*******  Today in Black History –  January 22, 2017  *******   

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1801 - Haitian liberator, Toussaint L'Ouverture, enters Santiago to

        battle the French Armed Forces.


1824 - The Ashantis defeat British forces in the Gold Coast (Ghana).


1879 - Zulu warriors attack British Army camp in Isandhlwana, South

        Africa. This is the "Battle of Rorke's Drift": The British

        garrison of 150 holds off 3,000-4,000 Zulu warriors. Eleven

        Victoria Crosses and a number of other decorations will be

        awarded to the defenders.


1891 - The "Lodge Bill," which called for federal supervision of U.S.

        elections, is abandoned in the Senate after a Southern



1906 - Twenty-eight-year-old Meta Vaux Warrick's sculpture "Portraits

        from Mirrors" is exhibited at the 101st Annual Exhibition of

        the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia,

        Pennsylvania.  Although it is one of the first major showings

        of her work, the young Warrick (later Fuller) has already

        studied sculpture with the legendary Auguste Rodin and had

        her work exhibited in Paris at S. Bing's Gallery Nouveau.


1920 - William Caesar Warfield is born in West Helena, Arkansas, the

        eldest of five sons.  He will become a singer and have his

        recital debut in New York's famous Town Hall on March 19,

        1950, putting him into the front ranks of concert artists

        overnight. His career will span almost fifty years and among

        his frequent appearances in foreign countries, this artist

        has made six separate tours for the U.S. Department of State,

        more than any other American solo artist.   He will receive

        a Grammy in the "Spoken Word" category (1984) for his

        outstanding narration of Aaron Copeland's "A Lincoln Portrait"

        accompanied by the Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra.  He is

        best known for his role in "Showboat." He will join the

        ancestors on August 26, 2002.


1924 - James Louis (J.J.) Johnson is born in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

        He will become one of the greatest trombonists and composers

        in jazz.  He will be originally influenced by Fred Beckett of

        Harlan Leonard's band.  Soon thereafter, he will join Benny

        Carter.  He will play with Count Basie (1945-1946) and record

        his first solo improvisation.  During the 1954-1956 period,

        J.J. Johnson will take a brief break from bands and team up

        with Kai Winding for a commercially successful trombone duo. 

        He will prefer the use of pure tones when playing the trombone,

        focusing on line, interval and accent.  His solos will show

        virtuosity because of their remarkable mobility, which many

        artists find difficult to duplicate or imitate.  These

        endeavors will be fruitless in the early 1950s and for a

        couple of years he will work as a blueprint inspector.  In the

        1970s, Johnson will move from New Jersey to California,

        concentrating exclusively on film and television scoring.  In

        1984, Johnson will reenter the jazz scene with a tour of the

        "European Festival Circuit." He will be voted into the Down

        Beat Hall of Fame in 1995. He will join the ancestors on

        February 4, 2001, after committing suicide by shooting himself.


1931 - Samuel "Sam" Cooke is born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.  He will

        grow up in Chicago, Illinois, after moving there with his

        family in 1933. He will become a singer and be best known for

        his recordings "You Send Me" and "Twisting the Night Away."

        Cooke will be one of the most popular singers of the 1960's.

        He will join the ancestors on December 11, 1964.  He will be

        inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23,



1960 - Sugar Ray Robinson loses the Middleweight Boxing Championship

        to Paul Pender in a 15-round decision.


1961 - Wilma Rudolph, the 1960 Olympic gold medalist and track star,

        sets a world indoor mark in the women's 60-yard dash, with a

        speedy 6.9 seconds in a meet held in Los Angeles, California.


1962 - Baseball Writers elect Jackie Robinson into the Baseball Hall

        of Fame.


1969 - Roy Campanella is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.


1973 - George Foreman takes the heavyweight boxing title away from

        'Smokin' Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica in the second round.

        Foreman will knock 'Smokin' Joe down six times on his way to



1981 - Samuel Pierce is named Secretary of Housing and Urban

        Development (HUD).  One of the few African Americans in the

        Reagan administration, there will be high expectations for

        his potential to effect change, but Pierce's leadership will

        be severely questioned as scandal rocks his department in

        1989. An estimated $ 2 billion will be lost due to fraud and

        mismanagement during Pierce's tenure.


1988 - Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson knocks out former

        champion Larry Holmes in 4 rounds.


2006 - Kobe Bryant scores a career-high 81 points in a victory against

        the Toronto Raptors, the second most in NBA history in one

        single game.


2015 - In the first successful celebrity case of its kind, Rihanna wins

        a legal battle against UK high street store Topshop over a

        T-shirt bearing her image. The Court of Appeal in London upheld

        a ban on the store selling a sleeveless T-shirt featuring a

        photo of the star without obtaining her permission. The star

        had sued Topshop’s parent company Arcadia for $5m back in 2013

        over the T-shirts, which featured a photo taken during a video

        shoot in 2011.




The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,

"Before the Mayflower", "Black Firsts" and independent

research by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry, Sr.




Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - located in Harlem, New York City

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Last Updated Sunday, January 22, 2017