John Willis Menard of Louisiana
is elected is elected to Congress, making him the African American
representative to Congress. Menard defeats a white candidate, 5,107 to 2,833,
in an election in Louisiana’s
Second Congressional District to fill an unexpired term in the Fortieth
Ulysses S. Grant was elected president with Black voters in the South providing the decisive margin. Grant received a minority of the white
votes in defeating Democrat Horatio Seymour, 3,015,071 votes to 2,709,613.
James Theodore Holly, an African American who emigrated to Haiti
in 1861, is elected bishop of Haiti.
He was consecrated in a ceremony at New
York's Grace Church on November 8.
A political coup and race riots occurred in Danville, Virginia. White conservatives in Danville,
Virginia, seized control of the
local government, racially integrated and popularly elected, killing four African-Americans
in the process.
J.H. Hunter patents the portable weighing scale. Patent #570,533.
South Carolina State College is established.
On this date
Lois Mailou Jones was born.
She was an African-American painter and educator.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Jones was raised by parents
who supported her early talent and ambition. Her father was one of the first
Black graduates of Boston’s Suffolk Law
School, and her mother
was a hairdresser and talented milliner. Jones studied art at Boston High
School of Practical Arts, the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, and the
Designers Art School of Boston. Her family spent summers on Martha’s
Vineyard, where she painted watercolor sketches and enjoyed the
encouragement of artists who summered there.
She moved to Sedalia, North Carolina, to establish an art
department at the Palmer Memorial Institute, a Black preparatory school. Within
two years, her students’ exhibited work had attracted the attention of Howard University,
which invited her to join the faculty in 1930. In 1926, she won her first
award. In the early 1930s, Jones’s art reflected the influences of African
traditions. She designed African-style masks and in 1938 painted “Les Fétiches,”
which depicts masks in five distinct ethnic styles. A sabbatical year in Paris in 1937-38, to study painting at the Julian Academy,
produced a dozen years of landscapes and figure studies. She painted outdoors,
in the French tradition of en plein air, which in French means “in the
open air,” rendering pastoral landscapes and street scenes, and contributed to Paris exhibitions.
Relishing the freedom from racial prejudice she found in France, Jones
summered there often. In 1953 Jones married the artist Louis Vergniaud
Pierre-Noël of Haiti,
where she came to know many of the nation’s artists. From this time she painted
portraits and landscapes in brighter colors and with a more expressionistic
style than she had previously employed. African influences reemerged in Jones’s
art in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, particularly after two extensive research
tours of Africa.
Her paintings became bold and abstract, and African design elements dominated.
A retrospective of her work toured the United States in the 1980s and ‘90s. Her
works reflect a command of widely varied styles and an ability to incorporate
many different influences. In here career, she had major
exhibitions at the Harmon Foundation, the Salon des Artistes Francais in Paris,
the National Academy of Design, and many others. Despite her long career, she
will not have a major retrospective of her work until the Museum of Fine Arts
in Boston mounts a show in her honor in 1973. Lois Jones
died June 9, 1998 in Washington, D.C.
“Emperor Jones” opens at the Provincetown Theater with Charles Gilpin in the title role.
On this date,
The All-Negro Hour,” premiered
on American broadcast radio. This was the first radio program to feature Black
Louis Wade Sullivan is born in Atlanta, Georgia. He will become the founder and first dean
of the Morehouse School of Medicine and Secretary of Health and Human Services,
the highest-ranking African American in the Bush Administration.
William L. Dawson is elected to Congress from Chicago.
Black and white advocates of direct, nonviolent action organized the Congress of Racial Equality in Chicago. Three CORE members stage a sit-in at Stoner’s Restaurant in Chicago’s Loop.
The Spingarn Medal is presented to Asa Philip Randolph “for organizing the Sleeping Car Porters under the Brotherhood of
Sleeping Car Porters and securing recognition for them; and because of his
fearless, determined mobilization of mass opinion that resulted in... Executive
Order No. 8802, which banned racial discrimination in defense industries and
Irving Charles Mollison, a Chicago Republican, is sworn in as U.S. Customs Court judge in New
York City. He is the first Black judge in the continental United States
appointed to this position. He was appointed by President Harry S. Truman.
The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Paul Robeson “for his outstanding achievement in the theater, on the concert stage,
and in the general field of racial welfare.”
Larry Holmes was born in Easton, Pennsylvania. Beginning his career at the age of
13, he became a professional boxer and world heavyweight champion from 1978 to
1985. During his reign, he will defend his title some 21 times, more than any
other heavyweight in history with the exception of Joe Louis.
Jeffrey Banks is born in Washington, DC. He will become an influential fashion
designer and the youngest designer to win the prestigious Coty Award, for his
outstanding fur designs.
On this date,
a “Manifesto on Racial Beliefs” was
published by The Atlanta Constitution.
