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, MS. 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, as a Republic, to the Mississippi House of Representatives,
and, later, 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. Ultimately, he was
elected to the House, serving in the 43rd, 44th, and 47th
Congresses representing the State of Mississippi.
Lynch retired to his plantation in Adams
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 and 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, IL.
On this date, Jesse
Moorland was born. He was a Black minister,
community executive, and civic leader.
Jesse Edward Moorland came from Coldwater,
Ohio, the only child of a farming
family. As an infant his mother died and his father left him to be raised by
his maternal grandparents. Moorland attended Northwestern
in Ada, Ohio.
Upon graduation, he t aught in the pubic schools system of nearby Urbana before moving to enroll I the Theological
department of Howard
received his master degree in 1891 and was ordained a Congressional minister
and appointed secretary of the Washington D. C. branch of the YMCA the same
Two years later he relocated to Nashville, TN for a pastoral appointment at their Howard Chapel and
in 1896, he became pastor of Cleveland’s
Mount Zion Congregational Church. As the twentieth century approach, Moorland
was involved in the movement to make Protestantism “relevant” to the current
social conditions. In 1898, he accepted a post as an administrator and
fund-raiser in the Colored Men’s Department of the YMCA.
While in this position, Moorlands developed many programs for cultural
self-improvement, including lectures, debates, Bible classes, workshops on job
skills, literacy classes, and sports. In 1914 he became senior secretary
continuing to build and strengthen the YMCA into a national institution. He
retired from there in 1923.
Moorland then devoted himself black social organizations such as the National Health Circle
for Colored People, and he helped found the Association for the Study of Negro
Life and History with Carter G. Woodson in 1915. That same year he donated his
personal library on black history to Howard
collection formed the foundation of the Moorland-Spingarn research Center.
Jesse Moorland died in New York
Poet Georgia Douglas Johnson was born on this date. (Note that her year of birth has been noted from 1877
to 1886. See below.) She was an
important figure of the Harlem Renaissance, the literary and cultural movement
that flourished in the predominantly black Harlem neighborhood of New York City after World
War I (1917-18).
She was born Georgia Douglas Camp Johnson in Atlanta on September 10, around the year 1877, to Laura Jackson and
George Camp, wealthy Englishman of whom she knew very little.
In the late 1900’s she studied music at Oberlin in Ohio. Johnson graduated from
Atlanta University Normal
College in 1896 and later
worked as an assistant principal there. She also studied music at Oberlin
Conservatory and at the Cleveland College of Music, both in Ohio. She met her husband, Henry Lincoln
(Link) Johnson, a lawyer and government employee, while at Atlanta University
and they married in 1903. She and Link had two sons, Henry Lincoln, Jr. and
Peter Douglas. The family moved to Washington,
D.C. in 1910, where Link established a law practice and she remained for the
rest of her life.
Johnson called her home at 1461 S Street, Northwest in
the Half-Way House, in the spirit of her willingness to provide shelter for
those in need. There her home was the site of weekly Saturday night gatherings
known as the “S Street Salon” where many prominent writers of the Harlem
Renaissance introduced new material. These writers included Mary P. Burrill, Louis
Alexander, Gwendolyn Bennett, Marita Bonner, Countee Cullen, Clarissa Scott
Delaney, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Angelina Weld Grimke, Langston Hughes, Alain
Locke, Kelly Miller, May Miller, Bruce Nugent, Willis Richardson, Anne Spencer,
Jean Toomer, and E. C. Williams, as well as Angelina Weld Grimke and Zora Neale
After the death of her husband in 1925, Johnson was
forced to support herself and her two sons through a series of temporary jobs.
She worked as a substitute teacher and a file clerk for the civil service,
ultimately securing a position as a conciliator with the Department of Labor,
where she worked for eight years (1925-1934). Although working full-time, she
continued to feverishly produce literary works and maintain a column for 20
weekly newspapers. Throughout her career she wrote poetry incessantly, edited
close to 100 books, wrote over 40 plays and 30 songs; only five of those plays
were ever published and three produced.
