Archive for the ‘Black Journalist’ Category
1. Ruby Dee, actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist, perhaps best known for co-starring in the film A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and the film American Gangster (2007) for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
1. Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as “The Queen of Gospel”. Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world, and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist; entertainer Harry Belafonte called her “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”. She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen “golds”—million-sellers
2. Edward Brooke, U.S. Senator 1967–1979, Republican from Massachusetts. Politician and was the first African American to be elected by popular vote to the United States Senate when he was elected as a Republican from Massachusetts in 1966, defeating his Democratic opponent,Endicott Peabody, 60.7%–38.7%. He was also the first African American elected to the Senate since the 19th century, when selection came from state legislatures, and would remain the only person of African heritage sent to the Senate in the 20th century until Democrat Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois in 1993, and was the last Republican Senator elected from Massachusetts until the 2010 election of Scott Brown. He is also the only African American reelected to the Senate.
3. William (Bootsy) Collins, Musician (Bootsy’s Rubber Band/Parliament), funk bassist, singer, and songwriter. Rising to prominence with James Brown in the late 1960s, and with Parliament-Funkadelic in the ’70s, Collins’s driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk. Collins is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
4. Vice Admiral Regina Marcia Benjamin, USPHS, physician who serves as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Benjamin previously directed a nonprofit primary care medical clinic in Bayou La Batre,Alabama.
1. Timothy (“T.”) Thomas Fortune, orator, civil rights leader, journalist, writer, editor and publisher.
Fortune started his education at Marianna’s first school for African Americans after the Civil War. He worked both as a page in the state senate and apprenticed as printer at a Jacksonville newspaper during the time that his father, Emanuel, was a Reconstruction politician in Florida. At one time he also worked at the Marianna Courier and later the Jacksonville Daily-Times Union. These experiences would be the start of a career wherein he would go on to have his work published in over twenty books and articles and in more than three hundred editorials.
Fortune went to work as an editor at the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League’s house organ, the Negro World, in 1923. At its height the Negro World had circulation of over 200,000. With distribution throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and in Central America it may have been the most widely distributed newspaper in the world at that time. During his tenure at the Negro World, Fortune rubbed shoulders with such literary luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, W.A. Domingo, Hubert Harrison, and John E. Bruce, among others.
Fortune moved to Red Bank, New Jersey in 1901, where he built his home, Maple Hill. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 8, 1976 and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places on August 16, 1979.
2. Josephine “Mama Jo” Riley Matthews, Delivered over 1,300 babies as a licensed midwife.
3. Albert Collins, electric blues guitarist and singer (and occasional harmonica player) whose recording career began in the 1960s in Houston and whose fame eventually took him to stages across the US, Europe, Japan and Australia. He had many nicknames, such as “The Ice Man”, “The Master of the Telecaster” and “The Razor Blade”.
4. Chubby Checker, Rock-n-Roll Singer (The Twist).singer-songwriter. He also popularized the dance style Twist, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard’s R&B hit “The Twist”. In September 2008, “The Twist” topped Billboard’s list of the most popular singles to have appeared in the Hot 100 since its debut in 1958.
5. Ronnie Laws, jazz, blues and funk saxophonist. He is the younger brother of jazz flautist Hubert Laws.
6. Billy Branch, blues harp player and singer of Chicago blues and harmonica blues. blues harp player and singer of Chicago blues and harmonica blues
7. Dave Winfield, former Major League Baseball outfielder. He is currently Executive Vice President/Senior Advisor of the San Diego Padres and an analyst for the ESPN program Baseball Tonight. Over his 22-year career, he played for six teams: the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, and Cleveland Indians. In 2004, ESPN named him the third-best all-around athlete of all time in any sport. He is a member of both the Baseball Hall of Fame and the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
8. India Arie, is a Grammy Award-winning soul, R&B, and neo soul musician, songwriter, and producer. She has sold over 3.3 million records in the U.S. and 10 million worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards, including Best R&B Album.
2. Billy Ward, The second of three sons of Charles Williams and Cora Bates Williams, and was a child musical prodigy, winning an award for a piano composition at the age of 14. Following military service with the U.S. Army he studied music in Chicago, and at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. While working as a vocal coach and part-time arranger on Broadway, he met talent agent Rose Marks, who became his business and songwriting partner. Billy Ward and His Dominoes vocal group, one of the best-selling R&B groups of the 1950s began the careers of both Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson.
3. Brook Benton, singer and songwriter who was popular with rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and pop music audiences during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when he scored hits such as “It’s Just A Matter Of Time” and “Endlessly”, many of which he co-wrote.
He made a comeback in 1970 with the ballad “Rainy Night in Georgia.” Benton scored over 50 Billboard chart hits as an artist, and also wrote hits for other performers.
