Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Fri, 12.12.1806

Stand Watie born

*Stand Watie was born on this date in 1806.  He was a Native American Cherokee Chief, slave owner and military officer. From Rome, Georgia, he was also called De Gata Ga (Cherokee: “Stand Firm”).   At the age of 12, he was sent to a mission school where he learned to speak English. He later helped an older brother […]

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Sun, 12.12.1886

Frederick Massiah was an innovative engineer

This date celebrates the birth of Frederick McDonald Massiah in 1886. He was an African American engineer and businessman.

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Sat, 12.12.1896

Eslanda Robeson, international force against colonialism

Eslanda Goode Robeson was born on this date in 1896. She was an African American writer and activist.

From a middle-class family in Washington D.C., her maternal grandfather was Francis L. Cardozo, a noted Black congressman from South Carolina. During the early 1900s, the family moved to New York City where Goode finished high school and attended Columbia University, where she received a degree in chemistry in 1923. Soon after she attended the London School of Economics, and earned a doctorate in anthropology from Hartford Seminary.

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Tue, 12.12.1899

Golf tee patented

George Grant patented the first golf tee on this date in 1899.

George F. Grant, who was not only one of the first African American golfers in post-Civil War America, he was one of the first African American dentists too. His was the blueprint for today’s wooden and plastic tees. He owned the first patent and also the last recognition for his invention. By all accounts, Dr. Grant was not the most skilled golfer, but he enjoyed the recreational aspects of the game.

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Wed, 12.11.1912

Heman M. Sweatt born

*Heman Sweatt was born on this date in 1912. He was an African American educator, postal worker and activist.

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Thu, 12.12.1912

Henry Armstrong, record setting boxer

On this date, we mark the birth of Henry Armstrong in 1912. He was an African American boxer, the only professional boxer to hold three world championship titles simultaneously.

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Wed, 12.18.1912

Military pioneer, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr., was born on this date in 1912. He was an African American army officer and military activist.

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Sun, 12.29.1912

Lewis A. Jackson, aviation pioneer

Lewis A. Jackson was born on this date in 1912. He was an African American aviator, innovator, educator, and administrator.

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Sun, 12.12.1943

Jazzman Grover Washington Jr. born

On this date in 1943, Grover Washington, Jr., was born. He was an African American saxophonist who played tenor, alto, soprano, and baritone; he also played the clarinet, electric bass, and piano; and he was a composer.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., he grew up in a musical family. Washington started playing the saxophone when he was 10, and was already playing in clubs as a teenager. After graduating from high school at the age of 16, he formed a group called The Four Clefs, was based in Ohio.

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Wed, 12.12.1945

A drummer with power and finesse, Tony Williams

Tony Williams, an African American drummer, was born in Chicago on this date in 1945.

His family moved to Boston when he was about 2. By the time he was 15, he was an active freelance musician in the Boston area, thanks in large part to his musician father, who exposed him to the club and musician scene early on. He studied with Alan Dawson and played with Max Roach and Art Blakey while still a youth. Appearing on the jazz scene in the early 1960s, first with Sam Rivers and then with Jackie McLean, the very young drummer Anthony Williams’ impact was immediate.

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Sat, 12.12.1964

Kenya achieves independence

On this date Jomo Kenyatta was elected the first minister of the newly independent Kenya.

As an independent country, Kenya was initially a constitutional monarchy, with the British monarch as its nominal head of state and a prime minister as head of the government. Although the British hoped to hand over power to moderates, when Kenya became independent, it was the Kenya African National Union (KANU) of Jomo Kenyatta that formed a government shortly before Kenya became independent in December 1963.

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Fri, 12.12.1975

National Association of Black Journalists founded

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) was founded on this date in 1975.

The organization is 3,000 members strong with 74 affiliated professional chapters and 51 student chapters; it is the largest media organization for people of color in the world.

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Mon, 12.12.2005

Tookie Williams’ clemency denied

On this date in 2005, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to spare the life of African American Stanley Tookie Williams.

Jesse Jackson and others (shown) marched across the Golden Gate Bridge into the San Francisco area in protest. Williams, the founder of the Crips street gang, was executed one minute after midnight.

Just before the governor announced his decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals denied Williams’ request for a reprieve.

The Associated Press
450 W. 33rd St.,
New York, NY 10001.

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

and yeah, brothers, while white/America sings about the unsink able molly brown (who was hustling the titanic when it went down) I sing to thee of Shine the stoker who was... I SING OF SHINE by Etheridge Knight.
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