February 8, 2005 James Oscar “Jimmy” Smith, jazz organist, died. Smith was born December 8, 1928 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Originally a pianist, he switched to the organ in 1953 and over his career recorded almost 100 albums, including “The Sermon” (1958), “Prayer Meetin’” (1963), “Root Down” (1972), and his last album “Black Cat/Daybreak” (2001).
October 27, 2009 Roy Rudolph DeCarava, photographer, died. DeCarava was born December 9, 1919 in Harlem, New York. He determined early that he wanted to be an artist and initially worked as a painter and commercial illustrator. Eventually he was drawn to photography and in 1955 opened A Photographer’s Gallery, pioneering an effort to win […]
September 9, 1927 Elvin Ray Jones, jazz drummer, was born in Pontiac, Michigan. By the age of two, Jones had a fascination with drums and in high school he joined the marching band. Jones served in the United States Army from 1946 to 1949 and after his discharge began his professional career. Jones moved to […]
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- Melvin Beaunorus Tolson – February 6th in African American History
- September 10th in African American History – Robert Jerry Lanier, Jr.
- November 5th in African American History – Channing Heggie Tobias
- February 9th in African American History – Alice Malsenior Walker
- January 1st in African American History – Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm