Today In Black History RSS

Activist, African American, Author, Black Activist, Black Artists, Black Economics, Black History, Black Leaders, Black Power, Civil Rights, Descrimination, Dick Gregory, Freedom Riders, Influential, Negro League, Philanthropy, Poetry, Politics, Theatre -

Dick Gregory, a pioneering force of comedy in the 1960s who parlayed his career as a stand-up comic into a life of social and political activism, has died Saturday (Aug. 19) of heart failure, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 84. "It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, D.C.," his son Christian Gregory said via a statement from his father's rep. "The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they...

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African American Women, Black Women, Maria W. Stewart, Strong Black Women -

Maria W. Stewart, best known as one of the earliest female public speakers, was born Maria Miller in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1803. Her parents’ first names and occupations are not known. Stewart was orphaned by age five and became an indentured servant, serving a clergyman until she was fifteen. She also attended Connecticut Sabbath schools and taught herself to read and write.  In 1826 Miller married James W. Stewart. Her husband, a shipping agent, had served in the War of 1812 and had spent some time in England as a prisoner of war. With her marriage, she became part of Boston’s small free black middle...

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Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago -

Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago sign The Treaty of Chaguaramas This day markst the 26th anniversary of the Treaty of Chaguramas which was signed in Trinidad, July 4, 1973 to establish the Caribbean Community and Common Market - CARICOM. It was the result of a 15 year effort to fulfil the hope of regional integration which began with the establishment of the British West Indies Federation. CARICOM member states are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. The Treaty...

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Carnegie Hall, HBCU, Today In Black History -

  Henry Lewis, who broke racial barriers in the music world as the first black conductor and music director of a major American orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, and as the first black to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 63. The cause was a heart attack, his former wife, the mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, said. Though suffering from lung cancer in recent years, he continued to serve as music director of the Opera-Music Theater Institute of New Jersey and of the Netherlands Radio Orchestra, and was a frequent...

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Black History, Black Power, Medgar Evers, NAACP, US Army -

  June 12, 1963 - Medgar W. Evers, civil rights leader, is assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi. In the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi, African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot to death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. During World War II, Evers volunteered for the U.S. Army and participated in the Normandy invasion. In 1952, he joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As a field worker for the NAACP, Evers traveled through his home state encouraging poor African Americans to register to vote and recruiting them into the civil...

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Black History, Black Power, Joseph H. Dickson, Piano, Player Piano -

June 11, 1912 - Joseph H. Dickson patents player piano. Joseph H. Dickinson and his Musical Inventions Black Inventor of Organ, Piano and Phonograph Improvements   by Mary Bellis Updated August 15, 2016 Joseph Hunter Dickinson invented several improvements to different musical instruments. In particular, Joseph Dickinson invented an improvement to player pianos that provided better actuation - the loudness or softness of the key strikes; and could play the sheet music from any point in the song. In addition to his accomplishments as an inventor, he was elected to the Michigan legislature from 1897-1900. EARLY LIFE OF JOSEPH H. DICKINSON...

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Black History, Black Power, James A. Healy, Roman Catholic Church -

    June 10, 1854 - James Augustine Healy, first African American Roman Catholic bishop is ordained.   James Augustine Healy, the first Roman Catholic priest of mixed origin in America, and the first non-white American to become a Catholic bishop, also received aid and encouragement from a white father. Born in Georgia in 1830 to an Irish planter and a slave, Healy was carried north in 1837 and enrooled in a Qyaker school in Flushing, Long Island. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1849 and was ordained a priest in 1854 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Returning...

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Black History, First Black Female, Gwendolyn Brooks, Poetry, Pulitzer Prize -

  June 7, 1917 - Poetess Gwendolyn Brooks, first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize (Poetry 1950) is born Although she was born on 7 June 1917 in Topeka, Kansas--the first child of David and Keziah Brooks--Gwendolyn Brooks is "a Chicagoan." The family moved to Chicago shortly after her birth, and despite her extensive travels and periods in some of the major universities of the country, she has remained associated with the city's South Side. What her strong family unit lacked in material wealth was made bearable by the wealth of human capital that resulted from warm interpersonal relationships....

