The Flavour Palette
From the Analogs
On the Stoop
About the Artist
“The question is, quite bluntly. ‘Do Negroes
have equal rights in
She also stated that,
“I would rather be a Negro in
As a result of the
Town Meeting tour and her public speaking, in August of 1950, President Harry
S. Truman appointed her as an alternated
In 1962, at an age
where most people would probably retire, Sampson sought election as a judge on
the Chicago Municipal Court. As a Democrat in
In 1943, he earned
a M.A. degree from the University of Chicago. He was a teacher at every level
of education. Bontemps authored 25 books and worked closely with, Countee
Cullen, and Claude McKay as well as Langston Hughes. For his poetic works he
received the Crisis Magazine Prize in 1926, the Alexander Pushkin Prize for two
consecutive years and many other outstanding awards for his poetry. (Barksdale
Bontemps grew weary of trying to change the minds of the old and turned the focus of his writing upon the youth who were “not yet insensitive to man’s inhumanity to man.” He wrote biographies, children’s fiction, and black history, and he compiled many African American archives to be used as resources for studying Black Americans. Bontemps moved to Tennessee in 1943 to serve as the librarian of Fisk University in Nashville and remained there until his retirement in 1966. Among his best-known works were “God Sends Sunday” and “Black Thunder”, the juvenile books “We Have Tomorrow,” “The Story of the Negro,” and “American Negro Poetry,” which he edited in 1943 after graduating from the University of Chicago. He died on June 4, 1973.
J. Saunders Redding is born in Wilmington, Delaware. He will become a literary and social critic and author of non-fiction works on the African American experience. He will earn an advanced degree in English at Brown University (1932) and will be a professor at various colleges and universities, including Morehouse, Hampton, and Cornell. In 1949, his stint as a visiting professor at Brown will make him the first African American to hold a faculty position at an Ivy League university. He will write many books and articles on African American culture and other topics, including “To Make a Poet Black” (1939), a landmark history of African American literature; “No Day of Triumph” (1942), an autobiographical account of a journey through southern black communities; and “Stranger and Alone” (1950), a novel, as well as several more general historical and sociological works. He will also edit with Arthur P. Davis, an important anthology, “Cavalcade: Negro American Writing from 1760 to the Present” (1971). He will join the ancestors in 1988.
Art Tatum was born on this date. He was an African-American pianist.
From Toledo, Ohio, blind in one eye and visually impaired in the other, Tatum began piano studies as a child and his career started as a teenager with work in his hometown and in Cleveland. During a 1932-‘33 tour with Adelaide Hall, Tatum made his first solo recordings, then went on to work as a soloist in various clubs throughout the United States, as well as in Europe. He eventually formed a trio with guitarist Tiny Grimes and bassist Slam Stewart, in 1943. In 1953 he began working with Norman Granz, which led to collaborations with the likes of Benny Carter, Ben Webster and Roy Eldridge.
Tatum was often in the presence of the rich and famous at after-hours parties in New York City and Hollywood. His fans included such classical music names as pianist Vladimir Horowitz and conductor Leopold Stokowski. Horowitz was amazed at Tatum’s technical command. Recordings that reveal his gifts include The Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Vols. 1-8 and The Tatum Group Masterpieces, Vols. 1-8.
Tatum was respected by fellow musicians and often thought of as super-human. His intricate and technically dazzling improvisational flourishes helped to define the very core of the bebop lexicon, with fleet-fingered runs and adventurous improvisations. He worked steadily in solo and trio settings, with occasional forays using larger groups, until his death on November 5, 1956.
Garrett August Morgan, the son of former slaves, invented and patented what he called the “Safety Hood and Smoke Protector.” Ultimately, it became know the gas mask. Patrent #1,113,675. This breathing device was used during World War I. In 1916, Morgan used his invention to rescue two people and retrieve four bodies from a gas-filled tunnel in Lake Erie near Cleveland, OH.
A race riot occurred in Elaine,
The Kansas City Call founded by Chester Arthur Franklin.
The Spingarn Medal is presented to Archibald Grimke, President of the American Negro Academy and former U.S. consul to Santo Domingo.
Nipsey Russell was born on this date in 1924. He was an African American dancer, and comedian.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he was most widely known for being a guest panelist on many 1970s and 1980s game shows, such as Match Game, To Tell the Truth and Pyramid. One of the early Black stand-up comedians who found success with mainstream audiences, Russell started performing professionally in 1931 at the age of 6, when he was featured as a singing, dancing master of ceremonies for a children’s troupe in Atlanta organized by Eddie Heywood Sr.
