November Achievers of Color

This month we celebrate famous and historical achievers of color born in November, whose personality is said to reflect that of the inspector and the archer vibrations. However, before we recognize Achievers of Color born in this month, let us offer our condolences to the family and friends of Achievers of Color we’ve said goodbye to in October this year. We say thank you to them for their contribution in letting the world know we (a people of color) have always been equipped to be better than slaves.; and they are: Dr. David Abdulai, founder of The Shekinah Clinic, a medical facility that offers free medical service and accommodation to the destitute and homeless located in the Northern Region, Tamale, Ghana. He died October 2, 2016. He was born in 1951, one of 11 children who learnt early about hunger, poverty and suffering. However, his family did allow him to go to school, although mainly because his small frame made him less suited to farm-work! Several scholarships made it possible for him to go to high school, and subsequently to medical school in the capital, Accra, that he graduated from in 1979. He became the fifth recipient of the United States embassy in Ghana’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 2012. Cameron Mooreborn November 12, 1990, in Huntsville, Alabama, died October 5, 2016. He became an American professional basketball player. Standing at 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m), he played at the power forward and center positions. He played college basketball at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Moore went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft. In July 2012, he joined the Los Angeles Clippers for the 2012 NBA Summer League. In July 2013, Moore joined the New Orleans Pelicans for the 2013 NBA Summer League. In July 2014, Moore joined the New York Knicks for the 2014 NBA Summer League. Moore also played basketball for other countries teams. Moore did not play pro basketball in the 2015–2016 seasons. In October 2016, he joined Macedonian club AV Ohrid. On October 5, 2016, he died during his first training with the club.


Arthur Z’ahidi Ngoma, born September 18, 1947, in Kalima Maniema, Republic of the Congo, died October 5, 2016, became a politician, one of four vice presidents in the transitional government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was sworn in July 17, 2003. He previously worked as a university lecturer and for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Eva Naa Merley Lokko, died October 6, 2016 in the United States. She became a Ghanaian engineer and politician, the first woman to be chosen as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party. Lokko became the first Satellite Communications Engineer and the first woman engineer to be employed at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in 1972. She was part of the engineering team that installed and maintained Ghana’s first colour television infrastructure in 1985. She worked in over forty countries across the world in various capacities. She served as regional program coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme initiative for Internet development in Africa. She worked with the United Nations for thirteen years and also served as chairperson of the UN Federation of International Civil Servants Association and the United Nations Staff Council and as a member of the UNDP News Advisory Board. She was the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of Totally Youth, a Non Governmental Organization based in Accra. In 2002, she was appointed Director General of the GBC, becoming the first and only woman to hold that position since the corporation was established in 1953. Aaron Pryor, born October 20, 1955, in Cincinnati, Ohio, died October 9, 2016. He became an American boxer. He was World Junior Welterweight Champion from 1980 to 1985 and inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996. Pryor was voted by the Associated Press as the number 1 junior welterweight of the 20th century in 1999. Pryor, nicknamed “The Hawk,” had a record of 204 wins and 16 losses as an amateur. He won the National AAU Lightweight Championship in 1973. Mamadou Dembelé, born in January 1934, died October 9, 2016. He became a Malian physician and politician. Dembelé served as Prime Minister of Mali from June 6, 1986 to June 6, 1988 under President Moussa Traore. He was a member of the Democratic Union of the Malian People. Lorenzo Z. Freeman, born May 23, 1964, in Camden, New Jersey, died October 10, 2016, became a professional American football defensive tackle in the National Football League from Camden, New Jersey. He was the 89th draft pick in the 4th round and drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1987. He played five seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1987–1990) and the New York Giants (1991). He was later a coach for Plum High School, in Pittsburgh. Fulton Luther Walker Jr., born April 30, 1958, in Martinsburg, West Virginia, died October 12, 2016. He became a professional football player in the position of defensive back, who played for the Miami Dolphins (1981-1985) and Los Angeles Raiders (1985-1986) in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at West Virginia University. On defense, Walker recorded five interceptions during his career, which he returned for 62 yards. His main contributions came as a punt and kickoff returner on special teams, recording a total of 145 punt returns for 1,437 yards and 167 kickoff returns for 3,779 yards and a touchdown. Walker’s best season was in the strike shortened nine-game season of 1982, when he recorded three interceptions on defense and 433 kickoff return yards, assisting his team to a championship appearance in Super bowl XVII. In 1985, he recorded an NFL record 692 punt return yards. This would stand as a record until 1996 when it was surpassed by Desmond Howard’s 870 yards. Walker is best remembered for his performance on special teams in Super Bowl XVII and XIX. In Super Bowl XVII, Walker recorded four kickoff returns for 190 yards and a touchdown, setting Super bowl records for most kick return yards and highest single game yards-per-return averag William Nelson “Sonny” Sanders, born August 6, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois, died October 12, 2016, became an American musician, songwriter and arranger. He made his first recording in 1955, on “Tears of Love” / “Roxanna” by Sax Kari and the Qualtones. He formed the Satintones in Detroit in 1957, with three other vocalists. e (47.5). This included a record 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter, the first kickoff ever to be returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl history. They became the first vocal group signed to Motown, and released their first record, “Going to the Hop” / “Motor City” in 1960. Sanders also worked as a backing singer at Motown, on such records as “You Got What it Takes,” by Marv Johnson and “Money (That’s What I Want)”, by Barrett Strong.

Robert Bateman, born in 1936, in Chicago, Illinois, died October 12, 2016, became an American R&B singer, songwriter and record producer. Among other songs, he co-wrote the hits “Please Mr. Postman” and “If You Need Me.” He became one of the founding members of vocal group the Satintones in Detroit, Michigan, in 1957. Bateman was the bass singer. In 1959, the group made their first recordings for Motown, and Bateman did additional work for the company as a backing singer and engineer. He was reportedly responsible for acquiring Motown’s first recording equipment, a tape recorder discarded by radio station WJLB. When the Satintones disbanded in 1961, after several record releases on Motown but without a hit, Bateman formed a writing and production partnership with Brian Holland, being credited as “Brianbert”. Bateman returned to work in Detroit in 1970. In later years, he was a frequent attendee at Motown reunion events, and was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan early in 2016. He died at age 80, following a heart attack after attending an awards ceremony in Los Angeles, California. Thomas Mikal Ford born, September 5, 1964, in Los Angeles, California, died October 12, 2016, became an American actor who was best known for his role as Tommy Strawn in the sitcom “Martin,” and for his recurring role as Mel Parker in the UPN sitcom “The Parkers.” In “Martin,” Ford played Tommy Strawn who was, at times, the straight man for jokes, but he very often inserted scene-stealing “bald-headed logic” and witty comments in odd situations. Quentin Dominic Groves, born July 5, 1984, in Greenville, Mississippi, died October 15, 2016. He became an American football linebacker, drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft and played college football at Auburn. He also played for the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills. Groves was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award, watchlists for the 2007 college football season. Groves was a sack specialist at Auburn and finished tied for the Auburn career sack record at 26. Robert “Big Sonny” Edwards of “The Intruders,” the soul vocal group best known for the chart-topping R&B single “Cowboys to Girls,” died October 15, 2016, in  a local hospital, at the age of 74, after suffering a sudden heart attack at his Philadelphia home. The news of Edwards’ death was announced Tuesday October 18 by Philadelphia International Records co-founders Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. As one of the first acts signed to Gamble & Huff’s fledgling Gamble label, The Intruders scored a string of R&B hits from the mid-’60s through the early ’70s — and simultaneously set the stage for the writing/production duo’s pioneering Philly soul sound and the establishment of the legendary Philadelphia International label. “The Intruders, featuring Big Sonny and the rest of the original members, helped start our musical career as a team,” said Gamble & Huff in a joint statement. “Not only was the group one of the first artists we wrote for and produced, they were also our close friends.” Morris Stroud, born May 17, 1946, in Miami, Florida, died October 17, 2016. He became a professional football palyer in the position of tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. He did not play in the 1969 regular season but was on the roster for the 1969 AFL Championship Game. From 1970 to 1974, he played for the NFL’s Chiefs. At 6 foot 10 inches tall, Stroud is believed to be the tallest tight end in the history of the NFL. Stroud wore uniform #88. As a student at Clark Atlanta University, a historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia, the Miami, Florida-born Stroud was a center and power forward on the Panthers’ basketball team. Despite Stroud having little experience on the gridiron, Chiefs head coach selected him in the third round of the 1969 NFL Draft as a tight end. In seven years, Morris Stroud caught 54 passes for 977 yards, seven touchdowns, and averaged 18.1 yards per reception. However, Stroud became a notable special team’s player — specifically at blocking field goals. On many opponents’ field goal attempts, Stroud lined up under the goalposts and tried to deflect the ball as it came down. Later rule changes led to the adoption of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (informally known as the “Stroud Rule”): “Goal tending by any player leaping up to deflect a kick as it passes above the crossbar of a goal post is prohibited. The referee could award 3 points for a palpably unfair act”. Nigerian footballer Izu Joseph born February 24 1992, died October 17, 2016. He became a professional footballer. Izu Joseph left too soon at 24 has been killed after being shot in the south of the country. Joseph, a central defender with Premier League club Shooting Stars (3SC), was hit by a stray bullet when gunmen attacked a market in his hometown of Okaki in Bayelsa State. Kenule “Ken” Bornale Tsaro-Wiwa, born November 28, 1968, in Lagos, Nigeria, died October 18, 2016, also known as Ken Saro-Wiwa, Jr, became a Nigerian journalist and author. As of 2013, he served as an aide to President Googluck Jonathan as senior special assistant on civil society and international media; he the eldest son of Nigerian human rights activist and author Ken Saro-Wiwa. Kenule was editor of the United Kingdom’s Guardian′s periodical New Media Lab, where he developed content for the paper’s online edition. Wiwa relocated to Canada in 1999, where he was a writer-in-residence at Massey College in the University of toronto, Saul Rae Fellow at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, a mentor at the Trudeau Foundation in Canada and a columnist for The Globe and Mail, where he was twice nominated for National Newspaper Awards for feature writing.  Bobby Ellis, born July 2, 1932, in Kingston, Jamaica, died October 18, 2016. He became a Jamaican trumpet player. Lydia Achieng Abura died October 20, 2016. She became a musician from Kenya, who performed Afro-jazz, Afro-fusion and gospel music. She debuted with a gospel album called “I Believe” around 1990. Her following albums were “Way Over Yonder “and “Sulwe.” In 2002, when she had shifted to Afro-jazz, she released the album “Maisha.” Later she released the album “Spirit Of a Warrior.” Drew Sharp, born April 25, 1960, died October 21, 2016. He became a Detroit Free Press columnist. Sharp joined the Free Press in 1983. Initially, he had covered high school, college and pro beats. He formerly was the beat writer for Michigan State and the Detroit Pistons. “Drew’s life was the Free Press,” his wife, Karen, said. “He loved the people there. He loved his job more than anything. He always considered himself very lucky to have such a good career.” Herb Kent, born October 5, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, who began his radio career at the age of 16, and worked in Chicago radio for seven decades, died Saturday, October 22, 2016, at the age of 88. He is often credited for helping launch the careers of The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield and Minnie Riperton. He mentored “Soul Train” host Don Cornelius when the television personality first got started in broadcasting. WVON celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. Kent told the Tribune about how the station grew beyond music to become an influential resource in black politics and social issues in Chicago. “So in the confusion and everything, I think the talk radio thing was born here at WVON,” Kent said. “We needed a black talk-radio station, because they got into all kinds of things; race riots, racism, food stamps, poverty, civil rights, from a black point of view, which we never had before. Just absolutely phenomenal! Because the white radio stations never gave us that much time. I’m sure they were fair, but it was always a white talk show, not completely black like this. “It meant everything: a way to air your views. Politics! Helped different black politicians get elected. Really an educational outlet for black people, and also an educational outlet for white people, to let them know what black people are like. I’m sure this will go down as one of the great black talk stations of all time, just as it was one of the great music stations. Without it, we wouldn’t have hardly any voice at all.” Kent joined V103, then known as WVAZ, in 1988. In all, he worked as a DJ for 11 different stations, amassing high ratings the entire way. “I think my success has had much to do with the way I appeal to my listeners as well as how I tap into the vein of what I call Cool School music,” he wrote in his book. “It doesn’t matter if it’s old school or new school — there’s a certain quality to some music that just makes it good, makes it timeless, makes it … Cool School.” Cool he was, with a fondness for Cadillacs and rocking his trademark mustache and cowboy hat. “I’m so cool, I’m froze in my clothes!” he was often quoted as saying. In the mid-1990s, Kent briefly hosted his own dance show on ABC 7 called “Steppin’ at Club 7.” He released his no-holds-barred autobiography in 2009, titled: “The Cool Gent: The Nine Lives of Radio Legend Herb Kent,” and Audley Coulthurst, born in August 1922, died at the age of 92, October 27, 2016. He was a member of the famed, pioneering black aviation group the Tuskegee Airmen. Coulthurst enlisted in the Army in 1942 and became one of the first black military pilots in the U.S. Although Tuskegee Airmen faced discrimination in a segregated military, the fighter squadrons were among the most respected in World War II. Audra Coulthurst says after the war her father became a certified public account and served as controller of the National Urban League. He also is survived by his wife, Matilda Coulthurst, and a son, Jeffrey Coulthurst. We say goodbye and thank you to Mr. Coulthurst, a Tuskegee Airman for his courage and service to our country and our prayers go out to the family and friends he leaves behind and to all the family and friends of the achievers mentioned above, we say thank you for sharing your talent and life with the world you influenced. We say, rest in peace.

