January 12

James L. Farmer, Jr. (January 12, 1920 - July 9, 1999) was the founder of CORE and the organizer of the 1961 Freedom Rides which challenged segregation on interstate travel. He graduated from Wiley College at the age of 18 after having been captain of the school's famed debate team, and then earned a divinity degree at Howard where he was mentored by Howard Thurman. He later taught at Lincoln University and Mary Washington College.


John Lewis Waller (January 12, 1850 – 1907) was an Ohio attorney who was part of the black migration to Kansas in 1877 where he founded the Western Recorder newspaper in Lawrence and The American Citizen in Topeka, where he also served as Deputy City Attorney. He was the first African American member of the Electoral College in 1888, casting a vote for Benjamin Harrison, and he was charged with the responsibility to transport the results of the Kansas vote to Washington, D.C., that year.  In 1891 he was appointed American consul in Madagascar. He was the grandfather of Negro World editor, poet, composer and lyricist Andy Razaf.

Adah Belle Samuels Thoms (January 12, 1870 – February 21, 1943) studied nursing at the Women's Infirmary and School of Therapeutic Massage, graduating in 1900 as the only African American woman in a class of thirty. She then attended the Lincoln Hospital and Home School of Nursing, a school for black women, graduating in 1905. Although she served as acting director between 1906 and 1923, Jim Crow policies prevented her receiving the official title of director. Along with  Martha Minerva Franklin and Mary Mahoney she founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908 and was among the first nurses inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame when it was established in 1976.

Ruth Brown (January 12, 1928 – November 17, 2006) was a singer-songwriter and actress also known as "Queen of R & B noted for bringing a pop music style to R & B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean".For these contributions, Atlantic became known as "The house that Ruth built" (alluding to the popular nickname for Old Yankee Stadium.

Joseph William (Joe) Frazier (January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011) was an Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973. His professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a one-fight comeback in 1981. After retiring, Frazier made cameo appearances in several Hollywood movies, and two episodes of The Simpsons.

George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) worked with numerous artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and as a professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums, of which 'A Brazilian Love Affair' from 1980 was his most popular, as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.
Walter Ellis Mosley (born January 12, 1952) is an American novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator and World War II veteran living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles; they are perhaps his most popular works.

Dominique Wilkins (born January 12, 1960) is a retired American professional basketball player who primarily played for the  Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. Wilkins was a nine-time NBA All-Star, and one of the best dunkers in NBA history, earning the nickname The Human Highlight  In 2006, Wilkins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


US Marshal Bass Reeves  Bass Reeves (July 1838 – 12 January 1910) was most likely the first African American Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. He was born enslaved in Missouri and brought to Grayson County, Texas, as a child. Working as a body servant during the Civil War, he escaped and fled to Indian Territory, learning to speak several languages. He was hired in 1875 as a Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas, which included the Indian Territory as well. During his 32-year career he also served in the Eastern District of Texas in Paris and in the Muskogee Federal Court, After retirement he was an officer with the Muskogee Police Department. (painting by Ivan Stewart)

On January 12, 1936, families of  sharecroppers on the Dibble plantation near Parkin, Arkansas were evicted at gunpoint when the plantation claimed that by membership in the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union they were engaging in a conspiracy to retain their homes.
On January 12, 1948 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Sipuel v Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma that the state must provide equal education for black and white students. A makeshift law school was established at Langston University but after further litigation plaintiff Ada Lois Sipuel was admitted to the OU Law School the next year.

On January 12, 1960,  Berry Gordy, Jr. founded Tamla Records, which was incorporated as the Motown Record Corporation the following year. The label was responsible for the crossover success of soul and R&B during the 1960s. It relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles in 1972, and was sold to MCA in 198.

On January 12, 1961. Charlayne Hunter, 18, who started classes at the University of Georgia two days before, was withdrawn last night for her own protection after a threatening mob gathered outside her dormitory, causing significant property damage and garnering negative publicity for the university and the state.

Photo Gallery

Princess Tenagnework Haile Selassie (12 January 1912 – 6 April 2003) of Ethiopia was the eldest child of Emperor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen Asfaw.

André Watts - Watts' performance of the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat at a Young People's Concert on January 12, 1963 was videotaped and nationally televised on CBS on January 15, 1963.

President & First Lady Michelle Obama at the Memorial Service For Tucson Shooting Victims January 12, 2011.

The first ever Black Comic Book Festival was held on Saturday January 12, 2013 at The Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture, located in the heart of Harlem in New York City


January 12, 1931 -- Missouri lynchings | ... MO Missouri Raymond Gunn NEGRO Schoolhouse Lynching 1931 Old Newspaper

Jet Magazine, January 12, 1956

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: The Unlikely Friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln by Lynda Jones. $14.78. Author: Lynda Jones. 80 pages. Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (January 13, 2009). Reading level: Ages 10 and up.

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