It’s safe to say that Tuesday’s incident, in which Republican National Convention attendees threw nuts at and taunted a black CNN camerawoman, won’t make this list. At the Village Celebration, Janus Adams, the author of Freedom Days: 365 Inspired Moments in Civil Rights History and Glory Days: 365 Inspired Moments in African-American History, has pulled together a list of political-convention highlights throughout history that have special significance for African Americans.
You know about then-Sen. Obama’s 2008 speech, but what about the time back in 1952, when the Progressive Party unanimously selected Charlotta Bass — editor and publisher of the California Eagle (the oldest black newspaper in the West) — as its vice presidential nominee? Read an excerpt, which might help to keep this week’s events in context, here:
Thinking of key moments in national convention history, the greatest turning point would be the appearance of Senator Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. On August 28 he became the first African-American to win his party’s presidential nomination. The date is doubly significant: it also marked the 45th anniversary of the March on Washington.
But that moment in 2008 could not have come without these milestones en route:
When Colin Powell took to the Republican Party Convention podium in Philadelphia on July 31, the retired general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was the man who should be president …
Even today, my children recall the night of July 19, when I kept them up past midnight for Jesse Jackson’s speech to the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. With party leaders keeping him out of their primetime lineup, thousands stayed up that night “for Jesse” …