Archive for June 2011

Roberta Martin

Jun 30th, 2011 | By
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1907-1969  Roberta Martin played a crucial role in the evolution of gospel music and in the development of the broad popularity that the form enjoys to this day. She combined classical piano training with profound spirituality to create a unique sound, while launching the careers of many gospel greats. Chicago Sound Martin was born in
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Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable

Jun 29th, 2011 | By
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1745?-1818  Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable was an intrepid pioneer and settler in the areas now known as Peoria and Chicago, Illinois. His foresight in
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Benjamin Banneker

Jun 28th, 2011 | By
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1731-1806 Benjamin Banneker overcame the hurdles of racial prejudice and a disadvantaged childhood to become a self-taught surveyor, clock-maker, mathematician, and astronomer. He published a highly regarded almanac, and earned the respect of prominent colleagues in the federal government. He thereby served as an important exemplar of the fundamental equality of the races, the talents
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Henry Ossawa Tanner

Jun 27th, 2011 | By
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1859-1937 Henry Ossawa Tanner was the preeminent black artist of the 19th century, and the first African American painter to be recognized internationally as a master in the Naturalist traditions of American art. He found his true vision, and recognition, only after journeying to Paris to live and work, and ultimately to the Holy Land
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Salem Poor

Jun 26th, 2011 | By
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1750?-?  Salem Poor was a distinguished military hero who fought valiantly in the American Revolution.  This courageous African American made a significant contribution to the struggle to create an independent United States of America.  But in a sad commentary on the plight of Blacks of that time, he was unable to enjoy any fitting recognition
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Bill Pickett

Jun 25th, 2011 | By
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1870-1932  Bill Pickett was the most famous African American rodeo performer of all time, and the first black cowboy movie star. He invented a way of controlling steers called “bulldogging,” and became a star attraction of wild west shows. Now known as “Steer Wrestling,” the event he created remains a popular part of rodeos to
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Robert Johnson

Jun 24th, 2011 | By
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1911?-1938  Robert Johnson combined a virtuosic talent with the legend of a bargain with the Devil to create a sound and a mythos that has infused the blues. His music influenced all subsequent developments in the blues, pop, and rock genres, as well as many notable musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries. Early Interest,
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Roberto Clemente

Jun 22nd, 2011 | By
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1934-1972  Roberto Clemente rose through the amateur leagues in his native Puerto Rico and the minor leagues in the United States to become one of the most accomplished hitters and fielders in the history of baseball. His career highlights include four National League batting titles, 12 Golden Glove Awards, and National League and World Series
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John James Audubon

Jun 22nd, 2011 | By
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1785 – 1851  John James Audubon channeled a passionate interest in birds and their environment into a new way of depicting wildlife, and became one the of the great artists of the 19th century in the process. His audacious work, depicting every North American bird species, exemplified the new country’s pioneer spirit, and his name
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Howlin’ Wolf

Jun 21st, 2011 | By
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1910-1976  Chester Arthur Burnett, aka Howlin’ Wolf, projected the elemental power of the blues through his six-foot, three-inch, 275-pound frame, raw feral voice, electric guitar, and harmonica to stunning effect. He was a major contributor to the evolution of the electric Chicago blues, blues/rock, and rock and roll. Farming to Singing Wolf was born in
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