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Archive for the ‘Black Actors’ Category

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For November 02


Willie Dean McGee

1. Willie Dean McGee, is a retired professional baseball player who won two batting titles and was named Major League Baseball’s 1985 National League MVP. McGee primarily played center and right field, winning three Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence. McGee spent the majority of his 18-year career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, helping the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series with his outstanding performance in Game 3 of that series. A four-time All-Star, McGee accumulated 2,254 hits during his career.

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2. Orlando Luis Merced Villanueva, is a former Major League Baseball first Baseman and outfielder. He played all or part of thirteen seasons in the majors for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1990–1996), Toronto Blue Jays (1997),Minnesota Twins (1998), Boston Red Sox (1998), Chicago Cubs (1998), Montreal Expos(1999), and Houston Astros (2001–2003). He also played one season for the Orix BlueWave(2000) in Japan.

 Nelly

3. Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr., better known by his stage name Nelly, is a Grammy Award winning Rapp Artist, actor and entrepreneur. He has performed with the rap group St. Lunatics since 1993 and signed to Universal Records in 1999. Under Universal, Nelly began his solo career in 2000 with his debut album Country Grammar, the title track of which was a top ten hit. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and went on to peak at number one. Country Grammar is Nelly’s best-selling album to date, selling over 8.4 million copies in the United States.  His following album, Nellyville, produced the number-one hits “Hot in Herre” and “Dilemma” featuring Kelly Rowland. Other singles included “Work It” featuring Justin Timberlake, “Air Force Ones” featuring Murphy Lee and the St. Lunatics, “Pimp Juice” and “#1”.

Events In African American History For October 25


1. In 1892, 118 Years ago Today, L. F. Brown received Patent for Bridle bit Patent No. 484,994.

2. In 1940, 70 Years ago Today, Benjamin O. Davis Sr became the first Black general in US Army.

3. In 1940, Black newspaper owner’s group, the NNPA (Negro Newspaper Publishers Association), is founded.The group later changed its name to the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

4. In 1958, An estimated 10,000 students led by Jackie Robinson, Harry Belafonte, and labor leader A. Phillip Randolph, participate in a youth march for integrated schools in Washington, D.C.

5. In 1976, A  full pardon is granted to Clarence “Willie” Norris, the last known survivor of the nine “Scottsboro Boys.” The group of black men had been framed in a 1931 conviction for allegedly raping two white women.

6. In 1990, Evander Holyfield knocks out James “Buster” Douglas in the third round to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion.

7. In 1992, 18 Years ago Today, Cito Gaston, as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, became the first Black Manager to lead a Major League Baseball team to win a world series title, defeating the Atlanta Braves.

8. in 1994  Susan Smith (a white woman) set off a nationwide man hunt when she claimed that a Black Man had car jacked her and kidnapped her two young children.  It was later revealed that she had murdered her two boys by buckling them in her car and driving them into a lake.

9. In 1997, 13 Years ago Today, The Million Woman March in Philadelphia at the Museum Of Art included Winnie Mandela and Maxine Waters as Keynote Speakers.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 20


1. Enolia P. McMillan, Teacher, she becomes the first woman president of the NAACP, serving the organization from 1984 to 1990.

2. Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., better known by his stage name Snoop Dogg, is an  Rapp Artist, record producer, actor, entrepreneur. Snoop is best known as a rapper in the West Coast hip hop scene, and for being one of Dr. Dre’s most notable protégés.

Snoop’s debut album Doggystyle, was released in 1993 under Death Row Records making a debut at No.1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. Selling almost a million copies in the first week of its release, Doggystyle quickly became certified 4x platinum in 1994 and spawned several hit singles, including “What’s My Name” and “Gin & Juice”. In 1994, Snoop released a soundtrack on Death Row Records for the short film Murder Was The Case, starring himself.

