******* Today in Black History – March 21, 2018 *******
1788 - Olaudah Equiano (aka Gustavus Vassa), a freed slave,
petitions King George III and Queen Charlotte, to free
1856 - Henry Ossian Flipper is born a slave in Thomasville,
Georgia. He will become the first African American cadet
to graduate from the United States Military Academy at
West Point, New York. He was never spoken to by a white
cadet during his four years at West Point. After
graduating, he will be appointed a second lieutenant in
the U.S. Army. Following his commission, he will be
transferred to one of the all-black regiments serving
in the U.S. Army, which were historically led by white
officers. Assigned to A Troop under the command of
Captain Nicholas M. Nolan, he will become the first
nonwhite officer to lead buffalo soldiers of the 10th
Cavalry. He will serve with competency and distinction
during the Apache Wars and the Victorio Campaign, but
will be haunted by rumors alleging improprieties. At
one point, he will be court martialed and dismissed
from the U.S. Army. After losing his commission in the
Army, he will work throughout Mexico and Latin America
and as an assistant to the Secretary of the Interior.
He will retire to Atlanta in 1931 and join the ancestors
on May 3, 1940 from natural causes. In 1994, his
descendants will apply to the U.S. military for a review
of his court martial and dismissal. A review will find
the conviction and punishment were "unduly harsh and
unjust" and recommend his dismissal to be changed to a
good conduct discharge. Shortly afterwards, an
application for pardon was filed with the Secretary of
the Army, which will be forwarded to the Department of
Justice. President Bill Clinton will pardon Lieutenant
Henry O. Flipper on February 19, 1999.
1899 - The French and British agree that the source of the Nile
and the Congo rivers should mark the frontier between
their spheres of influence. The Fashoda incident is the
last serious colonial dispute between Britain and France,
and its classic diplomatic solution is considered by most
historians to be the precursor of the Entente Cordiale.
1934 - Al Freeman, Jr. is born in San Antonio, Texas. He will become
an actor and will be known for his roles in "One Life to
Live," "My Sweet Charlie," "Once Upon A Time When We Were
Colored," "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," and "Down in The
Delta." He will join the ancestors on August 9, 2012. He was
a professor in the Department of Theater Arts at Howard
University until the time of his transition.
1946 - The Los Angeles Rams sign Kenny Washington, the first African
American player to join a National Football League team since
1949 - The Rens, originally from New York, but now representing
Dayton, Ohio, play their last game against the Denver Nuggets.
Their lifetime record, amassed over 26 years, is 2,318 wins
and 381 losses. Their opponents, the Nuggets, will become
the first NBA team to be owned by African Americans, when
Bertram Lee and Peter Bynoe lead a group of investors that
buys the club in 1989.
1955 - NAACP chairman, author, and civil rights pioneer, Walter White
joins the ancestors in New York City.
1960 - Police in Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, fire on Black South
Africans protesting racial pass laws. A protest strategy
devised by the Pan-African Congress to flood South African
jails with pass violators, the protesters will suffer 72
deaths and over 200 injuries in the two days of violence that
will become known as the "Sharpeville Massacre." The ANC is
1965 - Thousands of marchers complete the first leg of a five-day
freedom march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, dramatizing
the denial of voting rights for African Americans. Led by
Martin Luther King, Jr., thousands of marchers are protected
by U.S. Army troops and federalized Alabama National
Guardsmen because of violence encountered earlier, including
the fatal beating of a white minister, Reverend James J. Reeb.
1975 - Ethiopia abolishes its monarchy after 3,000 years.
1981 - Michael Donald, an African American teen-ager in Mobile,
Alabama, is abducted, tortured and killed in what prosecutors
charge is a Ku Klux Klan plot. A lawsuit brought by the
Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of Donald's mother,
Beulah Mae Donald, will later result in a landmark $ 7
million judgment that bankrupts The United Klans of America.
1990 - Namibia celebrates independence from South Africa. Samuel Nujoma
1990 - United States Secretary of State James Baker meets Black
nationalist leader Nelson Mandela, in Namibia, on the
occasion of Namibia's independence.
1991 - Test results released in Los Angeles show that Rodney King,
the motorist whose beating by police was videotaped by a
bystander, had marijuana and alcohol in his system following
his arrest. President Bush denounces King's beating as
"sickening" and "outrageous."
2011 - Disco-era singer Loleatta Holloway joins the ancestors at the
age of 64. She's mainly known for her 1980 hit single "Love
Sensation" which has been covered over the years by several
The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,
"Before the Mayflower", "Black Firsts" and independent
research by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry, Sr.
EVERY MONTH SHOULD BE BLACK HISTORY MONTH! CHECK OUT THESE OTHER BLACK HISTORY SITES ON THE WEB
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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Last Updated Wednesday, March 21, 2018