February Achievers of Color

In the book “Soul Vibrations: Astrology for African Americans,” by George Davis and Gilda Mathews, it gives some characteristics found in people who share the same birth month and day. Most of this astrological information is taken from this book. The book says of achievers born in February are governed by the astrological signs of Aquarius, January 20 to February 18 and Pisces, February 19 thru 28 and 29th in leap year. For this article, we will highlight Aquarian February’s. They are said to be broad-minded and freedom-loving people. They are original. The planets Uranus and Saturn rule February. Famous February’s favorite color is blue. The gem is garnet. Their lucky numbers are 8 and 4, and the fortunate day of the week for February’s is Wednesday. People born under the Aquarian sign are said to be very stubborn, especially when enraged. They are very rebellious, especially when there is injustice, and most notably when the injustice is directed towards them. They can be absolutely uncompromising when their humanitarian ideals are violated. For instance, Rosa Parks, Alice Walker, Huey Newton, Benjamin Chavez, and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few (Aquarius also governs the later part of January).
Here are some Aquarian February’s born in this month:

Charles Lenox Remond, born February 1, 1810, in Salem, Massachusetts (died December 22, 1873), becomes an orator, activist and abolitionist based in Massachusetts. He lectured against slavery across the Northeast, and in the British Isles on an 1840 tour with William Lloyd Garrison. 

Henry McNeal Turner, born February 1, 1834, in Newberry Court House, South Carolina, (died May 8, 1915),becomes a religious worker and educator, who served as a leading member of the A.M.E. church. He became a bishop. He helped established the A.M.E. denomination in Georgia and Africa. He also served as a leading advocate of his era, for the emigration of African Americans to Africa, as Marcus Garvey (another achiever of color) did during his time. (From: Notable Black American Men, page 1133, Twentieth Century Negro Literature, and Major Black Religious Leaders, page 140.)

Francis L. Cardozo, born February 1, 1836 or 1837, in Charleston, South Carolina, (died July 22, 1903), to a Jewish father and a mother of mixed ancestry, becomes an educator, politician, and minister, most noted for his highly visible achievements in education and public service. He became several firsts, such as the first Black principal of Avery Normal Institute, in Charleston, South Carolina, and the first Black Secretary of State for South Carolina. He served four years in this position. He then became Secretary of Treasury and served two terms. (From: Notable Black American Men, page171 and Black Firsts, pages 102, 107, 146, and 320, and Men of Mark, page 281.)

Judia C. Jackson, born February 1, 1873, in Athens, Georgia, (her death is not known at present), becomes a writer, school founder and race relations advocate, who founded the Teacher Training and Industrial Institute, as well as land clubs that improved the quality of Blacks’ social and economic life, in Georgia. As a writer, she wrote articles on race relations, with the hope better understanding between Blacks and whites are the results. (From: Notable Black American Women, page 466)

Channing H. Tobias, born February 1, 1882, in Augusta, Georgia, (died November 6, 1961), becomes a minister, social worker and civic leader, whose voice championed the rights of African Americans. Ebony magazine once referred to him as “the mystery man of race relations.” He crusaded for racial understanding, cooperation worldwide, and worked through various organizations, to bring about the realization of equality for humankind. Throughout his life, he served as a member of the Republican Party. (From: Notable Black American Men, page 1122)

J. Ernest Wilkins, Sr., born February 1, 1894, in Farmington, Missouri, (died January 19, 1959), becomes a government official and a lawyer, who served as Assistant Secretary of Labor, in charge of international affairs. He became the first African American to hold this position and the second Black official to hold a sub-cabinet post. His position placed him as the top ranking Black, working in the nation’s capitol, during the Eisenhower Administration. Wilkins served as a member of the Republican Party. (From: Notable Black American Men, page 1120)

James P. Johnson, born February 1, 1894, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, (died November 17, 1955 or 1956), becomes one of America’s most noted jazz pianists. On September 16, 1995, a U.S. postal service dedicated a stamp in his honor. (From: Stamp on Black History)

Langston Hughes, born James Langston Hughes, February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri, (died May 27, 1967), becomes a storyteller, a poet, and writer, whose stories told him by his grandmother, developed his deep interest in African American culture and history. His great uncle, John Mercer Langston, noted abolitionist, became the first Black to serve in the U.S. Congress. President Theodore Roosevelt honored his grandmother, Mary Langston, as the last surviving widow of Harpers Ferry insurgents. Langston, himself, received many awards and honors to include the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1960. (From: Black Firsts, page 45)

Denis Williams, born February 1, 1923, in Georgetown, Guyana, (died in 1998), becomes a lecturer, archaeologist, anthropologist, painter, educator, and novelist. (From: Dictionary of Literary Biography, page 313, and his obituary bulletin on the Internet)
Calvin Coolidge Sampson, born February 1, 1928, Linkwood, Maryland, becomes the first African American resident at Philadelphia’s Episcopal Hospital. His parent’s gave him the name of Calvin Coolidge, after the 30th Presidents of the United States, Calvin Coolidge (July 4, 1872-1933). (From: Biographies of Black in Medicine, page 105)

Azie Taylor Morton, born February 1, 1936, in Dale, Texas (died December 7, 2003), becomes a politician, serving as Treasurer of the United States during the Carter administration, from September 12, 1977 to January 20, 1981. She remains the only African American to hold that office. Her signature, printed on U.S. currency during her tenure is an honor she shares with four African American men.

