*******   Today in Black History –  February 17, 2020  *******   

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1870 - Congress passes a resolution readmitting Mississippi to the

        Union on the condition that it will never change its

        constitution to disenfranchise African Americans.


1918 - Charles Hayes is born in Cairo, Illinois. He will be elected

        to the House of Representatives succeeding Harold Washington

        in 1983. He will join the ancestors on April 8, 1997.


1933 - Robert "Bobby" Lewis is born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He will become

        a Rhythm and Bluaaes singer, who will be at his peak in the 1960's,

        and will be best-known for his recordings of "Tossin' & Turnin',"

        and "One Track Mind." "Tossin' & Turnin'" will sell over one

        million copies and be awarded a gold disc. "One Track Mind", his

        only other major hit record, peaked at No. 9. "Tossin' And Turnin'",

        composed by Ritchie Adams and Malou Rene, will be featured on the

        soundtrack for the 1978 film "Animal House." The song will also

        be covered by Steve Goodman, the Replacements, the Guess Who, Peter

        Criss, and Jimmy Sturr, among others.


1936 - James Nathaniel (Jim) Brown is born in Saint Simons, Georgia. He

        will become a professional football player and actor. He is best

        known for his exceptional and record-setting nine year career as

        a fullback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football

        League (NFL) from 1957 to 1965. In 2002, he will be named by

        Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever.

        He is widely considered to be one of the greatest professional

        athletes in the history of the United States. He will be selected

        in the first round of the 1957 draft by the Cleveland Browns. He

        will depart as the NFL record holder for both single-season (1,863 

        in 1963) and career rushing (12,312 yards), as well as the all-time

        leader in rushing touchdowns (106), total touchdowns (126), and

        all-purpose yards (15,549). He will be the first player ever to

        reach the 100-rushing-touchdowns milestone, and only a few others

        will do so to date, despite the league's expansion to a 16-game

        season in 1978. Note: His first four seasons were only 12 games,

        and his last five were 14 games. His record of scoring 100

        touchdowns in only 93 games will stand until LaDainian Tomlinson

        did it in 89 games during the 2006 season. He will hold the record

        for total seasons leading the NFL in all-purpose yards (five:

        19581961, 1964), and will be the only rusher in NFL history to

        average over 100 yards per game for a career. In addition to his

        rushing, He will be a superb receiver out of the backfield, catching

        262 passes for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns, while also adding

        another 628 yards returning kickoffs. Every season he played, he

        will be voted into the Pro Bowl, and he will leave the league in

        style, by scoring three touchdowns in his final Pro Bowl game.

        Perhaps the most amazing feat, is that he will accomplish these

        records despite never playing past 29 years of age. His six games

        with at least 4 touchdowns will remain an NFL record, to date.

        LaDainian Tomlinson and Marshall Faulk will both have five games

        with 4 touchdowns. He will lead the league in rushing a record eight

        times. He will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

        The Sporting News will select him as the greatest football player of

        all time. His football accomplishments at Syracuse will garner him a

        berth in the College Football Hall of Fame. He will also earn a spot

        in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, giving him a rare triple crown of sorts,

        as well as being one of the few athletes to become a Hall of Fame

        member in more than one sport. After his football career, he will

        become a movie star and will establish the Negro Industrial and

        Economic Union, and work with African American youth with the

        Amer-I-Can program, which he will establish.


1938 - Mary Frances Berry is born in Nashville, Tennessee.  She will

        be an influential force in education and civil rights, become

        the first woman of any  race to serve as chancellor of a major

        research university (University of Colorado in 1976), and a 

        member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.


1941 - Joe Louis retains his world heavyweight boxing crown by

        knocking out Gus Dorazio.


1942 - Huey Percy Newton is born in Monroe, Louisiana. He will become a

        political and urban activist who, along with Bobby Seale, will co-

        found the Black Panther Party in 1966. He will be the party's Minister

        of Defense. He will have a long series of confrontations with law

        enforcement, including several convictions, while participating in

        political activism. He will continue to pursue an education, eventually

        earning a Ph.D. in Social Science from the University of California

        Santas Cruz in 1980. He will spend time in prison for manslaughter, due

        to his alleged involvement in a shooting that killed a police officer,

        but was later acquitted. On August 22, 1989, he will join the ancestors.

        after being shot and killed in Oakland, California, by Tyrone "Double R"

        Robinson, a member of the Black Guerrilla Family.


1962 - Wilt Chamberlain, of the NBA Philadelphia Warriors, scores 67

        points against the St. Louis Hawks.


1963 - Michael Jeffrey Jordan, who will be a star basketball player

        for the University of North Carolina, the 1984 Olympic gold

        medal team and the Chicago Bulls, is born in Brooklyn, New

        York. Jordan's phenomenal style and scoring ability will earn

        him universal acclaim and selection on more than eight all-

        star NBA teams and NBA Most Valuable Player more than four



1982 - Thelonious Monk, jazz pianist and composer, joins the ancestors

        at the age of 64.


1989 - The African countries of Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia

        & Libya form an economic common market.


1997 - The Virginia House of Delegates votes unanimously to retire the

        state song, "Carry me back to Old Virginny," a tune which

        glorifies the institution of slavery.


2016 - Channing Dungey, executive VP of drama at ABC, is named president

        of ABC Entertainment Group. She is the first African American to

        lead a major broadcast network. She replaces outgoing president

        Paul Lee, who helmed ABC programming since 2010 and pushed for

        more diversity at the network.




The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,

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

research by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry, Sr.




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 Monday, February 17, 2020