is born on the Prior Farm near Memphis,
Tennessee. He will be inspired by
the autobiography of evangelist Amanda Berry Smith in 1893, and will found and
organize the “Church of God in Christ,” in Memphis, Tennessee
The Governor of Mississippi requests federal troops to
protect African American voters. Attorney General Edward Pierrepont refuses the request and says
“the whole public are tired of these annual autumnal outbreaks in the South...”
Sarah Mapps Douglass, abolitionist, died in Philadelphia, PA on this date, one day before
her 76th birthday.
Roland Hayes was born on this date. He was an African-American concert singer.
A native of Georgia, and the son of ex-slaves, his family moved to Tennessee when he was
thirteen. He obtained his basic music training in Chattanooga
and in Nashville.
Later he studied in Boston and in London. Roland Hayes
began singing in public during his student days and in 1911 toured with the
Fisk Jubilee Singers. Seizing every opportunity to sing before an audience,
Hayes arranged his own recitals including Jordan Hall and Symphony Hall in Boston.. He organized
several coast to coast tours becoming well known in the American Black
Though a talented success, he was not one financially and like many American
artists before him, Roland Hayes headed for Europe.
There, slowly but surely, he became known in many circles. He was invited to
sing before the King and Queen of England. Upon returning to America, He performed
throughout the western world and enjoyed an international reputation as a
concert tenor during the 1920’s, 30’s & 40’s.
Hayes was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP, taught at Ohio State
University and received numerous awards for outstanding contributions in music
and the betterment of his people and all people. He was the first Black male to
win acclaim in America and Europe as a philharmonic singer. Roland Hayes died in
This date marks the birth of Buck Leonard. He was an
African-American baseball player, one of the best at his position in the Negro
Leonard began his baseball career as a semi-pro star in his hometown of Rocky Mount, North
Carolina but in 1933 he was forced by the depression
to leave home to pursue a professional career.
That season he played successively for the Portsmouth Black Revels, Baltimore
Stars, and Brooklyn Royal Giants, as an outfielder. Smokey Joe Williams saw him
playing with the Royals and connected him with the Homestead Grays for the 1934
season and Leonard remained with the Grays through the 1950 season. During his
tenure in the Gray’s flannels, he quickly gained the respect and appreciation
of inside baseball men. He was also a favorite of the fans, and became a
fixture in the annual East-West All-Star classic. In 1948 Buck was selected to
the East squad’s starting lineup, marking his 11th game, an All-Star
record. In this star-studded competition, he compiled a.317 average and banged
out three home runs to establish another All-Star game record.
When the opportunity finally came to play in the major leagues, Buck’s age,
legs and good sense told him that the opportunity had come too late.
Fortunately, although national recognition of his great talent also came late,
it was not too late, for Buck was still able to smell the roses when he was
inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with Josh Gibson in
1972. He was the left-handed half of the homestead Gray’s power tandem, Buck
Leonard paired with Josh Gibson to lead Cum Posey’s Grays to nine consecutive
Negro National League championships during their untroubled years, 1937-45.
While Josh was slugging tape-measure home runs, Buck was hitting screaming line
drives off the walls and over the walls. Trying to sneak a fastball past him.
James Black was one of the first famous Black Astrologer in the early 70’s! He
lived in Chicago
on the Southside. He was born around 1910-1911! He read for clients like Earth
Wind & Fire, Aura Ajayi, a famous psychic and countless more all over the
world! He was once featured in Ebony Magazine!
Samuel Riley Pierce,
Jr. was born on this date in Glen Cove, NY.
He was an African-American lawyer and politician.
He graduated from Cornell University in 1947 and received a law degree from Cornell Law School
in 1949. He earned a Master of Laws degree from New York University School of
Law in 1952.
From 1953 to 1955, he was an assistant United
States attorney in New
York. In 1955, he became an assistant to the
undersecretary of labor. In 1959 and 1960, Pierce served as a New York state judge. In 1961, Pierce became
a partner in the law firm where he remained until becoming secretary of HUD. He
left the firm temporarily from 1970 to 1973 to serve as general counsel for the
Department of the Treasury.
Pierce served as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) from 1981 to 1989. He then became the first black to serve in President
Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet. In 1989, the U. S. Congress began an investigation to
determine whether Pierce had engaged in mismanagement and abuse of resources
and funds as secretary of HUD. The investigators concluded that, under Pierce,
the department had become a center of influence peddling and favoritism toward
Pierce’s friends and political allies. They reported that Pierce and his aides
may have illegally steered large amounts of government money toward projects developed
by influential Republicans.
As a result, according to the investigators, millions, if not billions, of
dollars were wasted. The funded projects involved the renovation of low-income
housing. In early 1990, a special prosecutor was appointed to determine whether
Pierce or his aides had committed any crimes. The scope of the prosecutor’s
investigation was later expanded to cover a number of other areas, including
Pierce’s role in several other housing programs.
In the early 1990’s, several of Pierce’s aides were found guilty or pleaded
guilty to charges related to influence peddling and favoritism. In 1995,
prosecutors announced that Pierce would not be charged. Pierce died November
Ossian Sweet, a prominent Detroit doctor, is arrested on murder charges
after shots are fired into a mob in front of the Sweet home in a previously
all-white area. Sweet is defended by
Clarence Darrow, who won an acquittal in the second trial.
Willie Tyler is born in Red Level, Alabama. He will become
a well known ventriloquist along with his wooden partner, Lester.
