Week of Nov. 27 to Dec. 3
1895—Novelist and playwright Alexandre Dumas [Jr. or fils] dies in France. He was the son of the much more famous Alexandre Dumas [Sr.] who authored such works as “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count De Monte Cristo.” However, “junior” was also an accomplished novelist with his most famous work being “La Dame Aux Camelias.” When confronted with French racism, Dumas is frequently quoted as telling his detractors, “My father was a Creole, his father a Negro, and his father a monkey. My family, it seems, begins where yours left off.”
1942—Rock musician Jimi Hendrix is born in Seattle, Wash. Hendrix is considered one of the greatest guitarists to have ever played. Unfortunately, he died of a drug overdose while on tour in Europe.
1753—Revolutionary War soldier James Robinson is born in Maryland. Historically, like “40 acres and a mule,” Robinson epitomizes the White man’s false promises to the Black man. Robinson, a slave, was promised his freedom for fighting in America’s War of Independence from Britain. He fought so well that he won a medal for bravery at the Battle of Yorktown. However, after the war he was sold back into slavery. But he did live to see the end of slavery. He died in Detroit, Mich., in 1868.
1929—Barry Gordy is born in Detroit, Mich. He founded Motown Records in 1957 and built it into the greatest Black-owned record company in U.S. history. It was later sold to a major White-owned corporation and is now based in Los Angeles, Calif.