Today In Black History On January 12th

0 Posted by - January 13, 2016 - January, LATEST POSTS, Today In Black History
  1. Mordecai W Johnson (January 12, 1890) was born on this day. He was a very tactful educator that became the first black president of Howard University. However, he was more recognized for being a pastor, and over the course of his career was the most recognizable preacher of the 20th century. Of the many schools he studied to further his understanding of religion, the notables are Rochester Theological Seminary, Gammon Theological Seminary, and Harvard University.
  2. James Farmer (January 12, 1920) was born on this day in Marshall, TX. A well-known civil rights activist who had the humble demeanor of Martin Luther King Jr., Farmer was inspiration in the American Civil Rights Movement in keeping things non-violent while still strongly pushing against segregation worldwide. That same humble demeanor was notably passed along from Dr. King Jr., who he served alongside of for most of his career.
  3. A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision (January 12, 1948) saw the victory of Sipuel v. Oklahoma State Board of Regents. In the decision, it states that Blacks must be afforded “an opportunity to commence the study of law at a state institution at the same time as [other] citizens.” This is one of the many cases that opened doors for African Americans in higher education across America, and stands as one of the most important victories in history.
  4. Gene Mitchell Gray (January 12, 1952) became the first Black student admitted to the University of Tennessee. Although a victory in that sense, Tennessee racism was still rampant and caused great harm in his personal life after his acceptance. He was fired from his job after being accepted to the graduate program, and it wasn’t soon after that his mother ‘lost’ her job. Finding employment just led to him being denied, but thanks to the help of a group African Americans in his area, funding was granted that allowed him to complete his biochemistry degree.

1 Comment

  • pravin banker May 24, 2019 - 12:03 pm

    I knew Gene Mitchell Gray in New York City from July 1959 – fresh off a boat from Sri Lanka to attend Columbia University in the Fall – till 1971. That was my last meeting with him.
    The FBI had a file on him as a “Communist” that had visited Greece at the time of riots there. He joined the army apparently around the fall of 1944 and was on a ship that anchored in Sri Lanka when the war ended. After that he pretended to be GMG Raj … from Sri Lanka… related to the last King of Kandy.
    I was “convenient” to him and he would tell everyone that I was his cousin to lend authenticity to his claim of being from Ceylon. Tragic as he was far more famous as a Black Man that was the first to enter the University of Tenn on the GI bill. Langston Hughes wrote about him in his book. Great Pity… such a waste.s