January 6

January 6 is celebrated as Maroon Day in Jamaica to commemorate the 1738 Treaty of Cudjoe between Maroons (ex-slaves of the expelled Spanish colonists) and Great Britain

Harry Herbert Pace (January 6, 1884 – July 19, 1943) is best known for founding Black Swan Records in 1921, the first music publishing company owned by a African American. He had previously collaborated on song writing and publishing with W. C. Handy, and had also operated a printing business in Memphis with W. E. B. Du Bois. The first releases featured performances of light classical music, blues, spirituals, and instrumental solos. Black Swan’s first hit was a recording of “Down Home Blues” and “Oh, Daddy”, sung by Ethel Waters. Although Pace recorded many outstanding artists, the business failed, and Pace was forced to declare bankruptcy in December 1923. A few months later he sold Black Swan to Paramount Records. In 1925, Pace founded the Northeastern Life Insurance Company in Newark, New Jersey, which became the largest African-American-owned business in the North during the 1930s. Pace then moved to Chicago to attend the Chicago-Kent College of Law; he received his degree in 1933. He opened a law firm in downtown Chicago in 1942.


Charles Sumner (January 6, 1811 – March 11, 1874) was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. As an academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War. During Reconstruction, he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights to the Freedmen.

John Hanks Alexander (January 6, 1864 - March 26, 1894) graduated from the U.S. Military Academy ten years after the first African  American graduate, Henry O. Flipper. Alexander didn't experience the ostracism that Flipper and others endured, and was considered a model student and fought on the academy's boxing team. After graduation he served with the 9th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Robinson, Nebraska and Fort Washakie, Wyoming, and was the first African American officer to hold a regular command position. In early 1894 he was assigned to teach military science at Wilberforce University, and two months later he died of a ruptured aorta at the age of 30.

Moses Hardy (January 6, 1893/1894 – December 7, 2006) was, at age 112 or 113, the last black veteran of World War I and one of the last surviving American veterans of that war. The son of former slaves, Hardy was born in either 1893 or 1894 and lived a religious and farming life until he signed up to serve overseas in World War I in July 1918. He served in the segregated 805th infantry, which was assigned a variety of manual labor and support tasks. Hardy himself served as a scout, supplying the front line troops when necessary.

Jerome H. "Brud" Holland (January 6, 1916 - January 13, 1985) was U.S. Ambassador to Sweden after having served as president of Delaware State College and Hampton Institute. He held a PhD in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, and as an undergraduate was the first African American football player at Cornell, where he was an All-American in 1937 and 1938. #

Leah Chase (born January 6, 1923) is a New Orleans chef, author and television personality. Known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Chase promoted African American art and Creole cooking. Her restaurant, Dooky Chase, was known as a gathering place during the 1960s among many who participated in the Civil Rights movement]; and, her restaurant was known as a gallery due to its extensive African American Art collection.

First Lieutenant Ruppert Leon Sargent (January 6, 1938 - March 15, 1967) was the first African American officer to be awarded the Medal of Honor. (In 1997, upgrades of DSCs awarded to Black heroes of WWII resulted in awards to three additional Black Officers from that war.) He was killed in Hậu Nghĩa Province in the Republic of Vietnam when he threw himself on two enemy hand grenades, sacrificing himself but saving the lives of two men nearby.
John Daniel Singleton (born January 6, 1968) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for directing Boyz n the Hood (1991). For the film, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming the first African American and youngest person to have ever been nominated for the award.


January 6 is celebrated as Maroon Day in Jamaica to commemorate the 1738 Treaty of Cudjoe between Maroons (ex-slaves of the expelled Spanish colonists) and Great Britain, which recognized free Maroon territory in the mountains. Singing, dancing, drum-playing and preparation of traditional foods form a central part of most gatherings.
On January 5, 1874, South Carolina Republican Representative Robert B. Elliott gave a noted speech in favor of the Civil Rights Act, delivered in the House of Representatives. The Act, which guaranteed equal treatment in all places of public accommodation to all people regardless of their "nativity, race, color, or persuasion, religious or political," was passed on March 1, 1875.

Photo Gallery

President Obama in the Green Room of the White House, January 6, 2010 (by Pete Souza)


Jet's Calendar Girls for 1955 - Jet Magazine, January 6, 1955

Shake Dancer Tequilla Wallace Tried Suicide in Detroit - Jet Magazine, January 6, 1955

Adam Clayton Powell and Wife Hazel Scott Caught Off Guard - Jet Magazine, January 6, 1955


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