3. Jennifer Nicole Freeman, actress, often credited as Jennifer N. Freeman. She was born in Los Angeles, California best known for playing the role of Claire Kyle in the ABC sitcom My Wife and Kids.    She has also made guest appearances on television (such as the shows 7th HeavenSwitchedOne on One, and The OC).  She is a spokesmodel for the Neutrogena skin care products company.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 17


Jupiter Hammon
1. Jupiter Hammon, the first black American poet, is born in slavery. He was a Calvinist and a self-educated writer.  He was the first African American to publish his writings.  One of his poems appeared in print in 1760 and is considered one of the founders of African-American literature.

Cozy Cole

2. Cozy Cole (William R. Cole), jazz drummer who scored a #1 Cashbox magazine hit with the record “Topsy Part 2”. “Topsy” peaked at number three on Billboard Hot 100, and at number one on the R&B chart.  It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.  The track peaked at #29 in the UK Singles Chart in 1958. The recording contained a lengthy drum solo, and was one of the few drum solo recordings that ever made the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single was issued on the tiny Brooklyn-based Love Records label.

Lerone Bennett, Jr

3. Lerone Bennett, Jr. Historian, scholar, author and Ebony magazine editor. His best- known book is Before the Mayflower.  Bennett graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He has noted this time was integral to his intellectual development. Mr. Bennett is also a distinguished member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Howard E. Rollins

4. Howard Ellsworth Rollins, television, film, and stage actor. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Coalhouse Walker, Jr. in the film Ragtime, and as Virgil Tibbs on the NBC/CBS television series In the Heat of the Night.  He also starred as Captain Davenport in the 1984 drama A Soldier’s Story which also starred
Adolph Caesar, David Alan Grier, Denzel Washington and Robert Townsend.

Mae Jamison

5. Mae Jamison, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.

Ziggy Marley

6. David “Ziggy” Marley, musician and leader of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He is the oldest son of famed reggae musician Bob Marley.

wyclef jean

7. Wyclef Jean, musician, record producer, and politician.  He first received fame as a member of the acclaimed New Jersey hip hop group the Fugees. Along with being a world famous and highly respected performing artist, he is now a visiting fellow at Brown University in the Department of African Studies.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 13


Edith Spurlock Sampson

1. Edith Spurlock Sampson, was a Lawyer and judge, and the first Black Woman Delegate appointed to the United Nations.  She studied law while working as a social worker in Chicago, taking night courses at John Marshall Law School,

Arna Wendell Bontemps

2. Arnaud Wendell Bontemps, Was a Writer (100 years of Negro Freedom), Poet   and a noted member of the Harlem Renaissance.

Art Tatum

3. Art Tatum, jazz pianist and virtuoso who played with phenomenal facility despite being nearly blind.  Tatum is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time.  He came from a musical family and when younger had some formal training at the Toledo School of Music, however he was largely self-taught.  His teacher there recognized his talents and tried to steer him towards as a career as a classical concert pianist.  Tatum was more interested in the music of Fats Waller, which would be a strong influence on his music.  At 18 he was playing interludes at a local radio station and within a short period of time he had his own show.  In 1932 he was heard by the singer Adelaide Hall who brought him to New York as her accompanist.  One year later he made his first recordings, among which was “Tiger Rag”. This song which features breakneck tempo and rippling left- and right-hand cascades and crashing bass notes had every pianist in the country amazed by his astonishing dexterity.  While in New York he established his reputation in “cutting contests” with other top pianists, which he never lost.  He spent the next few years playing in Cleveland, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles and even England in 1938.  During this time he established himself as a major figure in jazz circles.  In the early 1940s Tatum formed an extremely popular trio with bassist Slam Stewart and guitarist Tiny Grimes.  He spent much of the next decade touring North America.  In 1953 Tatum signed by producer Norman Granz and recorded extensively both as a soloist and in small groups with Benny Carter, soloist and in small groups with Benny Carter, Buddy De Franco, Roy Eldridge, Lionel Hampton, Ben Webster and others.  His incredible talent allowed him to be extremely productive during this time.  Ray Spencer in his biography, noted that Tatum was constantly “refining and honing down after each performance until an ideal version remained needing no further adjustments”.  This allowed him to achieve a remarkable work rate.  For example, his solo sessions for Granz were mostly completed in two days.  That is a total of 69 tracks and all but three of them needed only one take.

