November 30

Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks (November 30, 1912 - March 7, 2006) began his photography career doing fashion work in St. Paul, Minnesota, which caught the eye of Marva Louis, wife of boxer Joe Louis. She helped him start a business in Chicago doing society portraiture, and while in Chicago his work featuring everyday life on the South Side led to a Rosenwald Fellowship and then to a position with the Farm Security Administration. One of his best-known photographs, American Gothic, Washington, D.C., came during his time with the FSA, which was disbanded at the start of World War II. He was then with the Office of War Information, primarily photographing the 332nd Fighter Group (Tuskegee Airmen) before moving to Harlem where he worked for Vogue and also photographed local street life. A series on gangs in 1948 led to a staff position on Life magazine which he held until 1972, producing noted essays on African American life in the U.S. Parks wrote a total of 15 books during his lifetime, including work on photography as well as poetry and three memoirs. One autobiographical book, The Learning Tree, became a 1969 film for which he wrote the screenplay, directed, and wrote the musical score. He also directed the groundbreaking Shaft (1971) and several sequels, becoming the first major African American film director. His son, Gordon Roger Parks Jr., who was also a director (Superfly, 1972), was killed in 1979 while on location in Kenya.

American Gothic, Washington, D.C., by Gordon Parks, He also photographed the life of the model, Ella Watson,

Joanne Wilson stood with her niece in front of a movie theater in downtown Mobile, Alabama, dressed in their Sunday best. “I wasn’t going in,” Mrs. Wilson recalled. “I didn’t want to take my niece through the back entrance. She smelled popcorn and wanted some. All I could think was where I could go to get her popcorn.” That moment in 1956 was captured by Gordon Parks for Life Magazine.

Walter Brown (Brownie) McGhee (November 30, 1915 - February 16, 1996) was a Piedmont blues singer and guitarist, best known for his collaborations with the harmonica player Sonny Terry. They recorded and toured together until around 1980. As a duo, Terry and McGhee did most of their work from 1958 until 1980, spending 11 months of each year touring and recording dozens of albums. During the blues revival of the 1960s, Terry and McGhee were popular on the concert and music festival circuits.

Dr. Jane Cooke Wright (November 30, 1919 - February 19, 2013) was a physician specializing in cancer research and treatment, as was her father, Dr. Louis Tomkins Wright. She was a pioneer in the use of chemotherapy, especially in breast and skin cancers.  In 1955 Wright began her work at the New York University Medical Center as the director of cancer chemotherapy research.  She was also an instructor of research surgery in the Medical Center's Department of Surgery.  In July 1967, Dr. Wright became a professor of surgery at New York Medical College.  At the time she was the highest ranking African American woman in a United States medical institution.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was the first African American woman elected to Congress, representing New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms (1969-1983). In 1972 she ran for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, making her not only the first black presidential candidate (major party) but also the first woman to run for the Democratic nomination. Shed held an MA in elementary education from Teachers College at Columbia University and worked a day care director and consultant in preschool education before entering politics as a member of the New York State Assembly from 1965 to 1968,

Sam Gilliam (born November 30, 1933) is a Color Field Painter and Lyrical Abstractionist artist. Gilliam, an African American, is associated with the Washington Color School and is broadly considered a Color field painter. His works have also been described as belonging to Abstract Expressionism and Lyrical Abstraction. He works on stretched, draped, and wrapped canvas, and adds sculptural 3D elements.

Alphonso Michael (Mike) Espy (born November 30, 1953) erved in the U.S. House of Representatives from Mississippi from 1987 to 1993, when he was selected to be the Secretary of Agriculture by president Bill Clinton. He was the first African American in that position. He is the grandson of Thomas J. Huddleston, Sr., founder of the Afro-American Sons and Daughters, a fraternal society that operated the Afro-American Hospital, a leading provider of health care for blacks in Mississippi from the 1920s to the 1970s.


On Novembber 30, 1864, Corporal Andrew Jackson Smith, a member of the 55th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry, won the Congressional Medal of Honor when he distinguished himself by saving his regimental colors after the color bearer was killed during a charge at the Battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina. Smith was nominated for the Medal of Honor in 1916, but the Army denied the nomination, citing a lack of official records documenting his case. Smith's commander at Honey Hill had not included an account of Smith's actions in the official battle report. It was not until January 16, 2001, 137 years after the Battle of Honey Hill, that Smith was recognized.

On November 30, 1875, Alexander P. Ashbourne of Oakland, California received patent number 170,460 for an improved biscuit-cutter. Prior to his invention, cooks would roll and shape their biscuits by hand. The spring-loaded cutter had a board to load biscuits and unload them easily. There was a metal plate with various shapes. The cook could push down on the plate to cut the dough into shapes. Ashbourne also held a patent for refining coconut oil.
On November 30, 1965,  Judith Jamison made her debut with Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theatre in Chicago, dancing in Talley Beaty’s Congo Tango Palace. Jamison rejoined the company in 1988 as artistic associate due to the failing health of Alvin Ailey. and became the company’s artistic director in 1989 upon Ailey’s death.

Photo Gallery

November 30, 1956 Archie Moore is defeated by Floyd Patterson, as Patterson wins the heavyweight boxing title vacated by the retired Rocky Marciano. At the age of 21, Patterson becomes the youngest boxer to be named heavyweight champion.

Huey Newton and Bobby Seale November 30, 1966

The Jacksons: Victory Tour Press Conference at Tavern On The Green Restaurant in NYC, November 30, 1983.

Proud parents: Tyler and Gelila, pictured in 2011, welcomed Aman into their family on November 30

Lupita Nyong'o - Hair & Beauty: Celebrity - November 30 - December 06, 2013

President Obama picks up his purchases as a sales clerk returns his credit card during a shopping trip to the independent Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, DC, photographed by Mike Theiler (November 30, 2013)


Two Races of Negroes? "That there are two distinct races of negroes in the south, that one race is peaceful and docile and law-abiding, and that 98 per cent of all the negro criminals come from the other race..." ~ Columbus Ledger, November 30, 1910

The Negro in America—What Must Be Done: A Plan for Action. Newsweek; November 30, 1967

Jet Magazine. November 30, 1978

The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935 by James D. Anderson. $20.87. Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (November 30, 1986).

Creoles of Color in the Bayou Country by Carl A. Brasseaux. $18.92. 188 pages. Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (November 30, 1994).

Jean-Michel Basquiat by Dieter Buchhart. $46.49. 224 pages. Publication: November 30, 2010. Publisher: Hatje Cantz 

Keystone Progress Daily Funnies: Matt Bors, November 30, 2014


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