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Robert Clifton Weaver

December 29th in African American History – Robert Clifton Weaver

December 29, 1907 Robert Clifton Weaver, the first African American to hold a cabinet level position in a United States President’s administration, was born in Washington, D.C. Weaver attended Harvard University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in economics in 1929, his Master of Arts degree in 1931, and his Ph.D. […]

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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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December 27th in African American History – Nolan Richardson

December 27 1941 Nolan Richardson, hall of fame college basketball coach, was born in El Paso, Texas. Richardson played college basketball at the University of Texas – El Paso and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964. He began his coaching career in 1968. In 1978, he moved to Western Texas Junior College where […]

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Jackie Ormes

December 26th in African American History – Jackie Ormes

December 26, 1985 Jackie Ormes, the first African American female cartoonist, died. Ormes was born Zelda Mavin Jackson on August 1, 1911 in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Ormes started in journalism as a proofreader for the Pittsburgh Courier. In 1937, her one-panel comic strip “Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem” first appeared in the Courier. Ormes moved […]

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Baby Dodds

December 24th in African American History – Warren “Baby” Dodds

December 24, 1898 Warren “Baby” Dodds, jazz drummer, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dodds gained a reputation as a top young drummer in New Orleans and worked on Mississippi River steamship bands with Louis Armstrong. He moved to California in 1921 to work with Joe “King” Oliver and then followed him to Chicago, Illinois. […]

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Willie Wood

December 23rd in African American History – William Vernell “Willie” Wood, Sr.

December 23, 1936 William Vernell “Willie” Wood, Sr., hall of fame football player, was born in Washington, D. C. Wood played college football at the University of Southern California where he was the first African American quarterback in Pacific-10 Conference history. Wood was not selected in the 1960 NFL Draft but was signed by the […]

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Jerry Pickney

December 22nd in African American History – Jerry Pickney

December 22, 1939 Jerry Pickney, award winning illustrator of children’s books, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pickney began drawing at the age of four and earned a scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. After graduation, he held a number of positions in the field of design and illustration. Eventually he opened the Jerry […]

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