Nothing will motivate a man to move forward faster than knowing what's behind Him.

Archive for August, 2011

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For Aug 31

Todd Rhodes

1. Todd Rhodes, pianist and arranger and was an early influence in jazz and later on in R&B. He was born Todd Washington Rhodes, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  Rhodes attended both the Springfield School of Music and the Erie Conservatory, studying as pianist and songwriter.

In the early 1920s he played with Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller, Rex Stewart, Doc Cheatham, and Don Redman in McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, a jazz group. Rhodes lived and played in Detroit in the 1930s. In the late 1940s he started his own group, Todd Rhodes and His Toddlers, and started doing more R&B arrangements. With his Toddlers, he recorded “Your Daddy’s Doggin’ Around” and “Your Mouth Got a Hole In It.” Rhodes also worked with Hank Ballard, The Chocolate Dandies and Wynonie Harris  He featured lead singers, such as Connie Allen, who recorded “Rocket 69” in 1951. After she left the band in early 1952, her position was taken by LaVern Baker.

Frank Robinson

2. Frank Robinson, a former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He played from 1956–1976, most notably for the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles. He is the only player to win league MVP honors in both the National and American Leagues.   He won the Triple crown, was a member of two teams that won the World Series (the 1966 and 1970 Baltimore Orioles), and amassed the fourth-most career home runs at the time of his retirement (he is currently tied for eighth). Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Robinson was the first African-American hired to serve as manager in Major League history. He managed the Cleveland Indians during the last two years of his playing career, compiling a 186–189 record. He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals.

Marva Collins

3. Marva Collins, educator who in 1975 started Westside Preparatory School in Garfield Park, an impoverished neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. She ran the school for more than 30 years until it closed in 2008 due to lack of sufficient enrollment and funding.[1] She is famous for applying classical education successfully with impoverished students, many of whom had been wrongly labeled as learning disabled by public schools. She once wrote, “I have discovered few learning disabled students in my three decades of teaching. I have, however, discovered many, many victims of teaching inabilities.”[2] She has written a number of manuals, books and motivational tracts describing her history and methods, and currently (2006) has a website and public speaking service. She was most widely publicized in the 1981 biographical TV movie The Marva Collins Story starring Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman.

Wilton Felder

4. Wilton Felder,  is both a saxophone and bass player, and is best known as a founding member of The Crusaders, initially called the Jazz Crusaders. Felder, Wayne Henderson, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper founded the group while in high school in Houston. The Jazz Crusaders evolved from a straight-ahead jazz combo into a pioneering jazz-rock fusion group, with a definite soul music influence. Felder worked with the original group for over thirty years, and continues to work in its current versions, which often feature other founding members.

Claudell Washington

5. Claudell Washington,  former right fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Oakland Athletics (1974–76), Texas Rangers (1977–78), Chicago White Sox (1978–80), New York Mets (1980), Atlanta Braves (1981–86), New York Yankees (1987–88, 1990) and California Angels (1989–90). He batted and threw left-handed.

Washington was one of the youngest All-Stars in major league history when he was named to the 1975 American League All-Star team at the age of 20. He finished 5th in the American league in batting average with a mark of .308 and second in stolen bases with a total of 40.

Chris Tucker

6. Chris Tucker, is an actor and comedian, best known for his roles as Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour trilogy and Smokey in the 1995 film Friday.

Larry Waddell

7.    Larry Waddell, Rhythm & Blues Artist (Mint Condition)

Tamara Powell

8.    Tamara, Rhythm & Blues Artist (Trina & Tamara)

Events In African American History For Aug 31


1. In 1836, Henry Blair received Patent for Cotton planter

Be Kind To Humankind Week, Day Seven, Say something nice, Speak Kind Words.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For Aug 30

Roy Wilkins

1. Roy Wilkins, Civil Rights Leader/2nd Executive Director of NAACP, was a prominent civil rights activist in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Carrie Saxon Perry

2. Carrie Saxon Perry, Elected Mayor of Hartford Conn. 1987, US politician, mayor of Hartford 1987-1993 (1st African American Female mayor of any major US city).

