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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 Congress.

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 performers exclusively.

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 government work.”

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 decision.

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 their convictions.”

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 Lakers.

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 congressmen: Ralph H. Metcalfe (Illinois), George Collins (Illinois), Charles Rangel (New York), Ronald Dellums (California), and Parren Mitchell (Maryland).

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 Michigan.

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.

Kurt Lindell Schmoke won his bid for mayor of Baltimore, MD on this date.

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 Affairs Commissioner.

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:, 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

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