D  U  K  E     E L L I N G T O N


April 29,1899 – May 24, 1974

Edward “Duke” Kennedy Ellington is born in Washington, DC.
He will form his first band in 1919, and move to New York
City in 1922. His five-year tenure at the famed Cotton
Club will garner him wide acclaim.  Scoring both his first
musical and making his recording debut in 1924, Ellington
will be known as the first conventional jazz composer,
although he will also become renowned for his Sacred
Concerts in the mid-1960’s.  His most notable works
include “Take the A Train,” “Mood Indigo,” “Sophisticated
Ladies,” and “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good.” He will
join the ancestors on May 24, 1974.

Excerpt from – Munirah Chronicle
Munirah Chronicle is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry

Here we go again! A gun in the hands of a crazy man.

Here we go again! A gun in the hands of a crazy man.

Is there any doubt that Vester Lee Flanagan had some kind of mental break down? Here is a Black man who was fired 2 years ago by the WGBJ TV station, shows up at an interview and open fire on the television crew killing the female interviewer and the camera man. What can we do to end so much violence in our communities?

Everyone takes aim at gun control as a solution but have we considered mental health. Mental health is ignored. Why? Is mental health violence in our society uncontrollable? Everyone has rights including the mentally ill. They have the right to be treated with respect and dignity and to have their privacy protected along with the right to receive age and culturally appropriate services. In addition, the mentally ill have the right to understand available treatment options and alternatives. Of course, we can’t leave out the right to not be discriminated against on the basis of age, race or type of illness. So, what do we do to make sure the mentally ill are in check? Because we know what happens when they are not in check.

2012 – Sandy Nook Elementary School, Connecticut – Adam Lanza known mental health problems. He kills his mother and then 20 students and 6 staff members of the school.

2012- Movie Theatre, Aurora, Co – James Eagan Holmes killed 12 people and 70 were hurt when he open fire on the audience.

2015 – Movie Theatre, LaFayette, La – John Russell Houser who opened fire in a movie theatre and killed 2 people.

And more….

May 12th in Black History

* Today in Black History – May 12 *

1896 – Juan Morel Campos joins the ancestors in Ponce, Puerto
Rico. He was a musician and composer who was one of the
first to integrate Afro-Caribbean styles and folk rhythms
into the classical European musical model. He was
considered the father of the “danza.”       

1898 – Louisiana adopts a new constitution with a “grandfather
clause” designed to eliminate African American voters.

1902 – Joe Gans (born Joseph Gaines) becomes the first native-
born African American to win a world boxing championship,
when he defeats Frank Erne in one round for the World
Lightweight Crown.  He will be elected to the Boxing Hall
of Fame in 1954.

1910 – The Second NAACP conference opens in New York City.  The
three day conference will create a permanent national
structure for the organization.

1916 – Albert L. Murray is born in Nokomis, Alabama.  He will
become an author of several works of nonfiction, among
them the influential collection of essays, “The Omni
Americans: New Perspectives on Black Experience and
American Culture.” His other works will include “South
to a Very Old Place,” “The Hero and The Blues,” “Train
Whistle Guitar,” “The Spyglass Tree,” “Stomping The
Blues,” “Good Morning Blues,” and “The Blue Devils of
Nada.” He will join the ancestors on August 18, 2013.

1926 – Paulette Poujol-Oriol is born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
She will become a well-known literary personality in
Haiti. She will be best known for her innovative creative
expression.  Her works will include “Prayers for Two
Vanished Angels” and “The Crucible.” She will join the
ancestors on March 12, 2011, after succumbing to a
heart attack.

1926 – Mervyn Malcom Dymally is born in Cedros, Trinidad. He will
become the first African American elected as lieutenant
governor of California and will be elected to Congress in
1980, where he will serve for 12 years. He will join the
ancestors on October 7, 2012.

1929 – Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma is born in Etunda, South
West Africa (now Namibia). He will become a nationalist
politician and the first president of Namibia. He will
remain in exile for thirty years from 1959 to 1989 when he
will return to Namibia and win a seat in the National
Assembly. He will vacate this seat in 1990 when he is
elected the first president of Namibia. He will serve in
this office from March 21, 1990 until March 21, 2005.

