*******   Today in Black History –  October 24, 2020  *******   

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1892 - 25,000 African American workers strike in New Orleans,

        Louisiana. This is the first major job stoppage in U.S.

        labor history by African Americans.


1923 - The U.S. Department of Labor issues a report stating that

        approximately 500,000 African Americans had left the South

        in the preceding twelve months.


1935 - Langston Hughes's play "Mulatto" opens on Broadway. It will

        have the longest run of any play by an African American

        until Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun."


1935 - Italy invades Ethiopia. African Americans hold mass meetings

        of protest and raise funds for the Ethiopian defenders.


1936 - The Boston Chronicle blasts the soon-to-be-released movie

        "The Big Broadcast" of 1937 for featuring a white pianist

        who appears in the movie while Teddy Wilson actually plays

        the music: "The form of racial discrimination and

        falsification of frequently duplicated by many

        whites in their daily dealings with Negroes...Negro farm

        hands and laborers in other fields of industry produce

        billions of dollars of wealth, but the white landowners and

        sweat shop operators get all the profit."


1942 - In recognition of the influence of so-called race music,

        Billboard magazine creates its first ratings chart devoted

        to African American music, The Harlem Hit Parade. The

        number-one record is "Take It & Git" by Andy Kirk and His

        Twelve Clouds of Joy, featuring Mary Lou Williams on piano.


1948 - Frizzel Gerald Gray is born in Baltimore, Maryland. He will be

        better known as Kweisi Mfume, an adopted African name that

        means "Conquering Son of Kings." In 1978, he will be elected

        to the Baltimore City Council, serving there until 1986. His

        political stance will be against that of then-mayor William

        Donald Schaefer, who he believed had ignored the many poor

        neighborhoods of the city. It will be a contentious matter, but

        despite his strong opinions, he will learn the art of political

        compromise. He will be perceived by many to have had some

        success during his stay in office, a fact perhaps reflected by

        his subsequent election to the United States House of

        Representatives in 1986, despite a torrent of criticism,

        directed in no small part against his early past. Serving in

        Maryland's 7th Congressional district for five terms, he will make

        himself known as a Democrat with an apparent balance between

        strong progressive ideologies and a capacity for practical

        compromise, representing a district that included both West

        Baltimore and suburban and rural communities, though his primary

        goal was an increase in federal aid to American inner cities. In

        his fourth term, he will be made chairman of the Congressional

        Black Caucus. In February 1996, he will leave the House to accept

        the presidency of the National Association for the Advancement of

        Colored People (NAACP), stating that he could do more to improve

        American civil rights there than in the Congress. He will reform

        the association's finances to pay off its considerable debt while

        pursuing the cause of civil rights advancement for African

        Americans. Many citizens in Baltimore will want him to run for

        mayor in the 1999 election, but he will stay with the NAACP. He will

        serve in this position for nine years before stepping down in 2004.

        He will run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2006. In May 2013,

        he will be named Chairman of his alma mater, Morgan State University,

        assuming the position on July 1, 2013.


1964 - Kenneth David Kuanda becomes President of Zambia as Zambia (Northern

        Rhodesia) gains independence from Great Britain.


1972 - Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson joins the ancestors at the age of 53

        in Stamford, Connecticut.


1980 - Monica Denise Arnold is born in College Park, Georgia. She will become

        a singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She will begin

        performing as a child and became part of a traveling gospel choir at

        the age of ten. She will rise to prominence after she signs with

        Rowdy Records in 1993 and releases her debut album "Miss Thang" two

        years later. She will follow it with a series of successful albums,

        including the global bestseller "The Boy Is Mine (1998) as well as

        the number-one albums "After the Storm" (2003), "The Makings of Me"

        (2006) and "Still Standing" (2010). Throughout her career, several

        of her singles will become number-one hits on the pop and R&B

        record charts, including "Before You Walk Out of My Life", "Don't

        Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)", "Like This and Like That",

        "The Boy Is Mine", "The First Night", "Angel of Mine", "So Gone",

        and "Everything to Me". Her popularity will be further enhanced by

        her roles in television series such as Living Single, Felicity,

        and American Dreams, and films including Boys and Girls (2000),

        Love Song (2000), and Pastor Brown (2009). A contributor to the

        NBC talent show The Voice, in 2008, she will appear in the

        Peachtree TV reality show special Monica: The Single which tracked

        the recording of the song "Still Standing" along with her personal

        life and resulted in her own highly rated BET series Monica: Still

        Standing, containing a similar concept. She will sell 5.3 million

        albums in the United States and will be recognized as one of the

        most successful urban R&B female vocalists to emerge in the mid to

        late 1990s. According to Billboard, she is the youngest recording

        act to ever have two consecutive chart-topping hits on the

        Billboard Top R&B Singles chart, as well as the first artist to

        top the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart over the span of

        three consecutive decades (1990s, 2000s, and 2010s). In 2010,

        Billboard will list her at number 24 on its list of the Top 50

        R&B and Hip Hop Artists of the past 25 years. A four-time

        nominee, she will win a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by

        a Duo or Group with Vocals for "The Boy Is Mine" at the 41st

        awards ceremony and will be the recipient of one Billboard Music

        Award, one BET Award, and two BMI Pop Awards.


1986 - Aubrey Drake Graham is born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He will

        become a rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and

        businessman. He will gain recognition as an actor on the teen drama

        television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in the early 2000s.

        Intent on pursuing a career in music, he will leave the series in

        2007 after releasing his debut mixtape, "Room for Improvement." He

        will release two further independent projects, "Comeback Season"

        and "So Far Gone," before signing to Lil Wayne's Young Money

        Entertainment in June 2009. He will release his debut studio album

        "Thank Me Later" in 2010, which will debut at number one on the US

        Billboard 200 and will be soon certified platinum. His next two

        releases, 2011's "Take Care" and 2013's "Nothing Was the Same,"

        will be critically and commercially successful; the former earning

        him his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. In 2015, he will

        release two mixtapes—the trap-influenced "If You're Reading This

        It's Too Late" and a collaboration with Future titled "What a

        Time to Be Alive"—both of which will earn platinum certification

        in the U.S. His fourth album, "Views" (2016), will break several

        chart records. The dancehall-influenced album will sit atop the

        Billboard 200 for 13 nonconsecutive weeks, becoming the first

        album by a male solo artist to do so in over 10 years. The album's

        second single, "One Dance", will top the charts in several

        countries, and will become his first number-one single as a lead

        artist. That year, he will lead both the Billboard Hot 100 and

        the Billboard 200 charts simultaneously for eight weeks. Among

        the world's best-selling music artists, with over 170 million

        records sold worldwide, he will be ranked by the Recording

        Industry Association of America (RIAA) as the world's highest-

        certified digital singles artist. He will hold several Billboard

        chart records. He will have the most charted songs (205) among

        solo artists in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, the most

        simultaneously charted Hot 100 songs in a single week (27), the

        most time on the Hot 100 (431 weeks) and the most Hot 100 debuts

        in a week (22). He will also have the most number one singles

        on the Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Rhythmic

        Charts. He will also win four Grammy Awards, six American Music

        Awards, twenty-seven Billboard Music Awards and three Juno

        Awards. As an entrepreneur, he will found the OVO Sound record

        label with longtime collaborator 40 in 2012.


2017 - Robert Guillaume, Emmy Award-winning actor best known as the title

        character in the TV sitcom "Benson", joins the ancestors at the age

        of 89 after succumbing to prostate cancer.




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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