1. January 5: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Alvin Ailey
1911: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity was founded on the campus of Indiana University.
1926: Hosea Williams was born. He was a civil rights leader, ordained minister, businessman, philanthropist, scientist, and politician who was famously a part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle. He passed in 2000.
1929: Chicago Blues Musician Rockin’ Tabby Thomas turns 85 today!
1931: Award winning Choreographer & activist Alvin Ailey was born. He passed away in 1989, aged 58.
1943: William H. Hastie, civilian aide to secretary of war, resigned to protest segregation and discrimination in armed forces.
1943: Scientist & inventor George Washington Carver passed away.
1943: George Washington Carver Day is Celebration in recognition of the great Scientist & inventor.
1944: Swamp Pop legend Lil’ Alfred was born. He passed away in 2006.
1948: Actor Ted Lange turns 66 today. He starred on the show ‘The Love Boat’ as Isaac the bartender for a decade.
1969: Happy Birthday to Comedian & Actor Guy Torry who turns 45 today.
1975: Happy Birthday to Warrick Dunn who turns 39 today. Three time Pro Bowl running back who ran for over 10,000 in the NFL.
1979: Jazz double bassist, composer & bandleader Charles Mingus,Jr. passed. He was 56 years old.
1981: Actress Brooklyn Sudano turns 33 today!
1993: Happy Birthday to De’Anthony Thomas, star running back for the University of Oregon. He turns 21!
2008: Jazz singer & Broadway actress Irene Reid passed away. She was 77.
2010: Record producer Willie Mitchell passed away. He was 81 years old.
2011: Painter, poet & politician Malangatana Ngwenya passed away, aged 74.
2012: Rasul (Rocky) Clark passed away, aged 27. He was a former suburban Chicago high school football player paralyzed from the neck down when he was tackled during a game in 2000.
2012: Joe Clarke passed away, aged 75. He founded the Watts Magicians travel team and inspired dozens of boys and girls to try to reach their basketball dreams on and off the court.
2012: Civil rights activist & educator Geraldine Washington passed away, aged 81.
2013: Arena Football League player Chandler Williams passed away during a flag football tournament. He was 27.
2. Janaury 6: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Lou Rawls
1867: The Peabody Fund was established to provide funding for construction, endowments, scholarships, teachers & education for newly freed slaves.
1874: Congressman Robert Brown Elliot delivered one of the most eloquent speeches of the times in defense of Charles Sumner’s civil rights bill.
1884: Harry Pace was born. he was a music publisher, insurance executive & founder of Black Swan Records. He passed in 1943.
1937: R&B singer & songwriter Doris Troy was born. She passed in 2004, aged 67.
1940: Van McCoy was born. He was an accomplished musician, record producer, arranger, songwriter, and orchestra conductor. He died of a heart attack in 1979 when is was 39 years old.
1947: Happy Birthday to singer Shirley Brown who turns 67 today.
1948: Ensign Edith DeVoe and 1st Lt. Nancy C. Leftenant became the Armed Services 1st Black members.
1958: Happy Birthday to Kathy Sledge who turns 56 today.
1964: Happy Birthday to Pro Wrestler Jacqueline Moore. She turns 50 today.
1968: Happy Birthday to director John Singleton who turns 46 today.
1968: Happy Birthday to bassist, singer & songwriter Muzz Skillings who turns 46 today.
1981: Playwright, filmmaker, poet, essayist Larry Neal passed away, aged 44.
1982: Happy Birthday to pro B-baller Gilbert Arenas who turns 32 today.
1982: Happy Birthday to actress Tiffany Pollard. She turns 32 today.
1993: Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie passed away. He was 75.
1993: Happy Birthday to Tavares Taylor aka ‘Lil Reese’ who turns 21 today.
1991: Happy Birthday to Mike Jones who turns 33 today.
1996: Happy Birthday to Ray Ray (Mindless Behavior) who turns 18 today.
2002: Johnnie Mae Matthews, ‘Godmother of Detroit Soul’ passed away, aged 79.
2003: Mamie Till Mobley (mother of Emmett Till) passed away. She was 81.
2005: Long over due: Edgar Ray Killen was arrested for the murders of three civil rights workers: James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner.
2006: Grammy Award winning singer Lou Rawls passed away, aged 72.
2009: Founding member of the Swan Silvertones, Rev. Claude Jeter, passed away. He was 94.
2011: Former British boxing champion Gary Mason was killed in a cycling accident. He was 48 years old.
2011: Former footballer & World Cup winner Uche Okafor committed suicide by hanging. He was 43 years old.
3. January 7: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Zora Neale Hurston
1890: William Purvis invented and patented improvements to the fountain pen in order to make a “more durable, inexpensive, and better pen to carry in the pocket.
1891: Author Zora Neale Hurston was born. She passed away in 1960.
1906: Jazz Trumpter Red Allen was born. He passed away in 1967, aged 61.
1907: Mae Barnes was born. She was a pop-jazz singer & dancer who introduced the Charleston on Broadway & later became a NYC nightclube legend. She passed in 1997, aged 89.