Johnson’s first collection of poems, four volumes of
poetry, The Heart of a Woman (1918), Bronze (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928), and Share My World (1962), established her as one of the most
accomplished African American woman poets of the literary movement of her time.
Built on themes of loneliness, isolation, and the confining aspects of the
roles of women, the title poem substitutes the metaphor of “a lone bird, soft
winging, so restlessly on” for “the heart of a woman,” which ultimately “falls
back with the night / And enters some alien cage in its plight, / And tries to
forget it has dreamed of the stars.” Although some critics have praised the
richly penned, emotional content, others see a need for something more than the
picture of helplessness presented in such poems as “Smothered Fires,” “When I Am
Dead,” and “Foredoom.”
Johnson’s second collection of poems, Bronze: A Book of Verse, deals primarily
with the issue of race, while her third collection, An Autumn Love Cycle, returns to the feminine themes explored in
her first collection. From this collection, the poem “I Want to Die While You Love Me” is the most often anthologized from her work.
In addition to poetry, Johnson wrote several plays.
During the fall of 1926, her play Blue Blood was performed by the Krigwa
Players in New York City
and was published the following year. Blue Blood was an Opportunity
contest finalist was one of the four best plays of 1926. In 1927 Plumes, a folk
tragedy set in the rural South, won first prize in the Opportunity competition,
a literary contest sponsored by the National Urban League’s African American
magazine Opportunity. Johnson also submitted
plays to the Federal Theatre Project, but none were ever produced. Johnson
wrote a number of plays dealing with the subject of lynching, including “Blue-eyed Black Boy,” “Safe,” and “A Sunday Morning in the South.” According to the “Catalogue of
Writings” that she produced in 1962-63, Johnson wrote twenty-eight dramatic
works, but few were ever published or produced, and most have been lost. The
catalog also lists a manuscript dealing with her literary salon, a collection
of short stories, and a novel—all have been lost as well. Workers may have
unknowingly thrown away some of these unpublished works when they cleaned out
her house after her death in 1966.
Johnson accepted an honorary doctorate in literature
from Atlanta University in 1965. W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in his foreword to her poetry volume Bronze,
“Her word is simple… It is singularly sincere and true, and as a revelation
of the soul struggle of the women of a race it is invaluable.”
She lived in the Nation’s Capitol for 56 years and died in May 1966. One
of her poems, “I Want to Die While You Love Me,” was read at her Funeral.
Congressman John R. Lynch presided over the Republican National Convention.
Douglas Johnson is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Note from the Munirah Chronicle: Her birth is
uncertain, given as early as 1877 and as late as 1886.) Among her books will be “Heart of a Woman”, “Bronze”, “An
Autumn Love Cycle”, and “Share My Love”. She will be anthologized in Arna
Bontemps’s “American Negro Poetry” and Davis and Lee’s “Negro Caravan,” among
others. Her home in Washington,
DC, will become the center for
African American literary gatherings. She will join the ancestors on May 14,
Alvin Childress was born on this date. He was an African-American Actor.
Mississippi., he is mainly know for his character Amos in the television series
Amos ‘n’ Andy. His other TV and film credits include: Sister, Sister (1982)
(TV). Mister Jacobs; Main Event, (1979), Man in Gym; Bingo Long Traveling
All-Stars & Motor Kings, (1976); Horace, Owner of Black Crackers; Eleanor
and Franklin (1976) (TV); Darktown Strutters (1975); Get Down and Boogie
(1975); Day of the Locust, The (1975), Butler; Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
(1974), Janitor; Banyon (1971) (TV), Mr. Clayton; The Man in the Net, (1959)
(uncredited), Alonzo; Anna Lucasta (1958), Noah; “Amos ‘n’ Andy” (1951) TV
Series, Amos Jones; Keep Punching (1939). Guest Appearances (TV) “Good Times”
(1974), “Reverend Gordon” “Sanford and Son” (1972), “Minister,” and “Perry
Mason” (1957), “Janitor” in “Case of the Tragic Trophy,
Alvin Childress died on April 19, 1986 in Inglewood, California of Parkinson’s
Dr. M. Moran
Weston was born on this date. He was an
African-American minister, businessman and civil rights activist.
