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The Registry

Tue, 01.14.1890 story

The Blues are born from the African American culture

On this date we focus on Blues music in America. Technically, as a musical style the Blues are characterized by expressive pitch inflections (blue notes), a three-line textual stanza, and a 12-measure form.

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Wed, 01.14.1914 story

A foundation of Poetry, Dudley Randall

On this date in 1914, Dudley Randall was born. He was an African American poet, publisher, editor, and founder of Broadside Press.

He was born in Washington, D.C. and moved with his family to Detroit in 1920. His first published poem appeared in the Detroit Free Press when he was thirteen. His early readings included English poets from whom he learned form. He was later influenced by the work of Jean Toomer and Countee Cullen.

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Fri, 01.14.1916 story

Novelist John O. Killens wrote Black Man’s Burden

This date marks the birthday of John Oliver Killens, an African American novelist and professor, born in Macon, GA. in 1916.

Killens studied at Terrell Law School, Columbia University, and New York University from 1936 to 1942. After serving in the military, he worked for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., and then moved to Brooklyn. Killen’s first novel, “Youngblood,” was published in 1954 and his second, “And Then We Had Thunder,” in 1963. In between those two novels, he wrote the script for the film “Odds Against Tomorrow.”

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Sun, 01.14.1917 story

Black soldiers retaliate in Houston

On this date in 1917 Black soldiers in Houston, TX, retaliated against white racism.

The hostile racial climate in Houston after Reconstruction was a constant reminder to Blacks of their second-class citizenship. When a battalion of the 24th Infantry arrived there, the soldiers resented the racial epithets of whites working on a nearby National Guard camp, the segregation on local streetcar lines, and the violence the police used against them. Many of the older, more steady, noncommissioned black officers had been reassigned elsewhere as the country prepared for World War I.

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Wed, 01.14.1925 story

Albert Antoine, NASA scientist and chemistry teacher

Albert Cornelius Antoine was born on this date in 1925. He is an African American scientist and educator.

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Thu, 01.14.1937 story

Allen Toussaint born

*Allen Toussaint was born on this date in 1937. He was an African American singer, musician and composer.

From New Orleans, LA Allen Richard Toussaint was drawn to the piano as early as the age of 6, after his aunt sent an old upright to his family’s house for his sister to study on. He quickly made sense of the instrument and began to experiment with everything from Ray Charles to Liberace.

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Sun, 01.14.1940 story

Julian Bond, a Civil Rights Soldier

Julian Bond, an African American Civil rights activist and politician, was born on this date in 1940, in Nashville, TN.

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Sun, 01.14.1945 story

Vonetta McGee, a special actress

*Vonetta McGee was born on this date in 1945. She was an African American actress.

Lawrence Vonetta McGee (named after her father) was born in San Francisco. Her family planned for her to have a career in law, and she began studying pre-law at San Francisco State College, but she became involved in amateur theater and was bitten by the acting bug. McGee left college without graduating and joined the many American actors who moved to Rome in the 1960s to find work at the Cinecittà film studios.

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Tue, 01.14.1969 story

Student takeover at University of Minnesota

On this date in 1969, students took over Morrill Hall at the University of Minnesota.

The Morrill Hall takeover was the result of many decades of neglect and discrimination of Black students by the University. Despite an increase in Black students at thre University and in colleges and universities nationwide, the faculty and administration had remained indifferent to their cultural and racial needs. The two-day siege, orchestrated by nearly 70 people, was spearheaded by the African American students at the school.

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