Garret Gonzalez Morris, born February 1, 1937, in New Orleans or Morgan City, Louisiana, becomes an actor and comedian. He plays the role of Uncle Junior, in the TV sitcom, “The Jamie Foxx Show.” He became an original cast member of the sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live, appearing from 1975 to 1980.

Sherman Hemsley, born Sherman Alexander Hemsley, February 1, 1938, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (died July 24, 2012, in El Paso, Texas, becomes an actor, most famous for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television series “All in the Family” and “The Jefferson’s,” and as Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC series “Amen.”
Joe Sample, born February 1, 1939, in Houston, Texas, becomes a pianist, keyboard player and composer, one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders, simply known as The Crusaders in 1971. He began playing the piano at the age of five. Some of his works are featured on The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” segments and his song “Rainbow Seeker” is included in their 2008 compilation release, The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II. Actress Nicole Kidman sang his song “One Day I’ll Fly Away” in the Baz Luhrmann film “Moulin Rouge.”

Rick James, born James Ambrose Johnson, Jr. February 1, 1948, in Buffalo, New York, (died August 6, 2004), becomes one of the pioneers of the R&B and rock crossover era of the mid 1960s. He is the nephew of original Temptations member, Melvin Franklin.

Bobbie Wade Mason, born February 1, 1955, in Jackson, Michigan, becomes a singer, pianist, composer, entrepreneur, talk show host and a contemporary and traditional Gospel singer. In 1995, a Warren Chaney docudrama featured her in “America: a Call to Greatness.”

DennisEmmanuel Brown, born February 1, 1957, in Kingston, Jamaica (died July 1, 1999), becomes a Jamaican reggae singer. During his prolific career, (which began in the late 1960s at the age of  eleven), he recorded more than 75 albums and became one of the major stars of lovers rock, a subgenre of reggaeBob Marley cited Brown as his favorite singer, dubbing him “The Crown Prince of Reggae”, and Brown would prove influential on future generations of reggae singers.

Joshua Redman, born February 1, 1969, in Berkeley, California, becomes a saxophone player, just like his father, noted saxophonist, Dewey Redman. His mother, dancer and librarian, Renee Shedroff, nurtured his creativity.
Malik Sealy, born February 1, 1970, in Bronx, New York, (died May 20, 2000), becomes a professional basketball, playing for the teams of the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, and the Minnesota Timberwolves during his professional career. He died in an automotive accident. In Sealy’s honor, the Minnesota Timber Wolves retired his #2 jersey. Kevin Garnett (born May 19, 1976) also paid a tribute to him, having written “2MALIK” in the inside of the tongue on the Adidas Garnett 3 shoes. Sealy made a game-winning 3-pointer off the glass as time expired in a 101-100 Timber Wolves win over the Indiana Pacers on January 17, 2000. Sealy also became an aspiring actor, and had a major role as the talented but selfish basketball player ‘Stacey Patton’ in the 1996 motion picture “Eddie” starring Whoopi Goldberg. Sealy died while driving home from a birthday celebration for teammate and best friend Kevin Garnett. Blood alcohol tests determined the person who hit him to be drunk at the time.

Tego Calderón, born February 1, 1972, in Santurce, Puerto Rico, becomes an accomplished musician as well as vocalist. He attended the Escuela Libre de Música of Puerto Rico, where he concentrated on percussion studies, while also mastering composition and lyrics. In the late-1980s, he moved to Miami, where he graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School. While there, he began to soak up the influences of American hip-hop. Hearing the California gangster rap troupe N.W.A. proved pivotal. Moving back to Puerto Rico, he found a new appreciation for such Jamaican dance hall performers as Buju Banton, Super Cat, and Ninja Man. Around the same time, the Reggae ton movement began to become a force in Puerto Rico. Calderón began to forge his own multicultural rap style, earning a reputation as a street poet with a fresh musical approach. He credits fellow Puerto Rican hip-hop pioneer Vico C with inspiring him to rap in Spanish, instead of imitating the English catch phrases of African-American hip-hop, establishing him as a new voice of the streets.

Leymah Gbowee, born February 1, 1972, in Monrovia, Liberia, becomes a Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women’s peace movement that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Her efforts to end the war, along with her collaborator Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, helped usher in a period of peace and enabled a free election in 2005 that Sirleaf won. This made Liberia the first African nation to have a female president. She, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman, were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

Walter McCarty, born February 1, 1974, in Evansville, Indiana, becomes a professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics.

“Big Boi”, born Antwan Patton, February 1, 1975, in Savannah, Georgia, becomes a rap singer, member of the popular group known as “Outkast.” (From: Rock on the Net, an Internet source)

Phil Ivey, born February 1, 1976, in Riverside, California, becomes a professional poker player, considered the Tiger Woods of Poker, nicknamed “No Home Jerome.” He has won five World Series of Poker bracelets and has a World Poker Tour title, making the final table there a record eight times. He crafted his game playing skills amongst his co-workers at a New Brunswick, New Jersey telemarketing firm in the late 1990s. One of his nicknames, “No Home Jerome,” stems from the ID card he secured to practice in Atlantic City in his teenage years.

