Today in African American HistoryFriday, May 25, 2012 By DSA Journalism Class
Today in Black History - May 25 * 1878 - Tap dancing legend Bill "Bojangles" (Luther) Robinson is born in Richmond, Virginia. He will star in vaudeville and in many movies such as "The Littliest Rebel," "In Old Kentucky," "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," and "The Little Colonel". He will join the ancestors on November 25, 1949. 1905 - Dorothy Burnett (later Porter, then Wesley) is born in Warrenton, Virginia. She will become a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the first African American woman to receive a Masters of Library Science degree from Columbia University, and will author several African American historical works. She will be a long-time librarian at the Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and will be responsible for developing it into one of the world's largest collections of material authored by and about people of African descent. She will join the ancestors on December 17, 1995.. 1932 - K.C. Jones is born in San Francisco, California. He will become a member of the Olympic basketball team and help win the 1956 Olympic Gold Medal. He will then become a professional basketball player with the Boston Celtics, where he will help win eight NBA titles. He will then win two championships as the coach of the Celtics. He will also be the head coach of the Washington Bullets and the Seattle Supersonics. He will have 522 wins as a NBA coach and in 1997 will become the coach of American Basketball League women's team, the New England Blizzard. After the league disbands, he will join the coaching staff of the women's basketball team at the University of Rhode Island, at the age of 67. 1935 - This is "the greatest day in the history of track," according to "The New York Times." Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks two world sprint records, ties a third, and breaks a long jump world record in a meet at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, all in one hour. 1936 - David Levering Lewis is born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He will become a historian and biographer. Professor Lewis will receive his Ph.D. in modern European history from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1962. His research and publications will focus on African American history, conceptions of race and racism, and the dynamics of European colonialism, especially in Africa. He will author a biography of Du Bois entitled "W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race," which will win a Pulitzer prize in 1994. His other works include "King: A Biography" (1970), "Prisoners of Honor: The Dreyfus Affair" (1975), "When Harlem Was in Vogue" (1982), "The Race to Fashoda: European Colonialism and the African Resistance to the Scramble for Africa" (1987), and "W.E.B. Du Bois: A Reader" (1995). 1943 - Leslie Uggams is born in Washington Heights, New York. She will make her acting debut on television's "Beulah" and be a regular on The Mitch Miller Show before achieving acclaim in Broadway's "Hallelujah Baby" and TV's "Roots." 1943 - A riot, started by white workers, occurs in a Mobile, Alabama shipyard over the job upgrading of twelve African American workers. 1959 - The U.S. Supreme Court declares a Louisiana law enforcing a ban on bouts between African American and white boxers to be unconstitutional. 1963 - The first observance of African Liberation Day occurs. It begins at the founding conference of the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 1964 - The closing of schools to avoid desegregation is ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Prince Edward County, Virginia will have to reopen and desegregate its schools. 1965 - A very short heavyweight title fight occurs in Lewiston, Maine. Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) knocks out challenger, Sonny Liston, in one minute and 56 seconds of the first round. Liston never sees the punch coming. Neither did an unbelieving crowd at ringside, nor those in theatres all over the world watching the fight on closed-circuit TV. 1994 - The United Nations Security Council lifts a 10-year-old ban on weapons exports from South Africa, ending the last of its apartheid-era embargos. Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle, edited by Rene' A. Perry.