William Claire Harding was born in Wichita, Kansas, on November 13, 1904.  I don’t know anything about his parents or his upbringing, but indirect evidence suggests that the family probably moved to Chicago when he was relatively young.  In the early 1920s he attended Knox College of Galesburg, Illinois, for at least a year; by fall 1924, he had transferred to Wilberforce University in Ohio, home of one of the best black college football teams in the country.  He also played basketball and baseball in college, but he was best known as a quarterback and punter.

At the time there was evidently a problem with what you might call “revolvers” in black college football, players who used up their eligibility at one school, then simply moved on to another one.  Elwood Barker blew the whistle on this sort of activity in a 1933 article in the Chicago Defender, noting for example that “a few years ago” a number of players at “a certain school in Georgia” popped up two years later, en masse, at “another school in Tennessee and being called young blood” (Chicago Defender, September 9, 1933).  Often the college teams claimed that new players were freshmen recruited out of high school, touting recommendations from their former high school coaches, when in reality the school had simply recruited them from a rival.  The insinuation here is that the players were being paid under the table, and that at least the major colleges were effectively running professional or semi-professional football teams.

Halley Harding, wrote Barker, departed from the usual pattern, first by essentially doing his own PR work, developing a network of contacts among the sportswriters of the black weeklies; and second by advertising the fact that he was moving from college to college rather than trying to conceal it.  His openness apparently didn’t hurt his college career; aside from Knox and Wilberforce, Harding also played for Wiley College in Texas and Fisk University, running up a total of at least seven (and possibly more) college football seasons from 1924 through 1931.
— Read on agatetype.typepad.com/agate_type/2013/02/halley-harding.html

When black women inspire each other to live healthy lives, it’s a wonderful thing.

After starting a small fitness group with just a few of her friends, Mbali Z. Ndlovu learned this firsthand.

She was happy, healthy and seeing the positive effects of implementing these changes to her lifestyle.  This intimate accountability group grew to a health and fitness community for Black women in New York of over 800 women…

Get inspired by Mbali Z. Ndlovu by learning more about Lukafit.

— Read on thegrio.com/2017/12/01/lukafit-black-women-look-amazing/

Alfred Edgar Smith was active in the battle for equal rights for African Americans as an author, government worker, educator, journalist, and club leader.

Alfred Smith was born in Hot Springs (Garland County) on December 2, 1903. His parents were Jesse Rufus Smith, born a slave in Roanoke, Virginia, and Mamie Johnson Smith. Both worked at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. Later, the couple began to work at the Crystal Bathhouse, a spa for African Americans. Jesse became manager and Mamie the bookkeeper.

Smith worked his way through Langston High School as a night bellhop for the Eastman and Arlington Hotels and as an exercise boy at Oaklawn Park Racetrack. He was a member of a Langston High School choir that sang spirituals for famous visitors to Hot Springs.

When he had saved enough money to pay the fees, Smith entered Howard University in Washington DC in 1920. He was adept at English and social studies. He had problems in trigonometry, algebra, calculus, and astronomy and hired a West Indian student to tutor him in mathematics.

He became aware that West Indians were discriminated against on the campus at Howard. W. E. B. Du Bois, editor of the Crisis Magazine, encouraged him to write an essay about the treatment of West Indians on the campus. The article was published in the Urban League magazine Opportunity in 1933.
— Read on www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx

Twenty-nine years ago, a delegation of the Capital Press Club went to Martinsville, Va., and pleaded with the governor on behalf of seven black men who were accused of raping a white woman.

Although they lost that particular fight when all seven were found guilty and later executed, the pioneering club remained a small but influential voice against bias.

— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1979/03/17/celebrating-the-black-press/07b06fdf-84e7-42de-a91d-6821dcdc5a84/

People Are Rallying Around A Detroit Pregnant Mother Sentenced To Prison For Simply Defending Herself. Siwatu-Salama Ra mother and community leader in Detroit, was trying to defend herself when she was violently confronted by her neighbor. The neighbor rammed her vehicle into Siwatu’s car while her two-year old was inside and then tried to use the vehicle to run Siwatu and her mother over. Fearing for their lives, Siwatu, who is a licensed concealed gun owner, held her weapon in plain sight, hoping it would stop her neighbor from running them over. The gun was unloaded and no one was hurt.

Still, she was sentenced to two years in prison and is now behind bars and pregnant. 

Siwatu’s legal team is pursuing various tactics, including requesting she be released on bond pending appeal, reversal of the conviction, and a commutation and/or pardon. After already going through one high-risk pregnancy, Siwatu’s doctor warned the judge of the serious health threats she will face while in prison. Her lawyers are doing everything they can to get her home so she can have a healthy pregnancy and birth.

Michigan has a specific law, popularly known as the Stand Your Ground law to protect people who act by using a firearm to defend themselves from another person who they believe is going to cause unlawful harm to them if there is “an honest and reasonable belief that force is imminent.” However, instead of the law working for Siwatu, it was used against her.

Here’s the link to their fundraiser

DYK on this day in #MoorStory365 that on November 14, 1917, Doris Hollis Pemberton was born. She was an Alkebulan Abya Yala civic leader, reporter, and author. Pemberton was born in Nacogdoches, Texas, the daughter of John Henry and Della Mae (Powdrill) Hollis. She spent her childhood in Limestone County near Comanche Crossing, Webb Chapel, Rocky Crossing, and Groesbeck, Texas. She enrolled at Texas College, Tyler, when she was 16 years old and she graduated from Texas Southern University at Houston in 1955.

She attracted national attention in 1944 when she became the first Black reporter to cover a state Democratic convention in Texas, writing for the Dallas Express. Pemberton found a racially offensive placard situated near her seat at the convention and hurled the placard away. About 4,000 spectators both cheered and booed as newsreel cameras filmed the incident.

She later moved to Houston, where during the 1950s she helped develop classes in arts, crafts, and science for Black children at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Singer Sewing Center, and the United Gas Cooking School. Eventually she received a law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, but she never practiced.

Hollis was married to Charles Pemberton and had four children. She was a member of the Newspaper Institute of America, the National Council of Negro Women, the Auxiliary to the Houston Medical Forum, the Houston Council on Human Relations, the 4-H Club, the Blue Triangle YWCA, the National Association for Financial Assistance to Minority Students, the Women of Achievement, and a number of other organizations.

She wrote a book, “Juneteenth at Comanche Crossing,” in 1983, a history and reminiscences of people and places in her native Limestone County. Doris Pemberton died in Houston in May 1990, and was buried at the Paradise Cemetery.