*******   Today in Black History –  May 7, 2021  *******   


1867 - African American demonstrators stage a ride-in to protest

        segregation on New Orleans streetcars. Similar

        demonstrations occur in Mobile, Alabama, and other cities.


1878 - J.R. Winters receives a patent for the fire escape ladder.


1884 - Henrietta Vinton Davis performs scenes from Shakespeare

        with Powhatan Beaty at Ford's Opera House in Washington,

        D.C., site of the assassination of President Abraham

        Lincoln.  Vinton's career will span a total of 44 years

        and will include her involvement with Marcus Garvey's

        UNIA, including a vice-presidency of Garvey's Black Star



1885 - Dr. John E. W. Thompson, a graduate of the Yale University

        Medical School, is named minister to Haiti.


1931 - Literary critic and editor Darwin Theodore Troy Turner is born

        in Cincinnati, Ohio. He will be admitted to the University of

        Cincinnati at the age of 13. He will receive a bachelor's

        degree three years later, earn a master's in English from

        Cincinnati at the age of 18 and a doctorate from the

        University of Chicago when he was 25. He will begin his

        teaching career at Clark College in Atlanta in 1949. He will

        teach at Morgan State College and Florida A&M University and

        will be chairman of the English department at North Carolina

        A&T College before joining the Iowa faculty in 1972. At the

        time of his transition, he will be the University of Iowa

        Foundation Distinguished Professor of English. His major works

        will include "Black American Literature: Essays, Poetry Fiction

        and Drama" (1969) and "Voices from the Black Experience: African

        and Afro-American Literature" (1972). He will join the ancestors

        on February 11, 1991, after succumbing to a heart attack.


1936 - Jimmy Lee Ruffin, Sr. is born in Collinsville, Mississippi. The

        older brother of the Temptations' lead singer David Ruffin, he

        will become a singer on the Motown label and will best

        known for the hit "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted."  He

        will also record "Hold on to My Love," "There Will Never be

        Another You," and "I'll Say Forever My Love." He will join

        the ancestors on November 17, 2014.


1941 - "Natural Man," a play by Theodore Browne, premieres in New

        York City. It is a production of the American Negro

        Theatre, founded by Abram Hill and Frederick O'Neal.


1945 - Baseball owner Branch Rickey announces the organization of

        the United States Negro Baseball League, consisting of six



1946 - William Hastie is inaugurated as the first African American

        governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.


1959 - 93,103 fans pack the Los Angeles Coliseum for an exhibition

        game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York

        Yankees. It is "Roy Campanella Night."  The star catcher

        for the Dodgers, paralyzed in an automobile accident, is

        honored for his contributions to the team. "Campie" will continue

        to serve in various capacities with the Dodger organization for

        many years.


2020 - Andre Harrell, the music executive who founded the influential

        Uptown Records, joins the ancestors at the age of 59. A native of

        New York, Harrell started his career in music as an artist, one-

        half of the early rap duo Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, whose single

        “Genius Rap” was a minor hit in 1981. In 1983 Harrell teamed with

        Russell Simmons, the founder of Def Jam Records, and had one of

        his early experiences in the business working as a vice president

        and later GM of the label. He left to start his own record company,

        Uptown Records, in 1986. Stylish, sophisticated and fashion-forward,

        the label played a key role in the development of the New Jack

        Swing style of R&B, courtesy of acts like Guy (featuring the hugely

        influential producer-performer Teddy Riley), Al B. Sure and Jodeci,

        as well as crossover hip-hop via Heavy D and the Boyz and Father MC.

        Harrell also signed the teenage Mary J. Blige in the late ’80s,

        though her career at the label didn’t fully take off until the early

        ’90s, with help from Harrell’s enterprising former intern, Sean

        “Puffy” Combs, who was quickly elevated to an A&R position at Uptown.




The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,

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

research by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry, I.




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

Black History - Black History Links from the Information Man

Black History - Afro-American Newspapers

National Civil Rights Museum - located in Memphis, Tennessee

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History  - located in Detroit, Michigan

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture - located in Baltimore, Maryland

National Museum of African American History and Culture - located in Washington, DC



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