Today in Black History – March 30
1869 – The 15th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, which
guarantees men, the right to vote regardless of “race, color
or previous condition of servitude.” Despite ratification
of the amendment, it will be almost 100 years before African
Americans become “universally” enfranchised. Editor’s Note:
The entire African American population of Washington DC
(approximately 300,000+ of the 550,000+ people who live
there) is still constitutionally denied any voting rights or
self-government in the United States. This is a gaping
exception to a so-called “universal” practice.
1923 – Zeta Phi Beta sorority is incorporated. It was founded on
January 16, 1920 at Howard University in Washington, DC.
1941 – The National Urban League presents a one-hour program over a
national radio network and urges equal participation for
blacks in the national defense program.
1946 – “St. Louis Woman” opens on Broadway. Based on a book by Arna
Bontemps and Countee Cullen from Bontemps’s novel “God Sends
Sunday,” the play brought wide attention to supporting
actress Pearl Bailey, who stopped the show nightly with her
renditions of “Legalize My Name” and “A Woman’s
1948 – Naomi Sims is born in Oxford, Mississippi. She will become a
trailblazing fashion model and founder of a beauty company
that will bear her name.
1960 – Eighteen students are suspended by Southern University for
participating in civil rights demonstrations. Southern
University students will rebel on March 31, boycotting
classes and requesting withdrawal slips. The rebellion will
collapse after the death of a professor from a heart attack.
1963 – Air Force Capt. Edward J. Dwight, Jr. is named to the fourth
class of aerospace research pilots at Edwards Air Force
Base, becoming the first African American candidate for
astronaut training. He will be dropped from the program in
1963 – Stanley Kirk Burrell is born in Oakland, California. He will
become a rapper known as “M.C. Hammer” and will come out in
1988 with the album, “Let’s Get It Started. He will be best
known for his hit, “U Can’t Touch This.”
1995 – Tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees, fleeing violence in
Burundi, begin a two-day trek to sanctuary in Tanzania.