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Richard Johnson, a free African American carpenter, is granted 550 acres in Northampton County, Virginia for importing two people under the headlight system.

James Armistead is cited by French General Lafayette for his valuable service to the American forces in the Revolutionary War. Armistead, who was born into slavery 24 years earlier, had worked as a double agent for the Americans while supposedly employed as a servant of British General Lord Cornwallis. As a spy, he participated in the operation that surrounded Cornwallis and led to the British surrender.

The Sisters of the Holy Family parish was founded on this date. In the beginning they were a congregation of Black women (Sisters) established in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Created by
Josephine Charles and Henriette Delille of New Orleans, Juliette Gaudin of Cuba, and Mlle Alcot, a young French lady. It was started under the direction of Father Etienne Rousselon, Vicar-General of the Diocese of New Orleans. They began by teaching the catechism and preparing children and adults for first Communion and confirmation, a mission, which gradually extended in scope.

In 1909 they grew to 105 sisters whose congregation had responsibility of an academy and many parochial schools. These were attended by about 1300 pupils and included a haven for colored girls, a home for the aged, orphanages for colored boys and girls, and industrial schools. Today they are in the Archdioceses of New Orleans and the Dioceses of Galveston, Little Rock, and Honduras. The Sisters of The Holy Family follow the rule of St. Augustin.

Amanda America Dickson was born on this date. She was an African-American slave-aristocrat.

From the Hancock County plantation of white agricultural reformer Davis Dickson, he raped her Black slave mother Julia Frances Lewis. At the time David Dickson was the wealthiest planter in the county. As a child young Dickson grew up in the house of her white grandmother and owner, where she learned to read, write, and play piano; abnormal opportunities for a slave child. Records show that her father doted on her openly and her mother became his concubine and housekeeper.

In 1866, Dickson married her white first cousin Charles Eubanks, a recent Civil War veteran. They had two sons, Julian Henry and Charles Green. In 1870 she returned to her father’s plantation reclaiming her name of birth. Dickson left for two years to attend the Normal School of Atlanta University returning in 1878. In 1885 her father died leaving the bulk of his estate (worth over 300,000 dollars plus 17,000 acres of land) to his daughter and her children. Unhappy white relatives appealed the will. In 1887 the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the lower courts decision stating the “rights of each race were controlled and governed by the same enactment on principles of the law.”

Prior to this Dickson bought a large home at 452 Telfair Street in a wealthy section of Augusta, Georgia. In 1892, she married Nathan Toomer of Houston County, Georgia; the 1870 census listed him as wealthier (30,000) than all freedmen in Houston County. The marriage lasted until Amanda Dickson died on July 11, 1893. Toomer later married Nina Pinchback and their son Jean became one of the great Harlem Renaissance authors.

On this date, Shaw University, a private, coeducational institution was founded. This school is one of over 100 Historically Black College and Universities and is affiliated with the Baptist Church.

Shaw offers associate and bachelors degrees in an extensive range of fields (22 majors). It has courses of study in the liberal arts, the arts and sciences, business administration and management, communications, computer science, law, education, physical education, engineering, theological studies, public administration, and one master’s degree program in divinity.

Their Center for Alternative Programs of Education (CAPE) allows students in nine cities across North Carolina the opportunity to pursue an academic degree through flexible course scheduling, independent study, and credit for prior learning experiences. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Shaw University. It awards the associate, bachelors and masters degrees. Shaw is located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Marshall “Major” Taylor is born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He will become an international cycling star who will be the first native-born African American to win a national sports title.  During his career, Taylor will win over 100 professional races and one-on-one matches in the U.S. and nine other countries.

Granville T. Woods, inventor, receives a patent for the “Electric Railway Conduit.”

Coleman Hawkins was born on this date. He was an African-American Jazz Composer and Saxophonist who virtually created the presence of the tenor saxophone in jazz.

Coleman Randolph Hawkins was from St. Joseph, Missouri. His mother was a schoolteacher & organist and introduced him to music. Hawkins started playing piano at five, switched to cello and to the Saxophone. In 1921 he was playing with the 12th street Theater in Kansas City while studying music at the industrial & educational institute and Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas. In this year, he joined Mamie Smith, famous blues singer, and her Jazz Hounds.  Beginning in 1922, he played with Fletcher Henderson’s band, recording with Black Swan Records. This lasted for eleven years and made him a star.

In 1934, Hawkins toured Europe for five years playing with groups from Belgum, France, Denmark and
the Netherlands, returning to the U.S. in 1939. His most important record was “One Hour” and Body & Soul, these made him and the Tenor Sax landmarks of the twentieth century. In the 1940s Hawkins put together a big band and performed with Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro and others.

In his later years Coleman Hawkins continued to appear at Jazz festivals and clubs. Liver problems and alcohol took their toll; he died in 1969.

Henry B. Delany is elected saffragan bishop of the Protestant Episcopal diocese of North Carolina.

The birth of Julius Harris is celebrated on this date. He was an African-American actor.

