The Registry

Sat, 02.27.1897 story

Marian Anderson, Contralto born

*On this date, Marian Anderson was born in 1897. She was an African American singer, one of the finest contraltos of her time.

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Wed, 03.07.1917 story

Janet Collins, Prima Ballerina born

*Janet Collins, an African American ballet dancer and painter, was born on this date in 1917.

From New Orleans, Louisiana, she moved with her family to Los Angeles as a young girl, attending Los Angeles City College and the Los Angeles Art Center School. As an accomplished painter, she was able to finance her relocation to New York to pursue a career in dance. In 1941, she performed with the new, but world-renowned Black dance troupe formed and directed by Katherine Dunham.

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Sun, 02.26.1933 story

Godfrey Cambridge, Stage, and Screen Actor born

*On this date in 1933, Godfrey Cambridge was born. He was an African American actor and comedian, one of the most unique comics of the early 1970’s.

Born to parents who emigrated from British Guiana, he attended public schools in Nova Scotia while living with his grandparents. After finishing his education in New York at Flushing High School and Hofstra College, he began to study acting.

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Wed, 02.19.1902 story

John Bubbles, Tap Dancer born

*On this date in 1902, John Bubbles was born. He was an African American dancer and entertainer; know as “the father of rhythm tap”.

John William Sublett (his name at birth), was from Louisville, Kentucky and grew up in Indianapolis, IN. At the age of eleven he teamed up with Ford Lee Washington in an act billed as Buck and Bubbles. Bubbles sang and danced while Buck played accompaniment. They won a number of amateur competitions performing around the Louisville, Detroit, and New York City areas, sometimes in blackface.

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Wed, 02.22.1888 story

Horace Pippin, Folk Artist born

*This date marks the birth of Horace Pippin in 1888. He was an African American folk painter known for his primitivist depictions of Black life in America and on the horrors of war.

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Thu, 04.08.1909 story

James Hampton, Folk Artist born

*On this date in 1909, James Hampton was born. He was an African American folk artist.

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Sat, 04.09.1898 story

Paul Robeson, Athlete, Actor, Singer, and Activist born

On this date in 1898, Paul Robeson was born. He was a Black dramatic actor, singer, civil rights activist, political radical and one of the most gifted men of the 20th century.

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Mon, 04.09.1877 story

Florence B. Price, Pianist, and Composer born

On this date in 1877, Florence Smith Price was born. She was an African American composer, concert pianist, and organist.

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Fri, 04.10.1914 story

Noah Ryder, Choral Conductor, and Educator born

Noah Ryder was born on this date in 1914. He was an African American conductor, singer and educator.

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Sun, 04.13.1924 story

John Biggers, Artist born

On this date in 1924, John Biggers was born. He was a gifted, African American artist.

From Gastonia, North Carolina, he was born in a shotgun house built by his father Paul. His father was a Baptist preacher, schoolteacher, farmer, principal of a three-room school, and shoemaker. His mother, Cora, did laundry and cooked for white families. Biggers was the youngest of seven in a tightly knit family that valued education and creative endeavors.

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