4. Freda Charcilia Payne, singer and actress best known for her million selling, 1970hit single, “Band of Gold”. She was also an actress in musicals and film, as well as the host of a TV talk show. Freda is the older sister of former Supremes member, Scherrie Payne. Starred in Black Horror movie “Rag Doll”
5. Nile Gregory Rodgers, musician, composer, arranger, and guitarist. Rodgers began his career as a session guitarist in New York, touring with the Sesame Street band in his teens, and then working in the house band at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater, playing behind Screaming Jay Hawkins, Maxine Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King,Betty Wright, Earl Lewis and the Channels, Parliament Funkadelic, and many other legendary R&B artists.
Nile met bassist Bernard Edwards in 1970. Together they formed The Big Apple Band that backed R&B act New York City (“I’m Doing Fine Now”). The band’s one hit allowed them to tour extensively, even opening for The Jackson 5 on the American leg of their first world tour in 1973. The band dissolved after their second album failed to yield a hit, but Nile and Bernard joined forces with drummer Tony Thompson, and worked and recorded as a Funk Rock band called The Boys, which played numerous gigs up and down the East Coast. Despite major label interest in their demos, they could not get a record deal when the record companies discovered they were black; the excuse was that black rock artists would be too hard to promote. The band continued playing mostly local bars.
As The Big Apple Band, Rodgers and Edwards worked with Ashford & Simpson, Luther Vandross and many others. Since another New York artist, Walter Murphy, had a band also called The Big Apple Band, Rodgers and Edwards were forced to change their band’s name to avoid confusion. Thus, in 1977 the band was renamed as Chic. Between gigs they recorded their first album with then-boss Luther Vandross, who provided background vocals on the group’s early recordings. The band scored numerous top ten hits and helped propel disco to new levels of popularity. Chic’s chart-topping songs “Le Freak”, “I Want Your Love”, “Everybody Dance”, “Dance, Dance, Dance”, “My Forbidden Lover”, and “Good Times” have become club/pop/R&B standards. “Le Freak” is Atlantic Records’ only triple platinum selling single and “Good Times” shot to the #1 spot.
The success of Chic’s first singles led Atlantic to offer Rodgers and Edwards the opportunity to produce any act on its roster. They chose Sister Sledge, whose 1978 album, We Are Family, peaked at #3 and remained on the charts well into 1979. The first two singles, “He’s the Greatest Dancer” and the title cut “We Are Family” both reached #1 on the R&B chart, and #6 and #2, respectively on the Pop chart. “He’s the Greatest Dancer” was sampled in 1998 to create Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”.
6. Kevin Hooks, actor, and a television and film director; he is notable from his roles in Aaron Loves Angela & Sounder, but may be best-known as Morris Thorpe from TV’s The White Shadow.
In 1986, he starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom He’s the Mayor. He directed Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57 and also Laurence Fishburneand Stephen Baldwin in Fled. Hooks worked as a director and producer on the series Prison Break. He also directed two episodes from the first season of Lost, “White Rabbit” and “Homecoming”.
In 2003, Hooks revisited Sounder. He directed ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney’s TV remake of the film, with Paul Winfield, his co-star from the original, playing a different role.
Hooks was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Yvonne, a state employee, and Robert Hooks, a director and actor who starred in many films in the 1970s. Kevin’s nickname amongst his friends is “King Royal”.
7. Sanaa McCoy Lathan, Actress and voice actress. She has starred in numerous movies, including the box-office hits Love & Basketball, Alien vs. Predator, Something New, and The Family That Preys. Lathan was nominated for aTony Award for her performance on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun. In 2010 she starred in the all-black performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London.
8. María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien, television personality. She is currently the host of the “In America” documentary unit on CNN, and is best known for anchoring the CNN marquee morning newscast American Morning from July 2003 to April 2007, with Miles O’Brien. Their common surname is coincidental.
1. John Wesley Cromwell, journalist and educator, was born into slavery in Portsmouth, Virginia on September 5, 1846. After receiving freedom, Cromwell and his family moved to Philadelphia. In 1865, Cromwell returned to Portsmouth at the age of eighteen and opened a private school for freedmen in Portsmouth, , which failed due to racial harassment and replaced by programs held by the American Missionary Association.. Cromwell entered Howard University in Washington, D. C. in 1871. He received a law degree and was admitted to the bar in 1874. Cromwell was the first African American to practice law for the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Cromwell founded the weekly paper The People’s Advocate in 1876. In 1881, Cromwell was elected President of Bethel Library and Historical Association in Washington, D. C. Cromwell used this position to generate interest in African American history. He inspired the foundation of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915.
