* Today in Black History – April 7 *
1712 – A slave uprising in New York City results in the death of
nine whites. This is one of the first major revolt of
African slaves in the American colonies. After the
militia arrives, the uprising will be suppressed. As a
result of the action, twenty one slaves will be executed
and six others will commit suicide.
1867 – Johnson C. Smith University is founded in Charlotte, North
1872 – William Monroe Trotter is born in Chillicothe, Ohio. Editor
of the Boston “Guardian,” he will also be a militant civil
rights activist and adversary of Booker T. Washington and
his moderate politics.
1915 – Eleanora Fagan is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She will
become a jazz singer who will influence the course of
American popular singing, better known as Billie Holiday or
“Lady Day.” She will be best known for her songs, “Strange
Fruit,” “Lover Man,” and “God Bless the Child.” Although she
will enjoy limited popular appeal during her lifetime, her
impact on other singers will be profound. Troubled in life
by addiction, She will join the ancestors as a result of
drug and alcohol abuse on July 17,1959.
1922 – Ramon “Mongo” Santamaria is born in Havana, Cuba. He will
drop out of school to become a professional musician,
playing gigs at the legendary Tropicana Club in Havana. In
1950 Santamaria will move to New York, where he will hook
up with such Latin jazz greats as Perez Prado, Tito Puente
and Cal Tjader. In 1963 Santamaria will score his first Top
10 hit with the single “Watermelon Man,” written by then
bandmate Herbie Hancock. Santamaria will perform and record
steadily throughout the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. In 1977,
he will be awarded a Grammy for his album “Amancer.” In
1999 Rhino Records will release a double-CD retrospective
of Santamaria’s music, The Mongo Santamaria Anthology
1958-1995, culling his greatest work during those five
decades. He will be considered one of the most influential
percussionists of his generation. He will join the ancestors
in Miami, Florida on February 1, 2003.
1934 – William Monroe Trotter joins the ancestors in Boston,
Massachusetts at the age of sixty-two.
1938 – Trumpeter Frederick Dewayne “Freddie” Hubbard is born in
Indianapolis, Indiana. From a musical family, he will play
four instruments in his youth and will later play with “Slide”
Hampton, Quincy Jones, and Art Blakey. A leader of his own
band starting in the 1960’s, he will record the noteworthy
albums “Red Clay,” “First Light,” and the Grammy Award-winning
“Straight Life.” He will join the ancestors on
December 29, 2008.
1940 – The first U.S. stamp ever to honor an African American is
issued bearing the likeness of Booker T. Washington. His
likeness is on a 10-cent stamp.
1954 – Tony Dorsett is born in Rochester, Pennsylvania. He will
become a star football player at the University of
Pittsburgh, where he will win the Heisman Trophy in 1976.
He will then become the number one pick in the 1977 NFL
draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He will play in two Super Bowls,
five NFC championship games, four Pro Bowls, will be All-NFL
in 1981, and NFC rushing champion in 1982. His career totals
include 12,739 yards rushing, 398 receptions for 3,544 yards,
16,326 combined net yards, 90 touchdowns, and a record 99
yard run for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in
1983. He will end his career with the 1988 Denver Broncos.
He will be enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1994.
1994 – Civil war erupts in Rwanda, a day after a mysterious plane
crash claims the lives of the presidents of Rwanda and
Burundi. In the months that follow, hundreds of thousands of
minority Tutsi and Hutu intellectuals will be slaughtered.