The above are just a few of the Achievers of Color who passed away in October 2016. There are more and you can read about some others by going to the website

People born November 1st through November 21st, and the later portion of October (the 23rd to the 31st) focuses on individuals born under Scorpio astrological sign. The later portion of November falls under the astrological sign Sagittarius. At this time, we will identify famous and historical people of color born under the Scorpio influence. Scorpio represents the sign of the inspector. They are passionate, determined and energetic. Their ruling planets are Mars and Pluto. Scorpio achievers are studiers of people. During ancient times, the eagle represented the sign of Scorpio; they sit and watch. People born under the Scorpio influence make excellent psychologists, delving into the human mind. People born under this sign also have a quiet dignity about them, yet has an obvious confident aura. Their approach at tasks seems almost religious. Individuals born under this sign are usually self reliant and independent. They often seem void of emotion. They feel you need to be tough to win. Their natural metal is steel, and steel is a fitting symbol for their personality. This characteristic does not mean they are totally devoid of compassion. If there seems to be sympathetic qualities, the explanation could be their Venus or Moon could be in the compassionate signs of Libra or Cancer. Scorpio’s often have good sense of humor, and talkative at times. If they seem very chatty, they are hunting. Scorpio, a fixed sign, is very dependable, and prone to live up to any commitments they honestly made. They are the most powerful sign in the zodiac. In a world where power seems corrupt, it is easy to view Scorpio’s in a negative light, and ignore those Scorpio’s who control their power drives, and use it for the good of all who come under their protection. Scorpio’s have a fascination with drugs and alcohol. If indulging in these activities, for Scorpions they are tests of will power. They like to see how close they can come to destruction and come back. Some Scorpio’s, who are aware of this trait, refuse to drink at all. As with drugs and alcohol, Scorpios can over indulge themselves in sexual activities. They can push themselves over the limit, then cut off and do without altogether.We begin to acknowledge famous and historical achievers of color for the month of November with:

Caroline Still Anderson, born November 1, 1848, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (died in 1919) becomes a physician, educator and a decision maker in her community. She entered Oberlin College in Ohio and graduated in 1868 at the age of 19; the only black woman and youngest in her class. She taught music, drawing and speech at Howard University in Washington, D.C., before enrolling at the university’s medical department in 1876. Her father, abolitionist, William Still, operated the famed Underground Railroad.

(From: Notable Black American Women, Book 1 and Notable Black American Scientists, page 11 and

Shirley Graham DuBois, born November 1, 1896, in Evansville, Indiana (died March 27, 1977), becomes a biographer. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 21, page 55) 

Vada Wason Somerville, born November 1, 1885, in Pomona, California, (died in November 1972), becomes a groundbreaking dentist and civil rights activist. Vada Watson Somerville was born one of seven children. Her mother, Dorothy Watson McDonald, instilled a strong work ethic in all of her children, encouraging them to be successful. One of Watson’s brothers graduated from the University of Southern California Law School, and had a career in the Los Angeles City prosecuting attorney’s office. Another brother was the first black policeman in Los Angeles. With the help of a Los Angeles Times scholarship, Watson graduated from the University of Southern California as a liberal arts major. In 1912, she married Jamaican -born John Somerville, who was already practicing dentistry after becoming the first black graduate of the University of Southern California’s dentistry school in 1907. Initially, Somerville began working as an office secretary for her husband’s practice. In the wake of World War I, with the fear that her husband might be drafted, Somerville decided to attend the USC dentistry school to learn the profession. Soon after her graduation she became the first licensed female African American dentist in the state of California. Dr. John Somerville was spared of the draft, thus allowing the two to practice together. They shared patients until Vada Somerville retired in 1933. The Somervilles were community activists. They started the Los Angeles branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in their home in 1914, with John Somerville as the chapter’s first president. Vada Somerville’s retirement in 1933 allowed her to thoroughly invest her time and leadership in civic involvement organizations, including the Los Angeles League of Women’s Voters, the Council on Public Affairs, UCLA’s YWCA, and the USC Half Century Club.  During the 1920s, Los Angeles attracted more African Americans than any other city on the West Coast. In response, Vada and John Somerville built the Hotel Somerville to accommodate African American guests who visited the city. Only weeks after its opening, the hotel hosted the NAACP’s National Convention in 1928. Dr. Vada Somerville passed away in November 1972, at the age of 87. She and John had just celebrated 60 years of marriage. Source:

Sippie WallaceNovember 1, 1898, in Houston, Texas (died November 1, 1986, sometimes referred to as the “Texas Nightingale,” born Beulah Belle Thomasbecomes one of the most popular blues singers of her day. Her father, a church deacon, first exposed her to music. Born Beulah Thomas November 1 1898, Sippie Wallace, Grew Up in Houston, Texas, where She Sang & Played Piano in her Father’s Church. in her While Still in her Early Teens, She & Het 2 Brothers, Hersal & George, Began Playing & Singing Blues in Tent Shows that Traveled throughout Texas. Her Early Career in Local Tent Shows, Gained her the Billing, “The Texas Nightingale.” Between 1923 & 1927, She Recorded Over 40 Songs for Okeh Records, Many Written by Herself or Her Brothers. Her Accompanists Included: Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, & Clarence Williams. Among the Top Female Blues Vocalists of Her Era, Wallace Ranked with Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter, & Bessie Smith. In the 1930s, She Left Show Business to Become a Church Organist, Singer, & Choir Director, in Detroit, at the Leland Baptist Church. She Performed Secular Music, Only Sporadically, until the1960s, when She Resumed her Career. Wallace was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1982, & was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. – THE “TEXAS NIGHTINGALE”  (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 1, page 237)

Don Robey, born November 1, 1903, in Houston, Texas (died June 16, 1975), becomes a pop, R&B and traditional Southern gospel singer. An R&B pioneer, Robey founded Peacock Records and later the founder of Duke Records, which became responsible for nurturing the careers of many rhythm and blues artists of the 1950s and 1960s. Robey found success with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and other R&B artists, but his  biggest success happened  with “Big Mama” Thornton’s # 1 hit “Hound Dog”. The label also recorded Little Richard at the start of his career. Initially, Johnny Ace became the company’s biggest star. After the death of Johnny Ace, Robey filled that gap with other artistes includingJunior Parker, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Johnny Otis. He co-wrote “Farther Up the Road” with Joe Medwich Veasey, which initially became a hit for Bobby “Blue” Bland in 1957, and later became a live staple for singerEric Clapton.  (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source)

  Margaret Taylor Burroughs, born November 1, 1915, (some sources list the date of birth as November 11), in St. Rose Parish, Louisiana, (died November 21, 2010) becomes a prominent artist, educator and writer. Burroughs assisted in the founding of the Ebony Museum of African American History, in 1961. In 1968, the museum under-went a name change to Du Sable, in honor of Jean Baptiste Du Sable, who founded the first permanent settlement in what is now called Chicago, back in the 1770s. Burroughs has served as art director for the Negro Hall of Fame and has illustrated many books, including “What Shall I Tell My Children Who is Black?” Burroughs also published several volumes of her own poems, illustrated a number of children’s books, and exhibited her own artwork all over the world. In 1975 she received the President’s Humanitarian Award and named one of Chicago’s Most Influential Women by the Chicago Defender, in 1977. February 1, 1986, has been proclaimed “Dr. Margaret Burroughs Day” in Chicago by late Mayor Harold Washington. Today, (the year 2000, when this interview happened) Burroughs remained active in the institutions that she has created in her lifetime. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 9, page 23 and The History Makers website)

James J. Gardenerborn November 1, 1920, in Georgetown, South Carolina, (died in 1998), becomes an educator and founding president of Suwannee River Junior College. He became vice president at Nova University, in Davie, Florida until 1991

Hannah Diggs Atkins, born November 1, 1923, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, (died June 17, 2010), becomes a librarian, educator, and state representative. She became the first African American woman elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where she served from 1968 to 1980. She later received a dual appointment; Secretary of State of Oklahoma as well as Secretary of Human Resources, making her the highest ranked female in Oklahoma state government until she retired in 1991. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 2 )

Lou Donaldson, born November 1, 1926,in Badin, North Carolina, North Carolina, becomes best known for his soulful, bluesy approach to playing the alto saxophone, although in his formative years he was, as many were of the bebop era, heavily influenced by Charlie Parker. He becomes a jazz alto saxophonist.