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Black Astronaut, Black History, Black Power, Dr. Mae C. Jemison, First Black Female, NASA -

    June 5, 1987 - Dr. Mae C. Jemison becomes first Black woman astronaut. When the space shuttle Endeavour blasted off on its second mission, it carried the first African American woman into space. But Mae Jemison was more than an astronaut – she's also a physician, a Peace Corps volunteer, a teacher, and founder and president of two technology companies. Let's take a look at this remarkable woman. Early life Born in Decatur, Ala., on Oct. 17, 1956, Mae Carol Jemison moved to Chicago, Ill., at the age of 3 and considers the city her hometown. The youngest...

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Angela Davis, Black History, Black Panther, Black Power, HBCU, University of California -

  June 4, 1972 Angela Davis Gets Acquitted Angela Yvonne Davis, a black militant, former philosophy professor at the University of California, and self-proclaimed communist, is acquitted on charges of conspiracy, murder, and kidnapping by an all-white jury in San Jose, California. In October 1970, Davis was arrested in New York City in connection with a shootout that occurred on August 7 in a San Raphael, California, courtroom. She was accused of supplying weapons to Jonathan Jackson, who burst into the courtroom in a bid to free inmates on trial there and take hostages whom he hoped to exchange for...

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Black History, Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, Negro League, Yankee Stadium -

On June 3, 1937, catcher Josh Gibson of the Negro League’s Homestead Grays hit a ball 580 feet in Yankee Stadium. On June 3, 1937, renowned catcher Josh Gibson of the Negro League’s Homestead Grays hit a ball 580 feet in Yankee Stadium. The astounding hit would have eclipsed Mickey Mantle’s record 565-foot home run hit in Griffith Stadium in 1953 as the longest ever if Negro League records were included alongside those of National and American Leagues. Considered among many baseball historians to be one of the top catchers and power hitters in the history of any league, Gibson...

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Black History, Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, Negro League, Yankee Stadium -

On June 3, 1937, catcher Josh Gibson of the Negro League’s Homestead Grays hit a ball 580 feet in Yankee Stadium. On June 3, 1937, renowned catcher Josh Gibson of the Negro League’s Homestead Grays hit a ball 580 feet in Yankee Stadium. The astounding hit would have eclipsed Mickey Mantle’s record 565-foot home run hit in Griffith Stadium in 1953 as the longest ever if Negro League records were included alongside those of National and American Leagues. Considered among many baseball historians to be one of the top catchers and power hitters in the history of any league, Gibson...

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Black History, Blood, Dr. Charles Drew, HBCU, Plasma, Research -

Pioneering physician Dr. Charles Richard Drew was born on June 3, 1904, in Washington, D.C.   Dr. Drew is known best for his groundbreaking work discovering new methods of processing and storing blood plasma for transfusion. He also directed blood plasma programs in the United States and Great Britain during WWII, but he left his post after the armed forces demanded segregated blood banks despite lacking scientific reasoning to do so. Drew was one of the first African-Americans to be offered membership to the American Board of Surgery, and in 1944, he received the NAACP Spingarn Medal for his groundbreaking contributions to...

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Lifetime Achievement Award, Music, Ray Charles -

Ray Charles is awarded the Songwriters Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award on June 2, 1993. After 47 years in the business that made him a music legend, Ray Charles received the Songwriters Hall of Fame Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award on June 2, 1993. Born at the height of the Depression, Ray Charles Robinson grew up in Greenville, Florida, where he became blind at age 7. After earning a scholarship to attend the Florida State School for the Deaf and Blind, Charles studied Braille and developed an interest in music and also learned to play the piano, organ, sax,...

