Today in Black History 07/01/2015 | The Republic of Rwanda - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

Today in Black History 07/01/2015 | The Republic of Rwanda


  • July 1, 1868 Robert Allen Cole, composer, playwright and stage producer, was born in Athens, Georgia. As a child, Cole learned to play several instruments, including the banjo, piano, and cello. By 1891, he was a member of “The Creole Show,” eventually becoming a writer and stage manager for the show. After publishing his first songs in 1893, Cole established his own Black production company and produced “A Trip to Coontown,” thought to be the first musical entirely created and owned by Black showmen. That show premiered September 27, 1897 in South Amboy, New Jersey and toured off and on until 1901. Cole formed a partnership with J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson in the early 1900s which resulted in over 200 songs. They also wrote and produced two musicals, “The Shoe-Fly Regiment” (1907) and “The Red Moon” (1909). Shortly after, Cole’s health began to deteriorate and he drowned August 2, 1911 in what many believe to have been a suicide. His biography, “Bob Cole: His Life and His Legacy to Black Musical Theater,” was published in 1985.

  • July 1, 1877 Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr., the first African American general in the United States Army, was born in Washington, D. C. Davis entered military service in 1898 and over his fifty year career had many assignments, including several stints as professor of military science and tactics at Wilberforce University and Tuskegee University. Davis retired from the military July 20, 1948 in a public ceremony presided over by President Harry S. Truman. His United States military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal and the Bronze Star. His foreign awards and honors include the Croix de Guerre with Palm from France and the Grade of Commander of the Order of the Star of Africa from Liberia. Davis died November 26, 1970 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His biography, “America’s First Black General: Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. 1880 – 1970,” was published in 1989. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 1997. Davis’ name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History In Detroit, Michigan.
  • July 1, 1888 Benjamin Harrison Taylor, hall of fame Negro Baseball League player and manager, was born in Anderson, South Carolina. Taylor began playing professionally in 1913 and batted over .300 in all but one of the 16 seasons that he played. Taylor retired as a player in 1929 but continued to coach and manage until 1940. After retiring, he was a successful businessman. Taylor died January 24, 1953. He was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
  • July 1, 1893 Walter Francis White, journalist, author, and former executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was born in Atlanta, Georgia. White earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Atlanta University in 1916 and joined the staff of the NAACP in 1918. He was appointed executive secretary in 1931, a position he held until his death March 21, 1955. Under his leadership, NAACP membership quintupled to 500,000 and they set up the NAACP Legal Defense Fund which raised many legal challenges to segregation and disfranchisement. He also virtually authored President Harry S. Truman’s presidential order to desegregate the armed forces after World War II. White was awarded the 1937 NAACP Spingarn Medal. He authored a number of books, including “Fire in the Flint” (1924), “A Rising Wind” (1945), “How for the Promise Land” (1955), and his autobiography, “A Man Called White” (1948). Walter Francis White Elementary School in Atlanta is named in his honor. The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in 2009.
  • July 1, 1894 George Edward Chalmer Hayes, lawyer, was born in Richmond, Virginia. Hayes earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1915 and his law degree from Howard University School of Law in 1918. While at Howard, he attained one of the highest academic averages on record there. As a member of the District of Columbia Board of Education from 1945 to 1949, Hayes worked to desegregate the public schools in the capitol. He was the lead attorney in the 1954 Supreme Court case, Bolling v. Sharpe, in which the court decided that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment implicitly forbade most racial discrimination by the federal government. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Hayes to the District of Columbia Public Utilities Commission in 1955, the first African American to serve on the commission. The District of Columbia Bar Association named him to its Board of Directors in 1962, the first African American to hold office in that organization. Hayes died December 20, 1968.
  • July 1, 1899 Thomas Andrew Dorsey, hall of fame songwriter and the “Father of Gospel Music,” was born in Villa Rica, Georgia. Dorsey learned to play piano as a young man and was known for playing the blues in the 1920s. He is credited with composing more than 400 blues and jazz songs, including the 1928 hit “Tight Like That” which sold seven million copies. Dorsey began recording gospel music in the mid-1920s and became the music leader of two churches in the early 1930s. He wrote his most famous song, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” in 1932 and wrote “Peace in the Valley” in 1937. Dorsey was the first African American elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1979 and was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Living Hall of Fame in 1982. Dorsey died January 23, 1993. He was posthumously inducted into the Gennett Record Walk of Fame in 2007. “The Rise of Gospel Blues: The Music of Thomas Andrew Dorsey in the Urban Church” was published in 1992.
