Black History Fact of the Week: William Wells Brown
William Wells Brown, a trailblazing author and literary revolutionary, was born in Kentucky in 1815 of mixed parentage to a “whip cracking” father and slave mother. Brown worked as a house servant. In his teens, he attempted to escape the cruel inhumanities of slavery by running away, but was captured on his first attempt. After several more attempts, he finally made it to freedom at 19 on New Year’s Day 1834.
Brown became a steamboat worker and barber. In the same year, he met and married his lifetime partner, Elizabeth Schooner. The couple eventually settled in Buffalo, N.Y., the hotbed of abolitionist activism.
There he began his political involvement and became a well-known activist both locally and abroad. He made his home a station on the Underground Railroad.
While many Blacks could not read, Brown studied English, math, history, and literature, nurturing his passion for writing.
His extraordinary talent was made known when he made what many believe is the first published drama by an African American, “Leap to Freedom,” on Jan. 30, 1856.
Brown often shocked the world with his raw reflections on slavery, the fight for freedom, and the unorthodox philosophies prevalent throughout his work.
“My Southern Home” was his final work, published by the prolific author in 1880 before his death on Nov. 6, 1884.
His novel “Clotel,” until recently was accepted as the first novel written by an African American. It is certainly among the earliest fictional representations of life written by a Black person in America.
For more Black history facts, visit www.Black365.us.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Los Angeles County probation officers asked for help today in finding a parolee who threatened to kill school children.
Frank Edward Edmonds, 40, who authorities consider “extremely violent and an imminent public threat,” may be in Compton, South Los Angeles or Inglewood, his last known address.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today reestablished a $10,000 reward for information leading to whoever fatally shot a 26-year-old Long Beach resident and left him lying in the street.
Supervisor Don Knabe, who recommended reinstating the reward, which had expired, called the shooting “heinous.”
Lashown Fils was killed on Jan. 11, 2012, at 3:55 a.m. in the 200 block of West 14th Street.
Daniel Lee Jones, a native of Dekalb, Texas, passed away on Thursday, May 2, in Inglewood. He was 71.
He was born to Leonard Clevland Jones and Ida Mae Bailey on Jan. 17, 1942, the third of seven children.
Jones attended Booker T. Washington elementary and high schools. He was active in the high school band and choir.
After graduation, Jones moved to Los Angeles and attended Los Angeles City College and UCLA.
California State University, San Bernardino, police on Saturday shot to death an unarmed Black graduate student who suffered from a bipolar disorder. The student was shot during a fight with police inside a campus building.
NEW YORK—Memorial services were still pending for John A. Payton, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. and tireless advocate for justice, equality and opportunity. Payton died late Thursday at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore after a brief illness. He was 65.
Payton was the seventh leader of LDF, the nation’s first and preeminent civil rights law firm.