Archive for the ‘Black Olympians’ Category
1. In 1849, Avery College established in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Rev Charles Avery established the Allegheny Institute and Mission Church north of Pittsburgh, with the aim of offering elementary and advanced education to qualified African-American students without regard to sex. Both the racial and the coeducational features of the program were controversial, and the school’s connection to Pittsburgh’s A.M.E. Zion Church assured a strong religious influence in the officially nonsectarian institute. (Religious affiliation was not to be a consideration in admission decisions, but instructors were expected to be professing Christians.)
2. In 1855, John Mercer Langston, probably the first black elected to public office in America, wins the race for clerk of the Brownhelm Township, Lorain County, Ohio.
3. In 1859, Harpers Ferry Insurrection.
4. In 1883, S. E. Thomas Received Patent for Waste Trap
5. In 1895, The nation’s leading African American medical group, the National Medical Association, is founded in Atlanta.
6. In 1901, Booker T. Washington becomes the first black leader to dine at the White House with the president when Theodore Roosevelt invites him. Some black leaders charge Washington’s invitation was a result of his policies that they charge tended to accommodate racism. Nevertheless, the invitation and dinner served to crown Washington as the black leader of the period.
7. In 1940, Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. was named the first Black General in The U.S. Army.
8. In 1968, Sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith give the clenched-fist black power salute when accepting their medals at the Mexico City Olympics as a protest against racism in America. The white Australian sprinter in the historic picture also wore a human rights badge in support of their protest.
9. In 1973, Maynard Jackson, elected mayor of Atlanta. He served three terms, two consecutive terms from 1974 until 1982 and a third term from 1990 to 1994. He became the first African American mayor of Atlanta in the same week that Coleman Young became the first African-American mayor of Detroit.
10. In 1984, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end white-minority rule in South Africa.
11. In 1995, Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, leads the Million Man March to the Nation’s Capital in Washington, D.C. Over a million black men gather to “atone” and organize.
1. In 1883, U.S. Supreme Court declared Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1875
This decision was spurred by the end of Reconstruction and helped to usher in the Jim Crow era in the South whereby black rights won during Reconstruction were taken away.
2. In 1949, William Hastie nominated for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He was the first Black to sit on the court.
3. In 1968, Wyomia Tyus becomes the first person to win a gold medal in the 100 meter race in two consecutive Olympic games.
4. In 1991, Judge Clarence Thomas is confirmed as the 106th associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
1. In 1847, National Black convention met in Troy, N.Y., with more than sixty delegates from nine states. Nathan Johnson of Massachusetts was elected president.
2. In 1868, Black state convention at Macon, Georgia, protested expulsion of Black politicians from Georgia legislature.
3. In 1871, The Fisk Jubilee Singers an acappella ensemble, consisting of students at Fisk University was organized to tour and raise funds for their college. Their early repertoire consisted mostly of traditional spirituals, but included some Stephen Foster songs. The original group toured along the Underground Railroad path in the United States, as well as performing in England and Europe. Later nineteenth-century groups also toured in Europe.
In 2002 the Library of Congress honored their 1909 recording of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” by adding it in the United States National Recording Registry. In 2008 they were awarded a National Medal of Arts.
4. In 1896, H. A. Jackson received Patent for Kitchen Table (variations)
5. In 1896, K. Morehead Received Patent for Reel carrier
6. In 1896, W. D. Davis received Patent for Riding Saddles
7. In 1983, Wilma Rudolph inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame.
1. In 1750, Crispus Attucks escaped from his master in Framingham Mass.
2. In 1975, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fight in the “Thrilla in Manilla”. Ali wins.
3. In 1975, Virgie Ammons patents fireplace damper actuator, “Inside the fireplace chimney is a device called a “Damper”.
4. In 1991, Mike Powell broke the long jump world record when he jumped 8.95 meters at a meet in Tokyo. The previous mark-8.90 meters-was set by Bob Beamon at the 1968 Olympics.
1. Gus Cannon, blues musician who helped to popularize jug bands (such as his own Cannon’s Jug Stompers) in the 1920s and 1930s.
2. Alger “Texas” Alexander, blues singer from Jewett, Texas. In November 1928, Alexander recorded what has been believed by some to be the earliest version of “The House of the Rising Sun.” However it is actually a completely different song called The Rising Sun. Other songs he recorded include “Mama’s Bad Luck Child,” “Sittin’ on a Log,” “Texas Special,” “Broken Yo Yo” and “Don’t You Wish Your Baby was Built Up Like Mine?”. He was the cousin and uncle of Texas country blues guitarists Lightnin’ Hopkins and Frankie Lee Sims respectively.
3. Jesse Owens, Track and field athlete who specialized in the sprints and the long jump. He participated in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, where he achieved international fame by winning four gold medals: one each in the 100 meters, the 200 meters, the long jump, and as part of the 4×100 meter relay team. He was the most successful athlete at the 1936 Summer Olympics, a victory more poignant and often noted because Adolf Hitler had intended the 1936 games to showcase his Aryan ideals and prowess.
