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Remembering Ron Scott: Community Activist, Leader, And Friend

"Ron Scott dedicated his life to the fight for civil rights and the pursuit of justice," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in a statement. "While Ron may be gone, his legacy and work must continue. He will be missed."

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/detroit-rights-activist-ron-scott-dies/36710626

Arrangements for activist and producer Ron Scott will be as follows: 

Public Viewing Times:

Thursday, December 10, 2015
3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Wilson Akins Funeral Home
17500 Fenkell
Detroit, Michigan 48227 


Friday, December 11, 2015
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wilson Akins Funeral Home
17500 Fenkell
Detroit, Michigan 48227 
AND 
Friday, December 11, 2015 
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Historic Little Rock Baptist Church
9000 Woodward
Detroit, Michigan 48202 
No picture taking will be allowed during the viewing.

Funeral Services: 

Saturday, December 12, 2015
Family Hour: 10:00 a.m.
Funeral: 11:00 a.m. 
Historic Little Rock Baptist Church
9000 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Rev. Dr. Jim Holley, Pastor

In lieu of flowers, the family asks the public to honor Ron Scott's memory and work in the following ways: 

DONATIONS

Peace Zones for Life (501 c 3 organization)
PO Box 441877
1401 W. Fort St.
Detroit, MI 48244 

Ron Scott Foundation (Scholarship Fund)
PO Box 180129Utica, MI 48318 

OR 
Order Ron's e-book, How to End Police Brutality, on Amazon.com. 
Proceeds from book sales will go to Peace Zones for Life.​



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Today in Black History, 11/25/2015 | Bill "Bojangles" Robinson

November 25, 1949 Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, hall of fame tap dancer and stage and film actor, died. Robinson was born May 25, 1878 in Richmond, Virginia. He began to dance for a living at six. Robinson served in the United States Army from 1898 to 1900. He gained success and fame on the Black theater circuit and did not dance for White audiences until he was 50 years old when he was featured in "Blackbirds of 1928," a Black revue for White audiences. Robinson appeared in 14 motion pictures after 1930, most frequently as a butler opposite Shirley Temple in such films as "The Little Colonel" (1935) and "Rebecca of Sonnybrook Farm" (1938). He also performed on the stage in "The Hot Mikado" (1939) and "All in Fun" (1940). Despite earning more than $2 million during his lifetime, Robinson died penniless. A statue of Robinson was unveiled in Richmond June 30, 1973. Robinson was posthumously inducted into the National Museum of Dance's Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame in 1987. A congressional resolution in 1989 declared National Tap Dance Day to be May 25. His biography, "Mr. Bojangles: the biography of Bill Robinson," was published in 1988. 

November 25, 1868 John Van Surly DeGrasse, the first Black doctor admitted to a United States medical society, died. DeGrasse was born in June, 1825 in New York City. He received his medical degree, with honors, from Bowdoin College Medical School in 1849, the second African American to receive a medical degree in the U. S. After graduating, DeGrasse went to Paris, France and studied with one of the most noted surgeons of the time. He became fluent in French and German and returned to the U. S. in 1851. He established his medical practice in Boston, Massachusetts in 1854 and was admitted to the state medical society August 24, 1854. DeGrasse was an active abolitionist and helped organize vigilante groups to counter slave hunters in Boston. He joined the Union Army in 1863 and was commissioned an assistant surgeon with the 35th U. S. Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, DeGrasse returned to his practice in Boston where he died. 

November 25, 1874 Joe Gans, the first American born African American to win a world boxing championship, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Gans started boxing in "battle royals" in 1891. These were matches where several young Black men were blindfolded and put in a ring to fight until there was one winner. Gans won the World Lightweight Boxing Championship in 1902 and held the title until 1908. He retired in 1909 with a career record of 145 wins, 10 losses, and 16 draws. Gans died August 10, 1910. He was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Biographies include "Joe Gans: A Biography of the First African American World Boxing Champion" (2008) and "The Longest Fight: In the Ring with Joe Gans, Boxing's First African American Champion" (2012). 

November 25, 1903 William DeHart Hubbard, hall of fame track and field athlete and the first African American to win an Olympic Gold medal in an individual event, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hubbard won the Gold medal in the running long jump at the 1924 Paris Summer Olympic Games. He earned his bachelor's degree, with honors, from the University of Michigan in 1927 and was a three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association champion and seven-time Big Ten champion. He also set the world long jump record in 1925 and tied the 100 yard dash record in 1926. Hubbard later served as supervisor of the Department of Colored Work for Cincinnati's Public Recreation Commission and as race relations adviser for the Federal Housing Authority. Hubbard died June 23, 1976. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1957 and posthumously into the University of Michigan Hall of Honor in 1979. 

November 25, 1912 John Herman Henry Sengstacke, newspaper publisher, was born in Savannah, Georgia. As a youngster, Sengstacke worked for the Woodville Times, a newspaper owned by his grandfather. After graduating from Hampton Institute in 1934, Sengstacke became vice president and general manager of The Robert S. Abbott Publishing Company which published the Chicago Defender. He took over the company in 1940. Amongst many other issues, Sengstacke worked to have African American reporters in the White House, to create jobs in the United States Postal Service for African Americans, and to desegregate the armed forces. He was appointed by President Harry S. Truman to the commission formed to integrate the military. Sengstacke founded the National Newspaper Publishers Association to unify and strengthen African American owned newspapers and served seven terms as president. Sengstacke died May 28, 1997. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second highest civilian award in the United States, by President William J. Clinton in 2001. 

November 25, 1933 Leonard Edward "Lenny" Moore, hall of fame football player, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. Moore played college football at Pennsylvania State University and was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the 1956 National Football League Draft. That season he was named the NFL Rookie of the Year. Over his 12 season professional career, Moore was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection. He scored a touchdown in an NFL record 18 consecutive appearances between 1963 and 1965, a record that stood for 40 years until it was equaled in 2005. Moore retired after the 1967 season and the Colts retired his uniform number 24. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975. Moore began working for the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice in 1984. A street in Randallstown, Maryland was named in his honor in 2013. 

November 25, 1940 Percy Sledge, hall of fame R&B and soul performer, was born in Leighton, Alabama. Sledge's first recording, "When a Man Loves a Woman" (1966), reached number one in the United States and went on to become an international hit and the cornerstone of his career. Sledge followed with "Take Time to Know Her" (1968), "Sunshine" (1973), and "I'll Be Your Everything" (1974). His last album, "The Gospel of Percy Sledge," was released in 2013. Sledge was an inaugural Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award honoree in 1989 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. "When a Man Loves a Woman" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." Sledge died April 14, 2015. 

November 25, 1945 George D. Webster, college hall of fame football player, was born in Anderson, South Carolina. Webster played defensive back for Michigan State University from 1964 to 1966 and was an All-American his last two years. Webster was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1967 American Football League Draft and was the AFL Rookie of the Year that season. Over his ten season professional career, Webster was a three-time All-Star. He was inducted into the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame in 1987. Webster died April 19, 2007. That same year, Michigan State established the George Webster Scholarship Fund for former athletes completing their education at the school. 

November 25, 1965 Christopher D. Carter, hall of fame football player, was born in Troy, Ohio but raised in Middletown, Ohio. Carter played collegiate football at Ohio State University where he was an All-American in 1986. He was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1987 National Football League Supplemental Draft and over his 16 season professional career was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. Carter retired from football after the 2002 season and has worked as a football analyst for several television shows. He also serves as an assistant high school football coach. Carter was selected the 1994 Bart Starr Man of the Year, given to the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community, the 1998 Whizzer White Man of the Year, which honors the NFL player who best serves his team, community, and country, and the 1999 Walter Payton Man of the Year which honors a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. He also was selected to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1990s. Carter was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013. 

November 25, 1970 Albert Ayler, hall of fame jazz saxophonist, died. Ayler was born July 13, 1936 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He was initially taught the saxophone by his father and later studied at the Academy of Music. He began playing with Little Walter at 16. Ayler joined the United States Army in 1958 where he played in the regiment band. After his discharge, he relocated to Sweden where he recorded his debut album, "My Name is Albert Ayler," in 1963. Ayler returned to the U. S. in 1963 and over the next six years recorded a number of albums, including "New York Eye And Ear Control" (1964), "Bells" (1965), "Love Cry" (1967), and "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe" (1969). Despite the critical acclaim his recordings received, Ayler was never commercially successful. He was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1983 and a documentary of his life and music, "My Name is Albert Ayler," was produced in 2005. 

November 25, 1987 Harold Lee Washington, the first and only African American Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, died. Washington was born April 15, 1922 in Chicago. After service in the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945, Washington earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Roosevelt College in 1949 and his Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1952. He worked for former Olympian Ralph Metcalfe as part of the Richard Daley political machine from 1951 to 1965. Washington served in the Illinois legislature from 1965 to 1980 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1983. Washington became Mayor of Chicago April 19, 1983 and served until his death. After his death, a number of city facilities and institutions were named or renamed in his honor, including the Harold Washington Library Center, Harold Washington College, and Harold Washington Park. Washington's time in office is chronicled in "Harold Washington: The Mayor, The Man" (1989) and "Fire on the Prairie: Chicago's Harold Washington and the Politics of Race" (1992). 

November 25, 1998 Clerow "Flip" Wilson, Jr., comedian and actor, died. Wilson was born December 8, 1933 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He lied about his age at 16 and joined the United States Air Force where his personality and funny stories made him popular. Wilson served until 1954, reaching the rank of airman first class. After his discharge, he became a regular at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and appeared on a number of television variety shows. He won the 1970 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for "The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress." Also that year, "The Flip Wilson Show" debuted on television with Wilson playing characters such as Reverend Leroy, pastor of the Church of What's Happening Now, and Geraldine whose line "the devil made me do it" became a national expression. The show aired through 1974 and was nominated for eleven Emmy Awards, winning the 1971 award for Outstanding Variety Series-Musical and Outstanding Writing Achievement in Variety or Music. Wilson also appeared in the films "Uptown Saturday Night" (1974) and "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh" (1979). A biography, "Flip: The Inside Story of TV's First Black Superstar," was published in 2013. 

November 25, 2013 Foreststorn "Chico" Hamilton, jazz drummer and band leader, died. Hamilton was born September 20, 1921 in Los Angeles, California. He began playing drums early with jazz greats such as Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, and Dexter Gordon. After six years playing with Lena Horne, he established his own band in 1955 and recorded his debut album, "Chico Hamilton Trio." Other albums by Hamilton include "Drumfusion" (1962), "Reunion" (1991), "Thoughts of…" (2002), and "Revelation" (2011). Hamilton formed a commercial and film production company in 1965 which scored music for a number of feature films, television shows, and hundreds of commercials for television and radio. He was designated a NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor the nation bestows on a jazz artist, by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2004.

Harold Lee Washington

The first and only African American mayor of Chicago. 

William DeHart Hubbard

​Hall of fame track and field athlete and the first African American to win an Olympic Gold medal in an individual event.

Leonard Edward "Lenny" Wilson

Hall of fame football player.

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Today in Black History, 11/24/2015 | Theodore Shaw "Teddy" Wilson

November 24, 1912 Theodore Shaw "Teddy" Wilson, hall of fame jazz pianist, was born in Austin, Texas but raised in Tuskegee, Alabama. Wilson studied piano and violin at Tuskegee Institute. He joined the Benny Goodman Trio in 1935, the first Black musician to perform in public with a previously all-White group. He recorded 50 hit records with various singers, including Lena Horne and Billie Holliday. His albums include "I Got Rhythm" (1956), "Pres and Teddy" (1956), and "With Billie in Mind" (1972). Wilson was designated a NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor the United States bestows upon jazz artists, by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1986. Wilson died July 31, 1986. He was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1987 and is considered one of the most influential jazz pianist of his time. 

November 24, 1868 Scott Joplin, hall of fame composer and pianist, was born near Texarkana, Texas. Joplin was taught music theory, keyboard technique, and an appreciation of folk and opera music at eleven. As an adult, he also studied at George R. Smith College, a historically Black college in Missouri. He achieved fame for his unique ragtime compositions and was known as the "King of Ragtime." Over his career, Joplin wrote 44 ragtime pieces, a ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, "Maple Leaf Rag," was ragtime's first and most influential hit and sold over one million copies of sheet music. Joplin died April 1, 1917 but his music returned to popularity with the 1970 release of "Scott Joplin Piano Rags," which sold over a million albums, and the 1973 movie "The Sting" which featured several of his compositions and won the Academy Award for Best Music. Joplin was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and was awarded a Special Citation by the Pulitzer Prize Board in 1976. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 1983. Several books have been published about Joplin, including "King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era" (1996) and "Dancing to a Black Man's Tune: A Life of Scott Joplin" (2004). The biographical film, "Scott Joplin," was released in 1977. 

November 24, 1870 Robert Sengstacke Abbott, lawyer and newspaper publisher, was born in Frederica, St. Simons Island, Georgia. Abbott studied the printing trade at Hampton Institute from 1892 to 1896 and earned his law degree from Kent College of Law in 1898. However, due to racial prejudice he was unable to practice despite attempts to establish law offices in Gary, Indiana, Topeka, Kansas, and Chicago, Illinois. Abbott founded The Chicago Defender May 5, 1905. The slogan of the newspaper was "American race prejudice must be destroyed." The paper encouraged African Americans to migrate north for a better life and to fight for an even better lifestyle once they got there. The Defender had a circulation of more than 200,000 by the early 1920s and was known as "America's Black Newspaper." It also made Abbott one of the first self-made African American millionaires. He co-founded the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in Chicago in 1929. Abbott died February 29, 1940. His biography, "The Lonely Warrior: The Life and Times of Robert S. Abbott," was published in 1955. His home in Chicago, the Robert S. Abbott House, was designated a National Historic Landmark December 8, 1976. 

November 24, 1892 Charles Henry Langston, abolitionist and political activist, died. Langston was born August 31, 1817 in Louisa County, Virginia. He and his brother enrolled in the preparatory school at Oberlin College in 1835, the first Black students to be admitted. After graduating, Langston became involved in Black political affairs in Ohio. He was one of a group of men in 1858 who freed John Price who had escaped slavery and was captured by United States Marshals under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. This incident is known as the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue. Langston and a White man were tried and convicted for their part in the rescue. Langston moved to Leavenworth, Kansas in 1862 and established a school for Black people who had escaped slavery and was appointed general superintendent for refugees and freedmen for the Freedmen's Bureau of Kansas in 1865. Langston was appointed president of Quindaro Freedman's School (later Western University) in 1872, the earliest college for Black people west of the Mississippi River. Langston also served as associate editor of the Historic Times, a local newspaper that advocated for equal rights and justice for Black people. 

November 24, 1914 Bessie Virginia Blount, physical therapist, forensic scientist and inventor, was born in Hickory, Virginia. Blount moved to New Jersey to study to be a physical therapist. During World War II and the Korean War, she volunteered to work with limbless and paralyzed veterans. Blount received patent number 2,550,554 for a portable receptacle support April 24, 1951. Her invention was worn around the neck and supported by the chest and allowed persons who had temporarily or permanently lost the use of their arms or hands to drink fluids from cups or bowls supported by the device. Because the United States government was not interested in the device, she sold the rights to France. Blount invented a number of other devices but did not patent them. Blount went into law enforcement as a forensic scientist in 1969, becoming chief examiner of the Portsmouth, Virginia police department in the early 1970s. She was the first American woman accepted for advanced studies in the Document Division of the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory of Scotland Yard in 1977. After that, she stated her own private business as a forensic science consultant, verifying the authenticity of older documents. Blount died December 30, 2009. 

November 24, 1916 Frankie Muse Freeman, hall of fame civil rights attorney, was born Marie Frankie Muse in Danville, Virginia. Freeman earned her undergraduate degree from Hampton Institute in 1936 and her law degree from Howard University Law School in 1947. She began her work in civil rights when she became legal counsel to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People legal team that filed suit against the St. Louis Board of Education in 1949. Freeman was the lead attorney in the 1954 NAACP case Davis et al. v. the St. Louis Housing Authority which ended legal racial discrimination in public housing within the city. She served as the staff attorney for the St. Louis Land Clearance and Housing Authority from 1956 to 1970. She was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the United States Commission on Civil Rights in 1964, the first African American female to serve on the commission. She served on the commission until 1979. Freeman was one of 16 former high-ranking federal officials who formed the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, a group committed to ending racial discrimination and devising remedies that would counteract its harmful effects, in 1982. Freeman is a trustee emeritus of the board of Howard University, past chair of the board of the National Council on Aging, and past national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame in 1990, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in 2007, and the 2011 recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Medal. Freeman has received honorary doctorate degrees from several institutions, including Hampton University, Saint Louis University, and Howard University. Her memoir, "A Song of Faith and Hope: The Life of Frankie Muse Freeman," was published in 2003. 

November 24, 1920 Percy Ellis Sutton, lawyer, civil rights activist and political and business leader, was born in San Antonio, Texas. Sutton served as an intelligence officer with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. He attended Prairie View A&M University, Tuskegee Institute, and Hampton Institute before earning his law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1950. Sutton represented Malcolm X until his death in 1965 and Betty Shabazz until her death in 1997. He served in the New York State Assembly from 1964 to 1966 and was instrumental in getting funding to establish the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He served as Manhattan borough president from 1966 to 1977. Sutton co-founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation in 1971 and it purchased New York City's first African American owned radio station. Sutton served as president of the corporation from 1972 to 1991. He purchased and initiated the revitalization of the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 1980 and began producing the television show, "Showtime at the Apollo" in 1987. He was awarded the 1987 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal. Sutton died December 26, 2009. 

November 24, 1926 James W. Holley, III, the first African American mayor of Portsmouth, Virginia, was born in Portsmouth. After graduating from high school in 1944, Holley served in the United States Army during World War II. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia State College (now University) in 1949 and graduated from the Howard University School of Dentistry in 1955. Holley played an integral role in the desegregation of Portsmouth, winning court decisions that integrated the city's libraries, hospitals, restaurants, and golf courses. He served on the Portsmouth City Council, the first African American on the council, from 1968 to 1984. He was elected Mayor of Portsmouth in 1984 but was recalled in 1987. He was re-elected mayor in 1996 but again recalled in 2010. Holley died October 5, 2012. 

November 24, 1929 John Henry Johnson, hall of fame football player, was born in Waterproof, Louisiana. Johnson played college football at Saint Mary's College of California and then at Arizona State University. He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1953 National Football League Draft. Over his 13 season professional career, Johnson was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and became the first NFL player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season in 1962. Johnson retired in 1966 and at that time was the fourth leading career rusher in NFL history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. Johnson died June 3, 2011. John Henry Johnson Park in Pittsburg, California is named in his honor. 

November 24, 1938 Oscar Palmer Robertson, hall of fame basketball player, was born in Charlotte, Tennessee. During his college career at the University of Cincinnati, Robertson won the national scoring title, was named All-American three times, and was chosen College Player of the Year two times. He was also co-captain of the men's basketball team that won the Gold medal at the 1960 Rome Summer Olympic Games. Robertson earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1960. He was selected by the Cincinnati Royals in the 1960 National Basketball Association Draft. Over his 14 season professional career, Robertson was a 12-time All-Star, 1964 Most Valuable Player, and the only player in NBA history to average double figures in points scored, rebounds, and assists in an entire season. Robertson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and was voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. The College Player of the Year Award was renamed the Oscar Robinson Trophy in 1998 and he was an inaugural inductee into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. As President of the NBA Players Association, Robertson filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA in 1970 which led to extensive reforms of the league's free agency and draft rules and resulted in higher salaries for the players. Robertson published his autobiography "The Big O" in 2003. A nine-foot statue of Robertson was unveiled on the campus of the University of Cincinnati in 1994 and he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from the university for his philanthropic and entrepreneurial accomplishments in 2007. Robinson was inducted into the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Hall of Fame in 2009. He is chief executive officer of five companies, including a chemical company, and The Oscar and Yvonne Robertson Scholarship Fund provides three scholarships annually at the University of Cincinnati. 

November 24, 1943 Doris "Dorie" Miller, Navy Cross recipient, died while serving on the USS Liscome Bay which was hit by a Japanese torpedo and sank. Miller was born October 12, 1919 in Waco, Texas. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1939. On December 7, 1941, Miller was serving as a cook on the USS West Virginia in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by the Japanese. Although he had no anti-aircraft gun training, Miller took control of one and fired until the gun ran out of ammunition. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the first African American to receive it, for his extraordinary courage in battle May 27, 1942. The Navy Cross is the highest decoration bestowed by the Department of the Navy. The USS Miller was commissioned in his honor June 30, 1973. There are many schools, streets, and parks named in his honor around the country. His biography, "A Man Named Doris," was published in 2003. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 2010. 

November 24, 1943 David Bing, hall of fame basketball player and past Mayor of the City of Detroit, was born in Washington, D. C. Bing attended Syracuse University where he led the basketball team in scoring each of the years he played and was named an All-American in 1966. That same year, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and marketing. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the 1966 National Basketball Association Draft and was named Rookie of the Year that season. Over his 12-season professional career, Bing was a seven time All-Star and was selected for the 1977 J. Walter Kennedy Award for "outstanding service and dedication to the community." Bing was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990 and was voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. Bing opened Bing Steel with four employees in 1980 and the company was turning a profit by 1984 and he was awarded the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year Award by President Ronald W. Reagan. Bing received the Schick Achievement Award in 1990 for his work after his NBA career. Bing sold the company prior to being elected interim Mayor of Detroit, Michigan in a special election in May, 2009 and was elected to a full term in November of that year. He did not run for re-election in 2013. His biography, "Dave Bing: A Life of Challenge," was published in 2012. 

November 24, 1968 Gregory Pardlo, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pardlo earned this Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Rutgers University in 1999 and his Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University in 2001. His first volume of poems, "Totem" (2007), won the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize. His poem "Written by Himself" was included in the 2010 Best American Poetry anthology and "Wishing Well" was included in the anthology for 2014. His volume "Digest" won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Pardlo has taught at a number of institutions, including George Washington University, John Jay College, and New York University. He is also associate editor for the literary journal "Callaloo." 

November 24, 1969 Webster Anderson received the Congressional Medal of Honor, America's highest military decoration, from President Richard M. Nixon. Anderson was born July 15, 1933 in Winnsboro, South Carolina. He joined the United States Army in 1953 and served during the Korean War. By October 15, 1967, he was serving as a staff sergeant in Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Infantry Division during the Vietnam War. On that day, his actions earned him the medal. His citation partially reads, "During the early morning hours Battery A's defensive position was attacked by a determined North Vietnamese Army Infantry unit supported by heavy mortar, recoilless rifle, rocket propelled grenade and automatic weapon fire. The initial onslaught breached the battery defensive perimeter. Sfc. Anderson, with complete disregard for his personal safety, mounted the exposed parapet of his howitzer position and became the mainstay of the defense of the battery position. Sfc. Anderson directed devastating direct howitzer fire on the assaulting enemy while providing rifle and grenade defensive fire against enemy soldiers attempting to overrun his gun section position. While protecting his crew and directing their fire against the enemy from his exposed position, 2 enemy grenades exploded at his feet knocking him down and severely wounding him in the legs. Despite the excruciating pain and though not able to stand, Sfc. Anderson valorously propped himself on the parapet and continued to direct howitzer fire upon the closing enemy and to encourage his men to fight on. Seeing an enemy grenade land within the gun pit near a wounded member of his crew, Sfc. Anderson heedless of his own safety, seized the grenade and attempted to throw it over the parapet to save his men. As the grenade was thrown from the position it exploded and Sfc. Anderson was again grievously wounded. Although only partially conscious and severely wounded, Sfc. Anderson refused medical evacuation and continued to encourage his men in the defense of the position. Sfc. Anderson by his inspirational leadership, professionalism, devotion to duty and complete disregard for his welfare was able to maintain the defense of his section position and to defeat a determined enemy attack. " Despite losing both of his legs and part of an arm, Anderson survived his wounds and retired from the army. Anderson died August 30, 2003. 

November 24, 1974 Raymond Pace Alexander, lawyer, judge and civil rights leader, died. Alexander was born October 19, 1898 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his bachelor's degree, with honors, as the first Black graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business in 1920. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1923. He and his wife, Sadie Tanner Mossell, established the premier Black law firm in Philadelphia. Alexander played a leading role in ending de jure segregation in Philadelphia public schools in the 1930s and was instrumental in the enactment of the 1935 Pennsylvania Civil Rights Bill. He also served as president of the National Bar Association from 1933 to 1935. He served on the Philadelphia City Council from 1951 to 1958 and was appointed to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 1959, the first African American to serve in that position. Alexander served on the court until his death. 

November 24, 1985 Joseph Vernon "Big Joe" Turner, hall of fame blues singer, died. Turner was born May 18, 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri. He began working in Kansas City nightclubs at 14. His career stretched from the barrooms of Kansas City in the 1920s to the European music festivals of the 1980s. During that time he made many records, including "Chain of Love" (1951), "Honey Hush" (1953), "Flip Flop and Fly" (1955), and "Corrine, Corrina" (1956), each of which sold more than a million copies. His recording of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" (1954) is ranked number 126 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." Turner was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983 and posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. 

November 24, 1993 Albert Collins, hall of fame electric guitarist and singer, died. Collins was born October 1, 1932 in Leona, Texas but raised in Houston, Texas. He started playing the guitar at an early age and formed his own band at 18. He had established a local reputation as a guitarist of note by the mid-1950s. Collins recorded his debut single, "The Freeze," in 1958 and his debut album, "The Cool Sounds of Albert Collins," was released in 1965. Other albums by Collins include "There's Gotta Be A Change" (1971), "Don't Lose Your Cool" (1983), which won the W. C. Handy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and "Cold Snap" (1986), which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album. His last album, "Live 92/93," was nominated for the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Blues Contemporary Album. Collins influenced a number of guitar players, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, and Jimmy Hendrix. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1986. 

November 24, 2009 Hale Smith, composer, pianist, arranger and educator, died. Smith was born June 29, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. He began studying the piano at seven and by high school was playing jazz piano and composing. Following two years of military service, he earned his Bachelor of Music degree in 1950 and his Master of Music degree in 1952 from the Cleveland Institute of Music. His opera "Blood Wedding" premiered in 1953. Smith taught at C. W. Post College from 1958 to 1970 and at the University of Connecticut from 1970 to 1984. He influenced many musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Ahmad Jamal, Abby Lincoln, and Jessye Norman. His honors include the first composition prize of BMI Student Composer Awards in 1952, the Cleveland Arts Prize in 1973, and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1988. 

November 24, 2014 Alvin Ailey, Jr. was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack H. Obama. Ailey was born January 5, 1931 in Rogers, Texas. He did not become serious about dance until he was 18. He joined the Lester Horton Dance Company in 1953 and when Horton died later that year, Ailey assumed the role of artistic director. He formed the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 and over the years created 79 works for his dancers, including "Blues Suite" (1958), "Revelations" (1960), "The River" (1970), and "Cry" (1971). Ailey was awarded the 1976 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal and received Kennedy Center Honors in 1988. Ailey died December 1, 1989. He was posthumously inducted into the National Museum of Dance's Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame in 1992 and the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 2004. His biography, "Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance," was published in 1998. 

November 24, 2014 James Earl Chaney was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack H. Obama. Chaney was born May 30, 1943 in Meridian, Mississippi. He attended a segregated high school and was suspended for wearing a NAACP patch in support of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. After graduating from high school, he joined the Negro plasterer's union as an apprentice. Chaney participated in Freedom Rides from Tennessee to Greenville, Mississippi and from Greenville to Meridian in 1962. He joined the Congress of Racial Equality in 1963 and began to organize voter education classes and serve as a guide for out of town CORE workers. Chaney, along with Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, was arrested June 21, 1964 while investigating the burning of a local church. They were released that evening but were stopped by two carloads of Ku Klux Klan members and killed. Their bodies were buried and not discovered for 44 days. The organizer of the attack was not convicted until 2005 and is serving a 60 year sentence. The James Earl Chaney Foundation was established in 1998 to advance and promote achievements in the areas of human and civil rights and voter registration. 

November 24, 2014 Charles Sifford was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack H. Obama. Sifford was born June 2, 1922 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He began work as a caddy at 13 and later competed in golf tournaments organized for Black golfers. He attempted to qualify for the Phoenix Open in 1952 and was subject to threats and racial abuse. He won the 1957 Long Beach Open but it was not an official Professional Golfers Association of America event. He became a member of the PGA tour in 1961 and went on to win two official PGA events. He also won the 1975 PGA Seniors' Championship. Sifford was the first African American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of American, their highest honor, in 2007. The Northern Trust Open created the Charlie Sifford Exemption in 2009 for a player who represents the advancement of diversity in golf. Revolution Golf Course in Charlotte was renamed Charlie Sifford Golf Course in 2011. Sifford died February 3, 2015. His autobiography, "Just Let Me Play," was published in 1992. 

November 24, 2014 Stevie Wonder was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack H. Obama. Wonder was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan. He was blind at birth. Wonder began playing musical instruments at an early age and was signed by Motown Records in 1961 as Little Stevie Wonder. He released his debut record, "I Call It Pretty Music, But the Old People Call It the Blues," in 1961 but his first big hit was the 1963 release "Fingertips (pt.2)." Over his career, Wonder has sold more than 100 million albums, recorded more than 30 top ten hits, and won 26 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. He also won the 1984 Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I Just Called to Say I Love You." His most recent album, "A Time to Love," was released in 2005. Several of his recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as recordings of "lasting qualitative or historical significance," including the albums "Innervisions" (1973) in 1999, "Talking Book" (1972) in 1999, "Songs in the Key of Life" (1976) in 2002, and "For Once in My Life" (1968) in 2009. Wonder was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. He received the 1999 Polar Music Prize for "Significant achievements in music" and Kennedy Center Honors in 1999. He received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Wonder was the second recipient of the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2009 and was named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations. He was awarded the Commander of the Arts and Letters by the French government in 2010. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his successful 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a national holiday in the United States. "Signed, Sealed and Delivered: The Soulful Journey of Stevie Wonder" was published in 2010.

