Nat Turner was hanged for organizing and leading an armed slave insurrection in Jerusalem, Southampton
County, Virginia. Captured
almost two months after the uprising, he had dug a hole and remained there for
weeks at a time, hiding from his would-be captures. On the morning of October
30th, Turner left his place of hiding in search of food and
provisions. Soon after, a hunting dog picked up his scent and he was later take
into custody. While in prison, Turner gave a detailed statement as to why he
did what he did. He is said to have stated to reporters that he was called by
God. He is reported to have gone ‘quietly’ and ‘calmly’ to his death by
reporters, on November 11, 1831.
D. McCree is granted a patent for the portable fire escape. Patent #440,322.
Bechuanaland becomes part of the Cape Colony in Africa.
On this date, Beulah
Woodard was born. She was an African-American
artist who specialized in sculpture.
From near Frankfort, Ohio, Beulah Ecton Woodard was the youngest
daughter of the William P. Ecton family. In Beulah’s early years a number of
people visited the family and none were more impacting on her that a native
African she met when she was twelve years old, this began a lifelong interest
in the culture of Africa. Ecton migrated to California and settled near Los
Angeles in what is now Vernon,
California. While at Polytechnic High School, she began to show interest
in sculpture. Ecton developed her craft further with course at the Los Angeles Art
School, the Otis Art Institute, and
the University of
Felix Piano, David Edstrom, Glen Lukens, and Prince Troubesky tutored her.
After her marriage to Brady Woodard, she began to work in a studio set in the
rear of their home. Her earliest work published occurred via a column in the
California News along with displays in the office window of the publication.
Soon after this her works was invited for display at the Vernon Branch Library
and the Los Angeles Central Library downtown. This led to a one-person show in
1935 at the Los Angeles
(she was the first Black to be honored there). He popularity as a lecture grew
throughout southern California
from institutions ranging from elementary to University graduate schools.
Woodard won a number of awards including the third All-City Art Festival in
Despite her full schedule, Woodard always found time to support community
causes and promote other artist. She was an important organizer of both the Los
Angeles Negro Art Association in 1937, and the Eleven Associated Artist Gallery
in 1950. Prior to what was perhaps her most notable exhibition, a number of
German museums, Beulah Woodard died at the age of 59, on July 13, 1955.
A new constitution with a “grandfather clause” was adopted in Alabama on this date.
This clause, designed to eliminate Black voters, passed with a vote of 108,613
to 81,734. In 1900, Alabama
had 181,315 Black and White eligible voters.
date, Shirley Graham DuBois was born.
She was an African-American author, playwright, composer, and activist.
She was born in Evansville,
Indiana, her father was a
minister and her mother was a homemaker. As a child, her family moved around
the country quite a bit, with Shirley’s earliest memories coming from New Orleans, as well as a
beginning dose of (not) fairy tales but novels such as Ben Hur and Quo Vadis
for children’s reading. Young Graham graduated from high school in Spokane, Washington,
and though soon married, her husband died within three years leaving her with
Feeling a need for a better education to provide for her family, Graham moved
to Paris in 1929 to study music composition, a
year later she returned to America
teaching at Morgan College in Baltimore
for two years. She received her undergraduate and master degrees from Oberlin College in 1934 and 1935. Graham then
taught music and arts at Agricultural and Industrial State College in Nashville, she also
became a supervisor at the Chicago Federal Theater in 1936.
It was at this time that she wrote a number of plays, Coal Dust 1938, I Gotta
Home 1939, and Dust to Earth 1941, she also wrote a play for radio Track
Thirteen in 1940. Shirley Graham married W.E.B. DuBois in 1951, a man she had
met as a child of thirteen and admired for many years. After many world tours
with her husband, Ms. Dubois became a citizen of Ghana in 1961. After her husband
died in 1963, Dubois took over a number of his unfinished projects, yet in 1967
she was forced to leave during a military take over.
Relocating to Cairo, Egypt where her son worked as a
journalist, DuBois wrote and published for the rest of her life. Some of her
works include: His Day is marching On 1971, Game! Abdul Nasser, Son of the Nile
1974, Julius K. Nyerere, Teacher of Africa 1975, and a novel The Zulu Heart. Shirley
DuBois died from breast cancer in March 1977.
Claude Clark, Sr. is born near Rockingham,
Georgia. He will study at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, and the University of California, Berkeley, and become a renowned artist whose studies of urban life and social realism will be exhibited widely, including the New York World’s Fair of 1939, the Sorbonne, the Oakland Museum, the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles and in the major group exhibits Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art 1800-1950 and Two Centuries of Black American Art.
marks the founding of Xavier University of Louisiana. They are one
of the over 100 Historical Black Colleges
and Universities in America.
Located in New Orleans,
the small liberal arts college dates back to 1915, when Mother Katharine Drexel
founded the coeducational secondary school. Mother Katharine, supported by the
interest of a substantial inheritance from her father, founded and staffed many
institutions throughout the U.S.
to help educate Native Americans and Blacks. In 1925 Xavier
University became a reality when the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was
established. The first degrees were awarded three years later. In 1927, a College of Pharmacy was opened. Construction of the
U-shaped, gothic administration building (now a city landmark) was completed in
Through the years, as needs dictated, the campus gradually filled out, with the
addition of a library which now houses music, the gymnasium, the Norman C.
Francis Academic/Science Complex, the new Library/Resource Center and College of Pharmacy addition, Xavier South, a
multi-story office building, was purchased in 1990. A new residence hall (the
Living/Learning Center) was opened in 1999, while an addition to the science
complex is nearing completion. The Sisters remain a vital presence on campus
but today, Xavier is governed by a bi-racial Board of Trustees.