Jesse Leroy Brown

4. Jesse Leroy Brown, was the first African-American naval aviator in the United States Navy. Brown enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1946 and was appointed a Midshipman, at the Ohio State University NROTC the following year. After attending Navy pre-flight school and flight training, he was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1948. Midshipman Brown was then assigned to Fighter Squadron 32. He received his commission as Ensign in April 1949.

Ray Brown Musician

5. Ray Brown, Jazz Bassist, had piano lessons from the age of eight. After noticing how many pianists attended his high school, he thought of taking up the trombone, but was unable to afford one. With a vacancy in the high school jazz orchestra, he took up the upright bass. 

Shirley Caesar

6. Shirley Caesar, Evangelist, Gospel Singer, songwriter and recording artist whose career has spanned six decades. A multi-award winning artist, with eleven Grammy Awards and seven Dove Awards to her credit, she is known as “First Lady of gospel”.

Pharoah Sanders

7. Pharaoh Sanders, is a Grammy Award–winning American jazz saxophonist.  Emerging from John Coltrane’s groups of the mid-60s Sanders is known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multi phonic techniques on the saxophone, as well as his use of “sheets of sound.”

Demond Wilson

8. Demond Wilson,  is an actor, author, and pastor. He is best known for his role opposite Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford’s son, Lamont Sanford, in the 1970s NBC-TV sitcom Sanford and Son.

Reggie Theus

9. Reggie Theus, is an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is also a retired basketball player and the former head coach for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

Jerry Rice

10. Jerry Rice, is a retired football wide receiver. He is generally regarded as the greatest wide receiver of all time and one of the greatest players in National Football League history.  On November 4, 2010, Rice was chosen by NFL Network’s NFL Films production The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players as the greatest player in NFL history.

The all-time leader in most major statistical categories for wide receivers and the all-time NFL leader in touchdowns scored with 208, Rice was selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times (1986–1996, 1998, 2002) and named All-Pro 11 times in his 20 NFL seasons. He won three Super Bowl rings playing for the San Francisco 49ers and an AFC Championship with the Oakland Raiders.

Tisha Campbell

11. Tisha Michelle Campbell-Martin, is an actress and singer, known for her starring roles in television series Martin and My Wife and Kids and now is starring in the new television series “The Protector”. Apart from her achievements in television, she also has notable accomplishments in film (including the House Party franchise), theater, and music.

Ashanti

12. Ashanti, Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, Rapp and R&B recording artist, record producer and actress who rose to fame in the early 2000s and then largely faded from view. Ashanti is most famous for her eponymous debut album, which featured the hit song “Foolish”, and sold over 503,000 copies in its first week of release throughout the U.S. in April 2002. The album set a Soundscan record as the biggest opening week sales for a new female artist.  In the same week, she became the first female performer to simultaneously hold the top two places on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with “Foolish”, and “What’s Luv?” (with Fat Joe). Ashanti broke records again by having three top ten songs, “Foolish,” “What’s Luv?” and “Always on Time”, on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the same week, being the first woman to accomplish this feat. In 2003, the self-titled debut album won Ashanti her first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B album. As of 2011, she has sold more than 30 million albums.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 12


Nappy Brown

1. Napoleon Brown Goodson Culp,  better known by his stage name Nappy Brown, was an American R&B singer. His hits include the 1955 Billboard chart #2, “Don’t Be Angry” and “Night Time Is the Right Time”. His style is instantly recognizable; Brown used a wide vibrato, melisma, and distinctive extra syllables, in particular, “li-li-li-li-li.”

Dick Gregory

2. Dick Gregory, comedian, social activist, social critic, writer, and entrepreneur.
Gregory is an influential American comic who has used his performance skills to convey to both white and black audiences his political message on civil rights. His social satire changed the way white Americans perceived African American comedians since he first performed in public.