Bessie Virginia Blount

​Forensic scientist, inventor, physical therapist. 

David Bing

Hall of fame basketball player and former mayor of the City of Detroit.

Frankie Muse Freeman

​Hall of fame civil rights attorney. 

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Today in Black History, 11/23/2015 | Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley

November 23, 1921 Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, was born Mamie Elizabeth Carthan in Webb, Mississippi but raised in Argo, Illinois. Till-Mobley was the first African American to make the honor roll at her predominantly White high school. Her only child, Emmett, was born July 25, 1941 and they moved to Chicago, Illinois in the early 1950s. On August 21, 1955, Till-Mobley sent her son to Money, Mississippi to stay at the home of his uncle for the remainder of the summer. On August 24, Emmett joined several other African American teenagers at Bryant's Grocery and Meat Marker for candy and sodas. Emmett allegedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant who was White and working at the store. When Bryant's husband, Ray, returned from a trip August 28 and was told of the alleged incident, he and his half-brother, J. W. Milam, kidnapped Emmett from his uncle's house. Emmett's body was found swollen and disfigured in the Tallahatchie River three days later. At her son's funeral in Chicago, Till-Mobley insisted that the casket be open because "I wanted the world to see what they did to my baby." Tens of thousands of people viewed Emmett's body and photographs were circulated around the world. After the funeral, Till-Mobley toured the country relating the events of her son's death and trial of his murderers and raising money for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Till-Mobley earned her bachelor's degree from Chicago Teacher's College in 1956, her master's degree in administration from Loyola University Chicago in 1976 and became a teacher and continued to educate people about her son. Till-Mobley died January 6, 2003. Her autobiography, "Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America," was published later that year. 

November 23, 1860 Edward Austin Johnson, educator, lawyer, politician and author, was born enslaved in Raleigh, North Carolina. Johnson was emancipated at the end of the Civil War and earned his bachelor's degree from Atlanta University in 1883. After graduating, he served as a principal in the Atlanta school system and then in the Raleigh school system. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from Shaw University in 1891 and joined their faculty, rising to dean of the law department by 1907. Johnson served as an elected alderman in Raleigh from 1897 to 1899 and was appointed clerk of the federal district attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1892, 1896, and 1900 and one of the founders of the National Negro Business League in 1900. Johnson moved to Harlem, New York in 1907 and was the first African American elected to the New York state legislature in 1917. He served one term. Johnson authored several books, including "A School History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1890" (1890) and "History of the Negro Soldier in the Spanish American War and Other Items of Interest" (1899). Johnson died July 24, 1944. A North Carolina Historical Marker honoring Johnson was unveiled in Raleigh in 1982. 

November 23, 1897 Andrew Jackson Beard received patent number 594,059 for his improved rail coupler design. Before automatic car couplers, railroad workers had to manually hook railroad cars together by dropping a pin between the two connectors of the engaging cars. Often the workers could not move away from the cars fast enough and many, including Beard, lost limbs after becoming wedged between the cars. Beard sold the rights to this patent for $50,000. Beard was born March 29, 1849 in Woodland, Alabama and spent his first fifteen years enslaved. After emancipation, Beard worked as a farmer, carpenter, blacksmith, railroad worker, and businessman. He patented his first invention, a plow, in 1881 and sold the rights for $4,000. He patented a second plow December 15, 1887 and sold the rights for $5,200. He then invested the money from his inventions into a profitable real estate business. He received patent number 478,271 July 5, 1892 for an improved rotary steam engine. It was cheaper and easier to build and operate than conventional steam engines. Not much is known of Beard's life after 1897 except that he died in 1921. Beard was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. 

November 23, 1897 John Lee Love of Fall River, Massachusetts received patent number 594,114 for a pencil sharpener that used a crank to shave off thin slices of wood from the pencil until a point was formed. The shavings from the wood would stay inside the sharpener much like the sharpeners we use today. Love had previously received patent number 542,419 for an improved plasterer's hawk July 9, 1895. A plasterer's hawk is a flat square piece of board made of wood or metal upon which plaster or mortar is placed and then spread by plasterers or masons. Love designed one that was more portable with a detachable handle and foldable board made of aluminum. Not much else is known of Love's life other than he died December 26, 1931. 

November 23, 1914 Emmett Littleton Ashford, the first African American umpire in Major League Baseball, was born in Los Angeles, California. Ashford earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Chapman College in 1941 and served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946. He became the first Black professional umpire in 1951 when he started in the Southwestern International League. He went on to umpire in the Pacific Coast League before being hired by the American League in 1961. Ashford became the first African American to umpire a major league baseball game April 11, 1966. He umpired in the major leagues until mandatory retirement in 1970. Ashford died March 1, 1980. His biography, "Strrr-ike!!: Emmett Ashford, Major League Umpire," was published in 2004. 

November 23, 1929 Gloria Lynn, jazz and R&B vocalist, was born Gloria Wilson in Harlem, New York. Lynn sang in the church choir as a young girl and won the first prize at Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater at 15. Lynn recorded as Gloria Alleyne with the Enchanters and Dell-Tones during the 1950s. She had several hit singles during the 1960s, including "June Night," "I'm Glad There Is You," and "I Wish You Love." Lynn recorded a number of albums, including "Love And A Woman" (1966), "I Don't Know How To Love Him" (1976), "No Detour Ahead" (1993), and "From My Heart to Yours" (2007). She received many honors, including the International Women of Jazz Award in 1996 and the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1997. Lynn died October 15, 2013. 

November 23, 1941 Henrietta Vinton Davis, orator, dramatist and organizer, died. Davis was born August 15, 1860 in Baltimore, Maryland but raised in Washington, D. C. She passed the necessary examinations at 15 and became a teacher in the Maryland Public School System. Davis became the first African American woman employed by the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in D. C. in 1878. She began her elocution and dramatic arts education in 1881 and was touring the Northeast and Midwest as a popular speaker by 1883. Davis gave up her career as a dramatist in 1919 to become the first international organizer for Marcus Garvey's United Negro Improvement Association. At the 1920 UNIA convention, Davis was one of the signatories on the Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World. She established UNIA divisions in Cuba, Guadeloupe, St. Thomas, Port-au-Prince, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica. Garvey declared her "the greatest woman of the African race today." After hearing her speak in 1921, a reporter for the California Eagle wrote "she is by sentiment and deed a genuine African patriot, full-fledged, sincere, uncompromising, ready to do, dare and die for her convictions." The Mayor of Washington, D. C. proclaimed August 25 "Henrietta Vinton Davis Day" in 2008. 

November 23, 1949 Thomas Joyner, hall of fame radio broadcaster and author, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Joyner earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Tuskegee Institute in 1970 and began his broadcasting career immediately after graduation. He accepted positions to host a morning show in Dallas, Texas and an afternoon show in Chicago, Illinois in the mid-1980s, resulting in him commuting daily between the two cities and earning the nicknames "The Fly Jock" and "The Hardest Working Man in Radio." Joyner was signed to host "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" in 1994. Joyner founded the Tom Joyner Foundation in 1998 to provide financial assistance to students at historically Black colleges and universities. The foundation has raised more than $60 million since inception. Joyner was named the 2004 Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year by the National Association of Broadcasters. Joyner co-wrote "I'm Just a DJ but…..It Makes Sense to Me" in 2005 and he wrote "Tom Joyner Presents How to Prepare for College" in 2009. Joyner was the first African American to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and Museum in 1999 and was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in 2008. 

November 23, 1960 Robin Rene Roberts, co-host of "Good Morning America" and author, was born in Andalusia, Alabama but grew up in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Roberts attended Southeastern Louisiana University where she was a standout performer on the women's basketball team and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in communications in 1983. Roberts began her career right after graduation, working as a sports anchor and reporter for various television stations until 1990. She joined ESPN in 1990 as a sportscaster and won three Emmy Awards for her work there. She joined ABC News in 1995 and was promoted to co-anchor of "Good Morning America" in 2005, a position she continues to hold. Roberts published "From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By" in 2007, "From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By" in 2008, and "Everybody's Got Something" in 2014. She was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 2012 and was awarded the 2013 Arthur Ashe Courage Award by ESPN. 

November 23, 1995 Junior Walker, saxophonist and bandleader, died. Walker was born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. June 14, 1931 in Blytheville, Arkansas but raised in South Bend, Indiana. He started a band called The Jumping Jacks in the mid-1950s. The band signed with Motown Records in 1961 and their name was changed to Jr. Walker & The All Stars. Their first hit, "Shotgun," was written by Walker and was number one on the R&B charts in 1965. This was followed by such hits as "Shake and Fingerpop" (1965), "(I'm A) Road Runner" (1966), and "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)" (1969). Walker went solo in 1979 but was not as successful as he had been with the All Stars. He received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 1995 and "Shotgun" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." 

November 23, 2006 Gerald Michael Boyd, the first African American metropolitan editor and managing editor at the New York Times, died. Boyd was born October 3, 1950 in St. Louis, Missouri. He won a scholarship to the University of Missouri-Columbia and after graduating in 1973 joined the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he worked as a reporter and White House correspondent until 1983. Boyd joined the New York Times in 1983 as a national political reporter. He rose through the ranks to managing editor in 2001, the first African American in the newspaper's history to hold such a senior position. As managing editor, he oversaw 1,200 reporters and editors. Under his leadership, the newspaper won three Pulitzer Prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for the 2000 series "How Race is Lived in America" which he supervised. Boyd resigned from the newspaper in 2003 and worked as a consultant until his death. His biography, "My Times in Black and White: Race and Power at the New York Times," was published in 2010. 

November 23, 2012 Lawrence Guyot, civil rights activist, died. Guyot was born July 17, 1939 in Pass Christian, Mississippi. He attended Tougaloo College and while there became active in civil rights and was one of the original members of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry in 1963. Guyot was elected chairman of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964. He was repeatedly jailed and beaten while organizing Black people in Mississippi to vote. He earned his law degree from Rutgers School of Law in 1971 and moved to Washington, D. C. There, he worked as a program monitor for the D. C. Department of Human Services' Office of Early Childhood Development until his retirement in 2004.

John Lee Love

Invented the pencil sharpener.

Henrietta Vinton Davis

Dramatist , orator, and United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) organizer. 

Tom Joyner

Hall of fame broadcaster, author, and philanthropist. 

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Today in Black History, 11/22/2015 | The Philadelphia Tribune

November 22, 1884 The Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest continually run African American newspaper, was founded by Christopher James Perry, Jr. Today, the tribune is published five days a week and has a readership of approximately 223,500. They also publish the Tribune Magazine, Entertainment Now!, Sojourner, The Learning Key, and the Sunday Tribune. 

November 22, 1871 Oscar James Dunn, the first elected Black lieutenant governor of a U. S. state, died. Dunn was born around 1826 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He became a member of the Prince Hall Masons during the 1850s, eventually serving as Grand Master of one of the lodges. This provided him a power base that would be the foundation of his political career. Dunn was also a businessman, running an employment agency that assisted in finding jobs for freedmen and serving as secretary of the advisory committee of the Freedmen's Savings & Trust Company. He organized the People's Bakery in 1866. Dunn actively promoted and supported the Universal Suffrage Movement, advocated land ownership for all Black people, free public education for all Black children, and equal protection under the law. Dunn was elected Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana in 1868, a position he held until his death. During his time in office, he was president pro tempore of the State Senate and president of the Metropolitan Police, with both positions commanding million dollar budgets. Dunn also served on the board of trustees and examining committee of Straight University (now Dillard University). Dunn's funeral is reported to have been one of the largest ever in New Orleans with 50,000 people lining the streets for his funeral procession and newspapers across the nation reporting the event. 

November 22, 1880 The Baptist Foreign Mission Convention was formed when 151 people from 11 states met in Montgomery, Alabama with a mission to spread the gospel to Africa. The National Convention of America was formed six years later and the National Baptist Education Convention was formed in 1893. The three organizations merged to form the National Baptist Convention, USA in 1895. Today, that organization is the largest Black Baptist convention, with millions of members from churches across the United States and throughout the world. "A Story of Christian Activism: The History of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc." was published in 1980. 

November 22, 1893 Alrutheus Ambush Taylor, historian, was born in Washington, D. C. Taylor earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1916 and taught at Tuskegee Institute until 1922. He moved to the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History as a research associate in 1922 and began researching the role of African Americans in the South during Reconstruction. Out of that research came the trilogy "The Negro in South Carolina During the Reconstruction" (1924), "The Negro in the Reconstruction of Virginia" (1926), and "The Negro in Tennessee, 1865-1880" (1941). Taylor became professor of history at Fisk University in 1926 and remained there for the rest of his career. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1935. Taylor died June 4, 1955. 

November 22, 1898 Felix Hadley Harding of Cleveland, Ohio received patent number 614,468 for an Extension Banquet Table. His table was convertible from a round or circular table to an oblong table and could be used as a breakfast, work, or banquet table. Not much else is known of Harding's life. 

November 22, 1899 "Whistlin'" Alex Moore, blues pianist and singer, was born Alexander Herman Moore in Dallas, Texas. He taught himself to play the piano as a teenager before serving in the United States Army during World War I. Moore made his debut recordings in 1929, including "Ice Pick Blues" and "West Texas Woman." He only recorded sparingly from the 1930s through the 1970s but performed regularly at clubs and festivals around the U. S. and Europe. Moore received a National Heritage Fellowship, the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1987. Moore died January 20, 1989. Recordings of his music include "Wiggle Tail" (1988), "Whistlin' Alex Moore" (1994), "From North Dallas to the East Side" (1994), and "Ice Pick Blues" (1995). 

November 22, 1916 William J. Powell, the first African American to design, build and operate his own golf course, was born in Greenville, Alabama but raised in Minerva, Ohio. Powell attended Wilberforce University and played on the golf team. After serving in the United States Army Air Force in England during World War II, he returned to Minerva in 1946. Powell was banned from playing on the all-White public golf courses and turned down for a bank loan to build his own course. With financing from two African American doctors and a loan from his brother, Powell purchased a 78 acre dairy farm in Canton, Ohio. He and his wife did most of the landscaping by hand and opened the nine-hole Clearview Golf Club in 1948. He expanded the course to 18 holes in 1978. Powell was made a life member of the Professional Golfers Association in 1999 and his course was added to the National Register of Historic Places February 16, 2001. Powell received the 2009 PGA Distinguished Service Award which honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm for the game of golf. Powell died December 31, 2009. 

November 22, 1936 John Robert Edward Kinard, pastor, museum director and social activist, was born in Washington, D. C. Kinard earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Livingstone College in 1960 and his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Hood Theological Seminary in 1963. After graduating, he worked as coordinator of eastern Africa projects for Operations Crossroads. He returned to D. C. in 1964 and was appointed assistant pastor of a church in 1966. Kinard was named the first director of the Anacostia Community Museum in 1967, a position he held until his death August 5, 1989. His vision for the museum was that it could not be divorced from the problems of the neighborhood around it. Kinard was a co-founder of the African American Museum Association in 1978 and served as treasurer from 1982 to 1983 and president from 1987 to 1988. Livingstone College has established the John R. Kinard Scholarship for Leadership and Academic Excellence. 

November 22, 1938 Hermon L. Grimes of Detroit, Michigan received patent number 2,137,486 for Folding Wing Aircraft. His invention provided aircraft with foldable wings and the power mechanism to fold and adjust the wings. He also provided wing tips shaped in such a way that they were more effective in manipulating the plane. Folding wing aircraft were used extensively during World War II. Not much else is known of Grimes' life. 

November 22, 1942 Guion "Guy" Bluford, Jr., engineer and hall of fame astronaut, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bluford earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1964, his Master of Science degree in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1978 from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston in 1987. Bluford earned his pilot wings in 1966 and flew 144 combat missions, including 65 over North Vietnam. He became an astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1979 and served on four space missions, logging more than 688 hours in space. Bluford left NASA in 1993 and is currently president and general manager of Aerospace Technology, an engineering consulting organization. Bluford was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997 and the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from a number of institutions, including Florida A&M University, Virginia State University, and Kent State University. 

November 22, 1942 Harry Edwards, sociologist and educator, was born in East St. Louis, Illinois. Edwards attended San Jose State University on a track and field scholarship and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in 1964. He earned his Master of Arts degree in 1966 and Ph. D. in 1972 from Cornell University. He returned to San Jose State in 1967 as a visiting professor and sports coach. There he organized the Olympic Project for Human Rights to encourage athletes to boycott the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympic Games. Although there was no boycott, it did result in the internationally famous raised black gloved Black Power Salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two San Jose State athletes. Edwards became professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1970 and taught there until his retirement in 2000. Edwards published "The Revolt of the Black Athlete" in 1970 and "The Struggle that Must Be: an Autobiography" in 1980. He continues to lecture on Black athletes and sports. 

November 22, 1966 Leonard J. Julien, Sr. of Donaldsonville, Louisiana received patent number 3,286,858 for a Cane Planter. His invention consisted of a number of overhead conveyors positioned above a cane cart. Each conveyor had a number of grabs for gripping the cane stalks in the cart and depositing them in furrows in the ground. His cane planter was attached to a tractor or other open-topped vehicle. Prior to Julien's invention, sugar cane was planted manually. His planter was faster and required less labor. Julien was born January 21, 1910 in Modeste, Louisiana. Other than the fact that he owned a 450-acre farm and received this patent, not much else is known of his life. 

November 22, 1968 Daedra Janel Charles, hall of fame basketball player, was born in Detroit, Michigan. Charles played high school basketball at St. Martin de Porres and college basketball at the University of Tennessee. She won the 1991 Margaret Wade Trophy as the best player in women's college basketball and was a finalist for the Woody Hayes Award as the nation's most outstanding student-athlete. Charles also earned her bachelor's degree in child and family studies that year. From 1991 to 1996, Charles played professional basketball overseas from 1991 to 1996 and was an assistant coach at the University of Detroit Mercy from 2003 to 2006. She is currently an assistant coach of the women's basketball team at Auburn University. Charles was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. 

November 22, 1986 Benjamin Sherman "Scatman" Crothers, actor, singer and musician, died. Crothers was born May 23, 1910 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He started his career as a drummer in a speakeasy band at 15 and had his own band by the 1930s. Crothers moved to California in 1948 and made his film debut in the 1953 movie "Meet Me At The Fair." Other films that he appeared in include "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), "Silver Streak" (1976), and "The Shining" (1980). Crothers also made guest appearances on many television shows, including "Dragnet" (1967), "Ironside" (1973), "Sanford and Son" (1974), and "Magnum P. I." (1980). 

November 22, 1986 George Branham III, became the first African American to win a championship on the Professional Bowlers Association tour when he won the Brunswick Memorial World Open tournament. Branham was born November 21, 1962 in Detroit, Michigan but raised in San Fernando Valley, California. He started bowling at six and joined the PBA tour at 23. Branham won the Tournament of Champions, professional bowling's most prestigious title, in 1993. Branham retired at the end of the 2003 tour, having rolled 23 perfect games and won three additional titles. He currently operates a bowling center in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

November 22, 1995 Johnnie Tillmon Blackston, welfare reformer, died. Blackston was born April 10, 1926 in Scott, Arkansas. The daughter of sharecropper's, she never finished high school. When things went bad in Arkansas, she left her first husband and moved to Los Angeles, California with her six children. There she worked in a laundry and received Aid to Families with Dependent Children. During that time, welfare inspectors routinely invaded the privacy of recipients, checking on their possessions and ensuring that they were not living with a man. Blackston organized a meeting of other welfare recipients to protest these invasions in 1963. Out of that meeting came a statewide organization, Aid to Needy Children Mothers Anonymous. That organization inspired the creation of the National Welfare Rights Organization with Blackmon as executive director. The NWRO successfully campaigned for reforms that removed many of the system's paternalistic trappings. After the NWRO closed in 1974, Blackmon worked as a legislative aide and served on state and local committees concerned with welfare. 

November 22, 2000 The West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania home of Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson was declared a National Historic Landmark. Robeson lived in the home from 1966 to his death. Robeson was born April 9, 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey. He won a full academic scholarship to Rutgers University, the third African American student accepted at Rutgers. Although he was the only Black student on campus during his time there, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1919 as the class valedictorian. He also was named All-American in football in 1917 and 1918. Robeson earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from Columbia Law School in 1923 and began to find fame as an actor and singer with his bass voice and commanding presence. Early stage roles included "The Emperor Jones" (1924), "All God's Chillun Got Wings" (1924), and "Porgy" (1927). Robeson's rendition of "Ol' Man River" in "Show Boat" is considered the definitive version of the song. His Broadway run in "Othello" is the longest of any Shakespeare play. Robeson's first film was "Body and Soul" (1924) and he appeared in eleven films between 1925 and 1942, including "Song of Freedom" (1936) and "King Solomon's Mines" (1937). At the height of his fame, Robeson became a political activist, speaking out against fascism and racism in the United States and abroad. He co-founded the Council on African Affairs January 28, 1937 to focus on providing pertinent and current information about Africa to African Americans. The CAA was charged with subversion in 1953 and the organization disbanded in 1955. Robeson traveled throughout the world and was conversant in 20 languages and fluent in 12. He was the 1945 recipient of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal. His passport was revoked from 1950 to 1958 and he was under surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Central Intelligence Agency until his death January 23, 1976. Robeson's only book, "Here I Stand," was published in 1958. Robeson's posthumous recognitions and honors number in the thousands and include three buildings on the Rutgers campus named in his honor, 1995 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and a 2004 commemorative postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service. There are numerous biographies of Robeson, including "Paul Robeson The American Othello" (1968) and "Paul Robeson: The Years of Promise and Achievement" (2001). His name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. 

November 22, 2012 Joaquim Benedito Barbosa Gomes was sworn in as the first Black Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Brazil. Barbosa was born October 7, 1954 in Paracatu, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He earned his law degree from the University of Brasilia in 1979. He earned his Master of Laws degree in 1990 and his Doctor of Laws degree in 1993 from the University of Paris. After graduating from law school, Barbosa served three years at the Brazilian embassy in Finland. He also taught law at Rio de Janeiro State University and was a visiting scholar at the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University Law School and the University of California, Los Angeles Law School. Barbosa was appointed to the Supreme Court of Brazil in 2002. He is fluent in French, Spanish, Portuguese, English, and German. He was included on Time magazine's 2013 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.


John Robert
Edward Kinard

Pastor, museum director, social activist, and co-founder of African American Museum Association. 

Daedra Janel Charles

Hall of fame basketball player and coach. 

Felix Hadley Harding

Awarded patent for an extension banquet table. 

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Today in Black History, 11/21/2015 | Shaw University

November 21, 1865 Shaw University was founded in Raleigh, North Carolina by the American Baptist Home Mission Society as the first college for African Americans in the South. The university was named for Elijah Shaw, benefactor of Shaw Hall, the first building constructed for the college. The Leonard Medical School was established on Shaw's campus in 1881 as the first four year medical school in the South to train Black doctors and pharmacists and operated until 1918. Today, the college has a faculty of 207 with 2,700 undergraduate and 100 postgraduate students. Notable alumni include Ella Baker, James E. Cheek, Willie E. Gary, and Shirley Caesar. "Shaw's Universe: A Monument to Educational Innovation" was published in 1973. 
November 21, 1893 Granville T. Woods of New York City received patent number 509,065 for the Electric Railway Conduit. His invention provided a method of supplying electricity to a train without exposed wires or secondary batteries. This eliminated the loss of current due to leakage as well as significantly reduced the element of danger. Woods was born April 23, 1856 in Columbus, Ohio. He and his brother formed the Woods Railway Telegraph Company in 1884 to manufacture and sell telephone and telegraph equipment. He was often called the "Black Edison" and over his lifetime was granted approximately 60 patents. Despite these achievements, he died virtually penniless January 30, 1910. The Granville T. Woods Math and Science Community Academy in Chicago, Illinois is named in his honor. "Granville T. Woods: African-American Communications and Transportation Pioneer" was published in 2013. 

November 21, 1904 Coleman Randolph Hawkins, hall of fame jazz tenor saxophonist and band leader, was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Hawkins started playing the saxophone at nine and was playing in groups around Kansas at fourteen. He moved to New York City in 1923 and joined Fletcher Henderson's orchestra where he remained until 1934. Hawkins toured Europe from 1934 to 1937 and after returning to the United States played with many jazz giants, including Benny Carter, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sonny Rollins. Albums by Hawkins as leader include "Body and Soul" (1939), "In a Mellow Tone" (1960), and "Sirius" (1966). He was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1961. Hawkins died May 19, 1969. His single "Body and Soul" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." His biography, "The Song of the Hawk," was published in 1990. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 1995. 

November 21, 1928 Samuel Dubois Cook, educator and civil rights activist, was born in Griffin, Georgia. Cook earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Morehouse College in 1948. While at Morehouse, he served as student body president and founded the campus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He earned his Master of Arts degree in political science in 1950 and his Ph. D. in 1954 from Ohio State University. Cook chaired the political science department at Atlanta University from 1956 to 1966. He also worked with the local NAACP chapter on voter registration. Cook joined Duke University as the first African American professor to hold a regular faculty appointment at a predominantly White college or university in the South in 1966. He taught at Duke until 1975 when he was appointed president of Dillard University. Cook served in that capacity until his retirement in 1997. He also served on the board of Duke from 1981 to 1993. Cook was the first Black president of the Southern Political Science Association and served as vice president of the American Political Science Association. The Samuel Dubois Cook Fine Arts and Communications Center at Dillard is named in his honor and the Samuel Dubois Cook Society at Duke was established in 1997 to recognize, celebrate, and affirm the presence of African Americans at Duke. "Politics, Morality and Higher Education: Essays in Honor of Samuel Dubois Cook" was published in 1997. 

November 21, 1936 James Anderson DePreist, orchestra conductor and poet, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. DePreist studied composition at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He won the Gold medal at the Dimitris Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in 1962. He then became assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic during the 1965-1966 season. DePreist made his European debut in 1969 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He was permanent conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2008. As a guest conductor, he appeared with every major North American orchestra and had more than 50 recordings to his credit. DePreist was director emeritus of conducting and orchestral studies at the Julliard School and laureate director of the Oregon Symphony. DePreist published two books of poetry, "The Precipice Garden" (1987) and "The Distant Siren" (1989). He was awarded 13 honorary doctorate degrees and was an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. DePreist received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, from President George W. Bush November 10, 2005. DePreist died February 8, 2013. 

November 21, 1941 David Porter, hall of fame songwriter, record producer and businessman, was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Porter was the first staff songwriter for Stax Records in 1963. He partnered with Isaac Hayes in 1965 and they produced more than 300 songs for Stax artists, including Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Wilson Pickett, and Sam and Dave. The songwriting partnership ended in the late 1960s when Hayes embarked on a solos singing career. Porter also released four albums but realized his passion was songwriting. Over the next 40 years, he wrote songs for a diverse list of artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, Waylon Jennings, Mariah Carey, and Will Smith. Porter has more than 1700 songwriter/composer credits representing more than 300 million records sold. He received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1999 and was inducted into the National Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. Porter also owns a blues club and music publishing company in Memphis. He founded The Consortium MMT, a non-profit with the goal of developing a talent pool of new musicians in Memphis, in 2012. 

November 21, 1944 Vernon Earl Monroe, hall of fame basketball player known as "Earl the Pearl," was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Monroe was a playground legend at an early age known as "Thomas Edison" because of the many moves that he invented. While playing for Winston-Salem State University, he earned the 1967 National Collegiate Athletic Association College Division Player of the Year. That same year, Monroe was selected by the Baltimore Bullets in the National Basketball Association Draft and won the 1968 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Over his fourteen season professional career, Monroe was a four-time All-Star and won the 1973 NBA Championship. His number 15 jersey was retired by the New York Knicks in 1986 and his number 10 jersey was retired by the Washington Wizards in 2007. Monroe was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. Monroe serves as a commentator for Madison Square Garden and as commissioner of the New Jersey Urban Development Corporation. He also owns a record label and candy company. Monroe has been active in various community programs, including the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Health. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from Manhattanville College and Winston-Salem State. His autobiography, "Earl the Pearl: My Story," was published in 2013. 

November 21, 1954 Vincent W. Patton, III, the first African American Master Chief Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard, was born in Detroit, Michigan. Patton enlisted in the Coast Guard soon after graduating from Cass Technical High School in 1972. While on active duty, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Pacific College in 1976, his Bachelor of Science degree in social work from Shaw College, his Master of Arts degree in counseling psychology from Loyola University in 1979, and his Doctor of Education degree from American University in 1984. After serving in a number of capacities in the Coast Guard, Patton was appointed Master Chief Petty Officer, the service's most senior enlisted ranking position, in 1998. Patton served in that capacity until his retirement in 2002. After retiring, he earned a Master of Theology degree in applied religious studies from the Graduate Theological Union and became an adjunct professor at the University of California. He is currently executive director for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Educational Foundation. Patton serves on several boards, including the National Coast Guard Museum Association and the U. S. Naval Institute. 