James Edward Bradford, born November 1, 1928, in Washington, D.C. (died September 13, 2013), becomes an Olympic athlete. In the Summer Olympics of 1952, held in Helsinki, he receives an Olympic silver medal in the heavyweight weightlifting competition, lifting 964 and half pounds. In 1960, he again becomes the recipient of an Olympic silver medal in the same division, lifting 1, 129 and three fourths pounds. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 14)

Allen Butler Ballard, Jr., born November 1, 1930, in Philadelphia, PA, becomes an authorwho became theproduct of merging of cultures. His maternal ancestry stretched back to the antebellum era, and it shocked him to learn in the course of researching his book that one of his ancestors was the son of Aaron Burr, third vice president of the United States. Ballard’s father, like Anthony Crawford, the black farmer who was lynched in his book, had come North from Abbeville County. Crawford had been an independent landowner who had a school for blacks built on his property, and Mays noted in his biography that he was greatly influenced by the example of a black man who did not have to work for white people. (Read more: and Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 40, page 19)

Francis Cardinal Arinze, born November 1, 1932, in Nigeria, becomes a Catholic Pontiff; an Igbo Nigerian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, who served as Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, having served as prefect from 2002 to 2008. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 19, page 1)

Andre Williams, born Zephire Andre Williams, November 1, 1936, in Bessemer, Alabama, becomes a raunchy urban R&B singerWilliams lived in a housing project with his mother until she died when he was six years of age. There, he became friends with Jack and Devora Brown, owners of Fortune Records located at the back of a barber shop. He then became lead singer for The 5 Dollars in 1955, which already had a contract with Fortune Records. Though most of the songs were billed as ‘Andre Williams and the Don Juans’ (on Epic in 1956 billed as ‘Andre Mr Rhythm Williams and his New Group’), “Bacon Fat” and “Jail Bait” were solo efforts. “Bacon Fat” hit #9 on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1957. “In the early 1960s, Williams co-wrote Stevie Wonder‘s first song called “Thank You for Loving Me.” Williams’ “Shake a Tail Feather” became a hit also in 1963 for the Five Du-Tones and then for Ike & Tina TurnerAlvin Cash & the Crawlers also made a hit out of the Williams song “Twine Time.” As well as making these hits, Williams also supervised the making of two or more albums by The Contours. Additionally, in the ’60s, Williams was the manager and roadie for soul singer Edwin Starr.  (From: Contemporary Musicians, Volume 60, page 190)

William Melvin Kelley, born November 1, 1937, in New York City, New York, becomes a novelist, essayist, and short story writer, whose writings delve into the oppositions of race in American culture. He became a prominent African-American novelist and short-story writer. He is known for the novel A Different Drummer. He has won, among other things, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2008 for Lifetime Achievement. (From: Notable Black American Men, page 681)

Joe Louis Caldwell, born November 1, 1941, in Texas City, Texas, becomes a 1964 Olympic gold medalist, in the basketball competition. His career spanned from 1964 to 1975, for which he played for the teams of Detroit Pistons, St. Louis Hawks (now Atlanta Hawks), Carolina Cougars and Spirits of St. Louis (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 19)

Nancy Hicks Maynard, born Nancy Alene Hall, November 1, 1946, in Harlem, New York, (died September 21, 2008, becomes a journalist and publisher; former owner of The Oakland Tribune and co-founder of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. She became the first African American female reporter for The New York Times, and at the time of her death, The Oakland Tribune was the only metropolitan daily newspaper to have been owned by African-Americans.. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 73, page 89)

Clarence Glover, born November 1, 1947, in Horse Cave, Kentucky, becomes a professional NBA basketball player from 1971-1973. Glover listed at 6’8″ and 210 lbs., led the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to the NCAA Final Four in 1971.

Barry C. Black, USN, born November 1, 1948, in Baltimore, Maryland, becomes the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate, elected to this position, June 27, 2003, becoming the first African American and the first Seventh-day Adventist to hold this office. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 47, page 6)

Ronald Bell, born November 1, 1951, in Youngstown, Ohio, also known by his Arabic name Khalis Bayyan, becomes  an American saxophonist, composer, songwriter, arranger, producer and singer; a founding member of the band, Kool & the Gang. (From: Rock on the Net, an Internet source)

Joe Arroyo, born Álvaro José Arroyo Gonzalez, November 1, 1955, in Cartegena, Colombia, (died July 26, 2011), becomes a musician and vocalist. His music included Caribbean, salsa, reggae, and soca. Between June and December 2011 the RCN channel broadcast a soap opera based on the singer’s life called The Joe “The Legend”. On November 9, 2011, Shakira was honored as Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year and performed a cover of Arroyo’s song “En Barranquilla Me Quedo” at the Mandalay Bay Events Center as a tribute to the singer. (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source)

“Willie D” born William Dennis, November 11966in Houston, Texas,  he is an American rapper and member of the Geto Boys who is best known for co-writing the legendary track “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.” He was the Golden Gloves Champion for the State of Texas in 1985. He released the song ‘Hoodiez’ in 2012 as a tribute to slain teenager Trayvon Martin. He was featured on the song “Down South Hustlaz” with Rick Ross.

Danny Everett, born November 1, 1966, in New Orleans, Louisiana, becomes a 1988 Olympic gold medalist in the 4×400 meter relay. He received a bronze medal in the 1988 Olympic 400-meter category. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 38)

Christopher Scott Cherot, born November 1 (?), 1967, becomes a film director best known for “Have Plenty,” (1998), a true story that he wrote, edited, produced, acted in and directed. (Many Internet sources do not give the day he was born in November, however this site gives Nov. 1, 1967)

Tracy Reid, born November 1, 1976, in Miami, Florida, becomes a professional basketball player for the Miami Sol. In an interview, she stated she would like to be a sports broadcaster when she finishes her basketball career. (From: the official site of the Miami Sol, an Internet source)

Álvaro Luiz Maior de Aquino, simply Álvaro, born November 1, 1977, in Maria polis (a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil), becomes a professional Brazilian footballer who plays for America Futebol Club

Daleroy Stewart, born November 1, 1978, in Vero Beach, Florida, becomes a professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and AFL’s Dallas Desperados. The NFL website gives his birth date as November 1, while ESPN website identifies the date as November 2. (From: , an Internet source)

David Thornton born November 1, 1978, in Goldsboro, North Carolina, becomes a professional football player for the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2005 and the Tennessee Titans beginning in 2006 to present (2009). (From: , an Internet source)

LaTavia Roberson, born November 1, 1981, in Houston, Texas, becomes an R&B singer, member of the group Destiny’s Child; a two-time Grammy Award–winning American contralto singer/songwriter, as well as an original member of “Girl’s Tyme” which later became “Destiny’s Child. She was eventually replaced by Farrah Franklin in 2000. She became an original founder of the group with Beyonce as they were best friends. Since parting ways with the group, she has ventured into the realm of acting in plays. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. When she was younger she was the face of Soft and Beautiful’s Just For Me Hair Care relaxer for kids.

(From: Rock on the Net, an Internet source) 

Edward M. Bannister, born November 2, 1826, in New Brunswick, Canada, (died January 9, 1901 becomes a painter; one of the first African Americans to receive national recognition. In 1876, Bannister’s painting “Under the Oaks,” took first prize medal at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. To this day, no one has found the painting, the sketches or the medal for it. (From: St. James Guide to Black Artists)

William McKinley Menchan, born November 2, 1898, in Levy County, Florida, (his death unknown at present), becomes an educator and a writer. He authored a book entitled “Introduction to Child Development,” in 1969. (From: , an Internet source)

Sister Clara Muhammad, born November 2, 1899, in Macon, Georgia, (died August 12, 1972), becomes a religious and educational leader. Clara Muhammad aka Clara Poole, was born Clara Evans in Macon, Georgia. She became the first wife of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. They married in Georgia in 1917, before he changed his name from Elijah Poole. Between 1917 and 1939, Elijah and Clara Muhammad had eight children: six boys and two girls, including Warith Deen Muhammad. Known as the First Lady of the Nation of Islam, Muhammad is credited with introducing her husband to the teachings of Nation of Islam founder W.D. Fard. She guided the organization during her husband’s absence from 1935 to 1946 as he fled death threats from rival temple leaders and was then incarcerated for sedition during World War II. In the NOIs earliest days she helped establish and run the University of Islam and Muslim Girls Training schools, which provided education for NOI members’ children, considered one of the nation’s early versions of religious homeschooling. Children’s attendance at the schools was considered truancy and resulted in prosecutions and violent confrontations between Temple members and police in Detroit, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. Clara Muhammad died on August 12, 1972 after a long bout with stomach cancer. Her son, Warith Deen Mohammed, who assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam in 1975, renamed the University of Islam schools the Sister Clara Muhammad Schools in her honor. There are now roughly 75 Clara Muhammad Schools across the country. (From: )

James Lesesne Wells, born November 2, 1902, in Atlanta, Georgia, (died January 20, 1993), becomes become an artist, educator and photographer. *James Lesesne Wells was born on this date in November 2, 1902. He was an African-American educator, artist and photographer. From Atlanta, Georgia (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 10, page 157)

  Beryl McBeurnie, born November 2, 1917, in Woodbrook, Trinidad, (died in 2000), , becomes a Trinidadian folk dancer, instructor and administrator

Rev. Joy Joseph Johnson, born November 2, 1921, in Laurel Hill, North Carolina, becomes a clergyman and served as mayor of Fairmont, North Carolina. (From: Who’s Who among African Americans and Ebony Successful 1000, page 179)

Clinton Hill “Butch” McCord, Jr., born November 2, 1925, in Nashville, Tennessee, becomes a professional baseball payer for the Negro League. He won two batting titles, and two Silver Gloves, indicative of the best fielding first baseman in the minor leagues. He played for the Nashville Cubs and Black Vols in 1947; the Baltimore Elite Giants from 1948 to 1950; the Chicago American Giants in 1950 and for the MLB (Major League Baseball) from 1951 to 1961. (From: Voices from the Negro League,  page 233 and )

Paul RobesonJr., born November 2, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York (died April 26, 2014), became an American author, archivist and historian. He was the son of singer, actor and civil rights activist, Paul Robeson.

