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Juanita Hall

Juanita Hall – February 28th in African American History

February 28, 1968 Juanita Hall, musical theater and film actress, died. Hall was born November 6, 1901 in Keyport, New Jersey and after receiving classical training at Julliard School became a leading Broadway performer. Hall began singing and playing small roles in theatre in the northeast. In 1935, she appeared on Broadway in Sailor Beware. Over the next […]

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Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson

Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson – January 23rd in African American History

January 23, 1976 Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson, concert singer, scholar, stage and film actor, athlete, and multi-lingual orator, died. Robeson was born April 9, 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey. He won a full academic scholarship to Rutgers University, the third African American student accepted at Rutgers. Although he was the only black student on campus […]

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Jester Joseph Hairston

Jester Joseph Hairston – January 18th in African American History

January 18, 2000 Jester Joseph Hairston, songwriter, choral conductor, and film and television actor, died. Hairston was born July 9, 1901 in Belews Creek, North Carolina. He graduated cum laude from Tufts University in 1928 and studied music at the Juilliard School. In the early stages of his career, he worked as a choir conductor. […]

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Donna Summer

December 31st in African American History – LaDonna Adrian Gaines (Donna Summer)

December 31, 1948 LaDonna Adrian Gaines (Donna Summer), the Queen of Disco, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. At 18, she left home for New York City and landed on the European Tour of the musical “Hair.” Her first solo single, “Sally Go Round the Roses,” was released in Europe in 1971. In 1975, “Love to […]

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Woody Strode

December 31st in African American History – Woodrow Wilson Woolwine “Woody” Strode

December 31, 1994 Woodrow Wilson Woolwine “Woody” Strode, athlete and film actor, died. Strode was born July 25, 1914 in Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of California where he was a world class decathlete and a star on the football team. Strode was one of the first African Americans to play in the […]

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Nichelle Nichols

December 28th in African American History – Grace Nichols (Nichelle Nichols)

December 28, 1932 Grace Nichols (Nichelle Nichols), actress, dancer and singer, was born in Robbins, Illinois. Nichols danced in Chicago, Illinois with the College Inn Revue around 1947 and toured the United States, Canada, and Europe as a singer with the Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton bands in 1950 and 1951. In 1966, Nichols was […]

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George Faison

December 21st in African American History – George Faison

December 21, 1945 George Faison, dancer and choreographer, was born in Washington, D.C. Faison entered Howard University in 1964 to study dentistry, but dropped out in 1966 to pursue a career in dance. He moved to New York City and joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1967 and remained there through 1969. In […]

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