November 21, 1962 George Branham, III, the first African American to win a championship on the Professional Bowlers Association tour, was born in Detroit, Michigan but raised in San Fernando Valley, California. Branham started bowling at six and joined the PBA tour at 23. He won the Brunswick Memorial World Open, the first African American to win a PBA championship, November 22, 1986. Branham won the Tournament of Champions, professional bowling's most prestigious title, in 1993. Branham retired at the end of the 2003 tour, having rolled 23 perfect games and won three additional titles. Branham currently operates a bowling center in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

November 21, 1971 Michael Anthony Strahan, hall of fame football player and television personality, was born in Houston, Texas. Strahan played college football at Texas Southern University where he set the school record with 41.5 career quarterback sacks and was named 1992 Black College Defensive Player of the Year. He was selected by the New York Giants in the 1993 National Football League Draft and over his 15 season professional career was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and 2001 Defensive Player of the Year. Strahan set the NFL record for number of quarterback sacks in a single season that year with 22.5. Strahan began a career in television after retiring from football in 2008. He has done a number of commercials, appeared on the "Fox NFL Pregame Show" since 2008, and co-hosted the talk show "Live! With Kelly and Michael" since 2012. Strahan was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Texas Southern in 2014. "Inside the Helmet: My Life as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior" was published in 2007). 

November 21, 1983 William Boyd Allison Davis, anthropologist and researcher, died. Davis was born October 14, 1902 in Washington, D. C. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, as class valedictorian, from Williams College, his Master of Arts degree in English in 1925 and his Master of Arts degree in anthropology in 1932 from Harvard University, and was the first African American to earn a Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1942. Davis became the first African American to become a tenured professor at a major White university in 1948 when he joined the Department of Education at the University of Chicago. Davis was known for groundbreaking field studies such as "Children of Bondage" (1940) and "Deep South" (1941) which used anthropological techniques to explore how race and social class influenced education and learning among children. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 1994. 

November 21, 2002 Hadda Brooks, pianist, vocalist and television show host, died. Brooks was born Hattie L. Hapgood in Los Angeles, California October 29, 1916. She studied classical piano as a child. She began to play the piano professionally in the early 1940s and made her first recording, "Swingin' the Boogie," in 1945. Brooks appeared in a number of films during the late 1940s and early 1950s, usually as a lounge piano player and singer, including "Out of the Blue" (1947), "In a Lonely Place" (1950), and "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952). She hosted "The Hadda Brooks Show" for 26 half-hour episodes in Los Angeles in 1957. Brooks was based in Australia where she hosted her own television show for most of the 1960s. She resumed her recording career in 1994 with the album "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere." This was followed by "Time Was When" (1996) and "I've Got News for You" (1999). She received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1993. A documentary, "Queen of the Boogie," was released in 2007. 

November 21, 2006 Robert Lockwood, Jr., hall of fame blues guitarist, died. Lockwood was born March 27, 1915 in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas. He started playing the organ at eight and learned the guitar from Robert Johnson in his early teens. Lockwood was playing professionally throughout the Mississippi Delta by 17. He began a partnership with Sonny Williamson II in 1941 to perform on the daily "King Biscuit Time" radio program. Lockwood moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1950 and played and recorded with a number of blues bands. He moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1961 and played regularly with his band at numerous local venues up to his death. Albums by Lockwood as leader include "Steady Rollin' Man" (1970), "Hangin' On" (1979), "Delta Crossroads" (2000), and "The Legend Live" (2003). Lockwood also played on "Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas" (2004) which won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1989 and received the National Heritage Fellowship Award, the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, in 1995. He received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Cleveland State University in 2002. Robert Lockwood Jr. Way in Cleveland is named in his honor. 

November 21, 2010 Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, poet, artist and educator, died. Burroughs was born November 1, 1917 in St. Rose, Louisiana but raised in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Chicago Teacher's College in 1946 and her Master of Arts degree in education from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948. She taught in the Chicago Public School System from 1940 to 1968 and worked as a professor of humanities at Kennedy-King College from 1969 to 1979. Burroughs founded the DuSable Museum of African-American History in 1961 and served as director of the museum until 1985. That year, she was appointed a commissioner of the Chicago Park District. As a poet, Burroughs published " What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?" in 1968 and "Africa, My Africa" in 1970.

Granville T. Woods

​Engineer and inventor.

George Branham, III

The first African American to win a Professional Bowlers Association tour championship. 

Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs

Artist, educator, poet, and found of DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, IL.

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Today in Black History, 11/20/2015 | Garrett Augustus Morgan

November 20, 1923 Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. of Cleveland, Ohio received patent number 1,475,024 for his version of the traffic signal. His invention enabled a traffic director to control the flow of traffic by stopping the movement of traffic in all directions prior to allowing traffic to move in any one direction. Morgan was born March 4, 1877 in Paris, Kentucky. He moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1895 and worked repairing sewing machines for a clothing manufacturer. He opened his own sewing machine and shoe repair shop in 1907 and helped to found the Cleveland Association of Colored Men in 1908. Morgan received patent number 1,113,675 for the safety hood and smoke protector October 13, 1914 and became nationally known when he used it July 25, 1916 to save several men in a tunnel explosion under Lake Erie. Morgan was awarded the Medal of Bravery by the citizens of Cleveland but was denied the Carnegie Medal, which is awarded to civilians who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others, due to his race. Morgan died August 27, 1963. He was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005. The Garrett Morgan Treatment Plant and the Garrett A. Morgan Cleveland School of Science are named in his honor. "Garrett A. Morgan: American Negro Inventor" was published in 1969. His name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. 

November 20, 1695 Zumbi, also known as Zumbi dos Palmares, leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares in Brazil was captured and beheaded by the Portuguese. Zumbi was born free in Palmares in 1655 but was captured by the Portuguese when he was six years old. Despite efforts to pacify him, Zumbi escaped when he was 15 and returned to his birthplace. He became known for his physical prowess and cunning in battle and was a respected military strategist by the time he was in his early twenties. Zumbi became the leader of Palmares in 1678 and for the next seventeen years led the fight for the independence of Palmares, a self-sustaining republic of Maroons who had escaped from the Portuguese settlements in Brazil. Zambi is honored as a hero, freedom fighter, and symbol of freedom in Brazil today. A bust of Zumbi sits in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, with a plaque that reads "Zumbi dos Palmares, the leader of all races." Also, November 20 is celebrated as a day of Black consciousness in Brazil. Zambi dos Palmares International Airport in Macelo, Brazil is named in his honor. 

November 20, 1878 Charles Sidney Gilpin, one of the most highly regarded actors of the 1920s, was born in Richmond, Virginia. Gilpin first performed on stage as a singer at 12. He performed with a number of traveling musical troupes beginning in 1905. He appeared in whiteface in "The Octoroon" in 1916 and had a role in "Abraham Lincoln" in 1919. Gilpin made his Broadway debut in the lead role of "The Emperor Jones" in 1920 to great acclaim. The Drama League of New York named him one of the ten people in 1920 who had done the most for American theater, the first Black person to be so honored. He was awarded the 1921 Spingarn Medal by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was honored at the White House by President Warren G. Harding. The Dumas Dramatic Club of Cleveland, Ohio renamed itself the Gilpin Players in 1922. Gilpin died May 6, 1930. 

November 20, 1895 Sallie Martin, the "Mother of Gospel Music" and entrepreneur, was born in Pittfield, Georgia. Martin moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1927 and met Thomas A. Dorsey and convinced him to hire her as part of a trio formed to introduce his songs to churches. Martin helped to form the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Inc. in 1933 and served as vice president until her death June 18, 1988. She co-founded Martin and Morris Music, Inc. in 1940 and it became the largest African American owned gospel publishing company in the country. They were responsible for publishing a number of gospel standards, including "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" (1940). Martin retired from music in 1970 and sold her portion of the publishing company in 1973. Her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement led to an invitation to attend the 1960 celebration marking the independence of Nigeria. This inspired her to donate to the Nigerian health program, resulting in a state office building named in her honor. She was posthumously inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1991. 

November 20, 1910 Anne Pauline "Pauli" Murray, lawyer, teacher, writer, priest and civil and women's rights activist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland but raised in Durham, North Carolina. Murray earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hunter College in 1933. She was one of the founders of the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942. After being denied admission to the University of North Carolina Law School because of her race, she graduated as valedictorian from the Howard University Law School in 1944. After being denied admission to Harvard University Law School because of her gender, Murray earned her Master of Law degree from the University of California in 1947. Murray published her first poem, "The Song of the Highway," in 1934. She published "States' Laws on Race and Color," which catalogued state statues discriminating against African Americans, Native Americans, and other groups, in 1950. Other works by Murray include "Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family" (1956) and "Dark Testament and other poems" (1970). Murray was appointed to the President's Commission on the Status of Women in 1961. She was the first African American to earn a Doctor of Judicial Science degree from Yale Law School in 1965. She was a professor of American studies at Brandeis University from 1968 to 1973 and also taught law in Ghana. Murray earned her Master of Divinity degree in 1976 and was the first African American woman to become an Episcopal priest in 1977. She served in that capacity until her retirement in 1984. Murray died July 1, 1985. Her autobiography, "Song in a Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage," was published in 1987. The Pauli Murray Human Relations Award was established by Orange County, North Carolina in 1990. 

November 20, 1948 Barbara Hendricks, operatic singer and goodwill ambassador, was born in Stephens, Arkansas. Hendricks earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1969 and her bachelor's degree in music from the Juilliard School of Music in 1973. She made her operatic debut in Europe and the United States in 1974. Hendricks has appeared at major opera houses around the world and has performed more than 20 roles. She has also dedicated her life to the plight of refugees. She was named a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and founded the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation in 1998 to facilitate reconciliation of conflicts. She has been a member of the Council of the Foundation for the Refugee Education Trust since 2000. Hendricks was made a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1986, awarded the rank of Chevalier of the Legion d'honneur in 1992, and received the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 2000. She published her autobiography, "Lifting My Voice," in 2014. 

November 20, 1957 Dwight Eugene Stephenson, hall of fame football player, was born in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Stephenson played college football at the University of Alabama where he was an All-American. Coach Bear Bryant called Stephenson the best player he had ever coached, regardless of position. Stephenson was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the 1980 National Football League Draft and over his eight-season professional career was a five-time Pro Bowl selection. Stephenson received the 1985 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which annually honors a player's volunteer and charitable work and his excellence on the field, and was named the 2005 Walter Camp Man of the Year which is annually given to an individual who has been closely associated with the game of football. The recipient must have attained a measure of success, must have contributed to the public service, and must have a reputation for integrity. The Dwight Stephenson Foundation was founded in 2007 to generate increased funding for charities that provide educational, health and human services to support the needs of children and families. Stephenson is the chief executive officer of D. Stephenson Construction, Inc. 

November 20, 1976 Dominique Margaux Dawes, hall of fame gymnast and the first African American female to win an Olympic Gold medal in gymnastics, was born in Silver Springs, Maryland. Dawes was introduced to gymnastics at six and competed in her first international competition at twelve. As members of the Bronze medal winning United States Olympic gymnastics team at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games, she and Betty Okino were the first African American females to win an Olympic gymnastics medal. Dawes was named 1994 Sportsperson of the Year by USA Gymnastics and received the 1995 Henry P. Iba Citizen Award, which is presented annually to two outstanding athletes who have demonstrated good citizenship. At the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, the U. S. team won the Gold medal and Dawes was the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics. At the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games, Dawes contributed to the U. S. team winning the Bronze medal which gave her more Olympic team medals than any other U. S. gymnast. After retiring from the sport, Dawes earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland in 2002 and began pursuing a career in acting, modeling and television production. She served as president of the Women's Sports Foundation from 2004 to 2006, the youngest president in the foundation's history, and is currently on the Advisory Board of Sesame Workshop's "Healthy Habits for Life" program. She also works as a motivational speaker, concentrating on youth issues. Dawes was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1998, the USA Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008, and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2009. President Barack H. Obama appointed her co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition in 2010. 

November 20, 1990 William Montague Cobb, physical anthropologist, educator and the first African American to earn a Ph. D. in anthropology, died. Cobb was born October 12, 1904 in Washington, D. C. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College in 1925, his Doctor of Medicine degree from Howard University Medical School in 1929, and his Ph. D. in anatomy and physical anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in 1932. That year, Cobb returned to Howard and over the next 41 years taught more than 6,000 medical students. He served as chair of the anatomy department from 1942 to 1969 and built one of the world's foremost collections of human skeletons for the study of comparative anatomy. Many of his studies and publications attacked the racial and social bias in prior anatomy and anthropology studies. One of his most famous articles, "Race and Runners," published in 1936 dispelled the idea that an African American gene allowed Jesse Owens to win four Olympic Gold medals but decreased his intelligence. Cobb was also involved in the Civil Rights Movement, serving as president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1976 to 1982. He also was active with the National Urban League, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, and served as editor of the journal of the National Medical Association from 1949 to 1977. 

November 20, 1998 Meredith Charles Gourdine, athlete and hall of fame engineer and physicist, died. Gourdine was born September 26, 1929 in Newark, New Jersey but raised in Brooklyn, New York. He won the Silver medal in the long jump at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympic Games. Gourdine earned his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering physics from Cornell University in 1953 and his Ph. D. in engineering physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1960. After working in the private sector from 1957 to 1964, he founded a research laboratory, Gourdine Laboratories. In 1973, he founded Energy Innovations to produce direct energy conversion devices. Gourdine pioneered research in electrogasdynamics and was responsible for the engineering technique termed incineraid for removing smoke from buildings. His work on gas dispersion developed techniques for dispersing fog from airport runways. Gourdine is credited with 27 patents. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1991 and inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame in 1994. 

November 20, 2003 David Dacko, the first President of the Central African Republic, died. Dacko was born March 24, 1930 in the village of Bouchia in what was then French Equatorial Africa. Educated for a career in teaching, he became schoolmaster of a large primary school in 1951 and principal of Kouanga College in 1955. Dacko served in various capacities within the government from 1957 to 1959 and after the Central African Republic gained independence August 13, 1960 became the first president of the CAR. His government was overthrown in 1965 and he was briefly imprisoned. The French government overthrew the CAR government in 1979 and restored Dacko to the presidency which he held until 1981 when he was overthrown again. Dacko ran for president again in 1999 and finished third. 

November 20, 2013 Ernest Banks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Barack H. Obama. Banks was born January 31, 1931 in Dallas, Texas. He made his professional baseball debut in 1950 with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Baseball League and broke into the major leagues in 1953 with the Chicago Cubs, their first Black player. Over his 18 season major league career, Banks was an eleven-time All-Star, National League Most Valuable Player in 1958 and 1959, and a Gold Glove winner. After retiring, the Cubs hired him as a coach for the team. Banks was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Cubs retired his uniform number 14 in 1982. A statue of Banks was unveiled outside of the Cub's stadium March 31, 2008. The Ernie Banks Live Above & Beyond Foundation "works to promote social welfare, and improve and develop the capabilities of children and seniors who are underprivileged residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods." Banks died January 23, 2015. 

November 20, 2013 Bayard Rustin was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack H. Obama. Rustin was born March 17, 1912 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He assisted in the founding of the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942. A declared pacifist, he was imprisoned from 1944 to 1946 for violating the Selective Service Act. While in prison, he organized protests against the segregated dining facilities. After his release from prison, Rustin was frequently arrested for protesting against British colonial rule in India and Africa. He organized the Journey of Reconciliation in 1947, the first of the Freedom Rides, to test the Supreme Court ruling that banned racial segregation in interstate travel. He organized the Committee to Support South African Resistance in 1951 which later became the American Committee on Africa. He assisted Martin Luther King, Jr. in organizing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 and was one of the chief organizers of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Rustin worked as a human rights and election monitor for Freedom House, a research and advocacy group for democracy, political freedom, and human rights, throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Rustin died August 24, 1987. Several schools and other institutions are named in his honor, including Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester and the Bayard Rustin Social Justice Center in Conway, Arkansas. A number of biographies have been published of Rustin, including "Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen" (1997), "Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement" (1997), and "Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin" (2004). 

November 20, 2013 Oprah Gail Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack H. Obama. Winfrey was born January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She won an oratorical contest at 17 which secured her a full scholarship to Tennessee State University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976. She moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1983 to host "AM Chicago" and within months it was the highest rated television talk show in the city. The show was expanded to an hour in 1986, renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and broadcast nationally. After 25 years, the final show was aired in September, 2011. Winfrey founded Harpo Productions in 1986 which produced the 1998 film "Beloved" and the 2005 made for television movie "Their Eyes Were Watching God." She co-starred in "The Color Purple" in 1985 and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared in the television movies "The Women of Brewster Place" (1990) and "Before Women Had Wings" (1997) and the films "The Butler" (2013) and "Selma" (2014). Winfrey co-founded the Oxygen Network in 1998, began publication of "O, The Oprah Magazine in 2000, and she and Discovery Communications changed Discovery Health Channel into OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network in 2008. According to Forbes magazine Winfrey had a net worth of $3 billion in 2015. Winfrey started Oprah's Angel Network, a charity to encourage people around the world to make a difference in the life of the underprivileged, in 1998 and it has raised more than $51 million. She has invested $40 million to establish the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa which opened in 2007. She became the first Black person to be listed by Business Week magazine as one of America's top 50 most generous philanthropists in 2005. She donated $12 million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2013. She received the 1995 George Foster Peabody Award, given annually for distinguished and meritorious public service in radio and television, was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Science Hall of Fame in 1993, received the 2000 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal, and received Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. She was listed as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World each year from 2004 to 2011 and on their list of the 100 Most Influential People of the Century. Forbes magazine listed her number 12 on its 2015 list and number 12 on their 2015 list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. Several books have been written about Winfrey, including "Oprah Winfrey: The Real Story" (2001) and "Oprah Winfrey" (2007). 

November 20, 2013 Cordy Tindell "C. T." Vivian was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack H. Obama. Vivian was born July 28, 1924 in Howard, Missouri. His first professional job was recreation director for the Carver Community Center in Peoria, Illinois where he participated in his first sit-in demonstrations, successfully integrating Barton's Cafeteria in 1947. Vivian studied at American Baptist College from 1955 to 1959 and participated in the Nashville Student Movement. He also helped found the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference and helped organize the first sit-ins in 1960 and the first civil rights marches in 1961. Vivian founded and directed Vision, an educational program that provided scholarships for 702 Alabama college-bound students, in 1966. He authored "Black Power and the American Myth" in 1970. Vivian moved to Atlanta, Georgia later in the 1970s and founded the Black Action Strategies and Information Center, a consultancy on multiculturalism and race relations in the workplace and other contexts, in 1977. He co-founded the Center for Democratic Renewal in 1979 to respond to White supremacy activity. His biography, "Challenge and Change," was published in 1993. He founded the C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute in 2008 to create a model leadership culture in Atlanta. Vivian continues to speak publicly and offer workshops.

William Montague Cobb

The first African American to receive a Ph.D in anthropology, educator, and physical anthropologist. 

Dominique M. Dawes

Hall of fame gymnast and the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics.

Meredith C. Gourdine

Athlete, hall of fame engineer, and physicist.

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Today in Black History, 11/19/2015 | The Muhammad Ali Center

November 19, 2005 The Muhammad Ali Center opened in Louisville, Kentucky. The center is a museum and cultural center built as a tribute to the champion boxer Muhammad Ali and his core values of respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, charity, and spirituality. 

November 19, 1797 Sojourner Truth, hall of fame abolitionist and women's rights activist, was born Isabella Baumfree enslaved in Swartekill, New York. Truth was sold with a flock of sheep for $100 at nine. She escaped to freedom in 1826 and changed her name in 1843 and began traveling and preaching about abolition. Her memoir, "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave", was published in 1850. Truth attended the Ohio Women's Rights Convention and delivered her famous speech "Ain't I a Woman" May 29, 1851. Truth helped recruit Black soldiers for the Union Army during the Civil War and later met with Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Truth died November 26, 1883. She was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1981, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honor in 1986, and she was the first Black woman to be honored with a bust in the United States Capitol April 28, 2009. A number of biographies have been published about Truth, including "Sojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, Legend" (1993) and "Glorying in Tribulation: The Lifework of Sojourner Truth" (1994). Her name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. 

November 19, 1886 George Lewis Ruffin, the first African American to graduate from Harvard Law School, died. Ruffin was born December 16, 1834 in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to entering law school, Ruffin worked as a barber, studied law books, and wrote for a weekly publication. He served as a delegate to the 1864 National Negro Convention. Ruffin graduated from Harvard Law School in 1869 and was admitted into the Suffolk County Bar Association. He served on the Boston Common Council from 1876 to 1877 and was appointed a judge on the Charleston, Massachusetts Municipal Court in 1883, the first African American to serve in both positions. The George Lewis Ruffin Society was founded at Northeastern University in 1984 to support minorities studying in the Massachusetts criminal justice system. 

November 19, 1912 William B. Purvis of Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania shared patent number 530,710 for an improved Electric Railway System. This invention caused the third rail to be energized only when the railcar was passing over it, thus significantly reducing the chances of people being injured by coming into the contact with the third rail. Purvis had previously received patent number 419,065 for the fountain pen January 7, 1890. That invention made the use of an ink bottle obsolete by storing ink in a reservoir within the pen which was then fed to the tip of the pen. Over his lifetime, Purvis received nine additional patents over his lifetime. He is also believed to have invented, but not patent, several other devices. Not much else is known of Purvis' life. 

November 19, 1919 James Wormley Jones became the first African American special agent in the Bureau of Investigations (now Federal Bureau of Investigation). Jones was born September 22, 1884 in Fort Monroe, Virginia but raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He earned his bachelor's degree from Virginia Union University. He began work with the Washington Metropolitan Police Department in 1905 and was eventually promoted to detective. He was commissioned a captain in the United States Army in 1917 and served in France during World War I. After joining the Bureau of Investigations, he was assigned to track the activities of groups perceived as subversive. Jones resigned from the bureau in 1923. Not much is known of Jones' later life except that he died December 11, 1958. 

November 19, 1921 Roy Campanella, hall of fame baseball player, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Campanella began playing Negro league baseball for the Washington Elite Giants in 1937. He moved into the Brooklyn Dodgers' minor league system in 1946 and was elevated to the major leagues the next season. Over his ten season major league career, Campanella was an eight-time All-Star and National League Most Valuable Player in 1951, 1953, and 1955. In January, 1958, he was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Campanella was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969 and the Dodgers retired his uniform number 39 in 1972. Campanella died June 26, 1993. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 2006. His autobiography, "It's Good to Be Alive", was published in 1959. 

November 19, 1944 Ruben Rivers, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, was killed in action. Rivers was born October 31, 1918 in Tecumseh, Oklahoma. When the United States entered World War II, Rivers enlisted and was assigned to the 761st Tank Battalion, nicknamed the "Black Panthers", 26th Infantry Division. In November, 1944, he was serving as a staff sergeant in northeastern France and his actions during that time earned him the medal, America's highest military decoration. On November 8, Rivers and his company encountered a roadblock set-up by the Germans. "With utter disregard for his personal safety, Staff Sergeant Rivers courageously dismounted from his tank in the face of directed enemy small arms fire, attached a cable to the roadblock and moved it off the road, thus permitting the combat team to proceed. His prompt action thus prevented a serious delay in the offensive action and was instrumental in the successful assault and capture of the town." On November 16, Rivers was again leading an assault on a German position when his tank hit a mine, disabling it and seriously wounding Rivers. By the morning of November 19, Rivers' condition had deteriorated. After refusing to be evacuated, Rivers took another tank and led the attack against the German anti-tank unit. The Germans landed two direct hits with high explosive shells that killed Rivers instantly. Although his commanding officer recommended him for the Medal of Honor November 20, 1944, Rivers was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, America's second highest military decoration. A study commissioned by the U. S. Army in 1993 described systematic racial discrimination in the criteria for awarding medals during World War II. No Congressional Medal of Honor had been awarded to Black soldiers who served in the war. After a review of files, the study recommended that seven Black Distinguished Service Cross recipients have their awards upgraded to the Congressional Medal of Honor. The medal was presented to Rivers' family by President William J. Clinton January 13, 1997. 

November 19, 1949 Ahmad Rashad, hall of fame football player and sportscaster, was born Robert Earl Moore in Portland, Oregon. Moore went to the University of Oregon on a football scholarship and was an All-American wide receiver and running back. Moore converted to Islam while at Oregon and changed his name to Ahmad Rashad. After graduating in 1972, Rashad was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the National Football League Draft. Over the next eleven seasons, he was selected for the Pro Bowl four times and was the 1979 Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player. His autobiography, "RASHAD: Vikes, Mikes and Something on the Backside", was published in 1988. After retiring from football, Rashad began his career as a sportscaster. He served as studio host for NBC Television's coverage of the 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona, and 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games and won an Emmy Award in the category of writing for his work documenting the Seoul Olympic experience. He was named executive producer of "NBA Inside Stuff" and NBA Entertainment produced specials in 1998. Rashad was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. Rashad received an honorary Doctor of Journalism degree from the University of Puget Sound in 1996. 

November 19, 1958 Annette Gordon-Reed, the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for History, was born in segregated east Texas. Gordon-Reed earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College in 1981 and her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1984. She spent her early career as counsel to the New York City Board of Corrections. She was a professor at New York Law School from 1992 to 2010. Gordon-Reed published her first book, "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy", in 1997. That book established that Jefferson and Hemings had some type of intimate relationship. Her book "The Hemings of Monticello: An American Family" (2008) won the 2008 National Book Award for Nonfiction and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History April 20, 2009. President Barack H. Obama awarded Gordon-Reed the National Humanities Medal February 25, 2010 for work that has "deepened the nations' understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities". Also that year, she was presented the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award. Gordon-Reed is currently professor of law and history at Harvard and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her most recent publication is "Andrew Johnson: The American Presidents Series-The 17th President, 1865-1869" (2011). 

November 19, 1966 Yolanda Gail Devers, hall of fame track and field athlete and three time Olympic gold medalist, was born in Seattle, Washington. Devers qualified for the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games but did not medal. Also that year, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. She was diagnosed with Graves' disease in 1990 and underwent radioactive iodine treatment followed by thyroid hormone replacement therapy. After recovering, Devers won the Gold medal in the 100 meter race at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games and Gold medals in the 100 meter race and the 4 by 100 meter relay at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games. Devers established the Gail Devers Foundation in 1999 to fund education, health, and community development projects. She retired from competition in 2005 but returned in 2007 to win the 60 meter hurdles event at the Millrose Games. Devers was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2011 and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2012. Devers was a recipient of the 2013 National Collegiate Athletic Association Silver Anniversary Award, presented annually to six former college student-athletes on the 25th anniversary of the college sports careers. 

November 19, 1968 Dwight Hal Johnson received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson was born May 7, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1967 and by January 15, 1968 was serving in Company B, 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, 4th Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam. His actions on that day earned him the medal, America's highest military decoration. His citation partially reads, "Specialist Johnson's tank, upon reaching the point of contact, threw a track and became immobilized. Realizing he could do no more as a driver, he climbed out of the vehicle, armed only with a .45 caliber pistol. Despite intense hostile fire, Specialist Johnson killed several enemy soldiers before he had expended his ammunition. Returning to the tank through a heavy volume of antitank rocket, small arms and automatic weapons fire, he obtained a sub-machine gun with which to continue his fight against the advancing enemy. Armed with this weapon, Specialist Johnson again braved deadly enemy fire to return to the center of the ambush site where he courageously eliminated more of the determined foe. Engaged in extremely close combat when the last of his ammunition was expended, he killed an enemy soldier with the stock end of his sub-machine gun. Now weaponless, Specialist Johnson ignored the enemy fire around him, climbed into his platoon sergeant's tank, extricated a wounded crewmember and carried him to an armored personnel carrier. He then returned to the same tank and assisted in firing the main gun until it jammed. In a magnificent display of courage, Specialist Johnson exited the tank and again armed only with a .45 caliber pistol, he engaged several North Vietnamese troops in close proximity to the vehicle. Fighting his way through devastating fire and remounting his own immobilized tank, he remained fully exposed to the enemy as he bravely and skillfully engaged them with the tank's externally mounted .50 caliber machine gun: where he remained until the situation was brought under control." After his discharge from the army in 1971, Johnson had difficulty adjusting to his post-war role and was diagnosed with depression caused by post-Vietnam adjustment problems. On the night of April 29, 1971, he was shot while committing armed robbery and died the next day. Two plays have been written about Johnson's life, "Strike Heaven on the Face" and "The Medal of Honor Rag". 

November 19, 1985 Stepin Fetchit, hall of fame comedian and film actor, died. Fetchit was born Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry May 30, 1902 in Key West, Florida. He began entertaining in his teens as a comic character. Stepin Fetchit was his stage name and Perry parlayed his persona as "the laziest man in the world" into a successful film career, appearing in 54 films between 1925 and 1976, including "The Mysterious Stranger" (1925), "The Prodigal" (1931), and "Amazing Grace" (1974). As the result of his success, Perry was the first Black actor to become a millionaire. In his personal life, Perry was highly literate and had a concurrent career writing for the Chicago Defender. Perry was often criticized by civil rights leaders for his roles but the Hollywood Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awarded him a special NAACP Image Award in 1976 and he was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1978. Perry also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Biographies of Perry include "Stepin Fletchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry" (2005) and "Shuffling to Ignominy: The Tragedy of Stepin Flechit" (2005).

​Annette Gordon-Reed

​The first African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for history.

William B. Purvis

Shared patent for improvement of the electric rail system.

Sojourner Truth

​Abolitionist and women's right activist. 

