.J. Simpson. Brown rushed for 1,863 yards,
while Simpson ran for 2,003 yards.

1976 – Rep. Andrew Young is appointed Ambassador and Chief
representative to the United Nations by President Jimmy

1990 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide is elected president of Haiti in
the country’s first democratic elections.

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