Russell went to high school in his home town and received a BA in English from the University of Cincinnati. He also served in the United States Army. He got his start in the 1940s as a car hop at the Atlanta drive-in The Varsity, where he would earn his tips by making his customers laugh. By the 1950’s he had set his act apart from the baggy-pants, mostly raunchy comics who were the staple of most Black clubs of the time. Dressed in a conservative business suit and tie but wearing a raffish porkpie hat, he offered a confident, sophisticated approach to comedy.
His jokes and topical observations were often delivered in the form of aphorisms and rhymes. Russell read Shelley, Homer, Keats and Paul Laurence Dunbar when he was 10 and sometimes quoted from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.” He was hip, glib and conspicuously intelligent, he attracted downtown crowds to Harlem, becoming a standout pull at the Baby Grand, Small’s Paradise and other cabarets with puns like “America is the only place in the world where you can work in an Arab home in a Scandinavian neighborhood and find a Puerto Rican baby eating matzo balls with chopsticks.”
In addition to his sharp game-playing skills, Russell also delighted audiences with short poems, earning him the nickname “the poet laureate of television.” His move to nightclubs were essentially a compilation of his stand-up routines, not unlike what Redd Foxx was doing at the very same time. In the late 1950s, he was featured on The Ed Sullivan Show, which led to a small part in the comedy Car 54, Where Are You? in 1960.
Scattered appearances on television followed, as well as performing guest host duties on The Tonight Show during the Johnny Carson era. In 1971, he started as a featured panelist on To Tell the Truth, which led to him being hired for The Match Game when Goodson-Todman Productions revived it two years later. He was also a trained dancer, and appeared in the 1978 film The Wiz as the Tin Man. Nipsey Russell died October 2, 2005 in New York City from stomach cancer at age 80.
Garland Anderson’s “Appearances” opens at the Frolic Theatre on Broadway. It is the first full-length Broadway play by an African American.
Jesse Leroy Brown was born on this date. He was the first African-American aviator in the U. S. Navy.
As a pilot of Fighter Squadron 32, Ensign Brown became a section leader and received the Air Medal for daring attacks against the enemy at
Ray Brown was born on this date in. He was a legendary African-American jazz bassist.
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he started on piano, switching to bass as a member of his high school orchestra. After graduating, he worked in some territory bands, before moving to New York in 1945 where he was immediately drawn into the emerging bebop revolution. The 19-year-old bassist was hired without an audition by Dizzy Gillespie’s experimental big band that included such bebop innovators as Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and Max Roach. His bass talents were featured on such sides as One Bass Hit recorded by a sextet led by Gillespie in 1946.
The bassist also appeared with him in the 1946 film “Jivin’ in Be-Bop,” and played with Gillespie on such classic recordings as Night in Tunisia” and Emanon. In 1947, Brown married vocalist Ella Fitzgerald and later formed his own trio to tour with his wife. He became the singer’s musical director and they continued to work together even after their divorce in the early 1950s. During this period, Brown also recorded with Parker and worked with the Milt Jackson Quartet, an early edition of what became the Modern Jazz Quartet.
While touring with producer Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic, Brown played with the Canadian-born Peterson and became a founding member of the pianist’s drum-less trio in 1952. Brown was consistently voted top bassist in critics’ and readers’ polls during the decade. He proved the ideal partner for Peterson’s swirling, intricate solos. The Peterson-Brown-Ellis lineup stayed intact until 1957 and Brown remained with Peterson until 1966. In 1960, Brown created a stir when he had a hybrid instrument built for him that combined features of the cello and bass. The experiment attracted plenty of interest and eventually Ron Carter had a piccolo bass designed along similar lines. After leaving Peterson, Brown moved to California.
He co-founded the group L.A. Four with saxophonist Bud Shank, Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida and drummer Shelly Manne, and also appeared regularly on the “Merv Griffin Show.” He recorded the album Something for Lester with pianist Cedar Walton and drummer Elvin Jones. Since 1989, Brown recorded a series of albums for the Telarc label, many of which featured his trio with pianist Benny Green. His most recent recordings included Live at Starbucks, Superbass 2, and Some of My Best Friends Are... Guitarists. Brown lived in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles with his wife, Cecilia.
With a career that spanned more than half a century, Ray Brown died July 2, 2002 in his sleep. He was in Indianapolis where he was finishing an engagement at the Jazz Kitchen at the conclusion of the U. S. portion of a concert tour.
Demond Wilson is born in Valdosta, Georgia. He will become an actor and will be best known as Lamont Sanford on the long-running television show, “Sanford & Son.”
Leona Mitchell was born on this date. She is an African-American lyric soprano.