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Today in Black History, 11/18/2015 | Harry Tyson Moore

November 18, 1905 Harry Tyson Moore, teacher and civil rights pioneer, was born in Houston, Florida. Moore graduated from Florida Memorial College (now University) with a Normal degree in 1925. He worked as a teacher and principal at several schools from 1925 to 1946. He and his wife founded the Brevard County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1934 and he filed the first lawsuit in the deep South to equalize salaries of Black teachers with White teachers in public schools in 1937. Moore also led the Progressive Voters League from 1944 to 1950 and during that time registered more than 100,000 Black people to vote. The public school system fired the Moores in 1946 and blacklisted them because of his political activism. Moore and his wife were killed on their 25th wedding anniversary by a bomb that went off beneath their home in Mims, Florida December 25, 1951. Moore was posthumously awarded the NAACP Spingarn Medal in 1952. The state of Florida designated the home site of the Moore's a Florida Historical Heritage Landmark in 1999 and Brevard County created the Harry T. and Harriet Moore Memorial Park and Interpretive Center at the home site in 2004. The state of Florida concluded in 2006 that the Moores were victims of a conspiracy by members of a Central Florida Klaven of the Ku Klux Klan and four individuals, all deceased, were named. "Before His Time: The Untold Story of Harry T. Moore, America's First Civil Rights Matyr," was published in 1999.

November 18, 1900 Howard Thurman, author, theologian, educator and civil rights leader, was born in Daytona Beach, Florida. Thurman earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in 1923, his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Theological Seminary in 1926, and his Ph.D. from Haverford College in 1929. Thurman was selected as dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University in 1932 and served until 1944 when he left to help establish the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, the first racially integrated, intercultural church in the United States. He became the first Black dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University in 1953 and served until 1965. A prolific author, Thurman wrote 20 books, including "Jesus and the Disinherited" (1949) which greatly influenced Martin Luther King, Jr. Life magazine rated Thurman among the 12 most important religious leaders in the United States in 1953 and Ebony Magazine called him one of the 50 most important figures in African American history. Thurman died April 10, 1981. "With Head and Heart: The Autobiography of Howard Thurman" was published in 1981.

November 18, 1912 Louis Emanuel Martin, Jr., journalist, publisher and civil rights activist, was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee but grew up in Savannah, Georgia. Martin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Michigan in 1934 and was hired as a reporter for the Chicago Defender in 1936. He returned to Michigan six months later to launch a new Black newspaper, The Michigan Chronicle. Martin served as the editor and publisher of the newspaper for the next eleven years. He was one of the founders of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, an organization of Black newspaper publishers, in 1940 and was a co-founder of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research organization providing technical support for Black officeholders and scholars, in 1970. Martin was a participant on the national political scene for more than half a century, advising Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter, and becoming known as the "Godfather of Black Politics." Martin died January 6, 1997. His biography, "Walking with Presidents: Louis Martin and the Rise of Black Political Power," was published in 1997.

November 18, 1927 Hank Ballard, hall of fame R&B singer and composer, was born John Henry Kendricks in Detroit, Michigan but raised in Bessemer, Alabama. Ballard moved back to Detroit at 15 and began his singing career. He formed a group known as The Midnighters in 1951 and wrote "Work With Me Annie" (1954) which became the group's first hit. This was followed the same year by "Annie Had a Baby" and "Annie's Aunt Fannie." Each sold more than a million copies despite being banned by the Federal Communications Commission from radio. Ballard wrote and recorded "The Twist" and invented the dance in 1959. It became a number one hit for Chubby Checker in 1960. The group had several more hits, including "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" (1960) and "Finger Popping Time" (1960), before disbanding in 1965. Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 1992. Hank Ballard and the Midnighters were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. Ballard died March 2, 2003.

November 18, 1944 The United States liberty ship SS Bert Williams was launched in honor of Egbert Austin "Bert" Williams, the pre-eminent Black entertainer of his era. Williams was born November 12, 1875 in Nassau, Bahamas. He moved to San Francisco, California to study civil engineering but instead joined a minstrel show. He formed the team of Williams and Walker with his partner George Walker in 1893 and they performed song and dance numbers, comic dialogues, and skits. They headlined the Koster and Bial's vaudeville house for 36 weeks and popularized the cakewalk dance. Williams and Walker appeared in a succession of hit shows, including "Sons of Ham" (1900), "In Dahomey" (1902), which became the first Black musical to open on Broadway February 18, 1903, and "Abyssinia" (1906). Williams composed and recorded many songs, including "Nobody" which sold between 100,000 and 150,000 copies, a phenomenal total for the era. Walker was forced to leave their partnership due to ill health in 1909 and Williams joined the Ziegfeld Follies as the featured performer amid an otherwise all White show in 1910. By 1920, when 10,000 sales was considered a successful release, Williams had four songs that shipped between 180,000 and 250,000 copies and was one of the three most highly paid recording artists in the world. Williams died March 4, 1922. He was posthumously inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1996. The many books about Williams include "Nobody: The Story of Bert Williams" (1970), "The Last Darky: Bert Williams, Black-on-Black Minstrelsy, and the African Diaspora" (2005), and "Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America's First Black Star" (2008). His name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan.

November 18, 1954 Michael B. Coleman, the first African American Mayor of Columbus, Ohio, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana but raised in Toledo, Ohio. Coleman earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Cincinnati in 1977 and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980. He was appointed to the Columbus City Council in 1992 and was subsequently re-elected to two terms, serving until 1999. That year, Coleman was elected mayor and he has been re-elected three times. He is the city's longest serving mayor and the longest serving Black mayor in the country. Coleman has focused on public safety and improving the quality of life for families in Columbus neighborhoods during his tenure. He received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Ohio State University.

November 18, 1956 Harold Warren Moon, hall of fame football player, was born in Los Angeles, California. Although Moon was a star high school quarterback, none of the major colleges were interested in him as a quarterback. Therefore, he enrolled in West Los Angeles College where he set a number of records. Based on that performance, the University of Washington signed him and he led them to the 1978 Rose Bowl where he was named Most Valuable Player. After completing his college career and earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1978, Moon was not drafted by any team in the National Football League because he was Black and refused to play any position other than quarterback. Therefore, he signed with the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League and led them to five consecutive Grey Cup victories from 1978 to 1982 and was named the 1983 CFL's Most Outstanding Player. He was signed by the Houston Oilers of the National Football League in 1984 and over his 17 season NFL career was a nine-time All Pro and was the 1990 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. At the time of his retirement, Moon held the record for most passes completions, most passing yardage, and most passing touchdowns in professional football. Moon is one of only two people to be enshrined in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (2001) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2006). He is also the only African American quarterback inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Moon was named the 1993 Walter Camp Man of the Year. Moon's autobiography, "Never Give Up on Your Dream: My Journey," was published in 2009. He is currently a color commentator for the Seattle Seahawks and president of a sports and entertainment company.

November 18, 1971 Junior Parker, hall of fame blues singer and musician, died. Parker was born Herman Parker, Jr. May 27, 1932 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He started playing on the blues circuit as a teenager. He formed his own band in 1951 and they recorded the hits "Feelin' Good," "Love My Baby," and "Mystery Train" in 1953. Subsequent hits included "Next Time You See Me" (1957), "Driving Wheel" (1961), and "Crying for My Baby" (1965). Parker's success was limited after 1966. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001.

November 18, 1971 Terrance Hayes, award winning poet, was born in Columbia, South Carolina. Hayes earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Coker College in 1994 and was an Academic All-American basketball player that same year. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. His first book of poetry, "Muscular Music" (1999), won the Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His second collection, "Hip Logic" (2002), won the National Poetry Series. His fourth collection, "Lighthead" (2010), won the National Book Award for Poetry. His most recent collection, "How to Be Drawn" was published in 2015. Hayes also edited the anthology "The Best American Poetry 2014." He received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "Genius" Award in 2014. Hayes was professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University from 2001 to 2013 and is currently an English professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

November 18, 1983 Hilton Lee Smith, hall of fame Negro Baseball League pitcher, died. Smith was born February 27, 1907 in Sour Lake, Texas. He attended and played baseball for Prairie View State Normal & Industrial College (now Prairie View A&M University) in 1928 and 1929. He made his professional debut in 1932 and was a star pitcher for the Kansas City Monarchs from 1937 until his retirement in 1948, winning more than 20 games each year. Over his career, he was a six-time Negro league All-Star. After retiring, Smith worked as a school teacher and scout for the Chicago Cubs. He was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.

November 18, 1991 Leon Howard Sullivan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President George H. W. Bush. Sullivan was born October 16, 1922 in Charleston, West Virginia. He was ordained a Baptist minister at 18. Sullivan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia State College (now University) in 1943 and his Master of Arts degree in religion from Columbia University in 1947. Sullivan moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1950 and became pastor of Zion Baptist Church where he served for 38 years, increasing its membership from 600 to 6,000 and becoming known as "the Lion of Zion." Sullivan led a boycott of local businesses in 1958 with the slogan "don't buy where you don't work" that resulted in thousands of jobs for African Americans over a period of four years. He founded Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America in 1964 to offer job training, instruction in life skills, and assistance in job placement. The organization grew into 60 affiliated programs in 30 states and served over 2 million disadvantaged and under-skilled people. Sullivan led the effort to build Progress Plaza in 1968, the first Black owned and developed shopping center. He joined the board of directors of General Motors Corporation in 1971, the first African American to serve on the board of a major corporation. He developed a code of conduct for companies operating in South Africa during apartheid called the Sullivan Principles in 1977. Sullivan authored several books, including "Build Brother Build" (1969), "Philosophy of a Giant" (1979), and "Moving Mountains: The Principles and Purpose of Leon Sullivan" (1998). He was the recipient of many awards, including the 1971 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights in 1999, and honorary doctorate degrees from more than 50 colleges and universities. Sullivan died April 24, 2001. The Leon Sullivan Health Care Center in Seattle, Washington is named in his honor and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation empowers underprivileged people worldwide by promoting the principles of self-help and social responsibility. The goal is to bring the corporate and governmental communities together for the economic benefit of all, and invite businesses and individuals to create partnerships with Africa with the ultimate goal of a peaceful, prosperous, and powerful Africa.

November 18, 1994 Cabell "Cab" Calloway III, hall of fame jazz singer and bandleader, died. Calloway was born December 25, 1907 in Rochester, New York. After graduating from high school, Calloway joined his sister in a touring production of the Black musical revue "Plantation Days." He assumed leadership of his orchestra in 1930 and they became the co-host band at the Cotton Club in New York City and began touring nationally. Calloway recorded his most famous song, "Minnie the Moocher," in 1931 and as a result of the chorus became known as "The Hi De Ho Man." He appeared in the 1933 film "International House" and performed his classic song "Reefer Man," a tune about a man who favors marijuana cigarettes. Other film appearances include "Stormy Weather" (1943), "Porgy and Bess" (1952), and "The Cincinnati Kid" (1965). His autobiography, "Of Minnie the Moocher and Me," was published in 1976. The Cab Calloway Museum at Copin State College was established in the 1980s and the Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington, Delaware was dedicated in 1994. Calloway was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1987 and was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, by President William J. Clinton October 7, 1993. In 1999, "Minnie the Moocher" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." Calloway was posthumously honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. His biography, "Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway," was published in 2010.


Michael B. Coleman

The first African American mayor of Columbus, OH.

Hilton Lee Smith

Hall of Fame Negro League Baseball pitcher. 

Hank Ballard

Hall of Fame R&B singer and composer. 

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Today in Black History, 11/17/2015 | Howard University Television

November 17, 1980 WHUT-TV, the first African American owned and operated public educational television station in the United States, began broadcasting. The station was founded as WHMM-TV before changing its call letters to represent Howard University Television in 1998. Since its founding, the station has won eleven Emmy Awards and today reaches over 2 million households in the greater Washington, D. C. area. 

November 17, 1834 Nancy Green, storyteller, cook and one of the first African Americans hired to promote a corporate trademark, was born enslaved in Montgomery County, Kentucky. Green was hired by the R. T. Davis Milling Company in 1890 to represent Aunt Jemima for a ready-mixed, self-rising flour. Green was introduced as Aunt Jemima at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois where she operated a pancake cooking display. Her personality and cooking ability made the display so successful that the company received over 50,000 orders and she received a medal and certificate from the Expo officials. After the Expo, Green was given a lifetime contract to adopt the Aunt Jemima moniker and promote the pancake mix. She traveled on promotional tours all over the country and gained the financial freedom to become an activist and engage in antipoverty programs. Green died September 23, 1923. "Slave in a Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima" was published in 1998. 

November 17, 1865 James McCune Smith, physician, abolitionist and author, died. Smith was born April 18, 1813 in New York City. After graduating from the African Free School, he attempted to attend several American colleges but was denied admission because of his race. Therefore, he attended the University of Glasgow in Scotland where he graduated at the top of his class with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1835, his Master of Arts degree in 1836, and his medical degree in 1837. Upon his return to the United States in 1837, Smith became the first African American professionally trained physician in the country. In 1846, Smith was appointed the only doctor for the Free Negro Orphan Asylum in 1846 and worked there for more than 20 years. He also opened what is believed the first Black pharmacy in the U. S. Smith was a member of the American Anti-Slavery Society and was one of the key organizers of New York's resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Also during the mid-1850s, he helped Frederick Douglass establish the National Council of Colored People. Smith was a prolific writer whose works include "The Destiny of the People of Color" (1843) and "Ira Aldridge" (1860). He also wrote the introduction to Frederick Douglass' second autobiography, "My Bondage and My Freedom" (1855), in which he stated "the worst of our institutions, in its worst aspect, cannot keep down energy, truthfulness, and earnest struggle for the right." Smith was appointed professor of anthropology at Wilberforce College in 1863 but was too ill to take the position. James McCune Smith School in New York City is named in his honor. 

November 17, 1904 William Henry Hastie, lawyer, judge and educator, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Hastie earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College, magna cum laude, in 1925. He then earned his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1930 and his Doctor of Judicial Science degree in 1933 from Harvard Law School. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Hastie to the United States District Court for the Virgin Islands in 1937, the first African American federal judge. Hastie resigned from the court in 1939 to become dean of the Howard University School of Law. He worked as a civilian aide to the Secretary of War during World War II and advocated for equal treatment of African Americans in the army. He resigned the position in 1943 in protest against segregated training facilities. Also that year, Hastie was awarded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal. President Harry S. Truman appointed Hastie Territorial Governor of the Virgin Islands in 1946 and nominated him to the U. S. Court of Appeals in 1949. Hastie was confirmed as Judge of the Third U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals July 19, 1950, the first African American federal circuit judge. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science in 1952. Hastie became Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Appellate Court in 1968, a position he held for three years. He was awarded over 20 honorary doctorate degrees. The University of Wisconsin Law School has offered the William H. Hastie Fellowship Program since 1973 to provide lawyers of color an opportunity to prepare for a career teaching law. Hastie died April 14, 1976.

November 17, 1911 Omega Psi Phi Fraternity was founded on the campus of Howard University by students Edgar A. Love, Oscar J. Cooper and Frank Coleman and Professor Ernest E. Just. They adopted the motto "friendship is essential to the soul" and the cardinal principles, manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift. Since 1945, the fraternity has undertaken a National Social Action Program to meet the needs of African Americans in the areas of health, housing, civil rights, and education, including an annual $50,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund. Today there are more than 750 chapters throughout the United States and around the world with more than 100,000 members. Notable members include Vernon Jordan, Jesse Jackson, L. Douglas Wilder, Earl Graves, Michael Jordan, Bill Cosby, Tom Joyner, and Shaquille O'Neal. • November 17, 1923 Aristides Maria Pereira, the first President of the Republic of Cape Verde, was born on the island of Boa Vista. Pereira was heavily involved in the anti-colonial movement, organizing strikes and rising through the ranks of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, from the late 1940s until Cape Verde gained independence. When Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal July 5, 1975 Pereira became president, a position he held until he was defeated in the presidential election of 1991. Pereira died September 22, 2011. The Aristides Pereira International Airport on the Cape Verdean island of Boa Vista is named in his honor. 

November 17, 1944 Samuel Leamon Younge, Jr., the first Black college student to die in the Civil Rights Movement, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. After receiving a medical discharge from the United States Navy, Younge enrolled at Tuskegee Institute in 1965. He became involved in civil rights activities in his first semester. He was involved in the Tuskegee Institute Advancement League, a campus group organized by students to work on desegregating public facilities and lead voter registration drives. Younge was shot to death January 3, 1966 after he tried to use the "Whites only" restroom at a Standard Oil gas station in Macon County, Alabama. After the shooting, the gas station attendant was not indicted for the crime until November, 1966 and was acquitted by an all-White jury the next month. Younge's story is told in "Sammy Younge, Jr.: The First Black College Student to Die in the Black Liberation Movement" (1968). 

November 17, 1945 Elvin Ernest Hayes, hall of fame basketball player, was born in Rayville, Louisiana. Hayes and Don Chaney were the first African Americans to play basketball for the University of Houston in 1966. He led the Houston Cougars over the UCLA Bruins and Lew Alcindor in what was called the "Game of the Century" in 1968. Hayes was selected by the San Diego Rockets in the 1968 National Basketball Association Draft and led the league in scoring, the last rookie to accomplish that. Over his 16 season professional career, Hayes was a 12-time All-Star and won a NBA championship in 1978. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. After retiring, Hayes returned to the University of Houston and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in speech and recreation management and fulfilled a childhood dream and became a City of Liberty police reserve officer in 2007. He currently serves as an analyst for radio broadcasts of University of Houston basketball games. 

November 17, 1952 Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, lawyer, trade union leader and businessman, was born in Soweto, South Africa. Ramaphosa enrolled at the University of the North to study law in 1972. While at the university, he became involved in politics that resulted in him being detained in solitary confinement for 11 months in 1974. After his release, he continued his education at the University of South Africa, where he earned his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1981 which qualified him to be an attorney. He helped start the National Union of Mineworkers in 1982 and was elected general secretary, a position he held until 1991.Under his leadership, union membership grew from 6,000 in 1982 to 300,000 in 1992. Ramaphosa was elected secretary general of the African National Congress in 1991 and headed the ANC team in negotiating the end of apartheid with the government. He was elected chairman of the Constitutional Assembly in 1994 and played a central role in the government of national unity. Ramaphosa is also chairman of the Shanduka Group, a Black owned and managed investment company. He was the first recipient of the Olof Palme Prize in 1987 and has received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Pennsylvania. Ramaphosa was included on the 2007 Time magazine list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Ramaphosa was appointed Deputy President of South Africa and chair of the National Planning Commission in 2014. 

November 17, 1955 James Price Johnson, hall of fame pianist, composer and one of the originators of the stride style of jazz piano playing, died. Johnson was born February 1, 1894 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He began playing professionally in 1912 and had gained a reputation as one of the premier ragtime pianist on the East Coast before he was twenty. Besides being a jazz piano pioneer, Johnson composed many hit tunes for the musical theater, including "Charleston," "If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)," "Don't Cry Baby," and "Snowy Morning Blues." Johnson retired from performing in 1951. A collection of his papers is housed at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. Johnson was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1992, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Jazz Walk of Fame in 2007. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 1995. Johnson's biography, "A Case of Mistaken Identity: The Life and Music of James P. Johnson," was published in 1984. 

November 17, 1961 Charles Harrison "C. H." Mason, founder and first Senior Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, died. Mason was born September 8, 1866 in Shelby County, Tennessee. He did not receive a formal education. He began his ministerial career in 1893. He and Charles Price Jones were expelled for the Baptist association in 1897 for preaching holiness and sanctification. As a result, they formed a new fellowship of churches. They split in 1907 and after years of conflict Mason won the legal right to the Church of God in Christ name and charter in 1915. He established the headquarters of the church in Memphis, Tennessee and began to travel the country and foreign countries establishing COGIC churches. He also opposed African American men fighting for democracy in World War I while having to face racism and discrimination at home. Mason dedicated Mason Temple in Memphis as the church's national meeting site in 1945. After his death, Mason was entombed in Mason Temple. The C. H. Mason Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia is named in his honor. "Bishop C. H. Mason and the Roots of the Church of God in Christ" was published in 1997. 

November 17, 1964 Susan Elizabeth Rice, United States National Security Advisor, was born in Washington, D.C. Rice earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in history, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford University in 1986. She was awarded a Rhodes scholarship and attended New College, Oxford where she earned her Master of Philosophy degree in 1988 and her Ph. D. in international relations in 1990. Her dissertation, "Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979-1980: Implication for International Peacekeeping," was chosen as the United Kingdom's most distinguished in international relations. Rice served in various capacities at the National Security Council in the administration of President William J. Clinton from 1993 to 1997. She was appointed assistant secretary of state for African affairs in 1997 and held that position until 2001. She joined the Brookings Institute in 2002 as senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development program. She was confirmed as U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations January 22, 2009, the first African American woman to hold that position. She served in that capacity until 2013 when she was appointed National Security Advisor. Rice serves on the boards of a number of organizations and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

November 17, 1970 Winser E. Alexander received patent number 3,541,333 for his System for Enhancing Fine Detail in Thermal Photographs. His invention provides a device and thermal enhancement method that detects, discriminates, and more effectively displays differences in infrared radiation, thus resulting in increased resolution and an increase in the effective dynamic range of the infrared observation system. Alexander is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina A&T University in 1964 and his Master of Science degree in 1966 and Ph. D. in 1974 from the University of New Mexico. 

November 17, 1986 Theodora Ann "Tidye" Pickett, the first African American woman to compete for the United States in the Olympic Games, died. Pickett was born November 3, 1914 in Chicago, Illinois. She was educated at Illinois State University. Pickett qualified for the U. S. team scheduled to compete at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games but was replaced at the last minute because of her race. She did compete at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games, reaching the quarterfinals of the low hurdles before breaking her foot and was unable to continue. After retiring from track, Pickett served as principal of a school in East Chicago Heights, Illinois for 23 years. When she retired in 1980, the school was renamed in her honor. 

November 17, 1989 Katherine Mary Dunham received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, from President George H. W. Bush. Dunham was born June 22, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois but raised in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She became fascinated with dance at a young age and while in high school started a dance school for young Black children. Dunham studied dance and anthropology at the University of Chicago and earned her Bachelor of Philosophy degree in social anthropology in 1936. Dunham formed Ballet Negres at 21, the first Black ballet company in the U. S. and performed as guest star for the Chicago Opera Company from 1933 to 1936. She and her company performed for 20 weeks in the Broadway production of "Cabin in the Sky" in 1940. Dunham also appeared in several movies in the early 1940s, including "Carnival of Rhythm" (1941) and "Stormy Weather" (1943). She opened the Katherine Dunham School of Dance and Theater in 1945. Her students included Eartha Kitt, James Dean, Gregory Peck, Shelly Winters, Sidney Poitier, Shirley MacLaine, Warren Beatty, and many others who went on to stardom. She and her troupe performed almost exclusively internationally beginning in 1947, performing in Europe, North Africa, South America, and the Far East. Dunham retired from performing in 1967. Dunham was also a social activist, refusing to sign a lucrative Hollywood contract because the producer wanted her to replace some of her darker skinned company members. Also, she went on a hunger strike at 82 to protest U. S. policy against Haitian boat-people. Dunham received Kennedy Center Honors in 1983, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Anthropological Association in 1986, and was inducted into the National Museum of Dance's Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame in 1987. She published several books, including "A Touch of Innocence: Memoirs of Childhood" (1959) and "Island Possessed" (1969). Dunham died May 21, 2006. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honor in 2012. 

November 17, 1989 John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, from President George H. W. Bush. Gillespie was born October 21, 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina. He had started to play the piano by four. He also taught himself to play the trombone and trumpet. His first professional job was with the Frank Fairfax Orchestra in 1935 and he joined Cab Calloway's orchestra in 1939. During this time, Gillespie also started writing big band music for other bands. Gillespie put together his first big band in 1944 and in the late 1940s was instrumental in the Afro-Cuban music movement, bringing Latin and African elements to greater prominence in jazz. His most famous Afro-Cuban compositions are "Manteca" and "Tin Tin Deo." In 1956, he organized a band to go on a State Department tour of the Middle East, earning the nickname "the Ambassador of Jazz." Gillespie was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1960 and was named an NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor the nation bestows on a jazz artist, by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982. In 1989, Gillespie gave 300 performances in 27 countries and 31 states, headlined 3 television specials, performed 2 symphonies, and recorded 4 albums. Also that year, he received the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's most prestigious cultural award, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 1990. Gillespie died January 6, 1993. He published his autobiography, "To Be or Not to Bop: Memoirs of Dizzy Gillespie," in 1979. His recording "Groovin' High" (1945) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance" in 2000 and "A Night in Tunisia" (1946) was inducted in 2004 

November 17, 1992 Audre Geraldine Lorde, writer, poet and activist, died. Lorde was born February 18, 1934 in New York City. Legally blind, she wrote her first poem when she was in the eighth grade. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in library science from Hunter College in 1959 and her Master of Library Science degree from Columbia University in 1964. Lorde's first volume of poetry, "The First Cities," was published in 1968. Other volumes include "Cables to Rage" (1970), "Between Ourselves" (1976), and "The Cancer Journals" (1980). Lorde co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press in 1980, the first publisher for women of color in the United States. Lorde was the state poet of New York from 1991 to 1992. She was in her words, "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet." 

November 17, 1998 Esther Rolle, stage, film and television actress, died. Rolle was born November 8, 1920 in Pompano Beach, Florida. Her earliest roles were on the stage, including "The Blacks" (1962), "Day of Absence" (1965), "Man Better Man" (1969), and "Don't Play Us Cheap" (1973). Rolle is best known for her role as Florida Evans on the television situation comedies "Maude" (1972-1974) and "Good Times" (1974-1979). Rolle won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her role in "Summer of My German Soldier" in 1979. She also appeared in the films "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1979), "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989), and "My Fellow Americans" (1996). 

November 17, 2003 Frank Martin Snowden, Jr. received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush for "work that has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities." Snowden was born July 17, 1911 in York County, Virginia. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1932, Master of Arts degree in 1933, and Ph. D. in 1944 from Harvard University. He taught classics at Georgetown University, Vassar College, and Mary Washington College before joining Howard University in 1940 where he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Snowden document that Black people were able to co-exist with the Greeks and Romans because they were considered equals. He authored several books, including "Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience" (1970) and "Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks" (1983). Snowden was fluent in Latin, Greek, German, French, and Italian. He served as cultural attache at the American Embassy to Rome from 1954 to 1956. Snowden died February 18, 2007. The Frank M. Snowden, Jr. Lecture Series is held annually at Howard. 

November 17, 2004 Marva Collins received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush for "work that has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities." Collins was born August 31, 1936 in Monroeville, Alabama. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in secretarial sciences from Clark College in 1959. She taught school for two years in Alabama before moving to Chicago, Illinois where she taught in the public school system for 14 years. Collins founded Daniel Hale Williams Westside Preparatory School in 1975 to teach low income African American students who the Chicago Public School System had labeled as learning disabled. She successfully ran the school until 2008 when it closed due to insufficient enrollment and funding. Collins wrote, "I have discovered few learning disabled students in my three decades of teaching, I have, however, discovered many, many victims of teaching inabilities." Collins wrote a number of books, including "Marva Collin's Way" (1990). The biographical television movie "The Marva Collins Story" aired in 1981. "The School that Cared: A Story of the Marva Collins Preparatory School of Cincinnati" was published in 2003. Collins died June 24, 2015. 

November 17, 2004 Shelby Steele received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush for "work that has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizen's engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand American's access to important resources in the humanities." Steele was born January 1, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Coe College in 1968, his Master of Arts degree in sociology from Southern Illinois University in 1971, and his Ph. D. in English from the University of Utah in 1974. He taught English literature at San Jose State University from 1974 to 1991. Steele has been a Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institute since 1994. He has published several books, including "The Content of Our Character: A New Version of Race in America" (1991), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the general nonfiction category, "A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America" (1999), and "White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era" (2006). His documentary "Seven Days in Bensonhurst" (1990) won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Background/Analysis of a Single Story. 

November 17, 2006 Ruth Brown, hall of fame R&B singer and actress, died. Brown was born Ruth Alston Weston January 30, 1928 in Portsmouth, Virginia. She recorded her first hit, "So Long," in 1949 and was on the R&B charts for 149 weeks with 16 top 10 blues records, including five number ones, from that time to 1955. Those hits were "Teardrops from My Eyes" (1950), "I'll Wait for You" (1951), "5-10-15 Hours" (1952), "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" (1953), and "Oh What a Dream" (1954). Brown won the 1989 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance on Broadway in "Black and Blue" and the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal by a Female for her album "Blues on Broadway." Brown's fight for musicians' rights and royalties in 1987 led to the founding of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. She was an inaugural recipient of the organization's Pioneer Award in 1989. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2002. Brown's autobiography, "Miss Rhythm," was published in 1996. 

November 17, 2008 Henry "Hank" Jones received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, from President George W. Bush. Jones was born July 31, 1918 in Vicksburg, Mississippi but raised in Pontiac, Michigan. He studied piano at an early age and was performing in Michigan and Ohio by 13. He moved to New York City in 1944 and was accompanist for Ella Fitzgerald from 1948 to 1953. He was staff pianist for CBS Studio from 1959 to 1975 and backed guests like Frank Sinatra on the "Ed Sullivan Show." Jones recorded prolifically as an unaccompanied soloist, in duos with other pianist, and with various small ensembles. His recordings include "Bop Redux" (1977), "I Remember You" (1977), "Steal Away" (1995), and "Round Midnight" (2006). He was designated a NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor the nation bestows on a jazz artist, by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989, received the Jazz Living Legend Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2003, and was inducted into the Downbeat Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009. He was nominated for five Grammy Awards and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. Jones died May 16, 2010. 

November 17, 2008 The Fisk Jubilee Singers received the National Medal Arts, the highest honor bestowed on artist by the United States, from President George W. Bush. The Jubilee Singers were created as a nine member choral ensemble by George L. White, Fisk University treasurer and music director, to tour and earn money for the university. As a gesture of hope and encouragement, White named them The Jubilee Singers, a biblical reference to the year of Jubilee in the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 25. They began their first national tour October 6, 1871. They sang at the 1872 World Peace Festival in Boston, Massachusetts and at the end of the year President Ulysses S. Grant invited them to perform at the White House. The group grew to eleven members in 1873 and toured Europe for the first time. Funds raised that year were used to construct the school's first permanent building, Jubilee Hall, and in the building is a floor to ceiling portrait of the original Jubilee Singers commissioned by Queen Victoria during the tour as a gift from England to Fisk. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark December 2, 1974. The Jubilee Singers continue to perform as a touring ensemble and the National Arts Club honored them with a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. They were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000, their 1909 recording of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" was added to the National Recording Registry as a recording of "cultural, historical, or aesthetical importance" in 2002, and the group was honored on the Music City Walk of Fame in 2006. Their multi-media package, "In Bright Mansions," was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package in 2004. Annually, October 6 is celebrated as Jubilee Day to commemorate that first national tour. "Dark Midnight When I Rise: The Story of The Fisk Jubilee Singers" was published in 2000. 

November 17, 2010 Warren Morton Washington received the National Medal of Science, the highest honor given by the United States to the nation's scientist, from President Barack H. Obama. Washington was born August 28, 1936 in Portland, Oregon. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1958 and Master of Science degree in meteorology in 1960 from Oregon State University. He earned his Ph. D. in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University in 1964. Washington joined the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1972 and became the director of the Climate and Global Dynamics Division in 1987. He served on the President's National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere from 1974 to 1984 and in 1995 was appointed by President William J. Clinton to a six year term on the National Science Board in 1995. Washington has published almost 200 papers in professional journals and published "An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling" in 2005.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity 

Founded on this day.

Samuel Leamon Younge Jr.

The first black college student to be killed during the Civil Rights Movement.

Katherine Mary Dunham

Anthropologist and professional dancer, received the National Medal of Arts.

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Today in Black History, 11/16/2015 | Agbani Asenite Darego

November 16, 2001 Ibiagbanidokibubo Agbani Asenite Darego was crowned Miss World, the first Sub-Saharan African to win the title. Darego was born December 12, 1982 in Abonnema, Nigeria and as a teenager longed to be a model. She was crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 2001. After her reign as Miss World, she signed with a model management company and is currently promoting Arik Airlines. Darego earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from New York University in 2012. 

November 16, 1873 William Christopher "W. C." Handy, hall of fame blues composer and musician, was born in Florence, Alabama. Handy received a teaching degree from Huntsville Teachers Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1892. He became band master of Mahara's Colored Minstrels at 23 and toured throughout the United States and Cuba over the next three years. He taught music at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes (now Alabama A&M University) from 1900 to 1902. He returned to leading bands in 1903 and touring with the Knights of Pythias which he led for the next six years. The 1912 publication of his "Memphis Blues" sheet music was credited as the inspiration for the foxtrot dance step and many consider it the first blues song. By 1917, Handy had also published "Beale Street Blues" and "St Louis Blues" by 1917. Bessie Smith's recording of "St Louis Blues" with Louis Armstrong is considered one of the finest recordings of the 1920s. Handy authored "Blues: An Anthology – Complete Words and Music of 53 Great Songs," which was the first work to record, analyze, and describe the blues as an integral part of the history of the United States, in 1926. He wrote four other books, including his autobiography "Father of the Blues: An Autobiography." Handy died March 28, 1958. That same year, a movie about his life titled "St Louis Blues" was released. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 1969. He was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983, awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, and inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010. Streets in New York, Tennessee, and Alabama are named in his honor and the W. C. Handy Music Festival is held annually in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. 

November 16, 1899 Lorenzo Johnston Greene, historian, educator and author, was born in Ansonia, Connecticut. Greene earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in 1924 and his Master of Arts degree in history in 1926 and Ph. D. in history in 1942 from Columbia University. He served as field representative and research assistant to Carter G. Woodson, director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, from 1928 to 1933 and taught history at Lincoln University from 1933 to 1972. Greene co-authored with Woodson "The Negro Wage Earner" in 1930 and co-authored "The Employment of Negroes in the District of Columbia" in 1931. He also authored "The Negro in Colonial New England, 1620-1776" in 1942 and co-authored "Missouri's Black Heritage" in 1980. He also served as editor of the Midwest Journal from 1947 to 1956. Greene actively worked on educational issues in Missouri and led efforts to desegregate public schools in Kansas City, Missouri. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Missouri in 1971. Greene died January 24, 1988. His "Working with Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History, a Diary, 1928-1930" was published posthumously that same year. 

November 16, 1901 Jesse Stone, hall of fame R&B musician and songwriter, was born in Atchison, Kansas. Stone had formed a group, The Blue Serenaders, and cut his first record, "Starvation Blues" by 1926. He worked as the bandleader at the Apollo Theater for a few years beginning in 1936 and was the musical director for the all-female band, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, for two years beginning in 1941. Stone joined Atlantic Records as a producer, songwriter, and arranger in 1947. There he wrote "Losing Hand" (1953) for Ray Charles and "Money Honey" (1953) for The Drifters. Using the pseudonym Charles Calhoun, he also wrote "Shake Rattle and Roll" in 1954. Stone received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 1992 and was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Stone died April 1, 1999. 

November 16, 1904 Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of the Republic of Nigeria, was born in Zungeru, Nigeria. Azikiwe earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Lincoln University in 1930 and his Master of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1933. He returned to Africa in 1934 and became the editor of the African Morning Press, a daily newspaper in Ghana where he promoted a pro-African nationalist agenda. He returned to Nigeria in 1937 and founded several newspapers across the country. Azikiwe co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons in 1944 and was elected to the Legislative Council of Nigeria in 1947. He became the first Nigerian named to the Queen's Privy Council in 1960 and became the first President of Nigeria in 1963. Azikiwe was removed from office in a military coup in 1966. He served as chancellor of Lagos University from 1972 to 1976. Azikiwe died May 11, 1996. The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and Nnamdi Azikiwe University are named in his honor and his portrait adorns Nigeria's five hundred naira currency note. His autobiography, "My Odyssey: An Autobiography," was published in 1971. 

November 16, 1927 Theodore "Tiger" Flowers, hall of fame boxer and the first African American middleweight boxing champion, died. Flowers was born August 5, 1895 in Camilla, Georgia. He began boxing professionally in 1918 and won the World Middleweight Boxing Championship in 1926. Later that year, he lost the title in a controversial decision. Flowers was hospitalized for an operation to remove scar tissue from around his eyes and died. His career record was 136 wins, 15 losses, 8 draws, and 2 no contests. His funeral in Atlanta, Georgia drew tens of thousands of mourners. Flowers was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993. "The Pussycat of Prizefighting: Tiger Flowers and the Politics of Black Celebrity" was published in 2007. 

November 16, 1930 Albert Chinualumogy Achebe, novelist, poet and professor, was born in the Igbo village of Nneobi, Nigeria. Achebe entered the University of Ibadan in 1948 and began to write articles and short stories and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953. His first novel, "Things Fall Down," was published in 1968 and it has become one of the most important books in African literature, selling over 8 million copies in 50 languages. Other novels by Achebe include "No Longer at Ease" (1960), "A Man of the People" (1966), "Anthills of the Savannah" (1987), and "Home and Exile" (2000). He was awarded the Man Booker International Prize, which recognizes a writer's overall achievements in literature and their significant influence on writers and readers worldwide, in 2007. He was awarded the 2010 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes for the arts. Achebe has been called "the father of modern African writing" and received over 30 honorary doctorate degrees from universities around the world, including Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and Brown University. Achebe published his memoir, "There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra," in 2012. Achebe was the David and Marianne Fisher University Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University when he died March 21, 2013. 

November 16, 1931 Hubert Charles Sumlin, hall of fame blues guitarist and singer, was born in Greenwood, Mississippi but raised in Hughes, Arkansas. Sumlin got his first guitar at eight. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1954 and joined Howlin' Wolf's band. He remained with the band until Wolf's death in 1976. He played on the album "Howlin' Wolf" which was named the third greatest guitar album by Mojo magazine in 2004. Sumlin also recorded a number of albums under his own name, including "Hubert Sumlin's Blues Party" (1987), "Pinetop Perkins & Hubert Sumlin: Legends" (1999), and "About Them Shoes" (2004). He was nominated for four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2008. Sumlin died December 4, 2011. He was listed number 43 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time. 

November 16, 1938 Richard Gilbert "Dick" Griffey, record producer and promoter, was born in Nashville, Tennessee. Griffey performed as a drummer in local clubs as a teenager. After briefly attending Tennessee State University, Griffey enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as a medic. He moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1960s and served as a talent coordinator for the television show "Soul Train." Griffey founded SOLAR Records (Sound of Los Angeles Records) in 1977. There he produced a long list of acts, including Shalamar, The Whispers, Lakeside, and Midnight Star. Griffey died September 24, 2010. 

November 16, 1946 John Earl Warren, Jr., Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Brooklyn, New York. By January 14, 1969, Warren was serving as a first lieutenant in Company C, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 25th Infantry Division of the United States Army in Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam during the Vietnam War. His actions on that day earned him the medal, America's highest military decoration. His citation partially reads, "While moving through a rubber plantation to reinforce another friendly unit, Company C came under intense fire from a well fortified enemy force. Disregarding his safety, 1st Lt. Warren with several of his men began maneuvering through the hail of enemy fire toward the hostile position. When he had come to within 6 feet of one of the enemy bunkers and was preparing to toss a hand grenade into it, an enemy grenade was suddenly thrown into the middle of his small group. Thinking only of his own men, 1st Lt. Warren fell in the direction of the grenade, thus shielding those around him from the blast. His actions, performed at the cost of his life, saved 3 men from serious or mortal injury." His medal was posthumously awarded to his family by President Richard M. Nixon August 6, 1970. 

November 16, 1946 John Henry "Jo Jo" White, hall of fame basketball player, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. White played college basketball at the University of Kansas where he was a second team All-American in 1968 and 1969. He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1969. White starred as a member of the Gold medal winning men's basketball team at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. White was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1969 National Basketball Association Draft. He was also drafted by the Dallas Cowboy football team and the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. Over his 13 season professional basketball career, White was a seven-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion. He retired in 1981 and is currently director of special projects and community relations for the Celtics. His jersey number 10 was retired by the Celtics in 1982. White started the Jo Jo White Foundation to provide support for brain cancer research in 2012. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. His biography, "Make It Count: The Life and Times of Basketball Great Jo Jo White," was published in 2012. 

November 16, 1963 Zina Lynna Garrison, former professional tennis player, was born in Houston, Texas. Garrison started playing tennis at 10 and entered her first tournament at 12. She won the Wimbledon and U. S. Open Junior titles in 1981 and was ranked the world number one junior player. Garrison turned professional in 1982 and over her 14 years on the professional tour won 14 top level singles titles and 20 doubles titles. At the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games, she won a Gold medal in the women's doubles and a Bronze medal in the women's singles. Garrison retired as a player in 1996 and was the captain for the United States Federation Cup team until 2008. She also led the U. S. women's tennis team at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. She founded the Zina Garrison Foundation for the Homeless in 1988 and the Zina Garrison All-Court Tennis Program, which supports inner-city tennis in Houston, in 1992. She has also served as a member of the U. S. President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Garrison received the United States Tennis Association Service Bowl Award, given annually to the player who makes the most notable contribution of sportsmanship, fellowship and service to tennis, in 1998. 

November 16, 1995 Charles Edward Gordone, the first African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, died. Gordone was born Charles Fleming October 12, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio but raised in Elkhart, Indiana. After serving in the United States Air Force, he earned a bachelor's degree in drama from California State University in 1952. After graduating, he moved to New York City where he won an Off-Broadway Theater (OBIE) Award for his performance in the 1953 all-Black production of "Of Mice and Men." Gordone continued acting, started directing, and co-founded the Committee for the Employment of Negro Performers and the Vantage Theater during the 1950s and 1960s. He performed in "The Blacks" from 1961 to 1966. Gordone wrote and produced "No Place to be Somebody" in 1967 and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama May 4, 1970. The play was the first off-Broadway play to receive the award. Other plays by Gordone include "A Little More Light Around the Place" (1964), "Under the Boardwalk" (1976), "The Last Chord" (1977), and "Anabiosis" (1983). Gordone accepted a position as distinguished lecturer at Texas A&M University in 1987 and taught English and theater until his death. The Texas A&M Creative Writing Program established The Charles Gordone Awards to annually offer cash prizes in poetry and prose to undergraduate and graduate students. 

November 16, 1996 Benjamin Arthur Quarles, historian, educator and author, died. Quarles was born January 23, 1904 in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Shaw University in 1931 and his Master of Arts degree in 1933 and Ph. D. in 1940 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Quarles taught history at Shaw from 1935 to 1939, Dillard University from 1939 to 1953, and Morgan State University from 1953 to 1974. He also chaired the history department at Morgan State. Quarles published ten books, including "Frederick Douglass" (1948), "The Negro in the American Revolution" (1961), "The Negro in the Making of America" (1964), and "Black Abolitionists" (1969). The Benjamin A. Quarles African-American Studies Room at Morgan State was dedicated in 1988. 

November 16, 2000 Hosea Lorenzo Williams, civil rights activist, politician and minister, died. Williams was born January 5, 1926 in Attapulgus, Georgia. After serving in an all-Black unit of the United States Army during World War II, where he earned a Purple Heart, Williams earned a high school diploma at 23. He then earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morris Brown College and his Master of Science degree from Atlanta University in chemistry. Williams worked for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1963 to 1971 and was arrested 125 times for leading civil and voting rights protests. He was also severely beaten and hospitalized for using a "Whites only" drinking fountain and suffered a fractured skull and concussion during the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery. Williams was the founding president of Hosea Feed the Hungry, which today annually serves 50,000 families and individuals in Georgia, in 1971. Williams served in the Georgia General Assembly from 1974 to 1985 and on the Atlanta City Council from 1985 to 1990. Boulevard Drive in Atlanta was renamed Hosea L. Williams Drive in his honor.

First African American to received a Pulitzer Prize.

Professional tennis player.

Professor, poet, and novelist.

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Today in Black History, 11/15/2015 | Sarah Jane Woodson Early

November 15, 1825 Sarah Jane Woodson Early, educator, activist, and the first African American female college instructor, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio. Early graduated from Oberlin College in 1856, one of the first African American female college graduates. She was hired by Wilberforce University in 1858 to teach English and Latin and to serve as lady principal and matron. Early began teaching at a school for Black girls in North Carolina in 1868. She taught school for nearly four decades, believing that education was critical for the advancement of her race. She also served as principal of large schools in four cities. Early was elected national superintendent of the Colored Division of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in 1888 and during her tenure gave more than one hundred speeches to groups in a five state region. At the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois, she was named "Representative Woman of the Year." She published "The Life and Labors of Rev. J. W. Early, One of the Pioneers of African Methodism in the West and South," a biography of her husband, in 1894. Early died August 15, 1907.

November 15, 1897 Elizabeth Evelyn Wright and Jessie Dorsey founded Denmark Industrial School for African Americans in Denmark, South Carolina. The school was modeled on Tuskegee Institute. Ralph Voorhees, a New Jersey philanthropist, gave the school a donation to purchase land and construct buildings in 1902 and it was renamed Voorhees Industrial Institute for Colored Youths in 1904. The school was affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina in 1924 and became accredited as Voorhees College in 1962. Today, it is a private, historically Black college with approximately 600 undergraduate students and 42 full-time faculty members.

November 15, 1897 John Mercer Langston, the first Black person elected to represent Virginia in Congress, died. Langston was born December 14, 1829 in Louisa County, Virginia. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1849 and his Master of Arts degree in theology in 1852 from Oberlin College. He was denied admission to law school because of his race and therefore studied law under an established attorney and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1854. Langston was active in the abolitionist movement and helped runaways escape to the North along the Ohio part of the Underground Railroad. He was elected president of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1858. He was elected president of the National Equal Rights League, which called for the abolition of slavery, support of racial unity and self-help, and equality before the law, in 1864. Langston moved to Washington, D. C. in 1868 to establish and serve as dean of Howard University's law school, the first Black law school in the country. President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Langston a member of the Board of Health of the District of Columbia. President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed him Minister to Haiti (Ambassador) in 1877 and he was appointed Charge d'affaires to the Dominican Republic in 1884. Langston returned to Virginia to become the first president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (now Virginia State University) in 1885. Langston ran for Congress in 1889 and was declared the loser. He contested the results and after an 18 month legal battle, was declared the winner and was seated in the United States House of Representatives September 23, 1890. He lost his bid for re-election. There are several schools named in Langston's honor, including Langston University in Oklahoma. The John Mercer Langston Bar Association in Columbus, Ohio is also named in his honor. His home in Oberlin, Ohio was designated a National Historic Landmark May 15, 1975. He published his autobiography, "From the Virginia Plantation to the National Capitol: or the First and Only Negro Representative in Congress from the Old Dominion," in 1894. His biography, "John Mercer Langston and the Fight for Black Freedom, 1829 – 65," was published in 1989.

November 15, 1898 John W. Outlaw of New York, New York received patent number 614,273 for improvements in the horseshoe. His invention provided a toothed roller in each heel of the horseshoe. When the horse placed weight on the shoe, the teeth of the roller projected below the shoe to give a firm hold on the ground. This resulted in a better foothold for horses on smooth or slippery surfaces. Not much else is known of Outlaw's life.

November 15, 1898 Lyda Newman of New York City received patent number 614,335 for a new and improved hair brush. She designed a brush that was easy to keep clean, very durable, easy to make, and provided ventilation during brushing by having recessed air chambers. Her brush was the first to use synthetic bristles. Prior to that brushes were made with animal hairs. Not much else is known of Newton's life.

November 15, 1908 Ebenezer D. Bassett, educator, abolitionist, civil rights activist and the United States' first African American diplomat, died. Bassett was born October 16, 1833 in Derby, Connecticut. He was the first Black student to attend the Connecticut Normal School in 1853 and after graduating taught school in New Haven, Connecticut. Soon after, Bassett moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to teach at the Institute for Colored Youth (Now Cheyney University) and became one of the leading voices for the abolition of slavery. He also used his position at the school to recruit Black men to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Bassett Minister Resident to Haiti (Ambassador) in 1869. After resigning that post in 1877, Bassett spent the next ten years as Consul General for Haiti in New York City. Bassett's biography, "Hero of Hispaniola – America's First Black Diplomat, Ebenezer D. Bassett," was published in 2008.

November 15, 1931 Pascal Lissouba, the first democratically elected President of the Republic of the Congo, was born in Tsinguidi, Congo. Lissouba gained his education at the Lycee Felix Faure in Nice, France (1948-1952), the Ecole Superieure d'Agriculture in Tunis, Tunisia, and the University of Paris in France (1958-1961). He worked in the Congolese government from 1961 to 1977. He was imprisoned for two years in 1977 and then exiled to France until 1990. While in France, he was a professor at the University of Paris and worked for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Lissouba returned to the Congo in 1991 and was elected president in 1992. His government was overthrown in 1997 and he fled to London where he currently lives in exile.

November 15, 1931 Emilio Mwai Kibaki, the third President of the Republic of Kenya, was born in Nyeri District, Kenya. Kibaki earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Makerere University College in Uganda in 1955. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree, with distinction, in public finance from the London School of Economics in 1958. Kibaki returned to Kenya in the early 1960s to become an executive officer of the Kenya African National Union and was elected to parliament in 1963. He served as assistant minister of finance and chair of the Economic Planning Commission from 1963 to 1966, minister of commerce and industry from 1966 to 1969, and minister of finance and economic planning from 1969 to 1982. Kibaki founded the Democratic Party in 1991 and ran for the presidency of Kenya. He was defeated in that election and the 1997 elections. Kibaki was elected President of Kenya in 2002. He was re-elected in 2007 and served until 2013. The Kenyan economy improved significantly during Kibaki's presidency. He has received several honorary doctorate degrees from universities in Kenya.

November 15, 1932 Charles Waddell Chesnutt, author and political activist, died. Chesnutt was born June 20, 1858 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a pupil/teacher at the Howard School in Fayetteville, North Carolina by 13. He eventually became assistant principal at the normal school now known as Fayetteville State University. Chesnutt passed the Ohio bar exam in 1887 and established a successful legal stenography business in Cleveland. His first short story, "The Goophered Grapevine," was published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1887 and his first book, "The Conjure Woman," was published in 1899. Other novels by Chesnutt include "The House Behind the Cedars" (1900) and "The Marrow of Tradition" (1901). His play "Mrs. Darcy's Daughter" was produced in 1906. Chesnutt served on the general committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was one of the early 20th century's most prominent activists and commentators. He protested and successfully shutdown showings in Ohio of the film "Birth of a Nation" in 1917. Chesnutt was awarded the 1928 NAACP Spingarn Medal. More than 50 years before Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, Chesnutt concluded one of his speeches, "Looking down the vista of time I see an epoch in our nation's history, not in my time or yours, but in not the distant future, when there shall be in the United States but one people, molded by the same culture, swayed by the same patriotic ideals, holding their citizenship in such high esteem that for another to share it is of itself to entitle him to fraternal regard; when men will be esteemed and honored for their character and talents." The Library of America added a major collection of Chesnutt's works to its important American author's series in 2002 and the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 2008. "Charles Waddell Chesnutt: Pioneer of the Color Line" was published in 1952.

November 15, 1932 Clyde McPhatter, hall of fame rhythm and blues singer, was born in Durham, North Carolina. McPhatter performed with Billy Ward & the Dominoes from 1950 to 1953 and they recorded "Sixty Minute Man" (1951) and "Have Mercy Baby" (1952). He quit that group in 1953 and formed the Drifters who released a number of hits, including "Money Honey" (1953) and "Whatcha Gonna Do" (1955). The Original Drifters, including McPhatter, were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998 and "Money Honey" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." McPhatter was drafted into the United States Army in 1954. After his tour of duty, he left the Drifters for a solo career. He had a series of hits, including "Treasure of Love" (1956), "Long Lonely Nights" (1957), "A Lovers Question" (1958), and "Take My Love (I Want to Give It All to You)" (1961). McPhatter died June 13, 1972. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 1993. The original Drifters, including McPhatter, were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998 and "Money Honey" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance."

November 15, 1933 Gloria Foster, stage and film actress, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Foster made her Broadway debut in 1961 in "A Raisin in the Sun." She won her first Off-Broadway Theater (OBIE) Award in 1963 for her performance in "In White America." She won her second OBIE Award in 1965 for her performance in "Medea" and her third in 1989 for "Forbidden City." Foster returned to the stage in 1995 as 103 year old Sadie Delany in "Having Our Say," for which she received rave reviews. Foster made her film debut in "The Cool World" (1964) but is probably best known as The Oracle in "The Matrix" (1999) and "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003). Foster died September 29, 2001.

November 15, 1937 Little Willie John, hall of fame rhythm and blues singer, was born William Edward John in Cullendale, Arkansas but raised in Detroit, Michigan. John initially sang in his family's gospel quintet. He also sang with Count Basie and Duke Ellington as a teenager. John had a hit with his debut single "All Around the World" in 1955. This was followed by such hits as "Fever" (1956), "Talk To Me" (1958), and "Sleep" (1960). Over his career, he made the Billboard Top 100 14 times. John was convicted of manslaughter in 1966 and sent to Washington State Prison where he died May 26, 1968. He inspired a generation of musicians and formed the basis for soul music. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. His biography, "Fever: Little Willie John; Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul," was published in 2011.

November 15, 1998 Kwame Ture, political activist and one of the first users of the term "Black Power," died. Ture was born Stokely Carmichael June 29, 1941 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Howard University in 1964. While at Howard, Ture became involved with the Nonviolent Action Group, a campus based civil rights group that was affiliated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Working as a SNCC activist in Lowndes County, Alabama in 1965, Ture helped to increase the number of registered Black voters from 70 to 2,600. He became chairman of SNCC in 1966 and under his leadership the organization became more radical and focused on Black Power as its core goal and ideology. Ture stepped down as chairman of SNCC in 1967 and that same year published his book, "Black Power: The Politics of Liberation." During this period he also lectured around the world, including North Vietnam, China, and Cuba. He moved to Guinea-Conakry in 1969 and became an aide to Guinean Prime Minister Ahmed Sekou Torue. He also changed his name to Kwame Ture. His second book, "Stokely Speaks: Black Power Back to Pan-Africanism," was published in 1971. "Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)" was published in 2005 and Stokely: A Life" was published in 2014.

November 15, 2013 Theodore Judson "T. J." Jemison, clergyman and civil rights activist, died. Jemison was born August 1, 1918 in Selma, Alabama. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State University and his Doctor of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University. He was called to minister a church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1949 and served until retiring in 2003. Jemison led the first civil rights boycott of segregated seating in public bus service in 1953. It served as a model for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He was one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 and served as the organization's first elected secretary. Jemison was elected president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. in 1982 and served until 1994. While president, he oversaw the construction of the convention's headquarters, the Baptist World Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Jemison received a number of honorary doctorate degrees, including one from Southern University. The T. J. Jemison Baptist Student Center at Southern is named in his honor.

November 15, 2014 Bunny Briggs, hall of fame tap dancer, died. Briggs was born February 26, 1922 in Harlem, New York. He started tap dancing at three and was soon after part of a kiddie dance group that performed in ballrooms around the city. He was performing in the homes of some of New York's wealthiest people by eight. He began touring with several big bands in the early 1940s, including the bands of Earl Hines, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington. Briggs also performed on a number of television shows, including "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." Briggs was nominated for the 1989 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance on Broadway in "Black and Blue." He received an honorary Doctor of Performing Arts in American Dance degree from Oklahoma City University in 2002 and was inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2006.

November 15, 2014 Herman Jerome Russell, entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader, died. Russell was born December 23, 1930 in Atlanta, Georgia. He bought his first property while still in high school and used it to provide funding to attend Tuskegee Institute (now University) where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in building construction in 1953. He returned to Atlanta and inherited his father's plastering business in 1957. Russell expanded the business throughout the 1960s and 1970s to include home building, real estate investments, and other large scale projects such as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Georgia Dome, and Turner Field. H. J. Russell and Company is today the largest minority owned real estate firm in the United States. Russell was also active in the Civil Rights Movement, although usually behind the scenes, providing advice and funding and serving on the board of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was the first Black member and the second Black president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. The Herman J. Russell, Sr. International Center for Entrepreneurship at Georgia State University is named in his honor. He received the Horatio Alger Award in 1991.


Stage and film actress.

Patented hairbrush with synthetic bristles.

Historically Black Colelge renamed Voorhees College.

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Today in Black History, 11/14/2015 | Lydia M. Holmes

November 14, 1950 Lydia M. Holmes of St. Augustine, Florida received patent number 2,529, 692 for her Knockdown Wheeled Toys. They consisted of several easily assembled wooden pull toys including a bird, truck and dog. The toys were used to encourage concentration in young children. Not much else is known of Holmes' life. 

November 14, 1856 John Edward Bush, co-founder of the Mosaic Templars of America, was born enslaved in Moscow, Tennessee. Bush and his family were freed after the Civil War and moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated with honors from Capitol Hill City School in 1876 and served as its principal for two years immediately following graduation. He co-founded MTA in 1883, an African American fraternal organization which by 1930 had grown to international scope, spanning 26 states and 6 foreign countries. It was one of the largest and most successful Black owned business enterprises in the world and Bush was acknowledged as one of the wealthiest Black men in Arkansas. President William McKinley appointed Bush the receiver of the United States Land Office in Little Rock in 1898 and he was subsequently reappointed to four additional terms by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and William H. Taft. Bush died December 11, 1916. 

November 14, 1864 Olayinka Herbert Samuel Heelas Badmus Macaulay, civil engineer and Nigerian political leader, was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Macaulay was awarded a government scholarship to study civil engineering in Plymouth, England in 1890. When he returned to Nigeria in 1894, he worked as a land inspector. He resigned the position in 1898 because of racial discrimination practiced by Europeans in the civil service. Macaulay established himself as a private surveyor and over the years emerged as a spokesman for opposition to British rule. He opposed every attempt by the British to expand their administration, agitated against payment of water rates in 1915, and led the opposition against British plans to reform land tenure arrangements. Macaulay founded the Nigerian National Democratic Party in 1923, the first Nigerian political party. He co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons with him as president in 1944. Macaulay died May 7, 1946. He is considered the founder of Nigerian nationalism and his face is emblazoned on the Nigerian one naira coin. There is also a life-sized statue of him in Lagos. The Hubert Macaulay Leadership Institute is named in his honor and there is an annual Hubert Macaulay Memorial Lecture and Merit Award. 

November 14, 1889 A monument honoring Crispus Attucks, the first martyr of the American Revolution, was dedicated on Boston Commons. The monument represents the 5,000 African Americans who fought for America's independence. Attucks was born enslaved around 1723 and was of mixed African and Native American heritage. He escaped slavery in 1750 and by 1770 was a dockworker in Boston, Massachusetts. On the night of March 5, 1770, he led a group of sailors against British soldiers who were occupying Boston. Attucks was the first of four men shot and killed during the fighting. The United States Treasury issued the Black Revolutionary War Patriots Silver Dollar featuring Attucks' image on one side in 1998. There are a number of schools around the country named for Attucks. His name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. 

November 14, 1915 Booker Taliaferro Washington, educator, author and political leader, died. Washington was born enslaved April 5, 1856 on the Burroughs Plantation in Virginia. His family gained their freedom at the end of the Civil War and Washington was educated at Hampton Institute and Wayland Seminary. Washington was appointed the first leader of Tuskegee Institute (now University) in 1881 and headed it for the rest of his life. Washington was the dominant leader of the African American community from 1890 until his death. This was particularly true after his Atlanta Exposition speech delivered September 18, 1895 where he appealed to White people to give Black people a chance to work and develop separately and implied that he would not demand the vote. Washington associated with the richest and most powerful businessmen of the era and became a conduit for their funding of African American educational programs. As a result, numerous schools for Black students were established through his efforts. At the invitation of President Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Washington became the first African American to visit the White House for a formal dinner October 16, 1901. Washington authored four books, including his bestselling autobiography "Up From Slavery" (1901). He became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp when the U. S. Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 1940. The Liberty Ship Booker T. Washington was launched in his honor September 29, 1942, the first major ocean going vessel to be named after an African American. Numerous schools around the country are named in his honor. Biographies of Washington include "Booker T. Washington: Educator and Interracial Interpreter" (1948) and "Booker T. Washington and the Negro's Place in American Life" (1955). His name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. 

November 14, 1916 Mabel Fairbanks, hall of fame figure skater and coach, was born in New York City. Fairbanks fell in love with figure skating in the 1930s. Despite her ability, she was not allowed to join skating clubs because of her race. She was often told, "we don't have Negroes in ice shows." She eventually left the United States and joined the Rhapsody on Ice Show where she wowed international audiences. When she returned to the U. S., Fairbanks found that the situation had not changed. After retiring from skating, Fairbanks started a skating club and coached many future champions, including Scott Hamilton, Tai Babilonia, Randy Gardner, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Tiffany Chin. Fairbanks became the first African American to be inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame February 25, 1997. Fairbanks died September 29, 2001. She was posthumously inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. 

November 14, 1936 Cornelius E. Gunter, hall of fame rhythm and blues singer, was born in Coffeyville, Kansas. Gunter began recording in 1953 singing backup on Big Jay McNeely's "Nervous Man Nervous." He sang the title song for the movie "The Green Eyed Blonde" in 1957. Gunter performed as a member of The Coasters from 1958 to 1961 and they recorded "Yakety Yak" (1958), their only number one hit, "Charlie Brown" (1959), and "Poison Ivy" (1959). After leaving The Coasters, Gunter recorded several solo singles. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other members of The Coasters in 1987. Gunter was fatally shot February 26, 1990. 

November 14, 1954 Condoleeza Rice, professor, diplomat and national security expert, was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Rice earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in political science from the University of Denver in 1974, her Master of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1975, and her Ph. D. in political science from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in 1981. She served as a professor at Stanford University from 1981 to 1987 and from 1991 to 1992 before being named provost of the university, the first female, first minority, and the youngest provost in Stanford history. Rice was named National Security Advisor December 17, 2000, the first female to hold that position, and was confirmed as Secretary of State January 26, 2005, the first African American female to hold that position. She was ranked the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in 2004 and 2005 and number two in 2006. She was also listed as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World each year from 2004 to 2007. After her tenure as secretary of state, Rice returned to Stanford as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institute. She became a faculty member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy in 2010. Also that year, Rice published a family history, "Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family," and "No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington" in 2011. On August 20, 2012, Rice became one of the first two women to be admitted as members of Augusta National Golf Club and she was selected an inaugural member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee in 2013. 

November 14, 1959 Bryan A. Stevenson, lawyer, educator and equal justice activist, was born in Milton, Delaware. Stevenson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern College (now University) in 1981 and his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1985. He founded the Equal Justice Initiative in 1989 and serves as executive director. The EJI provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system. They have saved more than 100 men from the death penalty. Stevenson has received many honors for his work, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "Genius" Award in 1995, the National Association of Public Interest Lawyers 1996 Public Interest Lawyer of the Year, the 2009 Gruber Prize for Justice, and the 2010 William Robert Ming Advocacy Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Georgetown University Law School, and Harvard University. Stevenson published "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" in 2014. 

November 14, 1960 Ruby Nell Bridges Hall became the first African American child to attend an all-White elementary school in the South when she entered William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana. This event was commemorated in the Norman Rockwell painting "The Problem We All Live With." After Bridges Hall started school, White parents took their children out of the school and White teachers refused to teach her. Therefore, for the first year Bridges Hall and a single teacher worked alone in a classroom by themselves. Also, Bridges Hall's father lost his job and her grandparents, who were sharecroppers, were kicked off their land. After the first year, things returned to relative normalcy and Bridges Hall went on to graduate from high school. Bridges Hall was born September 8, 1954 in Tylertown, Mississippi but raised in New Orleans. After graduating from high school, she studied travel and tourism and worked as a travel agent for 15 years. In 1999, she formed the Ruby Bridges Foundation to "promote the values of tolerance, respect and appreciation of all differences." The 1998 made for television movie "Ruby Bridges" told of her struggles during her first year of school. In 2001, Bridges Hall was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal, which is given to a person "who has performed exemplary deeds or services for his or her country or fellow citizens," by President William J. Clinton. In 2006, the Ruby Bridges Elementary School opened in Alameda, California. She received an honorary doctorate degree from Tulane University in 2012 and a statue of Bridges was unveiled in the courtyard of William Frantz Elementary School November 14, 2015. Bridges Hall continues to serve as an inspirational speaker against racism. 

November 14, 2003 Frank Martin Snowden, Jr. received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush for "work that has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities." Snowden was born July 17, 1911 in York County, Virginia. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1932, Master of Arts degree in 1933, and Ph. D. in 1944 from Harvard University. Snowden taught classics at Georgetown University, Vassar College, and Mary Washington College before joining Howard University where he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Snowden documented that Black people were able to co-exist with the Greeks and Romans because they were considered equals. He authored several books, including "Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience" (1970) and "Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks" (1983). Snowden was fluent in Latin, Greek, German, French, and Italian. He served as cultural attaché at the American Embassy to Rome from 1954 to 1956. Snowden died February 18, 2007. The Frank M. Snowden, Jr. Lecture Series is held annually at Howard.

Professor, diplomat, and national security expert.

Famed figure skater, and coach.

Author, educator, and political leader.

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Today in Black History, 11/13/2015 | Albert C. Richardson

November 13, 1894 Albert C. Richardson of South Frankfort, Michigan received patent number 529,311 for the casket lowering device. Prior to his invention, caskets were simply buried in shallow graves or lowered with ropes into deeper graves. This required several people to work in unison to ensure that the casket was lowered evenly. Failure to do so would cause the casket to slip out the ropes and be damaged from hitting the ground. Richardson's invention consisted of a series of pulleys and ropes which ensured uniformity in the lowering process. The same concept is used today. Richardson created several other devices. He received patent numbers 255,022 for a hame fastner March 14, 1882, 446,470 for a butter churn February 17, 1891, 620,362 for an insect destroyer February 28, 1899, and 638,811 for an improvement in the design of the bottle December 12, 1899. Not much else is known of Richardson's life.

November 13, 1911 John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil, Negro Baseball League player and manager and the first African American to coach in the major leagues, was born in Carrabelle, Florida. O'Neil signed a contract with the Memphis Red Sox in the Negro American League in 1937. The next year, his contract was sold to the Kansas City Monarchs where he played first base for the next 12 seasons. O'Neil was named manager of the Monarchs in 1948 and served in that capacity for eight seasons. After resigning from the Monarchs in 1955, he became a scout for the Chicago Cubs and is credited with signing hall of famer Lou Brock to his first contract. He was named the first Black coach in the major leagues by the Cubs May 29, 1962. O'Neil became a scout for the Kansas City Royals in 1988 and was named 1998 Midwest Scout of the Year. O'Neil was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee from 1981 to 2000 and played an important role in the induction of six Negro league players. O'Neil led the effort to establish the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri in 1990 and served as its honorary board chair until his death October 6, 2006. O'Neil was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President George W. Bush December 15, 2006. The Baseball Hall of Fame inaugurated the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and made O'Neil the first recipient. O'Neil's autobiography, "I Was Right on Time: My Journey from Negro Leagues to the Majors," was published in 1997. 

November 13, 1837 James Thomas Rapier, lawyer and politician, was born in Florence, Alabama. Rapier's father sent him to Canada in 1856 to further his education. There, he attended Montreal College where he studied law. He also attended the University of Glasgow and after returning to the United States Franklin College where he earned a teaching certificate in 1863. Rapier returned to Alabama in 1866 and was elected a delegate to the 1867 Republican state constitutional convention. His political involvement was unacceptable to some White people and the Ku Klux Klan drove him from his home in 1868 and forced him to remain in seclusion for a year. He returned to public life in 1870 and became the first African American to run for statewide office in Alabama, unsuccessfully running for secretary of state. He also became involved in the Black labor movement and was elected vice president of the National Negro Labor Union in 1870. Rapier was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1872 and pushed through a bill to make Montgomery, Alabama a port of delivery which was a significant boost to the city's economy. He also supported the passage of the 1875 Civil Rights Act. Rapier lost his bid for re-election in 1874 and became a collector for the Internal Revenue Service. He became disenchanted with opportunities for African Americans in the South by 1879 and purchased land in Kansas and became a leading advocate for Black emigration to the West. Rapier died May 31, 1883. "James T. Rapier and Reconstruction" was published in 1978. 

November 13, 1920 George Elliott Olden, the first African American to design a United States postage stamp, was born in Birmingham, Alabama but raised in Washington, D. C. While still in high school, Olden drew cartoons and served as art director for a Black biweekly magazine. Olden joined the CBS television network as art director in 1945. At the same time, he was invited to the conference that led to the establishment of the United Nations where he was selected graphic designer to the International Secretariat. While at CBS, Olden was the first artist to design news graphics and he supervised the vote tallying graphics of the first live presidential election coverage in 1952. He was also in charge of graphics for the most popular CBS television shows, including "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Lassie," "Face the Nation," and "Gunsmoke." Olden won the New York Art Directors Club medal in 1956. He left CBS in 1960 to join BBDO advertising agency and joined McCann-Erickson as a vice president and member of the Professional Advisory Council in 1963. Also in 1963, he was commissioned by the U. S. Postal Service to design a postage stamp commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation. The stamp featured a severed link in a large black chain against a blue background and went on sale August 19, 1963. Olden was one of seven African Americans included at a dinner given by U. S. Representative to the United Nations Adlai E. Stevenson, II honoring "Negroes prominent in the economic world" in 1964. He designed another U. S. postage stamp commemorating the Voice of America in 1967. Olden died January 25, 1975. He was posthumously awarded the American Institute of Graphic Arts Medal, which is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements, services, or other contributions to the field of design and visual communication, in 2007. 

November 13, 1927 Albert Turner Bharucha-Reid, mathematician and educator, was born Albert Turner Reid in Hampton, Virginia. Bharucha-Reid published his first paper, on mathematical biology, at 18. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and biology from Iowa State University in 1949. He continued his studies at the University of Chicago but did not finish his Ph. D. because he thought it was a waste of time. Bharucha-Reid held teaching or research positions at a number of universities, including the University of Oregon, Wayne State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Atlanta University. He published nearly 70 papers and six books, including "Elements of the Theory of Markov Processes and Their Application" (1960), "Probabilistic Methods in Applied Mathematics" (1968), and "Random Polynomials, Probability and Mathematical Statistics" (1986). Bharucha-Reid also served as the editor of the Journal of Integral Equations until his death February 26, 1985. The National Association of Mathematicians host a lecture series in his name. 

November 13, 1930 Benny Andrews, painter, printmaker and educator, was born in Plainview, Georgia. After serving in the United States Air Force as a staff sergeant from 1950 to 1954, Andrews earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1958. He had his first New York City solo art show in 1962. He co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition in 1969 to protest the fact that no African Americans were involved in organizing the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit "Harlem on My Mind." Andrews was director of visual arts for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1982 to 1984 and was instrumental in forming the National Arts Program in 1983, the largest coordinated visual arts program in the nation's history. Andrews taught at Queens College, City University of New York from 1968 to 1997 and created a prison art program that became a model for the nation. He went to the Gulf Coast in 2006 to work on an art project with children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Andrews died November 10, 2006. His works are in the collections of many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the High Museum of Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. 

November 13, 1940 The United States Supreme Court ruled in Hansberry v. Lee that White people could not bar African Americans from White neighborhoods but did not rule that restrictive covenants based on race were void. It ruled for Hansberry on a legal technicality that Lee did not represent the entire class because a number of the homeowners (approximately 46%) disagreed with the covenant. Restrictive covenants based on race were completely outlawed by the U. S. Supreme Court in the case of Shelley v. Kraemer May 3, 1948. 

November 13, 1942 Leonard Roy Harmon, the first African American to have a navy ship named in his honor, died. Harmon was born January 21, 1917 in Cuero, Texas. He enlisted in the United States Navy in June, 1939 and in October of that year was assigned to the USS San Francisco. Harmon had advanced to mess attendant first class by 1942. On November 12, 1942, the Japanese began the battle of Guadalcanal by crashing a plane into the USS San Francisco, killing or injuring 50 men. The next day they raked the USS San Francisco with gunfire, killing nearly every officer on the bridge. Disregarding his own safety, Harmon helped to evacuate the wounded. He was killed while shielding a wounded shipmate from gunfire with his own body. For "extraordinary heroism," he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the highest medal that can be awarded by the U. S. Navy, by Secretary of the Navy William Frank Knox March 4, 1943. The USS Harmon, a destroyer escort named in his honor, was launched July 25, 1943. The destroyer was scrapped in 1967. The bachelor enlisted quarters at the U. S. Naval Air Station in North Island, California was named Harmon Hall in 1975. 

November 13, 1955 Whoopie Goldberg, actress, comedienne and activist, was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in New York City. Goldberg created "The Spook Show," a one woman show which ran on Broadway for 156 sold out performances and won her the 1985 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One Person Show, in 1983. She made her film debut in 1985 in the "Color Purple" which resulted in an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She played a psychic in the 1990 film "Ghost" and became the first Black female to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in nearly 50 years. Goldberg has appeared in over 150 films, including "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (1986), "Sister Act" (1992), "Kingdom Come" (2001), "For Colored Girls" (2010), and "Big Stone Gap" (2014). Goldberg was the first African American female to host the Academy Awards in 1994 and again hosted in 1996, 1999 and 2002. Goldberg is one of only a few performers to have won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, a Tony Award, and an Emmy Award. She received the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Vanguard Award for her work in supporting the gay and lesbian community in 1999 and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2001. Goldberg has been the co-host of the television show "The View" since September, 2007. Several biographies have been written about Goldberg, including "Whoopi Goldberg: From Street to Stardom" (1993) and "Whoopi Goldberg: Comedian and Movie Star" (1999). 

November 13, 1969 Ayaan Hirsi Ali, feminist activist and writer, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia but grew up in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Ali obtained political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992. She earned her Master of Arts degree in political science from Leiden University in 2000. She was elected to the Dutch House of Representatives in 2003 and served until 2006. While in parliament, Ali worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim communities. She wrote the script and provided the voice-over for "Submission," a film which criticized the treatment of women in Islamic society, in 2004. The airing of the film resulted in the death of the producer and death threats against Ali. After resigning from parliament, Ali moved to the United States and is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the Kennedy Government School at Harvard University. Ali has published a collection of essays, "The Caged Virgin" (2006), an autobiography, "Infidel" (2007), and a follow-up memoir to her autobiography, "Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations" (2010). She was included on Time magazine's 2005 list of 100 Most Important People in the World. Ali founded the AHA Foundation in 2007 "to protect and defend the rights of women and girls in the West from oppression justified by religion or culture." 

November 13, 1996 William Ballard "Bill" Doggett, jazz and R&B pianist and organist, arranger and composer, died. Doggett was born February 16, 1916 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He started playing the piano at nine and formed his first combo at 15. Doggett toured and recorded with several of the nation's top singers and bands over the next 20 years, including Johnny Otis, Louis Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lionel Hampton. He also was the arranger and pianist for the Ink Spots for two years. Doggett formed his own trio in 1951 and switched to playing the organ. He recorded his best known single, "Honky Tonk, Pts. 1 & 2" in 1956. It sold four million copies and was number one on the R&B chart and number two on the Pop chart. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." Albums by Doggett include "Hot Doggett" (1956), "High And Wide" (1959), "Take Your Shot" (1969), and "The Right Choice After Hours" (1991).

The first African American to design a US postage stamp. 

Activist, actress, and comedienne.

The first African American to coach in major league baseball.

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Today in Black History, 11/12/2015 | Sigma Gamma Rho

November 12, 1922 Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority was founded by seven school teachers on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. The aim of the sorority is to enhance the quality of life within the community with programs and activities, including public service, leadership development, and the education of young people. Today, there are more than 90,000 members with more than 500 undergraduate and alumnae chapters throughout the United States and around the world. Notable members include Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Alice Childress, Marilyn McCoo, and Victoria Rowell. 

November12, 1875 Egbert Austin "Bert" Williams, hall of fame comedian and the pre-eminent Black entertainer of his era, was born in Nassau, Bahamas. Williams moved to San Francisco, California to study civil engineering but instead joined a minstrel show. He formed the team of Williams and Walker with his partner George Walker in 1893 and they performed song and dance numbers, comic dialogues, and skits. They headlined the Koster and Bial's vaudeville house for 36 weeks in 1896 and popularized the cakewalk dance. Williams and Walker appeared in a succession of hit shows, including "Sons of Ham" (1900), "In Dahomey" (1902), which became the first Black musical to open on Broadway February 18, 1903, and "Abyssinia" (1906). Williams composed and recorded many songs, including "Nobody" which sold between 100,000 and 150,000 copies, a phenomenal total for the era. Walker was forced to leave their partnership due to ill health in 1909 and Williams joined the Ziegfeld Follies as the featured performer amid an otherwise all White show in 1910. By 1920, when 10,000 sales was considered a successful release, Williams had four songs that shipped between 180,000 and 250,000 copies and was one of the three most highly paid recording artists in the world. Williams died March 4, 1922. The U. S. Liberty ship SS Bert Williams was launched in his honor November 18, 1944 and he was posthumously inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1996. His recording of "Nobody" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1981 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." The many books about Williams include "Nobody: The Story of Bert Williams" (1970), "The Last Darky: Bert Williams, Black-on-Black Minstrelsy, and the African Diaspora" (2005), and "Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America's First Black Star" (2008). HIs name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. 

November 12, 1896 Moses Williams received the Congressional Medal of Honor, America's highest military decoration, for his actions during an engagement in the foothills of the Cuchillo Negro Mountains in New Mexico during the Indian Wars. Williams was born October 10, 1845 in Carrollton, Louisiana. Not much is known of his early life but by August 16, 1881, he was serving as a first sergeant in Company I of the 9th Cavalry Regiment. His citation reads, "Rallied a detachment, skillfully conducted a running fight of 3 or 4 hours, and by his coolness, bravery, and unflinching devotion to duty in standing by his commanding officer in an exposed position under a heavy fire from a large party of Indians saved the lives of at least 3 of his comrades." Williams reached the rank of ordinance sergeant before leaving the army in 1898. Williams died August 23, 1899. 

November 12, 1909 Booker T. Washington "Bukka" White, hall of fame blues guitarist and singer, was born between Aberdeen and Houston, Mississippi. White started his career playing the fiddle at square dances. He recorded a number of singles in 1930, including "Jealous Man Blues" and "Mississippi Milk Blues." White was imprisoned from 1937 to 1940 but still managed to record some of his most popular recordings, including "Shak'em on Down" (1937) and "Po Boy" (1939). White did not record from the mid-1940s through the 1950s and worked as a laborer. He was rediscovered in 1963 and recorded the albums "Mississippi Blues" (1964), "Memphis Hot Shots" (1968), "Big Daddy" (1974), and "Country Blues" (1975). White died February 26, 1977. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1990 and his recording of "Fixin' to Die Blues" (1940) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." 

November 12, 1911 Wilbur Dorsey "Buck" Clayton, jazz trumpeter and arranger, was born in Parsons, Kansas. Clayton started playing the piano at six and switched to the trumpet when he was a teenager. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles, California and formed a band. Clayton led a band in Shanghai, China from 1934 to 1937 and is credited with having a major influence on Chinese music. He played in the Count Basie Orchestra from 1937 to 1943 and served in the United States military from 1943 to 1946. He recorded seven albums as a leader, including "The Classic Swing of Buck Clayton" (1946), "Buck & Buddy" (1960), and "Buck Clayton All-Stars" (1961). Clayton had lip surgery in 1969 and had to quit playing the trumpet in 1972. He taught at Hunter College from 1975 to the early 1980s. He was designated a NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor the nation bestows on a jazz artist, by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1991. Clayton died December 8, 1991. His autobiography, "Buck Clayton's Jazz World," was published in 1986. 

November 12, 1941 The National Negro Opera Company was founded in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania by Mary Cardwell Dawson. The company had guilds in various cities in the northeastern United States and had a repertory that included "Aida," "La Traviata," "Carmen," and "Faust." The company ceased operations shortly after Ms. Dawson's death March 19, 1962. A Pennsylvania Historical Marker was dedicated at the location of the company September 25, 1994. 

November 12, 1944 Booker T. Jones, hall of fame instrumentalist, songwriter and arranger, was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Jones was a child prodigy, playing the oboe, saxophone, trombone, piano and organ while in school. He began playing professionally at 16, playing saxophone on "Cause I Love You" by Rufus and Carla Thomas. While still in high school, he formed the group Booker T and the MG's and wrote their first hit, "Green Onions" in 1962. In addition, Jones co-wrote "I've Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)" for Eddie Floyd, "I Love You More Than Words Can Say" for Otis Redding, and "Born Under a Bad Sign" for Albert King. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in applied music from the University of Indiana in 1966. Jones was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. He won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album for "Potato Hole" and the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album for "The Road From Memphis." Jones received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 1995. "Green Onions" was added to the National Recording Registry as a recording of "cultural, historical or aesthetical importance" and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance." Jones received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance from the American Music Association in 2012. Also that year, he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Indiana Jacobs School of Music. Jones released his most recent album, "Sound The Alarm," in 2013. 

November 12, 1944 Kenneth Ray Houston, hall of fame football player, was born in Lufkin, Texas. Houston played college football at Prairie View A & M University. He also ran track and was on the swim team. He was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1967 American Football League Draft. During his 14 seasons as a professional defensive back, Houston was a 12-time All Pro and set an National Football League record with five touchdown returns in 1971. Houston retired in 1980 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. He was the defensive backfield coach for the Oilers from 1982 to 1985 and the defensive backfield coach for the University of Houston from 1986 to 1990. He has worked for the Houston Independent School District as a guidance counselor for children in hospitals, home bound, or placed in child care agencies by the State of Texas since 1990. Houston also serves on the advisory board of the Prairie View A & M Foundation. 

November 12, 1984 Chester Bomar Himes, writer, died. Himes was born July 29, 1909 in Jefferson City, Missouri. He was sent to prison for armed robbery in 1928. In prison, he wrote short stories and had them published in national magazines. His first stories were published in Esquire Magazine in 1934. Himes was released from prison in 1936 and began to produce novels in the 1940s. His novels encompassed many genres and often explored racism in the United States. His best known works are "If He Hollers Let Him Go" (1945), "The Real Cool Killers" (1959), and "Cotton Comes To Harlem" (1965). "Cotton Comes to Harlem" was made into a movie of the same title in 1970 and his "For Love of Imabelle" (1957) was made into the movie "A Rage In Harlem" in 1991. Himes won France's Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, their most prestigious award for crime and detective fiction, in 1958. Fleeing racial oppression in 1969, he moved to Spain where he died. Himes produced two autobiographies, "The Quality of Hurt" (1973) and "My Life of Absurdity" (1976). 

November 12, 1992 Charles "Honi" Coles, hall of fame tap dancer and actor, died. Coles was born April 2, 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He developed his high-speed rhythm tapping on the streets of his hometown. While dancing with the Cab Calloway band, he teamed with Charles "Cholly" Atkins to form Coles & Atkins in 1940. Their partnership lasted 19 years. Coles made his Broadway debut in the 1949 production of "Gentleman Prefer Blondes." He also appeared in "Bubbling Brown Sugar" in 1976. His performance in the 1983 production of "My One and Only" earned him both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He taught dance and dance history at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and George Washington Universities during the 1980s. Coles was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, by President George H. W. Bush July 9, 1991. He was posthumously inducted into the Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2003. 

November 12, 1994 Wilma Glodean Rudolph, hall of fame track and field athlete and the first American woman to win three Gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games, died. Rudolph was born June 23, 1940 in Clarksville, Tennessee. Despite a childhood filled with medical problems, she became an accomplished athlete by high school. In high school, she was a basketball star, setting state records for scoring and leading her team to the state championship. She was a member of the United States track and field team at 16 which won the Bronze medal in the 4 x 100 meter relay at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympic Games. At the 1960 Rome Summer Olympic Games, Rudolph won Gold medals in the 100 meter race, the 200 meter race, and the 4 x 100 meter relay. That same year, Rudolph was the United Press Athlete of the Year and Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year. She also won the 1961 James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. She was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1974, the U. S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983, and the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1994. Rudolph published her autobiography, "Wilma: The Story of Wilma Rudolph," in 1977 and it was later turned into the NBC Television movie "Wilma." The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honor in 2004. The Woman's Sports Foundation Wilma Rudolph Courage Award is presented annually "to a female athlete that exhibits extraordinary courage in her athletic performance, demonstrates the ability to overcome adversity, makes significant contributions to sports and serves as an inspiration and role model to those who face challenges, overcomes them and strives for success at all levels." A life size bronze statue of Rudolph was unveiled in Clarksville in 1996. A number of biographies of Rudolph have been published, including "Wilma Rudolph: The Greatest Woman Sprinter in History" (2004) and "Wilma Rudolph: A Biography" (2006). 

November 12, 1996 Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western community established by African Americans, was designated a National Historic Site. The first settlers arrived in Nicodemus on June 18, 1877. The town was named for an individual that came to America on a slave ship and later purchased his freedom. Formerly enslaved people in the south were encouraged to settle in Nicodemus. The town was portrayed as a place for African Americans to establish Black self-governance. Nicodemus had a population of almost 500, a bank, two hotels, three churches, a newspaper, a drug store, and three general stores by 1880. However, the Union Pacific Railroad bypassed Nicodemus and established an extension six miles away and across the river in 1888. Businesses moved to the new extension and Nicodemus began to experience a long gradual decline. The decline was accelerated by the 1929 depression and the severe droughts from 1932 to 1934. The town was reduced to a population of 76 people by 1935. Today, approximately 20 people live in Nicodemus and the only remaining business is the Nicodemus Historical Society Museum. Annually, Emancipation Day is celebrated in Nicodemus the last weekend of July. 

November 12, 2000 Eugene Antonio Marino, the first African American archbishop in the United States, died. Marino was born May 29, 1934 in Biloxi, Mississippi. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Joseph's Seminary in 1962 and was ordained a priest that same year. Marino earned his Master of Arts degree from Fordham University in 1967. Following his graduation, he was spiritual director at St. Joseph's Seminary from 1968 to 1971 when he became vicar general of the Josephites. Marino was the auxiliary bishop for Washington, D. C. from 1974 to 1988 and served as secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1985, the first African American to hold that position. Marino was installed as the Archbishop of Atlanta May 5, 1988, the first African American archbishop in the United States. Marino resigned his post in 1990 but retained the title of archbishop. 

November 12, 2003 George "Buddy" Guy was presented the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, by President George W. Bush. Guy was born July 30, 1936 in Lettsworth, Louisiana. He began performing with bands in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the early 1950s and moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1957. His career took off during the blues revival period of the late 1980s and early 1990s with albums such as "Breaking Out" (1988) and "Damn Right, I've Got the Blues" (1991). Guy is considered an important exponent of "Chicago blues" and has been called the bridge between the blues and rock and roll. He was an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and many other guitarists. Guy has won six Grammy Awards for contemporary and traditional forms of blues music, 23 W. C. Handy Awards, more than any other artist, and Billboard magazine's The Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement. His album "Living Proof" won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Guy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and awarded Kennedy Center Honors in 2012. His autobiography, "When I Left Home: My Story," was published in 2012. His most recent album, "Born to Play Guitar," was released in 2015.

Founded in Pittsburgh, PA.

The first American woman to win 3 gold medal in a single Olympic game.

The last remaining western settlement founded by African Americans.

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Today in Black History, 11/11/2015 | Daniel McCree

November 11, 1890 Daniel McCree of Chicago, Illinois received patent number 440,322 for the portable fire escape. McCree's fire escape was designed for the interior of homes and could be attached to the windowsill and lowered to the ground, allowing people within to escape from second and third story levels during a fire. Not much else is known of McCree's life. • November 11, 1910 Edwin C. "Bill" Berry, civil rights activist, was born in Oberlin, Ohio. Berry earned his bachelor's degree in education from Duquesne University in 1938 and began his career with the Pittsburgh Urban League. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 1945 to establish the Portland Urban League. There, he led the effort to pass the 1949 Fair Employment Practices law, which banned employment discrimination, and the 1953 Public Accommodations law. Berry became executive director of the Chicago Urban League in 1956 and over the next 13 years helped to pass the Fair Employment Practices Commission Act in Illinois and fought housing discrimination. After his retirement in 1969, he served as a television talk show host and assistant to the president of Johnson Products Company. Berry died March 14, 1987. Edwin C. Berry Playground in Chicago is named in his honor.

