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  1. Filmmaker Oscar Micheaux is born on January 22, 1884.
  2. Ray Charles’ “I Can’t Stop Loving You” stays on at top of Billboard charts for 100 straight weeks in 1962.
  3. In 1964, Sidney Poitier becomes the first African American male to receive an Oscar. He gets it for his performance in “Lilies of the Field”.
  4. Pianist Andre Watts makes his debut at age 16 with the New York Philharmonic in 1963,
  5. Singer Nat ‘King’ Cole dies on Feb. 15, 1965 in Santa Monica, California.
  6. Dorothy Dandridge, first African American woman nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress dies on September 8, 1965 in Hollywood. Ms. Dandridge was nominated for her role in “Carmen Jones”.
  7. Dancer Judith Jamison debuts with Alvin Ailey’s Dance Troupe.
  8. The Negro Ensemble Company is formed in New York in 1967.
  9. Singer Otis Redding dies on Dec. 10, 1967 in a plane crash. Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” was released posthumously and topped the charts for four weeks in 1968.
  10. In 1967, Aretha Franklin records “Respect,” written by Otis Redding.
  11. In 1968, ABC’s One Life to Live becomes the first soap opera to feature an African American character, portrayed by Ellen Holly, who plays a black woman passing as white.
  12. In 1969, James Earl Jones received a Tony Award for Best Actor for his portrayal in the “Great White Hope”.
  13. The Bill Cosby Show variety show debuts in 1969. Also, in 1969, he received his fourth Emmy for a TV variety show.
  14. Della Reese gets her own variety show on CBS in 1969.
  15. Arthur Mitchell co-founds the Dance Theater of Harlem in 1969.
  16. Gordon Parks’ “Learning Tree” is released in Hollywood, marking the first post World War II film to be directed by an African American in 1969.
  17. Jimi Hendrix dies on September 18, 1970.
  18. In 1970, the Flip Wilson Show debuts on NBC.
  19. In 1971, Isaac Hayes’ recording “Theme from Shaft” is a number one pop hit and will win an Academy Award for Best Song in 1972.
  20. Jazz great Louis Armstrong dies on July 6, 1971 in Queens, N Y.
  21. In 1971, major civil rights organizations form a movement against Blax-ploitation movies.
  22. Mahalia Jackson dies on January 27, 1972 in Evergreen Park, Illinois
  23. In 1988, August Wilson’s play “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” opens on Broadway.
  24. Morgan Freeman stars in “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1987.
  25. Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” is released in 1992.
  26. Actor Clevon Little dies in 1992.
  27. Lizzie ‘Memphis Minnie’ Douglass, country-blues singer is born on June 3, 1897.
  28. William Levi Dawson’s “Negro Folk Symphony” is performed at Carnegie Hall by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra in 1934.
  29. In 1943, Othello opens on Broadway with Paul Robeson in the title role.
Fats Waller, pianist and composer (‘Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” and “Stormy Weather”) dies on December 15, 1943 in Kansas City, Miss



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