October 4, 1943 Hubert Gerold “H. Rap” Brown, social activist, was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the early 1960s, Brown became active with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and in 1967 was named chairman of the organization. In 1968, he left SNCC and joined the Black Panthers, eventually becoming justice minister. One of [...]
October 3, 1954 Alfred Charles “Al” Sharpton, Jr., minister, civil rights activist, and radio talk show host, was born in Brooklyn, New York. Sharpton preached his first sermon at the age of four and toured with Mahalia Jackson. While still in high school, Sharpton started promoting concerts and was hired by soul singer James Brown [...]
September 15, 1963 The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed by members of the United Klan of America. Addie Mae Collins (14), Denise McNair (11), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14) were killed in the blast, and 22 other people were injured. Outrage at the bombing resulted in violence across Birmingham [...]
August 24, 2003 John Melville Burgess, the first African American diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Church, died. Burgess was born March 11, 1909 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in social work from the University Michigan in 1930 and 1931, respectively. He earned a divinity degree from [...]
July 28, 1924 Cordy Tindell Vivian, minister, author and civil rights activist, was born in Howard, Missouri. Vivian’s first professional job was recreation director for the Carver Community Center in Peoria, Illinois where he participated in his first sit-in demonstrations, successfully integrating Barton’s Cafeteria in 1947. From 1955 to 1959, Vivian studied at American Baptist [...]
July 28, 2009 Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II (Rev. Ike), minister and evangelist, died. Rev. Ike was born June 1, 1935 in Ridgeland, South Carolina. He began his career as a teenage preacher. After serving the United States Air Force, he founded the United Church of Jesus Christ for All People in Beaufort, South Carolina, the [...]
July 27, 1984 Clarence LaVaughn “C. L.” Franklin, minister and civil rights activist, died. Franklin was born January 22, 1915 in Sunflower County, Mississippi. At the age of 16, Franklin became a preacher working the black preaching circuit before settling at churches in Memphis, Tennessee and later Buffalo, New York.