September 2: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Willi Ninja
1766: James Forten was born. He was an abolitionist, inventor, entrepreneur. He died in 1842.
1911: Romare Bearden was born. He was an artist and writer. He worked in several media including cartoons, oils, collage. He passed away in 1988 at age 76.
1928: Horace Silver was born. He is a jazz pianist and composer known for his distinctive humorous and funky playing style. He turns 85 today.
1941: John Thompson was born. He is a former basketball coach for the Georgetown University Hoyas. He is now a professional radio and TV sports commentator. In 1984, he became the first African-American head coach to win a major collegiate championship, capturing the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship when Georgetown defeated the University of Houston 84–75. He turns 72 today.
1943: Lisle Wilson was born. He was an actor of film and television. He went on be teach vocal techniques to up and coming Broadcasters at the Academy of Radio and Television Broadcasting in Huntington Beach, CA. He passed in 2010 at age 66.
1946: Billy Preston was born. He was a musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He passed away in 2006 at age 59.
1948: Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald was born. He is a retired NBA player and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is 65 today.
1955: Alan Freed held his historic Labor Day Rock ‘n’ Roll Show at the Brooklyn Paramount featuring the Moonglows, the Cadillacs, Chuck Berry, the Harptones, and the Nutmegs.
1957: The Channels’ legendary version of “That’s My Desire” was released.
1958: Frederick M. Jones patented a control device for internal combustion engine.
1965: Lennox Lewis was born. He is a retired boxer and the most recent undisputed world heavyweight champion. He turns 48 today.
1966: MLB player Frank Robinson was named MVP of the American League.
1967: The Parliaments’ “I Wanna Testify” peaked at #20 pop (#3 R&B) for the future funk group’s first of forty-seven R&B chart records through 1996.
1967: ‘Baby I Love You’ by Aretha Franklin was the number one song this day.
1968: Muddy Waters performed at Sultan, Washington’s Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter-Than-Air Fair with bands including the Youngbloods, Santana, and the Grateful Dead.
1969: Cedric Haily aka K-Ci was born. He is 1/2 the duo K-Ci & JoJo. He turns 44 today.
1973: Katt Williams was born. He is a comedian, actor and rapper. He turns 40 today.
1975: The Honorable Joseph W. Hatchett was sworn in as the first Black Supreme Court Justice in Florida.
1976: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five performed at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. It was their first major performance. Grandmaster (Joseph Sadler) earned a degree in electronics before he became a pioneering rapper.
1978: Balladeer and heart throb Teddy Pendergrass performed at Avery Fisher Hall in New York in the first of numerous concerts for women only. The concept was the brainchild of Teddy’s manager, Shep Gordon (who arranged for the ladies to receive teddy bear-shaped lollipops at the concert), and there was no known reaction from the ACLU as to the ethics of such gender exclusivity.
1988: A worldwide charity tour to raise money for Amnesty International began with a concert at London’s Wembley Stadium featuring Tracy Chapman, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting.
1995: Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone,” produced and written by R. Kelly, hit #1, thus becoming the first single ever to debut in the top spot.
1998: The UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda finds Jean Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide.
2000: Elvera Davis passed away. She was a tap dancer and began performing at age 16 in the Chorus line at the Lafayette in Harlem. Also, mom to Sammy Davis, Jr.
2006: Willi Ninja passed away at age 45. He was a dancer and choreographer who refined the Vogue style of dancing to an amazing level.
2007: Jimmy Lee Sudduth passed away at age 97.He was an Alabama folk artist known for painting with mud, berries, and other elements to create compelling images of people, buildings, and his dog, Toto.