Charley F. Pride, the first Black country music preformer to gain wide acceptance, was born in Sledge, MS, on March 18, 1938. The Grammy-winning singer preformed on the “Grand Ole Opry” in 1967.
William Henry Johnson, painter, was born in Florence, SC, on March 18, 1901. Johnson became the first Black artist to receive a “Retrospective” by the National Museum of American Art.
In a Memphis, TN, court, on this date in 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to killing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, author, and engineer of the “Underground Railroad,” died in Auburn, NY, on March 10, 1913.
Maya Angelou, esteemed poet and activist, premiered Georgia, Georgia on March 10, 1972 and became the first Black woman to have a motion picture produced.
North Carolina A&T State University was founded on March 9, 1891. The historically Black university in Greensboro, NC, offers the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in numerous disciplines. Ph.D.s were awarded to graduates in engineering in 1998.
The Supreme Court agreed with a circuit court of appeals’ decision to uphold a not guilty verdict for murder and mutiny on the Amistad slaveship on March 9, 1841. Joseph Cinque and others were represented by former President John Q. Adams (their 3rd trial).
B. S. Pinchback, the first Black state Governor, was denied his Governor’s seat in Louisiana by the Senate on March 8, 1876.
Louise Beavers best known for her character actor roles in both silent and sound films was born in Cincinnati, OH on March 8, 1902. She performed in more than 100 films including: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Imitation of Life.” She was inducted posthumously into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1976.