Fred Benjamin was born on this date. He is an African-American dancer,
choreographer, and instructor.
From Boston, Massachusetts,
Benjamin began dancing at age four at Elma Lewis’ School of Fine Arts
in Roxbury. He danced with the Talley Beatty Company from 1963 until 1966, when
they folded. Two years later, he started his own New York-based Fred Benjamin
Dance Company, which existed, largely without funding, for 20 years. Like most
African-American choreographers of the time, his work was compared to that of
Alvin Ailey, but Benjamin modeled himself after his idol, Beatty.
The group movement in “Parallel Lines,” the emphasis on entrances in a work
such as “Our Thing,” and many other works all echoed Beatty’s influence.
Benjamin added ballet to Beatty’s modern, energized style and helped popularize
the genre known as ballet-jazz. He introduced many inner-city youth to dance through
the Harlem Cultural Council’s annual Dance Mobile series, but his greatest gift
may have been in teaching. This is underscored most at New
Center for the Performing
Arts and Steps studios.
Benjamin has also worked extensively in theatrical dance. He has taught in the Netherlands,
worked in summer stock, and danced with the June Taylor Dancers. On Broadway he
worked with Gower Champion and Michael Bennett and performed in such hits as
“Hello, Dolly!” and “Promises, Promises.”
Ruby Bridges was born on this date. She is an African-American activist.
Bridges was born in a little cabin around Tylerton,
Mississippi; her family was very
poor. Her father Abon and mother, Lucille, were determined to get their
daughter an equal education and take a stand. Due to their strong actions, her
father was fired from his job, and her grandparents were forced to leave a farm
where they had been sharecroppers for 25 years. On Nov. 14, 1960 in New Orleans
Bridges was the focus of the historic day public schools were integrated.
She did not know what it meant and wondered (at the time) why white adults were
trying to keep her from an education. Through it all, her parents walked beside
her to the school, holding her hand; knowing how this would benefit their
children and future children. Although, many consider Bridges a hero, for her
the real heroes are her parents. She clearly remembers the white federal
marshals, with bands around their arms, escorting her that day from her car and
into the building. It was Ruby’s first day as a first-grader at William Frantz School.
She spent most of the day in the principals office, when she entered her new
classroom, there were no students and she thought that she was early. What had
happened was the white parents had taken their children out of school that day.
The pain six-year-old Ruby experienced 37 years ago is still felt as a
grown-up. According to Bridges, 37 years ago, fate led her to the job of
improving the quality of education for all Black children. Currently, Bridges
reaches out to parents and encourages them to take an active part in their
She tries to make them understand that education has no limitations, she
stresses moral responsibility to one another regardless of the color of our
skin, social, economic, or political status and all can to ensure a better life
for children and us.
Cheeks is born.
He will become a professional basketball player and will play guard for the New
York Knicks and the Philadelphia
Althea Gibson, tennis
champion, became the first Black to win a major United
States national championship on this day when she
defeated Louise Brough, 6-3, 6-2, in Forest
Hills, NY. Vice
President Richard Nixon handed Gibson the trophy filled with gladioli and red
roses. Gibson broke the color barrier in tennis in the 1950s by becoming the
first Black player to compete at a national tennis championship. At 5-foot-11,
Gibson used an attacking serve-and-volley style to dominate women’s tennis from
1956-1958, winning 11 Grand Slam titles: five in singles, five in doubles, and
one in mixed doubles. Her first major singles title came in 1956 at the French
Open, and she won both Wimbledon and the U.S.
Open in 1957-58. She was honored as the Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the
Year in 1957 and 1958, and, after her 1957 Wimbledon victory, she was given a
parade in New York City.
Gibson went on to become the first Black player on the LPGA when she retired
from tennis. She wrote two books, I
Always Wanted To Be Somebody and So
Much To Live For. Gibson died on September 28, 2003, in East Orange, NJ.
She was 76.
who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in “Carmen Jones,” joins the
ancestors at the age of 41 in Hollywood,
California. She had starring
rolls in “Carmen Jones” (1954) and “Porgy and Bess” (1959).
Black Panther Huey Newton is convicted of voluntary
manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an Oakland
policeman. He will later begin a 2 to l5-year jail sentence.
The first “Miss Black America
a contest held exclusively for African American women, was held in Atlantic City. Saundra Williams was crowned the first Miss
Black America in a contest held exclusively for African American women in Atlantic City, New
Hank Aaron sets the record for most Home
Runs in one league (709).
The City of Boston begins court ordered citywide busing of public
schools amid scattered incidents of violence.
Roy Wilkins, the second
Executive Director of NAACP, died in New
York. He was born in 1901.
Oprah Winfrey made
television history on this date when she became the first Black woman to host a
nationally syndicated talk show.
of Illinois is selected as Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Haitian native, a third-year law student at Duke
University, is the fourth woman of
African descent to become Miss America.
On this date, two African-American women decided the women’s U. S. Open tennis tournament
championship for the first time. The opponents also were
Additionally this was the first Grand Slam final between African-Americans and
sisters had not played in a slam final since 1884 at Wimbledon.
Venus Williams (21) and Serena
Williams (19) from Compton, California played two
sets at Arthur Ashe stadium in New York City with Venus winning 6-2, 6-4.
After the match Venus said, “This is our first Grand Slam together and really
that’s the way I’d like it to be, then both of us win in a way.”