In February, Jeff Johnson talked about Black History Month coming to a close. He said it shouldn’t be celebrated just once a year but everyday or every week. He asked that we set aside at least one evening or one day a week to talk about black history and to keep it alive. We plan to honor his request with a gallery every week this month to celebrate significant events, timelines, births and to remember those who have passed away.
1. August 26: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Dan Bankhead
1867: Robert Russa Moton was born. He was an educator and author. He served as an administrator at Hampton Institute and was named principal of Tuskegee Institute in 1915 after the death of Dr. Booker T. Washington, a position he held for 20 years until retirement in 1935. He passed away in 1940 at age 73.
1900: Hall Woodruff was born. He was a nationally known printmaker, draftsman and painter and a leading artist of the Harlem Renaissance. He died in 1980.
1901: Jimmy Rushing was born. He was a blues and swing jazz singer. He passed away in 1972 at age 70.
1918: Katherine G. Johnson was born. She is a physicist, space scientist, and mathematician who contributed to America’s aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA. She turns 95 today.
1943: William Dawson was elected Black Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate.
1946: Valerie Simpson was born. She was 1/2 the duo Ashford & Simpson, singer, songwriter and performer. She turns 67 today.
1947: Dan Bankhead became the first Black to pitch in the Major Leagues (Dodgers).
1957: The Shells’ “Baby Oh Baby” (#20 pop) and the Schoolboys’ “Carol” (#91 pop), were issued.
1960: The Drifters reunited with former lead Clyde McPhatter (for a show) at the Apollo in New York. Also on the bill were the Bobbettes.
1960: Branford Marsalis was born. He is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader. He turns 53 today.
1961: The Temptations’ first single, “Oh Mother of Mine,” was released on the Motown-affiliated Miracle label but did not chart. They were signed to Berry Gordy’s company under the name the Elgins but were renamed member Otis Williams.
1964: The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” was #1 on this day. Before Diana Ross left in 1969, the trio would have eleven more chart-toppers.
1967: Jackie Wilson charted with one of his best records, “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” reaching $1 R&B and #6 pop.
1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience charted with their debut album Are You Experienced?, which rose to #5 on the pop album charts. Jimi would go on to have twenty-eight chart albums through 1995, twenty-two of which charted after his death in 1970. Experienced would stay on the charts for 106 weeks.
1978: Singing and songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson entered the R&B hit list with “It Seems To Hang On,” peaking at #2. Though the duo had thirty-five R&B chart singles through 1997, they are best-known for the songs they’ve written for others, including “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (Ray Charles), “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Marvin Gaye), and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell).
1986: Casandra Ventura aka Cassie was born. She is an actress,recording artist, dancer and model. She turns 27 today.
1988: Evan Ross was born. He is an actor and musician. He turns 25 today.
1989: ‘It’s No Crime’ by Babyface was the Number One song this day.
1993: Keke Palmer was born. She is an actress, singer-songwriter, dancer, fashion designer, and voice actress. She turns 20 today.
1995: Newark, NJ, rapper Redman (Reggie Noble) charted R&B with “How High,” reaching #10 and #13 pop.
2002: William Warfield passed away at age 82. He was a concert bass-baritone actor and singer.
2. August 27: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Alice Coltrane
1902: Mary ‘Diamond Teeth’ McClain was born. She was a blues singer & entertainer. In the ’40s, she had diamonds removed from a bracelet and set in her upper & lower teeth, creating a dazzling stage effect. She passed away in 2000 at age 98.
1909: Lester Young, one of the early jazz tenor saxophonists, was born today. He’s best known for the hits “Just You, Just Me” and “Sometimes I’m Happy.”
1937: Alice Coltrane was born. She was a jazz pianist, organist, harpist and composer. She died in 2007 at age 69.
1949: The Orioles charted with their classic version of “A Kiss and a Rose,” reaching #12 R&B.
1949: Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra charted with the macabrely-titled “Lavender Coffin,” eventually reaching lucky #13 R&B.
1955: ‘Maybellene’ by Chuck Berry was the Number One Song this day.
1959: Downtown Julie Brown was born. She is an actress, dancer and former MTV VJ. She turns 54 today.
1960: Lloyd Price appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, performing “Personality.”
1961: Yolanda Adams was born. She is a gospel singer, record producer, actress and radio host. She turns 52 today.
1963: Sam Cooke performed on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.
1963: W.E.B. DuBois passed away at age 95. He was a was a sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor.
1963: Garrett Morgan passed away. He was an inventor who invented a device-like gas mask, traffic signal and hair-straightening preparation. He was 86 years old.
1966: Eddie Floyd hit the R&B charts with his single, “Knock on Wood,” a 45 that would reach #1 and #28 pop. Over the next eleven years the soul singer would chart R&B eighteen times, but “Knock” would always be his biggest hit.
