This Week In Black History

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1969—Police and National Guardsmen open fire on student demonstrators at predominantly Black North Carolina A&T University, leaving one student dead and five policemen injured.

May 22

1863—The War Department establishes the Bureau of Colored Troops and began to aggressively recruit Blacks for the Civil War. The Black troops would play a major role in turning the tide of battle against the rebellious Southern slave states.

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BENJAMIN O. DAVIS SR.

1959—Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the U.S. Air Force. His father, Benjamin O. Davis Sr., had been the first Black general in the U.S. Army.

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BILL COSBY

1966—Entertainer Bill Cosby becomes the first African-American to receive an Emmy for Best Actor in a dramatic series—for his role in the 1960s television series “I Spy.”

May 23

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EUBIE BLAKE and NOBLE SISSLE

1921—“Shuffle Along”—the first of a succession of widely popular Black musicals performed for White audiences—opened at the 63rd Street Theatre in New York City, becoming the first African-American Broadway musical. The musical comedy combined the talents of the legendary team of Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle. “Shuffle Along” produced a long list of hits including “Shuffle Along,” “I’m Just Wild about Harry,” “Gypsy Blues” and “Love Will Find A Way.”

1981—Legendary Reggae artist Bob Marley is given an official state funeral in his homeland of Jamaica. He had died of cancer on May 11 in Miami. Marley and his band “The Wailers” had made Reggae popular worldwide with such hits as “Stir It Up” and “No Woman, No Cry.” He was considered the first third world superstar and a prophet of the Rastafarian religion. He was only 36 when he died. His body now lies in a mausoleum in Jamaica.

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