2018 Black History Month Archive
Reno/Sparks Branch #1112
Phone: (775) 322-2992
P.O. Box 7757
Reno, NV 89510
Email: info@renosparksnaacp.org

Reno-Sparks NAACP executive committee and general membership meetings
Second Thursday of each month
Northern Nevada Hopes
Third Floor Community Room
580 W. 5th Street * Reno, NV 89503
Executive Committee 6:30 p.m.
General Membership 7:00 p.m.

Join the Branch and/or donate to the cause

Black History Month 2018


African Americans in Times of War

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
1301 Valley Road, 2nd floor, Reno NV
Snacks, Displays, Books and Small Talk Provided
For more information contact
Patricia Gallimore, Reno-Sparks NAACP President
(775) 746-9453
Don Gallimore, Second Vice-President
(775) 303-7050
2018 Black History Month Almanac
Courtesy of journalist Dennis Myers and friends
2018 News & Events Archive


Tell Them We Are Rising, the 170-year history of historically black colleges and universities, 9:00-10:30 p.m. on KNPB TV-5 Reno.
>At 10:30 p.m., TV-5 will telecast The Education of Harvey Gantt who integrated South Carolina's Clemson University in 1963 and became the first African-American mayor of Charlotte, NC. Gantt twice ran against racist U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, R-NC, who used his legendary race-baiting and bigotry tactics to win re-election. Gantt generated substantial support in Nevada in the 1990 race.
>Some PBS stations will instead air
All the Difference at 10:30 p.m.
It traces the paths of two teens from the southside of Chicago who dream of graduating from college.
>Please check local listings.

THE BEST NEWS — Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018: Reno-Sparks NAACP matriarch and former branch president Dolores Feemster continues making a miraculous recovery. She has returned home from both hospital and recovery care. She was delighted to receive a stack of valentines last week. On Sunday, she said she is feeling much better and now, so can we. Please continue sending cards and flowers. And lots of love. Thanks for your prayers and well wishes. Life is good.

How to befriend a racist: Because thatís one way to change someoneís mind
By Wade Gainer / Reno News & Review 2-15-2018


"They gave us the shortest month of the year" — Chris Rock

March 1 lagniappe: On this date in 1942, a citizens’ committee complained about the brutality of riot police who arrested 101 African Americans and three whites when white pickets prevented black families from moving into the newly completed Sojourner Truth defense workers housing project in Detroit.

February 27: On this date in 1898, the Nevada State Journal raised the issue of the 35 year-old debt supposedly owed by the U.S. government to Nevada for the cost of fighting against state tribes during the Civil War: “As there is now a probability of an appropriation being made for the payment of those claims, as several States are interested in the passage of the bill, the press of the State should agitate the subject and publish facts from old settlers relative to the manner in which the depredations were committed and the hardships endured by reason of the loss of their cattle, and provisions and the burning of their houses by hostile Indians.”; in 1920, Woodrow Wilson set a pattern for U.S. presidents by rebuffing a friendly overture from the Soviet Union; in 1933, the Nevada Senate approved a $4 a day minimum wage (the Assembly had passed a $5 version of the bill); in 1939, the NBC Radio series I Love A Mystery began a month-long serial, “The Case Of The Nevada Cougar” about killings at a Nevada gold mine; in 1951, Nevada assemblymembers who previously had stopped ratification of the 22d amendment to the U.S. Constitution (limiting presidents to two terms) were informed by reporters that Utah was about to become the next-to-last state needed for full ratification, whereupon the Assembly rushed it through and sent it to the Senate and the Senate sat on it until informed by phone that Utah had acted, the senators then approving it 16 to 1 (small counties Senator Harry Wiley voted no); in 1964, heavyweight champion Cassius Clay confirmed that he had converted to Islam (the World Boxing Association suspended him because his conversion was “conduct detrimental to the best interests of boxing” but state boxing regulators declined to honor the suspension); in 1973, Native Americans took control of a richly symbolic settlement at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota to protest federal treatment of Native Americans and alliances between federal officials and entrenched tribal leaders; in 1994, candidates Jan Jones and Robert Miller, running for governor against each other in the Democratic primary, spoke against an anti-gay initiative petition at a rally at a Reno gay bar, Bad Dolly’s; in 2013, gasps were heard in the U.S. Supreme Court hall when Justice Antonin Scalia referred to the Voting Rights Act as an example of “racial entitlements” (a week later, U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn said he was told by Scalia, “The 15th Amendment of the Constitution ain’t got no concerns for me because I’m white and proud.”)