1933 – Henry Hugh Proctor joins the ancestors in Brooklyn, New
York at the age of 64. He had been the pastor of Nazarene
Congregational Church for thirteen years. Prior to coming
to New York, he had been pastor of the First Congregational
Church in Atlanta, Georgia for twenty four years, where he
had been instrumental in working with local whites in order
to reduce racial conflicts in the city.

1934 – Elechi Amadi is born in Aluu, Nigeria. He will become a
novelist whose works will illustrate the tradition and
inner feelings of traditional tribal life of his people.
He will be known for his works “The Concubine,” “Sunset
in Biafra: A Civil War Diary,” “The Great Ponds,” “The
Slave,” “Estrangement,” “Isiburu,” “Peppersoup,” “The
Road to Ibadan,” “Dancer of Johannesburg,” and “Ethics
in Nigerian Culture.” His writings will reflect his
upbringing as a member of the Igbo ethnic group in

1951 – Former U.S. Congressman Oscar Stanton DePriest joins the
ancestors at the age of 80 in Chicago, Illinois. He had
been the first African American elected to the U.S.
Congress since Reconstruction and the first-ever African
American congressman from the North.

1955 – Samuel (“Toothpick Sam”) Jones, of the Chicago Cubs,
becomes the first African American to pitch a major
league no-hitter, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1958 – At a summit meeting of national African American leaders,
President Dwight D. Eisenhower is sharply criticized for
a speech which, in effect, urges them to “be patient” in
their demands for full civil and voting rights.

1967 – H. Rap Brown replaces Stokely Carmichael as chairman of
the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

1969 – Kim Victoria Fields (later Freeman) is born in Los Angeles,
California.  She will become an actress as a child,
starring in the sit-com, “The Facts of Life” (1979-1988).  
She will continue her television career on the “Living
Single” show, which will premier in 1993.  

1970 – Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs hits his 500th home run.

1970 – A racially motivated civil disturbance occurs in Augusta,
Georgia. Six African Americans are killed.  Authorities
say five of the victims were shot by police.

1976 – Wynona Carr joins the ancestors. She had been a gospel
singer who was best known for her rendition of “The Ball
Game.” Her other recordings were “Each Day,” “Lord
Jesus,” “Dragnet for Jesus,” “Fifteen Rounds for Jesus,”
“Operator, Operator,” “Should I Ever Love Again,” and
“Our Father.”

1991 – Hampton University students stage a silent protest against
President George Bush’s commencement address to highlight
their opposition to his civil rights policies.

We Can’t Do While Black

I was browsing one of my favorite blogs, VSB(verysmartbrothas.com), really expecting to see an article on Baltimore from Panama one of the bloggers. Panama is near Baltimore. When I started reading this blog it was basically 2 bloggers and a guest blogger every blue moon. Now, the blog site has grown to include various blogger guests. But another blogger’s blog got my eye. Pleasantly, I found this article that provoked me to listen to”To Pimp A Butterfly” and share some of the things we Black folks understand to be true. Check out some “can’t do” from the list.

Living And Other Things We Can’t Do While Black


We can’t start listing the names of the people who we know have lost their lives to police brutality without wondering if we forgot any.

We can’t keep up with those names day in and day out.

We can’t listen to some song about being in love or being happy without listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” first.

We can’t let two Black public intellectuals beef without feeling the need to remind everyone that we have more important things to worry about.

We can’t laugh at jokes about the police because no joke about them is funny.

We can’t walk by police without fearing them or hating them.

We can’t live without fear for our ownselves and each other.

We can’t protest in peace because that hasn’t worked.

We can’t riot because that hasn’t worked.

We can’t go to every march.

We can’t do a damn thing, but we also can’t stop trying.

Excerpt from VSB blog by Jozen Cummings who is often referred to by many as the real-life Jozen Cummings. He’s that real. He is a features reporter at the New York Post, where he is responsible for a weekly column called Meet Market. More importantly, he is the author and creator of Until I Get Married, and he hosts a monthly trivia night in Harlem called All Good Questions Trivia at Corner Social. He lives in Harlem, graduated from Howard University, and grew up in Seaside, California.