Black History RSS

Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Entrepreneurship, Hip Hop, Influential Black Leaders, Jay Z, Musin, Rap -

Because he’s saving hip-hop while handling his business  1969- If hip-hop had a Mount Rushmore, there are three men whose faces would be chiseled in granite: The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur and Jay Z. Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac were both killed in their mid-20s. Jay Z is now 47. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to be the best, but that’s what he became. Hov got flow though he’s no Big and Pac, but he’s close / How I’m ‘posed to win, they got me fightin’ ghosts, he rapped on New York City’s Hot 97 radio station in 2006, the same year...

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BAD, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Jackson 5, King Of Pop, Michael Jackson, Music, Rock And Roll, Thriler -

Because he is the King of Pop 1958 – 2009 It seems fate itself set the stage for Michael Jackson. When the musical wunderkind was born in 1958, television was in its experimental age, Billboard Magazine had just premiered its Hot 100 singles chart and the recording industry was planning the 1959 premiere of an awards show called The Grammys. Over a career spanning five decades, Jackson would bend all these emerging cultural forces to his will. He arrived on the world stage at age 11, having already sacrificed his youth performing at venues around his Indiana hometown of Gary....

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Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Jesse Jackson, Obama, Politics, White House -

Because he kept hope alive and made the White House real 1941- Jesse Jackson laid the foundation for electing a black president, one of the signature achievements of the 21st century. Jackson’s are the biggest shoulders that Barack Obama stands on. This is not conventional wisdom, but it is true. It begins with Jackson’s decision to run for president himself in 1984, widely seen then as an act of symbolism and hubris. Black leaders had been discussing for years what it would take to seriously compete for the highest office in the land, to build on what Shirley Chisholm did...

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Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Liturature, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston -

Because she inspired generations of proud black Southern artistry  1891 – 1960 Recently, Salvage the Bones author and Fire This Time editor Jesmyn Ward published an essay rejoicing in the visibility and celebration of Southern blackness and the fact that it had made its way to television in the form of Atlanta and Queen Sugar. Ward is a Mississippian who drank in the words of Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker because they spoke to her existence, and she, like so many other black Southern artists and writers, owes a debt of gratitude to Hurston. Long before Andre 3000 took...

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Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Jimi Hendrix, Music, Rock and Roll -

Because no one can match his genius  1942 – 1970 For decades, a belief has taken hold among guitarists — to prove your ability, you must pay homage to Jimi Hendrix. He was hailed by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as “the most gifted instrumentalist of all time.” Hendrix’s virtuosity looms so large that many guitarists still vainly attempt to emulate him. Just as whiz-kid classical pianists flaunt their chops by interpreting Mozart, so have guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince and John Mayer felt the need to perform Hendrix classics such as “Hey Joe,”...

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Aretha Franklin, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Blues, Influential Black Leaders, Music -

Because hers is a title well-earned: The Queen of Soul  1942- Curtsies are absolutely appropriate. Aretha Franklinis undisputed when it comes to pouring gospel-inflected, bluesy wails of love-gone-wrong lyrics over country-fried–yet-pop tracks. She plucked her Pentecostal pipes from the pulpit and applied them to a secular sound, giving us Sunday morning righteousness on any given Saturday night. Fifty years ago, the daughter of popular Detroit Baptist minister C.L. Franklin scored a No. 1 hit with her remake of Otis Redding’s Respect, a song with a bit of a double entendre that helped soundtrack the civil rights movement. In 1967, when...

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Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Civil Tights, Composer, Duke Ellington, Influential Black Leaders, Jazz, Music -

Because ‘in death as in life, he is the embodiment of jazz’ 1899 – 1974 Just as soul music and Motown provided the aspirational soundtrack for the 1960s civil rights movement, swing music furnished the upwardly-mobile score for the mid-1900s Harlem Renaissance. And of all the formidable bandleaders of the era, Edward “Duke” Ellington towered over the competition like a musical Everest. Where Count Basie, Benny Goodman and competing bandleaders favored high-stepping songs with hard-swinging arrangements, Ellington tunes such as “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good),” “In a Sentimental Mood,” and “Black and Tan Fantasy” seem mysterious by...