He has the Jesse Owens Award accolade named after him in honor of his significant career.
4. Jewel Akens, singer and record producer. He first recorded with Eddie Daniels as Jewel and Eddie on the Silver Records label in 1960. A number of his recordings featured Eddie Cochran on guitar.
He later went solo and recorded “The Birds And The Bees” in 1965, on the Era Records label. The single went to Number 3 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart that year, and Number 2 on the Cash Box chart.
5. Barry White, Composer, record producer and singer-songwriter. A five-time Grammy Award-winner known for his rich bass voice and romantic image, White’s greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with his Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring hit soul, funk, and disco songs. Worldwide, White had many gold and platinum albums and singles, with combined sales of over 100 million.
6. Vernon Maxwell, retired professional basketball player who played in the NBA from 1988-2001, with his longest tenure being with the Houston Rockets. The nickname “Mad Max” was bestowed upon Maxwell by color commentators for his clutch three-point shooting, which reached its pinnacle in the deciding game of the 1994 NBA Finals between Houston and New York.
7. Jesse Powell, Grammy-nominated American R&B/soul songwriter-singer. His sisters, Trina & Tamara Powell are also singers as well.
8. Christopher Theodore Ruben Studdard , best known as Ruben Studdard, is an American R&B, pop, and gospel singer. He rose to fame as winner of the second season of American Idol. He received a Grammy Award nomination in December 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Superstar.”
9. Jennifer Kate Hudson, recording artist, actress and spokesperson. She came to prominence in 2004 as one of the finalists on the third season of American Idol coming in seventh place. She made her film debut in the 2006 film Dreamgirls, which won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
She won a Grammy Award for her eponymous debut album, Jennifer Hudson, which was released in 2008 on Arista Records and was certified gold by the RIAA for selling over 800,000 copies in the US; sales exceeded 1 million copies worldwide. Additionally, it spawned the hit single Spotlight. Her second album I Remember Me was released in March 2011, and has reached number two on the Billboard 200, selling 165,000 copies in its first week of release.
In late 2008, after Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were killed in a shooting, Hudson stepped out of the limelight for three months. Hudson resumed her public appearances in 2009, and has since performed at the Super Bowl XLIII, the Grammy Awards, American Idol, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Hudson has been described as a friend of President Barack Obama, who invited her to appear with him at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills in May 2009. She also performed at the White House at the “Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” event. Her vocal range is mezzo-soprano
1. In 1988, Lee Roy Young Jr., a 15 year veteran of the State Department of Public Safety, Became the First Black Texas Ranger in modern history. Wilbert Scott was the first Black Texas Ranger in 1865 and served until 1867.
2. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson named Walter E. Washington commissioner and “unofficial” mayor of Washington, D.C.
3, In 1960, Rafer Johnson won the Olympic Decathlon the first for an African American.
4. In 1905, Atlanta Life Insurance Company established by A.F. Herndon.
5. in 1892, George “Little Chocolate’ Dixon, a black, faced off against Jack Skelly in the featherweight championship. Dixon easily defeated Skelly in the eighth round. African Americans celebrated for two days. The White’s reaction to the Dixon-Skelly match demonstrates their racist attitude that prevailed during this time. The editor of the New Orleans Times-Democrat said that it was “a mistake to match a negro and a white man, a mistake to bring the races together on any terms of equality, even in the prize ring.’ After this fight, segregation appeared in the boxing ring..
6. In 1865, Thaddeus Stevens, powerful U.S. congressman, urged confiscation of estates of Confederate leaders and the distribution of land to adult freedmen in forty-acre lots.
7. In 1826, John Brown Russwurm became the first Black to graduate college in America when he graduated from Bowdoin College on this date.
NOTE: It is often confused with the first to graduate from Amherst College in Massachusetts. Edward Jones a mullato passing for white graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts. Edward Jones’s father, Jehu Jones, was a wealthy free mulatto hotel owner who associated himself with the elite white people of Charleston and “seldom kept the company of even light-complexioned free blacks and never of slaves.” Edward Jones however, claimed to be proud of his African heritage and attempted to proved it by joining and becoming a member of the (not black but) Brown Fellowship society in Charleston.
1. In 1838, Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery disguised as a sailor.
2. In 1960, Wilma Goldean Rudolph First American Woman to Win Three Gold Medals in the Olympics. (Rome)
1. Dr. Vivien Thomas, surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s. He was an assistant to surgeon Alfred Blalock in Blalock’s experimental animal laboratory at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and later at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Without any education past high school, Thomas rose above poverty and racism to become a cardiac surgery pioneer and a teacher of operative techniques to many of the country’s most prominent surgeons. Vivien Thomas was the first African American without a doctorate degree to perform open heart surgery on a white patient in the United States.