Even with its special mission to serve the Black, Catholic community, today,
more than 50 percent of Xavier’s students are of other religious affiliations,
and close to 10 percent are of other races. Recent years have seen a growing
influx of out-of-state students, yet one-half of Xavier’s 3,600 students are
from the New Orleans
area. The balance represents some 40 states and 20 foreign countries. Since
1986, total undergraduate enrollment has increased by 86 percent. The results
of Hurricane Katrina Have caused Xavier to reopen in January 2006.
The Armistice is signed, ending World War
I. Official records listed 370,000 African American soldiers and 1400 African
American commissioned officers. A little
more than half of these soldiers served in the European Theater. Three African American regiments—the 369th,
371st, and 372nd—received the
Croix de Guerre for valor. The 369th was the first American unit to
reach the Rhine River
(which separates France from
The first American soldiers to be decorated for bravery in France were
Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts of the 369th Infantry Regiment.
The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to James Weldon Johnson, former U.S. consul
in Venezuela and Nicaragua and
NAACP executive secretary, for his work as an author, diplomat and leader.
Louis Armstrong recorded the first of Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings that
influenced the direction of jazz.
Ernestine Anderson is born in Houston,
Texas. Her introduction to jazz
singing will begin at age 12 at the Eldorado Ballroom in Houston. She will perform with Russell
Jaquet, Johnny Otis, and Lionel Hampton and be known for her warm,
date, LaVern Baker was born.
She was an African-American singer and entertainer.
Delores Williams (her name at birth) began singing at an early age. The natural
power of her voice like many of her peers before her came from her gospel
background. Raised by her aunt, the famed Memphis Minnie also influenced young
Delores. In late in 1946, as soon as she was old enough to go from singing for
the Lord in choir to singing for money in a business that served liquor, she
got a job at the Club De Lisa.
She used two alias’ depending on her audience. There, billed as Little Miss
Sharecropper, she performed in a custom-tattered patched-sack dress. For the
other clubs, she was Bea Baker, possibly derived from Memphis Minnie’s real
name — Merline Baker. In 1947, seventeen-year-old Williams moved with her
family to Detroit,
where she sang at the Flame Show Bar. In 1949, she was heard on record for the
first time, singing with the Eddie Penigar Band on RCA-Victor.
In 1950, she recorded Sharecropper’s Boogie for Columbia,
with Hot Lips Page and Red Saunders, but a year later, Columbia’s Okeh released three singles by
her, as Bea Baker, with Maurice King and His Wolverines. In 1952, she replaced
Kitty Stevenson as the vocalist with Todd Rhodes and His Orchestra, taking the
name LaVern Baker. The acclaim she gained through her singing with Rhodes was
such that she was able to tour Europe successfully on her own. In 1953, upon
her return, Baker set out to establish a solo, the record company she came to,
Atlantic, had been in business barely five years.
Baker began recording and from that first session came Soul On Fire, penned by
Atlantic’s founder Ahmet Ertegun. Her first hit, Tweedly Dee, rose in 1955 to
became a Number Four R&B hit and a Top Twenty pop hit. It defined the sound
of LaVern Baker’s glory, never straying far from the source in the Baptist
church-light of her background. See See Rider, 1962, was Bakers last big hit.
Not long after that, she left Atlantic. The times had changed. But the truth
remained: hers was one of the voices that first brought rock ‘n’ roll to glory.
LaVern Baker died in 1997 due to complications of diabetes.
Corrine Brown is born in Jacksonville, Florida. She will receive a bachelor’s degree
in 1969 and a master’s degree in 1971 from Florida A&M University. She will
also receive an education specialist degree from the University of Florida in
1974 and an honorary doctorate in law from Edward Waters College. She will be a
college professor, a guidance counselor, and owner of a travel agency before
entering politics. In 1982 she will be elected to the Florida House of
Representatives, where she will serve for ten years. In 1992 she will be
elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida’s Third Congressional
Otis Armstrong is born. He will become a NFL running back and the AFC’s leading
rusher in 1974 with the Denver Broncos.
James Rosamond Johnson, actor and co-composer of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” died in New
York City on this date. James Rosamond wrote the music and his brother, James
Weldon, wrote the words to the song.
Prime Minister Ian D. Smith of Rhodesia proclaims independence from Great Britain.
Ronnie Devoe is born. He will become a singer with the groups “New Edition” and “Bell,
Biv, and Devoe.”
The image converter for detecting electromagnetic
radiation was patented by George R. Carruthers making him
the first Black to do so.
Carl T. Rowan, journalist, becomes the first African American elected to the ‘Gridiron
independence from Portugal after 500 years of colonial rule. Angola, in
southeastern Africa, had been waging guerrilla warfare against Portuguese rule
since 1961. In 1974, back in Portugal, a group of young military officers
overthrew the government. The new government quickly granted independence to
Portugal’s colonies. Thus, on November 11, 1975 Angola officially became an
The Bethune Museum and Archives is established in Washington, DC. The goal of the museum, which is
housed in the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, is to serve as a depository
and center for African American women’s history.
Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. dies of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia. Better known as “Daddy
King,” he was the father of famed civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
and was himself, an early civil rights leader. The elder King was pastor of
Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the center for much of his son’s civil
The city of Yonkers,
New York is found guilty of segregating in schools
The Civil Rights Memorial is dedicated in Montgomery, Alabama.
The European Union’s 15 member states decide to pull their envoys out of Lagos to show
their anger at Nigeria’s execution of human rights leaders.
Nigerian author and poet Ken Saro-Wiwa is executed.