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On this date, the
Stono Rebellion (one of the earliest slave insurrections) , led by rebel named Jemmy, leads to the deaths of at least 20 (according to NPR) or 25 (according to Black Facts Online) whites and more than 40 Blacks in Stono, South Carolina west of Charleston, S.C. As a consequence of the uprising, white lawmakers impose a moratorium on slave imports and enact a harsher slave code.

George Washington writes to friend John F. Mercer: “It is among my first wishes to see… slavery… abolished by slow, sure, and imperceptible degrees.”

The AME Zion Church is dedicated in New York City.

Abolitionist, teacher, writer, and public lecturer Sarah Mapps Douglass was born in Philadelphia on this date. She was the daughter of renowned abolitionists Robert Douglass, Sr. and Grace Bustill Douglass. As a child, she enjoyed life amongst Philadelphia’s elite and was well educated by a private school for black women, giving women of color the opportunity to receive a high school education.

In September 1831, the Female Literary Association for free black women in Philadelphia was founded and Douglass became secretary of the new society. Weekly meeting were devoted to reading and recitation for the purpose of “mental cultivation (Winch 106). From 1853 to 1877, Douglass served as a supervisor at the Institute for Colored Youth, a Quaker-sponsored establishment. During this time, she also acquired basic medical training at the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania and at Pennsylvania Medical University, where she studied female health and hygiene–subjects on which she lectured in evening classes and at meetings of the Banneker Institute. In 1855, she married African-American Episcopal clergyman William Douglass

As the daughter of one of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society’s founding members, Douglass became active in the abolitionist movement at a young age. She developed distaste for the prejudices of white Quakers early on and devoted much of her life to combating slavery and racism. Douglass developed a close friendship with white Quaker abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke. At the urgings of the Grimke sisters, Douglass attended the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, held in New York in 1837–the first national convention of American antislavery women to integrate black and white members–and served on the ten-member committee on arrangements for the convention.

Throughout her abolitionist career, Douglass also served as recording secretary, librarian, and manager for the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, contributed to both the Liberator and the Anglo-African Magazine, became a fundraiser for the black press, gave numerous public lectures, and served as vice-president of the women’s branch of the Freedmen’s Aid Society.

Kentucky abolitionist and founder of Berea College, John Gregg Fee was born in Germantown, KY in Bracken County, the son of a slaveholder. Following a conversion with the Christian faith, Fee became a staunch abolitionist. He received an education at Augusta College in Bracken County, Miami University of Ohio, and Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, OH. Fee returned to Kentucky preaching against slavery and, with a land donation from Cassius M. Clay, founded Berea, KY. He then founded Berea College, which became the first interracial college in the state. In 1859, a band of armed men raided Berea while Fee was away and the town was deserted. Fee lived in exile until 1864. The school then became increasingly integrated until a new president, William Goodell Frost, shifted focus toward white Appalachian students. Fee died in 1901.

This date marks the death of Captain Paul Cuffe (58), entrepreneur, merchant, shipbuilder, and activist (a Black nationalist), in Westport, Massachusetts. Cuffee helped American Blacks settle in Sierra Leone in a “return to Africa” attempt.

Alexander Lucius Twilight, who was probably the first Black to graduate from an American college, received B.A. degree at Middlebury College.

This date marks the birth of John Roy Lynch. He was a black politician.

Born a slave in Concordia Parish, La., Lynch was freed during the American Civil War and settled in Natchez, Miss. There he learned the photography business, attended night school, and in 1869 entered public life as justice of the peace for Natchez County. In November 1869 Lynch was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives, and he was reelected in 1871.

Although Blacks never were in the majority in the Mississippi legislature, Lynch was chosen speaker of the House in 1872. That same year he was elected to Congress, and he was reelected in 1874. But by 1876 Reconstruction was over, and Lynch was defeated for a third term. In 1880 he ran again and was declared the loser, but he contested the decision and eventually was returned to his congressional seat. In the House he backed civil-rights legislation. Lynch retired to his plantation in Adams County, Mississippi, in 1883. In 1889 he returned to public office when President Benjamin Harrison appointed him fourth auditor of the U.S. Treasury for the Navy Department.

Always active in the Republican Party, Lynch served as a delegate to the national Republican conventions of 1872, 1884, 1888, 1892, and 1900. He was temporary chairman in 1884--the first Black to preside over a national convention of a major U. S. political party. In his book The Facts of Reconstruction (1913), Lynch attempted to dispel the erroneous notion that Southern state governments after the Civil War were under the control of Blacks. After the American Civil War John Lynch served in the Mississippi state legislature and U. S. House of Representatives and was prominent in Republican Party affairs of the 1870s and ‘80s. He died November 2, 1939, Chicago, Ill.

John R. Lynch presides over Republican National Convention. He is the first Black to preside over a national convention of a major U. S. political party.

Delilah L. Beasley was born on this. She was an African American newspaper journalist.

She was born in Cincinnati, OH. She was the first child of her family. Beasley’s career began at the age of twelve when she became a correspondent for the Cleveland Gazette. Three years later, she published her first column in the Sunday Cincinnati, Ohio, Enquirer under the headline “mosaics.” She moved to northern California in 1910, attending lectures and researching at Cal/Berkeley and writing essays for presentations at local churches. Beasley also wrote for the Oakland Tr ibune.