From Tarboro, North Carolina, he was the son and grandson
of Episcopal priests and studied under his mother Catherine Perry Weston at St.
Luke’s Parochial School in his hometown. His maternal grandfather the Rev. John
W. Perry had founded this school in 1882. Weston attended St.
Augustine’s Junior College in Raleigh
North Carolina, graduating in
1928 as valedictorian. From there he enrolled at Columbia
University in New York City, graduating in 1930.
His career as a social activist and priest was centered in that city. During
the 1930s he studied at the General Theological Seminary the Divinity School
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia
and the Union Theological Seminary in New
York City. He received the Bachelor of Divinity degree
in 1934. He studied at the New School for Social Research 1935-37 and received his
Ph. D. from Columbia
University in social
history in 1954. During these years Weston participated in several student and
community organizations that supported Negro interracial youth civic and labor
causes. He worked as a caseworker and supervisor for the New York City
Department of Social Welfare from 1935-41.
In 1941 he began writing his column Labor Forum that appeared in The Amsterdam
News for almost ten years. From the 1950s through the 1990s Weston served on
many boards including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Leake and Watts Children’s
Home, the New York City Mission Society, the Community Service Council of
Greater New York, Columbia University, the Phelps-Stokes Fund, Mt. Sinai
Medical School and Hospital, St. Augustine’s College Raleigh NC, C. A. R. E.,
the Urban League of Westchester County the Foreign Relations Association, the Cathedral
of St. John the Divine, the Harlem Cultural Council and the Schomburg
Weston’s scholarly accomplishments include a position as a tenured Professor of
Social History in the Department of African and African-American Studies at the
State University of New York at Albany from 1968
to 1977 and as a Visiting Professor at the University of Nigeria
in 1978. Other publications include Episcopalians at Work in the World 1952,
his dissertation, Social Policy of the Episcopalian Church
in the Twentieth Century 1964, Who Is This Jesus? 1973 and many articles and
Dr. M. Moran Weston had a lengthy and distinguished career in the Episcopal
ministry and in the fight for civil rights for African-Americans and human
rights for all. He died in May 2002.
a physician from Indiana, is named minister to
The Cleveland Call &
Post newspaper is established.
Roy Brown was born on this date. He was an African-American blues musician.
From New Orleans, Louisiana, his mother was an accomplished
singer and organist in church. This was instrumental in why Brown started as a
gospel singer. After a move to Los
in the 1940s and a brief period spent as a professional boxer he won a singing
contest in 1945 at The Million Dollar Theater singing “There’s No You”. In 1946
he moved to Galveston, Texas
singing in clubs; he returned to New
Orleans in 1947.
Soon Brown got an introduction to the president of Deluxe Records, who signed
him. ‘Good Rockin Tonight’ was released in 1947 and reached no. 13 on
Billboard’s R&B charts. Brown’s version was a jump blues with a swing beat.
He and his band “The Mighty Men” were spectacular performers, with the kind of
crowd-pleasing stage histrionics for which Little Richard would soon be famous.
Unfortunately, tastes changed and Brown could not keep up.
The decline of his fortunes coincided with his successfully winning a lawsuit
against King Records for unpaid royalties in 1952, one of the few black
musicians to do so in the 1950s. This has led some to believe that Brown may
have been blacklisted. His popularity was at its lowest at the end of the
1950s, but he managed to find work through the 1960s.
In 1970 Brown closed The Johnny Otis Show at the Monterey Jazz Festival. As a
result of the crowd reaction he recorded “Love For Sale”. In the late 1970s a
compilation LPs of his old work brought about a minor revival of interest. In
1978 he had a successful tour in Scandinavia.
From 1980 until shortly before his death he was on a major upswing, performing
at the Whisky A Go-Go in West
and headlining the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival during the spring of
Brown’s legacy in part was that he brought a soul singing gospel music style to
the emerging genre of rock and roll. Roy Brown died on May 25, 1981.
