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Archive for January, 2011

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For January 31


 1. Roosevelt Sykes, blues musician also known as “The Honeydripper“. He was a successful and prolific cigar-chomping blues piano player whose rollicking thundering boogie was highly influential. Look Out For Yourself

 2. Jersey Joe Walcott was born Arnold Raymond Cream in Merchantville, New Jersey. Walcott won the World Heavyweight Championship from Ezzard Charles, whom he knocked out in the 7th round of their 1951 title bout in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Walcott had 69 professional fights. He won 30 of them by knock-out and was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1969.  

 3. Jackie Robinson, Baseball Superstar, Over ten seasons, he played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers’ 1955 World Championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949 to 1954,  was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949 the first black player so honored.  Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. 

 4. Benjamin Hooks,  Former executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and  the first African American board member of the Federal Communications Commission. 

 5. Chuck Willis , blues, rhythm and blues, and rock singer and songwriter. He was known as “The King of the Stroll” for his performance of the 1950s dance The Stroll.  “C. C. Rider

 6. Earnie Banks, baseball Great, former Chicago Cub star (Mr. Cub) 

  7. Glynn Turman, TV Movie-Stage Actor,  writer, director, and producer. He is perhaps best known for his roles as high school student Leroy “Preach” Jackson in the 1975 coming-of-age film Cooley High, math professor and retired Army colonel Bradford Taylor on the NBC sitcom A Different World, and fictional Baltimore mayor Clarence Royce on the HBO drama series The Wire. 

  8. Kerry Washington, actress. She is known for her roles as Ray Charles’s wife, Della Bea Robinson, in the film Ray (2004), as Idi Amin’s wife Kay in The Last King of Scotland, and as Alicia Masters, love interest of Ben Grimm, The Thing, in the live-action Fantastic Four films of 2005 and 2007. She has also starred in the critically acclaimed independent films Our Song and The Dead Girl.

Events In African American History For January 31

1. In 1865, Congress proposed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On December 18, Secretary of State William H. Seward, in a proclamation, declared it to have been adopted. It was the first of the Reconstruction Amendments.

President Lincoln was concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation, which outlawed slavery in the ten Confederate states still in rebellion in 1863, would be seen as a temporary war measure, since it was based on his war powers and did not abolish slavery in the border states or any other areas where slavery was still technically legal.

2. In 1920,  Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, founded at Howard University in 1914, is incorporated.

3. In 1934,  Etta Moten sings for President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt at a White House Dinner. It is the first time an African American actress performs at the White House.

4. In 1962, Lt. Comdr. Samuel L. Gravely assumed command of destroyer escort, USS Falgout, becoming the first Black to command a U.S. warship.

5. In 1963, James Baldwin’s influential collection of essays The Fire Next Time is published.

6. In 1988, Doug Williams threw four touchdowns to win Super Bowl XXII 42-10. The Washington Redskins quarterback and first African American quarterback to play in a Super Bowl game is also named MVP.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For January 30

 1. Sojourner Truth,  Abolitionist and women’s rights activist. 

 2. Roy Eldridge, Jazz Artist (Trumpeteer) “After You’ve Gone

 3. Shirley Chisholm, (Rep-D-NY)  politician, educator, and author.   She was a Congresswoman, representing New York’s 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress.   On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination (Margaret Chase Smith had previously run for the Republican presidential nomination).  She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

4. Ruth Brown, pop and R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, composer and actress noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as “So Long”, “Teardrops from My Eyes” and “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean“. For these contributions, Atlantic became known as “The house that Ruth built” (alluding to the popular nickname for Old Yankee Stadium).

Following a resurgence that began in the mid-1970s and peaked in the eighties, Brown used her influence to press for musicians’ rights regarding royalties and contracts, which led to the founding of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.[1] Her performances in the Broadway musical Black and Blue earned Brown a Tony Award, and the original cast recording won a Grammy Award.

 5. Sharon Pratt Kelly,  formerly Sharon Pratt Dixon and now known as Sharon Pratt, was the third mayor of the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1995. Pratt was the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a major American city. She is also to date the only woman to have served as mayor of Washington D.C.

Though she campaigned and was elected and inaugurated mayor as Sharon Pratt Dixon, on December 7, 1991, she married James R. Kelly III, a New York businessman, and changed her name to Sharon Pratt Kelly. After their 1999 divorce she was Sharon Pratt.

 6. U.S. Rep. Floyd Flake, D-New York, was born in Los Angeles, California. A businessman and minister, Flake established the Allen Christian School and Allen Home Care Agency. 

