Monday, October 3, 2011

Today In Black History

Timothy ("T.") Thomas Fortune was born on this day.

Mary McLeod Bethune opened Daytona Normal and Industrial School in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 In 1923 the school merged with Cookman Institute and became Bethune-Cookman College. Seventy-six Blacks reported lynched in 1904.


Ethiopia, one of the only two independent African nations at the time, was invaded on October 3,1935 by Fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini. The Italians, seeking revenge for their prior humiliating loss to Ethiopia over 40 years earlier, committed countless atrocities on the independent African state. Poisonous gas, aerial bombardment, flame throwers and concentration camps were all employed against the ill equipped Ethiopian people. Black outrage throughout the world was unified. The League of Nations, forerunner to the UN, was criticized sharply for supplying weapons to Italy and not to Ethiopia. Such actions confirmed Black suspicion that the war was of racial motivation and sought to extinguish the last light of African power in the world. From Kingston to Johannesburg, from Detroit to Ghana, form Port-of-Spain to Paris, Black men and women offered to go fight in defense of Ethiopia. And as battles raged between Ethiopians and Italians in Africa, battles raged between Blacks and Italians in the streets of New York. In South Africa, Black workers began a lengthy march up the continent to assist their African brothers in Ethiopia. Elsewhere, ex-service men discarded their European and American citizenship's to bring their military expertise to the defense of Ethiopia. The exiled Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie became a near legendary figure to many. Not before or ever since was such a strong sense of Pan-Africanism seen throughout the world. And though Italy succeeded in defeating the African nation, Blacks everywhere would continue the struggle until Ethiopia was free.


Birthday of Singer Chubby Checker, born Ernest Evans, in Philadelphia. Checker was best known for "The Twist" a hit song that soon became a style of dance.


WERD, first Black-owned radio station, opened in Atlanta.


Nat King Cole was the first black performer to host his own TV show.


Frank Robinson named manager of the Cleveland Indians and became the first Black manager in the major leagues.


Ex-football star O.J. Simpson is cleared today of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

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