Luther snake boy Johnson

3. Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson, (Luther “Georgia Boy/Snake Boy” Johnson), also worked and recorded under the names Little Luther and Luther King. (It turns out his real name wasn’t even Luther, but Lucius.) Upon his military discharge, he picked guitar as a member of the Milwaukee Supreme Angels gospel group, working the local church circuit. But the blues bug hit and he soon had his own little blues trio together, eventually settling in Chicago by the early ’60s. He played for a while with Elmore James and was a regular fixture in the Muddy Waters band by the mid-’60s. He recorded as Little Luther for Chess in the mid-’60s (“The Twirl”) and by 1970 was relocated to Boston, MA, working as a solo artist. The next five years found him working steadily on the college and blues festival circuit.

Robert Parish Boston Celtics

4. Robert Parish, NBA Basketball Star, known for his strong defense and jump shooting, and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, Parish was also named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.


5. Gerald Albright, jazz saxophonist. Albright has sold over 1,000,000 albums in the U.S. alone. His self-produced music features him on bass guitar,keyboards, flutes, drum programming, and background vocals.

Events In African American History For Aug 30


1. In 1881, W. S. Campbell received Patent for Self-setting animal trap

2. In 1892, S. R. Scottron received Patent for Curtain rod

3. In 1982, Zapp’s (Dance Floor) is #1

4. In 1983, Lt. Col. Guion S. Bluford Jr. Became first Black American Astronaut to go into space.  He served as a mission specialist aboard the Challenger.

Be Kind To Humankind Week, Day Six, Come together, Forgive Your Foe.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For Aug 29

Dr. Vivien Thomas

1. Dr. Vivien Thomas,  surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s. He was an assistant to surgeon Alfred Blalock in Blalock’s experimental animal laboratory at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and later at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Without any education past high school, Thomas rose above poverty and racism to become a cardiac surgery pioneer and a teacher of operative techniques to many of the country’s most prominent surgeons. Vivien Thomas was the first African American without a doctorate degree to perform open heart surgery on a white patient in the United States.

Isabel Sanford

2. Isabel Sanford,  actress best known for her role as Louise “Weezy” Jefferson on the CBS television sitcoms All in the Family (1971–1975) and The Jeffersons  She was the first African-American actress to win a Lead Actress Emmy Award (for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1981), and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and received an honorary doctorate degree from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Charlie Bird Parker

3. Charlie (Bird) Parker, famously called Bird or Yardbird,[2] was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.   Parker, with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, is widely considered to have been one of the most influential jazz musicians. Parker acquired the nickname “Yardbird” early in his career[3] and the shortened form “Bird” remained Parker’s sobriquet for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as “Yardbird Suite”, “Ornithology” and “Bird of Paradise.”

wendell Scott

4. Wendell Oliver Scott, NASCAR Owner/Driver, The first Black Driver to Win a race in what is now called the Sprint Cup Series. read more at…..

Dinah Washington

5. Dinah Washington born Ruth Lee Jones, was a blues, R&B and jazz singer. She has been cited as “the most popular black female recording artist of the ’50s”,[1] and called “The Queen of the Blues”.[2] She is a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame,[3] and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993

Albertina Walker

6. Albertina Walker, Albertina had four siblings born in Bibb County and four born in Chicago. Albertina began singing in the youth choir at the West Point Baptist Church at an early age, and joined several Gospel groups thereafter, including The Pete Williams Singers and the Robert Anderson Singers. Albertina was greatly influenced by Mahalia Jackson, her friend and confidante. Mahalia Jackson took her on the road when she was just a teenager. “Mahalia used to kid me. She’d say, ‘Girl, you need to go sing by yourself.’ ” recalled Walker in a 2010 Washington Post Interview. Albertina Walker did just that. In 1951, she formed the group called The Caravans. She was popularly referred to as the “Queen of Gospel Music”, initially by such notables as the late Reverend James Cleveland and Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., for her outstanding achievements within the genre after the death of Mahalia Jackson in 1972.