 7. Jackie Ross, Soul and Rhythm and Blues  Artist (Selfish One), Ross sang gospel music as a child, and performed on a radio show run by her parents, both preachers.   After her father died in 1954 she moved to Chicago and was signed to SAR Records by Sam Cooke. Her first single, “Hard Times“, appeared in 1962, and following this she spent time singing in Syl Johnson‘s band.

 8. William King, Rhythm and Blues Artist soul trumpeteer (Commodores-Easy)  

 9. Charles S. Dutton, stage, film, and television actor and director. He is perhaps best known for starring in the television series Roc (1991–1994) and House MD (as the father of Eric Foreman).

 10. Donnie Simpson,  longtime American radio DJ as well as a television and movie personality. He hosted The Donnie Simpson Morning Show on Washington, D.C. radio station WPGC-FM from March 1993 to January 29, 2010. Simpson is the first urban-format radio personality to have an annual salary over $1 million without being syndicated.   He was Billboard’s “1998 Air Personality of the Year”. He is also known by the nickname “Dr. Green Eyes” for his luminous light green eyes.  He was BET’s Video Soul DJ. 

 11. Jody Watley, Songstress (Shalamar and former Soul Train Dancer)  “Lookin’ For A New Love

 12. Dexter Scott King, the second son of civil rights leaders the late  Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. His siblings are Martin Luther King III, the Reverend Bernice Albertine King, and the late Yolanda Denise King.

Events In African American History For January 30

1. In 1797,  Boston Masons, led by Prince Hall, established first Black interstate organization, creating lodges in Philadelphia and Providence, Rhode Island.

2. In 1797,   Congress refused to accept the first recorded petitions from American Blacks.

3. In 1800,  United States population: 5,308,483. Black population 1,002,037 (18.9 per cent).

4. In 1844,  Richard Theodore Greener becomes the first African American to graduate from Harvard University and later became dean of  Howard University School of Law

5. In 1858,  William Wells Brown, novelist and dramatist,  published first Black drama, (Leap to Freedom)

6. In 1927,  Harlem Globetrotters formed,  The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater, and comedy.  Created by Abe Saperstein in 1926 in Chicago, Illinois, the team adopted the name Harlem because of its connotations as a major African-American community. Over the years they have played more than 20,000 exhibition games in 118 countries. Brother Bones’s whistled version of “Sweet Georgia Brown” is the team’s signature song.

7. In 1956,  Home of Martin Luther King Jr. bombed.

8. In 1965,  Leroy “Satchel” Paige, major league baseball Pitcher, named all-time outstanding player by National Baseball Congress.

9. In 1979,  Franklin A. Thomas name president of the Ford Foundation.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For January 29

Harriet Tubman,  who escaped from slavery and returned to the South repeatedly to lead other African slaves to freedom.

Originally named Araminta, or “Minty,” Harriet Ross was born on Maryland’s eastern shore. In 1844, she married John Tubman, a free Black man. Resolved to escape the horrible conditions of slavery, she tried to convince her husband to join her but he refused. She fled without him, until coming to Pennsylvania, a free state. In 1850, she made her first secret trip to Baltimore, where she rescued her enslaved sister and her two children. Tubman soon became allied with activists of the Underground Railroad.

1. Paul Gayten,  R&B bandleader, pianist, songwriter, producer and record company executive. DRIVING HOME by Paul Gayten Parts I – II 6 Minutes of R&B Sax 1957

2. Oprah Winfrey, First Black female National Talk Show Host, Actress, movie maker, made television history with her talk show “Oprah”. She is known for her philanthropic efforts as well as for being one of the richest persons in the country.

3. John Tate, heavyweight boxer, won the vacant World Boxing Association title in 1979 from South African Gerrie Coetzee.

4. Stacey King,  former NBA center who won three consecutive championships with the Chicago Bulls from 1991 to 1993.

After a stand-out career at the University of Oklahoma, King was selected by the Bulls in the 1989 NBA Draft with the sixth pick. He was one of three first round picks by the Bulls in that draft (the other two were B.J. Armstrong and Jeff Sanders).   He played four and a half seasons in Chicago before being traded during the 1993-94 campaign to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for 7’2″ Australian-born center Luc Longley. He was last active during the 1996-97 season while playing a handful of games for both the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics.