Price Mashaw Cobbs, born November 2, 1928, in Los Angeles, California, becomes a pioneer in ethno therapy, psychiatrist, writer, and management consultant. He collaborated with psychiatrist William H. Grier to write the book “Black Rage,” which takes a grim and painful look at the anger and frustration plaguing Black people in the United States. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 9, page 57, Notable Black American Scientists, page 72, and Ebony Successful 1000, page 73)

Anne Raven Wilkinson, born November 2, 1935, in New York City, New York (some sources give her birth date as February 2), becomes credited as being the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company. Wilkinson broke the color barrier in 1955 when she signed a contract to dance full time with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Promoted to soloist during her second season with the troupe, she remained with the company for six years. Wilkinson later became a mentor to American Ballet Theatre principal dance Misty Copeland, presenting Copeland with the 2014 Dance Magazine Award. Wilkinson became a ballet fan at the age of five after seeing Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo perform Coppelia. Her mother, who had studied ballet in Chicago, took young Raven to the School of American Ballet for lessons. But, they said they could not accept her until she was nine, so she initially trained in the Dalcroze method. According to Wilkinson, “It was basically eurhythmics and was all about music and tempi and meters.” For her ninth birthday, an uncle made her the gift of ballet lessons at the Swoboda School, later known as the Ballet Russe School. Wilkinson’s first teachers included well-known dancers from Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre, Maria and Vecheslav Swoboda. As an African American, she faced many difficulties while on tour, particularly in the segregated South. When the troupe stayed in “whites only” hotels, Wilkinson kept her race a secret. She later told an interviewer, “I didn’t want to put the company in danger, but also never wanted to deny what I was. If someone questioned me directly, I couldn’t say, ‘No, I’m not black.'” For two years, things went well. Because there were many foreign dancers in the company, including a number of South Americans, her skin color was not an issue. In 1957, however, she was barred from staying with the troupe when an Atlanta, Georgia, hotel owner asked her outright if she was black. Wilkinson refused to lie and was sent away in a “colored” taxi to a “colored” motel. During the same tour, members of the Ku Klux Klan interrupted a Montgomery, Alabama, performance, asking, “Where’s the n—–?” As word of Wilkinson’s racial identity spread, discrimination became increasingly problematic in both her personal and professional life. Denham forbid her from dancing in certain locations and sent her ahead to safer cities on the tour. Ultimately, one of the company’s ballet mistresses told her she would not go any further in her ballet career and should leave to start a school of African dance. Exhausted by years of discrimination, as well as the belief that the financially-stressed troupe had become old-fashioned, Wilkinson left the company in 1961. Misty Copeland, the first African American to gain principal dancer status at the American Ballet Theatre, has called Raven Wilkinson a mentor. Copeland’s children’s book, “The Firebird”, was inspired by her relationship with Wilkinson. The narrative tells of a young dancer who, with Copeland’s help, finds self-confidence and success. Wilkinson presented the 2014 Dance Magazine Award to Copeland in December of that year. In June 2015, Wilkinson received the 2015 Dance/USA Trustee Award from presenter Misty Copeland. Wilkinson’s biography is included in Black Ballerina, a full-length documentary currently in production. The film tells the story of three black ballerinas from the past: Wilkinson, Delores Brown and Joan Myers Brown and contrasts their experiences with those of three young black dancers pursuing ballet careers. (Information from  and )

Joscelyn Wainwright, born November 2, 1941, in New York City, NY, becomes an art show producer. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 46, page 162)

 Faye Robinson, born November 2, 1943, in Houston, Texas, becomes a soprano opera singer. (From: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians and , an Internet source) 

Michelle Cliff, born November 2, 1946, in Kingston, Jamaica, becomes a poet, novelist, and essayist. She authored many books, among them “Claiming an Identity They Taught Me to Despise,” in 1980. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 3)

Jimmi Griffin, born November 2, 1946, in Brunswick, Georgia, becomes a president of the San Cruz, California branch NAACP from 1978 to 1985, and a business owner. He also worked to set up organizations and training to deal with the breakout of the diseases AIDS and HIV, in Black communities in the Florida area. (From: Personal Accounts)

Victoria Buckley, born November 2, 1947, in Denver, Colorado, becomes a politician serving a Secretary of State.(From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 24, page 25)

Mandy Carter, born November 2, 1948, in Albany, NY, becomes an advocate for Gay rights. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 11, page 30)

Susan Cadogan, born Alison Anne Cadogan, November 2, 1951, Kingston, Jamaica, becomes a reggae singer best known for her hit records in the 1970s. 

Maxine Nightingale, born November 2, 1952, UK Pop & Soul Singer, Maxine Nightingale, burst onto the music scene in the late 1960s, as part of the stage production of “Hair.” but it was her work, a few years later, as a solo singing artist, that brought her to fame. Her biggest hit was 1975’s up-tempo tune, “Right Back Where We Started From.”

Alfre Woodard, born November 8, 1952in Tulsa, Oklahoma, becomes a beautiful and talented film, stage, and television actress, producer, and political activist. Woodard has been named one of the most versatile and accomplished actors of her generation. film, stage, and television actress Alfre Ette Woodard (born November 8, 1952). She has been nominated once for an Academy Award and Grammy Awards, 17 times for Emmy Awards (winning four), and has also won a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Woodard made her professional theater debut in 1974 on Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. In 1976, she moved to Los Angeles, California. She later said, “When I came to L.A. people told me there were no film roles for black actors…I’m not a fool. I know that. But I was always confident that I knew my craft.” Her breakthrough role was in the Off-Broadway play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” in 1977. The next year, Woodard made her film debut in “Remember My Name,” a thriller written and directed by Alan Rudolph. In the same year, she had a leading role in the “The Trial of the Moke,” a Great Performances television movie co-starring Samuel L. Jackson. On March 21, 2014 it was announced that Woodard will be playing the role of the first female President of the United States in the NBC political drama pilot, “State of Affairs,” opposite Katherine Heigl. About her role Woodard said “It’s fun to play the president, rather than to be the president. But what drew me was how smart the script was, and this world we hadn’t seen before — this world most Americans didn’t know existed before we went after Bin Laden. And that it was being done by people who knew the world. So we’re not stepping too outside the boundaries; it’s based in realism. And I love politics. I have worked in politics for several decades, so it was a chance to live in a world that was important to me.” that “Alfre Woodard isn’t given a lot to do as President Constance Payton in the premiere, but, unlike Heigl, she does have the gravitas for the role, and the show would be wise to use her more. The series sets up some interesting reveals in the hour’s final moments. They potentially could make the show more interesting. But for now the state of affairs is rather mediocre.” The series was canceled after single season. In November 2014, Woodard was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. (More information can be obtained regarding Alfre Woodard on the )

Carter Anthony Beauford, born November 2, 1957, in Charlottesville, Virginia, becomes a drummer who became a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band. He also played for the drums for the band. He is known for his ability to mix together countless percussion styles, his ambidextrous approach to playing, and is highly-regarded for his open hand drumming style, where his left hand leads on the hi-hat and ride cymbal in a conventional right-handed drum set set-up. He plays the drums and sings backing vocals in the band.

 Rita Louise Crockett, born November 2, 1957, in San Antonio, Texas, becomes a 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the volleyball competition, and director and president of the North Florida Volleyball Academy. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 26 and )

 Willie Dean McGee, born November 2, 1958, in San Francisco, California, becomes a professional baseball player for the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. He achieved 17 consecutive steals and tied World Series record for outfielders with 24 put out in the Series. He’s received 3 Gold Glove awards and recognized National MVP 1985.  (From: Baseball card collection and Who’s Who Among Black Americans, 1990-1991, page 857)

 Said Aouita, born the oldest of seven children, on November 2, 1960, in Kenitra, Morocco, of Berber parentage, becomes an athlete in the 1984 Olympics, receiving a gold medal in the 5,000-meter run. He received an Olympic bronze medal in 1988 in the 800-meter run competition. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 3)

Sam Lee Horn, born November 2, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, becomes a professional baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles. Though he did hit 23 home runs as a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 1991, the powerful 6’5″, 250 pound first baseman never lived up to the power potential he showed that first year. During his career (1987-1995) with Boston, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Texas, Horn hit .240 with a total of 62 home runs. After leaving MLB, Horn played for the Taipei Gida in 1997 and 1998. He hit the first home run in the Taiwan Major League and held the record of being the highest paid player in the Taiwan professional baseball history (US[$] 216,000 dollars for the 1997 season) until surpassed by Chin-Feng Chen in 2006. Horn worked for New England Sports Network, providing analysis on Red Sox post-game shows. Horn’s catch-phrase is ka-pow, which he exclaims whenever a Sox player hits a home run. The Red Sox fans’ message board website calledSons of Sam Horn, which has also been used by Red Sox players (e.g. Curt Schilling) and management (e.g. John Henry), is named after Horn. In July 2007, he declared his candidacy for President of Red Sox Nation. On August 15, 2007, a group calling themselves the “Fans of Sam Horn” took out an ad in USA Today, telling his fans to vote for him for President of Red Sox Nation and included a link to Baseball card collection )

Lynn Nottage, born November 2 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, becomes an American playwright whose work often deals with the lives of women of African descent. She became an associate professor of theater at Columbia University and a lecturer in playwriting at Yale University. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005, a MacArthur Grant in 2007 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009 for “Ruined.” She won the 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for “Sweat.”

Lauren Vélez, born November 2, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, becomes an actress. Her most notable roles are as Maria LaGuerta on Showtime’s “Dexter;” Detective Nina Moreno on Fox’s “New York Undercover;” Dr. Gloria Nathan on HBO’s prison drama “Oz” and Elena on ABC’s comedy-drama “Ugly Betty.”Vélez landed her first job performing in the national touring company of the musical “Dreamgirls.” Vélez also played understudy for actress Phylicia Rashad in Stephen Soundheim’s “Into the Woods” and she performed Off Broadway in the productions of “Much Ado About Nothing.” In 1995, Vélez landed her first major television role, cast as Nina Moreno, a policewoman in the TV series “New York Undercover.” That same year, she also made her film debut as Lisette Linares in the movie “I Like it Like That,” alongside Rita Moreno and Jon Seda. She was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award and The Desi Award for Best Lead Actress. The movie was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards and won an NYFCCA award. Another TV series in which she performed was HBO’s jail drama, “Oz.” She also acted in the feature film “City Hall” (1996), with Al Pacino. In 1997, Vélez starred in Buscando un Sueño (English: In Search of a Dream), the first Spanish language film sanctioned by SAG. Vélez again played a police lieutenant, in a supporting role on Showtime’s series “Dexter.”On June 24, 2006, she won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 2006 Long Island International Film Expo for her performance as Roseanne Crystal in the independent feature film, Serial.In 2010, she received the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA). Lauren shares her special day with her twin sister, Loraine, who is also an actress.Alvin Vinnie Chea, born November 2, 1967, in San Francisco, California, becomes a bass vocalist and founding member of the a cappella gospel music sextet Take 6. A graduate of Oakwood College, he earned a double-major Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications. As a 20+ year veteran of the music industry, his singing voice has been heard on scores of movie soundtracks and music recordings. He is also a successful voice-over artist and can be heard on numerous television and radio commercials. Alvin is the bass of a group known as “Take 6,” an influential American a cappella gospel music sextet formed in 1980 on the campus of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. The group sings in a contemporary style, integrating R&B and jazz influences into their devotional songs. All members grew up Seventh-day Adventist. (From:

Christopher James “Chris” Williams, born November 2, 1967, in Tarrytown, New York, becomes an actor/voice actor/comedian. He is the younger brother of the singer and actress Vanessa L. Williams. Williams’s ancestry includes Ghanaian, British, Cameroonian, Finnish, Togolese, Beninese, Senegalese and Portuguese..

Ultra Nate, born November 2, 1968, in Havre de Grace, Maryland, becomes a singer, songwriter, record producer, promoter and DJ. Sheis an Americanhouse musicDance-pop and sometimes R&B musician who has achieved a respectable amount of success on the pop charts with songs such as “Free” and “If You Could Read My Mind” as part of Stars on 54. Virtually all of her singles have reached the Top 10 of the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. Such singles include “Show Me”, “Free”, “Desire”, “Get it Up (the Feeling)”, “Love’s the Only Drug”, and her most recent back-to-back number-one hits “Automatic” and “Give it All You Got” featuring Chris Willis. Growing up, Naté enjoyed a wide variety of music; she enjoyed listening to artists such as Marvin Gayeand Boy George, whom Naté would later say helped her become more open to being more experimental with her style and production of music.

Keith Russell “Mister” Jennings, born November 2, 1968 in Culpeper, becomes the head coach of the boy’s varsity basketball team at the private Highland School in Warrenton, Virginia, as of 2007.

Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman, born November 2, 1970, in Gary, Indiana, becomes a professional wrestler who is best known for her work as Queen Sharmell with WWE until her release in 2007. She first came to prominence in the wrestling world as Paisley, a member of the World Championship Wrestling dance troupe the Nitro Girls. At age 20, as Miss Black Indiana, she became the 1991 Miss Black America which became marred by accusations of rape by Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington, against pageant judge Mike Tyson. After winning the title, Sullivan began a career in professional dance touring with several hip hop artists and R&Bbands, including a 3½ year stint with James Brown.

Orlando Cabrera, born November 2, 1974, in Cartagena, Columbia, becomes a professional baseball player for Montreal Expos from 1997 to 2004; the Boston Red Sox in 2004; the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2005 to 2007; the Chicago White Sox in 2008; the Oakland A’s (Athletics) in 2009 and the Minnesota Twins in 2009.He won a World Series championship in 2004 with the Boston Red Sox. Cabrera is the younger brother of Jolbert Cabrera (born December 8, 1972), a utility player in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Cabrera’s seventh-inning, two-run home run in the American League Central Division’s tiebreaker game on October 6, 2009, kept the Twins in the game, which they later won, 6-5, in the 12th inning, to advance to post-season play.  

“Nelly” born Cornell Haynes, Jr., November 2, 1974, in Austin or Dallas, Texas, becomes a popular rapper, singer, actor and entrepreneur who moved with his mother to University City, a Midwestern city halfway between Minneapolis and New Orleans, as a teen.He has performed with the rap group St. Lunatics since 1993 and signed to Universal Records in 1999. Under Universal, Nelly made his solo debut in 2000 with Country Grammar, the title track of which became a top ten hit. Nelly runs the non-profit organization “4Sho4Kids Foundation.” The “Jes Us 4 Jackie” campaign began in March 2003 by Nelly and his sister Jackie Donahue after they found she had leukemia. The campaign attempts to educate African-Americans and other minorities about the need for bone marrow transplants, and to register more donors. Donahue lost her battle with leukemia on March 24, 2005, almost two years after the campaign began  Nelly starred in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. The soundtrack includes Nelly’s song “Fly Away.” (From: Rock on the Net and American Music Guide, both Internet sources and Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 32, page 129)

“Prodigy,” born Albert Johnson, November 2, 1974, in Hempstead Village, New York, becomes a rapper; and one half of the infamous hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, in addition to producing MC Havoc. Prodigy, born with sickle cell anemia, has suffered from the disease throughout his life.

Rodney Buford, born November 2, 1977in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, becomes a professional basketball player for the Miami Heat. Rodney Alan “The Sheriff” Buford, is an American professional basketball player currently playing for the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada (2012)

Daleroy Stewart, born November 2, 1978, in Vero Beach, Florida, becomes a professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and AFL’s Dallas Desperados. The NFL website gives his birth date as November 1, while ESPN website identifies the date as November 2.

Leon Smith, born November 2, 1980, in Chicago, Illinois, becomes a professional basketball player who played in the NBA, the CBA, the USBL and the IBL, and abroad in Puerto Rico and Argentina.

Wilson Betemit, born November 2, 1981, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, becomes a professional baseball player for the Atlanta Braves from 2001 to 2006; the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2006 to 2007; the New York Yankee, from 2007 to 2008 and the Chicago White Sox in 2009. In 1999, he became the Player of the Year for the Danville Braves of the Rookie League. There is some confusion surrounding Betemit’s date of birth. His official Player Profile on used to list it as 1980-07-28, while other sources, including his information page on respected statistics site, have it as 1981-11-02. An article from February 2000in the Savannah Morning News offers an explanation for the discrepancy

Roddy White, born November 2, 1981, in James Island, South Carolina, becomes a professional football player for the Atlanta Falcons beginning in 2005 to present (2009).  Roddy White became the first Falcon WR since 1999 to reach 1,000 single season receiving yards on December 23, 2007. He also finished tied for 8th among all NFL wide receivers in receiving yards in 2007 with 1,202 yards. He had 6 receiving touchdowns. On October 11, 2009 White became the all time receiving leader in yards in one game in Franchise history in a game against the 49ers. In this game, White had 8 receptions for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Lucy Jefferson, born November 3, 1866, in Jackson, Mississippi, (died 1953), becomes a civic leader, philanthropist, entrepreneur, clubwoman, and educator. She opened a funeral home business in 1894, which changed the treatment of the Black dead. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 1)

John Baxter Taylor, Jr., born November 3, 1882, in Washington, D.C., (died 1908), becomes an athlete, winning an Olympic gold medal in 1908, in the 4×400 meter relay. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 111-112)

Lois Mailou Jones, born November 3, 1905, in Boston, Massachusetts (died 1998),, becomes a painter and educator. (From: Ebony Successful 1000, page 248, Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 13, page 123 and Notable Black American Women, Book 1)

Hal Jackson, born November 3, 1915, in Charleston, South Carolina, (died May 23, 2012), becomes a pioneering radio disc jockey and radio host. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 41, page 112)

Dr. Mable John, born November 3, 1930, in Bastrop, Louisiana, becomes the first female artist signed by Berry Gordy Jr. to the Tamla label, which preceded Motown by more than two years, and one of the few artists to record for the top two labels for ’60s soul, Motown and Stax. See the comments for her recording of “Your Good Thing.” blues singer.

 Louis Wade Sullivan, born November 3, 1933, in Atlanta, Georgia, becomes a politician, the highest-ranking African American in the Bush Administration. He presided over the Department of Health and Human Services. He played a major role in the establishment of Morehouse School of Medicine, the third medical school at a historically Black institution in the United States. (From: Notable Black American Men, page 1092, Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 8, page 241 and Notable Black American Scientists, page 289)

Robert M. (Bob) Hopkins, born November 3, 1934, in Jonesboro, Louisiana, becomes a professional basketball player and coach, who played college ball at Grambling where he scored 3,759 points (averaging 29.8 points per game for his career), and then played in the NBA for four seasons with the Syracuse Nationals. He later would coach the Seattle Supersonics during part of the 1977-1978 seasons, posting a 5-17 record before being fired midseason. He was replaced by Lenny Wilkins, who led the Sonics to the NBA Finals that and next season, winning the NBA championship in 1979.

Harry T. Edwards, born November 3, 1940, in New York City, New York, becomes a federal judge for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, under President Jimmy Carter’s administration. (From: African American Almanac, page 460, and)

Leon Bates, born November 3, 1949, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes an American pianist and teacher. He began his studies of piano and violin at the age of six and gave his first piano recital in his native city at seven. He studied with Irene Beck at the Settlement Music School (1962–67) and with NATALIE HINDERAS at the Esther Boyer College of Music, Temple University in Philadelphia. A prominent African American figure on the concert scene, he (From: )

Michael Jonas Evans, born November 3, 1949, in Salisbury, North Carolina (died December 14, 2006) (usually credited as Mike Evans), became an actor and co-creator of the show “Good Times,” with Eric Monte (Ralph Carter’s character Michael Evans was named after him). Evans father, Theodore Evans Sr., was a dentist, and his mother, Annie Sue Evans, was a school teacher. His family later moved to Los Angeles, where he graduated from Los Angeles High School. He later studied acting at Los Angeles City College. Evans is most famous for creating the recurring role of Lionel Jefferson on All in the Family and was the first (and eventually final) actor to play Lionel on the spin-off The Jeffersons. He played Lionel on The Jeffersons for much of its 11-year run, with the majority of his appearances occurring from 1979-1983. Opera singer/actor Damon Evans played the role for a few years of The Jeffersons, as Michael was occupied in the production of Good Times. He returned after Good Times was cancelled in 1979. His last TV role was in 2000, on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. Evans was also a real estate investor and owned properties in California’s Inland Empire. As the original Lionel, his absence was noticed at a Sherman Hemsley TV Land special, which aired in July 2006. Most of the other surviving Jeffersons cast members were present, as well as Sally Struthers and the cast of “Amen.” Evans died of throat cancer at his mother’s home in Twentynine Palms, California at the age of 57. The announcement of his death was not released until a week later.

Larry Holmes, born November 3, 1949, in Cuthbert, Georgia, becomes a heavyweight-boxing champion, from 1978 to 1985. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 20, page 93 and Volume 68, page 84)

 Jeffrey Banks, born November 3, 1953, in Washington, D.C., becomes a fashion designer and businessperson. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 17, page 8) 

Larry Lee Herndon, born November 3, 1953, in Sunflower, Mississippi, becomes a professional baseball player and coach. He played for the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers. (From: Who’s Who among African Americans, 16th Edition)

 Jeff Majors, born November 3, 1960, in Washington, DC, becomes a inspirational musician, playing the harp. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 41, page 132)

 Kym Hampton, born November 3, 1962, in Louisville, Kentucky, becomes a professional basketball player for the New York Liberty. (From: , an Internet sports source)

Donna Richardson Joyner, born November 3, 1962, in Silver Springs, MD, becomes a fitness guru and aerobics instructor, author and ESPN television sports commentator. Widely known for her series of fitness videos, and appointed in 2006 by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She also produces and hosts Donna Richardson: Mind, Body, & Spirit, which airs on TV One, and Sweating In The Spirit, which airs on The Word Network. She has served on the Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Trustees and is an Advisory Board Member for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She is married to nationally renowned radio personality, Tom Joyner. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 39, page 180)

Ian Edward Wright, born November 3, 1963in Woolwich, London, becomes an English professional footballerturned television and radio personality. Wright enjoyed success with London clubs Crystal Palace and Arsenal, spending six years with the former and seven years with the latter. With Arsenal he has lifted the Premier League title, both major domestic trophies, and the European Cup Winner’s Cup. Wright played 581 league games, scoring 387 goals for seven clubs in Scotland and England, earning 33 caps for the English national team. After retiring from the game he has been active in the media, usually in football related TV and radio shows. His sons, Bradley Wright-Phillips (born March 12, 1985) and Shaun Wright-Phillips (born October 25, 1981) are both professional footballers.

Marjean Holden, born November 3, 1964, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, becomes an actress and producer who made her professional acting debut in 1987 in the feature film “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Outside of the world of film and television, Holden has worked with combat veterans, and received an award from the Military Order of the Purple Heart, in 1996 for “caring about combat-wounded veterans and veterans as a whole”.


Arnez J. born November 3, 1966, is an actor and writer, known for All Star Comedy Jam: Live from South Beach (2009), Arnez J. : Racially Motivated (2013) and Showtime Comedy Club Network (1987). … Famous Faces on “Russell Simmons Def Comedy Jam” … 1995-2006 Def Comedy Jam (TV Series) (writer – 2 episodes) In 1995, Arnez J got a chance to combine his ambitions as an athlete and performer: he was recruited by scouts for the famed Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. In 1996 he joined the team, but three months later a knee injury ended his Globetrotters career. “Apparently I’m meant to make a living as a comedian, which is fine,” he observed to Condran. In the late 1990s, Arnez J became a familiar face on the comedy circuit and landed plum television spots on Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam A&E’s An Evening at the Improv, and Comedy Central’s Make Me Laugh, among other shows. After a half-hour solo special on BET, Arnez J became the host of Comic View in 2002. (Place of birth not mentioned in source.) (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 53)


Gary Anthony Sturgis, born November 3, 1966, in New Orleans, Louisiana, becomes an American actor known for providing the voice of Ebon in the television series Static Shock.  In addition to voice overs, Sturgis appeared as an antagonist in two of Tyler Perry’s’s movies, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “Daddy’s Little Girls,” as well as the 2007 movie “Pride,” starring Terrence Howard, and co-stars in the independent feature directed by Cedric the Entertainer “Chicago Pulaski Jones.”.