Dr. Allison Williams, Senior
Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church and 79 other white Atlanta pastors signed
the Manifesto, which was also published in The Atlanta Journal. This document
stated clearly their opposition to the “hatred, defiance, and violence” which
followed the Supreme Court’s granting of “full privileges of first-class
citizenship” to black Americans through the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education
Throughout the South, violent acts against blacks had erupted, led by Ku Klux
Klan and White Citizens Council and supported in many places by elected
officials and business and professional leaders. Williams said, because of the “tremendous
political and social tension” of the time, these 80 men believed that, as
ministers of the Gospel, they had a responsibility “not to be silent concerning
The publication of the manifesto represented bold defiance of the prevailing
attitude in many areas in the city of Atlanta, the surrounding communities,
and the state. Fully aware of the potential personal and professional risks,
it established these men as courageous and unafraid to stand for that which
is “true, honest, and just”.
Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA San Francisco Warriors, scores 72 points vs the Los Angeles
John Conyers, Jr. is elected to the House of Representatives from Detroit, Michigan.
Arthur Walter “A.W.”
Willis, Jr. was elected to the Tennessee General
Assembly making him the first black to hold this position.
Twelve African Americans are elected to the Ninety-second Congress, including five new
H. Metcalfe (Illinois), George Collins (Illinois), Charles
Rangel (New York), Ronald Dellums (California), and Parren
Wilson Riles is elected as the first African American superintendent of Public
Instruction in California.
Richard Austin is elected as the first African American secretary of state in
Harold G. Ford is elected U.S. Congressman from Tennessee.
Dominica is granted
its independence by the Great Britain.
Klansmen fire on an
anti-Klan rally in Greensboro,
North Carolina, and kill five persons.
Coleman Young is re-elected mayor of Detroit, Thurman L. Milnet is elected mayor of Hartford, Connecticut, and James Chase is elected mayor of Spokane, Washington.
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson announces his candidacy for President of the United States. Although
unsuccessful in this and a later 1988 campaign, Jackson will win many Democratic
state primaries. His candidacy will win him national attention and a platform
for increased representation by African Americans in the Democratic Party.
Schmoke won his bid for mayor of Baltimore, MD on
Since the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) was first formed in 1971, it has grown to become a powerful force in
Congress. On this day it gained 16 new members in the 103rd Congress,
expanding to 40 members, then the largest bloc of Blacks in Congress in history.
Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois became the first Black woman to win a U.S. Senate seat on
this day. Moseley-Braun, with support from a broad-based political coalition,
handily defeated Republican Richard Williamson. She held the post until
1998. A Chicago native, Moseley-Braun earned a law degree from the University
of Chicago in 1972 and served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the mid-1970s.
Moseley-Braun won a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1978,
serving until 1988 when she was elected Cook County Recorder of Deeds,
a post she held until her election to the U.S. Senate. She later served
as U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and currently is a Democratic candidate
for the U.S. presidency. The Illinois Senator became only the second Black Senator of the 20th Century.
James Clyburn is the first African American to represent South Carolina since
Reconstruction. He had previously served for 18 years as South Carolina’s Human
The Supreme Court upheld California’s Proposition 209 on this date. Under the guise of a “civil rights bill,” wording used
by its proponents, virtually eliminated Affirmative Action in California.
On this date,
Viacom Inc. announced
that their company had agreed to acquire Black
Entertainment Television (BET). The cost, $3 billion dollars, consisting of
Viacom Class B Common Stock and the assumption of debt.
Robert L. Johnson, Chairman
and majority owner of BET Holdings, and founder of Black Entertainment
Television, the first and largest national cable network targeted to African
Americans, would remain Chairman and CEO, reporting to Viacom President and
Chief Operating Officer Mel Karmazin. Debra Lee, BET President and Chief
Operating Officer, also would continue in that role following the completion of
the transaction, which is expected to occur in early 2001.
BET Holdings II, Inc. was the first African-American owned and operated media
and Entertainment Company to provide quality television programming,
entertainment products, publishing and Internet services specifically designed
to appeal to African-American interests. BET Holdings, which owns and operates
four networks (Black Entertainment Television, BET on Jazz: The Jazz Channel,
BET Action Pay Per View, and BET International); is an investor in four
magazines with Vanguard Media (Heart & Soul, IMPACT, Honey and Savoy); and
owns Arabesque Books, the leading African-American line of romance novels.
The company has also established a new film division, BET Pictures II, to
develop African-American made-for-television movies and theatrical releases.
Other BET Holdings ventures include: BET.com, an interactive web site based
upon a joint venture with Liberty Digital, News Corporation, USA Networks, and
Microsoft; BET Soundstage Restaurant, an entertainment-themed restaurant in
Largo, Maryland; BET Soundstage Club, a dance club on Pleasure Island at Walt
Disney World Resort in Orlando; BET On Jazz Restaurant, a fine dining
restaurant in Washington; Tres Jazz, a restaurant located inside Bally’s Paris
Resort and Casino in Las Vegas; and BET Movies/STARZ!, a premium movie channel
joint venture with Starz Encore Group LLC. Transaction Included Black
Entertainment Television (BET) and Other Cable Networks, BET Books, and BET.com.