Today in Black history: Debi Thomas wins singles, Marcus Garvey imprisoned and happy birthday, Klay Thompson and Gary Coleman
The Undefeated’s Black facts for Feb. 8
1925 – Marcus Garvey enters federal prison in Atlanta after being convicted of mail fraud. The Jamaican-born political leader, entrepreneur and orator was known for his leadership in the Pan-African and Black nationalist movements. Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association, which encouraged African Americans to resettle in Africa. The association grew to include 700 branches in 38 states.
1968 – Actor Gary Coleman is born in Zion, Illinois. As a child, he was diagnosed with a congenital kidney disease that stunted his growth. The tallest Coleman got in his lifetime was 4 feet, 8 inches, but his height was perfect for the roles he landed as a child star, beginning with his most memorable character, Arnold Jackson, on the popular sitcom Diff’rent Strokes (1978-86).
1986 – Figure skater Debi Thomas becomes the first African American to win the women’s singles at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. A month later, Thomas went on to defeat East Germany’s Katarina Witt, becoming the first African American woman to win the women’s World Figure Skating Championships.
1990 – Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, one half of the Splash Brothers duo with teammate Stephen Curry, is born. He goes on to become a three-time NBA champion.