Influential Black Leaders List | 3

Influential Black Leaders | Black History Month RSS

Author, Black Panther Party, Black Woman, Civil Rights Movement -

Influential Black Leaders-Angela Davis   Angela Yvonne Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an American political activist, philosopher, academic, and author. She is a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ideologically a Marxist, Davis was a longtime member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She is the author of over ten books on class, feminism, race, and the U.S. prison system.Born to an African American family in Birmingham, Alabama, Davis studied French at Brandeis University and philosophy at the University of Frankfurt...

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Activist, Black Woman, Civil Rights Movement -

Influential Black Leaders- Fannie Lou Hamer   Fannie Lou Hamer (October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting and women's rights activist, community organizer, and a leader in the civil rights movement. She was the co-founder and vice-chair of the Freedom Democratic Party, which she represented at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Hamer also organized Mississippi's Freedom Summer along with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was also a co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus, an organization created to recruit, train, and support women of all races who wish to seek election to government office.Hamer...

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Actor, Black Woman, Philanthropist, TV Host -

Influential Leaders- Oprah winfrey Oprah Gail Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954) is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America's first black multi-billionaire, and she has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history. By 2007,...

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Actor, Black Woman -

Influential Black Leaders- Viola Davis   Born in St. Matthews, South Carolina, Davis began her acting career in Central Falls, Rhode Island, starring in minor theater productions. After graduating from the Juilliard School in 1993, she won an Obie Award in 1999 for her performance as Ruby McCollum in Everybody's Ruby. She played minor roles in several films and television series in the late 1990s and early 2000s, before winning the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Tonya in the 2001 Broadway production of August Wilson's King Hedley II. Davis's film breakthrough came...

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Black Achievement, News, race -

Influential Black Leaders- Dr Mae Jeimison Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Jemison joined NASA's astronaut corps in 1987 and was selected to serve for the STS-47 mission, during which she orbited the Earth for nearly eight days on September 12–20, 1992. Born in Alabama and raised in Chicago, Jemison graduated from Stanford University with degrees in chemical engineering as well as African and African-American studies. She then...

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Black Man, Entrepreneur -

Influential Black Leaders- Bob Johnson Early life and educationJohnson was born in 1946 in Hickory, Mississippi, the ninth out of ten children to Edna and Archie Johnson, His mother was a schoolteacher and his father was a farmer. His parents moved the family to Freeport, Illinois when he was a child. He was an honors student in high school. Johnson graduated from the University of Illinois in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in social studies. While at the University of Illinois, Johnson became a member of the Beta chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He received a master's degree in...

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Actor, Black Men, chadwick boseman, Philanthropist -

Chadwick Boseman was an American actor known for his portrayals of Jackie Robinson in '42' and James Brown in 'Get on Up.' He also plays the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who Was Chadwick Boseman? Chadwick Boseman had early success as a stage actor, writer and director, before landing gigs on TV shows like Lincoln Heights. Boseman broke through with his big screen portrayals of two African American icons: baseball player Jackie Robinson in 42, and soul singer James Brown in Get on Up. Boseman later took on the role of Black Panther for a series of Marvel superhero films, including the immensely successful Black Panther in...

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African, Shaka Zulu, War, World, Zulu -

Shaka Zulu King Shaka Zulu Synopsis: King of the Zulus. Title: King First Name: Shaka Last Name: Zulu Date of Birth: ca. 1787 Date of Death: 24 September 1828 Location of Death: Stanger, Natal Gender: Male Sigidi kaSenzangakhona commonly knows as Shaka was a great Zulu king and conqueror. He lived in an area of south-east Africa between the Drakensberg and the Indian Ocean, a region populated by many independent Nguni chiefdoms. During his brief reign more than a hundred chiefdoms were brought together in a Zulu kingdom which survived not only the death of its founder but later military...

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Black Activist, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Civil Rights, Influential, Influential Black Leaders -

Martin Luther King Jr. Facts Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. King, a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s.  Among his many efforts, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Through his activism and inspirational speeches he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among...

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African American, Author, Black Activist, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Civil Rights, Influential, Influential Black Leaders, Politics, Racism -

Dick Gregory was a pioneering comedian and civil rights activist who took on race with layered, nuanced humor during the turbulent 1960s. “I've always been insulted when people tell me that my humor has done a lot for race relations. I never thought comedy did anything but make uncomfortable people feel comfortable.” —Dick Gregory Who Was Dick Gregory? Dick Gregory was born in 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri. Gregory got his big break performing as a stand-up comedian at the Playboy Club in the early 1960s. Known for his sophisticated, layered humor that took on racial issues of the day,...

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Black Economics, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Black Power, Business, Influential Black Leaders -

  Dr. Claud Anderson is president of PowerNomics Corporation of America, Inc. and The Harvest Institute, Inc. PowerNomics is a company that publishes his books and produces the multimedia presentations in which he explains his concept, PowerNomics. PowerNomics is a package of principles and strategies that explain “race” and offer a guide for Black America to become a more self-sufficient and economically competitive group in America. Dr. Anderson's book, PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America, incorporates and reflects his past experiences: his academic research, business experience, both as an owner and a capital provider, and his varied political...

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Black Artists, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Jazz, Trumpet -

“The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician.” —Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo," "Pops" and, later, "Ambassador Satch," was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong's charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like "Star Dust," "La Vie En Rose" and "What a Wonderful World." Armstrong died at his home in...

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Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Jazz, Music, Pianist -

“People do not retire. They are retired by others.” —Duke Ellington Duke Ellington was born April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. A major figure in the history of jazz music, his career spanned more than half a century, during which time he composed thousands of songs for the stage, screen and contemporary songbook. He created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in Western music and continued to play what he called "American Music" until shortly before his death in 1974. Early Life Born on April 29, 1899, Duke Ellington was raised by two talented, musical parents in a middle-class...

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Black Artists, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential, Influential Black Leaders, Music, Pianist, Ragtime -

“When you leave the theater, it feels like you're leavin' the real world and the fake world is out here in the street, where nobody knows anybody else.” —Eubie Blake Born in Maryland on February 7, 1887, Eubie Blake went on to become a revered ragtime pianist and composer for American musicals. He entered into a partnership with singer-songwriter Noble Sissle in 1915; the two would work together on the 1921 musical Shuffle Along, featuring the mega-hit "I'm Just Wild About Harry." Blake composed hundreds of songs and received many accolades for his work. He died in Brooklyn, New York,...

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Black Artists, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders list, Blues, Influential Black Leaders -

“I've always felt that the blues deal with an epoch in our history, and coming from the same people that gave us the spiritual, they reflected a nominal freedom. All the blues that I've written are either historic or folklore or folksong.” —W.C. Handy W.C. Handy was born on November 16, 1873, in Florence, Alabama. He played with several bands and traveled throughout the Midwest and the South, learning about the African-American folk music that would become known as the blues. Handy later composed his own songs—including "St. Louis Blues," "Memphis Blues" and "Aunt Hagar's Blues"—which would help popularize the...

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Black Economics, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Black Power, Influential Black Leaders, Racism, Sprituality -

Na’im Akbar is a Bestselling Author, Here Are Some Of His Books. "Black People in America have a much greater inner power than they realize, but they must re-discover themselves in order to use it." Dr. Na'im Akbar has been acclaimed by Essence Magazine as "one of the world's preeminent Psychologists and a pioneer in the development of an African-centered approach in modern psychology." Akbar has served as Associate Professor at Norfolk State University, was Chairman of the Morehouse College Psychology Department and is currently on the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida....

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Activist, Assata, Black Activist, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Black Panther, Black Panther Party, Black Power, Influential Black Leaders, Shakur -

  On May 2, 2013, the FBI placed Assata Shakur, now living in Cuba, on its Most Wanted Terrorists list, which has included the likes of Osama Bin Laden and other Al Quaeda figures, some of whom were executed by drones. This was the day after the State Department was due to release its list of terrorist countries from which Cuba was widely expected to be removed, as even the Miami Herald reported. Release of that list has been postponed and the State Department has asserted Cuba will remain on it, handing a victory to the exiled Cuban plantocracy and...

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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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Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders -

Because before ‘Yes We Can’ there was ‘Unbought and Unbossed’  1924 – 2005 When thinking about how contentious things are in Congress today, imagine being the sole black female congresswoman nearly 50 years ago, at the height of the civil rights movement. Shirley Chisholm was relentless in breaking political barriers with respect to both race and gender. She was a pioneer. In 1968, Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, representing New York’s 12th District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. As both a New York state legislator and a congresswoman, Chisholm championed the rights...

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Black Activist, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Civil Rights, Congress, Gender Equality, Influential Black Leaders, Politics, Shirley Chisholm -

Because before ‘Yes We Can’ there was ‘Unbought and Unbossed’  1924 – 2005 When thinking about how contentious things are in Congress today, imagine being the sole black female congresswoman nearly 50 years ago, at the height of the civil rights movement. Shirley Chisholm was relentless in breaking political barriers with respect to both race and gender. She was a pioneer. In 1968, Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, representing New York’s 12th District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. As both a New York state legislator and a congresswoman, Chisholm championed the rights...

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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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Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Marcus Garvey, Pan-Africanism -

Marcus Garvey was a proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, inspiring the Nation of Islam and the Rastafarian movement.   “Hungry men have no respect for law, authority or human life.” —Marcus Garvey BIO Born in Jamaica, Marcus Garvey was an orator for the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. Garvey advanced a Pan-African philosophy which inspired a global mass movement, known as Garveyism. Garveyism would eventually inspire others, from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafari movement. Early Life Social activist Marcus Mosiah Garvey,...

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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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