2. Isabel Sanford, actress best known for her role as Louise “Weezy” Jefferson on the CBS television sitcoms All in the Family (1971–1975) and The Jeffersons She was the first African-American actress to win a Lead Actress Emmy Award (for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1981), and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and received an honorary doctorate degree from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.
3. Charlie (Bird) Parker, famously called Bird or Yardbird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Parker, with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, is widely considered to have been one of the most influential jazz musicians. Parker acquired the nickname “Yardbird” early in his career and the shortened form “Bird” remained Parker’s sobriquet for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as “Yardbird Suite”, “Ornithology” and “Bird of Paradise.”
4. Wendell Oliver Scott, NASCAR Owner/Driver, The first Black Driver to Win a race in what is now called the Sprint Cup Series. read more at….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Scott
5. Dinah Washington born Ruth Lee Jones, was a blues, R&B and jazz singer. She has been cited as “the most popular black female recording artist of the ’50s”, and called “The Queen of the Blues”. She is a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993
6. Albertina Walker, Albertina had four siblings born in Bibb County and four born in Chicago. Albertina began singing in the youth choir at the West Point Baptist Church at an early age, and joined several Gospel groups thereafter, including The Pete Williams Singers and the Robert Anderson Singers. Albertina was greatly influenced by Mahalia Jackson, her friend and confidante. Mahalia Jackson took her on the road when she was just a teenager. “Mahalia used to kid me. She’d say, ‘Girl, you need to go sing by yourself.’ ” recalled Walker in a 2010 Washington Post Interview. Albertina Walker did just that. In 1951, she formed the group called The Caravans. She was popularly referred to as the “Queen of Gospel Music”, initially by such notables as the late Reverend James Cleveland and Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., for her outstanding achievements within the genre after the death of Mahalia Jackson in 1972.
In the early 1950s Walker founded her own Gospel music group The Caravans, enlisting fellow singers from The Robert Anderson Singers (Ora Lee Hopkins, Elyse Yancey and Nellie Grace Daniels). The Caravans’ membership has included: James Cleveland, Bessie Griffin, Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, Inez Andrews, Loleatta Holloway, Cassietta George, and Delores Washington. Walker retired The Caravans in the late 1960s, performing as a solo artist.
7. Wyomia Tyus, Won a gold medal for two Consecutive Olympics (1964-1968). The first person to retain the Olympic title in the 100 m. Participated in the 1964 Summer Olympics at age 19. In the heats of the event, she equaled Wilma Rudolph’s World Record, propelling her to a favored position for the final, where her main rival would be fellow American Edith McGuire. Tyus won the final, beating McGuire by two tenths. At the same Olympics, she also won a silver medal with the 4 x 100 m relay team, finishing only behind Poland.
8. Michael Joseph Jackson, was an American recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter, musician, and philanthropist. Referred to as the King of Pop, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contribution to music, dance, and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5, then the Jacksons in 1964, and began his solo career in 1971.
In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller”, were credited with transforming the medium into an art form and a promotional tool, and the popularity of these videos helped to bring the relatively new television channel MTV to fame. Videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” made him a staple on MTV in the 1990s. Through stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced numerous hip hop, pop, contemporary R&B, and rock artists.
Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock ‘n’ roll. Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award); 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist, including the “Artist of the Century”); 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era); and the estimated sale of over 750 million records worldwide. Jackson won hundreds of awards, which have made him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of popular music.
1. Curtis Jones, Jones played guitar whilst young but switched to piano after a move to Dallas. In 1936 he relocated to Chicago, where he recorded between 1937 and 1941 on Vocalion Records, Bluebird Records, and Okeh Records. Among his best-known tunes from these recordings were the hit “Lonesome Bedroom Blues” and the song “Tin Pan Alley”. World War II interrupted his recording career, which he did not resume until 1953.
2. Rafer Johnson, World-renowned track and field star, In 1968, he worked on the presidential election campaign of Robert F. Kennedy and helped Rosey Grier apprehend Sirhan Sirhan immediately after Sirhan had assassinated Kennedy.
3. Maxine Brown, R&B Artist, smooth soul ballad “All in My Mind” (which was written by Maxine) late in the year. The single became a hit, climbing to number two on the R&B charts (number 19 pop), and it was quickly followed by “Funny”, which peaked at number three.
4. Rickey Green, retired American professional basketball player in the NBA. The 6’0″ point guard from the University of Michigan and Vincennes University was selected with the 16th pick in the 1977 NBA Draft, and competed in 14 seasons, playing for the Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics. His highlight season was in 1982-83 with the Utah Jazz, when he averaged 14.3 points, 8.9 assists and 2.82 steals per game, and represented them the following year in the 1984 NBA All-Star Game. He retired in 1992 with NBA career totals of 8,870 points and 5,221 assists in 946 games. In 1982, as a member of the Utah Jazz, Green scored the five millionth point scored in NBA history since 1946
5. Malcolm Jamal Warner, actor, film director, and musician. He is best known for his role as Theo Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. Additionally, he appeared as Malcolm McGee on the UPN sitcomMalcolm & Eddie.