In the early 1950s Walker founded her own Gospel music group The Caravans, enlisting fellow singers from The Robert Anderson Singers (Ora Lee Hopkins, Elyse Yancey and Nellie Grace Daniels). The Caravans’ membership has included: James Cleveland, Bessie Griffin, Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, Inez Andrews, Loleatta Holloway, Cassietta George, and Delores Washington.  Walker retired The Caravans in the late 1960s, performing as a solo artist.

Wyomia Tyus

7. Wyomia Tyus, Won a gold medal for two Consecutive Olympics (1964-1968).  The first person to retain the Olympic title in the 100 m.  Participated in the 1964 Summer Olympics at age 19. In the heats of the event, she equaled Wilma Rudolph’s World Record, propelling her to a favored position for the final, where her main rival would be fellow American Edith McGuire. Tyus won the final, beating McGuire by two tenths. At the same Olympics, she also won a silver medal with the 4 x 100 m relay team, finishing only behind Poland.

Michael Joseph Jackson

8. Michael Joseph Jackson,  was an American recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter, musician, and philanthropist. Referred to as the King of Pop, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contribution to music, dance, and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5, then the Jacksons in 1964, and began his solo career in 1971.

In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller”, were credited with transforming the medium into an art form and a promotional tool, and the popularity of these videos helped to bring the relatively new television channel MTV to fame. Videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” made him a staple on MTV in the 1990s. Through stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced numerous hip hop, pop, contemporary R&B, and rock artists.

Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock ‘n’ roll. Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards (as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award); 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist, including the “Artist of the Century”); 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era); and the estimated sale of over 750 million records worldwide. Jackson won hundreds of awards, which have made him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of popular music.


Events In African American History For Aug 29


1. In 1957, U.S. Congress passes Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first since 1875.

2. In 1979, Sheridan Broadcasting Corp purchases Mutual Black Network.

Be Kind To Humankind Week, Day Five, Treat others well, Thoughtful.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For Aug 28


Rita Dove

1. Rita Frances Dove, Poet and author. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1993, the second African American to be appointed, and received a second special appointment in 1999. Dove is the second African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and the Poet Laureate of Virginia, 2004 – 2006.

Darren Lewis

3. Darren Joel Lewis,  is a former center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Oakland Athletics (1990), San Francisco Giants (1991–1995), Cincinnati Reds (1995), Chicago White Sox (1996–1997), Los Angeles Dodgers (1997) and Boston Red Sox (1998–2001); he played his final season in 2002 with the Chicago Cubs. Despite being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 31, 2002, Lewis refused to report to the Pirates, choosing to retire instead.

During his 13-year career, he established himself as one of top base stealers of the 1990s. He also was very good defensively. He won an NL Gold Glove Award as a member of the Giants in 1994. He made post season appearances with the Reds in 1995, and in 1998, 1999 with the Red Sox.

Events In African American History For Aug 28


1. In 1888, Granville T. Woods Received Patent for Railway Telegraphy

2. In 1894, R. H. Gray received Patent for Bailing press

3. In 1955, Emmett Til lynched for whistling at a white girl.

4. In 1963, March on Washington about 250,000 people attend the march which was the biggest civil rights march to date.

5. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr makes (I Have A Dream) speech at Lincoln Memorial.

6. In 1976, LTD (Love Togetherness and Devotion), Makes its chart debut with “Love Ballad”

7. In 1994, Eldrick “Tiger” Woods, 18, won the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship for the first time.

