Black in the Day…In the Heart of the KKK

November 4, 1997: On this day Chuck E. Burris became the first Black mayor of Stone Mountain, Georgia. The town of Stone Mountain, Ga., holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the 20th Century revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The Dekalb County town and suburb of Atlanta also made history of another sort, when it elected its first African-American mayor on this day in 1997. The Ku Klux Klan proclaimed its 20th century rebirth on the granite mountain that gives the town its name. For decades white-hooded Klansmen flocked…

Black in the Day…An FTC First

September 26, 1962: On this day A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., becomes the first African American member of the Federal Trade Commission.  In 1962 President Kennedy appointed Higginbotham to the Federal Trade Commission making him the youngest and first African American to ever serve on a federal regulatory commission. But this was not the only first that he accomplished. In 1964 Higginbotham was appointed the first African American Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by President Lyndon Johnson. By doing so, he became one of the youngest people…

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…