*******   Today in Black History –  April 21, 2019  *******   

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1878 - The ship Azor leaves Charleston, South Carolina, on its

        first trip, carrying 209 African Americans bound for



1892 - African American Longshoremen strike for higher wages in St.

        Louis, Missouri.


1900 - Dumarsais Estime' is born in Verrettes, Artibonite, Haiti.

        He will become president of Haiti in 1946 and will be

        regarded as a progressive leader and statesman. He will

        be the first black head of state since the U.S. occupation

        of Haiti ended in 1934. He will join the ancestors in New

        York City on July 20, 1953.


1938 - The Harlem Suitcase Theatre opens with Langston Hughes's

        play "Don't You Want to be Free?" The play's star is a

        young Robert Earl Jones, father of James Earl Jones.


1940 - Souleymane Cisse' is born in Bamako, Mali. He will become

        a filmmaker, graduating from the State Institute of Cinema

        in Moscow in 1969. In 1972, he will produce his first

        medium-length film, "Cinq jours d’une vie" (Five Days in a

        Life), which tells the story of a young man who drops out

        of a Qur'anic school and becomes a petty thief living on

        the street. Cinq Jours will premier at the Carthage Film

        Festival. In 1974, he will produce his first full-length

        film in the Bambara language, "Den muso" (The Girl), the

        story of a young mute girl who has been raped. The girl

        becomes pregnant, and is rejected both by her family and by

        the child's father. "Den Muso" will be banned by the Malian

        Minister of Culture, and he will be arrested and jailed for

        having accepted French funding. In 1978, he will produce

        "Baara" (Work), which will receive the Yenenga's Talon prize

        at Fespaco in 1979. In 1982, he will produce "Finyé" (Wind),

        which tells the story of dissatisfied Malian youth rising up

        against the establishment. This will earn him his second

        Yenenga's Talon, at 1983's Fespaco. Between 1984 and 1987, he

        will produce "Yeelen" (Light), a coming-of-age film which will

        win the Jury Prize at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. In 1995,

        he will produce "Waati" (Time) which will compete for the

        Palme d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. He will become

        president of UCECAO, the Union of Creators and Entrepreneurs

        of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts of Western Africa. He will

        become one of the most popular filmmakers in Africa.


1966 - Milton Lee Olive, III becomes the first African American to win

        the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery during the

        Vietnam War. He will be honored for saving the lives of his

        fellow soldiers by falling on a live grenade while

        participating in a search-and-destroy mission near Phu



1965 - Pedro Albizu Campos joins the ancestors at the age of 71 in

        San Juan, Puerto Rico. Campos was a Puerto Rican of African

        descent who advocated Puerto Rico's independence and condemned

        United States imperialism and the 1898 invasion and occupation

        of Puerto Rico. Some Puerto Ricans refer to him as "Don Pedro,"

        and one of the fathers of Puerto Rican national identity.


1966 - His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie visits Kingston, Jamaica.


1971 - Francois Duvalier, known as "Papa Doc," joins the ancestors

        in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at the age of 64. He had been

        president-for-life of Haiti from 1957 to 1971. He will be

        succeeded in power by his son, Jean-Claude Duvalier.


1974 - By winning the Monsanto Open in Pensacola, Florida, Lee

        Elder becomes the first African American professional golfer

        to qualify for the Masters Tournament. It will be one of

        four PGA tour victories for the Dallas, Texas, native,

        including the Houston Open in 1976 and the Greater Milwaukee

        Open and Westchester Classic in 1978. Elder's career

        earnings of $2 million will place him among the top three

        African American golfers, along with Calvin Peete ($2.3

        million and 12 PGA tournament victories) and Charlie Sifford

        ($1 million).


2003 - Nina Simone, "High Priestess of Soul", joins the ancestors in

        Carry-le-Rouet (South of France) at the age of 70. As she

        wished, her ashes will be spread in different African

        countries. She gained fame in the 1960s for her civil rights



2016 - Pop music superstar Prince joins the ancestors at his home in

        suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was widely acclaimed as

        one of the inventive musicians of his era with hits including

        "Little Red Corvette," "Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry."

        He was 57 years old.




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 Sunday, April 21, 2019