Mitchell is from Enid, Oklahoma and she is the daughter of Doctors Hulon and Pearl Mitchell. One of 15 children Mitchell received early vocal training in the Antioch Baptist Church choir in her home town. Following high school she attended Oklahoma City University on a music scholarship. There she obtained her bachelors degree in music in 1971. One year later she won the Kurt Herbert Adler Award of the San Francisco Opera and in 1973 received the Opera America grant to Francisco Opera that same year as Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen.
Her Metropolitan Opera Company debut in 1975 was the same role. Additional roles include Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, Musetta in Puccini’s LaBoheme, and Leonora in Verdi’s II Trovature. Mitchell gained international recognition when she was selected to sing Bess in the London Records complete recording of the George Gershwin classic, Porgy and Bess, with the Cleveland Orchestra. In addition to the Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera Companies, she has performed with the Geneva Opera, Paris Opera, New Israeli Opera, and Australia Opera. Mitchell later received honorary doctorates from Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma University. She has recently recorded a Christmas album and was featured on a recording of Tobias Picker’s Symphony No. 2. Aussohnung.
In 1982 she was featured as herself in the film Yes, Giorgio and Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (for TV). In 1986 she starred in Liberty Weekend (also for TV). In 1999, Mitchell gave ten performances of Puccini’s Turandot with the Australian opera. In 2000, she performed a new production of Don Carlo in Melbourne, Australia and was also heard in recital in Melbourne. Also that year, she sang a concert of Puccini arias in Miami, Florida. Ms. Mitchell is planning an album of spirituals and several other projects.
Leona Mitchell is married to Elmer Bush, who taught in Los Angeles before becoming her personal manager. They have one son, Elmer Bush IV, and maintain a residence in Houston, Texas.
Jerry Lee Rice is born in Crawford, Mississippi. He will become a professional football player, selected as the 16th pick overall in the first round of the NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers in 1985. He will be considered to be the greatest NFL receiver of all time. He will retire as the leader in a number of statistics. His 1,549 receptions were 448 receptions ahead of the second place record held by Cris Carter. His 22,895 receiving yards were 7,961 yards ahead of the second place spot held by his Raiders teammate Tim Brown. His 197 touchdown receptions were 67 scores more than Carter’s 130, and his 207 total touchdowns were 32 scores ahead of Emmitt Smith’s second place spot of 175. He will retire from the NFL on August 24, 2006.
Angela Yvonne Davis was arrested in
Clarence Muse joins the ancestors in Perris, California at the age of 90. He was a pioneer film and stage actor who appeared in 219 films. His first film was the second talking movie ever made.
The unprovoked slayings of six Blacks in Buffalo, New York triggered demands for a national investigation.
The Spingarn Medal was awarded to Rayford W. Logan, historian and author, “in tribute to his lifetime of service as an educator and historian.”
Isiah Thomas and Bob McAdoo are enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
On this date, the federal judge overseeing the Rosa Parks/OutKast lawsuit, appointed Detroit’s former mayor Dennis Archer, to review the case.
In this incident Parks’ relatives are at odds with her lawyer and caregiver over who can best protect her well being. The dispute is especially emotional because of Parks, current medical condition. Her doctor recently asserted in a court document that she has dementia and cannot testify or be deposed. The fight is in part from litigation that has been filed in her name but that her relatives’ doubt she knows about. The case is LaFace Records v. Parks, 03-504.
Her family said her longtime caregiver and confidante, Elaine Steele, and her lawyers are seeking monetary settlements for their own gain. Steele is the co-founder of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, which could share in the proceeds from any settlement against OutKast. Steele contends that the suits, over a song invoking her name, are meant to protect Parks’ reputation. Her family argues that they trivialize it. Now the federal judge overseeing the suits, George Steeh, brought in Archer, one of Detroit’s most respected residents.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia., who marched alongside Parks in Civil Rights protests in the 1960s said. “Rosa Parks is a mother of the civil rights movement. It would be very unfortunate if people forgot her raw courage and remembered her as an elderly African-American lady who sued a rock band.” The story of how Parks reached this point combines bravery with sadness, and royal self-respect with furious anger. It is tinged with racism and generous doses of jealousy.
On April 14, 2005 the suit was settled. Under the settlement, OutKast and co-defendants SONY BMG Music Entertainment, Arista Records LLC and LaFace Records will work with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development to develop educational programs “to enlighten today’s youth about the significant role Rosa Parks played in making America a better place for all races,” Archer said in a statement.
OutKast and other contemporary artists will perform on a tribute CD to be produced by SONY BMG, said Archer. The parties also will collaborate on an educational television program about Parks’ life and legacy. Archer will host the program, which will be distributed on DVDs to thousands of public schools nationwide, the statement said.
The settlement implies no fault by the defendants, Archer said. A message seeking comment was left Thursday evening for BMG attorney Joe Beck.