March 1, 1927 Harold George “Harry” Belafonte, Jr., musician, actor and social activist, was born in New York City. Belafonte served in the United States Navy during World War II and after his discharge began his music career singing in clubs to pay for acting classes.
February 21, 1992 Eva Jessye, the first black woman to receive international distinction as a professional choral conductor, died. Jessye was born January 20, 1895 in Coffeyville, Kansas. She studied choral music and music theory at Western University, a now defunct historically Black college, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Langston University in […]
February 12, 1983 James Herbert “Eubie” Blake, composer, lyricist and pianist, died. Blake was born February 7, 1887 in Baltimore, Maryland. He began taking music lessons at the age of 7 and at 15 was playing piano in a bordello. In 1912, he began playing in vaudeville and shortly after World War I joined forces […]
November 17, 2006 Ruth Brown, R&B singer and actress, died. Brown was born Ruth Alston Weston on January 30, 1928 in Portsmouth, Virginia. She recorded her first hit, “So Long” in 1949 and from that time to 1955 she was on the R&B charts for 149 weeks with 16 top 10 blues records, including 5 […]
November 13, 1955 Caryn Elaine Johnson (Whoopi Goldberg), actress, comedienne and activist, was born in New York City. In 1983, Goldberg created “The Spook Show”, a one woman show which ran on Broadway for 156 sold out performances and won her the 1985 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One Person Show. In 1985, she made […]
November 6, 1901 Juanita Hall, musical theater and film actress, was born in Keyport, New Jersey. After receiving classical training at Julliard School, she became a leading Broadway performer. She performed the role of Bloody Mary, a Pacific Islander, in the musical “South Pacific” for 1,925 performances on Broadway.
October 22, 1992 Cleavon Jake Little, film and stage actor, died. Little was born June 1, 1939 in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dramatic Arts from San Diego State University and received a full scholarship to graduate school at Juilliard. After completing Juilliard, he trained at the American Academy of […]
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Previous Days in African American History
Other African American History Posts
- May 28th in African American History – Mary Lou Williams
- February 25th in African American History – Carl J. Murphy
- November 19th in African American History – Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry (Stepin Fetchit)
- February 19th in African American History – Virginia Hamilton
- February 17th in African American History – Mary Frances Berry