February 25: On this date in 1925, Klansman Gutzon Borglum was fired as the sculptor of the Stone Mountain Confederate memorial project in Georgia (Borglum had earlier sculpted a statue of John Mackay for the University of Nevada campus and would later plan the sculpting of Mount Rushmore; in 1991, Adrienne Mitchell was killed in the U.S./Kuwait war, the first African American woman in history to die in combat for the United States.

February 21: On this date in 1982, Ain’t Misbehavin’, about the African American musicians of the Harlem Renaissance, closed in New York after 1,604 performances.

February 20: On this date in 1881, Matt Canavan of the Comstock said, “Among these Indians no one has ever found a harlot, a coward or a thief” to which the Nevada State Journal responded, “This is a pretty high compliment to pay to an ‘inferior race;’ but, thinking over it, we cannot say that it is undeserved. We know the male Piutes are a fine brave, manly set of fellows. We will have to take Mr. Canavan’s word for the [females].”; in 1929, The Vote, a London suffrage publication, reported on U.S. legislation sponsored by Senator Tasker Oddie of Nevada to restore citizenship to a U.S. woman who lost it by marrying a foreigner and was later divorced.

February 18: On this date in 1546, Martin Luther died; in 1861, under pressure from federal officials, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal leaders agreed to surrender much of Colorado that was guaranteed to them by an 1851 treaty, only to face the fierce opposition of their tribes to the land cession;in 1930, Clyde Tombaugh, a 24-year-old high school graduate, discovered the planet Pluto; in 1942, the Mills Brothers’ “Paper Doll” was released by Decca; in 1960, the U.S. Post Office began sale of a new winter olympics stamp on opening day of the Squaw Valley games.

February 17: On this date in 1864 President Lincoln fired Edward Beale, surveyor general of California and Nevada, because of mishandling of Native American funds; in 1909, two weeks after alleged adults in the Nevada Legislature enacted anti-Japanese legislation in defiance of President (Theodore) Roosevelt’s expressed wishes, a group of boys in Reno with a slingshot tormented a Japanese man named Hashamura (an article on the incident in the Goldfield Chronicle ran just beneath an article on plans for juvenile courts in Nevada); in 1919, African American veterans, not permitted to march in the main New York parade for veterans returned from the World War, held their own parade; in 1944, U.S. Representative Charles MacKenzie of Louisiana denounced “with all the intensity of my soul” the CIO’s wartime canteen in D.C. for U.S. servicepeople because both blacks and whites were served (Eleanor Roosevelt had appeared on opening night); in 1972, Beverly Harrell defended her decision not to admit an African American man to her brothel at Lida Junction in Esmeralda County (“A bordello should have a choice of who they entertain.”) but Nevada Equal Rights Commission director Tony McCormick said a formal complaint would be filed against her. (Editor's Note: Two years later, Republican Harell ran for Nevada State Assembly and probably won because of her anti-BLM campaign centepriece. Although central Nevada was far from sacrosanct back then, the good old boys nonethless worried about their public image. The power structure's worst nightmares came true a few years later when national media started looking into Nevada's Cow County feudal system. Hangovers remain and some of them still get elected to this very day.)

February 16: On this date in 1863, [an ad appeared in] the Boston Journal: “To Colored Men: Wanted. Good men for the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers of African descent, Col. Robert G. Shaw (commanding). $100 bounty at expiration of term of service. Pay $13 per month, and State aid for families. All necessary information can be obtained at the office, corner Cambridge and North Russell Streets”. (After African American men had been lured into enlisting, their pay was cut to $10 a month, less than that paid to white soldiers, and they were forced to pay for their clothing, also not required of white soldiers.)

February 15: On this date in 1896, an effort was underway in Topeka to obtain federal pensions for African Americans who were enslaved before the civil war.

Happy Valentine's Day

February 14: On this date in 1955 in Florida, Dade County Republicans walked out of the Miami downtown Urmey Hotel—and later threatened legal action—after hotel president E. N. Claughton ordered 24 African American guests at the dinner out of the hotel because “this place is for whites only.”

February 13: On this date in 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt, speaking to the New York City Republican Club, gave a patronizing analysis of race relations in the U.S. that urged “that the backward race [African Americans] be trained so that it may enter into possession of true freedom while the forward race [whites] enabled to preserve unharmed the high civilization wrought out by its forefathers.”


