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Archive for the ‘Black TV Personality’ Category

Events In African American History For November 05


1. In 1836, Theo Wright becomes first Black to obtain Theology Degree in US.

2. In 1867, The first Reconstruction Constitutional Convention takes place in Montgomery, Ala. In attendance were 90 whites and 18 blacks. Reconstruction would bring forth a period of tremendous political and educational advancement for ex-slaves after the Civil War. But Reconstruction was significantly undermined by the Hayes-Tilden Compromise of 1877 and the beginning of the anti-black Jim Crow period.

3. In 1926, Negro History Week is started by black historian Carter G. Woodson. It would later grow into the current Black History Month which takes place each February in the United States. In England Black History Month takes place in October. Woodson (1875 – 1950) is recognized as the “Father of Black History Month.”

4. In 1956, The Nat King Cole Show, the first black-hosted network television variety show, debuts. The show began with just 15 minutes and later expanded to half-an-hour but was pulled in 1957 for lack of advertiser support. 

5. In 1968, Louis Stokes is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

6. In 1968, Shirley Chisholm becomes the first black woman elected to the U.S.

7. In 1974, Walter Washington becomes the first elected mayor of Washington, D.C. as the predominantly black city gains limited voting rights.Congress.

8. In 1974, George Brown became first Black Lt. Governor in US (Colorado).

9. In 1989, Civil Rights Memorial dedicated in Montgomery, Alabama.

Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery

  • The Civil Rights Memorial honors the achievements and memory of those who died during the Civil Rights Movement, a period framed by the momentous Brown v. Board decision in 1954 and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968. The memorial serves as a vehicle for education and reflection about the struggle for equality.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For Sept 29


Bryant Charles Gumble

1. Bryant Charles Gumble, television journalist and sportscaster. He is best known for his 15 years as co-host of NBC ‘s The Today Show.  He is the younger brother of sportscaster Greg Gumbel.

Ken Norton jr.

2. Ken Norton Jr, a former American football linebacker in the National Football League, former USC Trojan football team Linebacker Coach and Assistant Head Coach for Defense, and is the current linebackers coach for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.  He was the first NFL player to win a Super Bowl ring in three consecutive years.  He is the son of the former heavyweight champion Ken Norton.

Devante Swing

3. Donald Earle DeGrate, Jr., better known by his stage name DeVante Swing, is a record producer, singer, rapper and songwriter. Swing rose to fame in the 1990s as the founding member of the trendsetting R&B group Jodeci, one of the more popular R&B acts of its time. Swing served as the main songwriter, producer, and leader of Jodeci which also featured his younger brother Dalvin DeGrate.

4. Gwendolyn L. “Gwen” Ifill,  journalist, television newscaster and author. She is the managing editor and moderator for Washington Week and a senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, both of which air on PBS. She is a political analyst, and moderated the 2004 and 2008 Vice Presidential debates. She is the author of the book The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For this date Sept 19


1. Cora Calhoun (Lovie) Austin, Chicago bandleader, session musician, composer, and arranger during the 1920s classic blues era. She and Lil Hardin Armstrong are often ranked as two of the best female jazz blues piano players of the period.

2. Billy Ward, The second of three sons of Charles Williams and Cora Bates Williams, and was a child musical prodigy, winning an award for a piano composition at the age of 14. Following military service with the U.S. Army he studied music in Chicago, and at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. While working as a vocal coach and part-time arranger on Broadway, he met talent agent Rose Marks, who became his business and songwriting partner.  Billy Ward and His Dominoes vocal group, one of the best-selling R&B groups of the 1950s  began the careers of both Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson.

3. Brook Benton, singer and songwriter who was popular with rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and pop music audiences during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when he scored hits such as “It’s Just A Matter Of Time” and “Endlessly”, many of which he co-wrote.

He made a comeback in 1970 with the ballad “Rainy Night in Georgia.” Benton scored over 50 Billboard chart hits as an artist, and also wrote hits for other performers.

4. Freda Charcilia Payne, singer and actress best known for her million selling, 1970hit single, “Band of Gold”. She was also an actress in musicals and film, as well as the host of a TV talk show.[1] Freda is the older sister of former Supremes member, Scherrie Payne.  Starred in Black Horror movie “Rag Doll”

5. Nile Gregory Rodgers, musician, composer, arranger, and guitarist.  Rodgers began his career as a session guitarist in New York, touring with the Sesame Street band in his teens, and then working in the house band at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater, playing behind Screaming Jay Hawkins, Maxine Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King,Betty Wright, Earl Lewis and the Channels, Parliament Funkadelic, and many other legendary R&B artists.

Nile met bassist Bernard Edwards in 1970. Together they formed The Big Apple Band that backed R&B act New York City (“I’m Doing Fine Now”). The band’s one hit allowed them to tour extensively, even opening for The Jackson 5 on the American leg of their first world tour in 1973. The band dissolved after their second album failed to yield a hit, but Nile and Bernard joined forces with drummer Tony Thompson, and worked and recorded as a Funk Rock band called The Boys, which played numerous gigs up and down the East Coast. Despite major label interest in their demos, they could not get a record deal when the record companies discovered they were black; the excuse was that black rock artists would be too hard to promote. The band continued playing mostly local bars.

