THE MUNIRAH CHRONICLE
******* Today in Black History – April 4, 2020 *******
1915 - McKinley Morganfield is born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. He
will be discovered in 1941 by two music archivists from the
Library of Congress, traveling the back roads of Mississippi
looking for the legendary Robert Johnson. They recorded two
of Morganfield's songs and lit a fire in the ambitious young
man. He will leave Mississippi for Chicago two years later
to become a blues singer better known as "Muddy Waters." He
will join the ancestors on April 30, 1983 in Chicago,
1928 - Marguerite Ann Johnson is born in St. Louis, Missouri. She
will become the first African American streetcar conductor
in San Francisco, a dancer, nightclub singer, editor, and
teacher of music and drama in Ghana and professor of
American Studies at Wake Forest University, better known as
Dr. Maya Angelou. She will also become noted as the author of
a multi-volume autobiographical series, as well as several
volumes of poetry. She will join the ancestors on May 28, 2014.
1938 - Vertamae (Vera Mae) Smart-Grosvenor is born in Hampton County,
South Carolina. She will become a culinary anthropologist/griot,
food writer, and broadcaster on public media. She will be known
for her cookbook-memoir, Vibration Cooking: or, The Travel
Notes of a Geechee Girl (1970). She will also appear in several
films, including "Daughters of the Dust" (1992), about a Gullah
family in 1902, at a time of transition on the Sea Islands; and
"Beloved" (1998), based on the Toni Morrison novel.
1939 - Hugh Masekela is born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa.
He will become a musician and band leader. He will be a major
force in South African Jazz, and will become known throughout
the world. He will be known for his jazz compositions, as well as
for writing well-known anti-apartheid songs such as "Soweto Blues"
and "Bring Him Back Home". He will have hits in the United States
with the pop jazz tunes "Up, Up and Away" (1967) and the number-one
smash "Grazing in the Grass" (1968), which will sell four million
copies. He will also appear at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967,
and subsequently featured in the film "Monterey Pop" by D. A.
Pennebaker. In 1974, He and friend Stewart Levine will organise the
Zaire 74 music festival in Kinshasa set around the "Rumble in the
Jungle" boxing match. He will play primarily in jazz ensembles, with
guest appearances on recordings by The Byrds ("So You Want to Be a
Rock 'n' Roll Star" and "Lady Friend") and Paul Simon ("Further to
Fly"). In 1984, he will release the album Techno Bush. From that
album, a single entitled "Don't Go Lose It Baby" will peak at number
two for two weeks on the dance charts. In 1987, he will have a hit
single with "Bring Him Back Home", which will become an anthem for
the movement to free Nelson Mandela. A renewed interest in his
African roots will lead him to collaborate with West and Central
African musicians, and finally to reconnect with Southern African
players when he sets up with the help of Jive Records a mobile studio
in Botswana, just over the South African border, from 1980 to 1984.
Here he will re-absorb and re-use mbaqanga strains, a style he will
continue to use since his return to South Africa in the early 1990s.
In the 1980s, he will tour with Paul Simon in support of Simon's album
"Graceland," which will feature other South African artists such as
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, Ray Phiri, and other elements
of the band Kalahari, with which he recorded in the 1980s. He will also
collaborate in the musical development for the Broadway play, "Sarafina!"
He previously recorded with the band Kalahari. In 2010, he will be
featured, with his son Selema Masekela, in a series of videos on ESPN.
The series, called Umlando � Through My Father's Eyes, will be aired in
10 parts during ESPN's coverage of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The series will focus on Hugh and Selema's travels through South Africa.
He will bring his son to the places he grew up. It will be Selema's
first trip to his father's homeland. On December 3, 2013, he will be a
guest with the Dave Matthews Band in Johannesburg, South Africa. He
will join Rashawn Ross on trumpet for "Proudest Monkey" and "Grazing in
1948 - Richard Dean 'Dick' Parsons is born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1988,
he will be recruited to serve as chief operating officer of the
Dime Savings Bank of New York, becoming the first African American
CEO of a large, non-minority U.S. savings institution. In 1990, he
will become Chairman and CEO and will oversee a merger with Anchor
Savings Bank, gaining a substantial sum when the Dime Bank was
demutualized. In 1991, on the recommendation of Nelson Rockefeller's
brother Laurance to the then CEO Steven Ross, he will be invited to
join Time Warner's board. He will subsequently become president of
the company in 1995, recruited by Gerald Levin. He will help
negotiate the company's merger with America Online in 2000, creating
a $165-billion media conglomerate. In December, 2001, it will be
announced that chief executive Gerald Levin would retire and he will
be selected as his successor. The announcement will surprise many
media watchers who expected chief operating officer Robert Pittman
to take the helm. In 2003, he will announce the name change from
AOL-Time Warner to simply Time Warner. He will become chairman
of Citigroup on February 23, 2009.
1959 - The Federation of Mali is formed, consisting of Senegal & the
territory of Mali in the French Sudan. It will dissolve in
1960 - Senegal and Mali gain separate independence.
1968 - Acknowledged leader of the U.S. civil rights movement, Martin
Luther King, Jr. joins the ancestors after being assassinated
in Memphis, Tennessee. His death will result in a national day
of mourning and the postponement of the beginning of the baseball
season. Over 30,000 people will form a funeral procession behind
his coffin, pulled by two Georgia mules. King's death will also
set off racially motivated civil disturbances in 160 cities
leaving 82 people dead and causing $ 69 million in property
damage. President Lyndon B. Johnson declares Sunday, April 6, a
national day of mourning and orders all U.S. flags on government
buildings in all U.S. territories and possessions to fly at
1972 - Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., former congressman and civil rights
leader, joins the ancestors in Miami, Florida at the age of
1974 - Hank Aaron ties the baseball career home run record set by
Babe Ruth, when he hits his 714th home run in Cincinnati,
1989 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar plays in his last NBA game in Seattle.
2002 - The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign a peace treaty ending
the Angolan Civil War.
2012 - Somalia's National Theatre is struck by a suicide bomber killing ten
people including the presidents of the Somali Olympic Committee and
The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,
"Before the Mayflower", "Black Firsts" and independent
research by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry, Sr.
EVERY MONTH SHOULD BE BLACK HISTORY MONTH! CHECK OUT THESE OTHER BLACK HISTORY SITES ON THE WEB
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - located in Harlem, New York City
Black History - Black History Links from the Information Man
Black History - Afro-American Newspapers
National Civil Rights Museum - located in Memphis, Tennessee
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History - located in Detroit, Michigan
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture - located in Baltimore, Maryland
National Museum of African American History and Culture - located in Washington, DC
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Last Updated Saturday, April 04, 2020