June – This Month in Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly


June 3, 1904 – Physician and medical researcher Charles Drew in Washington, D.C.


June 6, 1939 – Child advocate Marian Wright Edelman in Bennettsville, South Carolina

June 7, 1958 – Celebrating PRINCE on what would have been his 58th birthday

June 7, 1917 – Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks.



June 22, 1909 – Dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham in Chicago, Illinois


June 27, 1872 – Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar


June 30, 1917 -Actress, singer and dancer Lena Horne in Brooklyn, New York.

Lena Horne


From Wikipedia:

“Horne was long involved with the Civil Rights movement. In 1941, she sang at Cafe Society and worked with Paul Robeson. During World War II, when entertaining the troops for the USO, she refused to perform “for segregated audiences or for groups in which German POWs were seated in front of African American servicemen”, according to her Kennedy Center biography. Because the U.S. Army refused to allow integrated audiences, she wound up putting on a show for a mixed audience of black U.S. soldiers and white German POWs. Seeing the black soldiers had been forced to sit in the back seats, she walked off the stage to the first row where the black troops were seated and performed with the Germans behind her. She was at an NAACP rally with Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi, the weekend before Evers was assassinated. She was at the March on Washington and spoke and performed on behalf of the NAACP, SNCC, and the National Council of Negro Women. She also worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws.”


Lena Horne singing the protest song “Now”.


Sheriff ONeal

Sheriff Oneal Moore

June 2, 1965 – Sheriff Oneal Moore was ambushed and murdered by klansmen in Bogalusa, Louisiana when he and his partner were on patrol.  Hired just a years before in response to demands of the Black community for more hiring of Blacks in government positions, Sheriff Moore and his partner were the first two Black deputies in Washington Parrish.



Civil rights protests in Bogalusa had increased (with white supremacists and Klan members attacking in response ) beginning in April of 1965. Just the week before Sheriff Oneal was shot in the back of his head and his partner wounded causing him to become blind, the Bogalusa police department had agreed to hire two Black policemen to accommodate the Black community demands.

Video from 2013:


June 5, 1950 – Decision in Sweatt v. Painter required the law school at the University of Texas to admit African Americans.


June 5, 1966  – James Meredith began his 220-mile “Walk Against Fear”


June 8, 1953 – Washington, DC restaurants were ordered by the Supreme Court to end segregation.

This decision, often overlooked by historians because it was overshadowed a year later by the far-reaching Brown v. The Board of Education, was decided by the justices in just two months because of its narrow focus on Washington, D.C. and because of two desegregation laws from the 1800s that had been ignored but never repealed.

Here is a link to a video of a very informative presentation given by Joan Quigley who researched this decision for her book Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital.

June 10, 1963 – Civil rights activists in Danville, Virginia gathered on the steps of the city hall as a protest against racial discrimination and to highlight their demand for fair employment, for desegregation of public facilities, and for voting rights.  Police and deputized city employees clubbed them and attacked them with firehoses seriously injuring 48 of the protesters.



In a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) twelve-page pamphlet (published August 1963) mailed out across the country, the movement in Danville was chronicled through photos by Danny Lyons.  The publication listed those protestors who were hospitalized and noted that one “Negro man was beaten so savagely by police that he almost lost an eye and was refused medical attention in jail for three days.” (from page 2 of the pamphlet)

June 10, 1964 – Black American youth march against segregation in St. Augustine, Florida



(Atlantic Magazine’s caption: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gives a young protester a pat on the back as a group of youngsters started to picket St. Augustine, Florida, on June 10, 1964.” )

June 11, 1963 – Vivian Malone and James Hood, attempted to register at the University of Alabama, but were blocked at the door by Gov. George Wallace.

June 12, 1963 – NAACP worker Medgar Evers was murdered in Jackson, Mississippi.

June 12, 1967 – Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriage as its decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia.

See Xena’s article “Love Conquers All — The Loving Couple”.


June 13, 1967 – Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the United States Supreme Court.


June 14, 1965 – SCOPE project (Summer Community Organization and Political Education) was launch to take advantage of the momentum initiated by Freedom Summer from the year before.



June 17, 2015 – The Emanuel Nine lost their lives to an assassin’s bullets.


June 18 (or 19?), 1953 – Blacks boycott the city buses in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in protest of the overturning of  Ordinance 222.



Ordinance 222, adopted in January, had been an accommodation to Blacks who had complained that they had been force to stand in the crowded Black section even when the White seats were empty. The ordinance allowed Blacks to sit in the front seats if just Black passengers were traveling on a particular bus. However, if White passengers were traveling on the bus, they could neither sit in the front seats nor sit next to a White passenger.

Ordinance 222 was overturned when the White bus drivers went on strike to show their displeasure with that ordinance. Reacting to this, Rev. T.J. Jemison founded the United Defense League and on June 18 and called for the Black community to boycott the buses.  The week-long boycott was successful and led to a compromise ordinance similar to Ordinance 222 but reserved the two front seats only for Whites even if no Whites were on the bus.

