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William Whipper, a Black businessman and abolitionist was born on this date in 1804.
Born in Lancaster, PA, he later lived in Columbia, SC, and Philadelphia. Whipper was the Black son of a White Pennsylvania businessman and a Black woman who was his servant. He inherited his father’s lumber business, and, with another free Black business partner, Stephen Smith, they created one of the state’s leading lumberyards where Whipper made a sizable fortune through joint ventures.learn more
*Octavius Catto was born on this date in 1839. He was a Black educator, Baseball player, author, and abolitionist. Octavius Valentine Catto was born free in Charleston, South Carolina. His mother, Sarah Isabella Cain, was free and a member of the city’s prominent mixed-race DeReef family, which had been free for decades and belonged to […]learn more
*On this date in 1841, Grafton Tyler Brown was born. He was an African American lithographer and painter.
Born of free ancestry in Pennsylvania, Brown followed the lure of the West to California in the mid-1850s, taking part in the expansion that would change the face of the nation. He was able to find work as a lithographer in San Francisco and in time formed his own business in 1866. Brown is considered the first Black professional artist in California.learn more
*John Edward Bruce was born on this date in 1856. He was a Black journalist, historian, writer, orator, civil rights activist, and Pan-African nationalist. Also known as Bruce Grit or J. E. Bruce-Grit, he was born a slave in Piscataway, Maryland, to enslaved parents Robert and Martha Allen (Clark) Bruce. When he was three years old, his father was sold to a slaveholder in Georgia, and Bruce […]learn more
*John Langalibalele Dube was born on this date in 1871. He was a Black South African activist, essayist, philosopher, educator, politician, publisher, editor, novelist, and poet. John Langalibalele was born in Natal at the Inanda mission station of the American Zulu Mission (AZM), a branch of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, whose […]learn more
*James R. Europe was born on this date in 1881. He was an African American bandleader, arranger, composer, and a major figure in the transition from ragtime to jazz.
From Mobile, Ala., James Reese Europe studied piano and violin in his youth and about 1904 settled in New York City, where he directed musical comedies. In 1910, he helped organize the Clef Club, a union of African American musicians. The 125-member Clef Club Society Orchestra that he conducted at Carnegie Hall featured some extraordinary instrumentation, including 47 mandolins and bandores and 27 harp-guitars.learn more
*This date marks the birth of Horace Pippin in 1888. He was an African American folk painter known for his primitivist depictions of Black life in America and on the horrors of war.learn more
*On this date in 1898, Frazier B. Baker was lynched. He was a Black teacher who was appointed as postmaster of Lake City, South Carolina in 1897 under the William McKinley administration. After Frazier Baker had been appointed postmaster of Lake City, local whites objected and had undertaken a campaign to force his removal. When these […]learn more
*Herb Trawick was born on this date in 1921. He was a Black professional football player. Trawick was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA. He attended Kentucky State University and graduated with a degree in physical education. Collegiately, Trawick was a three-time All-American in football from 1940 to 1942. After school, he enlisted in the […]learn more
*Ishmael Reed was born on this date 1933. He is an African American writer.
From Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he was still a child, he and his family moved to Buffalo, New York, where Reed eventually attended the University of New York at Buffalo from 1956-1960. Reed is total writer, creating in poems, novels, essays, articles and more.learn more
*Gil Noble was born on this date in 1932. He was an African American television broadcaster and journalist.learn more
*On this date in 1935, the Village Vanguard opened. This was a pivotal cultural music location for the 20th century African American Jazz scene and remains open.
It is a jazz club, located at 178 Seventh Avenue South (just below West 11th St.) in New York City. It was founded by Max Gordon and is now run by his wife, Lorraine Gordon. At first it also featured other forms of music such as folk music and beat poetry, but it has been known as the home of live jazz since it switched to an all-jazz policy in 1957.learn more
*Homer G. Phillips Hospital is celebrated on this date in 1937. It was the first and only hospital for Blacks in St. Louis, Missouri. Located at 2601 N. Whittier Street in The Ville neighborhood, it was the first teaching hospital west of the Mississippi River to serve Blacks. Between 1910 and 1920, the Black population […]learn more
*Cordell Reagon was born on this date in 1943. He was a Black singer and activist. Cordell Hull Reagon was born in Nashville, Tennessee. Reagon was 16 years of age in 1959 when his powerful tenor voice spread the message of the American Civil Rights movement throughout the United States and Canada. James Forman, executive secretary of SNCC, […]learn more
*Julius Erving was born on this date in 1950. He is an African American basketball player (retired).learn more