February 5

On February 5, 1990, Barack Obama became the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. The first to serve as an editor was 1923 graduate Charles Hamilton Houston, and the first African American woman is ImeIme Umana, elected in January 2017.

Jermain Wesley Loguen (born Jarm Logue, February 5, 1813 – September 30, 1872) escaped from Tennessee to Canada before settling in Syracuse where his house became another major stop on the Underground Railroad. On October 1, 1851, Henry, known as "Jerry", was arrested under the Fugitive Slave Law. The anti-slavery Liberty Party was holding its state convention in the city, and when word of the arrest spread, several hundred abolitionists broke into the city jail and freed Jerry. The event came to be widely known as the Jerry Rescue. Loguen became an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and took the middle name Wesley after John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement. He held various church posts and was appointed bishop in 1868. His daughter, Amelia, married Lewis Douglass, the son of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, in 1869.


Jabez Pitt Campbell (February 5, 1815 – August 9, 1891) was elected the eighth bishop of the A.M.E. Church in 1864 after having served congregations in New York, Pennsylvania, and New England as well as general book steward of the denomination and editor of the its Christian Recorder newspaper. As a bishop, he set up both the Louisiana and California conferences in 1865, and the Ocean Grove Conference in New Jersey during in the 1880s. Both his grandfathers were soldiers during the Revolutionary War which was a rarity since fewer than 5000 African Americans in the Continental Army and he was born free in Delaware but later enslaved for four years.

Henry Beard Delany (February 5, 1858 – April 14, 1928) was the first African American elected Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States in 1918 when he became the suffragan bishop for Negro Work at the North Carolina diocesan convention. He had previously served as an archdeacon and on the faculty of  St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Episcopal Church honors him, along with fellow African American bishop Edward Thomas Demby, who died on the same day in 1957, with a feast day on the liturgical calendar on the anniversary of their deaths, April 14. He was the father of attorney Hubert Thomas Delany and best-selling autors Sadie and Bessie Delany, and the grandfather of author Samuel R. Delany, Jr.

Georgia Gilmore (February 5, 1920 - March 9, 1990) was a cook and midwife who supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott by raising hundreds of dollars a week through the "Club From Nowhere" which sold sandwiches, chicken dinners, and baked goods to boycott supporters. Her home was often a meeting place for the Montgomery Improvement Association.
James E. Bowman, MD, FASCP, FCAP (February 5, 1923 – September 28, 2011) was an American physician was internationally renowned as a specialist in pathology, hematology, and genetics. He was a professor of pathology and genetics at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. In 1972 Bowman declared that mandatory sickle cell screening laws were “more harmful than beneficial.” In 1973, he was named to two federal review committees designed to oversee sickle cell screening.

Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron (born February 5, 1934), nicknamed "Hammer," or "Hammerin' Hank," is a retired American baseball right fielder who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1954 through 1976. Aaron spent 21 seasons with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves in the National League (NL) before playing for the Milwaukee Brewers of the American League (AL) for the final two years of his career. Aaron is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. In 1999,

Deborah Willis (born February 5, 1948) is a contemporary African American artist, photographer, curator of photography, photographic historian, author, and educator. named among the 100 Most Important People in Photography by American Photography Magazine, Dr. Deborah Willis is Chair and Professor of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University where she also has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences.

Trayvon Martin (February 5, 1995 - February 26, 2012) was seventeen years old when he was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman was charged with Martin's murder but acquitted at trial on self-defense grounds. The incident was reviewed by the Department of Justice for potential civil rights violations, but no additional charges were filed, citing insufficient evidence.


On February 5, 1945, the State of Georgia abolished the poll tax, one of many roadblocks thrown up to keep African-Americans from exercising their right to vote. This was one of many reforms progressive governor Ellis Arnall introduced after being elected in 1942.
On February 5, 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of killing civil rights activist Medgar Evers after thirty-one years. On the morning on June 12, 1963, Evers was getting out of his car at his home when he was shot in the back. Though Beckwith was arrested for the crime, two all-white juries could not reach a verdict in 1964. Beckwith was finally convicted of the murder. He remained in prison until his death in 2001 at age 80.

Photo Gallery

A patent was issued on February 5, 1884 to Willis Johnson for a new, improved egg-beater

Diana (1981, CBS) The first Diana Ross TV special not produced by Motown. This show (produced by Steve Binder in association with Diana Ross Enterprises) combined footage from a concert held in L.A. on February 5, 1981, with studio footage. Guest stars included Michael Jackson & Larry Hagman.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ~Barack Obama, speech, February 5, 2008


Fan Dancer Jean Idelle - Jet Magazine, February 5, 1953

Arthur L. Lane Dies in Elevator Accident in Philadelphia - Jet Magazine, February 5, 1953

The Hidden Cost of Being African American:How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality by Thomas M. Shapiro. $12.06. Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (February 5, 2004). 

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