ShowCase Fact Of The Day

Austin, Roy L. (1939- )

Ambassador Roy Leslie Austin spent most of his life as a university scholar before becoming a U.S. diplomat at the age of 61. When Austin was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago he was a sociology professor at Pennsylvania State University.  After confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Austin took up his post in Port-of-Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago on October 19, 2001.  He served as ambassador until December 18, 2009.

Ambassador Austin was born in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, on December 13, 1939.  He graduated from the St. Vincent Grammar School and worked for the British Government as a Customs Officer since at the time St. Vincent and the Grenadines was still a British colony.  Austin then returned to St. Vincent Grammar School as a teacher. In 1962, while at St. Vincent Austin played cricket on the colony’s cricket squad and was captain of its soccer team.   

In 1964 at the age of 25 Austin emigrated to the United States to attend college.  He entered Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut where he became a classmate of future U.S. President George W. Bush.  They lived in the same residential college, Davenport College, and both were inducted into the secret Skull and Bones Society.  

After graduating from Yale with a B.A. in Sociology in 1968, Austin enrolled in graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, earning an M.A. degree in 1970 and a Ph.D. degree in 1973.  Both advanced degrees were in Sociology.  Soon after earning his Ph.D., Austin became a U.S. citizen.

Austin joined the sociology faculty at Pennsylvania State University in 1972 and would remain there until his ambassadorial appointment 29 years later.  While at Penn State he advanced through the ranks of the faculty becoming an authority on race and gender disparities in the criminal justice system. From 1994 to 1998 he served as Director of the Crime, Law, and Justice Program at the university and in July 2001, shortly before his ambassadorial

Black Facts for December 13th

2015 - History of the African Americans in Houston

The African American population in Houston, Texas has been a significant part of the cities community since its founding. As of 2010, John B. Strait and Gang Gong, authors of "Ethnic Diversity in Houston, Texas: The Evolution of Residential Segregation in the Bayou City, 1990–2000," stated that of all of the minority groups in Houston, African-Americans are the most segregated from non-Hispanic whites.[1]

When Houston was founded in 1836, an African-American community had already begun to be established.[2] In 1860, 49% of the city"s African American population was enslaved;[3] there were eight free blacks and 1,060 slaves.[2] Before the American Civil War, enslaved African-Americans living near Houston worked on sugar and cotton plantations, while most of those living within the city limits held domestic and artisan jobs.

Although slavery ended after the U.S. Civil War, by the mid-1870s racial segregation became codified throughout the South, including Texas.[4] African Americans in Houston were poorly represented by the predominantly white state legislature and city council, and were politically disenfranchised during the Jim Crow era; whites had used a variety of tactics, including militias and legislation, to re-establish political and social supremacy throughout the South.[5] Texas Southern University students led the integration of Houston in the 1960s. Six months after their first sit-in, 70 Houston lunch counters were desegregated. The success of their continued efforts eventually led to the full integration of businesses within the city.[6]

The Houston Riot of 1917 was a riot of black U.S. soldiers stationed in Houston.

In 1970, 90% of the black people in Houston lived in mostly African-American neighborhoods. By 1980 this decreased to 82%.[7]

Historically, the City of Houston placed established landfill facilities in established African American neighborhoods. Private companies also located landfills in black neighborhoods. Between the early 1920s and the late 1970s the five municipal sanitary

Source: ThoughtCo

2007 - Don Cheadle

Donald Frank "Don" Cheadle Jr. (/ˈ tʃ iː d əl/; born November 29, 1964)[1] is an American actor, writer, producer, and director. He had an early role in Hamburger Hill (1987), before building his career in the 1990s with performances in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Rosewood (1997) and Boogie Nights (1997). He started a collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh that resulted in the films Out of Sight (1998), Traffic (2000) and Ocean"s Eleven (2001). Other films include Volcano (1997), The Rat Pack (1998), Things Behind the Sun (2001), Swordfish (2001), Crash (2004), Ocean"s Twelve (2004), Ocean"s Thirteen (2007), Reign Over Me (2007), Talk to Me (2007), Traitor (2008) and The Guard (2011). Cheadle co-wrote, directed and starred in Miles Ahead (2015), based on the life of jazz musician Miles Davis. He plays the superhero Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has appeared in Iron Man 2 (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016) and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

In 2004, Cheadle earned good critical notices for his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He starred as Marty Kaan on the Showtime sitcom House of Lies, for which he won a Golden Globe Award in 2013.[2]

Cheadle has campaigned to end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and co-authored, with John Prendergast, on a book about this issue; Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond. With George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, David Pressman and Jerry Weintraub, Cheadle co-founded the Not On Our Watch Project, an organization focusing global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities. In 2010, Cheadle was named U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador.

Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Bettye (née North), a teacher, and Donald Frank Cheadle Sr., a clinical psychologist.[1]


1894 - Sarah Parker Remond, African American Abolitionist

Known for: African American abolitionist, women’s rights advocate

Dates: June 6, 1826 – December 13, 1894

Sarah Parker Remond was born in 1826 in Salem, Massachusetts.  Her maternal grandfather, Cornelius Lenox, fought in the American Revolution. Sarah Remond’s mother, Nancy Lenox Remond, was a baker who married John Remond.  John was a Curaçaon immigrant and hairdresser who became a citizen of the United States in 1811, and he became active in the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in the 1830s.

  Nancy and John Remond had at least eight children.

Sarah Remond had six sisters. Her older brother, Charles Lenox Remond, became an antislavery lecturer, and influenced Nancy, Caroline and Sarah, among the sisters, to become active in anti-slavery work.  They belonged to the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society, founded by black women including Sarah’s mother in 1832. The Society hosted prominent abolitionist speakers, including William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Williams.

The Remond children attended public schools in Salem, and experienced discrimination because of their color.  Sarah was refused admission to Salem’s high school. The family moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where the daughters attended a private school for African American children.

In 1841, the family returned to Salem. Sarah’s much-older brother Charles attended the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London with others including William Lloyd Garrison, and was among the American delegates who sat in the gallery to protest the refusal of the convention to seat women delegates including Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

  Charles lectured in England and Ireland, and in 1842, when Sarah was sixteen, she lectured with her brother in Groton, Massachusetts.

When Sarah attended a performance of the opera Don Pasquale at the Howard Athenaeum in Boston in 1853 with some friends, they refused to leave a section reserved for whites only.

  A policeman came to eject her, and she fell down some stairs.  She then sued in a civil suit, winning five

Source: ThoughtCo

1922 - Hackley, Emma Azalia (1867-1922)

Emma Azalia Smith Hackley was an African American singer and Denver political activist born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1867.  Her parents, business owners Henry and Corilla Smith, moved to Detroit where she attended Washington Normal School, graduating in 1886.  Smith, a child prodigy learned to play the piano at three and later took private voice, violin and French lessons.

Emma Smith worked as an elementary school teacher for eighteen years.  During that period she met and married Edwin Henry Hackley a Denver attorney and editor of the city’s black newspaper, the Denver Statesman.  In 1900 Hackley received her music degree from Denver University.  In 1905-1906 she studied voice in Paris with former Metropolitan Opera star Jean de Reszke.

Hackley was active in black Denver’s civic and social life.  She founded the Colored Women’s League and served as executive director of its local branch.  She and her husband also founded the Imperial Order of Libyans which fought racial discrimination and promoted patriotism among African Americans.

Hackley separated from her husband in 1905 and moved to Philadelphia where she became director of music at the Episcopal Church of the Crucifixion.  While there she helped organize the People’s Chorus which later became the Hackley Choral Society.  The group proved popular in the Philadelphia area and gave her the opportunity to study voice in Paris in 1905-1906 with former Metropolitan Opera star Jean de Reszke.

Despite her stellar training, Hackley did not pursue a professional career.  Instead she spent much of the rest of her life training a younger generation of singers including Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes and R. Nathaniel Dett.  She did give benefit concerts to raise money for additional training for these and other singers.

Following a third European trip in 1909, preceded by her divorce from her husband, Hackley began giving classical music lectures throughout the United States   After a brief Canadian tour in 1911 she created the Vocal Normal Institute in Chicago

Source: Black Past

1945 - Herman Cain

Herman Cain is an experienced American author, politician and businessman, born on December 13, 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee. Born to a cleaning woman and a domestic worker, Cain grew up in a poor family but learnt what he understood as the true meaning of success. Through his father’s hard work, they eventually moved to a better house in the Collier Heights neighborhood of Memphis. Cain is married to a homemaker named Gloria Cain for nearly 45 years and has two children and three grandchildren.

