Black History By Month – October


We celebrate Black History Month in February, but Black History is 365/24/7. Just because February came and went doesn’t mean we have to wait another year to celebrate Black history, we must remember to never stop celebrating the accomplishments and work of the Black community in our society. February should not be the only time we acknowledge all of the ways Black individuals in this country have left their mark. We must not ever let the energy die. We must keep fighting, keep learning, keep going, keep being an activist, keep supporting and buying from our Black-owned businesses and we must do our part in continuing to learn and teach others about Black history.

We at Black Westchester challenge you to learn something new about Black history every day. Whether that means reading a book by a Black author, listening to music from an African-American artist you’ve never listened to before or just researching the achievements of African-Americans who came before us. With that in mind, we share with you some events, dates, and achievements that took place in the month of October!!!

Thurgood Marshall became the first African American Supreme Court Justice after being sworn in on October 2, 1967

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland, and died on January 24, 1993. He was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, where he served from October 1967 to October 1991. The 96th justice, Marshall, was the first U.S. Supreme Court justice of African descent in the United States.

Marshall was the great-grandson of a man born in the region now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo but brought to the United States as a slave, according to Stewart A. Kallen in his autobiography, “Thurgood Marshall: A Dream of Justice for All”. Marshall’s grandfather was also born into slavery in the United States. His father, William Canfield Marshall, was the first freeman of his family and became a Pullman railroad porter. His mother, Norma Arica, was a teacher.

“Before his appointment to serve on the Supreme Court, he represented and won more cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other American,” according to The New World Encyclopedia. Before moving into the judiciary, Marshall was an active civil rights trial attorney, trained in law by the civil rights lawyer Charles Hamilton Houston, who was his law professor and professional mentor.

Marshall’s law practice included appointments as in-house legal counsel to the NAACP. As a trial attorney, Marshall may be best known for his victory in the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which successfully challenged the racialist separate but equal doctrine in American society, a doctrine that was then enforced by the laws of the land.

A Brief Thurgood Marshall Timeline

1930: Mr. Marshall graduates with honors from Lincoln University, Cumlaude
1933: Receives law degree from Howard U. (magna cum laude); begins private practice in Baltimore
1934: Begins to work for the Baltimore branch of the NAACP
1935: With Charles Houston wins first major civil rights case, Murray v. Pearson
1936: Becomes assistant special counsel for NAACP in New York
1940: Wins first of 29 Supreme Court victories (Chambers v. Florida)
1944: Successfully argues Smith v. Allwright, overthrowing the South’s “white primary.”
1948: Wins Shelley v. Kraemer, in which the Supreme Court strikes down the legality of racially restrictive covenants
1950: Wins Supreme Court victories in two graduate-school integration cases, Sweatt v. Painter and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents
1951: Visits South Korea and Japan to investigate charges of racism in U.S. armed forces. He reported that the general practice was one of “rigid segregation.”
1954: Wins Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, landmark case that demolishes legal basis for segregation in America
1961: Defends civil rights demonstrators, winning Supreme Circuit Court victory in Garner v. Louisiana; nominated to Second Court of Appeals by President J.F. Kennedy
1961: Appointed circuit judge makes 112 rulings, all of them later upheld by the Supreme Court (1961–1965)
1965: Appointed U.S. solicitor general by President Lyndon B. Johnson; wins 14 of the 19 cases he argues for the government (1965–1967)
1967: Becomes first African American U.S. Supreme Court (1967–1991)
1991: Retires from the Supreme Court
1993: Dies at 84

The Month Of October In Black History

October 1, 1952 — Joe Black became the first African American pitcher to win a World Series game. Black pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1952 World Series, helping his team defeat the New York Yankees 4-2. Black was also the 1952 Rookie of the Year.
October 2, 1800 — Nat Turner, leader of a major slave rebellion, was born in Southampton County, Virginia.
October 3, 1949 — Jesse B. Blayton Sr. became the first black radio station owner and operator in the United States when he bought Atlanta radio station WERD.
October 3, 1974 — Frank Robinson makes history as the first Black manager in Major League Baseball when he is named manager of the Cleveland Indians.
October 3, 1995 — O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The verdict was seen live on TV by more than half of the U.S. population, making it one of the most-watched events in American TV history
October 4, 1943 — Black Panther, social activist H. Rap Brown, born Hubert Gerold Brown (he is now known by his Muslim name of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,. He is most well known for his proclamation that “violence is as American as cherry pie.”
October 4, 1988 — The Martin L. King, Jr. Federal Building in Atlanta, GA, is the first federal building in the nation to be dedicated to the name of the slain civil rights leader.
October 4, 2019 — Krista Mann became the first Black Female Lieutenant of the Mount Vernon Police Department
October 6, 1838 — Jack Trice, the first African-American athlete at Iowa State, is assaulted by players from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota in an apparently racially motivated attack on the second play of the game, Trice’s collarbone was broken. Trice insisted he was all right and returned to the game. In the third quarter, while attempting to tackle a University of Minnesota ball carrier by throwing a roll block, Trice was trampled by three Minnesota players. Although he claimed to be fine, Trice was removed from the game and sent to a Minneapolis hospital. The doctors declared him fit to travel and he returned by train to Ames with his teammates. On October 8, 1923, Trice died from hemorrhaged lungs and internal bleeding as a result of the injuries sustained during the game.
October 10, 1899 — African American inventor Isaac R. Johnson patents his bicycle frame.
October 10, 1927 — The First Black New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins was born.
October 10, 1966 — The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California, by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
October 11, 1887 — African American inventor Alexander Miles patents the electric elevator. He did not invent the elevator however he improved the method of the opening and closing of elevator doors, and he improved the closing of the opening to the elevator shaft when an elevator was not on that floor.
October 14, 1920 — Black Nationalist and Freedom Fighter Marcus Mosiah Garvey was shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by racist George Tyler.
October 14, 1964 — Martin Luther King Jr becomes the youngest man ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
October 15, 1949 — William Hastie is nominated for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and becomes the first African American judge to sit on the court.
October 15, 1968 — Wyomia Tyus becomes the first woman to win a gold medal in the 100 meter race in two consecutive Olympic games (1964 Tokyo & 1968 Mexico City).
October 19, 1960 — Harriet Ida Pikens and Frances Wills are sworn in as the first African American females in the Navy.
October 20, 1898 — The first African American insurance company, The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance founded by John Merrick, Dr. Aaron McDuffie Moore and Charles Clinton Spaulding.
October 21, 1955 — 18-year-old Mary Louise Smith is arrested for refusing to give up her seat in the “whites only” section of a Montgomery, Alabama city bus.
October 21, 1989 — Bertram M. Lee and Peter C.B. Bynoe purchased a 37.5% share of the Denver Nuggets, becoming the first African Americans to buy a controlling interest in a National Basketball Association (NBA) team.

October 27, 1924 — Longtime New Rochelle resident Ruby Dee born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio. On July 11, 2014, nine years and four months after the death of her husband Ozzie Davis, iconic actress, activist, and poet Ruby Dee passed away at 91 years old.
October 27, 1964 — B. O. Davis, Jr., becomes the first African American general in the United States Air Force.
October 29, 1969 — The U.S. Supreme Court said school systems must end segregation “at once” and “operate now and hereafter only unitary schools.”
October 31, 1950 — Earl Francis Lloyd played for the Washington Capitols against the Rochester Royals becoming the first African American to play in the National Basketball League.
October 31, 1993 (Halloween) — Tupac Shakur was arrested for allegedly shooting two off-duty Atlanta policemen.

Also in October

October 2015 — Dr. Belinda Miles becomes the first African American and first female President of Westchester Community College

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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