*******  Today in Black History –  July 7, 2015  *******   

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1781 - James Armistead, an American slave, infilltrates the

        headquarters of General Cornwallis and becomes a servant

        hired to spy on the Americans.  In reality, Armistead is

        a cunning double agent working for the French ally

        General Lafayette and reports on the movements and troop

        strength of the British.  His reports are critical to the

        surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.


1791 - The nondenominational African Church is ffounded by Richard

        Allen, Absalom Jones, and Benjamin Rush.


1851 - Charles Albert Tindleyy, African American Methodist preacher

        and songwriter is born in Berlin, Maryland.  He will be

        is known as one of the “founding fathers of American

        Gospel music.” The son of slaves, he will teach himself to

        read and write at the age of 17. He will be a driven young

        man, working as a janitor while attending night school,

        and earning his divinity degree through a correspondence

        course. In 1902, he will become pastor of the Calvary

        Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,

        the church where he had earlier been the janitor. 

        Tindley’s “I’ll Overcome Some Day” was the basis for the

        American civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome,”

        popularized in the 1960’s. His most enduring gospel hymns

        include 'Stand By Me,' 'Nothing Between,' 'Leave It There'

        and 'By and By.' He will compose over 47 gospel standards.

        At the time he joins the ancestors in Philadelphia,

        Pennsylvania on July 26, 1933, his church will have 12,500

        members. The Tindley Temple United Methodist Church in

        Philadelphia will be named after him.


1906 - Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige, bbaseball pitcher, (Negro

        League and American League) is born in Mobile, Alabama.

        (His birth year is an estimate) He will become a right-handed

        pitcher, first playing for the semi-professional Mobile

        Tigers from 1924 to 1926. He will begin his professional

        baseball career in 1926 with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts

        of the Negro Southern League and become one of the most

        famous and successful players from the Negro leagues. At the

        age of 42 in 1948, he will become the oldest major league

        rookie while playing for the Cleveland Indians. He will play

        with the St. Louis Browns until age 47, and represent them in

        the All-Star Game in 1952 and 1953. He will be the first

        player from the Negro leagues to pitch in the World Series

        (1948). In 1965, 59 years after his birthday, he will take the

        mound for the last time in the big leagues, throwing three

        shut-out innings for the Kansas City Athletics. He will play

        his last professional game on June 21, 1966, for the Peninsula

        Grays of the Carolina League. He will be the first player from

        the Negro leagues to be inducted into the National Baseball

        Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1971. He will join

        the ancestors on June 8, 1982 in Kansas City, Missouri.


1915 - Margaret Abigail Walker (later Alexander)) is born in

        Birmingham, Alabama. In 1935, She will receive her

        Bachelors of Arts Degree from Northwestern University and

        in 1936 she will begin work with the Federal Writers'

        Project under the Works Progress Administration. In 1942,

        she will receive her master's degree in creative writing

        from the University of Iowa.  Encouraged by Langston Hughes

        and others, Walker will become a writer best known for her

        volume of poetry 'For My People,' her novel 'Jubilee,' and

        a biography of novelist Richard Wright. In 1965, she will

        return to the University of Iowa to earn her Ph.D. She will

        serve for a time as a professor at Jackson State College

        (now University). She will join the ancestors on November

        30, 1998 after succumbing to breast cancer.


1921 - Ezzard Mack Chaarles is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He will

        become a boxer and will be undefeated as an amateur,

        winning the 1939 AAU National middleweight title before

        turning professional in 1940. After military service during

        World War II, he will defeat Hall-of-Famer Archie Moore and

        avenge losses to Lloyd Marshall and Jimmy Bivins to earn a

        No. 2 ranking at light heavyweight in 1946. He will fight

        five light heavyweight champions, beating four of them, but

        will never challenge for the light heavyweight crown. He

        will finally win the vacant NBA heavyweight title by

        defeating Jersey Joe Walcott in 1949. He will earn worldwide

        recognition as heavyweight king the next year by decisioning

        an aged Joe Louis. After three successful defenses of the

        undisputed crown, he will lose the title in a third battle

        with Walcott. Charles will announce his retirement from the

        ring on December 1, 1956. He will join the ancestors on May

        28, 1975 after succumbing to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

        (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He will be

        enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.


