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Unveiling The Past To Connect The Future...

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1992: Author Terry McMillan publishes "Waiting To Exhale", which follows four middle-class women, each of whom is looking for the love of a worthy man. The Book's wild poopularity leads to a film adaptation.

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1993: Poet Maya Angelou, author of "I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings" (1970), composes and delivers a poem for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. The work was autobiographical.

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1993: Writer Toni Morrison, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for "Beloved", receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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1996: At the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., sprinter Michael Johnson becomes the first man to win gold medals in the 200 meters and the 400 meters, setting a 200-meter world record of 19:32

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Second Lieutenant Emily J. T. Perez graduated from trhe U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2005.  At West Point, she was the first Black woman to serve as Corps Commander Sergeant Major, and finished academically in the top 10 percent of her class.  In Iraq, she served as a Medical Services Corps Officer and was assigned to the 204th Support Battalion, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.  She deployed in December 2005, and died in Al Kifl, Iraq on September 12, 2006.  She was 23 years old.

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Pres. Barack Obama

2008: Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, became the first African American to receive the nomination of a major political party to compete for the office of President of the United States in the General Election. He beat out Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York in the Primary, and faces Senator John McCain, a Republican, in the General Election, and went on to become the first African American elected President of the United States.

On November 6, 2012 President Obama won re-election for a second term, defeating the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, and becoming only the fifth Democratic president since the Civil War elected to two terms. The other four were, namely, Cleveland , Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt , and Clinton. Truman and Lyndon Johnson served one full term plus a part of another term. Andrew Jackson , who belonged to the pre-war Democratic party which was somewhat related to the modern Democratic party, served two full terms.

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1992: Mae Jemison becomes the first African American woman astronaut, spending more than a week orbiting the Earth in the space shuttle Endeavor"

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1993: Cornel West, progressive postmodern philosopher, finds a mainstream audience with the publication of his text "Race Matters", which closely examines the black community around the time of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

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1995: In one of the most celebrated criminal trials in American history, former running back O.J. Simpson is acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

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1997: Michael Jordan, often considered the greatest all around player in the history of basketball, leads the Chicago Bulls to their fifth championship.

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David Paterson was sworn in as governor of the State of New York on Monday, March 17, 2008, and became New York's first Black governor. Paterson, formerly Lieutenant Governor, succeeded Governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned after allegations of wrongdoing. The new Governor was given a 2-minute standing ovation. His response; "We move forward. Today is Monday. There is much to be done. There's trust that needs to be restored. There are issues that need to be addressed". His wife, Michelle Paige Paterson, had tears in her eyes for most of the ceremony.

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General William E. Ward

2007: General William E. Ward, the 5th African American to be promoted to the rank of 4-Star General in the U.S. Army became the first Commander of the newly created U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The goal of the new command is to help build the capacity of African nations and African organizations, according to the Defense Department in a July 10, 2007 news release. General Ward has been a U.S. Army officer since 1971, and is a graduate of Morgan State University, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was designated by the Secretary of State as U.S. security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority f rom March to December 2005, and also commanded the NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia and commanded an infantry brigade in Somalia, among other important assignments.

On November 13, 2012 General Ward was  demoted after accusations that he spent thousands of dollars on lavish travel, NBC News reported. A senior defense official told NBC News that Gen. William "Kip" Ward was stripped of a star, and will be allowed to retire as a three-star lieutenant general.

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1992: Carol Moseley Braun becomes the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, representing the state of Illinois.

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1993: Poet Rita Dove, author of the Pulizer Prize winning "Thomas and Beulah", is chosen as poet laureate of the United States.

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1995: Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, rises to the height of his influence as the most prominent organizer of the "Million Man March" of African-American men in Washington, D.C.

LeRoy W. Homer, Jr.
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On September 11, 2001 LeRoy was flying with Captain Jason Dahl on United Flight 93.  Based on information from several sources that day, we know that LeRoy and Jason were the first to fight against the terrorist threat to the airplane.  LeRoy was a graduate of the Air Force Academy, Class of 1987, served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and later supported operations in Somalia. LeRoy joined United Airlines in 1995, rising quickly to First Officer on the B727/767 in 1996, where he remained until September 11, 2001.  He has received many awards and citations posthumously, for his actions on Flight 93,including the Congress Of Racial Equality-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Southern Christian Leadership Conferenvce-Drum Major for Justice Award, and others.

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Deval Patrick was sworn in as Governor of Massachusetts on January 4, 2007, becoming the first Black Governor of that state and only the second elected Black Governor in U.S. history. Patrick grew up on Chicago's South side, attended Harvard and its law school, then worked as a civil rights lawyer for the poor and then in a corporate law firm in Boston. Among those present for the occasion was L. Douglas Wilder, who became the first elected Black Governor when he was elected Governor of Virginia in January 1990

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Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr. is the first African American to serve as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. He was chosen by his peers on the Supreme Court bench in 2003.

Postscript:  On February 9, 2011 at Richmond Virginia Justice Hassell died at age 55. A Norfolk native, Justice Hassell graduated from the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School, then returned to Richmond where he became a partner in the politically muscular McGuire Woods law firm.When he joined the Supreme Court at age 34, he became only the second black justice on the court after John Charles Thomas.

 

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