Today in #BlackHistory @SalimAdofo April 15, 1915 Walter Edward Washington, the first home-rule Mayor of Washington, D. C., was born in Dawson, Georgia but raised in Jamestown, New York. Washington earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1938 from Howard University and his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1948 from Howard University School of Law. From 1948 to 1961, Washington was a supervisor for D. C.’s Alley Dwelling Authority. In 1961, he was appointed executive director of the National Capital Housing Authority. In 1967, he was appointed Mayor-Commissioner of Washington, D. C. When home-rule was granted to D. C. in 1973, Washington was elected Mayor of D. C. in 1974. After being defeated for re-election in 1978, he became a partner in a private law firm until 1999. Washington died October 27, 2003. The Walter E. Washington Estates housing development and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D. C. are named in his honor.
Today in #BlackHistory @SalimAdofo #NBUF April 14, 1927 John Wesley Cromwell, historian, educator and lawyer, died. Cromwell was born enslaved September 5, 1846 in Portsmouth, Virginia. After his father gained the family’s freedom, Cromwell graduated from the Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheney University) in 1864. In 1873, he graduated from Howard University Law School and the next year was admitted to the District of Columbia bar. In 1876, he founded the weekly paper The People’s Advocate. On December 22, 1887, Cromwell became the first African American lawyer to argue a case before the Interstate Commerce Commission when he served as counsel for the plaintiff in William H. Heard v. Georgia Railroad Company. A gifted organizer, Cromwell helped organize the Virginia Educational and Historical Association and the National Colored Press Association. He was a founder of the Bethel Literary and Historical Association in 1897 and was a founding member of the American Negro Academy, an organization created to stimulate and demonstrate intellectual capabilities among African Americans. In 1914, Cromwell published his most influential work, “The Negro in American History: Men and Women Eminent in the Evolution of the American of African Descent” which influenced Carter G. Woodson to found the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History the following year. Cromwell also published “The First Negro Churches in The District of Columbia” in 1917.
Today in #BlackHistory @SalimAdofo #NBUF April 10, 1993 Chris Hani, leader of the South African Communist Party and Chief of Staff of the armed wing of the African National Congress, was assassinated. Hani was born Martin Thembisile Hani June 28, 1942 in Cofimvaba, South Africa. He joined the ANC Youth League at 15. He also studied modern and classical literature at the University of Fort Hare and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin and English from Rhodes University in 1962. Following his arrest under the Suppression of Communism Act, Hani went into exile in Lesotho in 1963. While in exile, he fought with rebels in Rhodesia against the White government. In 1975, Hani was elected to the ANC National Executive Committee and in 1987 became chief of staff of the armed wing of the ANC. Following the end of the government ban on the ANC in 1990, Hani returned to South Africa and in 1991 was elected general secretary of the South African Communist Party. During this time, Hani was the most popular ANC leader after Nelson Mandela. A township and municipality in South Africa are named in his honor. The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, one of the largest hospitals in the world, was renamed in his honor in 1997.
Today in #BlackHistory @SalimAdofo #NBUF April 10, 2005 Frederick Clinton Branch, the first African American officer in the United States Marine Corps, died. Branch was born May 31, 1922 in Hamlet, North Carolina. He was attending Temple University when he was drafted into the army in 1943. He was chosen to be a marine and trained at Montford Point, North Carolina along with other African American marines (now known as the Montford Point Marines).. Branch applied for officer candidate school but was initially denied. His subsequent performance earned him a recommendation and he was accepted into the school and was commissioned a second lieutenant November 10, 1945. Following World War II, Branch left active duty for the reserves. He was reactivated during the Korean War before leaving the marines in 1955 as a captain. Branch earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Temple in 1947 and after leaving the service established a science department at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania high school where he taught until his retirement in 1988. Branch received an honorary doctorate degree from Johnson C. Smith University in 1995 and in 1997 a training building at the Marine Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia was named in his honor. In 2006, the marines established the Frederick C. Branch Leadership Scholarship which is a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship for students attending one of 17 historically Black colleges and universities that have NROTC programs on campus.
#NBUF will be hosting a Bad Mama Jamma!
Today in #BlackHistory @SalimAdofo #NBUF - April 7, 1803 Francois-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture, Haitian patriot and revolutionary leader, died. Toussaint was born enslaved May 20, 1743 in Saint-Domingue, Hispaniola (now Haiti). At an early age, Toussaint’s master recognized his superior intelligence and taught him French, gave him duties which allowed him to educate himself, and freed him at 33. Beginning in 1791, Toussaint led enslaved Black people in a long struggle for independence from French colonizers. By 1796, Toussaint was the dominant figure in Haiti and tried to rebuild the collapsed economy and reestablish commercial contacts with the United States and Britain. However, in 1802 he was kidnapped by the French and died in a French prison. Toussaint figures importantly in the early 19th century writings of several authors as a symbol and exemplar of resistance to slavery and as an example of the potential of the Black race. He also inspired a number of 20th century works, including Leslie Pinckey Hill’s “Toussaint L’Ouverture: A Dramatic History” (1928) and Aime Cesaire’s “Toussaint Louverture” (1960).
Today in #BlackHistory @SalimAdofo #NBUF - April 7, 1915 Billie Holiday, hall of fame jazz singer and songwriter known as “Lady Day,” was born Elinore Harris in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By 1929, Holiday was performing in clubs around Harlem, New York. In 1933, Holiday made her recording debut with “Your Mother’s Son-In-Law” and “Riffin’ the Scotch.” By 1938, she was performing as a vocalist with the big band of Artie Shaw, one of the first Black women to work with a White orchestra. Amongst the songs that Holiday recorded, “God Bless the Child” (1941), “Embraceable You” (1944), “Crazy He Calls Me” (1949), and “Lady in Satin” (1958) have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as recordings of “qualitative or historical significance.” “Strange Fruit” (1939) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and is listed on the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.” Holiday died July 17, 1959 with $0.70 in the bank and $750 on her person. In 1972, the film “Lady Sings the Blues,” which was loosely based on her autobiography of the same title published in 1956, was released. Holiday was posthumously given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 and in 1994 the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honor. She was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1961 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
We sitting at the feet of FORMER Political Prisoner & Black Panther Marshall Eddie Conway #NBUF
Hell yes!! #NBUF
Imamu Amiri Baraka @SalimAdofo #NBUF #Sankofa #BlackLove