Tag Archives | National Medal of Arts
Jacob Lawrence

June 9th in African American History – Jacob Lawrence

June 9, 2000 Jacob Lawrence, painter, and educator, died. Lawrence was born September 7, 1919 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He attended classes at the Harlem Art Workshop and earned a scholarship to the American Artists School. Throughout his artistic career, Lawrence concentrated on depicting the history and struggles of African Americans.

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Katherine Mary Dunham

May 21st in African American History – Katherine Mary Dunham

May 21, 2006 Katherine Mary Dunham, dancer, choreographer, author, educator, activist, and “Matriarch and Queen Mother of Black Dance,” died. Dunham was born June 22, 1909 in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She became fascinated with dance at a young age and while in high school started a dance school for young black children. Dunham studied dance […]

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Henry “Hank” Jones

May 16th in African American History – Henry “Hank” Jones

May 16, 2010 Henry “Hank” Jones, jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer, died. Jones was born July 31, 1918 in Vicksburg, Mississippi but raised in Pontiac, Michigan. He studied piano at an early age and by the age of 13 was performing in Michigan and Ohio. In 1944, he moved to New York City and from […]

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Judith Anna Jamison

May 10th in African American History – Judith Anna Jamison

May 10, 1943 Judith Anna Jamison, dancer and choreographer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jamison began studying dance at the age of 10 and made her New York City debut in 1964 in the ballet “The Four Marys” at the American Ballet Theater. In 1965, she joined the Alvin Ailey Company and soon became a […]

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Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson – April 8th in African American History

April 8, 1993 Marian Anderson, contralto, died. Anderson was born February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of six, she began singing at local functions for small change. She got her first big break in 1925 when she won a singing competition sponsored by the New York Philharmonic. In 1939, the Daughters of the […]

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March 12th in African American History – Romare Bearden

March 12, 1988 Romare Bearden, artist and writer, died. Bearden was born September 2, 1911 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1935, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in science and education from New York University. He went on to study at the Arts Student League from 1936 to 1937. From 1942 to 1945, Bearden […]

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Ralph Waldo Ellison

March 1st in African American History – Ralph Waldo Ellison

March 1, 1914 Ralph Waldo Ellison, novelist, literary critic and scholar, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1933, Ellison entered Tuskegee Institute on a music scholarship but after his third year he moved to New York City where he met Richard Wright who encouraged him to pursue a career in writing.

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