Marian Anderson in Debut at the Met

1955Marian Anderson made debut at Metropolitan Opera. Anderson, who made history singing in front of the Lincoln Memorial after being denied the opportunity to sing before an integrated audience at Constitution Hall, became the first Black to sing a the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.She sang at the invitation of director Sir Rudolf Bing and sang the role of Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. Before she could sing a word the crowd broke into an applause. Afterwards, she was named a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company. For a complete biography of Marion Anderson, visit her profile at Great Black Heroes website.

Zora Neale Hurston - blackhistorymoments.com

1891Zora Neale Hurston born. Zora Neale Hurston was born on this date in 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama. She attended Howard university, Barnard College and Columbia University. She was a noted author and anthroplogist who gained great fame during the Harlem Rennassaine. She authored more then 50 short stories and four novels, the most famous of which was Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937. Later that year she was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship to conduct ethnographic research in Haiti and Jamaica. She died on January 28, 1960 in Florida.

1950The James Weldon Johnson Collection opens at Yale. The collection focuses on the works of Black writers and artists, particularly those prominent during the Black Renaissance. The collection was started when Grace Nail Johnson, James widow. Numerous Black writers and artists thereafter donated their papers including: Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Walter White and Poppy Cannon White, Dorothy Peterson, Chester Himes, Langston Hughes, Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Wallace Thurman.

1986 – Howard Beach Incident.
White teens in Howard Beach chased Michael Griffith, an African-American youth, onto a freeway where he was hit by a motorist. Griffith died from his injuries setting off a wave of protests and racial tensions in New York.