Rutina Wesley, born February 1, 1979, in Las Vegas, Nevada, becomes an actress known for the character Tara Thorton, on the gritty Southern vampire drama, “True Blood,” in 2008. Exposed to the arts at a very early age as entertainment runs through her veins, her father, Ivery Wheeler became a noted tap dancer and her mother, Cassandra Wesley, performed on the Vegas strip as a showgirl. Rutina studied dance for years then earned an undergraduate degree in Theatre Performance from the University of Evansville in Indiana. She had the good fortune to attend the acclaimed Julliard School. During Rutina’s stint at Julliard, she was fortunate enough to spend a summer at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Fortune was with Rutina again when one of her Julliard classmates, Nelsan Ellis, reconnected with her when he became her co-star on “True Blood.”

Otilino Tenorio, born February 1, 1980, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, (died May 7, 2005), becomes an Ecuadorian footballer nicknamed “Spiderman,” because when he scored a goal in a football match he would cover his head with a Spider Man mask as he celebrated. He joined Emelec of Guayaquil (the club has won more national championships than any other club in Ecuador. In football, they have ten national titles, which is third overall) at the age of eleven, and went on to play for the club at a professional level. Tenorio died in May, 2005 due to an automobile accident suffered when while traveling to Quevedo, to visit his family.

Lee Thompson Young, born February 1, 1984, in Columbia, South Carolina, becomes an actor known for his starring role in the Disney television series “The Famous Jett Jackson.” At age ten, he portrayed Martin Luther King in a play called A Night of Stars and Dreams by Dwight Woods, and the Phillis Wheatley Repertory Theatre of Greenville South Carolina. He then decided he wanted to become an actor. After doing Community Theater for a while, he traveled to New York during the spring break of 1996 and got an agent.
Hurricane Chris, born Chris Dooley, Jr., February 1, 1989, in Shreveport, Louisiana, becomes a rapper who began rapping at the age of eight, performing in talent shows. He attended Huntington High School in Shreveport, and in 2007, the principal of Huntington High declared September 25, “Hurricane Chris Day.”

John P. Parker, born February 2, 1827 or 1828, in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of a white father and slave mother, (died February 4, 1900) becomes a businessperson, abolitionist and an inventor. At age eight, his father sold him to a slave agent from Richmond, Virginia, who in turn sold him to a slave caravan, where he ended up in Mobile, Alabama. In Mobile, Parker became an apprentice to a host of artisans in foundry and iron manufacturing, and learned the trade of a plasterer. In 1845, Parker began his career as a conductor for the Underground Railroad. Working independently, Parker took an active role in moving an estimated 1000 slaves from bondage. In 1854, Parker opened a small foundry, which eventually would employ up to twenty-five men. In 1863, he became a recruiter for the 27th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, (one of two colored units in Ohio). He called his foundry company “Ripley’s Foundry and Machine Company.” Parker became one of a few Blacks to obtain patents before 1900. He obtained his patent for a screw tobacco presses in 1884. (From: www.princeton.edu/~mcbrown/display/parker.html, an Internet source)

William Calvin Chase, born February 2, 1854, in Washington, DC, (died January 3, 1921) becomes a journalist, writer, politician, activist and, editor of the Washington Bee. For its forty years, the Washington Bee’s motto read “Honey for Friends, Stings for Enemies.” The line sums up Chase’s approach as an editor, politician, and critic. Chase became the editor of the Washington Beetwo months after its founding, and he remained the editor and publisher for the next forty years. Initially the Washington Bee’s office operated out of his parent’s home. The Bee began as a four-page weekly paper. Between 1895 and 1922, the paper broadened the pages to eight pages only to provide greater opportunity for advertisement. Chase’s primary concern for the paper rested on political and social events in the nation and in the District of Columbia. In a 1914 editorial, Chase proclaimed that African American newspapers respected the tradition of protest that espoused in the earliest press and remained a value in the early twentieth century. He credited the protest tradition with influencing the contemporary organizations of the day, such as the NAACP. (From: Chase-William Calvin (1854-1921), journalist, newspaper editor, publisher, political activist, early year’s chronology. Washington Bee, American and African – Jrank articles: http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/4167/Chase-William-Calvin-1854-1921.html#ixzz1lv9yxwno)

Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr., born February 2, 1861, near Bardstown, Kentucky, in Nelson County, (died March 14, 1949), becomes a poet and playwright. His birth year marked the beginning of the Civil War. Cotter once said in response to “Answer to Dunbar’s’ A Choice,” that the world was in such need of reform that poets should “wed stern facts to song.” In 1893, Cotter founded the Paul Laurence Dunbar School in Louisville, Kentucky, and served as its’ principal until 1911, when he became principal of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor School. (From: http://www.alexanderstreet2.com/BLDRLive/bios/A16728BIO.html, an Internet source)

Evelyn Ellis, born February 2, 1894, in Boston, Massachusetts, (died June 5, 1958), becomes a stage and screen actress. Her stage career began in 1919, in the production of “Othello,” by the celebrated Lafayette Theater, in Harlem, New York. In 1927, she received critical acclaim for her performance in the role of Lucy Bell Dorsey, in “Goat Alley,” a play about life in the slums of Washington, D.C. That same year she performed in George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” In 1941, Ellis played the role of Hannah Thomas in Orson Welles’s staging of Richard Wrights’ “Native Son.” (From: Black Women in America, page 392)

William Ellisworth Artis, born February 2, 1914, in Washington, North Carolina (died in 1977), becomes a sculptor, who studied under Augusta Savage, another achieving artist of color, born February 29, 1892.   

Edward “Sonny” Stitt, born February 2, 1924, in Boston, Massachusetts, (died in 1982), becomes a musician, a saxophonist, and one of the most important reed musicians in the history of jazz music.

Sylvia Woods, born February 2, 1926, in Hemingway, South Carolina (died July 19, 2012), became an American restaurateur who co-founded the landmark restaurant Sylvia’s in Harlem on Lenox Avenue, New York City with her husband, Herbert Woods, in 1962. During the early 1990s, the business expanded and now seats up to 450 people. It also has a catering business. Organized and started by her son Van in 1992, Sylvia came out with her own line of soul food products, sold nationally. Woods’ products include many of her special sauces, vegetables, spices, syrup, and cornbread and pancake mixes. Woods produced two cookbooks: Sylvia’s Soul Food Cookbook, published in 1992; and Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook, published in 1999, both by William Morrow & by Company. The restaurant remains owned and operated by the Woods family. In August 2011, they celebrated 50 years in Harlem. Guests have included Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Muhammad Ali, Bill Clinton, Robert F. Kennedy, and President Barack Obama. Woods trained to become a beautician in New York, and also ran a beauty shop in South Carolina. Woods also worked in a hat factory, and as a waitressed at a restaurant called Johnson’s Luncheonette in Harlem from 1954 to 1962. Woods worked at Johnson’s for about seven or eight years. When the owner wanted to sell, he offered the place to Woods for $20,000.

Ragan A. Henry, born February 2, 1934, in Sadiesville, Kentucky, becomes a broadcast and newspaper executive. He served as president of Broadcast Enterprises National. He also served as former publisher of the National Leader; a Black national newspaper launched in 1982. He held the office of president at radio stations in several states. As a lawyer, he served as partner in a Philadelphia law firm. (From: http://www.naoc-2003.org/information.asp, an Internet source)

Pete Brown, born February 2, 1935, in Port Gibson, Mississippi, becomes a professional golfer who played on the Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour) beginning in 1985. 

Martina Arroyo, born February 2, 1937, Harlem, New York, becomes an operatic soprano who had a major international opera career from the 1960s through the 1980s. She was part of the first generation of black opera singers to achieve wide success, viewed as part of an instrumental group of performers who helped break down the barriers of racial prejudice in the opera world. Arroyo first rose to prominence at the Zurich Opera between 1963–1965, after which she was one of the Metropolitan Opera’s leading sopranos between 1965 and 1978. Known for her performances of the Italian spinto repertoire, and in particular, her portrayals of Verdi and Puccini heroines, her last opera performance, in 1991, she devoted time to teaching singing on the faculties of various universities in the United States and Europe. On December 8, 2013, Arroyo received a Kennedy Center Honor. Arroyo became the first black person to portray the role of Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin in 1968, not just at the Met, but also in all of opera history.

DuaneL.Jones, born February 2, 1936 or 1937, in New York City, New York (died July 22, 1988) was an American actor, best known for his leading role as Ben in the 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead.

Simon Estes, born into poverty February 2, 1938, in Centerville, Iowa, becomes a major international opera star. He, his brother and sisters grew up in a deeply religious home, and although his father never went beyond the third grade, the parents stressed the importance of education. In an interview for Current Biography, Estes quoted his father’s saying, “Whatever else people can take away from you, and they can’t take away what’s in your head.” Estes performed at the White House for President Lyndon B. Johnson in the late 1960’s. Estes became the first Black man to sing at the Bayreuth Festival, when he performed the title role of Der Fligende Hollander. He also won the first International Tchaikovsky Vocal Competition, in Moscow. (From: Notable Black American Men, Black Firsts, page 27, Ebony, 1000 Influential Blacks, page 107, and www.afrovoices.com/estes.html, an Internet source)

James “Blood” Ulmer, born February 2, 1942, in St. Matthews, South Carolina, becomes a jazz guitarist and vocalist who inspired many rock-based guitarists.

Al McKay, born February 2, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana, becomes a guitarist, songwriter, producer, and former member of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, and a recipient of five Grammy Awards.
Alphonso Johnson, born February 2, 1951, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes an influential jazz bassist since the early 1970s.

