February 4, 2001 James Louis “J. J.” Johnson, jazz trombonist, composer and arranger, died. Johnson was born January 22, 1924 in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the age of nine, he started studying the piano, but decided to play the trombone at the age of 14. In 1941, Johnson started his professional career.
February 20, 1913 Thomas Kilgore, one of the few men to lead two major national Baptist organizations, was born in Woodruff, South Carolina. Kilgore earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in 1935 and earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in 1957.
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- January 30th in African American History – Ruth Alston Weston (Ruth Brown)
- Kwame Nkrumah – April 27th in African American History
- August 13th in African American History – Shani Davis
- November 10th in African American History – Benny Andrews
- October 7th in African American History – Desmond Mpilo Tutu