While at this paper she wrote a Sunday column called, Activities among Negroes, and spent nine year studying black life in the golden bear state. In 1919, she wrote her only book; the classic-The Negro Trail-Blazers of California. Her impact through the news print media was vast; through her efforts the white press stopped using the word “darkie” and “nigger” and began to capitalize the “N” in Negro.

Beasley has the distinction of being the first person to have presented written proof of the existence of Blacks in California. Sensing the value of education in developing moral understanding between different peoples is how she expressed life. Delilah Beasley died August 18, 1934 in San Leandro, CA.

Richard Wright, noted author of “Native Son” and “Black Boy”, was born. He dies in 1960.

On this date, Marjorie Lee Brown was born. She was an African-American mathematician and professor.

From Memphis, TN, her father was a railway postal clerk and her mother died before she was two years old. Because her father had taken two years of college, excelling in mental arithmetic, he passed on his love for math with his children and kept up with them as they grew within the concepts.

After attending public schools, Brown was sent to LeMoyne High School (a private school) and then attended Howard University. While in high school, Brown won the Memphis city singles tennis championship and while at Howard, she sang in the Howard University choir. In 1935, she graduated cum laud. She taught for a while at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, receiving her M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1939. She then joined the faculty of Wiley College in Marshall, TX, beginning work on her doctorate during the summers in Michigan; Brown received a doctorate in mathematics in 1949.

Brown then taught at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) until 1979 and for twenty-five years was the only person in the department with a Ph.D. in mathematics. Brown was a busy person while teaching, writing proposals for equipment and obtaining grants for scholarships from IBM and Shell for NCCU. The Ford Foundation awarded her a fellowship to study combinational topology at Cambridge University in 1952 and 1953. From 1958 to 1959, Brown was a National Science Foundation Faculty Fellow studying numerical analysis at UCLA.

In 1974, before retirement, she was the first recipient of the W. W. Rankin Memorial Award for Excellence in Mathematics Education. After retirement, she used her own money to provide financial aid to many gifted young people so they could pursue their educations. Marjorie Brown died on October 19, 1979.

On this date, the brainchild of historian Carter G. Woodson, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History was organized at a meeting in Chicago, IL, partially in response to the release of D.W. Griffith’s racist film, “The Birth of a Nation” of that same year. On October 2nd, the association was incorporated in Washington, DC by Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland. In 1972 it was renamed to the Association for the Study of Afro American Life and History (ASNLH). Today it is called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASNLH).

The ASALH was dedicated to using education to fend off racist and erroneous ideas about African American life and history. Originally run by Woodson and colleagues
George Cleveland Hall, Alexander L. Jackson, and James E. Stamps, the ASALH encouraged and supported African American historical research and provided important publication outlets for Black scholars, including the Journal of Negro History, created in 1916, and the popular Negro History Bulletin, founded in 1937.

Through these publications and other activities, the Association was important in correctly influencing white public opinion. In 1926, Woodson established an annual
Negro History Week, devoted to the celebration of Black history and culture. This happened 7 days in February, the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. After Woodson’s death in 1950, the leadership of Mary McLeod Bethune and Charles Harris Wesley insured the association’s survival.

In 1976, under the guidance of executive director J. Rupert Picott, Negro History Week was expanded to
Black History Month. The Association continues its mission of providing information on the history of Africans and African-Americans. There are more than 37 branches nationwide that collect, preserve, and promote the achievements and contributions of people of African descent. The organization also maintains and owns the Carter G. Woodson home in Washington, D.C. Woodson was born in New Canton, VA, and received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago. He then earned his PhD from Harvard University. It was due to his efforts that in 1976 Black History Month came to be. Woodson died April 3, 1950 in Washington, D.C.

Elvin Jones was born on this date. He was an African-American jazz drummer.

From Pontiac, Mich., Elvin Ray Jones came from one of jazz’s great musical families, including brothers Thad and Hank. His start with local bands and army military bands led to work as the house drummer at the Bluebird Club in Detroit, where he got his first real exposure to professional talents. In 1956, Jones moved to New York, where he began his playing and recording career with Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, J.J. Johnson and Bud Powell and others.

After a distinguished relationship working with Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner and bassist Jimmy Garrison, Jones has pursued his own career as a leader, working with artists from George Coleman, and Joe Farrell, to Delfeayo Marsalis and Nicholas Payton. Some of Jones’ best recordings are: Illumination! 1963, Live At The Lighthouse, Vols. 1 & 2 1972, Coltrane 1962, A Love Supreme 1964, Sun Ship 1965, Ascension 1965 and A Night At The Village Vanguard 1957.

For many, Elvin Jones will always be remembered for the crucial role he played as the drummer in saxophonist John Coltrane’s “classic” quartet of the 1960s. It was during this period that his place in as one of the jazz drummers was cemented. Known for his swinging, polyrhythmic style built on the bop innovations of Max Roach, Kenny Clarke and, especially, Art Blakey, Jones uses all four of his limbs, seemingly independently, many times “talking” with the main improviser. This style blended with many jazz musicians throughout his career. Elvin Jones died in May of 2004.

