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Daily Black History Facts Today May 12th
2004: John Whitehead was murdered while
fixing his car on the street outside his
Philadelphia home with his nephew. In an
apparent case of mistaken identity, he was
shot by two unknown gunmen, who then fled.
The case remains unsolved.
He was a singer, famed songwriter, and
record producer best known as one of the key
members of the Philadelphia International
record label, and was one-half of the successful
team of McFadden & Whitehead with Gene
McFadden and Whitehead wrote many hits
for Philadelphia International artists such as
The O’Jays and Harold Melvin & the Blue
Notes, and had their own hit with “Ain’t No
Stopping Us Now” in 1979.
1940: Motown’s legendary songwriter and
producer, Norman Whitfield, was born. He is
best known for his work with Berry Gordy’s
Motown label during the 1960s, where he
has been credited as one of the creators of the
Motown Sound and as an instrumental figure
in the development of the late-60s sub-genre
of psychedelic soul.
1967: H. Rap Brown, later known as
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, replaces Stokely
Carmichael, who left to join the Black
Panther Party, as chairman of the Student
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC). Brown renamed the group the
Student National Coordinating Committee
and supported violence, which he described
“as American as cherry pie”. He resigned
from SNCC in 1968, after being indicted
for inciting to riot in Cambridge, Maryland
in 1967. Brown then became Minister of
Justice of the Black Panther Party.
1871: Sit-In Demonstration took place in Louisville, KT by Black leaders.
which was sparked by Robert Fox 4 months prior who refused to move from
the white section of a streetcar. The driver then threw him off the car. Shortly
after, Fox filed a charge of assault and battery against the streetcar company
in federal court, claiming that separate seating policies based on race were
unlawful and the driver’s actions were therefore improper. A jury found the
company rules to be invalid and awarded damages of $15 to Fox.
At 7 P.M. on this day, a young Black male boarded a streetcar, walked past
the driver and took a seat among the white passengers. The driver, under new
company regulations, did not attempt to throw him off, but simply stopped
the car, lit a cigar and refused to proceed until the black youth moved to
“his place.” While the governor, the Louisville chief of police and other
prominent citizens looked on from the sidewalks, a large crowd that included
an increasingly noisy mob of jeering white teenagers gathered around the
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