DexterKeith Manley, born February 2, 1959, in Houston, Texas, nicknamed the “Secretary of Defense,” becomes a professional football player, playing the position of defensive end in the National Football League, for the Washington Redskins, Phoenix Cardinals, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ta Ronce Allen, born February 2, 1960, in Los Angeles, California, becomes an actress best known for her appearances as a teen actress on television in the 1970s. She portrayed the role of Michael Evans’s girlfriend “Yvonne” in two episodes of the hit CBS-TV sitcom series “Good Times.” He father, actor Raymond Allen starred as “Uncle Woodrow” Anderson on the hit NBC-TV comedy series “Sanford and Son,” and Ned “The Wino” on the hit CBS-TV comedy series “Good Times,” in the 1970s. Allen also had a role in the 1972 family film noir “Hickey & Boggs” with actors Bill Cosby and Robert Culp. Ta Ronce appeared in the first episode of the second season of Kung Fu entitled “The Well.”

Michael Eugene Misick on February 2, 1966, in Bottle Creek, North Caicos is the second-largest island in the Turks and Caicos Islands, becomes a former Turks and Caicos President and has an estimated net worth of $180 million.

Sean Michael Elliott, born February 2, 1968, in Tucson, Arizona, is a retired American professional basketball player who starred at small forward in both the college and professional ranks.

DonaldJerome Driver,born February 2, 1975, in Houston, Texas, becomes a professional football player, position of wide receiver, New York Times bestselling author, and season 14 Dancing with the Stars champion. After playing college football for Alcorn State University, Driver was picked by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL draft.

Robert XGolphin, born February 2, 1982, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes an actor, thespian, vocalist, award-winning filmmaker/screenwriter, author, orator/motivational speaker and journalist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wuzzam Supa, born February 21988, in Louisiana, becomes a Social media comedian popular on the 6-second video content creating app Vine who touches base with her fans by sharing stories about her own life. She hosts and orchestrates events in her hometown and out of town. She grew up in the 17th uptown of New Orleans, Louisiana. Middle school was tough for her as she was the victim of bullying. Being bullied used to depress her, so she stood up to bullies by thinking of jokes about them. Her roasting style of comedy led her to become popular amongst her peers.

Amira McCarthy, born February 21996, in London, England. McCarthy knew performing was something she wanted to do. The moment she realized that the route she wanted to go down was music as opposed to acting or dancing was when she took part in a singing competition at her school. She says we can expect diversity from Neon Jungle, and adds that the girls won’t ever change no matter what the music industry want them to do.

Matthew Ben Israel Hess, born February 21998in Illinoisbetter known to his fans as Matti Baybee, began his music career about 2 years ago during his 8-grade year of school, while still becoming valedictorian of his 8-grade class. In the midst of all the negative press and gun violence that has plagued the city of Chicago; Matti Baybee is a light that’s shinning thru all the gloominess. While all the young mc’s around his age rhyme with profanity about guns, drugs, sex, gang affiliation, Matti Baybee has chosen a different approach. Though Matti uses no profanity, not even the N word, he has still been able to attract fans, maintain a stronger base, and deliver a fresh, unique, industry ready sound to music lovers from all ages and walks of life. Matti states in one of his rhymes streets are not a joke that’s why I’m never in the streets I’m just trying to some music to make it to the industry”.  Matti Baybee, under the young legends Music Group independent imprint, released his first Mixtape in Sept 2013 titled Young Legend Vol. 1 Host by DJ Victorious. He is an anti-violence advocate. He was home-schooled in order to concentrate on his rapping.

Messiah Ya Majesty Harris, born February 2, 2000, in Georgia, the son of rapper T.I, becomes an actor.

Edward Roye, born February 3, 1815, in Newark, Ohio (died in 1872), becomes a businessperson and politician. Roye became President of Liberia in 1871. Roye planned to reconstruct Liberia, and set out to England to negotiate funding for the venture with London banks. The results proved disastrous with severe terms in the loans, which carried a 7 percent interest. Roye agreed without consulting the legislature. Liberia received about $90,000, but in actuality turned out to be bonds worth $400,000. When he returned to Liberia, they accused him of embezzlement and threw him out of office in October of the same year. They brought him to trial, but he escaped. Historians believe he died by drowning, trying to reach an English ship in the harbor of Monrovia in February 1872. (From: Dictionary of American Biography)

Charles Henry Turner, born of a Canadian father and mother of Negro descent, February 3, 1867, in Cincinnati, Ohio (died in1923), became a zoologist and entomologist, credited with being the first researcher to prove that insects can hear and distinguish pitch.

Charles Follis, born February 3, 1879, in Cloverdale, Virginia, (died April 5, 1910), becomes the first African American professional football player who played the position of right halfback that served as team captain on a squad that had no losses that year. In 1901, while in college, Follis played for the town’s amateur football team; the Wooster Athletic Association, where he earned the nickname of the “Black Cyclone from Wooster.” He played for Shelby in 1902 and 1903. In 1904, Follis signed a contract with the Shelby Athletic Club, later the Shelby Blues. With that contract, he became the first professional African American football player. Follis played on the team with Branch Rickey, the Ohio Wesleyan University student and future Brooklyn Dodger owner who would sign Jackie Robinson to integrate major league baseball in 1947. Like other players who integrated sport teams, Follis faced discrimination. Players on other team targeted Follis with rough play that resulted in injuries. At a game in Toledo in 1905, fans taunted him with racial slurs until the Toledo team captain addressed the crowd and asked them to stop.
Lillian “Lil Hardin” Armstrong, born February 3, 1898, in Memphis, Tennessee, (died August 27, 1971), becomes one of the greatest jazz musicians in history, becoming a key player and composer in the jazz era; one of the greatest pianists of the 1920’s and 30’s. She married to achiever of color, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong from 1924 to 1938. (From: Black Women in America, page 42)

Mabel Mercer, born February 3, 1900, in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, the daughter of an African American jazz musician and a British variety actress, (died April 20, 1984), became a major influence on singers such as Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis and Leontyne Price (to name a few). Rumors have it that Billie Holiday spent so much time in the club across the street, where Mercer performed, she almost lost her job. Among the songs she introduced were: “Fly Me to the Moon,” by Bart Howard and “Little Boy Blue,” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, also recorded by Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, and Margaret Whiting, after they heard Mercer’s rendition. (From: (From: http://newvoyagepublishing.com/mabelbio.html , an Internet source, Black Women in America, page 782, Notable Black American Women, Book II, page 470, and www.mrlucky.com/songbirds/html/jul99/c_mmercer.html , an Internet site)

Inge Hardison, born February 3, 1904-?, (some sources indicate her birth year as 1914) in Portsmouth, Virginia, becomes a sculptor and photographer who became the only female among six individuals to form the Black Academy of Arts and Letters. Hardison created busts of African American heroes that she calls “the Negro Giants in History.”
Virgil Garnett Trice, Jr., born February 3, 1926, in Indianapolis, Indiana, becomes a chemical engineer whose research focuses on radioactive waste management. (From: Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences, an Internet source)

Emile, Griffith, born February 3, 1938, in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, becomes a professional boxer, who won the world’s championship belts six times. He held the welterweight professional championship, three times. In 1966, he won the world middleweight title. He lost that title in April 1967, but won it back in a rematch September of the same year. Griffith retired in 1968. (From: Britannica Online, and www.eastsideboxing.com/emile-griffith-interview.html , both Internet sources)

Dennis Edwards, born February 3, 1943, becomes a soul and R&B singer, most noted for being one of Motown’s famed singing groups “The Temptation’s,” lead singer, replacing original Temptation’s David Ruffin. He is the father of singer Issa Pointer, (born Issa Kuren Edwards; January 22, 1978) whose mother Ruth Pointer (born March 19, 1946) is a member of the famed female R&B singing group, the Pointer Sisters.

Antoinette KDoe, February 3, 1943 in possibly New Orleans, Louisiana (died February 24 (Mardi Gras Day), 2009), the spouse of R&B singer Ernie K-Doe and notable cook and costume designer, who put her skills to use to make elaborate suits for Ernie and dresses for herself. Antoinette acted as spokesperson for Hands on Network, a volunteer organization dedicated to Hurricane Katrina relief. Antoinette herself was rescued from the Mother-in-Law Lounge after being stranded by flood waters for seven days, and she was passionate about the rebuilding of her city. A local celebrity, she was known by many as “Miss Antoinette.” After she returned to the city following Katrina, she helped to rebuild the neighborhood by cooking up large servings (often for 200+) of gumbo and other New Orleans favorites to serve to the volunteers who had come to help rebuild.

Marlon Riggs, born February 3, 1957, in Ft. Worth, Texas, (died April 5, 1994), becomes a filmmaker, educator and poet who received many awards; among them were Emmy and Peabody awards for his work related to African American life and culture. As an African American documentary filmmaker, he used video to oppose racism and homophobia. (From www.museum.tv/archives/etv/R/htmlR/riggsmarlon/riggsmarlon.htm , an Internet source)

Karlous Marx Shinohamba, born February 3, 1965, in Namibia, South Africa, becomes a Namibian politician serving as a member of the National Council for Ohangwena Region in November 2001. He is becomes a member of the Pan-African Parliament.

Dave Benson-Phillips, born February 3, 1967, (his place of birth non given in the reference source) becomes a British children’s television presenter who gained high popularity as the host of the children’s game show “Get Your Own Back,” shown on BBC One (later CBBC), between 1991 and 2003. In 2005, he became one of a select few honored by induction into the Children’s Walk of Fame.

Sean Kingston, born Kisean Anderson, February 3, 1990, in Miami, Florida, but raised mostly in Kingston, Jamaica, becomes a rapper, pop and hip hop singer. In 2009, he plans to appear in concert, in Cambodia.

Mishon Ratliff, born February 3, 1993, in Los Angeles, California, also known simply as Mishon, becomes a singer, dancer and actor. Though he’s been singing and performing on stage since the age of 6, he is best known for his portrayal of Taylor “Tay” Sutton on the ABC Family drama television series “Lincoln Heights.”

Ella Shepperd, born February 4, 1851, in Nashville, Tennessee (died in 1914), becomes a musician and educator who became the only Black staff member at Fisk University before 1875. Sheppard became one of nine singers organized by the treasurer of Fisk University, George L. White, to sing for money to get the college out of financial difficulty. The singers called themselves the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Sheppard served as pianist and assistant trainer.

