November 17: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Howard Rollins
1834: Nancy Green was born. She was a storyteller, cook, activist & one of the 1st African American models hired to promote a corporate trademark ‘Aunt Jermima’. She passed in 1923, aged 89.
1895: Katie Crippen was born. She was an entertainer & singer. She formed a group ‘Katie Crippen & Her Kids’ that included Fats Waller & a teenaged Count Basie. She died of cancer at age 34.
1897: John Mercer Langston passed away, aged 67. He was an abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist & politician.
1904: William H. Hastie, Jr. was born. He was the 1st African American to serve as Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, as a Federal judge, and as a Federal appellate judge. He passed in 1976, aged 71.
1911: Omega Psi Phi fraternity was incorporated.
1932: Charles Chestnutt passed away, aged 74. He was an author, essayist, political activist, lawyer & Spingarn Medal recipient. In 1917, he protested and successfully shut down showings in Ohio of the controversial film Birth of a Nation, which the NAACP officially protested across the nation.
1945: Elvin Hayes turns 28 today. He is a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, and an inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
1950: Actor Howard Rollins, Jr. was born. He passed away in 1996 of cancer at age 46.
1951: ‘Fool, Fool, Fool’ by the Clovers was the number one song this day.
1951: Carol Denise McNair was born. She died in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing by the KKK. She was 11 years old.
1956: The Heartbeats’ “A Thousand Miles Away” charted (#53 pop, #5 R&B), and the Continental’s inspiring “Dear Lord” ($200) was released.
1958: Jackie Wilson’s supreme classic, “Lonely Teardrops,” charted R&B reaching #1 for seven weeks and #7 pop.
1958: The Chanters’ “Over the Rainbow” was issued.
1960: Happy Birthday to performer RuPaul who turns 53 today.
1964: Marvin Gaye, who was in England for TV performances, left to visit Dionne Warwick after hearing she had been in a car accident.
1967: Happy Birthday to New Edition member Ronnie DeVoe who turns 46 today.
1979: ‘Still’ by the Commodores hit number one on the charts.
1980: The annual “Royal Command Performance” in London featured Aretha Franklin and Sammy Davis Jr. singing for England’s Queen Elizabeth II.
1992: Award-winning writer, poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde lost her battle with cancer. She was 58.
1996: Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, and Luther Vandross performed at Celebrate the Dream: 50 Years of Ebony Magazine at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium
1998: Janet Jackson, while on a South African tour, met President Nelson Mandela, and all twenty-nine of his grandchildren, at his home.
1998: Esther Rolle passed away, aged 78. She was an actress of stage, film & TV.
2003: Singer Arthur Conley passed away, aged 57 of cancer.
2003: A jury convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad of capital murder.
2006: Tony Award winning singer, actress & songwriter Ruth Brown passed away, aged 78.
2006: Actor & comedian Michael Richards openly, publicly and repeatedly insulted blacks at a comedy club in Los Angeles.
2012: R&B singer Billy Scott passed away, aged 70 of pancreatic cancer.