*******  Today in Black History –  December 22, 2014  *******   

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1873 - Abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond joins the ancestors. 

        He was the first African American lecturer employed by

        the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.


1883 - Arthur Wergs Mitchell is born near Lafayette, Alabama. 

        He will become the first African American Democrat

        elected to Congress, representing Illinois for four

        terms.  In 1937, after being forced from first-class

        train accommodations in Arkansas to ride in a shabby

        Jim Crow car, Mitchell will sue the railroad and

        eventually argue unsuccessfully before the Supreme Court

        that interstate trains be exempt from Arkansas'

        "separate but equal" laws. He will join the ancestors

        on May 9, 1968.


1898 - Chancellor Williams is born in Bennettsville, South

        Carolina. He will become a historian and author of

        "Destruction of Black Civilization." He will join the

        ancestors on December 7, 1992.


1905 - James A. Porter is born in Baltimore, Maryland.  An

        artist, chairperson of the department of art at Howard

        University and one of the earliest scholars of African

        American art, Porter will exhibit his works widely in the

        United States, Europe, and Africa. He will join the

        ancestors on February 28, 1970.


1938 - Mateo Rojas (Matty) Alou is born in Haina, Dominican Republic. 

        He will spend fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB)

        with the San Francisco Giants (1960–1965), Pittsburgh Pirates

        (1966–1970), St. Louis Cardinals (1971–1972, 1973), Oakland

        Athletics (1972), New York Yankees (1973) and San Diego

        Padres (1974). He will also play in Nippon Professional

        Baseball (NPB) with the Taiheiyo Club Lions from 1974 through

        1976. He will be the middle of a trio of baseball-playing

        brothers that include the older Felipe and Jesús. They will

        be the first set of three siblings to play together in the

        same outfield (on September 15), and all bat in the same half-

        inning in the majors (September 10), accomplishing both with

        the Giants in 1963. Matty will be teammates with Felipe during

        the prior three campaigns, and will be likewise with Jesús for

        the following two. Matty and Felipe will later reunite with

        the Yankees in 1973. His best years as a player will be spent

        with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he ill win the National

        League (NL) batting title in 1966 and be a two-time All-Star

        in 1968 and 1969. He will be a member of the World Series

        Champion Oakland Athletics in 1972 and a NL pennant winner

        with the New York Giants in 1962. On June 23, 2007, the

        Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame will induct him

        into their Hall of Fame. He will join the ancestors in Santo

        Domingo, Dominican Republic on November 3, 2011 after

        succumbing to complications of diabetes.


1939 - Jerry Pinckney is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He

        will become an award-winning illustrator of children's

        books and numerous U.S. postage stamps featuring notable

        African Americans. He will win the 2010 Caldecott Medal

        for U.S. picture book illustration, recognizing "The Lion

        & the Mouse," a version of Aesop's fable that he will

        also write. He will also receive five Caldecott Honors,

        five Coretta Scott King Awards, four New York Times Best

        Illustrated Awards (most recently in 2006 for Little Red

        Hen), four Gold and four Silver medals from the Society

        of Illustrators, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award

        (John Henry, 1994). In 2000 he will be given the Virginia

        Hamilton Literary award from Kent State University and in

        2004 the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for

        outstanding contributions in the field of children’s

        literature. For his contribution as a children's

        illustrator, he will be the U.S. nominee in 1998 for the

        biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award,

        the highest international recognition for creators of

        children's books.


1943 - W.E.B. Du Bois is elected as the first African American

        member of the National Institute of Arts & Letters.


1980 - Samuel R. Pierce, Jr., a New York City lawyer and former

        judge, is named to President Ronald Reagan's Cabinet as

        Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.


1984 - Four African American youths on a New York City subway

        train, are shot by Bernhard Goetz.  The white man shoots

        because he thought they were going to rob him.  He claims

        he was seconds from becoming a mugging victim when he

        opened fire, and will be acquitted of attempted murder in

        1987 but will serve 8 months on a weapons charge.  In

        1996, he will lose a civil case brought against him by

        one of the youths that he shot and paralyzed. The civil

        judgment brought against him will be $ 43 million.


1988 - South Africa signs an accord granting independence to South

        -West Africa.


1989 - The art exhibit "Afro-American Artists in Paris: 1919-1939"

        closes at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery on the

        Hunter College campus in New York City.  The exhibit of

        eight artists including William Harper, Lois Mailou Jones,

        Archibald Motley, Jr., Henry O. Tanner, and Hale Woodruff,

        among others, powerfully illustrates the results achieved

        by African American artists when they were able to leave

        the confines and restrictions imposed upon them by race in

        the United States.


1996 - Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs 80 yards

        for a touchdown in the first half of an 18-14 loss to the

        Carolina Panthers, the longest scoring run to date by a

        quarterback in NFL history.





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.




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