1. In 1787, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones organized Philadelphia’s Free African Society which Du Bois called “the first wavering step of a people toward a more organized social life.”
2. In 1861, Civil War began at Fort Sumter, Charleston SC
3. In 1861, Confederate soldiers attacked Fort Sumter, in the Charleston, S.C., harbor.
4. In 1864, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, Tenn., and massacred the inhabitants, sparing, the official report said, neither soldier nor civilian, Black nor white, male or female.
5. In 1869, Black students occupied administration building at Boston University in demand for Afro-American history courses and additional Black students.
6. In 1869, North Carolina legislature passed anti-Klan Law.
7. In 1975, Leontyne Price, opera singer, is awarded The Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
8. In 2003, Army Specialist Shoshana Johnson, the first Black female Prisoner of War, is rescued.
In 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr., a 25-year-old African-American man, was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department for possessing what the police alleged was an illegal switchblade. While being transported in a police van, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center. Gray died on April 19, 2015; his death was ascribed to injuries to his spinal cord.
1. In 1777, Connecticut adopted a policy whereby White slave masters could avoid service in the army by providing one of his slaves to fight for America freedom. The policy to allow slaves to substitute for White masters spread throughout the colonies.
2. In 1867, Monroe Baker, named mayor of St. Martin, Louisiana.
3. In 1875, H. H. Nash Received Patent for Life-Preserving stool
4. In 1886, M. Headen received Patent for Foot Powerd Hammer
5. In 1897, J. H. Evans received Patent for Convertible Settees
6. In 1942, Marian Anderson accepted the invitation to sing at Constitution Hall.
1. Nat Turner, Slave Revolt Leader/Abolistionist was an slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on August 21, 1831 that resulted in 56 white deaths and over 55 black deaths,the largest number of fatalities to occur in one uprising prior to the American Civil War in the southern United States. He gathered supporters in Southampton County, Virginia. White backlash resulted in the state executing 56 blacks accused of being part of Turner’s slave rebellion. Two hundred blacks were also beaten and killed by white militia mobs and thugs. As if that wasn’t enough retribution, Virginia and other southern state legislators passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free blacks, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free blacks, and requiring white ministers to be present at black worship services.
2. Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., was born. He became an astronaut and pilot. He was the first African American selected for space travel.
3. Johnny L. Cochran, Jr. lawyer best known for his leadership role in the defense and criminal acquittal of O. J. Simpson for the alleged murder of his former wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Cochran also represented Sean Combs (during his trial on gun and bribery charges), Michael Jackson, rapper Tupac Shakur, actor Todd Bridges, football player Jim Brown, rapper Snoop Dogg, former heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe, 1992 Los Angeles riot beating victim Reginald Oliver Denny, and Rosa Parks.
He also represented athlete Marion Jones when she faced charges of doping during her high school track career. Cochran was known for his skill in the courtroom and his prominence as an early advocate for victims of police brutality.
4. Avery Brooks, is an American actor, jazz musician, opera singer and college professor. Brooks is perhaps best known for his television roles as Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and as Hawk on Spenser: For Hire and its spinoff A Man Called Hawk, and in the Academy Award-nominated film American History X.
5. Ernest Riles, is a former shortstop and third baseman in Major League Baseball. From 1985 through 1993, Riles played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1985–1988), San Francisco Giants (1988–1990), Oakland Athletics (1991), Houston Astros (1992) and Boston Red Sox (1993). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
6 Melissa Victoria Harris-Perry ( Melissa Harris-Lacewell) is an American author and political commentator with a focus on African-American politics.
She is a professor of political science at Tulane University. Prior to that, she was an associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University from 2006 to 2010, and taught political science at the University of Chicago from 1999 to 2005. She is also an award winning author and appears regularly on MSNBC and other media venues.
1. Abriea “Abbie” Mitchell, also billed as Abbey Mitchell, was an American soprano opera singer who sang the role of “Clara” in the premier production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in 1935.
2. Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes, was a Delta blues musician.
3. Scottie Pippen, a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is most remembered for his time with the Chicago Bulls, with whom he was instrumental in six NBA Championships and their record 1995–96 season of 72 wins. Pippen, along with Michael Jordan, played an important role in transforming the Bulls team into a vehicle for popularizing the NBA around the world during the 1990s.
4.Willard Christopher “Will” Smith, Jr., is a Grammy award winning actor, producer, and Rapp Artist. He has enjoyed success in music, television (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and film (Independence Day, Men In Black I & II, I Robot)
5. T.I., Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., Grammy Award-winning rapper, producer, actor and co-CEO/founder of Grand Hustle Records.