Cain earned a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Purdue University in 1971, interestingly working as a ballistics analyst for the U.S Navy Department at the same time. Finishing his education around the same time, he then entered the corporate sector after taking up a computer systems analyst position with The Coca-Cola Company. In 1978, he left Coca-Cola for Pillsbury, becoming a senior director here for their Restaurants and Foods group.

By age 36, Herman Cain was handling and analyzing close to 400 Burger King Restaurants, mostly in Philadelphia. During the 1980s, his presence in the Burger King franchise reaped tremendous benefits as sales began to increase. Cain’s leadership skills and determination to transform hard work in to productivity and profits lead Pillsbury to appoint him as the next CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. This was the year 1986, and Godfather’s Pizza was in trouble as far as sales, profits and customers went. Cain had a tough job ahead of him, as the once leading Pizza franchise had fallen behind on ratings as far back as 5th. By laying off extra manpower and closing around 200 restaurants, Cain returned Godfather’s Pizza to it’s original standing. Cain was appointed chairman for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha Branch for almost two years between 1989 and 1991, and later became a member of the Kansas Federal Reserve Bank. He left Godfather’s Pizza and then became the CEO of the National Restaurant Association, a trade group which had lobbied against increasing the minimum wage and

Source: Black History Resources

1916 - World War I Overview - Campaigns in the Middle East and Africa

Previous: 1916 - A War of Attrition | World War I: 101 | Next: 1917 - America Joins the Fight

War Comes to the Colonies

Formed in early 1871, Germany was a later comer to the competition for empire. As a result, the new nation was forced to direct its colonial efforts towards the less preferred parts of Africa and the islands of the Pacific. While German merchants began operations in Togo, Kamerun (Cameroon), South-West Africa (Namibia), and East Africa (Tanzania), others were planting colonies in Papua, Samoa, as well as the Caroline, Marshall, Solomon, Mariana, and Bismarck Islands.

In addition, the port of Tsingtao was taken from the Chinese in 1897.

With the outbreak of war in Europe, Japan elected to declare war on Germany citing its obligations under the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1911. Moving quickly, Japanese troops seized the Marianas, Marshalls, and Carolines. Transferred to Japan after the war, these islands became a key part of its defensive ring during World War II. While the islands were being captured, a 50,000-man force was dispatched to Tsingtao. Here they conducted a classic siege with the aid of British forces and took the port on November 7, 1914. Far to the south, Australian and New Zealand forces captured Papua and Samoa.

Battling for Africa

While the German position in the Pacific was quickly swept away, their forces in Africa mounted a more vigorous defense. Though Togo was swiftly taken on August 27, British and French forces encountered difficulties in Kamerun.

Though possessing greater numbers, the Allies were hampered by distance, topography, and climate. While initial efforts to capture the colony failed, a second campaign took the capital at Douala on September 27. Delayed by weather and enemy resistance, the final German outpost at Mora was not taken until February 1916.

In South-West Africa, British efforts were slowed by the need to put down a Boer revolt before crossing the border from South Africa. Attacking in January 1915, South African forces advanced in four columns on

Source: ThoughtCo

1945 - Cain, Herman (1945- )

Herman Cain, Republican Party activist and 2012 Presidential candidate is also a newspaper columnist, popular radio talk show host in Atlanta, and former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, a Pillsbury subsidiary.  Cain was born on December 13, 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Luther and Lenora Cain.

Cain graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1967, with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Mathematics. He received a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, in 1971, while working as a mathematician for the U.S. Navy.   

In 1977 Cain joined the Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis. Within five years he had risen to the position of Vice-President of Corporate Systems and Services, making him, at 32, the youngest vice president in the history of the corporation. In 1982 he moved to the Burger King subsidiary of Pillsbury, where he gained a reputation for turning around struggling companies. Four years later Cain led a group of investors in purchasing faltering Godfather"s Pizza from Pillsbury.    Rather than investing more money in marketing as traditional business models advised, he focused on improving service to customers. His strategy worked and Godfather’s became a success.  Cain stepped down as Godfather"s CEO in 1996.