King is currently working as a color commentator for Chicago Bulls television broadcasts on CSN and WGN

Events In African American History For January 29

1. In 1872,  Francis L. Cardoza elected State Treasurer of South Carolina.

2. In 1908,  Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, founded at Cornell University in 1906, incorporated.

3. In 1913,  Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, founded at Howard University in 1908, incorporated.

4. In 1913,   Fiftieth Anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation,  Black Americans celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation. Major celebrations were held at Jackson, Mississippi, New Orleans and Nashville. Three states–Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey–appropriated money for official celebrations of the event.

5. In 1926,  Violette Neatley Anderson is the first African American woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court

6. In 1969,  Patricia Roberts Harris Is named dean of Howard University’s Law School.

7. In 1991, Nelson Mandela, Then president of South Africa, and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi held the first talks for almost 30 years between predominantly Zulu Inkatha and the ethnically mixed African National Congress.

8. In 1991,  Sharon J. Barnes, Chemist at Dow Chemical part of a team of five (two African Americans) who were assigned U.S. Patent #4,988,211 for an application in Infra-Red Thermography.

9. In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For January 28

1. Richmond Barthe, sculptor known for his many public works, including the Toussaint L’Ouverture Monument in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and a sculpture of Rose McClendon for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House.

Barthe once said that “all my life I have be interested in trying to capture the spiritual quality I see and feel in people, and I feel that the human figure as God made it, is the best means of expressing this spirit in man.”

2.  William “Bill” White, Baseball’s National League President from 1989-1994, White played in 1,673 games and ended his career with a .286 batting average on 1,706 hits. He won the Golden Glove award in 1960 and 1966.  77  Years ago

3. Rakim (William Michael Griffin Jr.), Rapp Artist  “When I B On Tha Mic

4. Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known simply as J. Cole, is an American rapper and producer from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He is best known for being the first artist to be signed to JAY-Z’s label Roc Nation after Jay heard his single Lights Please. He released his debut mixtape The Come Up in 2007 and followed this up with 2009’s The Warm Up and 2010’s Friday Night Lights.

Events In African American History For January 28

1. In 1787,  Philadelphia’s Free African Society organized.

2. In 1858,  John Brown organized raid on Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry.

3. In 1938,  First Black Woman elected to a state legislature,  Crystal Byrd Fauset was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

4. In 1944,  Matthew Henson receives a joint medal by Congress for his role as co-discoverer of the North Pole

5. In 1963,   Harvey Gantt entered Clemson College in South Carolina, the last state to hold out against integration.  He went on to be an architect and Democratic politician active in North Carolina winning the candidacy for  Mayor of Charlotte and served from 1983 to 1987.

6. In 1970,  Arthur Ashe, first Black male to win Wimbledon, is denied entry to compete on the US Team for the South African Open tennis championships.

7. In 1986,  On this day astronaut Ronald McNair & 6 others died in the space shuttle Challenger disaster. Surviving him are his wife Cheryl McNair and children.

8. In 1989,  After 62 years, the Colgate-Palmolive Co. redesigned packaging for its “Darkie” tooth paste made and sold only in Asia. The nickname for Darkie tooth paste was renamed “Darlie” and the blackface sambo like character was changed into a “non-racially offensive” silhouette.

9. In 1997,  At South Africa’s Truth Commission, police confessed to the 1977 murder of Steve Biko.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For January 27

 1. Will Marion Cook, noted composer, conductor and violinist.  Performed for King George V among others. 

 2. Oran Thaddeus “Hot Lips” Page, Trumpeteer (Ma Rainey\Bessie Smith  and Ida Cox) “Gone with the Gin


3. Andrew “Smoky” Hogg, Blues Artist (Guitarist)  “Worryin’ Mind

 4. Elmore James, Blues Artist   “Everyday I Have The Blues” 

 5. Bobby “Blue” Bland (Robert Calvin Bland), Blues Artist  “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby

 6. John Witherspoon, comedy actor known for his roles in, Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Boomerang (1992), Murder Was The Case (1994), Friday (1995), Vampire In Brooklyn (1995) and the 1990s WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. and more recently as Robert Freeman in The Boondocks. “On The Tonight Show with David Letterman

Events In African American History For January 27

1. In 1952,  Ralph Ellison’s powerful novel, Invisible Man, wins the National Book Award.

2. In 1961,  Leontyne Price, Acclaimed opera Diva, made her formal debut at the Metropolitan Opera on this day, where she got  a thrilling 42 minute ovation.

3. In 1973,   Joseph Lowe named auxiliary Bishop of Mississippi

4. In 2010, 1 Years ago Today, President Barack Obama Gave his first State Of The Union Address

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