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The Registry

Mon, 02.18.1867 story

Morehouse College is Founded

*On this date we celebrate the founding of Morehouse College in 1867. This is a private institution for men, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Morehouse College is a member of the 39 United Negro College Fund lists of higher learning institutions.

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Thu, 03.09.1922 story

Floyd McKissick, Activist born

*On this date in 1922, Floyd McKissick was born. He was an African American civil rights activist and a former National Director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

From Asheville, North Carolina he did his undergraduate education at that state’s colleges and Morehouse College. His attempt to apply for Law School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was denied because the school was not integrated. With the help of NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall, he sued the school and became the first African American to earn a LL. B degree at the University of North Carolina.

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Sat, 11.18.1899 story

Howard Thurman, Theologian, and Educator born

On this date in 1899, Howard Thurman was born. He was an African American author, theologian, civil and human rights activist, and educator.

Thurman was from Daytona Beach, FL, and he studied at Morehouse College, Rochester Theological Center, and Haverford College. He was named by Life magazine as one of the 12 great preachers of the 20th century. He served as a pastor at a Baptist church in Ohio and as the dean of the chapel at Howard University from 1932 to 1944. Until 1953 he served at an interracial and interdenominational Fellowship Church he founded in San Francisco.

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Wed, 03.20.1957 story

Spike Lee, Film Director, and Producer born

*Spike Lee was born on this date in 1957. He is an African American filmmaker, writer, actor, and producer.

From Atlanta, Georgia, Sheldon Jackson Lee (his name at birth) is the son of jazz composer Bill Lee and was raised in Brooklyn, New York. Lee graduated from John Dewey high school and majored in communications at Morehouse College, where he directed his first Super-8 films. In 1978, he enrolled in New York University’s Graduate Film School. While attending these two schools, he met future collaborators, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson and co-producer Monty Ross.

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Thu, 08.24.1978 story

Jomandi Productions Debuts

The founding of Jomandi Productions, an African American Theatre Company in Atlanta in 1978 is celebrated on this date.

Jomandi was launched through an endowment of the Dr. Thomas W. Jones Memorial Scholarship of the Morehouse College Medical School. “Every Father’s Child,” the company’s first production written by Thomas W. Jones II, was part of that tribute. The name Jomandi is a combination of the names of the Jones family members. Fittingly, in a Senegalese dialect the name means, “People gathered together in celebration.”

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Wed, 10.17.1928 story

Lerone Bennett Jr., Author, and Historian born

Lerone Bennett, Jr. was born on this date in 1928. He is an African American author, historian, and journalist.

He was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the son of the Lerone and Alma (Reed) Bennett. He and his family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he attended public schools. Bennett graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. That same year, Bennett attended Atlanta University for graduate study. Bennett became a journalist for the Atlanta Daily World in 1949, continuing until 1953 and he worked as city editor for JET magazine from 1952-53.

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Thu, 04.07.1927 story

Babatunde Olatunji, Percussionist born

*Babatunde Olatunji was born on this date in 1927. He was a Nigerian musician specializing in percussion.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Olatunji was educated at Morehouse College in Atlanta and the New York University Graduate School. At Morehouse, he began performing casually, entertaining students. As the demand for his music grew, he turned professional. In 1959, Columbia Records released Olatunji’s first album, Drums of Passion, which became a worldwide hit. It was the first album to bring genuine African music to Western ears, selling over five million copies.

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Sun, 03.26.1882 story

John Wesley Dobbs, Atlanta Civic Leader born

The birth of John Wesley Dobbs in 1882 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American postal clerk, civic leader, and activist.

Often called the Unofficial “Mayor” of Auburn Avenue,
Dobbs was born in Marietta, Georgia. In 1897, he went to Atlanta, worked at a drugstore, and attended Atlanta Baptist College (Morehouse College). In 1903, Dobbs passed the U.S. postal exam to become a postal clerk and assumed a highly respected position for a Black man at the turn of the century. Three years later he married Irene Ophelia Thompson, and together they would have six daughters.

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Sun, 01.12.1890 story

Mordecai Johnson, Educator born

On this date in 1890, Mordecai Johnson was born. He was an African American educator, clergyman, administrator, and public speaker.

Wyatt Mordecai Johnson was born in Paris, TN, the son of a former slave. Johnson learned through his parent’s example the muscle of self-determination, discipline, scholarship, and integrity. His father, a minister and laborer, was a stern man who worked at a mill six days a week, twelve hours a day, for forty years. His mother, Carolyn, offset his father’s firmness with patience and nurturing for her only child.

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Fri, 05.29.1914 story

Henry McBay, Scientist, and Educator born

On this date in 1914, Henry McBay was born. He was an African American scientist and educator.

Henry Ransom Cecil McBay was from Mexia, TX. He received a Bachelor of Science from Wiley College in 1934, a Master of Science from Atlanta University in 1936, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1945. He was an instructor of chemistry at Wiley College from 1936 to 1938, then an instructor at Western University, Kansas City. In 1944 and 1945, he won the Elizabeth Norton prize at the University of Chicago for outstanding research in chemistry.

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