Black in the Day…The Passing of a Civil Rights Legend

October 24, 2005: On this day, Rosa Parks, the woman known as the “mother of the civil rights movement,” died. Parks turned the course of American history by refusing in 1955 to give up her seat on a bus for a white man. Rosa Parks , née Rosa Louise McCauley, (born February 4, 1913, Tuskegee, Alabama, U.S.—died October 24, 2005, Detroit, Michigan), African American civil rights activist whose refusal to relinquish her seat on a public bus to a white man precipitated the 1955–56 Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama, which is recognized as the spark that ignited the U.S. civil rights…

Black in the Day…Meet the Real Joe Black

October 1, 1952:   On this date Joe Black became the first black pitcher to win a World Series game. The Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees 4-2. He was told that the color of his skin would keep him out of the big leagues, but Joe Black worked his way up through the Negro Leagues and the Cuban Winter League. He burst into the Majors in 1952 when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the face of segregation, verbal harassment, and even death threats, Joe Black rose to the…

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…