November 15

On November 15, 2007 Rev. John H. Cross Jr. , former pastor of the Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, passed away at age 82. He had been appointed to the church a year before the bombing that took the lives of  the four young members of his congregation.

Sarah Jane Woodson Early (November 15, 1825 - August 1907) was hired by Wilberforce College in 1858 to teach English and Latin as well as serving as Matron and Girl's principal, becoming the first African American to teach at an HBCU and the first African American woman on any college faculty. She was the daughter of Jemima (Riddle) and Thomas Woodson who settled in Ohio in 1821 after being emancipated in Virginia. In 1830 the family and others formed the all-black community of Berlin Crossing, and her father (a minister) founded the first black Methodist Episcopal church west of the Alleghenies. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1856 and in addition to Wilberforce taught at other church-related schools in the area. In 1868 she married Jordan Winston Early, an elder in the A.M.E. church, and accompanied him to North Carolina where she taught and wrote a biography of her husband. She became involved in the temperance movement and in 1888 was named national director of the colored division of the WCTU. Her brother, Rev. Lewis Woodson, was a founder of the Wilberforce University, which was a collaboration between the Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Ohio A.M.E. Church.


Josephine Silone Yates (November 15, 1859 – 1912) taught chemistry, elocution, and English Literature at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, and when named as Chair of the Natural Science Department became the first African American woman to head a college science department, and may have been the first African American woman to hold a full professorship at any U.S. college or university. At age 11 she went from her family's home on Long Island to live in Philadelphia with an uncle, Rev. John Bunyan Reeve, so that she could attend the Institute for Colored Youth where she was mentored by Fanny Jackson Coppin. When Rev. Reeve took a position at Howard University, she lived with an aunt in Newport, Rhode Island, where she was high school valedictorian and attended Rhode Island State Normal School. She then taught at Lincoln until she married William Ward Yates in 1889 and moved to Kansas City where he was principal of Phillips School. She founded the Women’s League of Kansas City which became affiliated with the National Association of Colored Women which she served as president, vice president, and treasurer as well as writing for the Woman's Era magazine.

Dame Ruth Nita Barrow born in 1916, was Governor General of Barbados from 1990 to 1995. She trained as a nurse, midwife and health care administrator before serving at various times as President of the World Young Women's Christian Association, the World President of the International Council for Adult Education, President of the World Council of Churches, and Barbados' Ambassador to the United Nations (1986 to 1990). She was a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Mission to South Africa in 1986 and was Convenor of the NGO Forum for Women at the United Nations World Congress on Women in Nairobi in 1985.

Whitman Mayo (November 15, 1930 - May 22, 2001) was best known for his character Grady Wilson on the 1970s television sitcom Sanford and Son. After serving in the Korean War he held a variety of jobs including probation officer before joining the New Lafayette Theater repertory company in New York City, and he was recommended to Norman Lear for the role as Grady by a New Lafayette colleague. He later taught drama at Clark-Atlanta University.

Clyde Lensley McPhatter (November 15, 1932 – June 13, 1972) was an American R&B singer with a high-pitched tenor voice. He is best known for his solo hit "A Lover's Question". McPhatter was lead tenor for a gospel group he formed as a teenager.and later, lead tenor for Billy Ward and His Dominoes. McPhatter was largely responsible for the success the Dominoes initially enjoyed. After his tenure with the Dominoes, McPhatter formed his own group, The Drifters before going solo.

Gloria Foster (November 15, 1933 - September 29, 2001) is best known to contemporary audiences as the Oracle in The Matrix (1999) and The Matrix Reloaded (2003). She studied drama at Chicago's Goodman School of Drama before moving to New York City where her first stage appearance was as Ruth in A Raisin in the Sun (1963). During her acting career, she was rewarded with three Obie awards, for In White America (1963) and A Raisin In the Sun, and was in the Broadway production of Having Our Say (1995). She was married to Clarence Williams III from 1967 to 1884 after meeting when she had a guest appearance on the television show The Mod Squad.

William Edward "Little Willie" John (November 15, 1937 – May 26, 1968) was an American rock 'n' roll and R&B singer who performed in the 1950s and early 1960s. He is best known for his popular music chart successes with songs such as "All Around the World" (1955), "Need Your Love So Bad" (1956), and "Fever" (1956), the latter covered in 1958 by Peggy Lee. An important figure in early R&B music, John was a 1996 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was the brother of singer Mable John, who recorded for Motown and Stax and was member of Ray Charles's Raelettes. His son Keith John is a backing vocalist for Stevie Wonder.