Darrin Hancock, born November 3, 1971, in Birmingham, Alabama, becomes a professional basketball player, who in high school and college became known for his strong offense, while his quick and agile moves to the basket drew comparisons to the likes of Dominique Wilkins.


Dwight Eversley Yorke, born November 3, 1971, in Canaan, Tobago, becomes a Trinadian and Tobago football player who played for Aston Villa, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney FC and Sutherland teams. He served as the assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team until the completion of the qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Along with Russell Latapy and Pat Jennings,Yorke holds the record number of participations in different World Cup competitions, including qualifying stages – six in total (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010. Yorke was nicknamed The Smiling Assassin because of his goal scoring abilities and his constant smile. He signed a deal with IMG-Reliance to take part in proposed football league, being played in India


Tariq Abdul-Wahad, born November 3, 1974, in Maisons Alfort, France, becomes a professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors. (From: , an Internet source)


Darren Sharper, born November 3, 1975, in Richmond, Virginia, becomes a professional football player for the Green Bay Packers. (From: , an Internet source)


Anthony Henry, born November 3, 1976, in Fort Meyers, Florida, becomes a professional football player for the Cleveland Browns. (From: , and , both Internet sources)


Kelly Herndon, born November 3, 1976, in Bedford, Ohio, becomes a professional football player for the Denver Broncos. (From: , an Internet source)


Damien Woody, born November 3, 1977, in Beaverdam, Virginia, becomes a professional football player for the New England Patriots. (From: , an Internet source)


Joe Hall, born November 3, 1979, who resides in Lakewood, California, becomes a professional football player for the Kansas City Chiefs. (From: , an Internet source)


Hanik Milligan, born November 3, 1979, in Coconut Creek, Florida, becomes a professional football player for the San Diego Chargers. (From: , an Internet source)


Reggie Wells, born November 3, 1980, in Texas, becomes a professional football player for the Arizona Cardinals. (From: , an Internet source)

 K. Asante, Jr., born November 3, 1982,in Harare, Zimbabwe, becomes a writer, a filmmaker and a professor. His father is scholar Molefi Kete Asante.Asante Jr. has been described by the Philadelphia Inquireras “a rare, remarkable talent that brings to mind the great artists of the Harlem Renaissance.” [1] He is a recipient of the 2009 Langston Hughes Award from the Langston Hughes Society. (From: List of Black Directors)

Tywon Lawson, born November 3, 1987, in Clinton, Marylandbecomes a professional basketball player who played for the Denver Nuggets of the NBA. Lawson was drafted as the 18th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and was immediately traded to the Denver Nuggets for a future 1st round pick. Lawson played college basketball for the University of North Carolina from 2006 to 2009. Lawson was named the ACC Player of the Year, the first time a point guard had won the ACC’s highest honor since fellow Tar Heel Phil Ford won the award in 1978.

Jean Du Sable, born November 4, 1750, in St. Marc (Sainte-Dominguez), (now Haiti,) (died August 28, 1818), becomes an exploration pioneer, trader and founder of a settlement, which later became Chicago.

Cathy Williams, born November 4, 1844, in Independence, Missouri, (died 1926), becomes a domestic worker and soldier who became free when the Civil War broke out. She worked for the Army as a paid servant and experienced military life first hand in Little Rock, Arkansas

Francis J. Grimke, born November 4, 1852, on a plantation near Charleston, South Carolina, (died October 11, 1937), , becomes a Presbyterian minister, and civil rights activist. (From: Notable Black American Men and Twentieth Century Negro Literature, page 426-433

Rosina Tucker, born November 4, 1881, in Washington, DC (died March 3, 1987 at age 105) , becomes a file clerk for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and founder of the International Ladies Auxiliary in 1937. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 14, page 209)

Alton Augustus Adams, born November 4, 1889, in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (died November 23, 1987), becomes a distinguished bandmaster, composer, musician, journalist, educator, and hotelier. The son of Jacob Henry and Petrina Dinzey Adams, The life of Alton Augustus Adams, Sr., has been described by his contemporaries as an “era” of its own. A self-educated man, he charted his own life as a distinguished bandmaster, composer, musician, journalist, educator, and hotelier. He received his early education at the Moravian Town School. An avid reader, he read all printed materials available to him including the King James Version of the Holy Bible.As a young boy, he showed a fascination with music and learned to play the flageolet, a gift from his grandmother in Copenhagen. He later mastered the flute, which became his favorite instrument. Convinced that music was his major interest, he decided to pursue a music education program and enrolled in correspondence courses in harmony and counterpoint offered by the University of Pennsylvania. He also studied at the School of Music Theory, Carnegie Hall, New York, and the Chicago University Extension Conservatory, Chicago, Illinois by correspondence. From the latter he received a bachelor’s degree with emphasis on music history, esthetics, and public school music. During these studies, he was greatly influ enced by the noted organist and composer Hugh A. Clarke.In 1917, he married the former Ella Joseph and they had seven children–Alton, Jr., Gwendolyn, Enid Adams Questel, Olive Adams Finch, Althea, Eleanor Adams Martin, alld Hazel Adams. As a composer, he is best remembered for his 1912 “Diox ‘rev d’armour,” “Virgin Islands March,” “Governors Own” and “The Spirit of the U.S. Navy.” “The Virgin Islands March,” originally written for Captain William R. White of the U.S. Navy on November 10, 1919, was later arranged with lyrics from public contributions and adopted as the Virgin Islands Anthem by the Virgin Islands Legislature in June 1982. As a bandmaster, Adams was the guest artist of Dr. Edwin Franko Goldman and his son Richard, and conducted their bands on various occasions. The Goldman Band is comprised of master musicians of various symphony orchestras. Additionally, he received numerous letters and certificates of commendation from bandmasters and musical organizations in the United States. Adams is featured in Frank Seltzer’s Galaxy of Famous Bandmasters in Brief.His march, “Governors Own,” written for Naval Governor Joseph W. Oman, has been included on The Pride of A1nerica, the first album in the American Bicentennial celebration series on American music. The series also includes marches by John Philip Sousa and Edwin Franko Goldman. As hotelier, he turned his eighteenth century home into a guest house. He was a member of the V.I. Hotel Association and served as its energetic chairman for six years (1952-1958). In recognition of his contribution to the hotel industry, the St. Thomas St. John Hotel Association annually awards the “Alton A. Adams Scholarship” to a deserving resident. Adams also hosted a radio program, “Concert Hall,” on which he entertained listeners with classical music. On May 7, 1978, Adams, almost ninety years old, travelled to Fisk University to accept an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. He also received the Virgin Islands Medal of Honor from the Sixteenth Legislature in 1983. In addition, he has been mentioned in numerous biographical references, such as Who’s Who in Colored America, 1922; Dictionary of Caribbean Biography, Personalities, 1968; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest; and Who’s Who in Commerce and Industry. (From: )


Walter M. Booker, born November 4, 1907, in Little Rock, Arkansas, (died in 1988), becomes a biologist, physiologist, and pharmacologist. He served 20 years as the Chair of the Department of Pharmacology of the College of Medicine, at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. (From: Notable Black American Scientists, page 35)

 Memphis Willie “B” Borum, born November 4, 1911 in Shelby County, Tennessee,, (died October 5, 1993), becomes a blues harmonica player. (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source) 

Eileen Jackson Southern, born November 4, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois, (died in 2002), becomes a musicologist. In childhood, she developed as a pianist and became partial to the music of Beethoven, Bach, and Debussy. She met Black composers such as R. Nathaniel Dett.


Robert B. Blackwell, born November 4, 1924, in Meridian, Mississippi, becomes a public official and mayor of Highland Park, Michigan from 1968 to 1972 (or 1967 to 1975), and again from 1980 to 1988. (From: Who’s Who among African Americans, 16th Edition)


Clyde Ferguson, born November 4, 1924, in Wilmington, North Carolina, (died in 1983), becomes an ambassador to Uganda, and some consider him the “founding father” of Affirmative Action. (From Contemporary Authors, Online, an Internet source)


Mildred L. McDaniel, born November 4, 1933, in Atlanta, Georgia, becomes an Olympic athlete, becoming the first African American female to set an Olympic and World’s record in the high jump category. She won an Olympic gold medal for high jumping, in the 1956 Olympics. (From: Almanac of Famous People, 7th Edition)


Chief Ojukwu, bornChukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, November 4, 1933, in Zungeru, Nigeria (died November 26, 2011), becomes President of Biafra, serving from May 30, 1967 to January 8, 1970. Once or twice in a century, nature or the Good Lord sends to a people a phenomenon. Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi, Eze Igbo Gburugburu, was such a phenomenon. He was not just an Igbo man, he was a Nigerian, an African, a Pan-African and a black man. He was a man of great intelligence and a soldier’s Soldier. Ojukwu had played a significant role in Nigeria’s return to democracy since 1999 (the fourth Republic). He had contested as presidential candidate of his party, All Progessives Gran Alliance (APGA) for the last three of the four elections. Until his illness, he remained the party leader. The party was in control of two states in and largely influential amongst the Igbo ethnic area of Nigeria. On November 26, 2011, Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu died in the United Kindom after a brief illness, aged 78. The Nigerian Army accorded him the highest military accolade and conducted a funeral parade for him in Abuja, Nigeria on February 27, 2012, the day his body was flown back to Nigeria from London before his burial on Friday, 2 March. He was buried in a newly built mausoleum in his compound at Nnewi. Before his final interment, he had about the most unusual and elaborate weeklong funeral ceremonies in Nigeria besides Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whereby his body was carried around the five Eastern states, Imo, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, including the nation’s capital, Abuja. Memorial services and public events were also held in his honour in several places across Nigeria, including Lagos and Niger State, his birthplace, and as far away as Dallas, Texas, United States. His funeral was attended by President Goodluck Jonathan (born November 20, 1957) of Nigeria and ex President Jerry Rawlings (born June 22, 1947) of Ghana among other personalities.


James Patterson, born November 4, 1937, in Russell County, Alabama, becomes a blues guitarist.

 Harry Elston, born November 4, 1938, in Dallas, Texas, becomes an R&B singer, founding member of the group called “Friends of Distinction.” (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source) 

Keiffer J. Mitchell, Sr., born November 4, 1941, in Baltimore, Maryland, becomes a scientist, who as a child enjoyed art, but in high school he developed an interest in the sciences. His fascination with the sciences led him to medicine and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned his M.D. He went on to practice medicine, specializing as a gastrointestinal surgeon. Activism in his blood, Mitchell added his own chapter to his family’s proud history by fighting to ensure equal access to healthcare to Baltimore’s African American community. He made this his lifelong passion. (From: The History Makers website)


Patricia E. Bath, born November 4, 1942, in New York City, NY, becomes an inventive ophthalmologist. Bath became the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973. Two years later, she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute. In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that “eyesight is a basic human right.” In 1986, Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe, improving treatment for cataract patients. She patented the device in 1988, becoming the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent.