As The Big Apple Band, Rodgers and Edwards worked with Ashford & Simpson, Luther Vandross and many others. Since another New York artist, Walter Murphy, had a band also called The Big Apple Band, Rodgers and Edwards were forced to change their band’s name to avoid confusion. Thus, in 1977 the band was renamed as Chic. Between gigs they recorded their first album with then-boss Luther Vandross, who provided background vocals on the group’s early recordings. The band scored numerous top ten hits and helped propel disco to new levels of popularity. Chic’s chart-topping songs “Le Freak”, “I Want Your Love”, “Everybody Dance”, “Dance, Dance, Dance”, “My Forbidden Lover”, and “Good Times” have become club/pop/R&B standards. “Le Freak” is Atlantic Records’ only triple platinum selling single and “Good Times” shot to the #1 spot.

The success of Chic’s first singles led Atlantic to offer Rodgers and Edwards the opportunity to produce any act on its roster. They chose Sister Sledge, whose 1978 album, We Are Family, peaked at #3 and remained on the charts well into 1979. The first two singles, “He’s the Greatest Dancer” and the title cut “We Are Family” both reached #1 on the R&B chart, and #6 and #2, respectively on the Pop chart. “He’s the Greatest Dancer” was sampled in 1998 to create Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”.

6. Kevin Hooks, actor, and a television and film director; he is notable from his roles in Aaron Loves AngelaSounder, but may be best-known as Morris Thorpe from TV’s The White Shadow.

In 1986, he starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom He’s the Mayor. He directed Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57 and also Laurence Fishburneand Stephen Baldwin in Fled. Hooks worked as a director and producer on the series Prison Break. He also directed two episodes from the first season of Lost, “White Rabbit” and “Homecoming”.

In 2003, Hooks revisited Sounder. He directed ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney’s TV remake of the film, with Paul Winfield, his co-star from the original, playing a different role.

Hooks was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Yvonne, a state employee, and Robert Hooks, a director and actor who starred in many films in the 1970s. Kevin’s nickname amongst his friends is “King Royal”.

7. Sanaa McCoy Lathan, Actress and voice actress. She has starred in numerous movies, including the box-office hits Love & BasketballAlien vs. PredatorSomething New, and The Family That Preys. Lathan was nominated for aTony Award for her performance on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun. In 2010 she starred in the all-black performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London.

8. María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien, television personality. She is currently the host of the “In America” documentary unit on CNN, and is best known for anchoring the CNN marquee morning newscast American Morning from July 2003 to April 2007, with Miles O’Brien. Their common surname is coincidental.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For Sept 18


Louis Myers

1. Louis Myers, Co-Founder  along with his brother Dave Myers, The Aces was one of the earliest and most influential of the electric Chicago blues band in the 1950s.

Benjamin Solomon Carson

2. Benjamin Solomon Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States by President George W. Bush in 2008.

Carson has received numerous honors and many awards over the years, including over 61 honorary doctorate degrees. He was also a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Yale Corporation (the governing body of Yale University), and many other prestigious organizations. He sits on many boards including the Board of Directors of Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, and America’s Promise. He was also the president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. In 2007, Carson was inducted into the Indiana Wesleyan University Society of World Changers and received an honorary doctorate while speaking at the university. He returned to IWU the following year when his friend, Tony Dungy, was also inducted into the society.  On June 19, 2008, Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. He is a recipient of the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal, the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership, and is a 2010 appointee to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

Holly Robinson Peete

3. Holly Elizabeth Robinson Peete, is an actress and singer. She is perhaps best known for her roles as Judy Hoffs on the Fox TV police drama 21 Jump Street, Vanessa Russell on the ABC sitcom Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and Dr. Malena Ellis on the NBC/WB sitcom For Your Love. After graduating from high school, Peete entered Sarah Lawrence College in New York. She majored in psychology and French, and could speak four languages. During her time as an undergraduate, she spent a year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. After she graduated in 1986, she considered attending graduate school and perhaps working in languages for the U.S. State Department. However, her love of acting contributed to her decision to give an acting career a chance for a few months first. Within a short time, Peete found roles on a television series and in two films, and thoughts of graduate school were left behind.
Peete is one of the original five co-hosts of the CBS daytime talk show The Talk.

Ricky Bell New Edition

4. Ricky Bell, nicknamed “Slick”  is an  R&B singer and Rapp artist best known as one of the founding members of New Edition and the lead singer of Bell Biv DeVoe.

Aisha N Tyler

5. Aisha N. Tyler, an actress, stand-up comedian, and author, known for her regular role as Andrea Marino in the first season of Ghost Whisperer and voicing Lana Kane in Archer, as well as her recurring roles in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Talk Soup, and on Friends as Charlie Wheeler.