Rosa Parks, born, Rosa Louise McCauley, February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama (died October 25, 2005) becomes a civil rights activist Americans hold her in high esteem because of her defiance of Southern law, and the modern civil rights movement. On Dec. 1, 1955, the police escorted and arrested her, when she refused to give up her seat on a bus, to a white person. The conductor on the bus told her to stand, because Blacks could not sit. She remained seated. This act became legendary, resulting in 42,000 Black people boycotting the city buses. Rosa Parks received numerous awards and tributes. (From: Black Women in America, page 907 and Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 1, page 189)

Rev. Dorothy Sutton Branch, born February 4, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois, becomes a clergyman who started preaching at the age of twelve, and in 1939, she became the pastor of the Junior Church of Cosmopolitan, Community Church in Chicago. (From: Ebony Successful 1000 Influential Blacks, page 39)

Herman M. Holloway, Sr., born February 4, 1922, in possibly Wilmington, Delaware, becomes a politician and community activist known as the “Dean of Black Politicians in Delaware.” Like many young men, Holloway embarked on many different jobs before settling on his chosen path. Known for his political savvy and ability to handle himself (in his earlier years, he was known as “Knockout” for his boxing prowess and “Cool” for his basketball handing skills), Holloway worked his way through a number of occupations: bar and grill operator; school district maintenance supervisor; Wilmington police officer; Boy Scout coordinator; and aide in the General Assembly. Unsatisfied with the several jobs he undertook, Holloway decided to try his hand at politics. At age 23, in 1945, Holloway was defeated for a seat on the Wilmington City Council. In 1963, he was elected to serve out the unexpired term of Paul Livingston in the Delaware House of Representatives. One year later, in 1964, Holloway became the first black elected to Delaware’s State Senate from the Second District of New Castle County. Since 1964, Holloway has been returned to office at every election. (In 1996, Margaret Rose Henry became the first African American woman to be elected to Delaware’s State Senate) (From: http://www.udel.edu/BlackHistory/diamonds.html)
Jacquelyn Johnson Jackson, born February 4, 1932, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, becomes a sociologist and civil rights activist who became the first full-time faculty member and first Black tenures faculty member at Duke University Medical School, in North Carolina. She became the first woman chair of the Association of Black Sociologists, and in 1960, the first Black woman to earn a PhD in sociology from Ohio State University. (From: Black Firsts, page 97, and Ebony Successful 1000, who give birth date as February24, 1932) 

Florence LaRue, born February 4, 1944, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes an R&B singer, member of the group known as the Fifth Dimensions. She studied dance and violin before moving with family to Los Angeles, California. In the mid-1960s, around the same time, LaRue won Miss Grand Talent after entering the Miss Bronze California Contest. Photographer Lamont McLemore offered LaRue a place in a musical group that he was forming called the Versatiles. She joined McLemore along with Marilyn McCoo and two childhood friends of McLemore’s named Billy Davis and Ron Townson. The Versatiles obtained a record deal with the assistance of Motown record producer Marc Gordon, who introduced them to producer Johnny Rivers, and helped develop their image and changed their name to The Fifth Dimension.

Frank Wills, born February 4, 1948, in Savannah, Georgia (died September 27, 2000), becomes the security guard who alerted the police to a possible break-in at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Wills discovered the 1972 Watergate burglary, which ultimately led to President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation. Wills, a 24-year-old security guard at the Watergate office building in Washington, was working the midnight shift on June 17, 1972. He discovered tape over a lock on a basement door, and thinking some worker had left it to make it easier to get in and out, he removed it. (From: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/29/us/frank-wills-52-watchman-foiled-watergate-break-in.html)

Lawrence Julius Taylor, born February 4, 1959, in Williamsburg, Virginia, becomes a professional football player who began is pro football career as a linebacker for the New York Giants (1981-1992).
“Cam’Ron,” born Cameron Giles, February 4, 1976, in Harlem, N.Y., becomes a singer and actor and leader of the de facto East Coast hip-hop groups “The Diplomats” and “U.N. – Us Now.”
Shedrack Anderson, III, born February 4, 1977, in Los Angeles or Hollywood, California, becomes an actor who has appeared in the hit teen series “Just Deal” as the lovable Jermaine Green. He starred as Tommy in Lifetime’s “Gracie’s Choice” alongside Diane Ladd and Anne Heche. He made his film debut as one of the Lost Boys in Steven Spielberg’s Hook.” He then starred in “Warriors of Virtue 2,” and guest starred on the television series “Boston Public,” “The Parkers,” “Hollywood Lives,” “Hip Hop Massive” and “The Division.” Anderson is a recurring star on Disney’s hit show Phil of the Future. Anderson attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where he received honor as the Emerging Artist of the Year Award from PBS. After high school, he attended the Julliard School in New York, where he became interested in dance. He became an assistant choreographer for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Anderson began his own production company in 1999 to produce his own films.

Nkosi Johnsonborn February 4, 1989, in South Africa (died June 1, 2001), becomes an advocate for HIV/AIDS; who as a South African child with HIV/AIDS, made a powerful impact on public perceptions of the pandemic and its effects before his death at the age of 12. He was ranked fifth amongst SABC3’s Great South Africans.