1911: Actress Butterfly McQueen was born. She passed away in 1995.
1917: Composer Ulysses Kay was born. He passed away in 1995.
1919: Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown was born. She was a surgeon, legislator & teacher. She passed away in 2004
1925: Jazz Ambassador & radio host Patrica Walton was born. She passed away in 2003, aged 78.
1927: The Harlem Globetrotters played their 1st game in Hinckley, IL.
1949: Happy Birthday to actor Steven Williams who turns 65 today.
1950: The James Weldon Johnson Collection opened at Yale University.
1955: Marian Anderson made debut at the metropolitan Opera House as Alrica in Verdi’s Masked Ball. She waws the 1st Black singer in the Company’s history.
1970: Happy Birthday to Doug E. Doug who turns 44 today.
1979: Happy Birthday to soul singer Aloe Blacc who turns 35 today.
1983: Happy Birthday to actor Robert Ri’chard who turns 31 today.
1985: British race car driver Lewis Hamilton turns 29 today.
1993: Reggie Jackson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
2002: Shirley Franklin was sworn in as the 1st African American Mayor of Atlanta and the only African American female mayor of a major American city.
2009: Clyde Charles passed away (diabetes), aged 55. He was the 1st inmate to use a federal civil rights law to sue for DNA testing that cleared him of a rape conviction.
2011: Bobby Robinson passed away, aged 93. He was the longtime owner of Bobby’s Happy House record store, a treasured Harlem institution for 50 years.
2012: Blue Ivy Carter turns 2 years old today. Happy Birthday!!!!
4. January 8: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Jane Bolin
1867: African American men were granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
1912: The African National Congress was founded with the aid of W.E.B. Du Bois. It began as a nonviolent civil rights organization that worked to promote the interest of Black Africans.
1915: Karamu House was founded in Cleveland, OH. It is the oldest Black Theater Company in America.
1922: Charles Young passed away, aged 57. He was the 1st black to achieve the rank of colonel & highest-racking black officer in the U.S. Army.
1937: Happy Birthday to singer Shirley Bassey who turns 77 today.
1937: Novelist Leon Forest was born. He passed away in 1997, aged 60.
1941: Happy Birthday to Little Anthony, singer & founding member of Little Anthony & the Imperials who turns 73 years old today.
1968: Happy Birthday to Grammy Award winning singer & songwriter R. Kelly who turns 47 today.
1979: Happy Birthday to actor Windell Middlebrooks who turns 65 today.
1981: Matthew Beard Jr. passed away, aged 56. He was a child actor most famous as ‘Stymie’ in Our Gang short films.
1989: The oldest integration lawsuit in the U.S. was settled when the St. Helena Parish Schools were officially integrated. The original suit was filed in 1952 by John Hall & the NAACP
2001: Laura Webb Childress passed away. She was a singer & member of the Bobbettes one of the 1st successful girl groups.
2005: Dancer & choreographer Warren Spears passed away (cancer). He was 50 years old.
2007: Jane Bolin passed away, aged 99. She was the 1st African American woman to graduate from Yale Law School, the 1st to join the NYC Bar Association, the 1st to join the NYC Law Department and the 1st black woman to serve as a judge in the U.S.
2008: Clyde Otis passed away, aged 83. He was a songwriter, record producer and one of the 1st black executives at a major record company.
2010: James E. Cheek passed away, aged 77. He was president Howard University (1969-1989).
2011: Manie Barron passed away, aged 55. She was an editor & literary agent who worked on and advocated for books written by blacks through much of a 23-year publishing career.
2012: Jock Smith passed way, aged 63. He was a law partner of the late Johnnie Cochran. He won America’s largest civil verdict in 2004, a $1.6-billion judgment against Southwestern Life Insurance and one of its agents.
2012: Alabama state representative Yvonne Kennedy passed away, aged 67.
5. January 9: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Jerome Holland
1866: Fisk University was founded in Nashville, TN this day.
1901: Ishmon Bracey was born. He was considered as one of the most important early delta blues performers. He passed in 1970, aged 69.
1901: Award winning artist Edward Mitchell Bannister passed away, aged 73.
1907: Earl Renfroe was born. He was the 1st African American orthodontist to open an office in the Chicago downtown Loop area, and the 1st African American in Illinois to be licensed as a commercial aviator. He passed in 2000
1914: Jazz drummer & bandleader Kenny Clarke was born. He passed away in 1985.
1914: Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded at Howard University in Washington, DC this day.
1916: Jerome Holland was born. He was the 1st African American to play football at Cornell University, in 1939, and the 1st to sit on the board of the New York Stock Exchange, in 1972. He passed in 1985, aged 69.
1935: Happy Birthday to publisher & entrepreneur Earl Graves who turns 79 today.
1935: Blues guitarist Kenneth ‘Buddy’ Scott was born. He passed in 1994, aged 59.
1940: Singer, songwriter & pianist Al Downing was born. He passed away in 2005, aged 65.
1946: Poet, author & scholar Countee Cullen died, aged 46 (high blood pressure and uremic poisoning).