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Sameuel L. Gravely Jr, U.S. Navy -

  Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. becomes first African American admiral in U.S. Navy   Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. was the first African-American officer to become an admiral in the United States Navy. During his 38 years in the military, Gravely distinguished himself as a naval communications expert, war and peacetime ship captain. Gravely was on June 4, 1922, in Richmond, Virginia, to Mary and Samuel L. Gravely, Sr. After high school, Gravely attended Virginia Union University, but left to join the Naval Reserve in 1942. After receiving basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, Gravely entered the V-12 Navy...

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Black History, Black Power, Civil Rights, Fighter Pilot, Lincoln J. Ragsdale, Red Tails -

  June 9, 1995 - Lincoln J. Ragsdale, pioneer fighter pilot of World War II, dies Lincoln J. Ragsdale, pioneering African-American fighter pilot, civil rights leader and entrepreneur died on June 9, 1995, of colon cancer. He was 69. After WWII, Ragsdale graduated from flight training at Tuskegee Army Airfield and later became a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, becoming one of the first 1,000 Black men to be integrated into the armed forces. "I remember when we used to walk through Black neighborhoods right after the war and little kids would run up to us and touch...

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Black History, Black Power, Civil Rights, Descrimination, Freedom Riders, Race Riots, Sit Ins, Supreme Court -

June 8, 1953 - Supreme Court ruling bans discrimination in Washington, D.C. restaurants. In the iconic geography of the civil rights movement, the South understandably looms large. Selma. Birmingham. Greensboro. Washington? Not so much. But as the nation reflects on the struggle for racial equality this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the capital’s mostly forgotten history of integration is worth remembering. Washington was a key civil rights battleground, especially in the years before the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education. In fact, in 1953, a Supreme Court decision that desegregated Washington restaurants paved...

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African American, Black History, Black Power, Soilder, US Army -

  June 14, 1864 - Congress rules that African American soldiers must receive equal pay.   Wed, 1864-06-15 *On this date in 1864, Congress passed the enrollment Act that authorized equal pay for Black soldiers. During the Civil War, African-Americans formed 166 regiments and fought almost 500 battles. In so doing they earned 23 Congressional Medals of Honor. Despite these achievements, they suffered from discrimination and prejudice. In early June 1864, Private Sylvester Ray of the 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry was recommended for trial because he refused to accept pay inferior to that of white soldiers. First Lieutenant Edwin Hughes...

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Black History, Black Power, President Lyndon Johnson, Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshal -

  June 13, 1967 - Thurgood Marshall nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Lyndon Johnson.   President Lyndon Johnson appoints U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Thurgood Marshall to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom C. Clark. On August 30, after a heated debate, the Senate confirmed Marshall’s nomination by a vote of 69 to 11. Two days later, he was sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren, making him the first African American in history to sit on America’s highest court. The great-grandson of slaves, Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1908. In...

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  June 6, 1831 - First annual "People of Color" convention held in Philadelphia.   THE Delegates met on Monday, the 6th of June, in the brick Wesleyan Church, Lombard Street, pursuant to public notice, signed, on behalf of the Parent Society, at Philadelphia, by Dr. Belfast Burton and William Whipper. Present were the following gentlemen, John Bowers, Dr. Belfast Burton, James Cornish, Junius C. Morel, Wm. Whipper, }Philadelphia. Rev. Wm. Miller, Henry Sipkins, Thos. L. Jennings, Wm. Hamilton, James Pennington, }New-York. Rev. Abner Coker, Robert Cowley, } Maryland. Abraham D. Shad, Rev. Peter Gardiner, }Delaware. Wm. Duncan, Virginia. Who...

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HBCU, Howard University -

Howard University was founded in 1866 by missionaries as a training facility for black preachers. It was decided that the school would be named after Civil war hero General Oliver O. Howard,  a white man, who was serving as the Commissioner of the Freedman’s Bureau. The bureau, which was founded in 1865, was a U.S. government agency that aided freed blacks. Within a year, the school’s focus had expanded to include liberal arts and medical training. On May 1, 1867, Howard University held classes with five white female students,  the daughters of the school’s founders. Built on three acres, Howard University...

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