From Philadelphia, PA., Harris’ mother was a Cotton Club dancer and his father was a musician. Harris served as an Army medic during World War II and became an orderly and a nurse after leaving the military in 1950. He eventually moved to New York City, where he landed his first role as actor Ivan Dixon’s drunk, defeated father in “Nothing But a Man;” a critically acclaimed 1964 film about Black life in the South starring Dixon and Abbey Lincoln. Harris was also a former member of the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City.

He played many diverse roles in an acting career that spanned four decades. He was the evil Tee Hee in the James Bond film “Live and Let Die” and a gangster in the 1972 film classic “Superfly.” Regarding Superfly, Harris told the Los Angeles Times in October 2003: “Even today, if I am walking in a black neighborhood, people call me by my ‘Superfly’ name Scatter.” Harris appeared in more than 70 film and television productions in roles that included a preacher who headed a slave group in the 1982 Civil War miniseries “The Blue and the Gray” and Ugandan President Idi Amin in the TV movie “Victory at Entebbe.”

His work helped African-Americans break out of stereotypical movie roles and move to more dynamic heroes and fully realized human beings,” actress Halle Berry also honored him in a taped introduction to Harris’ film work. Julius Harris, a true stage and screen performer, died of heart failure at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital on October 22, 2004. He had two children, Kimberly and Gideon.

S.H. Love patents improved vending machine. Patent #1,936,515

James DePreist was born on this date. He is an African-American performer, composer, arranger and conductor of music and poet.

From Philadelphia, PA DePreist is the nephew of the legendary contralto Marian Anderson. He studied piano and percussion from the age of 10, but did not decide on a musical career until he reached his early 20s. After graduating from high school, he entered the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania as a pre-law student, receiving a B.S. in 1958 and an M.A. in 1961. DePreist also studied music history, the theory of harmony and orchestration at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, and composition with American composer, Vincent Persichetti.

In 1962, the State Department sponsored a cultural exchange tour of Asia, engaging DePreist as an American specialist in music. During this tour, DePreist was stricken with polio, paralyzed in both legs, and flown home for intensive therapy. Within six months, he had fought his way back to the point where he could walk with the aid of crutches and braces. Courage, determination and talent carried him to the semi-finals of the 1963 Dmitri Mitropoulos International Music Competition for Conductors. After another overseas tour as conductor in residence in Thailand, DePreist returned to the United States. He appeared with the Minneapolis International Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In 1964, he captured first prize in the Mitropoulos International Competition. Then following year he conducted Marian Anderson´s farewell concert at Philadelphia´s Robin Hood Dell. A gifted and versatile musician, James DePreist has been active in several areas of music. It is in the last-named field that he has been most often acclaimed by musicians and critics alike, as a young man of rare ability. This estimate was confirmed in 1965 when he was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. DePreist made his highly acclaimed European debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in 1969. In 1971 Antal Dorati chose him to become his Associate Conductor with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C.

He has 13 honorary doctorates and is the author of two books of poetry. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and is a recipient of the Insignia of Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland, the Medal of the City of Québec and is an Officer of the Order of Cultural Merit of Monaco. DePreist is currently Laureate Music Director of the Oregon Symphony and Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at the Juilliard School. He appears regularly at the Aspen Music Festival, with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center, and the Juilliard orchestras at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. In 2005 he also will become Permanent Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

Widely esteemed as one of America’s finest conductors, James DePreist, during the past three decades has served as Music Director of L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Sweden’s Malmö Symphony, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo and the Oregon Symphony. As a guest conductor he has appeared with every major North American orchestra, and internationally he has conducted in Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Manchester, Melbourne, Munich, Prague, Rome, Rotterdam, Seoul, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Vienna. He will make his London debut with the London Symphony at the Barbican in April 2005.

Earl “the Pearl” Monroe, NBA Guard (New York Knicks, BaltimoreBullets), is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

TransAfrica’s Randall Robinson, Washington, DC congressional delegate, Walter Fauntroy, National Council of Negro Women’s Dorothy Height, and U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner, Mary Frances Berry, among others, demonstrate and are arrested in a sit-in demonstration in front of the South African Embassy in Washington, DC on this date. They protested against apartheid, South Africa’s policy of racial discrimination, as well as the Reagan Administration for it leniency with South Africa’s policies. Their demonstration was repeated and spread to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other cities and involved such notables as Jesse Jackson, Arthur Ashe, Harry Belafonte, and Stevie Wonder. Their efforts played a large part on the passage of the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, which put in place economic sanctions against South Africa.

On this date, Rachel Y. Mazyck of Laurel, MD became the latest African American Rhodes Scholar.

The 2005 research winner on her way to Oxford University, she is one of 32 Americans given scholarships to study abroad in 2005. Mazyck is a 2002 graduate of the University of North Carolina; she has an undergraduate degree in English and will graduate from Harvard University’s master’s program in education policy and management.

She will use the scholarship to earn a doctorate of philosophy specializing in educational studies.

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D. McCree is granted a patent for the portable fire escape. Patent #440,322.