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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- September 27th in African American History – Stephanie Diana Wilson
- October 16th in African American History – Arthur Art Blakey
- February 24th in African American History – Octavia Estelle Butler
- March 24th in African American History – William Maud Bryant
- June 19th in African American History – Manute Bol