November 11, 1831 Nathaniel "Nat" Turner, rebellion leader, was executed by hanging in Jerusalem, Virginia after initiating a rebellion of enslaved and free Black people. Turner was born enslaved October 2, 1800 in Southampton County, Virginia. He learned to read and write at a young age and was deeply religious. By early 1828, he was convinced that he "was ordained for some great purpose in the hands of the Almighty" and that God had given him the task of "slaying my enemies with their own weapons." There was a solar eclipse August 13, 1831 and Turner took that as his signal. He began the rebellion August 21 with a few trusted enslaved Black men that grew into more than 50 enslaved and free Black men. The rebels traveled from house to house, freeing enslaved people and killing their White owners. The rebellion was suppressed within 48 hours with approximately 55 White men, women, and children killed. Turner was captured October 30 and was convicted and sentenced to death November 5. The state executed 56 other Black men suspected of being involved in the uprising and another 200 Black people, most of whom had nothing to do with the uprising, were beaten, tortured, and murdered by angry White mobs. Also, the Virginia General Assembly passed new laws making it unlawful to teach enslaved or free Black and Mulatto people to read or write and restricting Black people from holding religious meetings without the presence of a licensed White minister. Numerous books have been written about the rebellion, including "Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion" (1966), "The Confessions of Nat Turner" (1993), and "The Rebellious Slave: Nat Turner in American Memory" (2004). His name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. 

November 11, 1850 George Washington Henderson, the first Black person inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, was born enslaved in Clark County, Vermont. Henderson was freed after the Civil War and learned to read and write. He graduated from the University of Vermont, first in his class, in 1877 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He was actually the second Black person to be nominated for the society but the first to be inducted. Henderson went on to earn his Master of Arts degree from the University of Vermont in 1880 and his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Yale University in 1883. He moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1888 and was ordained a Congregational minister. He served as chair of the theology department at Straight University (now Dillard University) from 1890 to 1904, as dean of theology at Fisk University from 1904 to 1909, and as professor of Latin, Greek, and ancient literature at Wilberforce University from 1909 to his retirement in 1932. Henderson died February 3, 1936. The George Washington Henderson Fellowship at the University of Vermont sponsors pre and post-doctorate scholars. 

November 11, 1865 H. Ford Douglas, antislavery advocate for emigration, died. Douglas was born enslaved in Virginia in 1831. He escaped to Cleveland, Ohio around 1846. Douglas was self-taught and worked as a barber. He also was active in the free Black community, arguing that African Americans would never gain equality in the United States. He also believed that the U. S. Constitution was a proslavery document because it did not specifically prohibit slavery. He moved to Canada in 1854 and worked for the Provincial Freeman, a Canadian newspaper promoting antislavery principles. Douglas returned to the U. S. in 1858 and delivered a speech July 4, 1860 to approximately 2,000 people in Framingham, Massachusetts attacking Abraham Lincoln's, the Republican presidential nominee, views on race and slavery. He viewed Lincoln as an advocate of White supremacy and an opponent of equality for African Americans. After the start of the Civil War, Douglas joined the Union Army and was one of the few Black commissioned officers and the only African American permitted to raise and command his own company. Douglas was forced to leave the army in 1865 after contracting malaria. 

November 11, 1914 Daisy Lee Gatson Bates, journalist and civil rights leader, was born in Huttig, Arkansas. Bates and her husband started a local Black newspaper, The Arkansas State Press, in 1941 which was an avid voice for civil rights. She was elected president of the Arkansas State Conference of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People branches in 1952. Bates guided and advised the nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, when they attempted to enroll at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Her involvement in that resulted in the loss of most advertising revenue for their newspaper and it was forced to close in 1959. Bates and the Little Rock Nine were the recipients of the 1958 NAACP Spingarn Medal. Bates moved to New York City in 1960 and wrote her memoir, "The Long Shadow of Little Rock," which won a 1988 National Book Award. Bates died November 4, 1999. The Daisy Bates Elementary School in Little Rock is named in her honor and the 3rd Monday of February is designated Daisy Gatson Bates Day, an official Arkansas state holiday. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honor in 2009. 

November 11, 1929 Delores LaVern Baker, hall of fame rhythm and blues singer, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Baker began performing around Chicago under various names before settling on LaVern Baker in 1952. Her first hit recording came in 1955 with "Tweedlee Dee" which reached number 4 on the R&B charts. Baker had a succession of hits over the next several years, including "Play It Fair" (1955), "Jim Dandy" (1956), "I Cried a Tear" (1958), and "See See Rider" (1962). Baker began a 22 year stint as entertainment director at a Marine Corps night club at the Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines in 1966. She returned to the United States in 1988 and worked on movie soundtracks, including "Shag" (1989), "Dick Tracy" (1990), and "A Rage in Harlem" (1991). She made her Broadway debut in 1990, starring in the hit musical "Black and Blue." She made her last recording, "Jump into the Fire," in 1995. She received the 1990 Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Baker died March 10, 1997. 

November 11, 1954 John Rosamond Johnson, composer, singer and editor, died. Johnson was born August 11, 1873 in Jacksonville, Florida. He is best known for composing The Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." His brother, the poet James Weldon Johnson, wrote the lyrics. Johnson began his career as a public school teacher in his hometown. He trained at the New England Conservatory and then studied in London, England. With his brother and Bob Cole, he produced two successful Broadway operettas with casts of Black actors, "Shoo-Fly Regiment of 1906" and "The Red Moon of 1908." He also served as director of New York's Music School Settlement for Colored from 1914 to 1919. With his own ensembles, The Harlem Rounders and The Inimitable Five, Johnson toured and performed in Negro spiritual concerts. He also served as musical director for "Blackbirds of 1936." Johnson edited "The Book of American Negro Spirituals" (1925), "The Second Book of Negro Spirituals" (1926), "Shoutsongs" (1936), and "Rolling Along in Song" (1937). 

November 11, 1965 The Republic of Zimbabwe declared its independence from the United Kingdom. Zimbabwe is located in southern Africa and is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east. It is approximately 150,870 square miles in size and the capital and largest city is Harare. Zimbabwe has a population of approximately 12,973,800 people with 85% Christian. There is no officially recognized language. 

November 11, 1969 George Robert Carruthers was awarded patent number 3,478,216 for his Image Converter for Detecting Electromagnetic Radiation. His machine was flown to the moon on the 1972 Apollo 16 mission to obtain images of earth and outer space. Carruthers was born October 1, 1939 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1961, Master of Science degree in 1962, and his Ph.D. in 1964 from the University of Illinois. Carruthers has spent his career in the Space Science Division of the Naval Research Laboratory developing space telescopes and other photometric instruments. He is also active with Science, Mathematics, Aerospace, Research and Technology which encourages Black teachers and students to pursue science and technology. Carruthers received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Michigan Technology University in 1973, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2003, and was honored as a Distinguished Lecturer at the Office of Naval Research in 2009 for his achievements in the field of space science. Carruthers has chaired the Editing and Review Committee and served as editor of the Journal of the National Technical Association since 1983 and has taught a course in earth and space science at Howard University since 2002. Carruthers was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor the nation bestows on an individual for achievements related to technological progress, by President Barack H. Obama February 1, 2013. 

November 11, 1975 The Republic of Angola gained its independence from Portugal. Angola is in southern Africa and is bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Luanda is the capital and largest city. The country is approximately 481,350 square miles in size and has a population of approximately 18,498,000 people. Christianity is practiced by most of the population with more than half Catholics. Portuguese is the official language but most natives speak the indigenous language of their ethnic group. 

November 11, 1975 Floyd Allen of Washington, D. C. received patent number 3,919,642 for a Low Cost Telemeter for Monitoring a Battery and DC Voltage Converter Power Supply. His system was inexpensive to produce and economical to use in the field testing of fuze battery power supplies on a large scale. It obtained its output information from a frequency modulated transmitter whose modulation signal was alternatively obtained from two data channels on a periodic basis, thus eliminating the need for continuous operation of the data channels. 

November 11, 1987 Channing E. Phillips, minister, social activist and the first African American placed in nomination for President of the United States by a major party, died. Phillips was born March 23, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. He was a founding member of the Coalition of Conscience, a conglomeration of local organizations working to alleviate social problems in Washington, D. C. Phillips led the D. C. delegation to the 1968 Democratic National Convention and after the death of Robert F. Kennedy Phillips was nominated as a favorite son candidate August 28, 1968 and received 68 votes. Phillips said that his candidacy was meant to show that "the Negro vote must not be taken for granted." Phillips was also the president of the Housing Development Corporation, a government backed housing venture in the capital. 

November 11, 1989 The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama was dedicated. The memorial is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and is dedicated to 40 people who died in the struggle for equal rights between 1954 and 1968. The memorial represents the aspirations of the American Civil Rights Movement against racism. 

November 11, 1997 Rodney Milburn, Jr., hall of fame track and field athlete, died. Milburn was born May 18, 1950 in Opelousas, Louisiana. He attended Southern University and dominated the 110 meter hurdles during the early 1970s, tying the world record three times. He was unbeaten in 28 races in 1971 and was named the Track and Field News Athlete of the Year. At the 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games, Milburn won the Gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles and following the Olympics was the first African American to win the Corbett Award given annually to Louisiana's top amateur athlete. Milburn earned his bachelor's degree from Southern in 1972. After the Olympics, he turned professional but regained his amateur status in 1980. He remained a world ranked hurdler until his retirement in 1983. He coached track at Southern from 1983 to 1987. Milburn was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1993. 

November 11, 2010 A statue depicting Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Clarence Eugene Sasser was unveiled in front of the Brazoria County, Texas courthouse. Sasser was born September 12, 1947 in Chenango, Texas. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1967 and by January 10, 1968 was serving as a private first class combat medic in Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division during the Vietnam War. His actions on that date earned him the medal, America's highest military decoration. His citation partially reads, "His company was making an air assault when suddenly it was taken under heavy small arms, recoilless rifle, machine gun and rocket fire from well-fortified enemy positions on three sides of the landing zone. During the first few minutes, over 30 casualties were sustained. Without hesitation, Sp5c. Sasser ran across an open rice paddy through a hail of fire to assist the wounded. After helping one man to safety, was painfully wounded in the left shoulder by fragments of an exploding rocket. Refusing medical attention, he ran through a barrage of rocket and automatic weapons fire to aid casualties of the initial attack and, after giving them urgently needed treatment, continued to search for other wounded. Despite two additional wounds immobilizing his legs, he dragged himself through the mud toward another soldier 100 meters away. Although in agonizing pain and faint from loss of blood, Sp5c. Sasser reached the man, treated him, and proceeded on to encourage another group of soldiers to crawl 200 meters to relative safety. There he attended their wounds for five hours until they were evacuated." The medal was presented to Sasser by President Richard M. Nixon March 7, 1969. After leaving the army, Sasser returned to college as a chemistry student. He then worked for an oil refinery for more than five years before being employed by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Declared independence from Portugal. 

Declared independence from Britain. 

The first African American inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

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Today in Black History, 11/10/2015 | Granville T. Woods

November 10, 1891 Granville T. Woods was awarded patent number 463,020 for his invention of the Electric Railway System. His system eliminated overhead wires and exposed feeders and did not require conduits or openings in the street to connect with the main feeder. Woods was born April 23, 1856 in Columbus, Ohio. He dedicated his life to developing a variety of improvements related to the railroad industry and controlling the flow of electricity. He and his brother formed the Woods Railway Telegraph Company in 1884 to manufacture and sell telephone and telegraph equipment. Woods was granted patent number 308,876 for a telephone transmitter, an apparatus that conducted sound over an electrical current December 2, 1884. His instrument improved on models then in use by carrying a louder and more distinct sound over a longer distance. He received patent number 373,915 for the synchronous multiplex railway telegraph which allowed communication between stations from moving trains November 29, 1887. In addition to these, Woods received more than 50 other patents and was known to many people of his time as "the Black Thomas Edison." Despite these inventions, Woods died virtually penniless January 30, 1910. The Granville T. Woods Math and Science Community Academy in Chicago, Illinois and a street in Brooklyn, New York are named in his honor. Woods was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. "Granville T. Woods: African American Communications and Transportation Pioneer" was published in 2013.

November 10, 1828 Lott Cary, the first American Baptist missionary to Africa, died. Cary was born enslaved in 1780 in Charles City County, Virginia. He learned to read from the bible as a young man and later attended a school for enslaved youth. Because of his education, diligence, and valuable work, he was rewarded by his owner with small tips from the money he earned. Cary was able to purchase his freedom and that of his two children for $850 in 1813. That same year, he became an official Baptist minister. Cary led a missionary team to Liberia in 1821 and engaged in evangelism, education, and health care. He also established the first Baptist church in Liberia, the Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia which celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2001, and several schools. Cary became acting Governor of Liberia in August, 1828. Cary Street and the Carytown shopping district in Richmond, Virginia are named in his honor and the Lott Cary House was added to the National Register of Historic Places July 30, 1980. The Lott Cary Foreign Mission Convention helps churches extend their Christian witness to the end of the earth. "Biography of Elder Lott Cary, Late Missionary to Africa" was published in 1837.

November 10, 1912 James Ellis LuValle, Olympic athlete and scientist, was born in San Antonio, Texas but raised in Los Angeles, California. LuValle enrolled at the University of California at Los Angeles where he was the captain of the track and field team and nicknamed the "Westwood Whirlwind." He won the Bronze medal in the 400 meter race at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games. That same year, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry, Phi Beta Kappa. LuValle earned his Master of Arts degree in chemistry and physics from UCLA in 1937 and his Ph. D. in chemistry and mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1940. LuValle joined the Eastman Kodak Company in 1941, the first African American to work in their laboratories. He subsequently worked on research projects at several other companies before 1975. His research on color photography resulted in patent numbers 3,219,445, 3,219,448, and 3,219,451, all issued November 23, 1965. LuValle was a laboratory administrator for the chemistry department at Stanford University from 1975 to his retirement in 1984. The new student center at UCLA was named LuValle Commons in 1985. LuValle died January 30, 1993.

November 10, 1919 Moise Kapenda Tshombe, Congolese politician, was born in Musumba, Congo. Tshombe founded the CONAKAT political party, which espoused an independent, federal Congo, in the 1950s. When the Congo became an independent republic August 16, 1960, CONAKAT won control of the Katanga provincial legislature. They declared Katanga's secession from the rest of the Congo and Tshombe was elected president. The United Nations forced Katanga to submit to Congolese rule and Tshombe went into exile in 1963. He returned to the Congo in 1964 to serve as prime minister in a coalition government. However, President Joseph Mobutu brought treason charges against Tshombe in 1965 and he was forced to flee the country again. Tshombe died under house arrest in Algeria June 29, 1969. His biographies include "Tshombe" (1967) and "The Rise and Fall of Moise Tshombe: A Biography" (1968).

November 10, 1933 Bobby Rush, hall of fame blues musician and singer, was born Emmit Ellis, Jr. in Homer, Louisiana. His family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas around 1946 and he began to play in the local juke joints. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1953 and became part of the local blues scene. Rush released his first album, "Rush Hour," in 1979. Since then, he has released 25 albums, including "Handy Man" (1992), "Hoochie Man" (2001), which was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, "Raw" (2007), "Down in Louisiana" (2013), which was nominated for the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Blues Album, and "Decisions" (2014). Rush was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006.

November 10, 1934 George Alexander McGuire, bishop and founder of the African Orthodox Church, died. McGuire was born March 26, 1866 in Sweets, Antigua. He was educated at the Antigua branch of Mico College for teachers and at the Moravian Miskey Seminary. He was pastor of a Moravian church in the Danish West Indies (now Virgin Islands) from 1888 to 1894. McGuire came to the United States in 1894, joined the Episcopal Church, and became an ordained priest in 1897. He became the church's highest ranking African American and the first to become an archdeacon when he was appointed Archdeacon for Colored Work in the Diocese of Arkansas in 1905 and served until 1909. As McGuire traveled though the U. S., he became discouraged by the dismal prospects for Black people in the Episcopal Church. He left the denomination in 1913 and returned to the West Indies. McGuire returned to the U. S. in 1918 and joined the Universal Negro Improvement Association and was appointed the first chaplain-general of the organization. McGuire founded the African Orthodox Church, which he envisioned as a home for Black people of the Protestant Episcopal persuasion who wanted ecclesiastical independence, in 1921. McGuire stated "You must forget the white gods. Erase the white gods from your hearts. We must go back to the native church, to our own true God." McGuire was elected archbishop of the church in 1924 and at the time of his death, the AOC claimed over 30,000 members and 30 churches on 3 continents.

November 10, 1939 Hubert Laws, Jr., jazz and classical flutist and saxophonist, was born in Houston, Texas. Laws began playing the flute in high school and was a member of the Jazz Crusaders at 15. He won a scholarship to the Julliard School of Music in New York City in 1960. Laws began recording as a bandleader in 1964. His recordings include "The Laws of Jazz" (1964), "Wild Flower" (1972), "Make It Last" (1983), and "Flute Adaptations of Rachmanivnov & Barber" (2009). Laws played with the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from 1969 to 1972. He was named the number one flutist by Downbeat Magazine in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011. He has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and was designated a NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor the nation bestows on a jazz artist, by the National Endowment for the Arts, in 2011.

November 10, 1945 Frederick Clinton Branch became the first African American officer in the United States Marine Corps when he was commissioned a second lieutenant. Branch was born May 31, 1922 in Hamlet, North Carolina. He was attending Temple University when he was drafted into the army in 1943. He was chosen to become a marine and trained at Montford Point, North Carolina along with other African American marines (now known as the Montford Point Marines). Branch applied for officer candidate school but was initially denied. His subsequent performance earned him a recommendation and he was accepted into the school and was commissioned a second lieutenant. Following World War II, Branch left active duty for the reserves. He was reactivated during the Korean War before leaving the marines as a captain in 1955. Branch earned his bachelor's degree in physics from Temple in 1947 and after leaving the service established a science department at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania high school where he taught until his retirement in 1988. Branch received an honorary doctorate degree from Johnson C. Smith University in 1995 and a training building at the Marine Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia was named in his honor in 1997. Branch died April 10, 2005. The marines established the Frederick C. Branch Leadership Scholarship in 2006 as a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship for students attending one of 17 historically Black colleges and universities that have NROTC programs on campus.

November 10, 1960 Andrew T. Hatcher became the first African American associate press secretary to the President of the United States. Hatcher was born June 19, 1923 in Princeton, New Jersey. He served in the U. S. Army from 1943 to 1946, rising to the rank of second lieutenant. After leaving the army, he moved to San Francisco, California where he became a journalist for the San Francisco Sun Reporter, an African American newspaper. Hatcher also served as a speechwriter for Adlai E. Stevenson, II during his two unsuccessful campaigns for the presidency during the 1950s. He was appointed California assistant secretary of labor in 1959. Hatcher served as a speechwriter for John F. Kennedy during his 1960 campaign for the presidency. After winning the election, Kennedy appointed Hatcher associate press secretary. Hatcher resigned the position after the assassination of President Kennedy in 1964. Hatcher received an honorary doctorate degree from Miles College in 1962 and was one of the founders of One Hundred Black Men of America in 1963. Hatcher died July 26, 1990.

November 10, 1963 Michael Anthony Powell, hall of fame track and field athlete, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Powell attended the University of California at Los Angeles and at the 1991 World Championships in Athletics broke the 23 year old long jump world record. His record still stands. That year, he won the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Powell won Silver medals in the long jump at the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games. He retired from track and field in 1996 and has been an analyst for Yahoo! Sports Olympic Track and Field coverage. He also coaches the long jump and is a motivational speaker. Powell was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2005.

November 10, 1967 Ida Cox, blues singer and "The Uncrowned Queen of the Blues, died. Cox was born February 26, 1896 in Toccoa, Georgia. She began touring with the White and Clark's Black & Tan Minstrels at 14. Cox was considered one of the best solo acts on the Theater Owners' Booking Association circuit by the early 1920s. Between 1923 and 1929, Cox recorded 78 songs, including "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues" and "Death Letter Blues." She and her husband formed their own revue, "Raisin' Cane" in 1929 with Cox as the star. They later changed the name to "Darktown Scandals" and toured until 1939. Cox continued to tour until she was forced to retire in 1945 due to a stroke. She lived quietly until being rediscovered and recording the album "Blues For Rampart Street" in 1961. After that recording, she lived quietly until her death.

November 10, 1967 Michael Jai White, the first African American to portray a comic book superhero in a major motion picture, was born in Brooklyn, New York but raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut. White started martial arts training at eight and currently holds seven different black belts. He attended several colleges and had a number of majors before becoming a junior high school teacher. He taught emotionally disturbed children for three years. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1992 to pursue an acting career. His first major starring role was in the 1995 HBO television movie "Tyson." White portrayed the title character in the 1997 movie "Spawn," the first time an African American had portrayed a comic book superhero in a major film. His performance earned him a nomination for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Male Newcomer. Other films in which he has appeared include "Exit Wounds" (2001), "The Dark Knight" (2008), "Why Did I Get Married Too?" (2010), and "Falcon Rising" (2014). White currently stars in the TBS/OWN television series "Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse."

November 10, 1994 Carmen Mercedes McRae, jazz singer, composer, pianist and actress, died. McRae was born April 8, 1920 in Harlem, New York. She began studying the piano at eight. She played piano with a number of jazz greats while in her twenties, including Benny Carter, Count Basie, and Mercer Ellington. McRae recorded her self-titled debut album in 1954 and that same year was voted Best New Female Vocalist by Down Beat Magazine. Other albums by McRae include "After Glow" (1957), "For Once in My Life" (1967), and "Sarah: Dedicated to You" (1990). McRae considered Billie Holliday to be her primary influence and recorded an album in her honor in 1983 entitled "For Lady Day" which was released in 1995. McRae was nominated for seven Grammy Awards and is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century. She was designated a NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor that the nation bestows on a jazz artist, by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994.

November 10, 1995 Kenule "Ken" Beeson Saro-Wiwa, author, businessman and environmental activist, was hanged by the Nigerian military. Saro-Wiwa was born October 10, 1941 in Bori, the Niger Delta, Nigeria. During the Nigerian Civil War, he was a supporter of the federal cause against the Biafrans. His best known books, "Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English" (1986) and "On a Darkling Plain" (1989), document his experiences during the war. Saro-Wiwa began devoting most of his time to human rights and environmental causes in 1990. He was one of the earliest members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People which advocated for increased autonomy for the Ogani people, a fair share of the proceeds from oil extraction, and remediation of environmental damage to Ogani land. Saro-Wiwa was arrested in May, 1994 and accused of incitement to murder, imprisoned for over a year, and found guilty in 1995. The trial and execution was criticized around the world and resulted in Nigeria's suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations for three years. Saro-Wiwa's diary, "A Month and a Day: A Detention Diary," was published two months after his execution. His biography, "In the Shadow of a Saint: A Son's Journey to Understand His Father's Legacy," was published in 2005. A memorial to Saro-Wiwa was unveiled in London November 10, 2006.

November 10, 1999 The USCGC Healy, a United States Coast Guard research icebreaker, was commissioned. The vessel was named in honor of Captain Michael Augustine Healy and is still in active service. Healy was born enslaved September 22, 1839 near Macon, Georgia. Although three-quarters European, he was considered enslaved and could not be formally educated in Georgia. Therefore, his father sent him North for education. While in England, Healy signed on to an American East Indian clipper in 1854 as a cabin boy. He quickly became an expert seaman and rose to the rank of officer. He returned to the United States in 1864 and was accepted as a third lieutenant in the Revenue Cutter Service (now the U. S. Coast Guard).He attained the rank of captain in 1880 and was given command of the USRC Thomas Corwin in 1882, the first person of African ancestry to command a U. S. government ship. For the next twenty years, Healy was the federal government's law enforcement presence in the Alaskan territory. Healy died August 30, 1904. His biography, "Captain "Hell Roaring" Mike Healy: From American slave to Arctic hero," was published in 2009. "Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820-1920" was published in 2003.

November 10, 2005 Wynton Learson Marsalis was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, by President George W. Bush. Marsalis was born October 18, 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana. At eight, he was performing traditional New Orleans music in the church band and at 14 was invited to perform with the New Orleans Philharmonic. While in high school, he was also a member of the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet. Marsalis moved to New York City in 1978 and in 1980 joined the Jazz Messengers. Throughout the 1980s, Marsalis led several jazz bands of his own and in 1987 co-founded and became artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center program, a position that he continues to hold. In 1983, Marsalis became the first musician to win Grammy Awards for both a jazz and a classical recording. In total, he has won nine Grammy Awards, including the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for "Listen to the Storyteller." In 1997, his "Blood on the Fields" became the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Since Hurricane Katrina, Marsalis has been active in raising money and awareness to rebuild New Orleans. In 2011, he, his father, and brothers were designated as a group NEA Jazz Masters, the highest honor the nation bestows on a jazz artist, by the National Endowment for the Arts. Marsalis was included on Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2006. He has toured 30 countries and 5 million copies of his recordings have been sold worldwide. Marsalis has received more than 30 honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities, including Brown University, Columbia University, Bard College, and Northwestern University.

November 10, 2005 James Anderson DePreist was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, by President George W. Bush. DePreist was born November 21, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied composition at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He won the Gold medal at the Dimitris Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in 1962. He then became assistant conductor at the New York Philharmonic during the 1965-1966 season. DePreist made his European debut in 1969 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He was permanent conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2008. As a guest conductor, he appeared with every major North American orchestra and had more than 50 recordings to his credit. DePreist was director emeritus of conducting and orchestral studies at the Julliard School and laureate director of the Oregon Symphony when he died February 8, 2013. DePreist published two books of poetry, "The Precipice Garden" (1987) and "The Distant Siren" (1989). He was awarded 13 doctorate degrees and was an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

November 10, 2006 Benny Andrews, painter, printmaker and educator, died. Andrews was born November 13, 1930 in Plainview, Georgia. After serving in the United States Air Force as a staff sergeant from 1950 to 1954, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1958. Andrews had his first New York City solo art show in 1962. He co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition in 1969 to protest the fact that no African Americans were involved in organizing the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit "Harlem on my Mind." Andrews was director of visual arts for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1982 to 1984 and was instrumental in forming the National Arts Program in 1983, the largest coordinated visual arts program in the nation's history. Andrews taught at Queens College, City University of New York from 1968 to 1997 and created a prison art program that became a model for the nation. He went to the Gulf Coast in 2006 to work on an art project with children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Andrews' works are in the collections of many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the High Museum of Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

November 10, 2006 Gerald Edward Levert, singer, songwriter and producer, died. Levert was born July 13, 1966 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but raised in Cleveland, Ohio. While in high school, he formed the group LeVert in 1984. Four of the group's seven albums, "I Get Her" (1985), "Bloodline" (1986), "The Big Throwdown" (1987), and "Just Coolin'" (1988) sold more than one million copies. Levert released his first solo album, "Private Line," in 1991 and it went to number one on the R&B charts. Other solo albums by Levert include "Groove On" (1994), "Gerald's World" (2001), and "Voices" (2005). Levert joined the group LSG in 1997 and they released "Levert-Sweat-Gill" (1997) and "LSG2" (2003). Levert was nominated for four Grammy Awards and posthumously won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance for "In My Songs" which was released after his death. His book "I Got Your Back: A Father and Son Keep It Real About Love, Fatherhood, Family, and Friendship" was published in 2007.

November 10, 2007 Augustus Freeman Hawkins, the first African American to represent California in Congress, died. Hawkins was born August 31, 1907 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California in 1931. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 1935 and served until 1963. That year, Hawkins was elected to the United States House of Representatives where he authored legislation to establish the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Job Training Partnership Act, the School Improvement Act, and the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act. Hawkins authored more than 300 state and federal laws over his career. He was also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. He retired from Congress in 1991. The Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park and Augustus F. Hawkins Mental Health Center in Los Angeles, California are named in his honor.

November 10, 2008 Zenzile Miriam Makeba, singer and civil rights activist, died. Makeba was born March 4, 1932 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She began her professional singing career in the 1950s with the Manhattan Brothers before she formed her own group, The Skylarks, singing a blend of jazz and traditional South African melodies. Makeba appeared in an anti-apartheid documentary "Come Back, Africa" in 1959 and her South African passport was revoked by the government in 1960. After testifying against apartheid before the United Nations in 1963, her South African citizenship and right to return to the country were revoked. Makeba and Harry Belafonte won the 1966 Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording for "An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba" which dealt with the political plight of Black South Africans under apartheid. Other albums by Makeba include "The Magic of Makeba" (1965), "Eyes on Tomorrow" (1991), and "Reflecting" (2004). Makeba published her autobiography "Makeba: My Story" in 1987 and starred in the movie "Sarafina" in 1992. Makeba won the Dag Hammarskjold Peace Prize in 1986 and was awarded the Gold Otto Hahn Peace Medal in 2001 "for outstanding service to peace and international understanding."

​The first African American Associate Press Secretary to the president of the United States.

The first African American to portray a comic book superhero in a major motion picture.

Singer and civil rights activist.

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Today in Black History, 11/08/2015 | Eartha Mary Magdalene White

November 8, 1876 Eartha Mary Magdalene White, businesswoman and philanthropist, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. After high school, White attended the National Conservatory of Music and became an opera singer with the Oriental American Opera Company, the first African American opera company. After traveling throughout the United States and Europe, she returned to Florida and taught for 16 years. White and her mother founded the Colored Old Folks Home in 1902 which became the Eartha White Nursing Home and is now Eartha M. M. White Health Care, Inc. White was a licensed real estate broker, owned a dry goods store, a taxi company, and a steam laundry and was the first female employee of the Afro American Life Insurance Company. It is estimated that she accumulated more than $1 million in assets during her lifetime, using most of it for her humanitarian work. These included the Clara White Mission to serve daily meals to the needy, the Boy's Improvement Club to reduce delinquency, establishing Mercy Tuberculosis Hospital, a halfway house for alcoholics in recovery, a home for unwed mothers, an orphanage and adoption agency, and a program for released prisoners to help re-enter society. White was awarded the Lane Bryant Award for Volunteer Service in 1970 and appointed to the President's National Center for Voluntary Action in 1971. White died January 18, 1974. The Eartha M. M. White Memorial Art and Historical Resources Center in Jacksonville was dedicated December 17, 1978. The Eartha M. M. White Legacy Fund "works to encourage and grow giving among African Americans in Jacksonville in order to strengthen and sustain resources and institutions that are important to the community." 

