******* Today in Black History – December 18, 2018 *******
1852 - George H. White is born in Rosindale, North Carolina.
He will become a lawyer, state legislator, and in 1896,
the only African American member of the United States
House of Representatives, where he will be the first to
introduce an anti-lynching bill. He will also found the
town of Whitesboro, New Jersey, as a haven for African
Americans escaping southern racism. He will join the
ancestors on December 28, 1918.
1860 - South Carolina declares itself an "independent
1865 - Congress proclaims the ratification of the thirteenth
Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. The
ratification process had been completed on December 6,
1912 - Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr. is born in Washington, DC. The
fourth African American graduate of West Point, he will
be one of only two African American combat officers when
he got his first assignment out of college in 1936, the
other being his father. In 1941, he was a part of the
first class of graduates from the newly minted program at
Tuskegee Army Air Field for African American pilots. He
was also the first African American officer to solo in a
U.S. Army Air Corps aircraft. By 1942, he will be promoted
to the rank of lieutenant colonel and appointed commander
of the 99th Pursuit Squadr n. He will go on to fly many
successful missions in Europe with the 332nd Fighter group
of which he will also take command in one of his many
leadership roles within the Tuskegee Airmen squadrons.
Awarded both the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying
Cross, he will become the first African American general in
the Air Force. On December 9, 1998, he will be advanced to
four-star general by President Bill Clinton. He will join
the ancestors on July 4, 2002.
1917 - Raiford Chatman "Ossie" Davis is born in Cogdell, Georgia.
While he will be best known as an actor in such plays as
"Jeb" (where he will meet his wife, Ruby Dee) and "Purlie
Victorious" and films like "Let's Do It Again," "Do The
Right Thing," and "Jungle Fever," he will be a playwright,
screenwriter, and director(Cotton Comes to Harlem). In
1969, he will win an Emmy for his role in "Teacher,
Teacher" and will be a featured performer in television's
"Evening Shade." He will find recognition late in his life
by working in several of director Spike Lee's films,
including "Do The Right Thing," "Jungle Fever," "She Hate
Me" and "Get on the Bus." He will also find work as a
commercial voice-over artist and serve as the narrator of
the early-1990s CBS sitcom "Evening Shade," starring Burt
Reynolds, where he will also play one of the residents of a
small southern town. In 1999, he will appear as a theater
caretaker in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra film "The Ghosts
of Christmas Eve," which wil be released on DVD two years
later. For many years, he will host the annual National
Memorial Day Concert from Washington, DC. His distinguished
bearing will make him a perfect choice for the concert.
His last role will be as a several episode guest role on the
Showtime drama series "The L Word," as a father struggling
with the acceptance of his daughter Bette (Jennifer Beals)
parenting a child with her lesbian partner. In his final
episodes, his character will be taken ill and die. His wife
Ruby Dee will be present during the filming of his own death
scene. That episode, which will air shortly after his own
transition, airs with a dedication to the actor. He will join
the ancestors on February 4, 2005.
1958 - Niger gains autonomy within the French Community of Nations.
1961 - Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 78
points vs the Los Angeles Lakers.
1964 - Funeral services are held in Chicago for Sam Cooke. Hundreds
of fans will cause damage to the A.R. Leak Funeral Home,
where Cooke's body is on display.
1971 - Jesse Jackson announces the formation of Operation Push
(People United to Save Humanity), a new African American
political and economic development organization. Jackson,
who resigned from Operation Breadbasket, the economic arm
of the SCLC, says, "the problems of the 1970's are economic
so the solution and goal must be economic."
1971 - The NAACP's Spingarn Medal is presented to Rev. Leon H.
Sullivan, founder of Opportunities Industrialization
Centers of America (OIC) for his leadership.
1989 - Ernest Dickerson wins the New York Film Critics Circle Award
for best cinematography for the movie "Do the Right Thing."
1996 - The Oakland, California School board becomes the first in
the nation to recognize Black English, a.k.a. Ebonics, as a
separate language, NOT a dialect or slang.
The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,
"Before the Mayflower", "Black Firsts" and independent
research by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry, Sr.
EVERY MONTH SHOULD BE BLACK HISTORY MONTH! CHECK OUT THESE OTHER BLACK HISTORY SITES ON THE WEB
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, December 18, 2018