(From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 37, page 19)

Walter Price Burrell, Jr., born November 4, 1944, in Portsmouth, Virginia, becomes a publicist and journalist.

Scherrie Payne, born November 4, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, younger sister to R&B singer Freda Payne (born September 19, 1942), becomes an R&B singer,  sometimes referred to as “the little lady with the big voice,” because of her petite stature of only five –feet-two.  She became co-lead of the female group, “The Supremes,” from 1973 to 1977, after singer Jean Terrell left the group.

Amadou Tourmani Toure, born November 4, 1948, becomes a charismatic man of peace; a Malian politician who became President of Mali from 2002 to 2012. He became head of President Moussa Traoré’s personal guard when a popular revolution overthrew the regime in March 1991 and (then) Colonel Touré arrested the President and led the revolution. He presided over a year-long military-civilian transition process that produced a new Constitution and multiparty elections; Touré handed power to Mali’s first democratically elected president, Dr Alpha Oumar Konaré (‘AOK’) on 6 June 1992. AOK promoted Touré to General. Ten years later, after retiring from the army, he entered politics as a civilian and won the 2002 presidential election with a broad coalition of support. He was easily re-elected in 2007 to a second and final term. On 22 March 2012, one month prior to his scheduled departure from office, disgruntled members of the Malian military initiated a coup d’ etat that forced him into hiding. As part of the agreement to restore constitutional order to Mali, Touré resigned from the presidency on 8 April, and eleven days later went into exile.

Berlinda Tolbert, born November 4, 1949, in Charlotte, North Carolina, becomes an actress most remembered for her role as Jenny Willis Jefferson on the “The Jeffersons,” Berlinda is one of the two surviving original members of the iconic cast. Actress Marla Gibbs is the other. 

Willie Buchanon, born November 4, 1950, in Oceanside, California, becomes a professional football player for the Green Bay Packers from 1972 to 1978 and the San Diego Chargers from 1979 to 1982


Jim Ovia, born November 4, 1951, at Agbor, in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria, becomes founder of Zenith Banking Group in 1990. It became one of the largest financial service provider on the continent. He also founded a mobile company estimated to be worth $775 million. Mr. Ovia attended Southern University Louisiana, where he obtained a B.Sc in Business Administration in 1977 and North East Louisiana University, where he obtained a masters degree in Business Administration in 1979, both in United States of America. He is also an Alumnus of Harvard Business School (Executive Management Program). He started his banking career as a clerk at Barclays Bank, DCO, now, Union Bank in 1973. In 1980, he joined International Merchant Bank (IMB) under the technical agreement of First National Bank of Chicago as a financial analyst and rose to senior manager position in 1987. He gained early experience in the use of computer in 1977 when he worked as a part-time computer operator at Baton Rouge Bank and Trust Company, Louisiana. Ovie later changed status from employee –manager to owner. Ovie is the founder and Chairman of Mankind United to Support Total Education (MUSTE), a philanthropic organization focused on providing scholarship for the less privileged, of which some of the beneficiaries are now qualified Medical Doctors, Lawyers, Engineer’s etc. Mr. Ovia is also the founder of the ICT Foundation for Youth Empowerment, which focuses on improving the socio-economic welfare of Nigerian Youths by inspiring and motivating them to embrace Information and Communication Technology.


DeWayne Minor, born November 4, 1956, in Detroit, Michigan, becomes a horse racer who as of the year 2000, won about 461 races in 3, 187 drives, earning more than $2.1 million dollars. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 32, page 121)

Jerome Najee” Rasheed, born November 4, 1957, in the Greenwich Village section of New York City, becomes a jazz saxophonist, flutist and keyboardist. His father died when he was four years old, and Najee was raised by his mother Mary Richards, who was an important figure and supporter throughout his life and musical career. Najee’s musical pursuits began in grade school at age eight, where he learned how to play the clarinet. He was influenced at this age by listening to his mother’s recordings of Miles Davis (born May 26, 1926 –died September 28, 1991) and other legendary American jazz artists. This was a pivotal moment in his life where he made the decision to become a professional jazz musician. In high school, Najee began to study jazz as a student at the Jazzmobile program (co-founded by Dr. Billy Taylor (born July 24, 1921 – died December 28, 2010), where he honed his skills on tenor saxophone and flute under the direction of Jimmy Heath (born October 25, 1926), Frank Foster (born September 23, 1928 – died July 26, 2011) and Ernie Wilkins (born July 20, 1922 – died June 5, 1999). At age 16, Najee studied flute at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division, where he took lessons with Harold Jones, flautist from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He was inspired by saxophonists John Coltrane (born September 23, 1926 – died July 17, 1967), Charlie Parker (born August 29, 1920 – died March 12, 1955) , Yusef Lateef (born October 9, 1920 – died December 23, 2013) , Grover Washington, Jr. (born December 12, 1943 – died December 17, 1999) and Huber Laws (born November 10, 1939) on flute. His brother Fareed suggested that he consider the soprano saxophone as his main instrument. This, later helped catapult Najee’s career. After high school, Najee’s first world tour was with Area Code performing with the USO for military bases in Europe and Latin America. Upon his return from the USO, Najee went on the road with Ben E. King (born September 28, 1938 – died April 30, 2015), After touring with Ben, Najee (and his brother Fareed) were accepted at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied saxophone performance with Joe Allard and performed with George Russell (born June 23, 1923 – died July 27, 2009) and Jaki Byard (born June 15, 1922 – died February 11, 1999) big bands. After his studies at the conservatory, Najee returned to New York in the early 1980s, performing with Chaka Khan (born March 23, 1953) with his brother and guitarist Fareed (who is now his manager). This started Najee’s career as a solo jazz instrumentalist. In 1986, he released his debut album, entitled Najee’s Theme (EMI/Capital). The album earned Najee a Grammy Award Nomination for the title track produced, written & arranged by Rahni Song, and an opportunity to open for the “Tasty Love” tour with R&B singer Freddie Jackson (born October 2, 1956). The following year, Najee’s sophomore album “Day By Day” was released and went platinum. “Day By Day” was produced by several producers including legendary producer Barry Eastmond (Freddie Jackson (born October 2, 1956)., Aretha Franklin (born March 25, 1942), Anita Baker (born January 26, 1958) and Billy Ocean (born Leslie Sebastian Charles; January 21, 1950)). “Tokyo Blue,” released in 1991, (produced by Najee’s brother Fareed) is one of Najee’s most successful recordings to date. Tokyo Blue and Day By Day led to Najee winning two Soul Train Awards for Best Jazz Artist in 1991 and 1993. More information on Najee’, his career and life can be found at .

Maxon Mbendera, born November 4, 1958, in the Central District of Ntcheu, Malawi, died 18 August 2016,became a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and the chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission. Mbendera was born in Malawi’s Central District of Ntcheu. He held an LLB (Hons) degree from the University of Malawi and an LLM in International Trade and Investment Law. In 1981, he would be admitted to the Malawi Bar and work for Savjani & Co. for 13 years and would later set up his own law firm which he would lead for 15 years until he was appointed Judge of the High Court in 2009. During his time at the bar, Mbendera served as both Secretary of the Malawi Law Society between 1993 and 1995 and its President between 1999 and 2001. Mbendera would further serve as Malawi’s Attorney General from 2011 to 2012. He would appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of Malawi at the end of 2012. During that same year, he would be appointed chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission. His term as chairperson was expected to end in October 2016.

Damon “Kool Rock Ski” Wimbley, born November 4, 1966, becomes a rapper with The Fat Boys; a hip-hop group and an actor. (Place of birth and more information not available from Internet source at this time.)


Sean “Puffy” Combs, born November 4, 1969, in Mt. Vernon, New York,(the birthplace of actor Denzel Washington), becomes a nationally recognized music producer and hip-hop/rap artist. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 17 page 47 and Volume 43, page 49)

Gregory Porter, born November 4, 1971, in Sacramento, California, becomes a. jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actor won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album “Liquid Spirit.” His mother was a minister. Porter’s debut album, “Water,” was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. He was also a member of the original Broadway cast of “It Aint Nothin but the Blues.” His second album, “Be Good,” which contains many of Porter’s compositions, garnered critical acclaim for both his distinctive singing and his compositions, such as “Be Good (Lion’s Song)”, “Real Good Hands”, and “On My Way to Harlem”. The title track was also nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. In his review of “Water,” Kevin Le Gendre of the BBC wrote that “Gregory Porter has a voice and musicality to be reckoned with.” The New York Times described Porter as “a jazz singer of thrilling presence, a booming baritone with a gift for earthy refinement and soaring uplift” in its review of “Liquid Spirit.”

Shawn Rivera, born November 4, 1971, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes a Grammy nominated R&B singer, songwriter, producer, percussionist and arranger best known for his work in the multi-platinum selling vocal group, Az Yet. Rivera is also an inventor. He invented the popular Cajon-style drum called SlapBoxx.

Victor Riley, born November 4, 1974, in Lexington, South Carolina, becomes a professional football player for the New Orleans Saints. (From: , an Internet source)


Mikki Moore, born November 4, 1975, in Orangeburg, South Carolina, becomes a professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks. (From: , an Internet sports source)


Orlando Pace, born November 4, 1975, in Sandusky, Ohio, becomes a professional football player for the St. Louis Rams. (From: , an Internet source)


Lorenzen Wright, born November 4, 1975, in Memphis, Tennessee, becomes a professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies. (From: , an Internet source)


Dwaine Carpenter, born November 4, 1976, in Pinehurst, North Carolina, becomes a professional football player for the San Francisco 49ers. (From: , an Internet source)

Ricky Fante, born November 4, 1978, in Washington, D.C., becomes an R&B/Neo-Soul singer/songwriter. He’s best known for his debut single “It Ain’t Easy” which garnered critical praise, in addition to numerous television and film soundtrack appearances. Fanté’s vocal sound has been compared to Wilson Pickett (born March 18, 1941 – died January 19, 2006), Sam Cooke (born January 22, 1931 – died December 11, 1964), Al Green (born April 13, 1946) and Otis Redding (born September 9, 1941 – died December 10, 1967). In 2005, Ricky Fanté recorded the title song “Shine” for the film “Robots,” and the upbeat tune “That’s All I Need” for the HBO film “Lackawanna Blues.”In the same year, he performed a duet with the Italian singer Giorgia Todrani for her MTVUnplugged. In 2009, Fante recorded the theme song for the hit ABC television series “Shark Tank” which was written by Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford. Afterwards, he took a break from singing to return to school.

Sabrina Diana Colie, born November 4, 1980, in Mandeville, Jamaica, becomes an actress who completed her elementary education at Mt. St. Joseph Preparatory and high school and sixth form at Manchester High, Mandeville where she became valedictorian. George Clayton Huff Jr., born November 4, 1980, in New Orleans, Louisiana, becomes an R&B and gospel singer who placed first among male contestants and overall fifth-place finalist on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series “American Idol.” Huff was not voted through to the final round from his group of semifinalists, but got another second chance when he was brought back for the wildcard round and put through as a finalist by contest judge Simon Cowell. During this period, New Orleans Fox Affiliate WVUE would hold specials including Huff’s family cheering George on during the latest episodes. Vince Wilfolk, born November 4, 1981, in Boynton Beach, Florida, becomes a professional football player for the New England Patriots beginning in 2004 to present (2009).