Cain became President of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in 1994, where he served for a year.  The NRA is the food service industry’s leading trade organization. After serving as deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from 1992 to 1994, he was elected chair and served in that role from 1995 to 1996.  

A charismatic speaker, Cain became active in politics in 1994, when he traveled around the country campaigning against President Bill Clinton’s health plan, contending that it would hurt small businesses. Cain entered the political arena in 2000 when he launched an unsuccessful presidential bid.  In 2004 he ran for U.S. Senate in Georgia, but lost out to Congressman Johnny Isakson in the Republican primary. In 2000 he launched The

Source: Black Past

1990 - Oliver Tambo

Oliver Tambo , (born October 27, 1917, Bizana, Pondoland district, Transkei [now in Eastern Cape], South Africa—died April 24, 1993, Johannesburg), president of the South African black-nationalist African National Congress (ANC) between 1967 and 1991. He spent more than 30 years in exile (1960–90).

Tambo was born in a Transkei village of subsistence farmers. He attended Anglican and Methodist mission schools and the University of Fort Hare (B.S., 1941) and later studied law. In 1944 with Nelson Mandela and others, he cofounded the ANC Youth League, which revitalized the ANC after a moribund period. After briefly teaching mathematics and science in Johannesburg, Tambo began engaging wholly in nationalist politics and legal cases, rising concurrently in the ranks of the ANC. In 1952 he joined with Mandela to establish South Africa’s first black law practice. Tambo was arrested on treason charges in 1956 but was released the following year. In 1958 he became ANC deputy president.

After the Sharpeville massacre (March 21, 1960), the ANC was essentially outlawed when it was banned by the South African government. Tambo left South Africa to help set up the organization’s foreign headquarters, eventually settling in Lusaka, Zamb. In 1965 he established an ANC guerrilla training camp in Morogoro, Tanzania. After the death of ANC president Albert Luthuli in 1967, Tambo began serving as acting president; he was officially appointed to the post in 1969. Tambo’s decisive achievement was keeping the ANC together in exile. By skillful lobbying throughout the world and attracting the most talented South African exiles (such as Thabo Mbeki), he was able to build the organization into the legitimate voice of black South Africans. Though still in exile, Tambo’s ANC provided the focus for mass politics in South Africa in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. As the tide turned against apartheid in the mid-1980s, business leaders and politicians traveled to Lusaka for negotiations with Tambo’s team, which further boosted the

Source: Brittanica

1940 - Lester Young

Lester Willis Young was a famous jazz saxophonist born in Woodville, Mississippi on August 27, 1909. He belonged to a musically accomplished family. His father was a teacher who taught Young to play the trumpet, violin, drums and the saxophone, and his brother was a drummer. The family relocated to Louisiana and then Minnesota when Lester was very young. The family had their own musical band known as the “Young Family Band” and Lester performed with them until the age of 18. He left the band when they were touring in the South, because of his deep dissatisfaction with the Jim Crow segregation laws in effect there. Young eventually settled in Kansas City in 1933, where he began performing with a number of small time bands. It was here that he met Count Basie, who was a prominent jazz composer and bandleader.

Young became a full time member of Basie’s orchestra and fit in well with their relaxed style of playing. He temporarily left the band to join Fletcher Henderson’s orchestra and then the Andy Kirk band, before rejoining Basie’s band. He was featured on several of their recordings such as “The Kansas City Sessions” and a number of recordings in which he played the clarinet which also featured the famous jazz singer Billie Holiday, who gave Young the nickname of “Pres” (which was short for President). Young stopped playing the clarinet in 1939, when his instrument was stolen and did not take it up again until 1957, when he was gifted one by the jazz producer Norman Granz who urged him to take it up again.

Lester Young left Basie’s band again in 1940 after he refused to play with them in a performance held on December 13, 1940 due to superstitious reasons. After leaving the band, he made a number of recordings with his own band which included his brother Lee Young as the drummer, and featured Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole. He rejoined Basie’s orchestra for 10 months in 1943 and was then drafted into the army during World War II. He was eventually Court martialed when he was found in possession of marijuana

Source: Black History Resources
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