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Black Facts for December 9th

1971 - Bunche, Ralph J. (ca. 1903-1971)

RalphJohnson Bunche, American political scientist, renowned scholar, award winner,and diplomat, was one of the most prominent African Americans of his era.  Bunche was born on August 7, 1903 or 1904(there is some disagreement about the year of his birth) in Detroit, Michigan. His father Fred was a barberwho owned a racially segregated barbershopthat catered solely to white customers. His mother, whose maiden name was OliveAgnes Johnson, was an amateur musician.

Young Ralph spent his early years in Michigan. However, due to the relativelypoor physical constitution of his mother and grandmother’s uncle, Charlie Johnson, thefamily settled in Albuquerque, NewMexico when he was ten years old. The family believed the dry climate of theregion would be more conducive to his parents’ health. Yet both his mother anduncle died when Ralph turned twelve. His mother died of tuberculosis in 1917.His uncle committed suicide the same year. The circumstances surrounding hisfather are less fully known. The common narrative is that he left the family,remarried, and never returned.

Ralph and his two sisters were resettled in Los Angeles, California where they joined theirgrandmother who raised them in a South Central neighborhood that was then predominantlywhite. It was during his teenage years in Los Angeles where Bunche proved to bea brilliant student. He excelled in all of his high school courses andgraduated valedictorian of his high school class at Jefferson High School. He thenattended the University of Californiaat Los Angeles (UCLA) where he graduated summa cum laude in 1927.

Bunche continued his graduate studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where in 1934 hebecame the first African American to earn a doctorate degree in PoliticalScience from an American university. His dissertation comparing French Rule inTogoland and Dahomey received the Toppan Prize for outstanding research. Whilehe was earning his doctorate degree, Bunche became a professor in the politicalscience department at Howard University in

1961 - Julius Nyerere

Julius Nyerere , in full Julius Kambarage Nyerere, also called Mwalimu (Swahili: “Teacher”) (born March 1922, Butiama, Tanganyika—died October 14, 1999, London, England), first prime minister of independent Tanganyika (1961), who became the first president of the new state of Tanzania (1964). Nyerere was also the major force behind the Organization of African Unity (OAU; now the African Union).

Nyerere was a son of the chief of the small Zanaki ethnic group. He was educated at Tabora Secondary School and Makerere College in Kampala, Uganda. A convert to Roman Catholicism, he taught in several Roman Catholic schools before going to Edinburgh University. He was the first Tanganyikan to study at a British university. He graduated with an M.A. in history and economics in 1952 and returned to Tanganyika to teach.

By the time Nyerere entered politics, the old League of Nations mandate that Britain had exercised in Tanganyika had been converted into a United Nations trusteeship, with independence the ultimate goal. Seeking to hasten the process of emancipation, Nyerere joined the Tanganyika African Association, quickly becoming its president in 1953. In 1954 he converted the organization into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). Under Nyerere’s leadership the organization espoused peaceful change, social equality, and racial harmony and rejected tribalism and all forms of racial and ethnic discrimination.

In 1955 and 1956 he journeyed to the United Nations in New York City as a petitioner to the Trusteeship Council and the Fourth Committee on trusts and non-self-governing territories. After a debate that ended in his being granted a hearing, he asked for a target date for the independence of Tanganyika. The British administration rejected the demand, but a dialogue was begun that established Nyerere as the preeminent nationalist spokesman for his country.

The British administration nominated him a member of the Tanganyikan Legislative Council, but he resigned in 1957 in protest

1930 - Rube Foster

Rube Foster , byname of Andrew Foster (born September 17, 1879, Calvert, Texas, U.S.—died December 9, 1930, Kankakee, Illinois), American baseball player who gained fame as a pitcher, manager, and owner and as the “father of black baseball” after founding in 1920 the Negro National League (NNL), the first successful professional league for African American ballplayers.

Foster dropped out of school after the eighth grade, and by the age of 18 he had begun playing semiprofessional baseball in Texas for the Waco Yellow Jackets. In 1902 he joined Frank Leland’s Chicago Union Giants but soon left to play in an integrated semiprofessional league in Michigan.

