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Black Facts for June 21st

1974 - Boston Busing Case

Morgan v. Hennigan, 379 F. Supp. 410 (D.C. Mass., June 21, 1974).


GARRITY, District Judge.

This is a school desegregation case brought by black parents and their children who attend the Boston public schools. Plaintiffs seek for themselves and on behalf of their class [FN1] declaratory and injunctive relief against the defendants for a myriad of acts that allegedly violate the constitutional rights of the plaintiff class. Defendants are the Boston School Committee, its individual members, and the Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (hereinafter collectively the city defendants), and the Board of Education of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, its individual members, and the Commissioner of Education (hereinafter collectively the state defendants).

Plaintiffs have alleged that the city defendants have intentionally brought about and maintained racial segregation in the Boston public schools by various actions, including the adoption and maintenance of pupil assignment policies, the establishment and manipulation of attendance areas and district lines reflecting segregated residential patterns, the establishment of grade structures and feeder patterns, the administration of school capacity, enlargement, and construction policies, transportation practices, and by unjustifiably failing to adopt or implement policies reasonably available to eliminate racial segregation in the Boston public schools. Plaintiffs assert that these alleged practices have resulted in denying black school children the equal protection of the laws, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. See Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S.Ct. 686, 98 L.Ed. 873; Keyes v. School Dist. No. 1, 1973, 413 U.S. 189, 93 S.Ct. 2686, 37 L.Ed.2d 548. Plaintiffs further contend that the city defendants and their predecessors have engaged in racial discrimination with respect to the hiring and assignment of faculty and staff, and with respect to curricula and the allocation of instructional

1927 - Stokes, Carl B. (1927-1996)

Carl B. Stokes, lawyer, anchorman, U.S. diplomat and the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city, was born on June 21, 1927 to Charles and Louise Stokes in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1944, Stokes dropped out of high school at the age of 17 and worked briefly for Cleveland-based aerospace and automotive company Thompson Products/TRW before enlisting in the US Army in 1945. Returning to Cleveland in 1946 after his discharge, he reentered high school and earned his diploma in 1947 before enrolling in West Virginia College. Stokes transferred to Western Reserve University and then the University of Minnesota, from which he received his BA in 1955. Stokes returned to Cleveland where he completed law school at Cleveland-Marshall Law School in 1958. He was hired as an assistant prosecutor for Cuyahoga County for four years before establishing his own firm, Stokes, Stokes, Character, and Terry in 1962 with his brother, Louis Stokes.

Carl Stokess political career also began in 1962 when he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives.  Stokes served until 1965 when he resigned to concentrate on running for Mayor of Cleveland.  Stokes lost his mayoral bid that year but remained a prominent figure in Cleveland politics. In 1967, he defeated Seth Taft, the grandson of former president William Howard Taft, to become the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city.

Stokes served two two-year terms as Clevelands mayor.  He was recognized both in Cleveland and throughout the nation as a supporter of the Civil Rights movement and a strong advocate of minorities’ rights. As mayor he opened numerous city government positions for African Americans and women.

Despite his commitment to equal opportunity, his tenure was nonetheless plagued by race-related problems including the Glenville Shootout, in which seven people were killed during a riot-like incident in the predominantly black neighborhood of Glenville. In a controversial attempt to decrease the tension in the neighborhood Stokes ordered all white police

2016 - Fattah, Chaka (1956 - )

Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah was born Arthur Davenport on November 21, 1956 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His parents, David Fattah (born Russell Davenport) and Sister Falaka Fattah (born Frances Brown) are community activists in West Philadelphia.  Chaka Fattah attended Overbrook High School in the city and then the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government where he received a Master of Governmental Administration (MGA) degree in 1986.

In 1983 Fattah was elected as a Democratic Representative to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  He served until 1988 when he won a seat in the Pennsylvania state senate.   In 1994 Fattah was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after defeating incumbent Congressman Lucian Blackwell in the Democratic Primary for Pennsylvania’s Second Congressional District.  Fattah won the seat over token Republican opposition in November 1994.    

While in the U.S. House of Representatives Fattah has served on Appropriations Committee and is on the following subcommittees: Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies, Homeland Security and the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee.  Fattah is also the new Chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus.  In this position his focus is on public safety, employment, education, transportation, housing, health, and the strengthening of the U.S. infrastructures.  Fattah is a well-known opponent of the Iraq War and has supported fellow Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha’s call for troop withdrawal.

Congressman Fattah is also the creator of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).  This program promotes college attendance among the nation’s most impoverished students.  GEAR UP has become the largest pre-college awareness program in the nation’s history and has given more than $2 billion toward the educational advancement of low-income students.   In addition to GEAR UP, Fattah has made it possible for all Philadelphia graduating seniors in need to be eligible for

1942 - West, Togo D., Jr. (1942- )

Togo D. West Jr., attorney and government official, was born on June 21, 1942 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Togo D. West, Sr. and Evelyn Carter West. In 1959 he graduated as valedictorian from Atkins High School in that same city.   In 1965, West enrolled at Howard University, earning his B.S. degree in electrical engineering.  He switched to law and earned a J.D. degree from Howard University Law School in 1968, graduating first in his class.  After he completed law school, West clerked for a federal judge in the Southern district of New York.  

During the early 1970s, West served in the United States Army as a judge in the Judge Advocate General Corps.  For his outstanding military service, West earned both the Legion of Merit award and the Meritorious Service Medal.  Government officials recognized West’s distinguished military service and in 1973, he was appointed by President Gerald Ford as Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice.  In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed West as general counsel to the Navy and in 1979, West served as Deputy Secretary to the Secretary of Defense and general counsel to the Department of Defense from 1980 to 1981.

In 1981, West retired from government to become managing partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm, Patterson, Belknap, Webb, and Tyler.  In 1990, West became the senior vice president for the Arlington, Virginia-based Northrop Corporation, a military aircraft manufacturer.

In September 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated West as Secretary of the Army.  After receiving Congressional confirmation, he was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of the Army.  He held this position from 1993 to 1997.   In 1998, West was appointed by President Clinton as the United States Secretary of Veteran Affairs, succeeding Jesse Brown as the second African American to hold that position.  West resigned after two years to pursue other interests.  Upon his resignation, he returned to the practice of law and then served as the president of the Washington, D.C.