  • July 1, 1911 Lucile Harris Bluford, journalist and activist, was born in Salisbury, North Carolina but raised in Kansas City, Missouri. Bluford earned her bachelor’s degree, with high honors, from the University of Kansas in 1932 and began her journalism career. She joined the Kansas City Call, an African American owned newspaper, as a reporter and eventually advanced to editor and publisher. Bluford applied for admittance to the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1939 and was accepted. However when school officials learned that she was Black, they rescinded the admission. Bluford filed the first of several lawsuits against the school and the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in her favor in 1941 because no equal program was offered at the Black school in the state. Despite the ruling, Bluford did not attend the school. She went on to become a leading voice in the Kansas City civil rights movement and helped make the Call one of the most important Black newspapers in the country. The University of Missouri awarded Bluford an Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1984 and presented her an honorary doctorate degree in 1989. Bluford died June 13, 2003. The Lucile H. Bluford branch of the Kansas City Public Library System is named in her honor.
  • July 1, 1915 William James “Willie” Dixon, hall of fame blues musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer, was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Dixon was first introduced to the blues as a teenager while serving time on Mississippi prison farms. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1936 and took up boxing and won the Illinois State Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship. After four professional fights, Dixon quit boxing to pursue music. During World War II, he was imprisoned for ten months for resisting the draft as a conscientious objector. By 1951, he was an employee of Chess Records where he acted as producer, talent scout, session musician, and songwriter. Dixon ran his own record label from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s. He is considered one of the key figures in the creation of Chicago blues, working with Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Bo Didley, Koko Taylor, Little Milton, and others. Dixon became a tireless ambassador for the blues in his later years and founded the Blues Heaven Foundation to preserve the blue’s legacy and to secure copyrights and royalties for blues musicians who were exploited in the past. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and won the 1989 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Recording for his album “Hidden Charms.” Dixon died January 29, 1992. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Dixon published his autobiography, “I Am the Blues: The Willie Dixon Story,” in 1990.
  • July 1, 1917 The East St. Louis Riot was set off when a car occupied by White males drove through the Black area of East St. Louis and fired several shots into a group of Black residents. An hour later, police detectives drove through the same area and Black residents, assuming they were the original people, opened fire and killed the two detectives. Thousands of White people marched into the Black section of town, burning houses and shooting inhabitants as they tried to escape the flames. Several Black people were lynched. Police estimated that 100 Black people were killed and 6,000 were left homeless after their neighborhoods were burned. Ten thousand Black people marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City July 28, 1917 in silent protest of the riot. An account of the riot and its impact, “Never Been a Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked the Civil Rights Movement,” was published in 2008.
  • July 1, 1926 George Leslie Brown, one of the first two Black lieutenant-governors since Reconstruction, was born in Lawrence, Kansas. Brown earned his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1950. Following his graduation, he moved to Denver, Colorado where he worked as a reporter and later editor for the Denver Post, the first African American editor of a major daily newspaper in the Rocky Mountain region. Brown was elected to the Colorado State Senate in 1956 and served until 1974 when he was elected Lieutenant-Governor of Colorado, one of two African Americans elected lieutenant-governor on the same day. Brown served one term before joining the Grumman Corporation as a vice president in 1979. He was later promoted to senior vice president, the first African American corporate officer at a major United States aerospace company. Brown served as Grumman’s chief lobbyist in Washington, D. C. from 1985 to 1990. Brown died March 31, 2006.
  • July 1, 1929 Henry Lincoln Johnson, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, died penniless and without official recognition from the United States government. Johnson was born in 1897 in Alexandria, Virginia and moved to Albany, New York in his early teens. He enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1917, joining the all-Black New York National Guard unit which later became the 369th infantry Harlem Hellfighters. They were sent to France during World War I and put under the command of the French army. While on guard duty in the Argonne Forest May 14, 1918, Johnson and fellow African American Needham Roberts were attacked by about 20 German soldiers. Despite sustaining 21 separate wounds, Johnson used his rifle and a knife to repel the Germans, thereby rescuing a comrade from capture and saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. For their actions, Johnson and Roberts were the first American soldiers in World War I to receive the Croix de Guerre with Star and Gold Palm from the French government. Johnson was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1996 and the Distinguished Service Cross, the army’s second highest award, in 2003. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration, by President Barack H. Obama June 2, 2015. A monument was dedicated in his honor in Albany May 27, 1996 and a street was renamed Henry Johnson Boulevard. The Henry Johnson Charter School was dedicated in Albany in 2007.
