One of my favorite groups!
D U K E E L L I N G T O N
April 29,1899 – May 24, 1974
Edward “Duke” Kennedy Ellington is born in Washington, DC.
He will form his first band in 1919, and move to New York
City in 1922. His five-year tenure at the famed Cotton
Club will garner him wide acclaim. Scoring both his first
musical and making his recording debut in 1924, Ellington
will be known as the first conventional jazz composer,
although he will also become renowned for his Sacred
Concerts in the mid-1960’s. His most notable works
include “Take the A Train,” “Mood Indigo,” “Sophisticated
Ladies,” and “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good.” He will
join the ancestors on May 24, 1974.
Excerpt from – Munirah Chronicle
Munirah Chronicle is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry
Breathe Love – Even on a Rainy Day
Today in Black History – November 27 *
1942 – Johnny Allen Hendrix is born in Seattle, Washington.
Hendrix’s father, James “Al” Hendrix, later changes
his son’s name to James Marshall. James Marshall
Hendrix will be best known as Jimi Hendrix, leader of
the influential rock group, The Jimi Hendrix
Experience. His music will influence such groups as
“Earth, Wind, and Fire,” “Living Colour,” and “Sting.”
He will join the ancestors on September 18, 1970 after
succumbing to asphyxiation from his own vomit. He will
be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992
and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. His star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame will be dedicated in 1994. In
2006, his debut album, “Are You Experienced,” will be
inducted into the United States National Recording
Preservation Board’s National Recording Registry. Rolling
Stone magazine will name him number 1 on their list of
the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003.
1951 – Sixteen-year-old Hosea Richardson becomes the first
licensed African American jockey to ride on the Florida
1957 – Dorothy Height, YMCA official, is elected president of
the National Council of Negro Women.
1964 – Robin Givens is born in New York City. She will become
an actress and will star in “Head of the Class,” and “A
Rage in Harlem,” “Michael Jordan: An American Hero,”
“Blankman,” “Foreign Student,” “Boomerang,” “The Women
of Brewster Place,” and “Beverly Hills Madam.”
1968 – Eldridge Cleaver, Minister of Information for the Black
Panther Party, becomes a fugitive from justice as a
1989 – Jennifer Lawson assumes her duties as Executive Vice
President for National Programming and Promotion
Services at the Public Broadcasting Service. The Alabama
native is the chief programming executive for PBS,
determining which programs are seen on the network. She
is the first woman to hold such a position at a major
1990 – Charles Johnson wins the National Book Award for his
novel “Middle Passage.” He is the fourth African
American to win the award, formerly called the American
Today in Black History – November 19
1867 – South Carolina citizens endorse a constitutional
convention and select delegates. 66,418 African
Americans and 2350 whites vote for the convention and
2278 whites vote against holding a convention. The
total vote cast is 71,046. Not a single African
American votes against the convention.
1921 – Roy Campanella is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He will become one of the first African-American
baseball players signed to major league ball after
Jackie Robinson breaks the color line. He will become
the first African American catcher in Major League
history. Campanella will play for the Brooklyn Dodgers
and be the National League’s Most Valuable Player in
1951, 1953, and 1955. He was given the second MVP award
in 1953 on his birthday. His baseball career will end
when he is paralyzed in an automobile accident in
January, 1958. He will then work for many years in the
Dodger organization. He will be elected to the Baseball
Hall of Fame in 1969 and will join the ancestors on
June 26, 1993.
1949 – Ahmad Rashad, is born Bobby Moore in Portland, Oregon.
Rashad will be a first-round draft choice of the St.
Louis Football Cardinals in 1972. He will go on to play
for Buffalo and Seattle before settling in Minnesota in
1976 and playing the next seven seasons for the Vikings.
Rashad will hold the Viking career reception lead (400)
and be second in reception yardage. Overall, Rashad will
have 495 receptions in 10 seasons. Rashad — who played
his college football at the University of Oregon — will
be inducted into the state of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
in 1987 and the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of
Fame in 1992. He will also be the author of a book,
“Rashad: Vikes, Mikes, and Something on the Backside,”
published by Viking Press. During the summer of 1991, he
will expand his broadcasting resume by handling
television play-by-play for the Seattle Seahawks pre-
season football games.