1968: The Staples Singers performed at San Francisco’s Fillmore West with Santana and Steppenwolf.
1968: Eric Bobo was born. He is a percussionist and a member of Cypress Hill. He turns 45 today.
1969: Award winning actress Chandra Wilson was born. She is an actress of television, stage and film as well as a director. She is 44 today.
1971: Lil Hardin Armstrong passed away. She was a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, singer and bandleader She was 73 years old.
1975: Ma$e was born. He is a rapper and actor. He turns 36 today.
1986: Mario was born. He is a R&B singer, songwriter, actor, dancer and model. He turns 27 today.
1994: “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men began an incredible run of fourteen weeks at #1, surpassing the group’s record-breaking streak of thirteen weeks in the top spot in 1992 with “End of the Road.” Written by Babyface, the song marked his first writing success without former partner L.A. Reid.
1996: Greg Morris passed away at age 62. He was an actor of film, stage and television.
2010: Thomas White Jr. passed away at age 71. He was a longtime New York city councilman who represented the 28th District in southeast Queens, which includes Jamaica, South Jamaica, and Richmond Hill.
3. 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.
4. August 29: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Micheal Jackson
1910: Vivien Thomas was born. He was a surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s.was the first African American without a doctorate to perform open heart surgery on a white patient in the United States. He passed away in 1985.
1917: Isabel Sanford was born. She was an actress and in 1981, she became the first African American actress to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She passed away in 2004 at age 86.
1920: Charlie Parker was born. He was a jazz saxophonist and composer. Miles Davis once said, “You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.” He died in 1955 at age 34.
1924: Dinah Washington was born. She was a jazz singer and pianist, cited as the most popular black female recording artist in the ’50s. She is an inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. She died in 1963 at age 39 of a lethal combination of prescription drugs.
1945: Wyomia Tyus was born. She is an Olympic Gold medalist, athlete and the first person to retain the Olympic title in the 100 m. She is 68 today.
1946: Bob Beamon was born. He is a former track & field athlete best known for his world record in the long jump at the Mexico Olympics in ’68. He turns 67 today.
1953: ‘Crying in the Chapel’ by the Orioles was the Number one song.
1954: Capitol Records signed the Five Keys. The group went on to have four Top 1oo hits, including the standard, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” These hit were in more of a pop style than they had when recording R&B for Aladdin Records.
1958: Recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time, Michael Jackson, was born. He was a musician, singer, songwriter, arranger, dancer, entertainer, choreographer, music producer, actor, businessman and philanthropist. He died in 2009 at age 50.
1958: Alan Freed’s Brooklyn Fox show featured the Cleftones, the Danleers, and the Olympics, among others. The show ran for ten days.
1964: Six years after his first Top 5 hit, Bobby Freeman was back, peaking at 35 with “C’mon and Swim.” The record was written and produced by a San Francisco-area disc jockey named Sylvester Stewart, who would later form his own band, Sly & the Family Stone.
1966: In a tribute to one of the artists who most influenced them, the Beatles performed Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” as the last tune of their final concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
1968: Meshell Ndegeocello was born. She is a singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist
1981: The Pointer Sisters’ “Slow Hand” reached #2 pop and #7 R&B, becoming their biggest pop hit. The song that kept it from #1 was Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’s “Endless Love.”
1996: Isaac Hayes, who co-wrote the Stax Classic ‘Soul Man’ sent a letter of protest to presidential candidate Bob Dole after his campaign supporters changed the lyrics to “I’m a Dole Man” without consent to do so.
1998: Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot, Maze, and others performed in the KMEL-FM All-Star Jam at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA.
1998: Janet Jackson was honored with the International Female Artist of the Year award in Oslo, Norway, at their first annual HitAwards.
2005: Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the US Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,836 and causing over $80 billion in damage.
2011: David (Honeyboy) Edwards passed away at age 86. He was a Grammy-winning guitarist believed to be the oldest surviving Delta bluesman, whose roots stretched back to blues legend Robert Johnson.
5. August 30: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Chris Lighty
1901: Roy Wilkins was born. He was a prominent civil rights activist and Executive Director of the NAACP. He passed away in 1981 at age 80.
1948: Fred Hampton was born. He was an activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. He was assassinated while sleeping in his apartment during a raid of the SAO, Chicago PD and the FBI. He was 21 years old.
1953: Robert Parish was born. He is a retired NBA Hall of Famer. He turns 60 today.
1963: New York disc jockey Murray the K held his annual Labor Day spectacular at the Brooklyn Fox Theater, featuring the Miracles, the Chiffons, the Shirelles, the Tymes, the Drifters, Ben E. King, Little Stevie Wonder, jay & the Americans, Randy & the Rainbows, and many others.
