* 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,
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.