February 12: On this date in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded; in 2001, Earl Washington, a mentally disabled African American, was sentenced to a halfway house instead of being freed after being exonerated by a DNA test of a murder for which he spent 19 years under sentence of death in a Virginia prison.

Feb. 11: In 1960, sixty members of the NAACP appeared at the doors of the whites-only Hawthorne, Nev., casino, the El Capitan, and were refused entry. (Editor's Note: Former Reno-Sparks Branch President Eddie Scott [1928-2017] remembered it well.); in 1916, Reno’s Twentieth Century Club heard author Jean Morris Ellis (Character Analysis/Subhuman or Superman) speak on eugenics; in 1950, two days after making his first charges that there were communists in government, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy spoke in Reno at a Republican fundraiser at the Mapes Hotel (Edward Connors of the Nevada State Journal reported that on the senator’s reading copy of his speech text where he named the number of communists, McCarthy had scratched out the number “205” and written in the number “57”); in 2006 on a quail hunt, Vice-President Richard Cheney shot a friend, Harry Whittington, in the face.

Feb. 10: in 1865 legendary western lawman, attorney, politician, educator Elfago Baca, a champion of Latinos against white prejudice, was born in Socorro, New Mexico; in 1887 the St. Joseph [Missouri] Daily Herald reported, “CARSON CITY, February 9.—Both houses of the legislature, to-day, adopted resolutions disenfranchising Mormons in Nevada.”; in 1909 a few weeks after whites in Reno burned the city’s Chinatown down, the Chinese Benevolent Association of San Francisco, also known as the Six Companies, wired President Roosevelt asking him to help “right the wrongs suffered by the Chinese of Reno.”

Feb. 8: In 1865 Martin Delany, founder of one of the first African-American newspapers (the Mystery), physician, and colleague of Frederick Douglass, was appointed the first black major in the U.S. Army.
Feb. 7: I In 1956 African-American student Autherine Lucy was expelled from the University of Alabama after mobs interfered with her attending classes (24 years later, the university lifted the expulsion and Lucy graduated in 1992).

Feb. 6: In 1820 the U.S. census reported that just under two out of every ten citizens was black — except that under article one, section two of the U.S. Constitution, each black counted as only three-fifths of a citizen.

Feb. 5: In 1962 four days of work began at Capitol Studios in New York and United Recording Studios in Hollywood on Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, the blockbuster Ray Charles LP that cut across musical and racial lines, included songs by Hank Williams, Don Gibson, Jimmie Davis, Floyd Tillman, Eddy Arnold and Zeke Clements, produced several charting singles, and is listed on a couple of dozen essential album lists, including those of Stereophile and Rolling Stone (the track “I Can’t Stop Loving You” received an Emmy and the album was entered in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999); in 1990, The New York Times wrote: “BOSTON, Feb. 5 — The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School. The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii. ...”; in 1994 Byron de la Beckwith was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination three decades earlier of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

Feb. 3: In 1865 in a conference arranged by newspaper publisher Horace Greeley, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and C.S. Vice President Alexander Stephens met on a steamboat in Virginia to try to negotiate an end to the civil war, but the conference promptly broke down when Lincoln refused to negotiate unless the south first surrendered, and refused to make any concessions such as recognition of the Confederacy; in 1910 Robert Earl Jones, one of the first black motion picture actors to achieve prominence (Odds Against Tomorrow, Mississippi Summer, The Sting, Trading Places, The Cotton Club) who was blacklisted by Hollywood in the 1940s and ‘50s and was the father of actor James Earl Jones and producer Matthew Earl Jones, was born in Senatobia, Mississippi; in 1956 after the NAACP obtained a court order against her being rejected and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the order after a five-year legal battle, Autherine Lucy enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Alabama (on her third day of classes, a mob prevented her attendance, which the university used as a pretext for her suspension and then expulsion, which was reversed a quarter century later, followed by her graduation in 1992).

Feb. 2: In 1870, Samuel Clemens married Olivia Langdon in Elmira, New York; in 1951 two days after U.S. High Commissioner John McCloy pardoned and released 21 Nazi war criminals, the State of Virginia began two days of executions of seven African Americans convicted of rape in dubious circumstances by all-white juries.

[Above courtesy of Nevada Journalist Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac, © 2018]

On Feb. 1, 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where they'd been refused service. (NY Times)





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