November 6

Absalom Jones (November 6, 1746 - February 13, 1818) formed Philadelphia's Free Africa Society along with Richard Allen after both men left St. George's Methodist Church where they were licensed preachers and leaders of the congregation's African American members. The FAS was a non-denominational mutual aid and abolitionist society with regular worship services, and its members formed the basis for the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas which Rev. Jones founded in 1794. Ten years later he was the first African American priest ordained in the denomination. He helped establish the tradition of anti-slavery sermons on New Year's Day and his sermon for January 1, 1808, when the U.S. Constitution mandated the end of the African slave trade, was published in pamphlet form and widely read. Rev. Jones was also founding Worshipful Master of the Prince Hall African Masonic Lodge of Philadelphia.


Gen. Gordon Granger (November 6, 1822 – January 10, 1876) was named Commander of the Military District of Texas after the Civil War, and on June 19, 1865, he announced in Galveston the end of the war and the end of the institution of slavery in the state. The anniversary of the event is celebrated annually as Juneteenth. He was replaced later in the summer by Gen. Horatio Wright. Gen. Granger was an 1845 West Point graduate and spent most of his military career in the western territories. He had an impressive record during the Civil War and was known as the "Rock of Chickamaugua" for his actions during that battle.

George Coleman Poage (November 6, 1880 - April 11, 1962) won bronze medals in the 200 and 400-meter hurdles at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis. Many African-American leaders had called for a boycott of the games to protest racial segregation of the events in St. Louis as organizers had built segregated facilities at both the Olympics and the World's Fair for the spectators. Poage ran as a representative of the Milwaukee Athletic Club and was a member of the University of Wisconsin track team. He had graduated the year before with a degree in History, and had returned to the University for the 1903-04 school year to take graduate classes, supported by the UW athletic department, which hired him as an athletic trainer for the football team.

Juanita Hall (November 6, 1901 - February 28, 1968) attended New York City, New York’s Juilliard School of Music and directed the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Chorus from 1935 to 1944. She first appeared on Broadway in 1935, and in 1950, she became the first African American to win a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, which she appeared in for 1,925 performances at the Majestic Theatre beginning on April 7, 1949. Her co-stars were Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin. In addition to her role in South Pacific, she was a regular performer in clubs in Greenwich Village.

Derrick Albert Bell, Jr. (November 6, 1930 – October 5, 2011) was a 1957 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and began his career with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, but resigned when he was asked to give up his NAACP membership. He then became an assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), supervising over 300 school desegregation cases. In 1969 he became the first tenured African American Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and is largely credited as one of the originators of critical race theory (CRT). He was a Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law from 1991 until his death.

Michael Henry (Mickey) Schwerner (November 6, 1939 – June 21, 1964), was killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan along with James Chaney and Andrew Goodman for promoting voting registration as Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) field workers. He was from Pelham, New York, and attended graduate school at the School of Social Work at Columbia University. He and his wife, Rita, had  been  active in CORE work in the New York City area before volunteering in Mississippi. As a boy, Schwerner was friends with Robert Reich who later became U.S. Secretary of Labor and helped protect Reich, who was smaller, from bullies.


On November 5, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt summarily discharged "without honor" all 167 enlisted men of Companies B, C, and D of the 25th Infantry Regiment (Buffalo Soldiers) temporarily stationed at Fort Brown near Brownsville, Texas on suspicion of killing a bartender and wounding a police officer during a civil disturbance known as the Brownsville Riot on August 13 of that year, or for shielding those who were involved in the shooting. The soldiers' discharge caused heated national debate for over two years, and after both congressional and military inquiries only 14 were allowed to re-enlist. The other 153 men, many of whom had at least 20 years of service and two had been awarded the Medal of Honor, were stripped of pensions and the possibility of holding any civil service position. In 1972, after Congressman Augustus F. Hawkins of Los Angeles introduced a bill to have the incident re-investigated, the U.S. Army found all the accused soldiers not guilty of any charges. President Richard Nixon pardoned the men and awarded them honorable discharges without backpay. Congress approved a tax-free pension to the last survivor, Dorsie Willis, who received $25,000.

On November 6, 1920, James Weldon Johnson was chosen as the first African American executive secretary of the NAACP, the highest decision-making and policy-setting office at the time. He had previously served as an organizer and field secretary. He continued the NAACP's campaign against lynching and other racially motivated violence with investigations into attacks throughout the country, mass protests, and support of legislation such as the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill of 1921. Johnson, himself a poet and essayist, also used the organization to promote the literature and arts of the Harlem Renaissance.

On November 6, 1928 Oscar DePriest was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Illinois 1st congressional district, becoming the first African American to serve since 1901, and the first ever from outside the south. During his three terms, he was the only African American in Congress. During his three terms he tried to integrate the House public restaurant, gained passage of an amendment to desegregate the Civilian Conservation Corps, and introduced anti-lynching legislation to the House (it was not passed because of the Solid South Democratic opposition). His wife was the first African American woman entertained by the First Lady in the White House (Lou Henry Hoover).

On November 6, 1962, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calling on all its members to end economic and military relations with the country. Following the 1960 massacre of unarmed demonstrators at Sharpeville near Johannesburg, South Africa, in which 69 blacks were killed and over 180 were injured, the international movement to end apartheid gained wide support.

On November 6, 2012, Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney to be re-elected President of the United States with 332 electoral votes, far exceeding the 270 needed. With 51.1% of the popular vote, Obama became the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to twice win the majority of the popular vote. He is shown here with confetti falling after his victory speech at Chicago's McCormick Place.

Photo Gallery

Maya Angelou (2nd from right) and fellow award recipients - Bob Lefkowitz (3rd from left), John T. Caldwell (second from left) Charles Kurault (far left) and Harvey K. Littleton (far right) - with Governor Jim Martin (3rd from right) at the North Carolina Awards, 6 November 1987. From Photo Collections, Events Files, 1987, State Archives of North Carolina

First Lady Michelle Obama plays hopscotch at Mumbai University with
children from India’s Make A Difference charity, Saturday, November 6, 2010


Can Democrats Keep the Negro Vote -- Jet Magazine, November 6, 1952

Jet Magazine, November 6, 1952

Advertisement for Ebony Fashion Fair - Jet Magazine, November 6, 1958

Fame actors Gene Anthony Ray & Erica Gimpel, TV Guide November 6-12, 1982

Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt by Jack Olsen. $16.14.
Publication: November 6, 2001. Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (November 6, 2001). 

Race: A History Beyond Black and White by Marc Aronson. $16.24. 336 pages.
Reading level: Ages 12 and up. Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (November 6, 2007).


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