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Black Activist, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Politics, W.E.B. Dubois -

Because he observed the multifaceted nature of African-Americans 1868 – 1963 In the introduction to The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1903, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois wrote that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of color line.” Though this prophetic remark is perhaps his most indelible, in a career spanning over a half-century until his death in 1963, Du Bois possessed the most perpetual voice on race in American history. Attentive to both sides of the color line, Du Bois provided the most cogent explanation why whites to this day rebuff interracial political alliances even...

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Black Activist, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Emancipation, Frederick Douglass, Influential Black Leaders, Slave -

Because his voice rose from the horror of slavery to challenge the denial of black humanity 1818 – 1895 A slave. A free person among slaves. A free person who must still fight for full emancipation. Every black person who has called America home has existed in one of these three states. Frederick Douglass endured them all and spoke to these unique human conditions while demanding complete black inclusion in the American experiment. With his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, published in 1845, Douglass provided arguably the most influential slavenarrative. Born in Maryland in 1818, the son...

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Art, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Urban -

Because without Basquiat, there’d be no graffiti. Without Basquiat, there’d be no Banksy. Get it? ARTISTb. 1960 – 1988 Eight short years. That’s how long it took Jean-Michel Basquiat to secure his legacy as an art world prodigy. He died at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose, leaving behind paintings, drawings and notebooks, many of which explored themes of counterculture American punk, the urban plight of the African diaspora, improvisational jazz music and the vagaries of fame during the Ronald Reagan-era 1980s. Born to a Haitian father and Puerto Rican mother, Basquiat dropped out of high school and...

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Black Activist, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential, Influential Black Leaders, James Baldqin, Racism -

1924 – 1987 Because he embraced the responsibility to be a voice of his nation James Baldwin knew it was his job to reveal the truth. The truth about his race. The truth about his country. The ugly truths of racism, poverty and inequality that plagued the United States during his lifetime — and that continue even now, 29 years after his death. He confronted American racism with fearless honesty and courageously explored homosexuality through his literature and in his life. And he did it with style. His brilliant prose combined his own experience with the best — and worst...

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African American, Black Activist, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Civil Rights, Ella Baker, Influential, Influential Black Leaders, Martin Luther King -

Proof that visibility is not necessary to make an impact, Ella Baker is one of history’s lesser-known civil rights heroes, yet one of the most important. If Martin Luther King Jr. was the head of the civil rights movement, Ella Baker was its backbone. Born on Dec. 13, 1903, in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in North Carolina, Baker cultivated her passion and desire for social justice at a young age. Her grandmother, who was a slave, once told her a story of being whipped for refusing to marry a man of her slave owner’s choosing — fueling Baker’s desire for...

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African American, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Caged Birtd, Influential, Influential Black Leaders, Maya Angelou, Poetry -

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928. She grew up in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. She was an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist. She was best known for her seven autobiographical books: Mom & Me & Mom (Random House, 2013); Letter to My Daughter (Random House, 2008); All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (Random House, 1986); The Heart of a Woman (Random House, 1981); Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (Random House, 1976); Gather Together in My Name (Random House, 1974); and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House, 1969),...

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African American, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Boxing, Greatest, Heavyweight, Influential, Influential Black Leaders, Muhammad Ali -

  Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. January 17, 1942 – 3 June 2016) was an Olympic and World Champion boxer, who also had a unique personality, based on self-belief and strong religious and political convictions.  In 1999, Ali was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated. He won the World Heavyweight Boxing championship three times and won the North American Boxing Federation championship as well as an Olympic gold medal. “I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round. “ – Muhammad Ali Ali was born in Louisville,...

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African American, Atlanta Daily, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential, Influential Black Leaders, News, Robert Abbott -

   The birth of Robert Abbott in 1870 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American news businessman and lawyer. His parents were former slave captives on St. Simon's Island, Georgia. Abbott studied at Claflin University, Hampton Institute, and Kent Law School in Chicago. He received his law degree in 1899, and was told that he was "too dark" to practice law in America. Unfortunately, Robert Sengstacke Abbott found it difficult to support himself as a lawyer. He became convinced that he could defend his people in public print better than he could in a courtroom, so...

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