Black in the Day…A Strong Black Family Unit

September 20, 1984:   On this day The Cosby Show premiered on NBC and changed the landscape of network television. It provided a representation of the black family that centered on black pride and racial progress. As the most watched situational comedy in television history, The Cosby Show aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992. For eight seasons, the show taught Americans 30-minute ethical and moral lessons through the lives of Cliff and Clair Huxtable and their children. The Huxtables were a middle-class, nuclear black family living in a Brooklyn, New York…

Black in the Day…There She is, Miss America

September 17, 1983: On this day 20-year-old Vanessa Williams became the first Black Woman to win the Miss America crown in its 63 year history. This was an extraordinary feat considering the fact that Blacks weren’t even allowed to be contestants during the competition’s first 30 years. Less than a year later, on July 23, 1984, Williams gave up her crown after nude photos of her surfaced. Williams learned that Penthouse magazine would be publishing the unauthorized nude photographs of her in an upcoming issue. Amid growing media controversy and scrutiny, Williams resigned as Miss…

Black in the Day…The Real King

September 16, 1925: On this day one of the most widely respected and best blues musician of all time was born. Commonly referred to as the “King of the Blues,” he is considered to be among the genre’s most groundbreaking and influential artists. Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), known professionally as B.B. King, was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in…

Black in the Day…Four Little Black Girls

September 15, 1963: On this day a white man was seen placing a box under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Shortly afterward, the explosives inside the box detonated, devastating the church building and the 400 congregants inside. Parents rushed to the Sunday school classroom to check on their children and soon discovered that four young girls had been killed in the blast: Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14), and Cynthia Wesley (14). More than twenty others were injured. The church was a…

Black in the Day…It’s Lit!!

September 13, 1881: On this day Louis Latimer patents his electric lamp with a carbon filament. His most famous patent the “Process of Manufacturing Carbons,”  was an improved production method for carbon filaments used in light bulbs. This new process for creating a carbon filament was an improvement on Thomas Edison’s original paper filament that would burn out quickly. In 1884, the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City hired Latimer as a draftsman and expert witness in patent litigation on electric lights. Not only did he invent a better…