Today in Black History – June 1



*       Today in Black History - June 1	      *

1835 - The Fifth National Negro Convention recommends that Blacks 
	remove the word "African" from the titles of their 
	organizations and discontinue referring to themselves as 

1843 - Sojourner Truth leaves New York and begins her career as an 
	anti-slavery activist.

1868 - The Texas constitutional convention convenes in Austin with 
	eighty-one whites and nine African Americans in attendance.
1868 - The Florida General Assembly meets in Tallahassee with 
	fifty-seven whites and nineteen African Americans in 

1868 - Solomon George Washington Dill, white ally of African 
	American Republicans, is assassinated in his home by white
	terrorists. Dill had allegedly made "incendiary speeches" 
	to South Carolina African Americans.

1921 - A major race riot occurs in the Greenwood section of Tulsa, 
	Oklahoma. Twenty-one whites and sixty African Americans 
	will be killed according to some sources. The destruction 
	caused in the area referred to as "Black Wall Street," 
	prompts the first American Red Cross response to a man-
	made disaster. The Red Cross will report that 1115 houses 
	and businesses belonging to African Americans were burned 
	down, and another 314 were looted. Their statistics will 
	also show that 300 persons were killed, a much higher 
	figure than chronicled by other historical sources. For 
	more information about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, go to

1921 - Paul Raymond Jones is born in Bessemer, Alabama. He will 
	become a major collector of African American art. During the 
	early 1960’s, he will decide to purchase his first three 
	paintings forming the beginning of his collection. They were 
	by artists, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, and Chagall. After 
	collecting for a couple of years, he will realize that African
	American art was “abundant and affordable” yet hardly ever 
	represented in the collections of museums. As the years pass, 
	his collection of African American art and his reputation will
	grow. His collection will be featured at several different 
	museums over the course of his lifetime. Currently, the Paul R.
	Jones Collection resides at the University of Delaware where it
	is a tool to educate and foster enjoyment. The University of
	Alabama will also establish an art collection in his name after 
	receiving some 1,700 pieces valued at $5 million in 2008. He
	will join the ancestors on January 26, 2010.

1935 - Frederick Eikerenkoetter is born in Ridgeland, South 
	Carolina. He will receive a B.A. in Theology from the 
	American Bible College in Chicago, Illinois in 1955 and 
	become a minister better known as "Reverend Ike." He will 
	be the first African American minister with a television 
	show and will report a following of close to 7,000,000 by 

1937 - Morgan Freeman is born in Memphis, Tennessee.  Making his 
	acting debut in an all African American cast of "Hello 
	Dolly" in 1968, Freeman will also have a major role in the 
	television program "The Electric Company" before breaking 
	into movies.  He will receive an Academy Award nomination 
	for his role in "Street Smart," and star in "Clean and 
	Sober" and Lean on Me."  He will be nominated again for a 
	supporting role in "Glory" and for his starring role in 
	"Driving Miss Daisy." He will make his directing debut in 
	1993 with the film, "Bopha," a drama set in South Africa 
	under the policy of apartheid.

1941 - The first African American tank battalion, the 758th, is 

1942 - The Marine Corps begins enlistment of African Americans at 
	Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

1948 - Johnny Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson joins the ancestors in 
	Chicago, Illinois at the age of 34 after being murdered on 
	the front steps of his home. He was a master of the blues 
	harmonica and transformed the instrument from a novelty 
	into a major component of Chicago-style blues. He will be 
	inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1980.
1966 - Approximately 2,400 persons attend a White House Conference 
	on Civil Rights.

1973 - WGPR-TV (Channel 62) in Detroit, Michigan, is granted a 
	permit to operate.  It is the first television station 
	owned by African Americans.

1997 - Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X, is fatally burned in a 
	fire set by her 12-year-old grandson in her Yonkers, New 
	York, apartment.

This historic information is brought to us by Munirah Chronicle.
Munirah Chronicle is edited by Rene' A. Perry

November 18th in Black History

Today in Black History – November 18          *

1797 – Abolitionist and orator, Sojourner Truth, is born a
New York slave on the plantation of Johannes
Hardenbergh.  Her given name is Isabelle VanWagener
(some references use the name Isabelle Baumfree).
She will walk away from her last owner one year
prior to being freed by a New York law in 1827, which
proclaimed that all slaves twenty-eight years of age
and over were to be freed.   Several years later, in
response to what she describes as a command from God,
she becomes an itinerant preacher and takes the name
Sojourner Truth.  Among her most memorable appearances
will be at an 1851 women’s rights conference in Akron,
Ohio.  In her famous “Ain’t I a woman?” speech she
forcefully attacks the hypocrisies of organized
religion, white privilege and everything in between.

1900 – Howard Thurman is born in Daytona Beach, Florida. A
theologian who studied at Morehouse with Martin L.
King, Sr., he will found the interracial Church of
Fellowship of All Peoples. The first African American
to hold a full-time faculty position at Boston
University (in 1953), Dr. Thurman will write 22 books
and become widely regarded as one of the greatest
spiritual leaders of the 20th century. He will join the
ancestors on April 10, 1981.

1936 – John Henry Kendricks is born in Detroit, Michigan.  He will
become a prolific songwriter as well as a major rhythm
and blues singer better known as Hank Ballard. He will
perform with his group, The Midnighters, and make the
following songs popular: “There’s A Thrill Upon The Hill”
(Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go), “The Twist”(made famous
later by Chubby Checker), “Finger Poppin’ Time”, “Work with
Me Annie”, “Sexy Ways”, and “Annie Had a Baby”. He will be
enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. He
will join the ancestors on March 2, 2003.

1949 – Jackie Robinson, of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is named the
National League’s Most Valuable Player.