On this date, Thorton
Dial, Sr. was born. He is an African-American painter
From Livingston, AL, he is a self-taught artist known best
for his images of tigers challenging with the world around them. As a folk
artist Dial has never desired a lot of attention. He worked for thirty years as
a steelworker and for much of that time he released his creative energies by
producing painted objects, which were displayed or buried in his backyard. Dial
began easel painting in 1987 with the encouragement of a white art collector.
Material used in these works range from carpeting, rope, metal, plywood,
bottles and other thing drawn from his immediate surroundings.
Dials themes came from his experiences from living through segregation,
migration North, and the civil rights movement. Dial differs from most folk
artist because his themes reach well beyond his personal experiences. He has
tackled the middle passage, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait,
and the Los Angeles
riot of 1992. Images of men are noticeably are in his work too.
Some of Dial’s pieces are The Tiger Cat, African ladies Dancing, Life Goes On,
Remembering the Road, and Struggling Tiger Proud Stepping. The art world’s
recognition of Thorton Dial clearly is due to his ability to draw the viewer
into his compelling artistic tales by integration striking but familiar images
with courageous color schemes and an intense sense of perception.
Mitchell, certified public accountant and banker from West Virginia,
is named minister to Liberia.
Roy Ayers is born in Los Angeles, California. In high school Ayers will form his first group, the Latin Lyrics, and in the early 60s will begin working professionally with flautist/saxophonist Curtis Amy. He will become a popular jazz vibraphonist and vocalist, reaching the peak of his commercial popularity during the mid-70s and early 80s.
Buchanan was born on this date. He was an
African-American Football Player.
Buchanan, a native of Gainesville, Alabama, was a football and basketball star at A. H. Parker High School
in Birmingham, Alabama. In the late 1950s, Eddie Robinson,
football coach at Grambling College in Louisiana,
offered him one of the few scholarships then available to Black students.
Buchanan played both offense and defense at Grambling.
In 1963, Buchanan was the first player chosen in the first American Football
League draft by the Dallas Texans, who later became the Kansas City Chiefs. The
6 ft. 7 in., 280-pounds Buchanan was known not only for his great size, but
also for his tremendous speed. He became the prototype defensive lineman in the
NFL. He was also durable, missing only one regular season game in 13-years. He
was crucial to the Chief’s two Super Bowl appearances, 1966 and 1969. He
retired as a player following the 1975 season. Buchanan spent three years as an
assistant coach in the NFL two with the New Orleans Saints and one with the
Cleveland Browns before returning to Kansas
A dominant lineman in his day, for eight straight seasons (1965-72) he was
chosen either an AFL All-Star or for the NFL Pro Bowl game. He was named the
Chief’s Most Valuable Player in 1965 and 1967, and was inducted into the Pro
Football Hall of Fame in 1990. He was one of the greatest defensive linemen to
play professional football and a foundation during the glory years of the
Kansas City Chiefs. After his playing career, Buchanan became a successful
businessman and a outstanding civic leader.
He started two businesses in Kansas City, All-Pro Construction Co. and All-Pro
Advertising. His numerous civic activities included his role as a founder of
the Black Chamber of Commerce, where he served as president from 1986-1989.
Buchanan died of lung cancer in 1992.
Bob Lanier was born on this date. He was an African-American basketball player and
is an author, administrator and educator.
From Buffalo, NY, Robert Jerry Lanier Jr. attended Bennett H. S. where he was a three-time All-America player. He
then graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1970. He holds St. Bonaventure
records for scoring (27.6 ppg) and rebounding (15.7 rpg). After college,
the Detroit Pistons as their number one choice in the 1970 draft drafted
Lanier. He was later named to the NBA’s All-Rookie team. His perspective
on life has always reached beyond the basketball court. In 1978, he won
the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. Lanier was traded to Milwaukee
Bucks in 1980.