Nixon Knowles born February 4, 2010, Beyonce’s four-year-old half brother by her father, Matthew Knowles and Alexsandra Wright, a Canadian actress

Jermain Wesley Loguen, born February 5, 1813, in Tennessee (died 1872), becomes an abolitionist and religious leader. He served as stationmaster for the Underground Railroad. Over 1500 slaves passed through his home on their way to freedom. The called him “King of the Underground Railroad.” He told his amazing and inspirational story in his autobiography, The Rev. J.W. Loguen as a Slave and as a Freeman, published in Syracuse in 1859.

Jefferson Franklin Long, born February 5, 1836, in Knoxville, Tennessee, (died 1901), becomes a politician and educator. He worked as a tailor and storekeeper. He self-educated himself, and a successful businessperson gave him the freedom to pursue a political career. He had a very brief congressional career. He became the first Black to speak in Georgia’s House of Representatives as a congressional representative. He served from December 1870 to March 1871.

Henry Delany, born February 5, 1858, in Saint Mary’s, Georgia, (died in 1928), becomes the first black person elected Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. Delany grew up in Fernandina, Florida where he received his earliest formal education.  He and his brothers also learned brick laying and plastering trades from their father.  In 1881, Delany entered Saint Augustine’s School in Raleigh, North Carolina where he studied theology. After graduating in 1885, he joined the college faculty, remaining there until 1908. He married Nannie James Logan of Danville, Virginia, another St. Augustine’s faculty member, who taught home economics and domestic science.  The couple had ten children including Sarah Louise and Annie Elizabeth who became famous with their 1993 joint autobiography “Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years.”

Minnie Cox, born February 5, 1869, in Lexington, Mississippi (died in 1933), becomes a teacher, and postal administrator. In 1891, President Benjamin Harrison appointed Cox postmistress of Indianola. She received reappointment by President William McKinley; becoming first Black postmistress of the United States. On January 25, 1900, McKinley raised her rank from fourth class to third class for a full four-year term. However, in the fall of 1902 under the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt a controversy brought national attention to Mrs. Cox. Jim Crow Laws overran Reconstruction in America and whites wanted Blacks eliminated from leadership positions. Some of the local whites in Indianola met and drew up a petition requesting Cox’s resignation. Increased tension and threats of physical harm caused Cox to submit her resignation to take effect January 1, 1903. Roosevelt felt Mrs. Cox, wronged, and that the authority of the federal government was compromised, and refused to accept her resignation. Instead, he closed Indianola’s post office on January 2, 1903, rerouted the mail to Greenville, MS, and Cox continued to receive her salary. For four hours in January 1903, the Indianola postal debated on the floor of the United States Senate, and appeared on the front pages of newspapers across the country. A year later, at the expiration of Mrs. Cox’s term, in February 1904 the post office in Indianola reopened, but demoted in rank from third class to fourth class.

Henry “Hank” Aaron, born February 5, 1934, in Mobile, Alabama, becomes a professional baseball player. During his career, he has a record of 755 home runs in 23 years, which was by far the best or one of the best in the history of the game. He became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He played for the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Braves, prior to 1966. He became the first person of any race to hit 30 or more home runs in one season. He received the NAACP Spingarn medal in 1976. (From: Black Firsts, page 3710)

Thurman B. Hampton, born February 5, 1949, in Chatham County, North Carolina, becomes a lawyer, the first black elected District Attorney in the state of North Carolina. Among his honors, he received the Eden NAACP Meritorious Community Service Award in 1983.

Armstrong Williams, born February 5, 1959, in Marion, South Carolina, becomes an African American political commentator, author of a conservative newspaper column, and host of a daily radio show and a nationally syndicated TV program, called The Right Side with Armstrong Williams.

Tim Meadows, born February 5, 1961, in Highland Park, Michigan, becomes an actor and comedian best known as one of the longest running cast members on Saturday Night Live..

Bobby Brown, born February 5, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, becomes an R&B singer, composer and actor, one of the brightest R&B stars of the late ’80s and early ‘90s; Bobby Brown popularized new jack swing, a blend of classic soul, urban synth-funk, and hip-hop rhythms that often featured rap breaks in between the conventionally melodic verses and choruses. “Guys” Teddy Riley may have been New Jack’s greatest innovator, but Brown became its greatest hit maker. His music crossed over to pop audiences with his blockbuster “Don’t Be Cruel,” album, thus making new jack swing the dominant trend in R&B through the early ’90s. This trend helped kick start the solo careers of his former band mates in New Edition. As R&B tastes changed, Brown became better known for his private life than his music; a sometimes rocky marriage to songstress Whitney Houston (born August 9, 1963 to February 11, 2012) and a series of run-ins with the law, kept him in the tabloid headlines for most of the ’90s, even though he wasn’t actually recording much music. Brown began singing with Roxbury schoolmates Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell, in 1978, forming the group New Edition. Maurice Starr, discovered the group after a few talent show wins. At the age of nineteen, Brown becomes the first teenager to record a Number One album, since rock n’ rolls Ricky Nelson, in 1957 and R&B’s Stevie Wonder, in 1963. (From All Music Guide, an Internet source)

Want the rest of this month or a completed account of all members born in any particular month? Get it free! Send a note to the author at JGri481915@aol.com