Black Facts for January 24th

Sports Facts

1988 - Greene, Lorenzo Johnston (1899-1988)

Dr. Lorenzo Johnston Greene was a pioneering African American historian.  Greene was born on November 16, 1899 in Ansonia, Connecticut.  He received his BA from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1924 and his MA in history from Columbia University in 1926.  From 1928 to 1933, Greene served as a field representative and research assistant to Carter Woodson, the director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, ASALH) in Washington, D.C.  This collaboration helped inspire the 1930 publication with Woodson of The Negro Wage Earner.  In 1931, Greene published The Employment of Negroes in the District of Columbia, a collaborative effort with Myra C. Callis.  Both studies demonstrate Greene’s interest in urban history, social history, and race relations.  Although he was inspired by Woodson and saw him as a mentor, Greene made his own lasting contributions to the field of history.  His most significant academic work was a pioneering study of blacks in Missouri entitled Missouri’s Black Heritage published in 1980 as a collaborative effort with Antonio F. Holland and Gary Kremer.

Lorenzo Greene served as instructor and professor of history at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri from 1933 to 1972.  During this period he continued his graduate studies and received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in 1942.  That same year, he published The Negro in Colonial New England, 1620-1776.  His interest in race and labor issues helped to revolutionize labor historiography with a greater emphasis on African Americans and other laborers, both free and unfree.  The Negro in Colonial New England is still considered the foundational work on the subject.  

Professor Greene served on a number of committees and associations and was editor of the Midwest Journal from 1947 to 1956.  He was also the President of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History from 1965 to 1966.  Greene’s academic interests included

1993 - Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Marshall was also famous for his historic victory on the ‘Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka’ Case, which ended the racial segregation of public schools.

Thurgood Marshall, born ‘Thoroughgood Marshall’, was born on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland. His grandfather and great-grandfather were both slaves. His father however, was a railroad porter, while his mother was a teacher.

Marshall graduated from Frederick Douglas High School in Baltimore in 1925, after which he was accepted by Lincoln University. Marshall, aside from studying law, was an active member of the Lincoln debating team. Marshall also took part in a debate that centered on the racial integration of the African-American professors of the University, a motion which he opposed. Marshall graduated from Lincoln in 1929 with a Bachelors of Arts in Humanities. He subsequently studied law at the Howard University School of Law, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1933.

After graduation, Marshall joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1936; an organization with which he would be affiliated for twenty five years. In 1934, Marshall represented the organization in the law school discrimination suit, ‘Murray v. Pearson’, against the University of Maryland, which Marshall won for Murray. Marshall’s victory was centered on the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine of the Fourteenth Amendment, which Marshall used to his advantage.

In 1940, Marshall won an extremely important United States Supreme Court Case that dealt with the authenticity of a confession under ‘due pressure’. The case, named ‘Florida v. Chambers’ was one of Marshall’s many successful victories before the Supreme Court. Marshall then founded the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, through which he argued many civil rights cases before the Supreme Court, the majority of which Marshall won. These included many cases which concerned