1963: After six years of weekday shows, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand held its last weekday shindig and became a Saturday-only affair. The show had been in the forefront of promoting Black artists and their music since its 1957 inception.
1966: Michael Michele was born. She is an actress of film and television. She turns 47 today.
1967: Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
1970: Jimi Hendrix performed at what would be his last British concert when he appeared on-stage at 3:00 a.m. at the Isle of Wright Festival.
1972: Stevie Wonder performed at a benefit for Willowbank Hospital at Madison Square Garden in New York with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
1975: Natalie Cole bounced onto the Hot 100 with “This Will Be” (#6 pop), her first of eighteen hits through 1997.
1983: Lt. Col. Guion S. Bluford, Jr. became the first Black astronaut.
1986: ‘Love Zone’ by Billy Ocean was the Number One Song this day.
1988: Papa Dee Allen passed away. He was a member of the group War and was a pianist, vibist and soprano saxophonist. He was 57 years old.
1990: The Neville Brothers performed as guests of their longtime fan Linda Rondstat at her concert at Jones Beach Theater in Long Island, NY.
1994: Gangsta rapper, former member of N.W.A. (Niggaz With Attitude), and all-around bad influence Dr. Dre (born Andre Young) was sentenced to five months in a Los Angeles jail for violating his probation in a 1992 assault on a TV show host during a brawl.
1997: James Brown performed in Beirut, Lebanon, at the Hotel Albustan. Soon after he would leave for Moscow to perform at the Kremlin Palace.
2012: Chris Lighty was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was a hip-hop manager who helped Sean (“Diddy”) Combs, 50 Cent, and Mariah Carey attain hit records and successful careers outside music. He was 44 years old.
2012: Lucimarian Roberts passed away at age 88. She was the mother of Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts and the first black to head Mississippi’s board of education.
6. August 31: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Edwin Moses
1900: Todd Rhodes was born. He was a pianist, arranger and an early influence in jazz and later R&B. He passed away in 1965 at age 64.
1935: Eldridge Cleaver was born. He was a writer and political activist who became an early leader of the Black Panther Party. His book Soul On Ice is a collection of essays praised by The New York Times Book Review at the time of its publication as “brilliant and revealing”. He died in 1998 at age 62.
1935: Frank Robinson was born. He is a former award winning MLB outfielder and manager. He turns 78 today.
1937: Bobby Parker was born. He is a guitarist and toured with Bo Diddley, Otis Williams, Sam Cook, Jackie Wilson, etc. He continues to perform as a regular act at Madam’s Organ Blues Bar in Washington. He turns 76 today.
1955: Chuck Berry’s ”Maybellene” reached #5 pop while spending eleven weeks at #1 on the R&B hit list. Chuck began his musical career as a member of the Johnny Johnson trio in St. Louis in 1952.
1955: Edwin Moses was born. He is a former track & field athlete who is also a Olympic Gold Medalist. He turns 58 today.
1959: The Coasters’ “Poison Ivy” charted, eventually becoming the group’s fourth and final R&B #1.
1962: The Shirelles, ben E. King, Little Eva, Chuck Jackson, Dee Dee Sharp, the Marvelettes, the Ronettes, the Del-Satins, the Majors and Tony Orlando (years before Dawn) performed at Murray the K’s annual New York Labor Day Rock ‘n’ Roll show at the Brooklyn Fox Theater.
1963: The Miracles’ “Mickey’s Monkey” charted en route to #3 R&B and #8 pop.
1968: ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’ by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell was the Number One song this day.
1969: Richie Havens performed at England’s Isle of Wright Festival with the Moody Blues, the Who, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, and others.
1971: Chris Tucker was born. He is an actor and comedian. He turns 42 today.
1976: George Harrison was found guilty of “subconscious plagiarism” of the Chiffons’ hit “He So Fine” for similarities to his million-seller “My Sweet Lord.” In a case of sweet retribution, the Chiffons then recorded their own version of “My Sweet Lord.”
1980: Joe Budden was born. He is a rapper and a member of the hip hop group Slaughterhouse. He turns 33 today.
1987: Michael Jackson: The Magic Returns aired on CBS-TV, featuring his seventeen-minute video “Bad.”
1990: Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton passed away at age 67. He was one of the first African American to play in the NBA.
1994: R. Kelly married new chart sensation Aaliyah in Rosemont, IL. The marriage was later annulled as Aaliyah was only fifteen years old at the time and the state law required that people to be sixteen to marry.
2002: Lionel Hampton passed away. He was a jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. He ranks among the greatest names in jazz history. He was 94 years old.
2007: William R. Hudgins passed away at age 100. He was a former door-to-door salesman in Harlem who helped to start the Carver Federal Savings Bank, now the largest black-owned bank in the nation, and was its president for 18 years.
2012: Ed Vincent passed away at age 78. He was the first black mayor of Inglewood, California before before entering state politics.