January 31, 1914 Arnold Raymond Cream (Jersey Joe Walcott), Hall of Fame boxer, was born in Merchantville, New Jersey. Walcott made his professional boxing debut in 1930 and in 1951 won the heavyweight championship at the age of 37. At the time, he was the oldest man to win the heavyweight championship. Over his 23 […]
January 30, 1944 Sharon Pratt Kelly, the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major American city, was born in Washington, D.C. Pratt attended Howard University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1965 and her Juris Doctorate degree in 1968. From 1977 to 1990, she was […]
January 28, 1960 Zora Neale Hurston, author and playwright, died. Hurston was born January 7, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama but raised in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black town to be incorporated in the United States. Hurston described the experience of growing up in Eatonville in her 1928 essay “How It Feels to Be Colored Me.” […]
January 26, 1996 Henry Jay Lewis, double-bass player and orchestra conductor, died. Lewis was born October 16, 1932 in Los Angeles, California. He began playing the piano at the age of five and later learned to play the clarinet and several string instruments.
January 25, 1975 George Elliott Olden, graphic designer and the first African American to design a United States postage stamp, died. Olden was born November 13, 1920 in Birmingham, Alabama, but raised in Washington, D.C. Olden excelled at art from a young age and while still in high school drew cartoons and served as Art […]
January 24, 1900 Wilson Brown, Medal of Honor recipient, died. Brown was born in 1841 in Natchez, Mississippi. During the Civil War, he enlisted in the Union Navy and was assigned as a landsman to the USS Hartford.
January 23, 1915 William Arthur Lewis, the first black person to win a Nobel Prize in a category other than peace, was born in Castries, Saint Lucia. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1937 and his Ph. D. in 1940 from the London School of Economics, Lewis lectured at the University of Manchester […]
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