Today in History, November 29th, 1781,
The Zong Massacre
On November 29th, 1781 the crew of the slave ship Zong threw 142 Afrikan slaves overboard, including women and children. When the ship ran out of water following a navigational mistake, the captain and crew decided to throw the cargo of slaves overboard and claim the loss on their insurance policy.
On this day in 1663, Nzinga Mbande, Queen of the Ndongo and Maamba Kingdoms in southwestern Africa, died. From 1624 to 1657, she led her troops in battle against the Portuguese colonizers. After signing a peace treaty with Portugal, Nzinga devoted her efforts to resettling formerly enslaved Africans. After her death, the Portuguese accelerated their occupation of southwest Africa and significantly expanded the slave trade.
On Dec. 26, 1908, Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns becoming the first African American to win the world heavyweight title. Johnson, who held the heavyweight title until 1915, also fought back openly against "Jim Crow."
In New York City, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated by rival Black Muslims while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.
Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925, Malcolm was the son of James Earl Little, a Baptist preacher who advocated the black nationalist ideals of Marcus Garvey. Threats from the Ku Klux Klan forced the family to move to Lansing, Michigan, where his father continued to preach his controversial sermons despite continuing threats. In 1931, Malcolm's father was brutally murdered by the white supremacist Black Legion, and Michigan authorities refused to prosecute those responsible. In 1937, Malcolm was taken from his family by welfare caseworkers. By the time he reached high school age, he had dropped out of school and moved to Boston, where he became increasingly involved in criminal activities.
In 1946, at the age of 21, Malcolm was sent to prison on a burglary conviction. It was there he encountered the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam, whose members are popularly known as Black Muslims. The Nation of Islam advocated black nationalism and racial separatism and condemned Americans of European descent as immoral "devils." Muhammad's teachings had a strong effect on Malcolm, who entered into an intense program of self-education and took the last name "X" to symbolize his stolen African identity.
After six years, Malcolm was released from prison and became a loyal and effective minister of the Nation of Islam in Harlem, New York. In contrast with civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X advocated self-defense and the liberation of African Americans "by any means necessary." A fiery orator, Malcolm was admired by the African American community in New York and around the country.
In the early 1960s, he began to develop a more outspoken philosophy than that of Elijah Muhammad, whom he felt did not sufficiently support the civil rights movement. In late 1963, Malcolm's suggestion that President John F. Kennedy's assassination was a matter of the "chickens coming home to roost" provided Elijah Muhammad, who believed that Malcolm had become too powerful, with a convenient opportunity to suspend him from the Nation of Islam.
A few months later, Malcolm formally left the organization and made a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, where he was profoundly affected by the lack of racial discord among orthodox Muslims. He returned to America as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and in June 1964 founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity, which advocated black identity and held that racism, not the white race, was the greatest foe of the African American. Malcolm's new movement steadily gained followers, and his more moderate philosophy became increasingly influential in the civil rights movement, especially among the leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
On February 21, 1965, one week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New York City.
Considered to be the one of the founding fathers of Pan-Africanism.
Kwame Nkrumah (18 or 21 September 1909 – 27 April 1972) was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1951 to 1966. He became the first Prime Minister of the Gold Coast in 1951, and led it to independence as Ghana in 1957, becoming the new country's first Prime Minister. After Ghana became a republic in 1960, Nkrumah became President. An influential 20th-century advocate of Pan-Africanism, he was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and was the winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963. He saw himself as an African Lenin.
On this day we celebrate the life and the achievements of Tupac Amaru Shakur. Tupac was born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.His double disc albums All Eyez on Me and his Greatest Hits are among the best selling albums in the United States.He has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone which ranked him 86th on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, he was ranked number 2 by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. 2Pac is also ranked as the most influential rapper of all time.
Shakur began his career as a roadie, backup dancer, and MC for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground, eventually branching off as a solo artist. The themes of most of Shakur's songs revolved around the violence and hardship in inner cities, racism and other social problems. Both of his parents and several other of his family were members of the Black Panther Party, whose ideals were reflected in his songs.
During the latter part of his career, Shakur was a vocal participant in the so-called East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry, becoming involved in conflicts with other rappers, producers and record-label staff members, most notably The Notorious B.I.G. and the label Bad Boy Records.
On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was taken to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where he died six days later.
John Carlos was born in Harlem, New York in 1945. After graduating from Machine Trade and Medal High School, he was awarded a full track and field scholarship to East Texas State University (ETSU). He attended ETSU for one year, single-handedly winning the schools first and only track and field Lone Star Conference Championship. After ETSU, he matriculated to San José State University. During his stay at San José State University, he participated in the 1968 Mexico Olympics and won the bronze medal in the 200 meters. During the victory ceremony, John and Tommy Smith raised a black gloved fist in protest against racism and economic depression for all opposed peoples.
This “Silent Protest” was voted as the sixth most memorable event of the century. Following the Mexico Olympics, John Carlos continued his education and athletic feats at San José State University where he single handily won the NCAA Track & Field National Championship in 1969. During his stay, he broke the world record in the hundred-yard dash. Concluding an illustrious career in track and field, John Carlos was drafted by the NFL. After a short career in the NFL, he entered the public sector, working for PUMA, the Olympics, and the City of Los Angeles. Presently, John Carlos is working as the Track & Field Coach, and an In-school Suspension Supervisor for Palm Springs High School in Palm Springs, California.