November 8, 1865 Decatur Dorsey received the Congressional Medal of Honor, America's highest military decoration. Dorsey was born enslaved in 1836 in Howard County, Maryland. During the Civil War, he joined Company B of the 39th United States Colored Infantry Regiment in 1864 and was promoted to corporal less than two months after joining. On July 30, 1864, he took part in the Battle of the Crater in Petersburg, Virginia. During the battle, White Union soldiers were trapped in a crater by Confederate forces. Dorsey's division was ordered in to reinforce the attack and rescue the trapped soldiers. His citation reads, "Planted the colors on the Confederate works in advance of his regiment, and when the regiment was driven back to the Union works he carried the colors there and bravely rallied the men." During a second assault, the men of the 39th breached the Confederate works and engaged in hand to hand combat, capturing two hundred prisoners before withdrawing. Dorsey was subsequently promoted to first sergeant. After the war, Dorsey married and lived in Hoboken, New Jersey where he died July 10, 1891. A Decatur Dorsey Maryland Civil War Marker is located in Ellicott City, Maryland. 

November 8, 1904 Horace Mann Bond, historian, college administrator and social science researcher, was born in Nashville, Tennessee. Bond earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from Lincoln University in 1923 and his Master of Arts degree in 1926 and Ph. D. in education in 1936 from the University of Chicago. His dissertation on Black education in Alabama won the Rosenberger Prize in 1936 and was published in 1939. Bond taught at Langston, Fisk, and Dillard Universities while completing his doctorate. He was appointed the first president of Fort Valley State College (now University) in 1939 and served until 1945. Bond was appointed the first African American president of Lincoln University in 1945, a position he held until 1957. He provided research that helped support the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Bond later became dean of the School of Education and director of the Bureau of Educational and Social Research at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Bond died December 21, 1972. He authored several books, including "The Education of the Negro in the American Social Order" (1934) and "Education for Freedom: A History of Lincoln University" (1976). Bonds biography, "Black Scholar: Horace Mann Bond 1904-1972," was published in 1992. 

November 8, 1920 Esther Rolle, stage, film and television actress, was born in Pompano Beach, Florida. Rolle's earliest roles were on the stage, including "The Blacks" (1962), "Day of Absence" (1965), "Man Better Man" (1969), and "Don't Play Us Cheap" (1973). She is best known for her role as Florida Evans on the television situation comedies "Maude" (1972-1974) and "Good Times" (1974-1979). Rolle won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her role in "Summer of My German Soldier" in 1979. She also appeared in the films "I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings" (1979), "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989), and "My Fellow Americans" (1996). Rolle died November 17, 1998. 

November 8, 1938 Thomas Ernest "Satch" Sanders, hall of fame basketball player, was born in New York City. Sanders played college basketball at New York University where he was an All-American in 1960 and still holds the record for most rebounds in a season. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing in 1960 and that same year was selected by the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association Draft. Sanders played his entire 13 season professional career with the Celtics and won eight championships. His teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones are the only NBA players with more championship rings. Sanders retired in 1973 and the Celtics retired his uniform number 16 the same year. He coached the Harvard University basketball team from 1973 to 1977 and the Celtics from 1977 to 1978. Sanders served as a NBA vice president and director of player development, where he designed programs for new and veteran players trying to make the transition into and out of professional basketball, until 2005. He served on the boards of the NBA Legends Foundation, NBA Retired Player Association, New York University, and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Sanders was presented the 2007 John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award which is given annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame "to an individual who has contributed significantly to the sport of basketball" and he was inducted into the hall as a contributor in 2011. He is currently a motivational speaker. 

November 8, 1947 Minnie Julia Riperton, singer and songwriter, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Riperton received operatic vocal training as a teenager and was urged to study the classics. However, she became interested in rhythm and blues. Riperton's first solo album, "Come to My Garden," was released in 1970 and although commercially unsuccessful is now considered a masterpiece by music critics. The album "Perfect Angel" was released in 1974 and included the single "Lovin' You" which went to the top of the charts in the United States and number two in the United Kingdom. Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1976 and became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society in 1977. She was presented with the Society's Courage Award by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. Her final album, "Minnie," was released in 1979 and it included the single "Memory Lane" which many consider her greatest work. Riperton died July 12, 1979. 

November 8, 1952 Alfre Ette Woodard, film and television actress, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Woodard earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater from Boston University in 1974. She began her acting career on the stage and had her breakthrough role in "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf" (1977). Woodard made her film debut in "Remember My Name" (1978). Other film appearances include "Cross Creek" (1983), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, "Star Trek: First Contact" (1996), "Down in the Delta" (1998), "Beauty Shop" (2005), "Twelve Years a Slave" (2013), and "Mississippi Grind" (2015). She has also appeared in a number of television series, miniseries and movies for which she has been nominated for 18 Emmy Awards and won four, most recently the 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her appearance in the television series "The Practice." Woodard won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for "Nelson Mandala's Favorite African Folktales." She is co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa, an organization dedicated to advancing democracy and equality, and serves on the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. 

November 8, 1974 Ivory Joe Hunter, R&B singer, songwriter and pianist, died. Hunter was born October 10, 1914 in Kirbyville, Texas. He was a talented pianist by 13. He wrote and recorded his first song, "Blues at Sunrise," in the mid-1940s and it became a minor hit. His first R&B hits, "I Quit My Pretty Mama" and "Guess Who," were recorded in 1949 and he recorded "I Almost Lost My Mind" in 1950 and it topped the R&B charts. Hunter had recorded more than 100 songs by 1954. Hunter was also a prolific songwriter, writing more than 7,000 songs, including "My Wish Came True" and "Ain't That Loving You, Baby" which were recorded by Elvis Presley. 

November 8, 1999 Lester Bowie, hall of fame jazz trumpeter and composer, died. Bowie was born October 11, 1941 in Frederick, Maryland but raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He began studying the trumpet with his father who was a professional musician at five. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1966 and worked as a studio musician before forming the Art Ensemble of Chicago in 1968. They recorded 40 albums, including "Tutankhamun" (1969), "Urban Bushman" (1980), and "Urban Magic" (1997). He formed Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy in 1984 whose recordings include "I Only Have Eyes For You" (1985) and "The Fire This Time" (1992). Bowie lived and worked in Jamaica and Africa and recorded with Fela Kuti. In 2000, he was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. 

November 8, 2010 Mary Jane Manigault, seagrass basket maker, died. Manigault was born June 13, 1913 outside of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She learned the craft of coiled basketry from her parents and was weaving baskets good enough to sell when she was a little girl. Manigault received a National Heritage Fellowship, the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1984. Her baskets have been displayed at a number of museums, including the Santa Fe Folk Art Museum, the William Mathers Anthropology Museum at Indiana University, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History. 

November 8, 2012 A bronze statue of Donald Milford Payne, Sr., the first African American to represent New Jersey in Congress, was unveiled in Newark, New Jersey. Payne was born July 16, 1934 in Newark. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies from Seton Hall University in 1957. He became the first Black president of the National Council of Young Men Christian Associations in 1970 and was chairman of the World YMCA Refuge and Rehabilitation Committee from 1973 to 1981. Payne served on the Newark Municipal Council from 1982 to 1988. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1988 and served until his death March 6, 2012. He was a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Payne was active on issues related to Africa and a leading advocate for education. President George W. Bush appointed Payne as one of two members of Congress to serve as Congressional delegates to the United Nations in 2003 and reappointed him to an unprecedented second term in 2005. The Donald M. Payne, Sr. Global Foundation works "to continue the work of New Jersey's first African American Congressman who used his global influence to work towards eradicating health and education disparities, promote peace and youth development, and uplifting the human condition worldwide."

Singer, songwriter, and pianist.

Seagrass basket maker.

Film and television actress.

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Today in Black History, 11/07/2015 | Lawrence Douglas Wilder

​November 7, 1989 Lawrence Douglas Wilder became the first African American elected governor of a United States state. Wilder was born January 17, 1931 in Richmond, Virginia. He earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Virginia Union University in 1951 and served in the United States Army during the Korean War where he earned a Bronze Star for heroism. Wilder earned his Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law in 1959. He began his political career in 1969 by winning a special election for the Virginia State Senate where he served until he was elected lieutenant governor in 1985. During his tenure as governor, Wilder worked on crime and gun control initiatives and ordered state agencies and universities to divest themselves of any investments in South Africa because of its policy of apartheid in May, 1990, making Virginia the first southern state to take such action. Wilder left office in 1994 because of term limits and was elected Mayor of Richmond in 2004, a position he held until 2009. He serves as an adjunct professor in public policy at Virginia Commonwealth University. Wilder was awarded the 1990 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal. The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Government and Public Affairs, the Virginia Union University library, the Norfolk State University performing arts center, and a Hampton University dormitory are all named in his honor. Biographies of Wilder include "Hold Fast to Dreams: Doug Wilder's Life Story" (1989) and "Claiming the Dream: The Victorious Campaign of Douglas Wilder" (1990). Wilder published his memoir, "Son of Virginia: A Life in America's Political Arena," in 2015. 

November 7, 1775 Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation promising freedom to all enslaved Black men who escaped and fought for the British. Thousands of Black people escaped to the British, serving as orderlies, laborers, scouts and guides. Despite Dunmore's promise, the majority were not given their freedom. George Washington lifted the ban on Black men enlisting in the Continental Army in January, 1776 and at least 5,000 Black soldiers fought for the country in the American War of Independence. 

November 7, 1813 Joshua Bowen Smith, caterer and abolitionist, was born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Smith moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1836 to work as a headwaiter. Several years later, he started his own catering business and over the next 25 years accumulated considerable wealth catering for Black abolitionist organizations and Union soldiers during the Civil War. Smith worked for the abolitionist cause throughout his life. He also provided jobs for Black people that had escaped enslavement. Smith was the first African American member of the Saint Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons of Massachusetts. He also represented Cambridge, Massachusetts in the state legislature from 1873 to 1874. Smith died July 5, 1879. 

November 7, 1841 The Creole Slave Ship Revolt occurred when Madison Washington led a group of 19 enslaved Black men to take over the brig named Creole which was transporting 135 Black people from Virginia to New Orleans. Washington successfully had the ship taken to Nassau, The Bahamas where they were freed by the British. Frederick Douglass based his 1853 novella "The Heroic Slave" on Washington. 

November 7, 1885 Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, radio and television evangelist and businessman, was born in Buckroe Beach, Virginia but raised in Newport News, Virginia. During World War I, Michaux won contracts to supply food to the defense department. He was ordained a preacher in the Church of Christ in 1918 and established the first Black Church of God in Hopewell, Virginia. Michaux was arrested for holding racially integrated baptisms in 1922 but was able to successfully defend himself and was acquitted. He began to broadcast over the radio in 1929 and had an audience of 25 million by 1932. He had established a network of seven churches and was publishing a monthly newspaper with a circulation of 8,000 by 1945. Michaux had an activist ministry that assisted the poor, provided food and shelter to the homeless, and assisted in finding employment for the unemployed. The church also built one of the largest privately owned housing developments for African Americans, the 594-unit Mayfair Mansions in Washington, D. C. The development was listed on the National Register of Historic Places November 1, 1989. Michaux died October 20, 1969. His biography, "About My Father's Business: The Life of Elder Michaux," was published in 1981. 

November 7, 1909 The Knights of Peter Claver, Inc. and Ladies Auxiliary, the largest African American lay Catholic organization, was founded in Mobile, Alabama by four Josephite priests and three Catholic laymen. The organization provides an opportunity for all parishioners to be actively involved in their faith by living the message, including support for organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the United Negro College Fund, and Xavier University in New Orleans. The Order is named after St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest who ministered to enslaved Africans in South America in the 1600s. Today the organization is active in 34 states and is a member of the worldwide International Alliance of Catholic Knights. 

November 7, 1909 Ruby Hurley, civil rights leader known as the "queen of civil rights," was born in Washington, D. C. Hurley graduated from Miner Teachers College and Robert H. Terrell Law School. She served on the committee that organized the 1939 concert by Marian Anderson on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after she was barred from performing at Constitution Hall. Hurley joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1940 and served as national youth secretary from 1943 to 1950. The number of youth councils and college chapters increased from 86 to 280 during her tenure. She moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1951 to establish the first permanent NAACP office in the Deep South. She became regional secretary of the NAACP's Southeast Regional Office the next year and in that capacity assisted in the investigation of the murder of Emmett Till and the legal case of Autherine Lucy to attend the University of Alabama. Because of these activities and others, Hurley was forced to flee Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia in 1956. There, she established a NAACP regional office and continued her civil rights work. She retired in 1978. Hurley died August 9, 1980. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp with Hurley and Ella Baker in 2009. The Chattanooga-Hamilton County NAACP annually host the Ruby Hurley Image Awards. 

November 7, 1942 Lelia Foley-Davis, the first African American woman elected mayor of a city in the United States, was born in Taft, Oklahoma. At the time Foley-Davis ran for office, she was a divorced mother of five surviving on welfare. She was elected Mayor of Taft April 16, 1973. She lost the position in the 1980s but regained it in 2000 and continues to serve as mayor. Foley-Davis was named Oklahoma Woman of the Year in 1974 and was awarded a plaque by President Jimmy Carter as one of America's Ten Outstanding Women in 1975. 

November 7, 1946 Milton Lee Olive, III, the first African American Congressional Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Olive enlisted in the United States Army at 17 and was serving as a private first class in Vietnam by 1965. On October 22, 1965, his actions earned him the medal, America's highest military decoration. His citation partially reads, "Pfc. Olive was a member of the 3rd Platoon of Company B, as it moved through the jungle to find the Viet Cong operating in the area. Although the platoon was subjected to a heavy volume of enemy gunfire and pinned down temporarily, it retaliated by assaulting the Viet Cong positions, causing the enemy to flee. As the platoon pursued the insurgents, Pfc. Olive and four other soldiers were moving through the jungle together when a grenade was thrown into their midst. Pfc. Olive saw the grenade, and then saved the lives of his fellow soldiers at the sacrifice of his own by grabbing the grenade in his hand and falling on it to absorb the blast with his body. Through his bravery , unhesitating actions, and complete disregard for his safety, he prevented additional loss of life or injury to the members of his platoon." President Lyndon B. Johnson presented the medal to Olive's father April 21, 1966. The City of Chicago recognized him by naming Olive Park on Lake Michigan in his honor in 1979. The Milton L. Olive Middle School in Long Island, New York is also named in his honor. 

November 7, 1949 Vertner Woodson Tandy, architect and one of the founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, died. Tandy was born May 17, 1885 in Lexington, Kentucky. Tandy was one of the seven founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Cornell University in 1906, the first African American Greek letter fraternity. He earned his bachelor's degree in architecture from Cornell in 1909 and became the State of New York's first Black registered architect. Tandy's most famous commission was Villa Lewaro, the mansion of millionaire Madam C. J. Walker, which was designated a National Historic Landmark May 11, 1976. Other works include the Ivey Delph Apartments, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places January 20, 2005, and St. Phillip's Episcopal Church. Tandy was also the first African American to pass the military commissioning examination and was commissioned first lieutenant in the New York State National Guard. A Kentucky Historical Marker honoring Tandy is located in Lexington. 

November 7, 1950 Alexa Irene Canady, the first African American female neurosurgeon, was born in Lansing, Michigan. Canady earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1971 and her Medical Degree, cum laude, in 1975 from the University of Michigan. She became the first Black female to enter the field of neurosurgery as a physician in training in 1976. Canady joined the staff of Children's Hospital of Michigan in 1983 and was head of the neurosurgery department and performing a dozen surgeries a week by 1987. Her areas of expertise included cranio-facial abnormalities, hydrocephalus, tumors of the brain, and congenital spine abnormalities. Canady began teaching at the Wayne State University Medical School in 1985 and became professor of neurosurgery in 1997. Canady retired in 2001. She was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1989 and was named Woman of the Year by the American Women's Medical Association in 1993. Canady was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the University of Detroit-Mercy in 1997, an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Southern Connecticut in 1999, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Roosevelt University in 2014. 

November 7, 1977 Willis Richardson, playwright, died. Richardson was born November 5, 1889 in Wilmington, North Carolina but raised in Washington, D. C. Richardson staged his first play, "The Deacon's Awakening," in 1921. He was the first African American playwright to have a non-musical production on Broadway in 1923 with "The Chip Woman's Fortune." This was followed by "Mortgaged" (1923), "The Broken Banjo" (1925), and "Bootblack Lover" (1926). The last two plays were awarded the Amy Spingarn Prize for Art and Literature. Richardson edited the anthology "Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro" in 1930 and co-edited "Negro History in Thirteen Plays" in 1935. He was posthumously awarded the Audience Development Committee (AUDELCO) prize for his contribution to American theater. 

November 7, 1993 Adelaide Hall, jazz singer and actress, died. Hall was born October 20, 1901 in Brooklyn, New York. The daughter of a music teacher, she attended the Pratt Institute. She began her stage career in 1921 as a chorus girl in the Broadway musical "Shuffle Along." This was followed by appearances in a number of Black musicals, including "Chocolate Kiddies" (1925) and "Desires of 1927" (1927). Hall did several recordings with Duke Ellington in 1927 that were worldwide hits. She followed that with starring roles on Broadway in "Blackbirds of 1928" (1928) and "Brown Buddies" (1930). She embarked on a tour of the United States and Europe in 1931 and performed for an estimated one million people. Hall lived and performed in Paris, France from 1935 to 1938. She went to London, England in 1938 to star in "The Sun Never Sets" and remained there until her death. Hall was the first Black artist to have a long-term contract with the British Broadcasting Company, had her own radio series, and was one of the highest paid entertainers in the country. Her biography, "Underneath a Harlem Moon: The Harlem to Paris Years of Adelaide Hall," was published in 2003. 

November 7, 2006 Deval Patrick was elected the first African American Governor of Massachusetts and the second African American governor in the United States. Patrick was born July 31, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois. While in middle school, he was referred to A Better Chance, a national organization for developing leaders among academically gifted students of color. Patrick earned his Bachelor of Science degree in English and American literature from Harvard College in 1978 and his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1982. He worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund from 1984 to 1986 and was in private practice from 1986 to 1994. Patrick was appointed assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division in 1994. In this role, he ensured that federal laws banning discrimination were enforced. He also oversaw the investigation into a series of church bombings in the South. He returned to private law practice in Boston, Massachusetts in 1997 and served as executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary for Coca-Cola Company from 2000 to 2004. Patrick was reelected to a second term as governor in 2010. He did not seek reelection in 2014. During his time in office, he made achieving world-class public education and gun control major priorities. Patrick published his autobiography, "A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life," in 2011. The State of Illinois named a street near where Patrick grew up Deval Patrick Way in 2013 and he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University in 2015. 

November 7, 2011 Joseph Billy "Smokin' Joe" Frazier, hall of fame boxer, died. Frazier was born January 12, 1944 in Beaufort, South Carolina. He won the Gold medal in the heavyweight boxing division at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games and turned professional in 1965. He won the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship in 1970 and held the title until 1973. Frazier is most remembered for his three epic bouts with Muhammad Ali, including the "Thrilla in Manila. Frazier retired from boxing in 1976 with a record of 32 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw. After retiring, Frazier trained fighters at his gym in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and published his autobiography, "Smokin' Joe: The Autobiography of a Heavyweight Champion of the World, Smokin' Joe Frazier," in 1996.

The largest African American lay Catholic organization.

​The "Queen of civil rights."

​Led by Madison Washington. 

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Today in Black History, 11/06/2015 | Derrick Albert Bell, Jr.

November 6, 1930 Derrick Albert Bell, Jr., the first tenured African American professor of law at Harvard University and the originator of Critical Race Theory, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Duquesne University in 1952. After serving in the United States Army in Korea from 1952 to 1954, Bell earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1957. After graduating, he joined the Civil Rights Division of the U. S. Justice Department. Bell was asked to resign his membership in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1959 because it was thought that his objectivity might be compromised. Rather than give up his membership, he quit the job. He then joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund where he supervised more than 300 school desegregation cases, including leading the effort to secure admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi. Bell was hired to teach at Harvard Law School in 1969 and became their first Black tenured professor in 1971. He became dean of the University of Oregon School of Law in 1980 but resigned in 1985 over a dispute about faculty diversity. He returned to Harvard in 1986 but took an extended leave in 1990 over hiring practices at the university. He then became a visiting professor at New York University. Bell died October 5, 2011. Bell authored several books, including "Race, Racism and American Law" (1973) and "The Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism" (1992). 

November 6, 1746 Absalom Jones, abolitionist and clergyman, was born enslaved in Milford, Delaware. Jones had bought his and his family's freedom by 1785. Together with Richard Allen, he was one of the first African Americans licensed to preach by the Methodist Church. They founded the Free African Society, conceived as a non-denominational mutual aid society to help newly freed enslaved people in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787. Jones founded the African Church of Philadelphia in 1792 and it opened its doors July 17, 1794 as the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, the first Black church in Philadelphia. Jones was ordained as the first African American priest in the Episcopal Church in 1804. Jones died February 13, 1818. He is listed on the Episcopal calendar of saints and blessed under the date of his decease. The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center at the Atlanta University Center and the Absalom Jones Senior Center in Wilmington, Delaware are named in his honor. 

November 6, 1814 William Wells Brown, abolitionist, novelist, playwright and historian, was born enslaved near Lexington, Kentucky. He successfully escaped to freedom January 1, 1834. Brown served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad from 1836 to 1845 ferrying escaping previously enslaved people to Canada. Brown was one of the most prolific writers of his time. He published "Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave, Written by Himself" in 1847. His first novel, "Clotel, or, The President's Daughter: a Narrative of Slave Life in the United States," is credited as being the first novel written by an African American. Brown is also credited as the first published African American playwright having written "Experience: or, How to Give a Northern Man a Backbone" (1856) and "The Escape: or, A Leap for Freedom" (1858). Brown also wrote several historical works including "The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements" (1863) and "The Negro in the American Revolution" (1867). Brown died November 6, 1884. The William Wells Brown Elementary School and the William Wells Brown Community Center in Lexington are named in his honor. "William Wells Brown: clotel & Other Writings" was published in 2014. 

November 6, 1858 Samuel Eli Cornish, evangelist, social activist and journalist, died. Cornish was born in 1795 in Sussex County, Delaware. He was ordained in the New York Presbytery as an evangelist in 1822 and over the next 25 years served several churches. He also was a member of the executive committee of the New York City Vigilance Committee, vice president of the American Moral Reform Society, and editor of The Colored American. He and John Russwurm started Freedom's Journal, the first African American newspaper in the United States, March 16, 1827. The first issue of the journal stated, "We wish to plead our own cause. Too long others have spoken for us. Too long has the public been deceived by misrepresentations in things that concern us dearly." Cornish was a co-founder of the Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. 

November 6, 1880 George Coleman Poage, the first African American to win a medal at the Olympic Games, was born in Hannibal, Missouri but raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 1899, Poage was the first African American to graduate from La Crosse High School in 1899 and was the best athlete and salutatorian of his class. The following year, he became the first Black athlete to run at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Poage earned his bachelor's degree in history from the university in 1903 and returned the next year for graduate studies. He was the first African American Big Ten Conference individual track champion in 1904, winning the 440-yard dash and the 220-yard hurdles. That same year, Poage won the Bronze medals in the 220-yard and 440-yard hurdles at the St. Louis Summer Olympic Games. After the Olympics, Poage taught high school English for ten years before joining the United States Postal Service in 1924 where he served as a postal clerk for nearly 30 years. Poage died April 11, 1962. "George Coleman Poage: The La Crosse, Wisconsin Years: 1885-1904" was published in 1985. 

November 6, 1888 Robert N. Hyde of Des Moines, Iowa received patent number 392,205 for a composition for cleaning and preserving carpets. His composition consisted of one gallon of distilled water, a half-pound of pulverized borax, two pounds of soluble soap, six ounces of aqua-ammonia, two ounces of bay-rum, a half-ounce of oil of sassafras, and two ounces of alcohol. One part of the composition was mixed with two parts distilled water, heated, and applied to the carpet. This combination cleaned the carpet and preserved it from moths. Nothing else is known of Hyde's life.  

November 6, 1892 James Sidney Hinton, the first Black member of the Indiana State Legislature, died. Hinton was born December 25, 1834 in North Carolina. He moved with his parents to Terre Haute, Indiana in 1848 and worked as a barber. When the Civil War started, he volunteered for the Union Army, was promoted to second lieutenant, and actively recruited other African Americans. After the war, he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana and was elected a delegate to the 1872 Republican National Convention. Hinton was later appointed a trustee of Indiana's Wabash and Erie Canal Fund, the first African American to hold a state office. He was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1880 and served one term. Throughout his political career, Hinton continued to work as a barber. A bust of Hinton was unveiled at the Indiana Statehouse January 16, 2014. 

November 6, 1901 Juanita Hall, musical theater and film actress, was born in Keyport, New Jersey. After receiving classical training at Julliard School, she became a leading Broadway performer. She performed the role of Bloody Mary, a Pacific Islander, in the musical "South Pacific" for 1,925 performances on Broadway. She was the first African American to win the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the play in 1950. She reprised the role in the 1958 film version of "South Pacific." She also performed on Broadway in "Flower Drum Song" as a Chinese American. Hall died February 28, 1968. 

November 6, 1919 Charles "Chuck" Green, hall of fame tap dancer, was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia. Green started dancing as a child and would stick bottle caps on his bare feet and tap dance on the streets for money. He was brought to New York City to study tap dancing at nine. Green formed a partnership with childhood friend James Walker and called themselves Chuck and Chuckles. They toured the United States, Europe, and Australia through the 1930s and early 1940s. The act broke up when Green was committed to a mental institution in 1944. He was released in 1959 and returned to performing on stage and television. He continued to perform through the 1980s and began teaching a weekly tap class in 1987. Green died March 7, 1997. He was posthumously inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2003. 

November 6, 1947 George Lawrence "Larry" James, hall of fame track and field athlete, was born in Mount Pleasant, New York. James started running track in the seventh grade and was a double medalist at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympic Games, winning the Silver medal in the 400 meter race and the Gold medal as part to the 4 by 400 meter relay team which set a world record which lasted until 1992. James earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Villanova University in 1970 and became dean of Athletics and Recreational Programs and Services at Richard Stockton College in 1972, a position he held for 28 years. James earned his Master of Arts degree in public policy from Rutgers University in 1987. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2003. James died November 6, 2008. The soccer and track and field stadium at Richard Stockton College is named in his honor. 

November 6, 1969 Colson Whitehead, author and educator, was born in New York City. Whitehead earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1991. He published his first novel, "The Institutionist" in 1999 and Esquire magazine named it the best first novel of the year. Other books by Whitehead include "The Colossus of New York" (2003), "Sag Harbor" (2009), and "The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death" (2014). Whitehead has taught at a number of institutions, including Princeton University, Brooklyn College, and the University of Wyoming. He received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "Genius" Award in 2002. 

November 6, 1972 Thandiwe Adjewa "Thandie" Newton, actress, was born in Zambia but raised in London, England. Newton earned her bachelor's degree in anthropology from Cambridge University in 1994. She made her film debut in "Flirting" (1991) and gained international recognition for her role as Sally Hemings in the film "Jefferson in Paris" (1995). Since that time she has been very active, appearing on the screen regularly in films including "Beloved" (1998), "Mission Impossible II" (2000), "Crash" (2004), "The Pursuit of Happiness" (2006), "W" (2008), "For Colored Girls" (2010), and "Half of a Yellow Sun" (2013). 

November 6, 1998 Stan Wright, hall of fame track and field coach, died. Wright was born August 11, 1921 in Englewood, New Jersey. He earned his bachelor's degree from Springfield College and his master's degree in education from Columbia University. Wright began his coaching career at Texas Southern University in 1950. The TSU "Flying Tigers" became nationally known for their success at major track meets. Wright served as head coach at Western Illinois University from 1967 to 1969 and held the same position at Sacramento State University from 1969 to 1979. He also served as athletic director at Fairleigh Dickinson University from 1979 to 1985. At the request of the United States State Department, Wright coached the Singapore track team at the 1962 Asian Games and Malaysia at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. He became the first Black head coach of a U. S. national track team in 1966 and was assistant coach in charge of sprinters for the U. S. Olympic team in 1968 and 1972. Wright also served as chairman of The Athletic Congress Budget and Finance Committee from 1980 to 1989 and treasurer from 1989 to 1992. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1993. His biography, "Stan Wright, Track Coach: Forty Years in the Good Old Boy Network-The Story of an African American Pioneer," was published in 2005. 

November 6, 1998 The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark District. The site commemorates the contributions of African American airmen during World War II. The field was named for former Tuskegee Institute principal Robert Russa Moton. It was the only flight training facility for African American pilot candidates in the United States Army Air Corps. More than 1,000 Black aviators were trained for the war effort between 1941 and 1945. Moton Field was closed in 1946. The Hangar One Museum is located at the site and is open to the public.

​Was listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The First African American member of the Indiana State Legislature. 

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