2. Sunnyland Slim (Albert Luandrew), blues pianist, who was born in the Mississippi Delta and later moved to Chicago, to contribute to that city’s post-war scene as a center for blues music. He performed with many of the popular blues musicians of the day. His stage name came from a song he composed about the Sunnyland train that ran between Memphis and St. Louis, Missouri. In 1942 he followed the great migration of southern workers to the industrial north in Chicago. Through the years Sunnyland Slim played with such musicians as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Little Walter.
3. George Allen Miles, Jr., known as Buddy Miles, was an American rock and funk drummer, most known as a founding member of The Electric Flag in 1967, then as a member of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys from 1969 through to January 1970.
4. Terry Lynn Ellis, R&B singer best known for her work with the all female quartet En Vogue.
1. In 1849, Archibald Henry Grimké, lawyer, intellectual, journalist, diplomat and community leader in the 19th and early 20th century.
2. In 1880, T. B. Pinn Received Patent for File Holder
3. In 1897, W. B. Purvis patented the electric railway switch.
4. In 1984, Roberto Clemente became the second baseball player to be featured on a stamp on this day.
1. In 1846, Frederick Douglass is speaker at the World’s Temperance convention in London, England.
2. In 1893, Black longshoremen struck for higher wages and better working conditions in Galveston, Texas.
3. In 1893, Fifty-third Congress (1893-95) convened which included Black congressman, George W. Marray, South Carolina.
4. In 1893, One hundred and eighteen Blacks were reported lynched in 1893.
5. In 1894, J. Lee received Patent for Kneading machine
6. In 1932, Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia becomes the first man to win the Olympic marathon twice (running barefoot).
7. In 1946, Sculptor, Isaac Hathaway was chosen as the designer of the American coin. President Harry S. Truman authorized a commission by the U. S. Mint of a fifty cent piece “to commemorate the life and perpetuate the ideas and teachings of Booker T. Washington.”
8. In 1948, Alice Coachman, jumped record breaking 5 feet 6 1/8 inches becomes the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the high jump during the Summer Games in London. She will later become inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.
9. In 1954, Charles H. Mahoney was confirmed by the Senate and became the first Black to serve as a full delegate to the United Nations.
10. In 1960, Black and white students staged kneel-in demonstrations in Atlanta churches.
11. In 1970, Four persons, including the presiding judge, killed in courthouse shoot-out in San Rafael, Marin County, California. Police charged that activist Angela Davis helped provide the weapons used by the convicts and issued a nationwide warrant for her arrest. She was arrested in New York City in October 1970, returned to California to face charges of kidnapping, murder, and conspiracy Davis was acquitted of all charges on June 4, 1972.
12. In 1970, Soul Train makes its TV debut. “The Hippest Trip in America” Soul Train exploded on the scene, hosted by Don Cornelius, ending each show with “Love, Peace and Soul”
13. In 2005, Frederick Douglas “Fritz” Pollard is inducted posthumously into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. He was the first African American player and coach in the NFL. He was also a two-time All-American at Brown University and was the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl in 1916.
1. In 1865, The provisional governor of Florida abolishes slavery by proclamation.
2. In 1897, C. V. Richey Received Patent for Railroad Switch
3. In 1897, L. P. Ray, received Patent for Dust pan
4. In 1908, A site plan for the town of Allensworth, California, is filed with the Tulare County recorder. The town is founded by African American Allen Allensworth, “in order to enable black people to live on an equity [basis] with whites and to encourage industry and thrift in the race.”
5. In 1928, William A. Scott, III, founds the “Atlanta World” newspaper. It will become a bi-weekly in 1930 and on March 13, 1932, will become the “Atlanta Daily World,” the first African American daily newspaper in modern times.
6. In 1937, The Golden Gate Quartet records “Gospel Train”
7. In 1937, Wings Over Jordan Choir founded. This group was organized by the Rev Glen T. Settles in Cleveland, Ohio and was perhaps the most beautiful sounding of all Gospel choirs.
8. In 1951, The Swallows make their chart debut “It ain’t the Meat, It is the Motion”
9. In 1956, Willie Williams of the United States sets the then 100 meter record at 10.1 seconds.
10. In 1957, Archibald J. Carey, Chicago minister and attorney, is appointed the first African American chairman of the President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy.
11. In 1960, The Republic of Niger achieves its independence from France.
12. In 1970, Two thousand delegates and observers attend the Congress of African Peoples convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
13. In 1972, The Federal Communications Commission upholds a political candidate’s right to broadcast paid commercials with racist content if such broadcast presents no danger of violence or incitement to violence.
14. In 1986, The United States Senate overrode President Ronald Reagan’s veto of legislation imposing economic sanctions against South Africa.
15. In 1989, Rickey Henderson sets American League mark of 50 stolen bases in nine seasons.