For the week of Sept. 21-27
1872—John Henry Conyers becomes the first Black student at the U.S. Naval Academy. However, racism and often violent harassment forced him to leave the academy before he was able to graduate.
1905—The Atlanta Life Insurance Co. is established in Atlanta, Ga., and becomes one of the largest insurance companies in America serving a predominantly African-American clientele.
1984—Gen. Colin Powell becomes the first African-American named as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As the nation’s top military leader, Powell was praised by some Blacks as a role model while he was criticized for supporting what critics considered the government’s war-mongering policies. His generally positive reputation was damaged by his speaking before the United Nations and providing misinformation in 2003 in support of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq.