November 13


Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430), also known as Saint Augustine or Saint Austin, was an early Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria) located in the Roman province of Africa. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace. In his writings, Augustine leaves some information as to the consciousness of his African heritage. For example, he refers to Apuleius as "the most notorious of us Africans," to Ponticianus as "a country man of ours, insofar as being African," and to Faustus of Mileve as "an African Gentleman."


John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil (November 13, 1911 – October 6, 2006) was a first baseman and manager in the Negro American League, mostly with the Kansas City Monarchs. After his playing days, he worked as a scout, and became the first African American coach in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs. In 1990, O'Neil led the effort to establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City, and served as its honorary board chairman until his death and was featured in Ken Burns' 1994 documentary, Baseball. In 2007 he was posthumously given a Lifetime Achievement Award named after him. He had fallen short in the Hall of Fame vote in 2006; however, he was honored in 2007 with a new award given by the Hall of Fame, to be named after him.

Georg Olden (born George Elliott Olden, November 13, 1920 - February 25, 1975) worked during World War II as a graphic designer for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA. After the war his supervisor in the OSS, Col. Lawrence W. Lowman, became Vice President of CBS's television division and recommended Olden to the agency's Director of Communications. In 1960 he left CBS to work for BBDO and other advertising agencies. He designed the Clio award as well as willing seven himself. In 1963, he designed a postage stamp for the United States Postal Service commemorating the centennial of the declaration of the Emancipation Proclamation, the first African-American to do so.

Benny Andrews (November 13, 1930 - November 10, 2006) served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean war and later earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He had his first New York City solo art show in 1962. In 1969, he co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition to protest the fact that no African Americans were involved in organizing the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit “Harlem on My Mind.”
From 1982 to 1984, he was director of visual arts for the National Endowment for the Arts and in 1983 he was instrumental in forming the National Arts Program which is the largest coordinated visual arts program in the nation’s history. From 1968 to 1997, Andrews taught at Queens College, City University of New York and created a prison art program that became a model for the nation. In 2006, he went to the Gulf Coast to work on an art project with children displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

John Hill Westbrook (November 13, 1947 - December 17, 1983) was the first African American to play varsity football for the SWC, entering a game for the Baylor Bears on September 10, 1966, one week ahead of SMU's Jerry LeVias. Due to early injuries, Westbrook didn't have the outstanding college career that LeVias had and was not as well known. After graduating with a degree in English, Westbrook taught at Southwest Missouri State and Wiley College, and pastored Baptist churches in Tyler and Houston. He ran for Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1978, placing second in the Democratic primary. He died at the age of 36 due to a pulmonary embolism.

Whoopi Goldberg (born Caryn Elaine Johnson, November 13, 1949) has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards for her work in television, and is one of the few entertainers who have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. Her first major film role was as Celie in The Color Purple (1985), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award five years later in Ghost, becoming the second African American to do so after Hattie McDaniel in 1940.


On November 13, 1940, the U.S. Supreme Court in Hansberry v. Lee invalidated a racial covenant, ruling in favor of an African American man, Carl Hansberry, who bought a house in a formerly whites-only neighborhood. the justices reversed the Supreme Court of Illinois’ decision on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process rights, arguing that it was unfair to allow the 54 percent of the neighborhood landowners who had signed the covenant to represent the 46 percent who had not. Carl Hansberry was the father of author Lorraine Hanberry.

On June 4, 1956 the federal district court ruled that Alabama's racial segregation laws for buses were unconstitutional. However, an appeal kept the segregation intact, and the Montgomery boycott continued. On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court upheld the district court's ruling, leading to a city ordinance that allowed black bus passengers to sit virtually anywhere they wanted. The boycott officially ended December 20, 1956, after 381 days.

Photo Gallery

Walter White to James Weldon Johnson concerning the Ossian Sweet case, November 13, 1925. Typed letter. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (063.00.00) Courtesy of the NAACP [Digital ID # na0063]

President Obama and the U.S. delegation toast with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
 and the Japanese delegation at a dinner at the prime minister's official residence
following their bilateral meeting and joint press conference in Tokyo, November 13, 2009.


Jet Magazine, November 13, 1952

Thousands Attend Funeral for Hattie McDaniel - Jet Magazine, November 13, 1952

Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir by Stanley Tookie Williams.
$16.00. Publisher: Touchstone (November 13, 2007). 

The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights by Carole Boston Weatherford. $11.56. Author:
Carole Boston Weatherford. Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (November 13, 2009).
36 pages. Publication: November 13, 2009. With the text of the biblical Beatitudes as an
undercurrent, the story of the civil rights movement is told in lyrical text and stirring illustrations. 


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