Yaphet Kotto (born November 15, 1939) is known for numerous film roles, as well as starring in the NBC television series Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–1999) as Lieutenant Al Giardello and in many guest appearances on television. His first film was 4 For Texas (1963), and he also appeared in Shadow of a Man (1964), Live and Let Die (1973), Alien (1979), and Midnight Run (1988). His father was Njoki Manga Bell, a businessman from Cameroon who emigrated to the United States in the 1920s and was the great-grandson of King Alexander Bell, who ruled the Douala region of Cameroon in the late 19th century.

Thalmus Rasulala (born Jack Crowder; November 15, 1939 - October 9, 1991) starred in many Blaxploitation films of the 1970s including BlaculaCool Breeze, and Willie Dynamite. He was an original cast member of ABC's soap opera One Life to Live from its premiere in 1968 until he left the show in 1970, and on television also palyed Omoru, Kunta Kinte's father in Roots, and Bill Thomas (Raj and Dee's father) on What's Happening!!. On the Broadway stage, under his original name Jack Crowder, he appeared as Cornelius Hackl in the hit musical Hello, Dolly! with Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway.


On November 15, 1884 German Chancellor Otto von Bismark convened the Berlin Conference, a year-long process to divide Africa into colonies controlled by European nations. It cane from King Leopold of Belgium's success in the previous decade to colonize and exploit the Congo with the help of explorer Henry Morton Stanley. Other participants included Great Britain, Span, Italy, Portugal, and France.

On November 15, 1894 Dr. Daniel Hale Williams founded the Freedmen’s Hospital School of Nursing. The school was transferred to Howard University in 1969 and had graduated 1,700 nurses when it closed in 1973.

On November 15, 1979 the Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to Professor Arthur Lewis of Princeton University. A native of Santa Lucia, he was the first person of African descent to receive the prize in a category other than peace. Dr. Lewis held a Ph.D. degree in 1940 at the London School of Economics (LSE) where he taught until 1948. He was also an economic advisor to the nation of Ghana upon its founding, served as Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, and was the first president of the Caribbean Development Bank.

Photo Gallery

Lyda Newman of New York, New York patented a new and improved hair brush on November 15, 1898 that was easy to keep clean, very durable and easy to make, and provided ventilation during brushing by having recessed air chambers

"Negro members of the 477th Antiaircraft Artillery, Air Warning Battalion, study maps in the operations section at Oro Bay, New Guinea." November 15, 1944. Pvt. Edward Grefe.

On November 15, 1951 Willie Mays, New York Giants’ center fielder, was named National League “Rookie of the Year” by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

 Students at William Franz Elementary School yell at police officers during a protest against desegregation at the school. Some carry signs stating "All I Want For Christmas is a Clean White School" and "Save Segregation Vote, States Rights Pledged Electors" November 15, 1960 William Franz Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Marcus Garvey was declared a national hero of Jamaica on 15 November 1964, making him the first person to be named a national hero. 

Rosa Parks was awarded The NCAAP's Springarn Medal (November 15, 1979) for being a catalyst in the Montgomery Bus boycott of 1955 - 1956 

Say it Plain, Say it Loud - American RadioWorks - Dorothy I. Height, "Speech Delivered at the first Scholarly Conference on Black Women," November 15, 1979

On November 15, 2007 Rev. John H. Cross Jr. , former pastor of the Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, passed away at age 82. He had been appointed to the church a year before the bombing that took the lives of  the four young members of his congregation.

US President Barack Obama hugs a woman inside the distribution tent as he tours a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in the aftermath of Storm Sandy on Staten Island in New York on November 15, 2012.


We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity by Tommie Shelby. $14.90. Author: Tommie Shelby. 336 pages. Publisher: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 1 edition (November 15, 2005)

Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography by Clifton Crais. $21.25. Author: Pamela Scully. Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (November 15, 2010).

Before Brown: Heman Marion Sweatt, Thurgood Marshall, and the Long Road to Justice (Jess and Betty Jo Hay Series) by Gary M. Lavergne. $25.00. Publisher: University of Texas Press (November 15, 2011).


No comments:

Post a Comment