Poet Sonia Sanchez was born Wilsonia Benita Driver in Birmingham, Alabama. Most often associated with the Black Arts Movement, she has authorized over a dozen books on poetry, as well as plays and children’s books.

When she was only a year old, her mother died and she was sent to live with her paternal grandmother. In 1943, she moved to Harlem to live with her father, her sister, and her stepmother who was her father’s third wife. In 1955, she received a B.A. in Political Science from Hunter College, where she had also taken several creative writing courses. Later, Sanchez, completed postgraduate work at New York University where she studied poetry with Louis Bogan. Sanchez married poet Etheridge Knight and she had three children with him. They later divorced. In 1972, she joined the Nation of Islam, but left the organization after three years in 1975 because her views on Women’s rights conflicted with theirs.

Sanchez has taught as a professor at eight universities and has lectured at over 500 college campuses across the U.S., including Howard University. She advocated the introduction of Black Studies courses in California. She as the first to create and teach a course based on Black Women and literature in the United States. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University where she began working in 1977, where she had the Laura Carnell chair until her retirement in 1999. She is currently a poet-in-resident at Temple University. She has read her poetry in Africa, the Caribbean, China, Australia, Europe, Nicaragua, Canada, and Cuba. She also appeared on Bill Cosby’s CBS show of the 1990’s.

On this date, Otis Redding was born. He was an African American singer and entertainer.

From Dawson, GA., he began playing drums in school and was paid six dollars a hour on Sundays to accompany gospel groups appearing on local radio station WIBB. He stayed in school until the tenth grade, quitting to help support his family Redding began his recording career in the early ‘60s as a Little Richard-styled shouter. He was working in the band of guitarist Johnny Jenkins at the time, and in 1962 he recorded the ballad “These Arms of Mine.”

When it became an R&B hit, Redding’s solo career was on its way, though the hits didn’t really start to take hold for about three years, when “Mr. Pitiful,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” and “Respect” (later turned into a huge pop smash by Aretha Franklin) were all big sellers. Redding wrote much of his own material, sometimes with guitarist Steve Cropper. Yet at the time, his success was primarily confined to the soul market; his singles charted only mildly on the pop listings.

He was nonetheless tremendously respected by many White groups, particularly the Rolling Stones, who covered Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” and “Pain in My Heart.” One of Redding’s biggest hits was a duet with fellow Stax star Carla Thomas, Tramp, in 1967. That was the same year of a well-received performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Redding’s biggest triumph, however, came just days before his death, when he recorded “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” a significant rise in the examination of intense personal emotions. He was one of the most influential soul singers of the 1960s. Redding embodied to many listeners the power of Southern “Deep Soul,” an emotional voice with both party songs and emotionally aching ballads. Redding at age of 26, died in a plane crash in Wisconsin on December 10, 1967.

Singer and musician, Billy Preston was born.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Bill of 1957. It was the first civil rights legislation to pass Congress since Reconstruction.

Nashville’s new Hattie Cotton Elementary School, with enrollment of 1 Black and 388 whites, was virtually destroyed by a dynamite blast.

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth was mobbed when he attempted to enroll his daughters in a White Birmingham school.

Two churches were burned near Sasser, Georgia. Black leaders asked the president to stop the “Nazi-like reign of terror in southwest Georgia.”

Arthur Ashe became the first African-American men’s singles winner of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship, defeating Tom Okker of the Netherlands at Forest Hills Stadium, New York.

Robert Guillaume wins an Emmy for best actor in a comedy series for Soap.

Vernon E. Jordan resigned as president of the National Urban League and announced plans to join a Washington law firm. He was succeeded by John E. Jacob, executive vice president of the league.

On this date, the Chicago Defender Building was dedicated as a Chicago Landmark.

Located at 3435 South Indiana Ave, the
Chicago Defender was nationally known for its candid editorial policies on behalf of civil rights issues. Built in 1899 by architect Henry Newhouse, this former Jewish synagogue was home to the Chicago Defender newspaper from 1920 until 1960. Founded by Robert S. Abbott in 1905, the “Great Migration” of the early-20th century was largely initiated by Defender editorials advising African-Americans to leave the poverty of the South for new opportunities in the North.

It is one of nine structures in the Black Metropolis-Bronzeville Historic District.

Venus Williams defeated Lindsey Davenport 6-4, 7-5 to win her first U.S. Open women’s singles tournament on this date. Her sister, Serena, won the tournament the previous year.

On this date, the University of Alabama sorority system remained segregated. Melody Twilley, a junior at the University was trying to become the fist African-American to get accepted by a white sorority.

At 7:21 am Twilley’s sorority rush counselor told her “You didn’t get asked back.” The schools top officials, civil rights leaders, and alumnae who dominate the politics and business in the state had followed her progress through the rush selection process closely. Twilley sings in the school choir and carries a 3.87 grade point average.

The University of Alabama remains the last college in the South where no black student has ever been accepted to a traditionally white fraternity or sorority.

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