Know Your History!
Up to the early 20th century, most American knowledge of Black history was limited to the African American struggle through slavery and emancipation. The significance of Black history is recognition of the advancements and accomplishments of a group of people once defined by the Constitution as three-fifths of a person. While slavery in America hosts the background of Black history, the African American impact on history reaches beyond the country’s early history, as African Americans have made significant contributions.
African-American Facts for Week of: March 27
March 27, 1924
Jazz singer Sarah Vaughn
Jazz singer Sarah Vaughn was born in Newark, New Jersey.
March 27, 1969
Black Academy of Arts and Letters
Black Academy of Arts and Letters founded at Boston meeting.
March 28, 1968
Interruption of Protest March
Race riot in Memphis, Tenn. interrupted protest march led by Martin Luther King Jr. in support of striking sanitation workers. National Guard called up.
March 28, 1966
1966 – Bill Russell named head coach of the Boston Celtic
Bill Russell named head coach of the Boston Celtics, becoming the first African American to coach an NBA team.
March 29, 1991
War and Famine
On March 29, 1991 a UN program to feed two million Angolans resumes after the Government lifts a three-month ban on deliveries.
March 30, 1870
1870 – The 15th Amendment
On March 30, 1870, the ratification of the 15th Amendment secured voting rights for all male U.S. citizens.
March 30, 1941
1941 – National Urban League presented one-hour program
National Urban League presented one-hour program over a national radio network and urged equal participation for Blacks in national defense program.
March 31, 1980
1980 – Death of Jesse Owens, Gold Medalist
Death of Jesse Owens (66), who won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, 1936, in Tuscon, Arizona.
March 31, 1878
1878 – Jack Johnson, boxer born
Born: Mar. 31, 1878 Boxer controversial heavyweight champion (1908-15) and 1st black to hold title; defeated Tommy Burns for crown at age 30; fled to Europe in 1913 after Mann Act conviction; lost title to Jess Willard in Havana, but claimed to have taken a dive; pro record 78-8-12 with 45 KOs.
April 1, 1917
1917 – Scott Joplin dies
Scott Joplin dies in New York City. Joplin was one of the early developers of ragtime and the author of “Maple Leaf Rag”. He also created several rag-time and grand operas, the most noteworthy was Treemonisha.
April 1, 1950
1950 – Death of Charles R. Drew
Death of Charles R. Drew (45), surgeon and developer of the blood bank concept, after an automobile accident near Burlington, North Carolina.
April 2, 1984
Coach John Thompson
Coach John Thompson of Georgetown University becomes the first Black coach to win the NCAA basketball tournament.
To me, the omission of any group from history teachings results in a limited understanding of history’s relationship with the present and future. Know your history.
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