Jada Pinkett Smith

6. Jada Pinkett, actress, producer, director, author, singer-songwriter and businesswoman. She began her career in 1990, when she made a guest appearance in the short-lived sitcom True Colors. She starred in A Different World, The Nutty Professor (1996). Menace II Society (1993) and Set It Off (1996), Ali, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions.

Xzibit

7. Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, better known by his stage name Xzibit, is a Rapp Artist, actor, and television host. He is known as the host of the MTV show Pimp My Ride, which brought him mainstream success. Before hosting the show, he achieved fame in the West Coast hip-hop scene as a rapper, debuting with his acclaimed At the Speed of Life and gathering chart success with his follow-up albums Restless, Man vs. Machine and Weapons of Mass Destruction, working with high-profile artists such as Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Method Man, Game and 50 Cent. After his largely unsuccessful sixth studio album Full Circle, his rap career was put on hold. He also built himself a second leg as an actor, starring in Hollywood blockbusters such as 8 Mile, xXx: State of the Union, Hoodwinked, Gridiron Gang, The X-Files: I Want to Believe and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.

Events In African American History For Sept 17


 

1. In 1787, U.S. Constitution approved at Philadelphia convention with three clauses protecting slavery.

2. In 1861, Hampton Institute founded.

3. In 1878, W. Lavalette received Patent for Printing Press (variation)

4. In 1962, Fourth Black church burned near Dawson, Georgia. Three white men later admitted burning the church. They were sentenced to seven-year prison terms.

5. In 1968, Diahann Carrol, Actress and Singer, became the first Black in a lead role in the TV Sitcom (Julia).

6. In 1970, The Flip Wilson Show premieres on NBC. It is the first prime time variety show starring an African American male since the Nat King Cole Show.

7. In 1983, Vanessa Williams, Acclaimed recording artist and actress became the first Black woman to be crowned Miss America.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For Sept 13


Alain LeRoy Locke

1. Alain LeRoy Locke, writer, philosopher, educator, and patron of the arts. He is best known for his writings on and about the Harlem Renaissance. He is regarded as the “Father of the Harlem Renaissance”.  His philosophy served as a strong motivating force in keeping the energy and passion of the Movement at the forefront.

Leon Berry

2. Leon (Chu) Berry, Swing Jazz Saxophonist, Berry graduated from Lincoln High School, in Wheeling, then attended West Virginia State College, near Charleston, for three years.  His sister played piano and Chu became interested in music at an early age, playing alto saxophone at first with local bands. He was inspired to take up the tenor sax after hearing Coleman Hawkins on tour. Although Berry based his style on Hawkins’ playing, the older man regarded Berry as his equal, saying “‘Chu’ was about the best.” was affiliated with Cab Calloway from 1937 to 1941

Charles Brown

3. Charles Brown, blues singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced blues-club style influenced the development of blues performance during the 1940s and 1950s. He had several hit recordings, including “Driftin’ Blues” and “Merry Christmas Baby”.

Nell Carter

4. Nell Carter, an American singer, and film, stage, and television actress. She won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, as well as an Emmy Award for her reprisal of the role on television. She also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her starring role in the long-running 1980s sitcom Gimme a Break!.

Joni Sledge

5. Joni Sledge,  Member of Sister Sledge a musical group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 1972 and consisting of four sisters

tavis smiley

6. Tavis Smiley, Radio-TV personality,  talk show host, author, political commentator, entrepreneur, advocate and philanthropist. He worked during the late 1980s as an aide to Tom Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles. Smiley became a radio commentator in 1991, and starting in 1996 he hosted the talk show BET Talk (later renamed BET Tonight) on BET.  Smiley began hosting The Tavis Smiley Show on NPR from 2002 to 2004 and currently hosts Tavis Smiley on PBS on the weekdays and “The Tavis Smiley Show” from PRI. Most recently, he and close friend Dr. Cornel West have joined forces for their own radio talk show, “Smiley & West”. They were featured together interviewing musician Bill Withers in the 2009 documentary film Still Bill.

Bernie Williams

7. Bernie Williams, Major League Baseball player.  At a young age  Williams played classical guitar as well as baseball. He was also active in track and field, winning medals at an international meet at the age of 15.  He was one of the world’s best 400-meter runners for his age.  break into the majors in 1991.  become the regular Yankees center fielder by 1993.  In 1995 He hit 18 home runs and led the team in runs, hits, total bases and stolen bases. 

Tyler PerryMadea

8. Tyler Perry, is an actor, director, playwright, screenwriter, producer, author, and songwriter. Perry wrote and produced many stage plays in the South during the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2005, he released his first film,Diary of a Mad Black Woman. In 2009, Perry was ranked by Forbes magazine as the sixth highest-paid man in Hollywood.

Events In African American History For Sept 08


 

1. In 1957, Althea Gibson, Tennis Champion, first Black to win a Major United States National championship when she won  the Wimbledon tennis championship.

2. In 1973, “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye top the charts.

3. In 1986, Oprah Winfrey Became first Black Female to host National Talkshow.

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