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The birth of “Pap” Singleton in 1809 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black abolitionist who helped lead hundreds of African Americans out of the South and into the West, specifically to Kansas, during Reconstruction.learn more
On this date in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued what was called an “eye-for-eye” order, warning the Confederacy that Union soldiers would shoot a rebel prisoner for every black prisoner shot. It also would condemn a rebel prisoner to a life of hard labor for every Black prisoner sold into slavery.
The order had a slight “restraining” influence on the Confederate government’s voiced policy, but individual commanders and soldiers continued to murder captured black soldiers.learn more
On this date in 1866, the New Orleans riot occurred.
Angered by the enactment of the Black Codes in Louisiana, and by the legislature’s refusal to give black men the vote, the Radical Republicans in Louisiana reconvened the Constitutional Convention of 1864. Only 25 white delegates met in New Orleans, but another 200 supporters, who were primarily African American veterans from the Civil War, joined them.learn more
The birth of Elizabeth Ross Haynes in 1883 is marked on this date. She was an African American activist, writer, and administrator.
She was born in Lowndes County, AL, the daughter of prosperous farmers Henry and Mary Cames Ross. Elizabeth Ross was class valedictorian at State Normal School of Montgomery, and she received an A. B. degree from Fisk University in 1903. She got her M. A. in sociology from Columbia University in 1923. Haynes’ 1923 Master’s thesis was the most comprehensive study of Black women in America until the 1970s.learn more
*Eugene Jones was born on this date in 1885. He was a Black administrator of the National Urban League and union advocate. Eugene Kinckle Jones was born in Richmond, Virginia to Joseph Endom Jones and Rosa Daniel Kinckle. He graduated from Richmond’s Virginia Union University in 1905 and Cornell University with a master’s degree in […]learn more
*C. T. Vivian was born on this date in 1924. He was a Black minister, author, and activist. Cordy Tindell Vivian was born in Boonville, Missouri. As a small boy he migrated with his mother to Macomb, Illinois, where he attended Lincoln Grade School and Edison Junior High School. Vivian graduated from Macomb High […]learn more
Betye Irene Saar was born on this date in 1926. She is an African American artist and educator, famous for collages that lampoon racist attitudes about blacks and for installations featuring mystical themes.learn more
*Tony Lip was born on this date in 1930. He was a white-Italian American actor, chauffer, bodyguard and occasional author. Born Frank Anthony Vallelonga, he was from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, the son of Italian parents, Nazarena and Nicholas Vallelonga. His family moved to the Bronx when he was an infant, and he grew up on 215th Street near the boyhood home […]learn more
*On this date in 1939, The Ida B. Wells Homes are celebrated. It was a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) public housing project. It was located in the heart of the Bronzeville neighborhood of the city. Named for Black journalist and newspaper editor Ida B. Wells, the housing project was constructed between 1939 and 1941 […]learn more
*Otis Taylor was born on this date in 1948. He is a Black blues musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist whose talents include the guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, and vocals. Otis Taylor was born in Chicago and moved at a young age to Denver, Colorado, where he grew up. He originally grew up playing the banjo, but his father […]learn more
Anita Hill was born on born on this date in 1956. She is an African American lawyer, educator, author, and activist.
She was born in Lone Tree, OK, the youngest of 13 children. She grew up in a farming community and went to school in Okmulgee County. Her childhood included hard work, not much money, and solid family affection.
Hill received her law degree from Yale University and for a time worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She then taught law at the University of Oklahoma.learn more
Reggie Roby was born on this date in 1961. He was an African American professional football player.
Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Reginald Henry Roby played football and baseball at Waterloo East High School, and was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds as a pitcher. He chose to attend the University of Iowa and play football where he would become an All-American punter. At 6 Foot 4 Inches and 250 pounds, Roby was known for his ability to kick deep. In 1981, the team had its first winning season in 20 years, and made its first Rose Bowl in 23 years.learn more
Laurence Fishburne was born on this date 1961. He is an African American actor, playwright, screenwriter, director, and producer.
Born in Augusta, GA, he and his mother (a divorced teacher) moved the family to Brooklyn, NY, which he considers his hometown. Fishburne landed a regular role on “One Life to Live” when he was 10. His movie debut was in “Cornbread, Earl and Me” (1975). When he was 14, he began work on “Apocalypse Now” after lying about his age. For the next several years, he was offered only small roles. He eventually landed a part on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”learn more
*On this date in 1963, Michelle Bernard was born. She is an African American author, journalist and lawyer.learn more
On this date in 1967, Milwaukee joined the list of cities that erupted into violence, joining hundreds of other American cities in the nation’s civil rights battle in the late 1960s.
Police and city officials faced anger and frustration from Watts to Detroit to Milwaukee in city after city as African Americans raised the consciousness of the country to the dangers of racial discrimination and segregation. President Johnson had called for a national day of prayer, but before the day was out, Milwaukee had exploded.learn more