Black Facts for July 16th

1888 - Shoeless Joe Jackson

Shoeless Joe Jackson , byname of Joseph Jefferson Jackson (born July 16, 1888, Greenville, S.C., U.S.—died Dec. 5, 1951, Greenville), American professional baseball player, by many accounts one of the greatest, who was ultimately banned from the game because of his involvement in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.

Born into extreme poverty, Jackson began work in a cotton mill when he was barely six and never went to school. He survived a sickly childhood caused by the lint-filled air in the mill, then grew tall and gangly, with exceptionally long, strong arms. At age 13 he was an extraordinary ballplayer, the youngest ever to play on a mill team. He acquired his nickname when nursing blistered feet from a new pair of spikes (baseball shoes). Playing without them, he hit a base-clearing triple that provoked an opposing fan to cry out, “You shoeless bastard, you!” Even his bat became part of his growing legend—Black Betsy, a locally hewn piece of hickory 36 inches (91 cm) long, weighing 48 ounces (1.4 kg), 12 ounces (340 grams) heavier than modern bats, and stained by countless splatters of tobacco juice.

In 1908 Connie Mack, owner of the Philadelphia Athletics (A’s), bought Jackson’s contract with the Greenville Spinners for $325, but the 19-year-old Shoeless Joe, homesick for his 15-year-old wife, Katie, and embarrassed by his hayseed illiteracy, got off the train at Richmond, Virginia, to catch the first train back to Greenville.

The following season Mack sent Jackson to Savannah, Georgia, where he hit a league-leading .358. When recalled to the A’s in Philadelphia, he was humiliated by the relentless hazing of veteran teammates. Mack offered to hire a tutor to teach him to read and write, but Shoeless Joe wanted none of it. In 1910 he was traded to the Cleveland Naps (later the Indians), where he hit an astonishing .407 in his first full season as a big league player. He liked the city, developing a taste for fine food and nice clothes. In an amusing irony, he loved expensive shoes. Fans liked his pleasant,

1884 - (1884) William H. Crogman, “Negro Education: Its Helps and Hindrances”


William Henry Crogman, a native of the West Indian island of St. Martin, was educated at Pierce Academy in Massachusetts immediately after the Civil War. In 1868 he was named to the English faculty of newly organized Claflin College in South Carolina. By 1870 Crogman returned to college, entering Atlanta University. He graduated first in his class in 1876 and was appointed professor of classics at Clark College, another black institution in the city. Crogman was appointed president of Clark in 1903.

On July 16, 1884, Crogman was invited to address the predominantly white National Educational Association convention in Madison, Wisconsin. He used the opportunity to describe the remarkable post-Civil War educational progress of African Americans which he credited mainly to the faculty of the numerous black colleges which emerged throughout the South after 1865 and the dedication of the students and their parents to educational achievement despite their operating in a daunting environment of poverty and racial violence. Crogman’s speech appears below.

I appreciate most heartily the invitation extended to me to speak before you to night with regard to the educational interests of my people in the South. Nor can I well suppress within me the feeling that this act of courtesy on your part was prompted by a generous consideration for a race long obscured, but now hopefully struggling into light under the benign influences of Christian liberty. Surely, too, it will be a little encouraging to that race to think that, notwithstanding all the discouragements of the past, notwithstanding all the embarrassments, not withstanding all the misgivings and speculations with regard to its intellectual and moral capacity, it has, nevertheless, within twenty short years of freedom, been found worthy of recognition by you, and given to day several representatives among the educators of this great nation. Verily the world has been moving, and we have been moving in it.

But whatever may have been the advancement of the race

1968 - Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders, born on July 16, 1968 in Wichita, Kanas is a former American football running back. He was the son of William, who was a Roofer and Shirley, a registered nurse. He was the one of the eleven children. He attended Wichita North High School. During his career with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League, he was a ten-time pro bowl selection and four-time rushing champion.

Sanders was always athletic and had a great love for basketball. Although his father believed that it would be better for him to develop an interest in football as it would help him in winning a college scholarship. In his early years, Sanders became the starting running back in the fourth game of his senior year, where he rushed for 1417 yards which earned him all-state honors. Even though he was stellar athlete, he received scholarships from only Emporia State, University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State. He decided on going to Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State University had very high hopes for Sanders and football. They demanded at least 50-60 hours a week due to which Sanders lacked behind in his schoolwork. During his freshman and sophomore year, Sanders played second string to Thurman Thomas. During his junior here, Sanders became the starter and proceeded to smash 13 NCAA records. Sanders had most rushing yards of 2,628 and most touchdowns 39 in a season, which led to his nomination for the coveted Heisman Trophy. After receiving the trophy, Sanders entered NFL instead of continuing his studies at Oklahoma State University, mostly because he wanted to support his family financially.

After entering the NFL, Sander signed a $6.1 million five-year contract with The Detroit Lions. They selected him with the 3rd overall pick in the 1989 draft. In the same year, Sanders was named Sporting News NFL Rookie of the Year. Due to a contract dispute, Sanders missed his rookie training camp in 1989. Sanders, during the regular season, ran for 18 yards in the first carry and a touchdown during his fourth. During the 1990s, Sanders was

2009 - Alabama A&M University [Normal] (1875-- )

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical (Alabama A & M) University is a historically black university located in the city of Normal, Alabama.  The school began in 1875 when Alabama officials used the Morrill Act of 1862 allowing state governments to establish colleges for African American students.  Alabama A&M University was one of the first seventeen new land-grant black institutions founded under the Morrill Act.  

When the school opened in 1875 it was called Huntsville Normal School and was located in Huntsville, Alabama.  The school began with 61 students and two teachers.  In 1878 it developed an industrial education program, which attracted private donors such as the Slater and Peabody Funds that provided crucial financial support.  The success of the industrial education program led the school to petition the state for a name change to State Normal and Industrial School at Huntsville.  The Alabama legislature also approved an increase in its funding to $4,000 per year from the original $1,000 a year.

Under the second Morrill Act in 1890, the institution received government land-grant funds for the first time, allowing its students to study agriculture and mechanical arts.  That same year, the school’s campus relocated to Normal, Alabama, a few miles north of downtown Huntsville.  In 1896 it was renamed the State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes.

In 1919, the school became accredited as a junior college and was renamed again, this time as the State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes.  Twenty years later in 1939, the institution became a four-year college and two years later awarded its first undergraduate baccalaureate degrees.   In 1948, the school’s name changed to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College and finally to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1969.  

Nicknamed “The Hill,” the university now enrolls over 4,500 undergraduate students.  With over 800 graduate students, Alabama A&M University has one of the largest graduate schools among the nation"s

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