Week of November 8-14
1898—The Wilmington Massacre occurs. A mob of Whites launches a terror campaign against Blacks in Wilmington, N.C. They destroy a Black newspaper plant, seize control of city government and officially leave nine to 11 Blacks dead. However, the unofficial death toll was said to be closer to 100. The Black press building was burned.
1933—Actress Esther Rolle is born in Pompano Beach, Fla. She is best remembered for her role in the 1970s television series “Good Times.”
1966—Edward W. Brooke is elected the first Black U.S. senator since Reconstruction. He was a Republican from Massachusetts. The 90-year-old Brooke is scheduled to receive a Congressional award next month for his service.
1731—Multi-talented scientist and inventor Benjamin Banneker is born in Ellicott Mills, Md. He is generally considered America’s first Black scientist. Banneker constructed the first clock made in America; completed the design and layout of Washington, D.C., after Pierre L’Enfant returned to France; published a farmer’s almanac for 10 years, while also studying astronomy; and predicted solar eclipses.
1868—The governor of Arkansas, Powell Clayton, calls out the state militia and declares martial law in 10 counties in a bid to put down a Ku Klux Klan-led insurrection.
1868—The Howard University Medical School—the first designed to train Black medical personnel—opens in Washington, D.C. There were eight students in the first class.
1901—Fiery pioneer Black journalist William Monroe Trotter starts the Guardian newspaper in Boston, Mass. Trotter made headlines throughout the nation when in November 1914, he confronted President Woodrow Wilson in the White House for failing to do more to stop the lynching of Blacks. For daring to argue with the president, the New York Times denounced Trotter saying he had “superabundant untactful belligerency.” But W.E.B. DuBois called him “fearless.”
1922—Actress Dorothy Dandridge is born in Cleveland, Ohio. She is generally considered one of Hollywood’s first Black female sex symbols. She appeared opposite Harry Belafonte in “Carmen Jones” and was the first Black woman nominated for an Oscar. Dandridge died in 1965 at age 43.