1956 – Harold Warren Moon, professional football player
(Minnesota Vikings, Houston Oilers, and Seattle Seahawks
quarterback), is born in Los Angeles, California. He will
be the first undrafted quarterback and first African
American quarterback to be elected to the Football Hall
of Fame in 2006.

1964 – The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar
Hoover, describes Martin Luther King as a “most
notorious liar”.  This statement is indicative of the
agency head’s dislike of the civil rights leader.

1969 – The National Association of Health Services Executives is
incorporated.  NAHSE’s goal is to elevate the quality of
health-care services rendered to poor and disadvantaged

1975 – Calvin Murphy of the Houston Rockets, ends the NBA free
throw streak at 58 games.

1977 – Robert Edward Chambliss, a former KKK member, is
convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the
1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in
Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four African American
teenage girls.

1978 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Ambassador
Andrew J. Young “in recognition of the deftness with
which he has handled relations between this nation and
other countries” and “for his major role in raising the
consciousness of American citizens to the significance
in world affairs of the massive African continent.”

1980 – Wally “Famous” Amos’ signature Panama hat and embroidered
shirt are donated to the National Museum of American
History’s Business Americana collection.  It is the
first memorabilia added to the collection by an African
American entrepreneur and recognizes the achievement of
Amos, who built his company from a mom-and-pop
enterprise to a $250 million cookie manufacturing

1983 – “Sweet Honey in the Rock,” a capella singers, perform
their 10th anniversary reunion concert in Washington, DC.

1994 – Bandleader Cab Calloway joins the ancestors in Hockessin,
Delaware, at age 86.

Happy Holidays

I’m glad the Christmas holiday is over and the adult holiday (New Year’s Eve) will begin soon but until then I would like to kick off my shoes savor all my hard work in the event of Christmas and all that entails.  Women do a lot to make the season pop.

The McGhees
The McGhees

So, I have taken off my Santa hat, my magic wand is resting in my lap and the stress of the holidays is slowly ebbing into the distance.  In my family, we get together to share a delicious meal, play some games and just enjoy each others company.  I enjoy some members more than others.  Unfortunately, it won’t be long that everyday life will begin with the first work day after the holiday, whether it’s the next day or next week.  Until then, my feet are up, back on my meds on the regular and thinking how to incorporate walking into my plans for a healthy new year.

Happy Holidays!!

Christmas Memories

Christmas is a special time of the year for families.  College students head home for holiday break.  It’s the one break that college students are expected home. Soldiers are heading home to celebrate with family and friends. Folks near and far pack up to travel to that awesome place called home.  And, this is the time of year that folks feel the most charitable and full of love.  The one thing that can be said about Black folks at this time of year is we are willing to make a way for our children to have a wonderful Christmas. Christmas was always a special time of the year since I was a young child.

I was partial raised in my grandfather’s house and enjoyed the safe and loving environment of his home. At Christmas, aunts and uncles would send packages of presents and some would visit. The house was full of love, laughter and the smell of grandma’s Christmas dinner cooking. And, I can’t forget the snow.

There were lots and lots of snow to sled ride, make snow angels, snow ball battles and build caves. After hours of playing in the snow, we would go inside and peel off our snow caked hat, gloves, boots and wet clothes.  Then, we would be called to sit at the kitchen table with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.  We always had our own bag of goodies with our name on it under the tree.  I believe my mother and grandmother would put candy, nuts, fruit, and cookies in a bag for each of us kids to keep us out of the fruit bowl and candy dishes around the house.

It seemed that grown folks always had a lot to talk about that they didn’t want young ears to hear. So, you were always shushed out of the room.

It was a rule in my grandfather’s house that children should not be in the same room as adults when adults are drinking alcoholic beverages.  Heck, I don’t think the women in the house were in there either.  It seemed to be a “man” thing.  The women served the men if they needed ice or there was spill but they didn’t sit down and drink with them.  The women in the house congregated in the kitchen.

Just thinking of those times give me warm loving feeling of Christmas.  Now, it’s my turn to be charitable, loving and provide a wonderful Christmas for my grandchildren.

Labor Day – Day Off

Today is Labor Day.  I’m glad to be off.  So, instead of 5 days, I have 4 days this week to pretend that my Blackness doesn’t matter in my workplace.

 I like the gospel song by Donald Lawrence, “Encourage Yourself” and especially the  lines:
Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.
Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.
And no matter how you feel,
speak the word and you will be healed;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.

Isn’t that what we do everyday, encourage ourselves. I don’t care what color Black you are, brown, light, next to bright, or coal Black, your day will be a challenge.  Over the years, you get use to the stress of walking into work giving co-workers hellos and waves as greetings.  And other Blacks know and respond, “…have a good day.”  In other words, if someone is let go today I hope it’s not one of us.  We are going to receive the whispering of “you are Black” in voices that pretend your color doesn’t matter because that’s the proper thing to do in the workplace.  Whether you are working in a mall store, working on Wall Street, or in an office environment – large or small, you will need to encourage yourself.  And they wonder why a lot of Black folks have high blood pressure.

We are great at hiding our pain and hurt from folks.  I believe sometimes we hide it so long that we start to believe we are ok too. Prejudice attitudes that could be generational or plain red-neck “I’m better than you because I’m white.” can ruin a workday.  Yes they are still around they haven’t disappeared as some would have you believe.  Especially, the talented tenth among us who are part of the corporation’s executive staff, who have picked up the sword to push the belief we are a nation of color.  They are spreading the hype that this nation is not Black or white.  Since, we have a Black president we are in a new era in this country. Supposedly, we are a nation of color and a nation in the post-racial era.  Bullshit!!