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Showing posts from May, 2015

Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratoryand incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Many Northerners also found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been a slave. Douglass wrote several autobiographies. He described his experiences as a slave in his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, which became a bestseller and influential in supporting abolition, as did the second, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). After the Civil War, Douglass remained an active campaigner against slavery and wrote h…

Black History : Odetta

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Odetta Holmes (December 31, 1930 – December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical repertoire consisted largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was influential to many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin. Time included her song "Take This Hammer" on its list of the All-Time 100 Songs, stating that "Rosa Parks was her No. 1 fan, and Martin Luther King Jr. called her the queen of American folk music."

Black History: Duke Ellington

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Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist and bandleader of jazz orchestras. He led his orchestra from 1923 until his death, his career spanning over 50 years. Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward, and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured in Europe. Though widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase "beyond category" as a "liberating principle", and referred to his music as part of the more general category of "American Music", rather than to a musical genre such as "jazz". Some of the musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered to be among the best players in jazz. Ellington melded…

Black History: George Duke

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George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and as a professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.

Black History : George Clinton

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George Clinton (born July 22, 1941) is an American singersongwriterbandleader, and music producer. He was the principal architect of P-Funk, the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and launched a solo career in 1981. He has been cited as one of the foremost innovators of funk music, along with James Brown and Sly Stone. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, alongside 15 other members ofParliament-Funkadelic.

Black History : Victoria Rowell

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Victoria Lynn Rowell (born May 10, 1959)is an American actress, writer, producer and dancer. Rowell began her career as ballet dancer and model, before making acting debut in the 1987 comedy film, Leonard Part 6. In 1990, Rowell joined the cast of the CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless as Drucilla Winters, her signature and longest role on television, for which she was nominated for a three Daytime Emmy Awards. She departed from the show in 2007. Rowell is also well known for her role as Dr. Amanda Bentley in the CBS medical crime drama Diagnosis: Murder (1993-2001). From 1993 to 2000, she appeared on both series simultaneously. Rowell has had a number of roles in feature films. She starred alongside Eddie Murphy in the 1992 comedy The Distinguished Gentleman, and later had roles in films Dumb and Dumber (1994), Barb Wire (1996), and Eve's Bayou (1997). Rowell is an eleven time NAACP Image Awards winner.

Black History : Nell Carter

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Nell Carter (September 13, 1948 – January 23, 2003) was an American singer and actress. She won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin', as well as an Emmy Award for her reprisal of the role on television. From 1981 to 1987, Carter starred in the NBC sitcom Gimme a Break!. She received two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations for her work on the series.

Black History: Denzel Washington

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is an American actor and filmmaker. Washington has received much critical acclaim for his film work since the 1990s, including his portrayals of real-life figures such as South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko (in the 1987 film Cry Freedom), Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X (in the 1992 film Malcolm X), boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (in the 1999 film The Hurricane), football coach Herman Boone (in the 2000 film Remember the Titans), poet and educator Melvin B. Tolson (in the 2007 film The Great Debaters), and drug kingpin Frank Lucas (in the 2007 film American Gangster). He has been a featured actor in the films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and was a frequent collaborator of the late director Tony Scott. Washington has received two Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical drama/war film Glory (1989)…

Black History : Janet Jackson

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Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an Americansingersongwriter, and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television roles, and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture for over 25 years. The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame. After signing a recording contract with A&M in 1982, she became a pop icon following the release of her third studio album Control (1986). Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of rhythm and bluesfunkdiscorap, and industrial beats, which led to crossover appeal in popular music. In addition to receiving recognition for the innovation in …

Black History: Natalie Cole

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Natalie Maria Cole (born February 6, 1950) is an American singer, songwriter, and performer. The daughter of Nat King Cole, Cole rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as a R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole reemerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album, Everlasting, and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She has sold over 30 million records worldwide.

Black History : Marvin Gaye

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marvin Gaye ( born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records, first as an in-house session player in the 1960s and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, including How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) and I Heard It Through the Grapevine, and duet recordings withMary WellsKim Weston and Tammi Terrell, later earning the titlesPrince of Motown and Prince of Soul. During the 1970s, he recorded the concept albumsWhat's Going On and Let's Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown to break away from the reins of his production company. Gaye's later recordings influenced several R&Bsubgenres, such as quiet storm and neo-soul.[3] Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, Gaye released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit Sexual Healing and the Midnight Love album. On April 1, 1984, Gaye'…

Black History :India Arie

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia India Arie (born India Arie Simpson; October 3, 1975) is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwritermusician, and record producer. She has sold over 3.3 million records in the US and 10 million worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards from her 21 nominations, including Best R&B Album.

Black History: Toni Braxton

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Toni Michele Braxton (born October 7, 1967)is an American R&B singer-songwriter, pianist, musician, record producer, actress, television personality, and philanthropist. Rising to fame in the beginning of the 1990s, Braxton quickly established herself as an R&B icon and became one of the best-selling female artists of the 1990s decade, garnering her honorific titles such as the "Queen of R&B" and being recognized as one of the most outstanding voices of this generation. Her self-titled debut studio album was released in 1993. It sold over 10 million copies worldwide, spawning such hits as "Another Sad Love Song" and "Breathe Again" and earning Braxton threeGrammy Awards, including Best New Artist. Released in 1996, her second album, Secrets, continued her acclaim and mega success, selling over 15 million copies globally. The album spawned theBillboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits "You're Makin' Me High&q…

Black History: Robert Townsend

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert Townsend (born February 6, 1957) is an Americanactorcomedianfilm director, and writer.He is best known for directing the films Hollywood ShuffleEddie Murphy RawThe Meteor Man, and various other films and stand-up specials.

Black History: Morgan Freeman

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Morgan Freeman (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor, film director, and narrator. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street SmartDriving Miss DaisyThe Shawshank Redemption and Invictus, and won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including UnforgivenGloryRobin Hood: Prince of Thieves,SevenDeep ImpactThe Sum of All FearsBruce AlmightyAlong Came a SpiderThe Dark Knight TrilogyMarch of the PenguinsThe Lego Movie