1951: Happy Birthday to Mathew Knowles who turns 63 today.
1951: Happy Birthday to former NBA player/coach M.L. Carr who turns 63 today.
1957: Happy Birthday to singer Phil Lewis who turns 57 today.
1965: Happy Birthday to (retired) NBA player Muggsy Bogues who turns 49 today.
1974: Happy Birthday to Omari Hardwick who turns 40 today.
1978: Happy Birthday to Chad Johnson who turns 36 today.
1989: Time, Inc. agreed to sell NYT Cable for $420M to a group led by J. Bruce Llewellyn, the largest cable TV acquisition by an African American.
1994: Blues singer, songwriter & guitarist Silas Hogan passed away. He was 82 years old.
1997: Happy Birthday to actress & singer Lauryn McClain who turns 17 today.
2009: Eric Scoggins died of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, aged 49. He was an award winning outside linebacker who helped USC beat Alabama in their big ’78 matchup.
6. January 10: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Teresa Graves
1913: Jazz baritone saxophonist Haywood Henry was born. He passed away in 1994.
1915: Award winning conductor Dean Dixon was born. He passed away in 1976, aged 61.
1915: Jazz & Blues pianist and bandleader Buddy Johnson was born. He passed away in 1977, aged 62.
1916: Happy Birthday to artist & printmaker Eldzier Cortor who turns 98 today.
1924: Jazz drummer Max Roach was born. He passed away in 2007, aged 83.
1925: Adelbert H. Roberts was elected to the Illinois State legislature. He was the 1st black to serve in a state assembly in 25 years.
1930: Blues singer Wild Child Gipson was born. He passed away in 1994.
1935: Happy Birthday to Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater who turns 79 today.
1938: Happy Birthday to MLB Hall of Famer Willie McCovey who turns 76 today.
1948: Actress Teresa Graves was born. She passed away in 2002, aged 54.
1949: Happy Birthday to George Foreman who turns 65 today.
1951: Pro wrestler Pez Whatley was born. He died of a heart attack in 2005, aged 54.
1957: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded in NOLA. Dr. MLK was the founding president.
1966: Julian Bond was denied a seat in the Georgia House of Representative because of his opposition to the Vietnam War.
1976: Blues singer & musician Howlin’ Wolf passed away, aged 65.
1979: Happy Birthday to Cash Warren who turns 35 today.
2005: Civil rights leader & award winning author James Forman passed away, aged 76.
2006: The Honorable Jack Tanner passed away, aged 87.
2007: Bassist, percussionist & singer Paul ‘Tubbs’ Williams passed away.
2011: Maxcy Dean Filer also known as ‘Mr Compton’ passed away, aged 80. He was an advocate for the underprivileged for his promotion of the California city he called home for almost 60 years.
2011: Fred Rice passed away, aged 84. He was the 1st black Chicago police superintendent from 1983-1987.
2011: Cookie Gilchrist passed away, aged 75. He was Buffalo Bills fullback, one of the AFL’s 1st star players whose running style drew comparisons to that of Jim Brown.
7. January 11: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Katie Webster
1880: Gospel singer, songwriter & musician Washington Phillips was born. He passed away in 1954, aged 74.
1892: William D. McCoy of Indiana was appointed minister to Liberia.
1924: Blues musician & master of the blues harmonica Slim Harpo was born. He died of a heart attack in 1970, aged 46.
1930: Lula Mae Hardaway was born. She was Stevie Wonders’ mom and co-wrote several songs with him including ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Your’ in which she was nominated for a Grammy in 1970. She passed in 2006, aged 76.
1936: Boogie-woogie pianist Katie Webster was born. She passed away in 1999, aged 63 of heart failure.
1936: Charles Anderson was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives.
1942: Saxophonist Clarence Clemons was born. He passed away in 2011, aged 69.
1957: Happy Birthday to retired NBA great Darryl Dawkins who turns 57 today.
1961: Two black students Charlayne Hunter & Hamilton HOlmes were suspended from the University of Georgia but a federal court ordered them reinstated.
1962: Happy Birthday to actress & comedienne Kim Coles who turns 52 today.
1970: Happy Birthday to actor Malcolm D. Lee who turns 44 today.
1971: Happy Birthday to Grammy winning singer Mary J. Blige who turns 43 today.
1973: Happy Birthday to actor Rockmond Dunbar who turns 41 today.
1974: Happy Birthday to actor Rahsaan Patterson who turns 40 today.
1977: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter & actress Nadia Turner who turns 37 today.
1978: Happy Birthday to soccer player Emile Heskey who turns 36 today.
1981: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter, actress Jamelia who turns 33 today.
1985: Reuben V. Anderson was appointed as judge on the Mississippi Supreme Court, becoming the 1st African American to do so.
1993: Happy Birthday Lil Twist who turns 21 today.
2004: ‘Tuba Fats’ real name Anthony Lacen passed away. He was a New Orleans jazz & blues tuba player & band leader for over 40 years.
2013: Gordon Chavunduka passed away, aged 82. He was an academic, author, sociologist, and politician, leader of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association.