For more info and photos see Knowla.org.

June 21, 1964 – James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman disappeared after being released from jail in Mississippi.

Music video with lyrics telling their story:


June 25, 1941 – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the “Fair Employment Act’ which required equal treatment and training by defense contractors of all employees.

June 25, 1964 – Civil Rights wade-in St. Augustine, Fl to protest segregation:

Protest in water at ocean:


Beach 2


Protest at a swimming pool:


June 25, 2014 – The Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act



Posted on 06/03/2016, in Black History Month, civil rights, Emmanuel 9 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Wow, so much here! I’ll be up early in the morning to read the rest. Thank you for this. So much I didn’t know!


    • yahtzeebutterfly

      YW, Mindy 🙂 (I am always learning… I just learned for the first time of Lena Horne’s song titled Now. I think you will enjoy listening to the Youtube of it that I posted… it’s fabulous.)

      Here is an excerpt:

      now is the moment
      now is the moment
      come on, we’ve put it off long enough…

      …it’s there for you and me
      for every he and she
      just wanna do what’s right

      i went and took a look
      in my old history book
      it’s there in black and white
      for all to see

      now, now,
      now, now, now, now, now,
      now, now, now, now,

      the message of this song’s not subtle
      no discussion, no reb*ttal
      we want more than just a promise
      say goodbye to uncle thomas
      call me naïve
      still i believe
      we’re created free and equal,
      now, now, now, now

      everyone should love his brother
      people all should love each other


  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 3, 1906 -Birth of singer and dancer Josephine Baker in St. Louis, Missouri.

    From Wikipedia:

    Josephine Baker (3 June 1906 – 12 April 1975) was an American-born French dancer, jazz and pop music singer, and actress, who came to be known in various circles as the “Black Pearl,” “Bronze Venus” “Jazz Cleopatra”, and even the “Creole Goddess”. Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker became a citizen of France in 1937. She was fluent in both English and French.

    Baker was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934), or to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States and is noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.


  3. Liked by 1 person

  4. yahtzeebutterfly

    Samuel Lee Gravely, Jr. ( June 4, 1922 – October 22, 2004) was an African-American pioneer in the United States Navy — the first African American in the U.S. Navy to serve aboard a fighting ship as an officer, the first to command a Navy ship, the first fleet commander, and the first to become a flag officer, retiring as a vice admiral.
    (excerpt from Wikipedia)



    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Hi Lady2soothe,

      Thanks for re-blogging. Hope you are having a great weekend. You contribute so much on the internet!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you yahtzeebutterfly… Your post was a marvelous compilation of video’s! I did add a few of my own, including some on Muhammad Ali.


  5. yahtzeebutterfly


  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 7, 1927 – Birth of gospel musician Jeff Banks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    From Wikipedia:

    Bishop Jeff Willie Banks (June 7, 1927 – January 31, 1997), was an American gospel musician and founding pastor of Revival Temple Holiness that was affiliated with The Church of God in Christ. He started his music career, in 1953, with the Famous Banks Brothers, after they were under the tutelage of Mary Johnson Davis from 1947 until 1953. He released his first album, “Lord Lift Me Up”, that was released by Savoy Records in 1984, which all of his album were released by the label. He would release seven albums, and four of those charted on the Billboard magazine Gospel Albums chart, “Lord Lift Me Up” in 1984, 1987’s “Caught up in the Rapture”, 1989’s “The Storm Is Over”, “He’s All over Me” in 1993.


  7. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 8, 1968 – “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” sung by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell reached number 1 on the R&B Billboards chart.

    Seems like yesterday…


  8. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Jacob Lawrence (Atlantic City, NJ September 7, 1917; Seattle June 9, 2000) was an African-American painter known for his portrayal of African-American life. But not only was he a painter, storyteller, and interpreter, he also was an educator.

    “Lawrence referred to his style as “dynamic cubism,” though by his own account the primary influence was not so much French art as the shapes and colors of Harlem. He brought the African-American experience to life using blacks and browns juxtaposed with vivid colors.”
    ~from Wikipedia


  9. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 11, 1963 – President John F. Kennedy delivers his civil rights speech:



  10. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 12, 1963 Murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers

    Remembering Medgar Evers today:



  11. yahtzeebutterfly

    From Wikipedia:

    On June 13, 1864, restrictions were lifted requiring men to be free or have their owner’s written permission to engage in the war. From that point forward, anyone that enlisted was emancipated.


  12. yahtzeebutterfly

    John Standard patented an improved design for the refrigerator on June 14, 1891.


  13. yahtzeebutterfly


  14. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth


  15. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 21, 1964 – Civil rights rally at Chicago’s Soldier Field with Martin Luther King as the keynote speaker


    Excerpt from Chicago Sun Times article by Ronald Berquist (June 22, 1962 newspaper issue) :

    The largest civil rights rally in the city’s history provided massive witness to the Negro’s struggle for attainment of his human rights…

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders spoke of the meaning and implication of the civil rights bill passed Friday by the Senate… [signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964]

    As keynote speaker, Dr. King–fresh from civil rights demonstrations in St. Augustine–told the crowd that he had just come from “a community sweltering from the heat of injustice.

    “(But) after this rally, I’m sure that everyone in Chicago will realize that the Negro in this community is determined to be free. Now is the time to cure the cancer of segregation…now is the time to get rid of the ghettoes of Chicago…now is the time for justice.”

    Dr. King hailed the approval of the civil rights bill “to end the long nights of legislative inaction.

    “The passage of this bill is a bright interlude. In a real sense it will lift millions of people from despair to hope.”

    Yet, the action by the Senate, he said, “doesn’t mean that we have reached the promised land in civil rights.

    “The passage is merely a step in a thousand-mile journey…we have come a long way. We have a long, long way to go.”

    “The task ahead, he said, will be the implementation of the bill once it is enacted into law.

    “We must work through the courts and legislative channels,” he said. “We must continue to engage in demonstrations, boycotts, rent strikes and to use all the resources at our disposal to get rid of these conditions.”

    Still, the Negro must not wait for full emancipation, Dr. King continued. He commented:

    “We must make full and constructive use of the freedom we already possess. Many doors of opportunity are opening to the young people today that were not opened to our mothers and fathers.”

    (This rally was so momentous that the Chicago Sun Times published photos of the event on five pages: pp. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10 of its June 21, 1964 issue – Vol. 17, No. 121. )


    • yahtzeebutterfly

      (Dr. King speaking at June 21, 1964 civil rights rally at Chicago’s Soldier Field)


  16. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 22, 1947 Birth of science fiction writer Octavia Butler in Pasadena, California.


  17. yahtzeebutterfly

    On June 23, 1957 – Rev. Douglas Moore led a non-violent sit-in with other African Americans at the Royal Ice Cream Parlor in Durham, North Carolina.

    From Wikipedia:

    When asked to move, the protesters refused and were arrested for trespassing.The case was appealed unsuccessfully to the County and State Superior Courts.

    The sit-in sparked debates within the African American communities in Durham about the strategies of civil rights activism. It also helped to spark future protests such as the Greensboro sit-ins and to promote coordination among African American civil rights activists across the Southeast.

    In 2009 there was a ceremony to place a historical marker at the site:


  18. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 24, 1936 – Mary Mcleod Bethune was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Director of the National Youth Administration of the Division of Negro Affairs.


  19. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 26, 1965 – Birth of astronaut Bernard A. Harris, Jr. who was the first African American to walk in space. The following video has great footage of his spacewalk in February 1995:

    From Wikipedia:

    He also trained as a flight surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio in 1988. Dr. Harris received a master’s degree in biomedical science from The University of Texas Medical Branch in 1996. Harris is also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver.

    After completing his fellowship at NASA Ames, he joined NASA’s Johnson Space Center as a clinical scientist and flight surgeon, where he conducted clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed countermeasures for extended duration space flight.

    Uploaded on Sep 17, 2008
    “Astronaut Bernard A. Harris, Jr., the first African-American to walk in space, details the experiences of his youth that motivated him to pursue a career in spaceflight.”


  20. yahtzeebutterfly

    “On June 28, 2007, the US Supreme Court in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, decided along with Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, ruled that school districts could not assign students to particular public schools solely for the purpose of achieving racial integration; it declined to recognize racial balancing as a compelling state interest.”

    C-Span video with reaction to decision by chairman of the Black Causus, NAACP lawyer and a Harvard professor:


  21. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 29, 1943 – Birth of singer Little Eva (Eva Narcissus Boyd) in Belhaven, North Carolina


  22. yahtzeebutterfly

    From Wikipedia:

    June 30, 1958 – In NAACP v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the NAACP was not required to release membership lists to continue operating in the state.”

    More info from Wikipedia:

    “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958), was an important civil rights case brought before the United States Supreme Court.

    “Alabama sought to prevent the NAACP from conducting further business in the state. After the circuit court issued a restraining order, the state issued a subpoena for various records, including the NAACP’s membership lists. The Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s demand for the lists had violated the right of due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

    So great that students studied and then created this documentary on this decision through role playing in order to recreate the background to the decision:


  23. yahtzeebutterfly

    June 23, 1963 Two months before the March on Washington, Martin Luther King delivered his an early version of “I Have a Dream” in Detroit.

    “Uploaded on Jan 17, 2011 by aholowicki
    MLK’s first rendition of his iconic “I have a Dream Speech.” Delivered first in Detroit MI, June 23rd 1963. It was released by Gordy records, a subsidiary of Motown and can therefore be considered an early Motown single. This video is intended entirely for educational purposes.”


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