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Showing posts from February, 2015

Black History Month Day 28: James Baldwin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racialsexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America, and their inevitable if unnameable tensions.Some Baldwin essays are book-length, for instance The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976). Baldwin's novels and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration of not only blacks, but also of gay and bisexual men, while depicting some internalized obstacles to such individuals' quests for acceptance. Such dynamics are prominent in Baldwin's second novel, written well before gay equality was widely espoused in America: 

Black History Month Day 27 : Laverne Cox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Laverne Cox is an American actress, reality television star, television producer, and LGBT advocate,best known for her portrayal of Sophia Burset on the Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black, for which she became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category,and the first to be nominated for an Emmy Award since composer/musician Angela Morley in 1990. She is also known for appearing as a contestant on the first season of VH1's I Want to Work for Diddy, and for producing and co-hosting the VH1 makeover television series TRANSform Me. In April 2014, Cox was honored by GLAAD with its Stephen F. Kolzak Award for her work as an advocate for the transgender community. On June 9, 2014, Cox became the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine.

Black History Day 26: Grace Jones

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Grace Jones (born 19 May 1948) is a Jamaican singer, songwriter, model, record producer, and actress. She was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica and raised by her grandparents. At 13 she moved with her siblings to their parents' home in Syracuse, New York. Jones started out as a model, initially in New York state, then in Paris, working for Yves St. LaurentClaude Montana, andKenzo Takada, and appearing on the covers of ElleVogue, and Stern working with Helmut NewtonGuy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer. In 1977 Jones secured a record deal with Island Records; with the aid of Compass Point All Stars she moved into new wave in 1980. She scored Top 40 entries on the UK Singles Chart with "Pull Up to the Bumper", "I've Seen That Face Before", "Private Life", "Slave to the Rhythm" and "I'm Not Perfect". Her albums include Warm Leatherette (1980), Nightclubbing (1981), andSlave to the Rhythm (1985). S…

Black History Day 25 : Zora Neale Hurston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891– January 28, 1960) was an American folkloristanthropologist, and author. Of Hurston's four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. In addition to new editions of her work being published after a revival of interest in her in 1975, her manuscript Every Tongue Got to Confess (2001), a collection of folktales gathered in the 1920s, was published posthumously after being discovered in the Smithsonian archives.

Black History Day 24: Whoopi Goldberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Whoopi Goldberg ( born Caryn Elaine Johnson; November 13, 1955) is an American comedienne, actress, political activist, writer and television host. Although Goldberg made her film debut in the avant-garde ensemble filmCitizen: I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away (1982), her breakthrough role was playing Celie, a mistreated black woman in the Deep South in the period drama film The Color Purple (1985). For her performance, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She played Oda Mae Brown – a wacky psychic helping a slain man (Patrick Swayze) save his lover (Demi Moore) – in the romantic fantasy film Ghost (1990), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Goldberg was the second black woman in the history of the Academy Awards to win an acting Oscar (the first being Hattie McDaniel, who won for Gone with the Wind in 1939). She was co-producer of the television game show Hollywood Squares from 199…

Black History Day 23: Nichelle Nichols

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Dell Nichols on December 28, 1932) is an American actresssinger and voice artist. She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting. Her most famous role is that of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the popular Star Trek television series (1966-1969), as well as the succeeding motion pictures, where her character was eventually promoted in Starfleet to the rank of commander. Multiple novel series have stated that she rose to at least Captain. Nicholls' Star Trek character, one of the first African American female characters on American television not portrayed as a servant,was groundbreaking in U.S society at the time. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. personally praised her work on the show and asked her to remain when she was considering leaving the series.

Black History Day 22 : Levar Burton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Levardis Robert Martyn Burton, Jr. (born February 16, 1957), professionally known as LeVar Burton, is a German-born American actorpresenterdirectorproducer, and author. Burton is best known for his roles as the young Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries Roots, Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and as the host and executive producer of the long-running PBS children's series Reading Rainbow. He is also known for directing the 1999 Disney Channel Original MovieSmart House, starring Katey Sagal.

Black History Month Day 21: Gregory Hines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Gregory Oliver Hines (February 14, 1946 – August 9, 2003) was an American actorsingerdancer and choreographer. Hines performed as the lead singer and musician in a rock band called Severance in the year of 1975-1976 based in Venice, California. Severance was one of the house bands at an original music club called Honky Hoagies Handy Hangout, otherwise known as the 4H Club. Severance released their debut album on Largo Records (a subsidiary of GNP Crescendo) in 1976. In 1986, he sang a duet with Luther Vandross, entitled "There's Nothing Better Than Love", which reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard R&B charts. Hines made his movie debut in Mel Brooks's History of the World, Part 1. Critics took note of Hines's comedic charm, and he later appeared in such movies as The Cotton ClubWhite Nightsalongside Mikhail BaryshnikovRunning ScaredTap and Waiting to Exhale. On television, he starred in his own series in 1…

Black History Month Day 20: Etta James

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Etta James(bornJamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer. Her style spanned a variety of music genres includingblues,R&B,soul,rock and roll,jazzandgospel. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama", "Something's Got a Hold on Me", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" for which she wrote the lyrics. She faced a number of personal problems, includingdrug addiction, before making a musical resurgence in the late 1980s with the album

Black History Month Day 19: Michelle Obama

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama(born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer and writer. She is the wife of the44thand current President of the United States,Barack Obama, and thefirst African-AmericanFirst Lady of the United States. Raised on theSouth SideofChicago, she is a graduate ofPrinceton UniversityandHarvard Law School, and spent the early part of her legal career working at the law firmSidley Austin, where she met Obama. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff ofChicago mayorRichard M. Daley, and for theUniversity of Chicago Medical Center.

Doll Day...

Black History Day 18 : Whitney Elizabeth Houston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Whitney Elizabeth Houston(August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an Americansinger,actress, producer, andmodel. In 2009,Guinness World Recordscited her as the most awarded female act of all time.Houston is one of pop music'sbest-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170-200 million records sold worldwide.She released six studio albums, one holiday album and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts, as well as her prominence onMTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know",influenced severalAfrican Americanwomen artists who follow in her footsteps. Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits.She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only woman to have two number-one Billboard 200Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Albums") on the Billboard m…

Black History Month Day 17 : Shirley Chisholm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator, and author.She was a Congresswoman, representing New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to Congress.On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination (US Senator Margaret Chase Smith had previously run for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination). She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

Black History Day 16: President Barak Obama

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Barack Hussein Obama II( born August 4, 1961) is the44thandcurrentPresidentof theUnited States, and thefirstAfrican Americanto hold the office. Born inHonolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate ofColumbia UniversityandHarvard Law School, where he served as president of theHarvard Law Review. He was acommunity organizerin Chicago before earning hislaw degree