Influenced to stand up for civil rights by his early surroundings of poverty and violence, Gregory was one of the first comedians to successfully perform for both black and white audiences

Sam MooreSam and Dave

3. Sam Moore,  is an American Southern Soul and Rhythm & Blues (R&B) singer who was the tenor vocalist for the soul vocal duo Sam & Dave from 1961 through 1981. Sam Moore is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame (for “Soul Man”, The Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and a Grammy Award and a multi-Gold Record award winning recording artist. Sam & Dave were the most successful and critically acclaimed duo in Soul Music history. Moore has also achieved a distinguished 25 year career as a solo performing and recording artist.

Birthdays Of Famous African American For October 11


1. Roscoe Robinson, Jr., was a four-star general in the United States Army.   He attended St. Louis University for only a year and then transferred to the United States Military Academyat West Point in 1947. Robinson graduated with a degree in military engineering in 1951. After graduating he served in the Korean War in 1952 as a platoon leader and rifle company commander. For his actions he received the Bronze Star. Sent back to the United States a year later he became an instructor in the Airborne Department of the United States Army Infantry School. Robinson then went on to graduate from theCommand and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1963. The following year he received his masters degree from the University of Pittsburgh in international affairs. In 1967 he served as battalion commander in Vietnam. For his achievements there he received the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 11 Air Medals, and two Silver Stars.

After Vietnam he served at the National War College for three years as the executive officer to the Chief of Staff. He was promoted to Brigadier General and in 1975 became Commanding General of the United States Army Garrison, Okinawa. He also commanded America’s Guard of Honor, the 82nd Airborne Division, as a Major General at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1976 and was renowned for earning the love and respect of his men, his fellow Paratroopers, during his Command – which was noteworthy for, General Robinson was, the first African-American to Command The All-American Division. His final assignment was as U.S. Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee from 1982-1985. After he had completed 34 years of service to the U.S. military he retired in 1985. He was then awarded with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and two Distinguished Service Medals. After his retirement, he was asked to look over a panel of people who were examining the Korean War performance of some highly criticized army units. He also served on the board of Northwest Airlines.   In April 2000 there was a ceremony and a dedication at West Point for a new auditorium, named “General Roscoe Robinson, Jr. Auditorium” in his honor. The Roscoe Robinson Health Clinic at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg is also named in his honor.

2. Art Blakey, known later as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina,  Was a  jazz drummer and bandleader.  Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, he was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. He is known as a powerful musician and a vital groover; his brand of bluesy, funky hard bop was and continues to be profoundly influential on mainstream jazz. For more than 30 years his band, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers included many young musicians who went on to become prominent names in jazz. The band’s legacy is thus not only known for the often exceptionally fine music it produced, but as a proving ground for several generations of jazz musicians;[2] Blakey’s groups are matched only by those ofMiles Davis in this regard.

3. Earle Hyman, stage, television, and film actor. Hyman is known for his recurring role on The Cosby Show as Cliff’s father, Russell Huxtable.

Lester Bowie

4. Lester Bowie, was an American jazz trumpet player, Percussionist, Vocalist and composer.  He was a member of the AACM, and cofounded the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

Curt Ford

5. Curtis Glenn Ford, is a former professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues from 1985-1990. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. He briefly played for the Saskatoon Smokin’ Guns of the Prairie Baseball League in 1996.  In May 2010, Ford was announced as the new manager of the Springfield Sliders, a wood-bat collegiate baseball team in the Prospect League. The team plays at Lanphier Park in Springfield, Ill.

MC Lyte

6. MC Lyte, Rapp Artists who first gained fame in the late 1980s becoming the first solo female rapper to release a full album with 1988’s critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock.

Kimberly Aiken

7. Kimberly Aiken, Youngest Miss America 1994.  Aiken was 18 years old when she won the coveted title, and was only the fifth woman of African descent to get the crown. She won Miss Columbia and Miss South Carolina en route to her 1994 Miss America crown.

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