Urban Media Today celebrates two prominent figures in our black history: Josh Gibson and Kweisi Mfume.
Josh Gibson was born in Buena Vista, Ga. His father, Mark Gibson, moved his family to Pittsburgh in 1923 rather than try and continue to nurse a crop from his meager farm.
He became a professional by accident on July 25, 1930, while sitting in the stands. When Homestead Grays catcher Buck Ewing injured his hand, Gibson was invited to replace him because his titanic home runs were already well known in Pittsburgh. Read here for more.
Kweisi Mfume was born Frizzell Gray on October 24, 1948, in Baltimore, Maryland. His stepfather, Clifton Gray, was a truck driver, and his mother, Mary Elizabeth Gray, took odd jobs, but the family was often short of cash.
When Mfume was eleven, Clifton Gray abandoned the family. Then, when Mfume was sixteen, his mother discovered that she had cancer and soon died. He told U.S. News and World Report, “After she died of cancer, things spun out of control.” Mfume quit high school during his second year and went to work to help support his sisters. At times he worked as many as three different jobs in a single week.
Mfume’s life changed on a July night in the late 1960s. He had been drinking with his friends when suddenly he began to feel strange. “People were standing around shooting craps [playing dice] and everything else, and something just came over me,” he remembered in Business Week. “I said, ‘I can’t live like this anymore.’ And I walked away.” Mfume spent the rest of the night in prayer, then proceeded to earn his high-school diploma and pursue a college degree.
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