  • July 1, 1935 James Cotton, hall of fame blues harmonica player and songwriter, was born in Tunica, Mississippi. As a young boy, Cotton was mentored by harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson II. Cotton began his professional career in the early 1950s in Howlin’ Wolf’s band. Around 1955, he began a 12 year stint with the Muddy Waters Band. He formed the James Cotton Blues Band in 1967 and they recorded “Live from Chicago Mr. Superharp Himself” (1986), “Take Me Back” (1987), and “Giant” (2010), all of which were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album, and “Deep in the Blues” (1996) which won the award. Cotton’s latest album is “Cotton Mouth Man” (2013). He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006.
  • July 1, 1942 Andrae Edward Crouch, hall of fame gospel singer, songwriter, record producer and pastor, was born in San Francisco, California. Crouch began to play the piano, write songs, and lead a choir as a teenager. He formed his first group, Church of God in Christ Singers, in 1960. He formed The Disciples in 1965 and they recorded their debut album, “Take The Message Everywhere,” in 1968. Other recordings by The Disciples include “Live in London” (1978) and “I’ll Be Thinking of You” (1979), both of which won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. The Disciples appeared on television, performed at Carnegie Hall, and toured throughout the world. They disbanded in 1979 and Crouch continued with a solo career. Solo recordings include “Don’t Give Up” (1981), which won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album, “Mercy” (1994), which won the Grammy Award for Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album, and “Live in Los Angeles” (2013). “Tribute: The Songs of Andrae Crouch,” which featured a range of artists performing his songs, won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. Crouch is credited with revolutionizing the sound of urban gospel music. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1998 and became the only living gospel artists to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004. Crouch died January 8, 2015.
  • July 1, 1953 Michael James Haynes, hall of fame football player, was born in Denison, Texas but raised in Los Angeles, California. Haynes played college football at Arizona State University where he was a two-time All-American. He was selected by the New England Patriots in the 1976 National Football League Draft and that year was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Over his 14 season professional career, Haynes was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and won the 1984 George S. Halas Trophy as the NFL’s Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. Haynes retired after the 1989 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
  • July 1, 1961 Frederick Carlton “Carl” Lewis, hall of fame track and field athlete, was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Lewis began to compete in the long jump at 13 and by his senior year in high school was one of the top long jumpers in the world. Days after graduating from high school in 1979, he broke the high school long jump record. By 1981, Lewis had emerged as a dominant sprinter and long jumper. That year, he won the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. He was named 1982 Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News. By the time he retired in 1997, Lewis had won 10 Olympic medals, including Gold medals in the 100 and 200 meter races and 4 by 100 meter relay and long jump at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games, Gold medals in the 100 meter race and long jump and the Silver medal in the 200 meter race at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games, Gold medals in the 4 by 100 meter relay and long jump at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games, and the Gold medal in the long jump at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games. In 1999, Lewis was voted Sportsman of the Century by the International Olympic Committee, World Athlete of the Century by the International Association of Athletics Federations, and Olympian of the Century by Sports Illustrated Magazine.  His alma mater, University of Houston named the Carl Lewis International Complex in his honor in 2000. Lewis was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2001. He has also appeared in a number of films and television productions. Lewis published his autobiography, “Inside Track: My Professional Life in Amateur Track and Field,” in 1990. Lewis owns a marketing and branding company.
