* Today in Black History – September 25 *
1861 – The Secretary of the Navy authorizes the enlistment of
African Americans in the Union Navy. The enlistees could
achieve no rank higher than “boys” and receive pay of
one ration per day and $10 per month.
1886 – Peter “The Black Prince” Jackson wins the Australian
heavyweight title, becoming the very first man of
African descent to win a national boxing crown.
1911 – Eric Eustace Williams is born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and
Tobago. He will be educated at Queen’s Royal College in Port
of Spain, where he will excel at academics and football. He
will win an island scholarship in 1932, allowing him to
attend St Catherine’s Society, Oxford (which will subsequently
become St Catherine’s College, Oxford). In 1935, he will
receive first-class honours for his B.A in history, and be
ranked in first place among University of Oxford students
graduating in History in 1935. He will also represent the
university in football. In 1938 he will obtain his doctorate
from Oxford. His doctoral thesis will be titled “The Economic
Aspects of the Abolition of the Slave Trade and West Indian
Slavery,” and published as “Capitalism and Slavery” in 1944.
On January 15, 1956, he will inaugurate his own political
party, the People’s National Movement (PNM), which will take
Trinidad and Tobago into independence in 1962, and dominate
its post-colonial politics. He will serve as the first Prime
Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. He will serve in that office
from 1962 until his transition in 1981. He will be known as a
noted Caribbean historian, and be widely regarded as “The
Father of The Nation.” He will join the ancestors on March 29,
1924 – In a letter to his friend Alain Locke, Langston Hughes
writes “I’ve done a couple of new poems. I have no more
paper, so I’m sending you one on the back of this
letter.” The poem, “I, Too”, will be published two years
later and be among his most famous.
1951 – Robert Allen “Bob” McAdoo, Jr. is born in Greensboro, North
Carolina. He will become a one of the best-shooting big
men of all time in professional basketball. He will win
Rookie of the Year, a Most Valuable Player Award and three
consecutive scoring championships, all in his first four
years in the NBA. Over fourteen seasons, He will score
18,787 points and average 22.1 point per game. A five-time
NBA All Star, he will shoot .503 from the field and .754
from the line, scoring in double figures in all but one
season. He will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial
Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 and the College Basketball
Hall of Fame in 2006.
1957 – With 300 U.S. Army troops standing guard, nine African
American children forced to withdraw the previous day
from Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas,
because of unruly white crowds, are escorted to back to
1962 – Sonny Liston knocks out Floyd Patterson in the first round
to become the world heavyweight boxing champion.
1962 – An African American church is destroyed by fire in Macon,
Georgia. This is the eighth African American church
burned in Georgia in one month.
1962 – Governor Ross Barnett again defies court orders and
personally denies James Meredith admission to the
University of Mississippi.
1965 – Willie Mays hits his fiftieth home run of the baseball
season, making him the oldest player to accomplish this.
He was 34 years old. Ten years before this, at the age
of 24, he was the youngest man to accomplish the same
1965 – Scottie Maurice Pippen is born in Hamburg, Arkansas. He
will become a professional basketball player and will be
traded to the Houston Rockets in 1998 after 11
distinguished seasons with the Chicago Bulls, for whom he
averaged 18.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 833
NBA games. He will earn All-NBA First Team honors three
times in his career and All-Defensive First Team honors in
each of seven seasons (1992-1999). In addition, he will
earn NBA World Championships in six of the eight years and
Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996. He will be selected
as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.
He will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame on August 13, 2010.
1968 – Willard Carroll “Will” Smith, Jr. is born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. He will become a rapper at the age of 12 and
will be known for his hits “Nightmare on My Street” and
“Parents Just Don’t Understand.” In 1990, he will start his
acting career with a six-year run as the “Fresh Prince of
Bel Air.” He will go to become a major motion picture box
office attraction, starring in “Six Degrees of Separation,”
“Made in America,” “Independence Day,” “Men In Black,” and
“Wild, Wild West.”
1974 – Barbara W. Hancock is the first African American woman
to be named a White House Fellow.
1988 – Florence Griffith Joyner runs 100 meters in record
Olympic time of 10.54 seconds.
1991 – Pioneer filmmaker Spencer Williams’s 1942 movie “Blood
of Jesus,” a story of the African American religious
experience, is among the third group of twenty-five
films added to the Library of Congress’s National Film
Registry. Williams, best known for his role of Andy in
the television series “Amos ‘n’ Andy”, was more
importantly, an innovative film director and a
contemporary of Oscar Micheaux. Williams’s film joins
other classics like “Lawrence of Arabia” and “2001: A
Munirah Chronicle is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry
“The TRUTH shall make you free”