1941 - Vernard R. Grayy is born in Washington, DC.  He will become a

        pioneer in the Black Arts Movement. He will begin in the

        1960’s as a photographer/videographer documenting African

        American culture in the Washington, DC metropolitan area

        and around the world. He will found the Miya Gallery in

        downtown DC in 1976, introducing the community to various

        manifestations of African culture over twenty-five years

        and from 1996 will serve as an Internet developer for many

        artists, small businesses and non-profit organizations at

        Vernard Gray Technology Services at :


1945 - Fern Logan is born in Jamaica (Queens), NNew York. A graduate

        of Pratt Institute, she will study photography in the mid

        1970's with master photographer Paul Caponigro. She will

        also receive a Bachelor's Degree fro State University of

        New York and a Masters in Fine Arts Degree from the School

        of the Art Institute of Chicago. Among her best-known works

        will be the renowned "Artists Portrait Series" of African

        American artists such as Romare Bearden, Roy deCarava, and

        Jacob Lawrence as well as commanding landscapes and scenes

        of nature. She is currently retired (Emerita) from

        Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois and

        resides in the Greater St. Louis, MO area.


1948 - The Cleveland Indians sign Leroy "Saatchel" Paige at the age

        of 42. He will become the American League 'Rookie of the Year'.


1948 - Edna Griffin, her infant daughter Phylliss, John Bibbs and

        Leonard Hudson, will enter the Katz Drug Store in downtown

        Des Moines, Iowa, sit at the lunch counter and order ice

        cream. They will be refused service and Griffin will soon

        organize a protest against the drugstore's policy of

        refusing service to blacks. Criminal charges will be filed

        against Katz for violating Iowa's 1884 Civil Rights Act. 

        The law prohibits discrimination in public accommodation.

        Katz will be found guilty and will appeal the verdict to

        the Iowa Supreme Court, which affirms the decision a year

        later. The case will be settled with Griffin receiving a

        one dollar settlement and the drugstore forced to change

        its ways.


1960 - Ralph Lee Sampson is born in Harrisonburgg, Virginia. He

        will become arguably the most heavily recruited (for both

        college and the NBA) basketball prospect of his generation.

        Playing for the University of Virginia, he will become one

        of only two male players in the history of college

        basketball to receive the Naismith Award as the National

        Player of the Year three times. He will be the only player

        to win the Wooden award twice. He will become a

        professional basketball player with the Houston Rockets. In

        the 1985-86 NBA season, Sampson will (in his third season

        with the Rockets) lift the Rockets from 14-68 in the

        1982-83 season before his arrival to one of the best in the

        NBA. In Game 5 of the 1986 NBA Western Conference Finals,

        his last second tip-in at the buzzer will beat the Los

        Angeles Lakers and send the Rockets to only their 2nd NBA

        Finals appearance in franchise history. His NBA career will

        quickly deteriorate as he becomes burdened with numerous

        knee injuries. In 1988, by the time he is traded to the

        Golden State Warriors, the rest of his career will become

        very limited. In 1989, he will be traded to the Sacramento

        Kings where he will basically be a third-string player. He

        will average 4.2 points per game and 3.0 points per game

        for the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons respectively. He will

        play one final season with the Washington Bullets in

        1991-92 where he averages two points per game. He will

        win numerous individual awards in the short period of time

        he was healthy, but will never win a national or NBA



1975 - "For Colored Girls Who Have Considerred Suicide/When the

        Rainbow is Not Enuf," a play by 26-year-old Ntozake Shange,

        premieres in New York City.


1994 - Panama withdraws its offer to the United States to accept

        thousands of Haitian refugees.


1997 - Harvey Johnson is sworn in as the first AAfrican American

        mayor in Jackson, Mississippi.


1998 - Imprisoned Nigerian opposition leader Moshood Abiola joins

        the ancestors before he can be released from his political

        imprisonment. The government indicates that he succumbed

        from an apparent heart attack.





The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,

"InfoBeat," "I, Too, Sing America - The African American

Book of Days," "Before the Mayflower", "Black Firsts" and 

independent research by Rene’ A. Perry.




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 Tuesday, July 07, 2015