  • July 1, 1962 Andre Braugher, actor, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Braugher earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from Stanford University in 1984 and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Julliard School in 1988 and was named the Most Outstanding Theater Student in his class. Braugher’s first movie role was in the 1989 film “Glory.” He also has appeared in the movies “City of Angels” (1998), “Poseidon” (2006) and “The Baytown Outlaws” (2012). Braugher appeared in the television series “Homicide: Life on the Street” from 1993 to 1998. For that role, he was twice nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and won the award in 1998. Braugher starred in the 2006 television mini-series “Thief” and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his performance. He recently starred in the television series “Men of a Certain Age” and was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for his role in that series in 2010 and 2011. Braugher currently stars in the television series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
  • July 1, 1962 The Republic of Burundi gained its independence from Belgium. Burundi is located in Eastern Africa and is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. It is approximately 10,745 square miles in size and the capital and largest city is Bujumbura. Burundi has a population of approximately 8,749,000 with 75% Christian and 20% practicing indigenous religious beliefs. The official languages are Kirundi and French.
  • July 1, 1968 August Martin, the first African American to pilot a commercial aircraft, died while trying to land in a rainstorm in Nigeria. Martin often used his vacation time to deliver supplies to the emerging nations of Africa. Martin was born August 31, 1919 in Los Angeles, California. He attended San Mateo Junior College and the University of California. While attending college, he gassed and washed airplanes to earn money for flying lessons. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he worked as a civilian flight instructor at Cornell University. Martin joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and became a Tuskegee Airman. However, World War II ended before he could be sent overseas. He worked in aircraft maintenance from 1946 to 1955 when he was hired by Seaboard World Airlines as the first Black captain of a regularly scheduled air carrier. He flew for Seaboard until his death. August Martin High School in New York City opened in 1971.
  • July 1, 1982 Lloyd Albert Quarterman, chemist and nuclear scientist, died. Quarterman was born May 31, 1918 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Augustine’s College in 1943. He was immediately hired by the War Department as a junior chemist to work on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb. During this time, he worked closely with Enrico Fermi and Albert Einstein. Quarterman was part of the team that isolated the isotope of uranium. At the completion of the project, he was recognized for “work essential to the production of the atomic bomb, thereby contributing to the successful conclusion of World War II.” After the war, Quarterman earned his Master of Science degree from Northwestern University in 1952. He returned to the Argonne National Laboratory and worked there until his death. Quarterman received an honorary Doctor of Science in Chemistry degree from St. Augustine in 1971.
  • July 1, 1985 Anne Pauline “Pauli” Murray, lawyer, teacher, writer, priest and civil and women’s rights activist, died. Murray was born November 20, 1910 in Baltimore, Maryland but raised in Durham, North Carolina. She 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 became 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 from Yale University in 1976 and became the first African American woman to become an Episcopal priest in 1977. She served in that capacity until her retirement in 1984. Her autobiography, “Song in a Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage,” was published posthumously in 1987. The Pauli Murray Human Relations Award was established by Orange County, North Carolina in 1990.
  • July 1, 1998 Emery Oakland Barnes, football player, social worker and politician, died. Barnes was born December 15, 1929 in New Orleans, Louisiana but raised in Portland, Oregon. He played college football for and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon. Barnes was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 1954 National Football League Draft but only played two games for them. He played for the British Columbia Lions in the Canadian Football League from 1961 to 1964. While playing, he earned his Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of British Columbia. Barnes worked as a social worker in Vancouver, British Columbia from 1964 to 1972. He was elected to the British Columbia legislature in 1972, one of the first Black people elected to the legislature. Barnes was re-elected four times and was elected speaker of the legislature in 1994, the first Black person to hold that position in any Canadian province. Barnes remained in the legislature until 1996 and during his tenure focused on issues related to worldwide social justice, human rights, and poverty. He also led the effort to establish the British Columbia Black Cultural Association and served as the first president. Emery Barnes Park in Vancouver is named in his honor.
  • July 1, 1999 Alford L. McMichael became the first African American sergeant major of the United States Marine Corps. McMichael was born February 24, 1952 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He enlisted in the marines in 1970 and served in a series of assignments until he was appointed director of the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy in 1989. He served in that capacity until 1991. After several other assignments, he was appointed the 14th sergeant major of the Marine Corps. McMichael held that post until 2003 when he was appointed the senior non-commissioned officer for Allied Command Operations. McMichael retired from the marines in 2006. He currently sits on the steering committee of the National Symposium for the Needs of Young Veterans. McMichael published his memoir, “Leadership: Achieving Life-Changing Success from Within,” in 2008.
  • July 1, 2005 Luther Ronzoni Vandross, R&B singer, songwriter, and producer, died. Vandross was born April 20, 1951 in New York City. He began playing the piano at three and was performing with groups in high school. He attended Western Michigan University for a year before dropping out to pursue a music career. Vandross primarily provided backup vocals for others and wrote and sang commercial jingles during the 1970s. He recorded his debut album, “Never Too Late,” in 1981 and in addition to the title track included the hit “A House is Not a Home.” Vandross followed this with a succession of hit albums, including “Forever, For Always, For Love” (1982), “Give Me the Reason” (1986), “Power of Love” (1991), and “Your Secret Love” (1996). He produced Aretha Franklin’s award winning album, “Jump To It” in 1982 and produced, wrote songs, and sang on Dionne Warwick’s “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye” album in 1983. Vandross released “Dance With My Father” in 2003 and it won four Grammy Awards, including the award for Song of the Year. During his career, Vandross sold over 25 million albums and won eight Grammy Awards, including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1991, 1992, 1997, and 2004. His biography, “Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross,” was published in 2004.
  • July 1, 2005 Renaldo “Obie” Benson, member of the hall of fame Four Tops, died. Benson was born June 14, 1936 in Detroit, Michigan. He and three friends formed a singing group called the Four Aims in 1954. Two years later, they changed their name to the Four Tops and signed with Motown Records in 1963. By the end of the decade, they had over a dozen hits, including “It’s The Same Old Song” (1965), “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” (1965), “Reach Out I’ll Be There” (1966), “Standing in the Shadow of Love” (1966), and “Bernadette” (1967). Benson also co-wrote “What’s Going On” which was a hit for Marvin Gaye in 1971 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a recording of “qualitative or historical significance.” The Four Tops have sold over 50 million records worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • July 1, 2009 Andree Layton Roaf, scientist, lawyer and jurist, died. Roaf was born March 31, 1941 in Nashville, Tennessee but raised in Muskegon, Michigan. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Michigan State University in 1962. Roaf pursued a career in the sciences for more than a decade before deciding to change careers in 1975 and entered the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas. Roaf earned her Juris Doctor degree, second in her class, in 1978 and went into private practice. She was appointed to the Arkansas Supreme Court January 17, 1995, the first African American woman to serve on that court. She served on the court until 2006. She became director of the Federal Office of Desegregation Monitoring in 2007 and supervised compliance of the public schools with desegregation mandates. Roaf held that position until her death.
  • July 1, 2013 William Herbert Gray III, former member of the United States House of Representatives and former President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, died. Gray was born August 20, 1941 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1963 and his Master of Divinity degree from Drew Theological Seminary in 1970. He succeeded his father as the senior minister at Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1972. Gray was elected to Congress in 1978 and served until his resignation in 1991. He was the first African American to chair the House Budget Committee and also the first to serve as majority whip. Gray served as president of the UNCF from 1991 to 2004 and as a special advisor to President William J. Clinton on Haitian affairs in 1994. Gray retired from Bright Hope in 2007. He served on the boards of several Fortune 500 companies, including Dell and Prudential Financial.
  • July 1, 2014 Walter Dean Myers, author of young adult literature, died. Myers was born Walter Milton Myers August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but raised in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of school and joined the United States Army at 17. After completing his military service, he worked at various jobs and began to write. His first published book, “Where Does the Day Go?,” won a Council on Interracial Books for Children Award. Myers published more than 100 books, including “The Scorpion” and “Somewhere in the Darkness,” which were runner-up in 1989 and 1993 for the Newbery Medal which recognizes the previous year’s “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children,” and “Monster” which was the inaugural winner of the Michael Printz Award for young adult literature in 2000. Myers received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement in writing for young adults in 1994 and was the inaugural recipient of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010. Also in 2010, he was the United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. He was named the Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in 2012.
  • July 1, 2014 Michelle Janine Howard became the first female four-star admiral in the United States Armed Services. Howard was born April 30, 1960 in Riverside, California. She graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1982 and earned her master’s degree in military arts and sciences from the army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998. She served on several ships before taking command of USS Rushmore March 12, 1999, the first African American woman to command a U. S. Navy ship. Howard also completed a number of shore assignments. She became the first African American woman to achieve three-star rank when she was promoted to vice-admiral August 24, 2012. Howard received the 1987 Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins Award, given annually to one woman officer for outstanding leadership.


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