*******   Today in Black History –  October 21, 2018  *******   

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1832 - Maria W. Stewart, an African American women's rights and

        abolitionist speaker, says in her farewell address

        "...for it's not the color of the skin that makes the

        man or woman, but the principle formed in the soul." 


1865 - Jamaican National Hero, George William Gordon, is

        unfairly arrested and charged for complicity in what is

        now called the Morant Bay Rebellion. George William

        Gordon was a free colored land owner. Born to a slave

        mother and a planter father, who was attorney to several

        sugar estates in Jamaica, he was self-educated and

        became a landowner in St. Thomas. He had urged the

        people to protest against and to resist the oppressive

        and unjust conditions under which they were forced to

        live. He is illegally tried by court martial and, in

        spite of a lack of evidence, convicted and sentenced to



1872 - John H. Conyers, Sr. becomes the first African American

        admitted to the United States Naval Academy. 


1917 - John Birks ("Dizzy") Gillespie is born in Cheraw, South

        Carolina. He will, with Charlie Parker and Theolonious

        Monk, be the founder of the revolutionary bebop movement

        in the very early 1940's. His music accomplishments

        will include formation of the Dee Gee and Verve labels.

        He will perform in clubs and concert halls in Harlem,

        Canada and Europe. His music will earn him a Grammy

        Award in 1974 and 1980. He will join the ancestors on

        January 6, 1993 in Englewood, New Jersey.


1950 - Ronald Ervin McNair is born in Lake City, South Carolina.

        In 1971, he will receive a bachelor's degree in engineering

        physics, magna cum laude, from North Carolina A&T State

        University in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1976, he will

        receive a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute

        of Technology under the guidance of Prof. Michael Feld,

        becoming nationally recognized for his work in the field of

        laser physics. He will receive three honorary doctorates and

        a score of fellowships and commendations. After graduation

        from MIT, he will become a staff physicist at the Hughes

        Research Lab in Malibu, California. In 1978, he will be

        selected as one of thirty-five applicants from a pool of ten

        thousand for the NASA astronaut program. He will fly on

        STS-41-B aboard Challenger from February 3-11, 1984, as a

        mission specialist, becoming the second African American to

        fly in space. Following this mission, he will be selected for

        STS-51-L, which will launch on January 28, 1986, and will join

        the ancestors when he is subsequently killed when Challenger

        disintegrates nine miles above the Atlantic Ocean just 73

        seconds after liftoff.


1950 - Earl Lloyd, becomes the first African American person to

        play in an NBA game (beating out Charles Cooper and Nat

        Clifton by one day). He will later become the first

        African American NBA Assistant Coach and first African

        American NBA chief scout.


1969 - A bloodless coup occurs in Somalia (National Day).


1977 - The United States recalls William Bowdler, ambassador to

        South Africa, due to the country's apartheid policies.


1979 - The Black Fashion Museum is opened in Harlem by Lois

        Alexander to highlight the achievements and

        contributions of African Americans to fashion.


1980 - Valerie Thomas invents the illusion transmitter.


1989 - Bertram M. Lee and Peter C.B. Bynoe sign an agreement to

        purchase the National Basketball Association's Denver

        Nuggets for $54 million. They become the first African

        American owners of a professional basketball team.


1999 - Gaston T. Neal, a community activist and influential

        performance poet, who was best known for his work in the

        genre of the Black power movement and social change,

        joins the ancestors after a bout with lymphatic cancer,

        at his home in Washington, DC.


2003 - Fred Berry, actor, joins the ancestors at the age of 52

        after succumbing to a stroke. He played the character

        "Rerun" on the TV sitcom "What's Happening!!"




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, October 21, 2018