September 30

On the evening of September 30, 1919 a meeting of African American sharecroppers near Elaine, Arkansas was raided by the Phillips County sheriff. Guards returned fire, and over the next two days five whites were known dead, and up to a thousand blacks were killed andor forced to flee the area. Over 200 African American men were arrested, but due to the nationwide efforts of the NAACP and other civil rights organizations all were eventually freed although 12 had been charged with capital murder.


Rev. Isaiah Benjamin (I.B.) Scott (September 30, 1854 - July 4, 1931) was a Methodist Episcopal Church pastor who became the first African American president of Wiley College in 1893. He later was named editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate, the MEC publication for African American members. In 1904 he was appointed Missionary Bishop of Liberia, the only person so appointed by the MEC without regard to race, and was knighted by the Liberian Order of African Redemption.

Charles “Cholly” Atkins (September 30, 1913 – April 19, 2003) was an American dancer & vaudeville performer, who later became noted as the house choreographer for the various artists on the Motown label (1965-1971). Well known for his work at Motown with The Temptations, Gladys Knight & The Pips & The Four Tops, he also worked with others like The O'Jays, The Sylvers, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Mr. Atkins won a Tony Award for choreographing the Broadway show Black & Blue in 1989.

Emily "Cissy" Houston (née Drinkard; born September 30, 1933) began performing as a child with her sibilngs in a group called the Drinkard Four. In 1963 she formed the backup group Sweet Inspirations, which sang on Van Morrison's recording of "Brown Eyed Girl" and Jimi Hendrix's "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" as well as with Elvis in Las Vegas and with many other artists. She has had a successful solo career in R&B, gospel, and disco and has also been choirmaster at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. She is the mother of singer Whitney Houston, grandmother of Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, aunt of singers Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, and a cousin of opera singer Leontyne Price.

John Royce "Johnny" Mathis (born September 30, 1935) is an American singer of popular music. Starting his career with singles of standards, he became highly popular as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status, and 73 making the Billboard charts. According to Guinness Book of World Records writer and charts music historian Paul Gambaccini, Johnny Mathis has sold 350 million records worldwide.

Arzell "Z. Z." Hill (September 30, 1935 – April 27, 1984) was a blues singer, in the soul blues tradition, known for his 1970s and 1980s recordings for Malaco. His 1982 album, Down Home, stayed on the Billboard soul album chart for nearly two years. The track "Down Home Blues" has been called the best-known blues song of the 1980s. This track plus the songs "Someone Else Is Steppin' In" and "Open House" have become R&B/Southern soul standards.

Franklin Joseph "Frankie" Lymon (September 30, 1942 – February 27, 1968) was an American rock and roll/rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, best known as the boy soprano lead singer of the New York City-based early rock and roll group, The Teenagers. The group was composed of five boys, all in their early to mid-teens. The original lineup of the Teenagers, an integrated group, included three African-American members, Frankie Lymon, Jimmy Merchant, and Sherman Garnes, and two Puerto Rican members, Herman Santiago and Joe Negroni. The Teenagers' first single, 1956's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," was also its biggest hit. After Lymon went solo in mid-1957, both his career and that of the Teenagers fell into decline.

Marilyn McCoo (born September 30, 1943) is best known for being the lead female vocalist in the group The 5th Dimension, winning Grammy Awards for "Up, Up and Away" and "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In." She has also had a successful solo career as well as singing with her husband since 1969, Billy Davis, Jr., founder of The 5th Dimension. She has also acted on television and in film, and hosted the series Solid Gold.

Patrice Louise Rushen (born September 30, 1954) is an American jazz pianist and R&B singer. She is also a composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and music director. Her 1982 single, "Forget Me Nots", received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Rushen had great success on the R&B and dance charts, "Havent you heard" went number 7 on the R&B charts, along with "Forget me Nots" was also a top 40 hit.


On September 20, 1750, Crispus Attucks allegedly escaped slavery in Framingham, Massachusetts. There is disagreement among historians whether he had been enslaved or was free, although his father was a slave of African descent and his mother was Native American. His descendants say that escaped slavery in his late twenties, and this advertisement desribes him accurately: “Ran-away from his Master William Brown of Framingham, on the 30th of September, last, a Molatto Fellow, about 27 years of age, named Crispas, six feet, two inches high, short curl’d Hair..."

On September 30, 1865, Alabama's Constitutional Convention of 1865 adjourned. Although the ninety-nine delegates repealed Alabama's 1861 Ordinance of Secession and declared slavery illegal, they produced an essentially conservative document. Blacks were not given the right to vote, representation was based on the white population only, and the constitution was ratified without a vote by the people.

On September 30, 1962, James Meredith was escorted by federal marshals on campus of the University of Mississippi where he enrolled for classes the next day. Over 500 marshals were present and thousands of U.S. Army troops were soon deployed but they were unable to prevent rioting that injured over seventy people and killed two, including French journnalist Paul Guihard (left).

Photo Gallery

Eartha Kitt, September 30, 1955
September 30, 2010 -- Cissy Houston and daughter Whitney Houston at the Keep a Child Alive Ball at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City
A boy reaches out to shake hands with U.S. President Barack Obama at a campaign event at Desert
 Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada September 30, 2012.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque


Jet Magazine, September 30, 1954

Jet Magazine, September 30, 1954

Jet Magazine, September 30, 1954

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