October 4

James Forman (October 4, 1928 – January 10, 2005) sold copies of The Chicago Defender on street corners as a child, and later wrote for the paper covering the Little Rock school desegregation, He was Executive Secretary of SNCC from 1961 to 1966, primarily serving as an organizer and administrator, and later oversaw the organization's merger with the Black Panther Party, briefly becoming part of the BPP leadership himself. He held a master’s degree in African and Afro-American studies from Cornell University in 1980 and a Ph.D from the Union of Experimental Colleges and Universities, and taught at American University in Washington, D.C.


Carrie Allen McCray (October 4, 1913 – July 25, 2008) was an African American writer born in Lynchburg, Virginia, whose published works include Ajös Means Goodbye (1966), The Black Woman and Family Roles (1980), and her first-person memoir, Freedom’s Child: The Life of a Confederate General’s Black Daughter (1998).

Beverly Loraine Greene (October 4, 1915 - August 22, 1957) is believed to the the first female African American architect, being licensed by the state of Illinois in December 1942. She worked for the Chicago Housing Authority before relocating to New York City where she earned a master's degree from Columbia. She worked with notable architects such as Isadore Rosenfield, Edward Durell Stone (Arts Complex at Sarah Lawrence College) and Marcel Breuer (UNESCO Headquarters).

Lee Patrick Brown (born October 4, 1937) has had a long career in law enforcement and academia; leading police departments in Atlanta, Houston and New York over the course of nearly four decades. With practical experience and a doctorate from University of California, Berkeley, he has combined research and operations in his career. After serving as Public Safety Commissioner of Atlanta, Georgia, he was appointed in 1982 as the first African-American police chief in Houston, Texas, where he implemented techniques in community policing to reduce crime.

Elizabeth Eckford (born October 4, 1941) was one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The integration came as a result of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Her image was captured and shown around the world after photographer Will Counts snapped her being chased by an angry white mob down the street

Paul S. Devrouax (October 4, 1942 — March 22, 2010)  founded the architectural design firm of Devrouax+Purnell, and helped design the Verizon Center, Nationals Park, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and the D.C. headquarters of Freddie Mac and Pepco. He co-designed the African American Civil War Memorial, and provided design adjustments to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, (born October 4, 1943, as Hubert Gerold Brown), also known as H. Rap Brown, was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, and during a short-lived (six months) alliance between SNCC and the Black Panther Party, he served as their Minister of Justice. He is perhaps most famous for his proclamation during that period that "violence is as American as cherry pie".

Clifton Davis (born October 4, 1945) starred on the television shows That's My Mama and Amen. Davis also wrote several hits for The Jackson 5, including "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Lookin' Through the Windows." He holds a BA in Theology from Oakwood University and a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University and has had an interdenominational ministry for over 30 years.

Russell Wendell Simmons (born October 4, 1957) is an American business magnate. He and Rick Rubin founded the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam. He also created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and American Classics.

Photo Gallery

Josephine Baker during a goodbye performance at music hall in Paris (October 4, 1956)

October 4, 1962 - Willie Mays Swings Away in the First Game of the World Series.

Richard Pryor, Tim Conway, and Flip Wilson on The Flip Wilson Show October 4, 1973.


The Black Panther (October 4, 1969)

Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) by Donna Murch. $21.34. Author: Donna Murch. Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (October 4, 2010). 344 pages

The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World by Dave Zirin. $15.01.
Publisher: Haymarket Books (October 4, 2011). Author: Dave Zirin. 220 pages

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