Be Kind To Humankind Week, Day Four, Offer a helping hand, Willing-To-Lend-A-Hand.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For August 27

1.  Rose McClendon born Rose Virginia Scott McClendon, wa a leading   Broadway actress of the 1920s.  Rose McClendon, the “Negro first lady of the dramatic stage” was born in Greenville, SC under the name of Rosalie Virginia Scott. Rose was born circa in 1885 in South Carolina and as a child relocated to New York City. She started acting in church plays as a child, but did not become a professional actress until she won a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Art, when she was in her thirties.

Her first claim to fame came in Deep River, a “native opera with jazz”, in 1926. In addition to acting, she also directed several plays at the  Harlem Experimental Theatre.

She was a contemporary of Paul Robeson, Ethel Barrymore, Lynne Fontanne and Langston Hughes. Hughes wrote a character for her in his 1935 play, Mulatto. Her talent extended to directing as well as acting. She co-founded the Negro People’s Theatre in Harlem (1935). A year later McClendon died of pneumonia. Her co-founder and his wife, Dick Campbell and Murial Rahn, founded the Rose McClendon players.

2. Lester Willis Young,   nicknamed “Prez”, was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. He also played trumpet, violin, and drums.  Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie’s orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument, playing with a cool tone and using sophisticated harmonies. He invented or popularized much of the hipster ethos which came to be associated with the music.

3. Yolanda Adams, (born Yolanda Yvette Adams) is an American Grammy- and Dove-award winning Gospel music singerand radio show host. As of September 2009, she had sold 4.5 million albums since 1991 in the United States, according to SoundScan.  On December 11, 2009 Billboard Magazine named her the 1st Gospel Artist of the last decade.   In the same chart, her album “Mountain High…Valley Low” was acknowledged as the best gospel album.

4. Eric Bobo (born Eric Correa), son of Latin jazz musician Willie Bobo, is a percussionist and is a member of the bandsCypress Hill,  and has also performed and recorded with the Beastie Boys throughout the 90s. He released his debut album Meeting Of The Minds on November 18, 2008 on Nacional Records.

5. Chandra Danette Wilson, actress and director, best known for her role as Dr. Miranda Bailey on the ABC television drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Born in Houston, Texas. She started her theater career at the age of five with the Houston-based Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS). Wilson attended Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and went on to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she earned a BFA in drama.

6. Mase, Mason Durell Betha,  Better known by stage name Mase (often type set as Ma$e) who was previously known asMurda Ma$e, is an American rapper, songwriter, actor and inspirational speaker. He was an artist on Sean “Diddy” Combs’s hip hop label Bad Boy Records during the late 1990s

7. Julie Dorne Brown, also known as Downtown Julie Brown (born 27 August 1959), is an English actress and former MTV VJ.   Her father was in the Royal Air Force and she grew up on Air Force bases all around the world including England, Singapore, India and Cyprus and finally settled in Bridgend, Wales. After winning the UK Disco Dancing Championships she went on to win the World Disco Dancing Championship in 1979, soon after Brown began a career on British television as presenter and guest on a number of children’s programs, including the long-running entertainment show Crackerjack.

Brown became a presenter on pan-European music channel Music Box and eventually became an MTV VJ and went on to host the Club MTV show in the late 1980s. The show had a similar format to American Bandstand, but featured an exclusive lineup of dance music. From this came her famous catchphrase, “Wubba Wubba Wubba.”

Events In African American History For Aug 27


1. In 1949,  Paul Robeson’s scheduled singing appearance at the Lakeland picnic grounds in Westchester County, NY is disrupted by a riot instigated and provoked by whites angry at Robeson’s political stands.

2. In 1989, ‘Johnny B Goode’ is performed by Chuck Berry for NASA engineers and scientists in celebration of Voyager II’s encounter with the planet Neptune, 1989

2. In 1989,    Be Kind To Humankind Week, Day Three, Spread kindness, one heart at a time, Touch-A-Heart.

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