1. Jan E. Matzeliger, inventor in the shoe industry.(Shoe lasting Machine). Matzeliger obtained a patent for his invention in 1883. His machine could produce between 150 to 700 pairs of shoes a day, cutting shoe prices across the nation in half. In recognition of his accomplishment, he was honored on a postage stamp on September 15, 1991.
2. Silas Hogan, Bluesman (Swamp Blues), blues musician. Hogan most notably recorded “Airport Blues” and “Lonesome La La”, was the front man of the Rhythm Ramblers, and became an inductee in the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame.
3. Julius Nipsey Russell, comedian, best known today for his appearances as a guest panelist on game shows from the 1960s through the 1990s, especially Match Game, Password, Hollywood Squares, To Tell the Truth and Pyramid. His appearances were distinguished in part by the short, humorous poems he would recite during the broadcast. These lyrics became so closely associated with Russell that Dick Clark, Bill Cullen, Betty White, and others regularly referred to him as “the poet laureate of television.” He also had a leading role in the film version of The Wiz. Russell was also a frequent guest on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts.
4. James Edward (Snooky) Pryor, Chicago blues harmonica player. While serving in the U.S. Army he would blow bugle calls through the powerful PA system, which led him to experiment with playing the harmonica that way. Upon discharge from the Army in 1945, he obtained his own amplifier, and began playing harmonica at the outdoor Maxwell Street market, becoming a regular on the Chicago blues scene.
5. Bobby Short, cabaret singer and pianist, best known for his interpretations of songs by popular composers of the first half of the 20th century such as Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Noel Coward and George and Ira Gershwin.
He also championed African-American composers of the same period such as Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, Andy Razaf, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, presenting their work not in a polemical way, but as simply the obvious equal of that of their white contemporaries.
His dedication to his great love – what he called the “Great American Song” – left him equally adept at performing the witty lyrics of Bessie Smith’s “Gimme a Pigfoot” or Gershwin and Duke’s “I Can’t Get Started.”
Short always said his favorite songwriters were Ellington, Arlen and Kern, and he was instrumental in spearheading the construction of the Ellington Memorial in his beloved New York City.
6. Julian Edwin (Cannonball) Adderley, was a jazz alto saxophonist of the hard-bop era of the 1950s and 1960. Adderley is remembered for his 1966 single Mercy Mercy Mercy, a crossover hit on the pop charts, and for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis, including on the epochal album Kind of Blue (1959). He was the brother of jazz cornetist Nat Adderley, a longtime member of his band.
7. Jessye Norman, opera singer. Norman is a well-known contemporary opera singer and recitalist, and is one of the highest paid performers in classical music. A dramatic soprano, Norman is associated in particular with the roles of Aida, Cassandre, Alceste, and Leonore..
8. Claude McKay, was a writer and poet. He was a figure in the Harlem Renaissance and wrote three novels: Home to Harlem (1928), a best-seller which won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature, Banjo (1929), andBanana Bottom (1933). McKay also authored a collection of short stories, Gingertown (1932), and two autobiographical books, A Long Way from Home (1937) and Harlem: Negro Metropolis (1940). His book of poetry, Harlem Shadows (1922) was among the first books published during the Harlem Renaissance.
1. In 1949, Paul Robeson’s scheduled singing appearance at the Lakeland picnic grounds in Westchester County, NY is disrupted by a riot instigated and provoked by whites angry at Robeson’s political stands.
2. In 1989, ‘Johnny B Goode’ is performed by Chuck Berry for NASA engineers and scientists in celebration of Voyager II’s encounter with the planet Neptune, 1989
2. In 1989, Be Kind To Humankind Week, Day Three, Spread kindness, one heart at a time, Touch-A-Heart.
1. James B. Parsons, first African American appointed to a lifetime federal judgeship in the U.S.2. Charles Edward Anderson the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Meteorology.
3. Jimmy McCracklin- West coast blues singers
4. Dave (Baby) Cortez, Rock-n-roll organist
5. Frank (Son) Seals, Chicago blues guitarist
6. Kathleen Battle, operatic soprano, winner of Grammy awards in 1987 and 1988.
7. Dawnn Lewis, actress and singer, perhaps best known for her roles on sitcoms such as A Different World and in the first season of Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.
8. Dennis Powell, Major League Baseball Player
9. John Lester Johnson, Actor and Boxer. He starred in the Our Gang 1933 classic “The Kid From Borneo” as ‘Bumbo. Yum, Yum Eat’m Up’. He was a bit part actor in the 1920s through 1940s. He was also a heavyweight boxer who fought in the first integrated professional boxing event on July 13, 1916, against then unknown opponent Jack Dempsey.