October 29, 1945 Beatrice Melba Smith (Melba Moore), R&B singer and actress, was born in New York City. Moore earned a bachelor’s degree in musical education from Montclair State Teacher’s College and taught music for a year in the Newark Public School System. She began her performing career in 1967 in the cast of “Hair.”
September 23, 1954 George Costello Wolfe, playwright and director of theater and films, was born in Frankfort, Kentucky. Wolfe earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Pomona College and then taught for several years in Los Angeles and New York where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts from New York University in 1983. […]
September 17, 1983 Vanessa Lynn Williams made history as the first woman of African descent to be crowned Miss America. Williams reign was full of challenges and controversy. For the first time in pageant history, a reigning Miss America was the target of death threats and angry racist hate mail. On July 23, 1984, Williams […]
August 26, 1960 Branford Marsalis, saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and educator, was born in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. In 1980, while still a Berklee College of Music student, Marsalis toured Europe playing saxophone in a large ensemble led by drummer Art Blakey. In 1981, he joined his brother Wynton in Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. His primary focus since […]
August 17, 1990 Pearl Mae Bailey, jazz vocalist and actress, died. Pearl Mae Bailey was born March 29, 1918 in Southampton County, Virginia. She made her stage debut at 15 when she won an amateur contest in Philadelphia. In 1941, during World War II, Bailey toured the country with the USO, singing and dancing for American […]
August 11, 1965 Viola Davis, stage and film actress, was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina. Davis graduated from Rhode Island College with a major in theatre in 1988. She also attended the Juilliard School for the Performing Arts from 1990 to 1994. Davis won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress […]
July 29, 2003 Luther Henderson, arranger, composer, orchestrator, and pianist, died. Henderson was born March 14, 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1942, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Juilliard School of Music. From 1944 to 1946, Henderson served as staff orchestrator for the United States Navy School of Music. Henderson served […]
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Previous Days in African American History
Other African American History Posts
- February 11th in African American History – Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr.
- June 2nd in African American History – Bo Diddley
- July 4th in African American History – Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr.
- March 17th in African American History – Myrlie Beasley
- December 13th in African American History – Dale Raymond Wright