January 9th – Today in Black History

*                 Today in Black History – January 9                 *

1866 – Fisk College is established in Nashville, Tennessee.  Rust
College is established in Holly Springs, Mississippi.
Lincoln University is established in Jefferson City,
Missouri.

1901 – Edward Mitchell Bannister joins the ancestors in Providence,
Rhode Island. Challenged to become an artist after reading a
newspaper article deriding African Americans’ ability to
produce art, he disproved that statement throughout a
distinguished art career.

1906 – Poet and author, Paul Laurence Dunbar, joins the ancestors
after succumbing to tuberculosis. Dunbar was so talented and
versatile that he succeeded in two worlds.  He was so adept
at writing verse in Black English that he became known as the
“poet of his people,” while also cultivating a white audience
that appreciated the brilliance and value of his work.
“Majors and Minors” (1895), Dunbar’s second collection of
verse, was a remarkable work containing some of his best poems
in both Black and standard English.  When the country’s
reigning literary critic, William Dean Howells reviewed
“Majors and Minors” favorably, Dunbar became famous.  And
Howells’ introduction in “Lyric of Lowly Life” (1896) helped
make Dunbar the most popular African American writer in
America at the time.

1914 – Phi Beta Sigma fraternity is founded at Howard University.

1935 – Earl G. Graves is born in Brooklyn, New York.  He will become
president and chief executive officer of Earl G. Graves, Ltd.,
the publisher of “Black Enterprise” magazine, a successful
entrepreneur, and one of the strongest advocates for
African American business.

1942 – Joe Louis knocks out Buddy Baer in the first round in the 20th
title defense of his world heavyweight title in New York City.

1946 – Lyric poet, Countee Cullen joins the ancestors in New York City
at the age of 42.  His several volumes of poetry include
“Color” (1925); “Copper Sun” (1927); “The Black Christ” (1929);
and “On These I Stand” (published posthumously, 1947), his
selection of poems by which he wished to be remembered.  Cullen
also wrote a novel dealing with life in Harlem, “One Way to
Heaven” (1931), and a children’s book, “The Lost Zoo” (1940).

1958 – The University of Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson scores 56 points
against Seton Hall University, whose team total is 54 points.

1965 – Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues is born in Baltimore, Maryland.  He will
become a high school standout at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High, on
same team that produced first round draft picks Reggie Williams
and the late Reggie Lewis along with former Hornets teammate
David Wingate.  He will play college basketball at Wake Forest
(where his jersey #14 will be retired) and become a NBA guard
with the Charlotte Hornets and Golden State Warriors.  All
these accomplishments and only five feet three inches tall.

1967 – The Georgia legislature, bowing to legal decisions and national
pressure, seats state Representative Julian Bond, a critic of
the Vietnam War.

1970 – After 140 years of unofficial racial discrimination, the Mormon
Church issues an official statement declaring that Blacks were
not yet to receive the priesthood “for reasons which we
believe are known to God, but which He has not made fully
known to man.”

1989 – Time, Inc. agrees to sell NYT Cable for $420 million to Comcast
Corporation, Lenfest Communications, and an investment group
led by African American entrepreneur J. Bruce Llewellyn.  It is
the largest cable TV acquisition by an African American.

Black Social Clubs or Bougie Clubs

When I was in my twenties I seen older folks, in their 40’s, becoming members or members of various social clubs. Black social clubs are local and national organizations that were created by those who may be considered the talented tenth. Locally(Pittsburgh), we have the likes of the FROGS (friendly rivalry often generates success),Jack and Jill is a national social club started in Philadelphia 1938, as well as the Links. These Black social clubs can be considered the upper class of Black society. These folks use to be chauffers, housekeeping staff or cooking staff of rich white folks. Now these groups have professionals in medicine, education , business and entertainment fields.

The FROGS is frogstrana Black men social group whose purpose is to have fun. The club founder, Wilbur C. Douglas named the club and registered the in name in Harrisburg, May 10 1910. The FROGS celebrate more than 100 years as a Black organization that has evolved into a upper class group membership. Today, as in the past, there are Pittsburghers and folks from all over the land who spend the end of July with the FROGS before departing on August vacations. Below is the club’s description of itself.

The traditions that evolved in the past 95 years that have made the FROGS Club who we are, will continue into the next millennium, and are being renewed with increasing vigor. We are not only about the business of having fun, but also about the business of reaching back and helping those not as fortunate as we. Friendly Rivalry Often Generates Success- FROGS.
Excerpt from https://www.blacktie-pittsburgh.com 2005.

Another Black organization, the Links, was founded by 2 Philadelphia Black women for Black women. I have gone to a couple of events given by a local group of Links. I felt I was the youngest one in the room by 20-30 years not wearing a fancy-showpiece hat. But what do you do when you are with your boyfriends’ mom. You have no choice but to suck it up and enjoy the event.

The Links, Incorporated founded in 1946, is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
Excerpt from http://www.linksinc.org

JJ-Color-LogoWe can’t talk about Black social clubs without talking about the Jack and Jill organization. It too was started by Black women who started a mother’s club of middle and upper middle class mothers who wanted to bring their children together to experience a variety of educational, social and cultural opportunities, which, due to segregation and racism, were not otherwise readily available to African American children, regardless of the socio-economic status of their parents. They plan age appropriate activities and events such as ski week-end, community service, pool parties, museums, theatre and college tours. And, here is the clincher, membership is by invitation only. Real Bougie!!

These folks may live in upper class neighborhoods with manicured lawns and country clubs but they can be found on Saturdays in urban barber and beauty shops and on Sundays in our urban Black churches getting their praise on before heading back to their piece of the pie in white suburbia.
We see you Black Bougie people, we are keeping our eye on you!!