One year later the YMCA presented Lanier with the Jackie Robinson Award for
service to youth, good citizenship and leadership. In 1989, he began serving as
the National Chairman of the NBA’s “Stay In School” program, he continued this
after retirement from playing. Lanier’s diplomacy both on and off the court
also led him to the presidency of the NBA Players Association. In 1994-95, h e
was an Assistant and Head coach with the Golden State Warriors compiling a
12-25 record. Nicknamed the Dobber, Lanier’s honors include: Elected to
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1992); Six-time All-Star (1974, ‘75,
‘77, ‘78, ‘79, ‘82); All-Star MVP (1974); All-Rookie Team (1971); J. Walter
Kennedy Citizenship Award (1978).
During his 14-year NBA career 10 years with the Detroit Pistons and 4 years
with the Milwaukee Bucks, Bob Lanier was the model of consistency. As a scorer
his left-hand hook and dominating inside play made him one of the most feared
big men of his era. Opposing centers had to keep a watchful eye on Lanier
because he had an equally imposing outside game. His shooting touch from the
perimeter put him in a unique class of being a true inside/outside scorer. He
proved this as an eight-time All-Star and MVP of the 1974 game. Lanier’s career
statistics of 19,248 points (20.1 ppg) and 9,698 rebounds (10.1 rpg) still rank
among the top 20 in NBA records. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame
Currently Bob Lanier is an author and leads the NBA’s “Read to Achieve” program.
Louisville, Kentucky integrates its public school system.
Ethiopian Abebe Bikila wins the marathon at the Rome Olympic Games.
Jomo Kenyatta returns to Kenya from
exile to lead his country.
Justice Hugo Black vacates an order of a lower court, ruling that the University of Mississippi had to admit James H. Meredith, an African American Air Force veteran whose application for admission
had been on file and in the courts for fourteen months.
American students enter public schools in Birmingham, Tuskegee
and Mobile, Alabama, following a standoff between federal authorities and Governor George C.
Father Divine joins the ancestors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Divine, born George Baker, was the founder of the Peace Mission, a religious group whose followers worshiped
Divine as God incarnate on earth.
On this date, 1,300 prisoners took over Attica Prison. They rebelled against their guards and took over the facility in Western New York State.
They held forty guards hostage.
The inmates had a list of demands for better living conditions including
showers, education and vocational training. After seven days of negotiations
between the prisoners and government authorities, the National Guard and state
police seized the prison, killing forty-three people, including ten hostages.
The Medical Examiner’s reports contradicted the statements of prison officials
regarding the alleged atrocities committed against hostages.
Autopsies revealed that hostages did not die from having their throats slashed
by their captors, as had first been suggested by prison officials, but from the
troops’ deadly fire.
Gayle Sayers, of the Chicago Bears, retires
from pro football.
stamp of Henry Ossawa Tanner is issued by the U.S. Postal Service. Part of its American Arts issue,
the stamp celebrates the work and accomplishments of Tanner, the first
African American artist elected to the National Academy of Design.
Muhammad Ali defeats Ken Norton in a championship heavyweight boxing match in Los Angeles—and avenges a loss
to Norton the previous March in San
Guinea-Bissau gains independence from Portugal.
Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals breaks Maury Wills’
major league record for stolen bases in a season. ‘Lighting’ Lou Brock steals his 105th
base on his way to a career total of 938 stolen bases, a record which will be
later broken by Rickey Henderson.
Dr. Mordecai Wyatt
the first African American president of Howard University, joins the ancestors at age 86.
Sprinter, Evelyn Ashford is defeated for the first time in eight years. Ashford loses to Valerie Brisco-Hooks in the 200-meter run held in Rome, Italy.
Judiciary Conformation Committee Hearings for Judge Clarence Thomas began on this date.
At The 52nd
Annual Primetime Emmy awards the following quotes were made as Charles S. Dutton and Halle Berry accepted their respective awards - “There goes my acting career.” - Charles
S. Dutton, accepting as outstanding director of a miniseries or movie for
HBO’s “The Corner.” “Wherever Dorothy Dandridge is right now, I know she
is standing tall and proud and smiling.” - Halle Berry, accepting a best actress Emmy for the
HBO movie “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.”
The first black lawyer admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court was John S. Rock of Massachusetts, who was certified by the court on February 1, 1865.