Today’s Black Fact: Arthur Ashe Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. was a professional tennis player, born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. During his career, he won three Grand Slam titles, putting him among the best ever from the United States. Ashe, an African American, was the first black player ever selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man to ever win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and Australian Open. He is also remembered for his efforts to further social causes. Ashe, the first African-American male to win a Grand Slam event, was an active civil rights supporter. He was a member of a delegation of 31 prominent African-Americans who visited South Africa to observe political change in the country as it approached racial integration. He was arrested on January 11, 1985, for protesting outside the South African embassy in Washington, D.C. during an…

Today’s Black Fact: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King has become a national icon in the history of modern American liberalism. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found theSouthern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964, King became the youngest…

Today’s Black Fact: María de la Soledad Teresa O’brien Soledad O’Brien anchored a CNN special, Black in America, in July 2007. The program documented the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men, women and families forty years after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. In the first installment, Soledad O’Brien investigated how James Earl Ray, an armed robber and escaped convict, had already spent a year on the run just a month before his path collided with Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee. In “The Black Woman & Family,” O’Brien explored the varied experiences of black women and families and investigated the disturbing statistics of single parenthood, racial disparities between students and the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS. In April 2008, she became the first recipient of the Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award, an award created in her name by Morehouse School of Medicine. “The award was created to…