Charles Henry Cooper (September 29, 1926 – February 5, 1984) was an American professional basketball player. He and two others, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and Earl Lloyd, became the first African-American players in the NBA in 1950. Cooper was also the first African American to be drafted by a National Basketball Association (NBA) team, as the fourteenth pick of the second round by the Boston Celtics.
Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo (April 11, 1925 – March 25, 1965) was a Unitarian Universalist civil rights activist from Michigan. In March 1965 Liuzzo, then a housewife and mother of five with a history of local activism, heeded the call of Martin Luther King Jr and traveled from Detroit, Michigan, to Selma, Alabama in the wake of the Bloody Sunday attempt at marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Liuzzo participated in the successful Selma to Montgomery marches and helped with coordination and logistics. Driving back from a trip shuttling fellow activists to the Montgomery airport, she was murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. She was 39 years old. [Read more…]
Major Taylor was the first “American” Black World Champion of any sport. There’s also a movie about his life which highlights the infamous “6 Day Race” going against all odds and societal oppression he not only became the first black American World Champion, he also became a worldwide celebrity. People came from all over just to see him race in competitions against highly skilled white competitors. Not only did he compete, he won most of the races he entered.
Today we remember and honour Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor.