On this day in black history: Novelist Alice Walker is born, the first black walks in space
Black History Month: The Undefeated edition Feb. 9
1944 — Happy birthday, Alice Walker
Novelist Alice Walker is born in Putnam County, Georgia. Author of the acclaimed and paradigm-shifting novel The Color Purple, Walker has been an activist all of her adult life. According to her website, she believes that learning to extend the range of our compassion is activity and work available to all. She is a staunch defender of not only human rights but also the rights of all living beings. She is one of the world’s most prolific writers, yet continues to travel the world to stand on the side of the poor and the economically, spiritually and politically oppressed. She also stands with revolutionaries, teachers and leaders who seek change and transformation of the world.
1953 — Invisible Man wins National Book Award
Author Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, which won the 1953 National Book Award for Fiction, is a staple in literature and remains a powerful read and devastating indictment of the wages of racism. The nameless narrator of the novel, which was published in 1952, describes black life in the South, in New York and at a black college, while the narrator retreats to a basement living space, deeming himself invisible.
1971 — Satchel Paige nominated to Baseball Hall of Fame
On this day in 1971, pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige becomes the first Negro League veteran to be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was inducted in August 1971.
1995 — Bernard Harris takes a spacewalk
NASA astronaut Bernard Harris becomes the first African-American to take a walk in space during his second space shuttle flight.