Nothing will motivate a man to move forward faster than knowing what's behind Him.


1. Wiley Jones, born a slave in Madison county, Georgia. He became a barber after the Civil War. He established the first streetcar system in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the Wiley Jones Street Car Line, in 1886. He invested his income wisely and by 1890, he was estimated to be worth $300,000. He owned real estate, a large general store, a popular saloon, a race track, and a horse stable “of the finest trotters in the South.” Each day, hundreds of Pine Bluff residents will ride the six-mile-long Jones Street Car Line. Conductors in neat uniforms with distinctive caps would assist riders and collect fares. He was one of Arkansas’ richest African Americans.

2. Spencer Williams Jr., After serving in the U.S. Army became a writer for a series of African American films being produce by an affiliate of Paramount Pictures. This lead to a career in Hollywood. appeard in some of the early African American talking movies including “The Lady Fare,” “Oft in the Silly Night,” and Music Has Charms.” “He produced “Hot Biscuits,” “Bronze Buckaroo,” and “Harlem Rides the Range.” He will wrote, directed, and starred in “The Blood of Jesus” and “Juke Joint. He was Andy in the television production of “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” a role for which he is best remembered.

3. Willard Motley, writer, related to the noted artist Archibald Motley. The two were raised as brothers, although in actuality Archibald was Willard’s uncle. After graduating from high school Motley traveled to New York, California and the western states, earning a living through various menial jobs, as well as by writing for the radio and newspapers. Returning to Chicago in 1939, he lived near the Maxwell Street Market, which was to figure prominently in his later writing. He became associated with Hull House, and helped found the Hull House Magazine, in which some of his fiction appeared. In 1940 he wrote for the Works Progress Administration Federal Writers Project along with Richard Wright and Nelson Algren.

4. Dr. Kenneth Bancroft Clark, noted psychologist who will co-found the Northside Center for Child Development in New York City in March, 1946 with his wife, Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark. Their pioneering research on the psychological damage to African American children caused by segregation will be used as part of the basis for the “Brown vs. Board of Education” school desegregation decision of the Supreme Court.

5. Claude and Clifford Trenier, Singer Twins (pre-Rock-n-roll & R&B era)

6. Benjamin Karim, Muslim minister, author, orator, and aide to Malcolm X.

7. Roosevelt (Rosey) Grier, actor, singer, Christian minister, and former professional American football player. He was a notable college football player for Pennsylvania State University who earned a retrospective place in the National Collegiate Athletic Association 100th anniversary list of 100 most influential student athletes. As a professional player, Grier was a member of the original Fearsome Foursome of the Los Angeles Rams and played in the Pro Bowl twice.

8. Robert Lee Elder, golfer. He is best remembered for becoming the first African American to play in the Masters Tournament in 1975.

9. Earl Coleman Francis, pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1960 to 1965.

10. Lady Bo (Peggy Jones),Bo Diddley’s original girl guitar player and the first female guitarist in history to be hired by a major rock & roll musician.

11. Maulana Karenga (born Ronald Everett) was born on this day.

12. Assata Olugbala Shakur, born JoAnne Deborah Byron, married name Chesimard, activist, Shakur was accused of several crimes, of which she would never be charged, and made the subject of a multi-state manhunt. Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other alleged criminal incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. Shakur was then incarcerated in several prisons, where her treatment drew criticism from some human rights groups. She has been living in Cuba in political asylum since 1984. Since May 2, 2005, the (FBI) has classified her as a “domestic terrorist” and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. Attempts to e

13. Harold Pressley, former professional basketball player who was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the 1st round (17th overall pick) of the 1986 NBA Draft. Pressley played four years for the Kings averaging 9.0 ppg.

14. Jaime Luis Gómez, better known by his stage name Taboo, musician and actor best known as a member of the hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas.

15. Tameka Cottle, singer-songwriter who was a member of the multi-platinum R&B female group, Xscape. She acquired the nickname “Tiny” due to her small stature of 4’11”.

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