December 27

Clementine Hunter (December 27, 1886 - January 1, 1988) was a self-taught folk artist from the Cane River region in Louisiana. She worked as a farm hand, never learning to read or write. She began painting in her fifties, using brushes and paints left by an artist who visited Melrose Plantation, where she lived and worked. Hunter's artwork depicted plantation life in the early 20th century, documenting a bygone era. By the end of her life, Hunter's work was being exhibited in museums and sold by dealers for thousands of dollars. Hunter was granted an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Northwestern State University of Louisiana in 1986. In 2013 director Robert Wilson presented a new opera about her: Zinnias: the Life of Clementine Hunter, at Montclair State University in New Jersey.


Henry P Cheatham (December 27, 1857 - November 29, 1935) was an educator, farmer and politician, elected as a Republican member of the US House of Representatives from 1889 to 1893 from North Carolina. He was one of only five African Americans elected to Congress from the South in the 1890's as disfranchisement reduced black voting. After that, no African Americans would be elected from the South until 1972 and none from North Carolina until 1992.

William A. Harper (December 27, 1873 - March 27, 1910) took a job as a janitor at the Art Institute of Chicago while saving money in order to attend the school. He graduated with honors in 1901 and later taught in Houston and studied in Europe under Henry Ossawa Tanner. He died of tuberculosis while on a painting trip to Mexico at the age of 36.

John Amos (born Dec 27, 1939) played James Evans, Sr. on the 1970s  television series Good Times. His television work includes roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the miniseries Roots, for which he received an Emmy nomination, and a recurring role in The West Wing. He also played the father of Will Smith's character's girlfriend, Lisa Wilkes, in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He holds a degree in sociology from Colorado State University.

Isola Jones (born December 27, 1949) sang over 500 performances at the Metropolitan Opera; more than twice that of any black singer before her. She debuted at the Met in 1977 as Olga in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and stayed with the company for sixteen seasons. The title role of DeMars' opera Guadalupe, Our Lady of the Roses was written for her.

Varnette Honeywood (December 27, 1950 - September 12, 2010) is best known for having her paintings shown as part of the set decorations of The Cosby Show. Her work, primarily depicting everyday African American life, was strongly influenced by Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence. With her sister Stephanie she founded the greeting card company Black Lifestyles, the first such company specializing in African American themes.


The Second Day of Kwanzaa is December 27. To represent the second doctrine or principle the left-most red candle is lit after the black one. This principle is Kujichagulia or Self- Determination. The person who lights the candle on 2nd day makes a statement which is related to the second principle. The Unity cup is shared & the candles are extinguished.

On December 27, 1892 the first intercollegiate football game between two African American institutions was played in Salisbury NC. Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith University, shown here) defeated Livingston College 5-0 when the gamed was called after snow completely covered the field.

Photo Gallery

18th Boule | Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. | December 27-30, 1935

British contralto Evelyn Dove (1902-1987) wearing a mantilla and holding a fan in a photography by Carl Van Vechten taken on December 27, 1935. 

Morris Thomas defying segregated bus seating: Tallahassee, Florida (December 27, 1956). The Tallahassee bus boycott and suspension of bus service followed the arrest of two FAMU students on May 26, 1956 and continued through the spring of 1957.

Preston Bruce, the White House Doorman, stands with his family in front of the Christmas tree in the Blue Room. Kennedy administration, December 27, 1961.

Obama shares a laugh with a supporter in Hawaii on December 27, 2010. [Photo: Getty Images]


Lena Horne, Sexiest Actress - Jet Magazine, December 27, 1951 

Dickie Wells, Billie Holiday and Tallulah Bankhead at Club Ebony - Jet Magazine, December 27, 1951

Actress Dorothy Dandridge - Jet Magazine, December 27, 1951

Chicagoan Barbara Pace Covers Jet Magazine December 27, 1956

At 118, William E Davis is Oldest Social Security Recipient - Jet Magazine December 27, 1956

New York Airways Hires Perry Young, Their First Black Pilot - Jet Magazine December 27, 1956

Dorie Miller's Mother Honors Recipients of Dorie Miller Award in Chicago - Jet Magazine December 27, 1956

The Black Panther (December 27, 1969) "Although my body may be bound and shackled, the driving force cannot be held down by chains, and will always pick freedom and dignity."

Redd Foxx Jet Magazine - December 27, 1973

Moving North: African Americans and the Great Migration 1915-1930 (Crossroads America) by Monica Halpern. $12.95. Publication: December 27, 2005. Reading level: Ages 5 and up. 40 pages. Series - Crossroads America. Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books


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