1955 – Carmen de Lavellade begins a contract for three seasons as
a dancer with the Metropolitan Opera.
1957 – Otis J. Anderson, NFL running back (NY Giants, 1990
Superbowl MVP), is born.
1984 – Dwight Gooden, of the New York Mets, at 20 years old,
becomes the youngest major-league pitcher to be named
Rookie of the Year in the National League. The Mets
pitcher led the majors with 276 strikeouts.
1985 – Comedic character actor Stepin Fetchit, born Lincoln
Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry joins the ancestors at the
age of 83.
Today in Black History – November 18 *
1797 – Abolitionist and orator, Sojourner Truth, is born a
New York slave on the plantation of Johannes
Hardenbergh. Her given name is Isabelle VanWagener
(some references use the name Isabelle Baumfree).
She will walk away from her last owner one year
prior to being freed by a New York law in 1827, which
proclaimed that all slaves twenty-eight years of age
and over were to be freed. Several years later, in
response to what she describes as a command from God,
she becomes an itinerant preacher and takes the name
Sojourner Truth. Among her most memorable appearances
will be at an 1851 women’s rights conference in Akron,
Ohio. In her famous “Ain’t I a woman?” speech she
forcefully attacks the hypocrisies of organized
religion, white privilege and everything in between.
1900 – Howard Thurman is born in Daytona Beach, Florida. A
theologian who studied at Morehouse with Martin L.
King, Sr., he will found the interracial Church of
Fellowship of All Peoples. The first African American
to hold a full-time faculty position at Boston
University (in 1953), Dr. Thurman will write 22 books
and become widely regarded as one of the greatest
spiritual leaders of the 20th century. He will join the
ancestors on April 10, 1981.
1936 – John Henry Kendricks is born in Detroit, Michigan. He will
become a prolific songwriter as well as a major rhythm
and blues singer better known as Hank Ballard. He will
perform with his group, The Midnighters, and make the
following songs popular: “There’s A Thrill Upon The Hill”
(Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go), “The Twist”(made famous
later by Chubby Checker), “Finger Poppin’ Time”, “Work with
Me Annie”, “Sexy Ways”, and “Annie Had a Baby”. He will be
enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. He
will join the ancestors on March 2, 2003.
1949 – Jackie Robinson, of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is named the
National League’s Most Valuable Player.
1956 – Harold Warren Moon, professional football player
(Minnesota Vikings, Houston Oilers, and Seattle Seahawks
quarterback), is born in Los Angeles, California. He will
be the first undrafted quarterback and first African
American quarterback to be elected to the Football Hall
of Fame in 2006.
1964 – The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar
Hoover, describes Martin Luther King as a “most
notorious liar”. This statement is indicative of the
agency head’s dislike of the civil rights leader.
1969 – The National Association of Health Services Executives is
incorporated. NAHSE’s goal is to elevate the quality of
health-care services rendered to poor and disadvantaged
1975 – Calvin Murphy of the Houston Rockets, ends the NBA free
throw streak at 58 games.
1977 – Robert Edward Chambliss, a former KKK member, is
convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the
1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in
Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four African American
1978 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Ambassador
Andrew J. Young “in recognition of the deftness with
which he has handled relations between this nation and
other countries” and “for his major role in raising the
consciousness of American citizens to the significance
in world affairs of the massive African continent.”
1980 – Wally “Famous” Amos’ signature Panama hat and embroidered
shirt are donated to the National Museum of American
History’s Business Americana collection. It is the
first memorabilia added to the collection by an African
American entrepreneur and recognizes the achievement of
Amos, who built his company from a mom-and-pop
enterprise to a $250 million cookie manufacturing
1983 – “Sweet Honey in the Rock,” a capella singers, perform
their 10th anniversary reunion concert in Washington, DC.
1994 – Bandleader Cab Calloway joins the ancestors in Hockessin,
Delaware, at age 86.
1950 – Leslie Sebastien Charles is born in Fyzabad, Trinidad. He
will emigrate to England at the age of eight and will later
become a popular singer known as “Billy Ocean.” He will
release hits such as “Suddenly,” “Caribbean Queen,” “Get
Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car,” “When The Going Gets
Tough, The Tough Get Going” (which was featured in the
movie, The Jewel Of The Nile), and “To Make You Cry.”