August 5: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Naomi Sims
1882: Anna Douglass passed away. She was an abolitionist, member of the underground railroad, and the first wife of American social reformer and statesman Frederick Douglass, from 1838 to her death.
1900: James Augustine Healy passed away. He was the first African-American Roman Catholic priest and the first African-American Roman Catholic bishop in the United States. He was 70 years old.
1907: Ernestine “Tiny” Davis was born. She was a jazz trumpeter, vocalist and member of the all female band International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She passed away in 1994 at age 87.
1928: William Alexander Scott, II, 26 years of age, founded the first successful Black daily newspaper in the US on this day ‘The Atlanta Daily World.’
1930: Damita Jo DeBlanc was born. She was a recording artist, entertainer, actress and comedian. She passed away on Christmas Day in 1998. She was 68.
1934: Zakes Mokae was born. He was a Tony Award winning actor of film and television. He passed away in 2009 at age 75.
1938: James Cone was born. He is a theologian best known for his advocacy of Black Liberation Theology. He turns 75 today.
1938: Ja’Net DuBois was born. She is an actress, artist and singer. She turns 68 today.
1946: Dr. Shirley Jackson was born. She is a Theoretical Physicist and appointed Chairperson of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1995. She turns 68 today.
1951: Laverne ‘Chip’ Fields was born. She is a singer, actress, television director, consultant, dialogue coach and Kim Field’s mom. She turns 62 today.
1953: Robert Cray was born. He is a blues guitarist & singer and a five-time Grammy Award winner. He turns 60 today.
1957: Lester Hill aka Joe Hill Louis passed away. He was a singer, guitarist, harmonica player and one-man band. He died at the age of 35, from tetanus contracted as a result of an infected cut to his thumb.
1960: ‘A Woman, A Lover, A Friend’ by Jackie Wilson was the Number One R&B Song this day.
1960: When the originally scheduled vocalist did not show, producer Ike Turner took his twenty-two-year-old wife, Tina, and recorded her on “A Fool In Love,” which was released today. It rose to #27 and became the first of twenty Hot 100 hits for the volatile couple.
1960: Aretha Franklin recorded her first secular songs upon signing with Columbia Records. The songs included “Over the Rainbow,” “Today I Sing the Blues, Right Now,” and “Love is the Answer.” She was eighteen years old.
1962: Nelson Mandela was jailed in South Africa. He would not be released until 1990.
1962: Patrick Ewing was born. He is an Olympic Gold Medalist, Retired Hall of Fame NBA Player. He turns 51 today. 1980: Peners Griffin was born. He is an actor of film and television. He turns 33 today.
1969: B.B. King performed in front of more than 110,000 fans at the Atlantic City Pop festival in Atlantic City, NJ, along with Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds, and Creedence Clearwater revival.
1981: Carl Crawford nickname The Perfect Storm was born. He is a professional baseball outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers of MLB. He bats and throws left-handed and has more triples than any other active baseball player. He turns 32 today.
1982: Lolo Jones was born. She is a track and field and bobsled athlete who specializes in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles. She turns 31 today.
1984: Edwin Moses and Evelyn Ashford took home Olympic Gold Medals in Track & Field.
1984: Isadore ‘Tuts’ Washington was a Louisiana blues pianist who exemplified the New Orleans rhythm and blues style, also made famous by musicians such as Professor Longhair. He was 77 years old.
1987: The rap trio Salt-n-Pepa’s debut album, Hot, Cool, and Vicious, charted, reaching #26. It lingered on the Top 200 for more than a year, finally going platinum in 1988.
1997: Wyclef Jean, Aaliyah, Salt-n-Pepa, Ginuwine, and Blackstreet, among others, performed at the Summer Jam concert in George, Washington. (Yes, there really is such a place.)
2000: William Rosko Mercer, the legendary disc jockey known as Rosko, died today at age seventy-three. He was the first Black deejay in Los Angeles (KBLA), and the first Black news announcer on WINS in New York.
2002: Matt Robinson passed away. He was an actor, writer and Holly Robinson-Peete’s father. He was 65 years old.
2009: Titus ‘Baatin’ Glover passed away. He was a rapper who co-founded the progressive hip-hop group Slum Village. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia years before and was found dead in Detroit. He was 35 years old.
2009: Naomi Sims passed away from cancer. She was the first model to grace the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in 1968, a breakthrough event in the “Black is Beautiful” movement. She was 61 years old.