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 29, 2015
Basketball star Walt Frazier born
Basketball legend Walt Frazier was born in Atlanta, Georgia. With his Rolls Royce car, flamboyant wardrobe that featured knee-length fur coats, and stylish fedora hats, Walt Frazier was the toast of New York City as a member of the Knicks from 1967 to 1977. On the court, Frazier was “super cool.” His quick hands on defense combined with his calm, cool and collected demeanor on the court, earned him the nickname “Clyde.” The cornerstone of Knick teams for a decade, Frazier first caught the attention of pro scouts while playing at Southern Illinois University. A Division II All-America in 1964 and 1965 and a Division I All-America in 1967, Frazier led the Salukis to the 1967 NIT championship and was named Tournament MVP. Frazier was the first-round choice of the Knicks in the 1967 NBA draft, and earned NBA All-Rookie honors. Frazier’s smooth play electrified crowds at Madison Square Garden. His offensive repertoire was a blend of smooth drives to the bucket and mid-range jump shots that burned opponents for 15,581 points (18.9 ppg) during his career. Even with an All-Star cast, Frazier led the Knicks in scoring five times. An adept passer, Frazier dished out 5,040 assists during his career (6.1 apg) and led the Knicks in assists 10 straight years. Many of those passes were directed to fellow Hall of Famers Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Jerry Lucas and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. Frazier, Reed, Bradley and DeBusschere copped the 1970 NBA title, and with the addition of Lucas and Monroe, the Knicks repeated in 1973.
March 30, 1870
The 15th Amendment
On March 30, 1870, the ratification of the 15th Amendment secured voting rights for all male U.S. citizens.
The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.
March 31, 1850
“Separate but Equal”
Massachusetts Supreme Court rejected the argument of Charles Sumner in the Boston school integration suit and established the “separate but equal” precedent.
April 1, 1868
Hampton University was established in 1868 as a school for blacks. Hampton University was known prior to August 1984 as Hampton Institute. The university is a private coeducational institution in Hampton, Virginia. Its undergraduate college is still known as Hampton Institute.
April 2, 1865
The Twenty-Fifth Corps
Black soldiers of the Twenty-Fifth Corps were among the first Union soldiers to enter Petersburg.
April 3, 1968
I’ve Been To The Mountaintop
In 1968, on this date, Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his final address at Bishop Charles J. Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.
I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” is the popular name of the last speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The speech primarily concerns the Memphis Sanitation Strike. King calls for unity, economic actions, boycotts, and nonviolent protest, while challenging the United States to live up to its ideals. At the end of the speech, he discusses the possibility of an untimely death.
April 4, 1968
Martin Luther King Jr’s Death
Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated by white sniper in Memphis, Tennessee. Assassination precipitated a national crisis and rioting in more than one hundred cities. Forty-six persons were killed in major rebellions in Washington, Chicago and other cities. Twenty thousand federal troops and thirty-four thousand National Guardsmen were mobilized to quell disturbances. Memorial marches and rallies were held throughout the country. Many public school systems closed and the opening of the baseball season was postponed. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Sunday, April 6, a national day of mourning and ordered all U.S. flags on government buildings in all U.S. territories and possession to fly at half-mast.
Being familiar with past events gives us the ability not only to learn from past mistakes but also from the successes.
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.
Comments, I can be reached at: