Sunday, August 7, 2011

Today In Black History

1893*

One hundred and eighteen Blacks were reported lynched in 1893.



1904*

Born in this year and the First Black winner of Nobel Peace Prize was Ralph J Bunche, Diplomat


1930*

James Cameron Founder/Director America's Black Holocaust Museum, Inc. Milwaukee, Wisconsin August 7, 1930. The night James Cameron's life changed forever. A day before, he and two other young Black men were arrested for the robbery, rape and assault of a White couple in Marion, Indiana. James is in a cell in the Grant County Jail. There is a lynch mob outside numbering into the thousands. James is sixteen years old. The mob comes into the jail and grabs one of men accused, with James, of the crime. He is beaten unconscious, dragged outside and lynched. The second man is then given the same treatment. The bodies of these two men, Tom Shipp, 18, and Abraham Smith, 19, hanging from a tree is depicted in a famous and disturbing photograph. The mob now comes for James. He is beaten and dragged out to the tree where his friends now hang and the rope is placed around his neck. It is at this moment that James remembers hearing what he describes as an angelic voice above the crowd say "Take this boy back, he had nothing to do with any killing or rape." Suddenly the hands that were beating him are now helping him. The rope is taken from around his neck and the crowd clears a path for him to walk back to the jail. In interviews he later conducted with people who were in the crowd, no one remembers hearing any voice. Their reason for why the crowd did not lynch James: "You were lucky that night." Though James never admitted any guilt in the assault (he admits that he was there), he served 4 years in prison. The female victim later changed her story and confirmed that James had no part in the assault. After he was paroled, James Cameron moved to Milwaukee. During his career, he held several jobs including table waiter, laborer, construction worker, laundry worker, salesman, janitor, ditch digger, record shop owner, theater custodian, junk man, newspaper reporter, shoeshine boy and cardboard-box factory worker. 


He also organized the Madison County Branch of the NAACP in Madison and other chapters in Muncie and South Bend, Indiana. Upon retirement, he opened a rug and upholstery cleaning business. In 1983, after not being able to find a publisher for the book he started writing in prison, Cameron took out a second mortgage on his home to publish A Time of Terror, his autobiographical account of what happened that night in 1930. The following year, after hearing of plans to build a Jewish Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., James Cameron decided that a Black Holocaust Museum was needed. "It seems that every group of people have a chance to erect museums and memorials and statues in our country so the that the world can never forget." In 1988, he founded America's Black Holocaust Museum, Inc., a non-profit museum devoted to preserving the history of lynching in the United States and the struggle of Black people for equality


1932*

Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia, winner of the 1960 Olympic marathon (running barefoot), is born.


1936*

Roland Kirk, blind  Tenor Saxophonist was born in  this year


1948*

Alice Coachman, becomes the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the high jump during the Summer Games in London


1954*
Confirmed by the Senate, Charles H. Mahoney became the first Black permanent member of the delegations to the United Nations.


1960*
Black and white students staged kneel-in demonstrations in Atlanta churches.







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