Standing 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 metres) tall, the large right-hander first made his mark on the game in 1903 as a pitcher for the Cuban X-Giants, winning four games (of a seven-game series) against the Philadelphia Giants in the “Colored Championship of the World.” The next year, as a member of the Philadelphia Giants, Foster earned his nickname by outdueling the great Rube Waddell in a game against the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League. In 1905 he totaled 51 victories out of 55 games played.

A dispute over money with the Philadelphia Giants led to Foster’s return to Chicago and the Leland Giants in 1907. As both star pitcher and manager, he guided the team to a 110–10 record that year. His style as a manager was no different from his style as a player—aggressive and intimidating. He was an innovative strategist, and his team members were renowned for their bunting and baserunning, especially the hit-and-run (in which the batter is signaled to hit a pitch regardless of its location and the base runner on first begins running before the pitch is released). In 1910 Foster acquired ownership of the Leland Giants and guided the squad to a 123–6 record.

The next year he joined with businessman John Schorling (a son-in-law of Charles Comiskey) to form the Chicago American Giants. The American Giants, led by Foster as player, manager, and owner, played

1903 - (1903) Capt. Charles Young Speaks At Stanford University

Through much of U.S. military history, officers serving in the armed forces have rarely commented publicly on social issues of the day. One exception to this tradition appears below, a speech by Capt. Charles Young, Ninth Cavalry, at Stanford University. In December, 1903 Young was the main speaker at the periodic campus student assembly which discussed, among other issues the recent diphtheria outbreak on campus and the deadheads, the college men who watched Stanfords athletic contests but who refused to provide financial support for these programs. Following his introduction by Stanford University President David Starr Jordan, Young described the attitudes and aspirations of younger African Americans at the time which he called the standards and ideals of new negrodom. Young expressly drew distinction between the views of that generation and those of Booker T. Washington who was then the leading African American spokesman. The brief speech appears below.

I desire, first of all, to thank you for the opportunity which has been given me to stand before you. I shall try to acquaint you with a few of the standards and ideals of new negrodom. At present I cannot but feel that the higher interest of my people are going netherward, and that the white people of the coming era are not an inch behind. When one part of the body is diseased, it reacts on the whole. We are part and parcel of the body politic of the United States, and to cure the disease you have offered amalgamation, deportation, bodily extermination, and industrialism.

With all that is claimed for industrialism and with due honor to Mr. Booker T. Washington, I fee that what is proposed for the negro in that direction will not do the work. When the black man has learned the industrial trades and seeks work, he runs into the unions, where he his told that no negroes need apply. The white employer would employ him but is afraid; he knows the negro is entitled to work but he cannot give it to him.

We are urged to give up our claims to higher education.

1996 - Faron Young

Faron Young , (born Feb. 25, 1932, Shreveport, Louisiana,—died Dec. 10, 1996 , Nashville, Tenn.), . American singer, one of the most popular country music performers of the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s. He was known as the “Young Sheriff, which he later changed to the “Singing Sheriff; his band was the Country Deputies. He was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Young was the youngest of six children of an impoverished Shreveport dairyman. Shut out by his father after the death of a favorite son, Young craved attention throughout his life. He was a born entertainer and gifted singer, but he battled with alcoholism, abusive behavior, and depression. Combining his mother’s gregariousness with his father’s emotional distance, he developed into a man who cursed excessively and gave public affection freely but let few people get close to him emotionally.

His KWKH radio performances on the Louisiana Hayride country music show in 1951 provided exposure that garnered him a Capitol Records contract at age 19. He moved to Nashville in 1952 and joined the Grand Ole Opry.

Then his draft notice arrived, and he cried like a rat eatin’ a red onion. His self-penned Goin’ Steady approached number two on the Billboard country music charts as he graduated from basic training. Assigned to Special Services of the Third U.S. Army for his two-year enlistment, Young fronted a band called the Circle A Wranglers. They entertained troops throughout the Southeast and assisted the U.S. Army recruiting effort.

Immediately following his 1954 discharge, Young formed the Country Deputies band, which backed him for the next forty years. Band members who went on to fame included Johnny Paycheck, the Wilburn Brothers, Roger Miller, Lloyd Green, and Darrell McCall.

Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young (1955) was Young’s first chart topper. Alone With You stayed at the top for 13 weeks in 1958, and his recording of Willie Nelson’s Hello Walls spent nine weeks there in 1961. Following a series of hits in the