August 28: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Emmett Till
1818: Jean Baptiste Point du Sable passed away. He was the ‘Founder of Chicago’ and his date of birth or much else is known about him. In Chicago, a school, museum, harbor, park and bridge have been named, or renamed, in his honor; and the place where he settled at the mouth of the Chicago River in the 1780s is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, now located in Pioneer Court.
1929: Roxie Roker was born. She was an actress and half of the first interracial couple to be shown on regular prime time tv (The Jefferesons). She is the mother of Lenny Kravitz and grandmother to Zoe. She passed away in 1995 at age 66.
1932: Carlene Polite was born. She was a writer, teacher, dancer and worked with organizations for Civil Rights, Human Rights & the NAACP. She passed away in 2009 at age 77.
1952: Rita Dove was born. She is a poet and author, recipient of the Pulitizer Prize for Poetry and the first African American to be appointed as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She turns 61 today.
1954: The Midnighters’ “Annie Had A Baby” (#1, $30) was released.
1955: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy was murdered by a group of racists who were later acquitted of kidnapping and murder. His death is noted as a pivotal event motivating the Civil Rights Movement.
1956: Alan Freed’s second anniversary Rock ‘n’ Roll Show at the Brooklyn Paramount featured the Harptones, the Penguins, the Cleftones, and Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers.
1958: The Chantels and the Quintones performed at the Apollo Theater in New York along with the Spaniels, the Coasters, and the Olympics.
1963: The March on Washington (around 250,000 people) and Dr. King delivered the famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
1964: The Philadelphia Race Riots began on this day and lasted three days. No one was killed but 341 were injured, 774 people arrested and 225 stores were damaged or destroyed.
1971: ‘Spanish Harlem’ by Aretha Franklin was the Number One Song this day.
1971: Tony Clarke passed away. He was a singer and songwriter. He wrote hits for Etta James and charted a hit of his on with ‘The Entertainer’ in 1965. He broke into his estranged wife’s home armed with a tire jack and she shot & killed him in self-defense. He was 31 years old.
1975: Eugene Byrd was born. He is an actor of film and television. He turns 38 today.
1986: Tina Turner was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of Capitol Records, the company she recorded for.
1989: John Steptoe passed away at age 38 of AIDS. He was an award-winning author and illustrator for children’s books dealing with aspects of the African-American experience.
1991: PBS-TV aired Going Home to Gospel with Patti LaBelle from Chicago’s Quinn Chapel.
1992: Kyle Massey was born. He is an actor, dancer, singer, comedian and rapper. He turns 22 today.
1993: Jodeci reached #4 pop and # 1 R&B with the single “Lately,” a remake of Stevie Wonder’s 1981 ballad. It was their fourth #1 R&B in two years.
2008: Wonderful Smith passed away at age 97. He was a comedian whose envelope-pushing comedy routine in Duke Ellington’s satirical revue Jump for Joy—staged in Los Angeles in 1941—broke new ground.
2010: William P. Foster passed away at age 91. He was also known as The Law and The Maestro, was the creator of the noted Florida A&M University Marching “100”. He served as the band’s director from 1946 to his retirement in 1998.