Devin Hester, born November 4, 1982, in Rivera Beach, Florida, becomes a professional football player for the Chicago Bears beginning 2006 to present (2009). Before he became a teenager, his mother received severe injuries in car accident, and his father died of cancer two years later. His step-father, Derrick Brown, and brother, Lenorris Jr., helped Hester escape his depression, ( More info on depression) and rebuild his life by introducing him to football. He soon returned to his normal life, and began to excel in sports and academics. Along with teammates Rex Grossman and Tommie Harris (born April 29, 1983), Hester appeared on the February 2007 issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids. His reputation has also been bolstered by EA Sports‘ Madden NFL 08, where Hester’s perfect 100 speed rating made him the fastest player in the game’s history Hester also appeared in a promotional video for the game.


Adrian Zaugg, born November 4, 1986 in South Africa, becomes a professional race car driver, who after winning the Bridgestone Cup in Karting, impressed on a Formula BMW Scholarship Course, and signed by Austrian energy drink company Red Bull in 2004, for their Red Bull Junior Team programme. For 2005, he moved up to Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, winning one race. He continued briefly in the Eurocup for 2006, before moving up to the World Series by Renault, for Carlin Motorsport. In six races, he achieved one pole position.


Barzillai Lew, Jr., born November 5, 1743, in Groton, Massachusetts (died January 18, 1822) becomes an African American soldier who served with distinction during the American Revolution. (For more information about Barzillai Lew, got o website )


Albert E. Meyzeek, born November 5, 1862, in Toledo, Ohio (died in 1963), becomes an educator and a civil rights activist. A champion of civil right causes, Meyzeek helped establish a colored branch of the YMCA, opened libraries, and fought to end segregation in education and in public facilities in Louisville, Kentucky. (From: Notable Black American Men, page 806)


Rene Maran, born November 5, 1887, in Port-au-Prince, Martinique, West Indies (died in 1960), becomes a novelist, poet, biographer, critic and government official. (From: African Authors, page 503)


Willis Richardson, born November 5, 1889 or 1899 (died in 1977), in Wilmington, North Carolina, becomes a playwright. In 1925, he received first prize in the Crisis Contest Awards, for “The Broken Banjo.” (From Notable Black American Men, page 1010, and Black Writers, page 485)

James Banning, born November 5, 1899 or 1900, in Oklahoma (died in 1933), becomes an African-American aviation pioneer, the son of Riley and Cora Banning. In 1932 Banning, accompanied by Thomas C. Allen, to become America’s first two black aviators to fly coast-to-coast.

Etta Moten Barnett, born November 5, 1901, in San Antonio, Texas, (died January 2, 2004), in San Antonio, Texas, becomes a singer, community activist, actress, and arts patron. She received a personal invitation to sing at the White House from President and first lady, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Some reference sources indicate her birth took place in Weimar, Texas. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 1)


Etta Moten Barnett, born November 5, 1901, in Weimer, Texas (died January 2, 2004) becomes an American actress and contralto vocalist, who was identified with her signature role of “Bess” Born the only child of a Methodist minister, Rev. Freeman F. Moten, and his wife Ida, she started singing as a child in the church choir. She becomes an American actress and contralto vocalist, identified with her signature role of “Bess” in Porgy and Bess. She created new roles for African-American women on stage and screen. She attended Western University, a historically black college (HBCU) in Quindaro, Kansas, where she studied music. She completed her education at the University of Kansas, where she earned a B.A. in voice and drama in 1931. Moten became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, which provided a network throughout her career. Moten moved to New York City, where she first performed as a soloist with the Eva Jessye Choir. Jessye was a groundbreaking collaborator with Virgil Thomson and George Gershwin. Moten was cast in the Broadway show “Zombie.”. On January 31, 1933, Moten became the first black star to perform at the White House. On March 6, 1957 Moten Barnett interviewed Dr. Martin Luther King, in Accra, Ghana, where they were both attending the celebration of Ghana’s independence from Great Britain—she as the wife of Claude Barnett, a prominent Republican member of the official U.S. delegation headed by Vice President Richard Nixon; and King, fresh from the Montgomery Bus Boycott, as a man interested in the liberation of oppressed people globally, but with no official place in Ghana’s Independence Day festivities. The recording of this conversation, conducted in a Ghanaian radio studio where Moten Barnett was gathering recordings for her Chicago broadcasts, is also available at the Library of Congress and the Schomburg Library. (From: and CBB Volume 56)


Theodore M. Berry, born, November 5, (some sources say November 8), 1905, in Maysville, Kentucky, (died October 15, 2000), becomes a lawyer, civil rights activist, and politician, the first African American mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio from 1972 to 1975. As a civil rights activist, he served as president of the Cincinnati Branch NAACP, from 1932 to 1946. African American Registry, an Internet source, indicates his birth date to be November 5. (From: Soul Vibrations: Astrology for African Americans, page 176, and Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 31- Birthday also listed in some sources as November 8)


Theodore McNeal, born November 5, 1905, in Helena, Arkansas (died in 1982), becomes a union organizer and politician, the first African American elected to the Missouri State Senate.

Chauncey Spencer, born November 5, 1906, in Lynchburg, Virginia (died August 21, 2002), , becomes a pilot and educator who advanced the integration of African Americans into U.S. military aviation as a private pilot during the 1930s. He became a founding member of the National Airmen’s Association of America in 1937, and flew to Washington, D.C., in 1939 to lobby for the inclusion of African Americans into the government-financed Civilian Pilot Training Program. (From:

Barbara Watson, born November 5, 1918, in New York City, New York, (died in 1983), and becomes the first Black woman to serve as an assistant secretary of state under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, in 1977, and an ambassador to Malaysia, in 1981. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 2)


Arthur Johnson, PhD, born November 5, 1925, in Americus, Georgia, becomes Executive Secretary for the Detroit Branch, NAACP, in 1950. During his tenure, he facilitated the desegregation of major civil institutions, which included schools, businesses, and hospitals. He served until 1964. (From:, an Internet source)


Victoria Jackson Gray Adams, born November 5, 1926, in Palmers Crossing, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, died August 12, 2006, becomes a Mississippi-based civil rights activist; one of the most important Mississippians in the Civil Rights Movement. Her activities included teaching voter registration courses to domestics and sharecroppers, opening of the Freedom Schools during Mississippi’s Freedom Summer of 1964, and serving as a National Board Member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Ms. Gray began service as the field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1962. After graduation from high school, Ms. Gray began her education at Wilberforce University in Ohio but was unable to finish due to lack of tuition funds. She later completed her education and became qualified as a teacher through her studies at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and Jackson State College. In addition to being a teacher, she traveled the country as a lecturer and served as campus minister to Virginia State University. Gray called herself a “spiritual and social activist.” Gray was a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) and was the first woman from Mississippi to run for the United States Senate. She ignored her own safety by running against outspoken segregationist John Stennis. Ms. Gray was accompanied by Fannie Lou Hamer and Annie Devine as the first three women to be seated as guests on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. This was a result of these women challenging the all-white segregationist politicians of the time. MFDP activities permanently changed the manner in which state delegates are chosen by the Democratic Party for its national conventions. Sources: and


Gilbert Roland “Gil” Hill, born November 5, 1931, in Birmingham, Alabama, died February 29, 2016, becomes a politician serving as the President of the Detroit City Council, a police officer and part-time actor, gaining recognition for his craft in the “Beverly Hills Cop film series..

Ike Turner born Izear Luster Turner, Jr., November 5, 1931, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, (died December 12, 2007), , becomes a musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, and record producer. In a career that lasted more than half a century, his repertoire included blues, soul, rock, and funk; half of the singing team of Ike and Tina Turner Review. (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source and From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 68, page 155)


Gloria Anderson, born November 5, 1938, in Altheimer, Arkansas, becomes a chemist, educator and college administrator. (From: Notable Black American Scientists, page 12)

George William “Billy” Hunter, born November 5, 1942, in Camden, New Jersey, becomes the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, the players’ union of the National Basketball Association

Frederica Patricia Smith Wilson born November 5 1942, in Miami, Florida becomes an American politician who has been a member of the United States House of Representatives since 2011. Located in South Florida, Wilson’s congressional district numbered the 17th during her first two years in Congress, and the 24th  since 2013, is a majority African-American district that includes the southern parts of Broward County and the eastern parts of Miami Dade County. Included within the district are Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, and North Miami. She gained national attention in early 2012 as a result of her high-profile comments on the killing of Travyon Martin, who was a constituent of hers and whose family she knew personally. Wilson, who describes herself as a “voice for the voiceless”, is a member of the Democratic Party. Her seat was left open when the incumbent Kendrick Meek ran for a seat in the Senate in 2010. Wilson is famous for her large and colorful hats, of which she owns several hundred. She has gone through efforts to get Congress to lift its ban on head coverings during House sessions, which dates back to 1837.

Barry Rand, born Addison Barry Rand, November 5, 1944,in Washington, DC, becomes a Xerox Corporation executive of operations, who when promoted to executive vice president of operations for the Xerox Corporation in 1992, moved one step closer to becoming the first black CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Having worked his way up from a sales trainee, Rand is proud to be one of four executives in charge of operations for the billion dollar corporation. But he is equally proud of his role as vanguard for a culturally diverse U.S. work force. “You consistently have people who say you can’t afford to emphasize minority and female participation,” he told Fortune.“So you have to take a deep breath and pick up the flagpole and carry it some more.”


Loleatta Holloway, born November 5, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois, died March 21, 2011, becomes a singer, mainly known for disco songs such as “Hit and Run” and “Love Sensation”, both of which have been sampled extensively. Holloway began singing gospel with her mother in the Holloway Community Singers and recorded with Albertina Walker in the Caravans gospel group. Holloway was also a cast member of the Chicago troupe of “Don’t Bothe Me, I Can’t Cope.” Around this time, she met her future producer, manager, and husband Floyd Smith, and recorded “Rainbow ’71” in 1971, a Curtis Mayfield song that Gene Chandler had recorded in 1963. It was initially released on the Apache label, but was picked up for national distribution by Galaxy Records. For more information regarding the life and career of  Loleatta Holloway, go to .


Donald Culliver, born November 5, 1951, in Mansfield, Ohio, becomes mayor of Mansfield, Ohio, beginning in 2007 to 2011. He became the first African-American in history to be elected Mayor of Mansfield.


Felton C Pilate II, born November 5, 1952, in Jackson, Mississippi, becomes a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer known as a member of the 1970s and 1980s funk/R&B band Con Funk Shun, and as a collaborator with rapper MC Hammer. Pilate’s joint effort with Hammer sold over 30 million albums from 1989 to 1992, including the album Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990).

Alvin Gentry, born November 5, 1954, becomes coach of the Detroit Pistons, a professional basketball team and as a professional basketball coach, and college basketball player, has led four different NBA teams.

Lloyd Moseby, born November 5, 1959, in Portland, Arkansas, becomes a professional baseball player for the Detroit Tigers. (From: Baseball card collection)

 Mark West, born November 5, 1960, in Petersburg, Virginia, becomes a professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Indiana Pacers. (From: Who’s Who among African Americans, 16th Edition)

Steve Burtt Sr., born November 5, 1962, in New York City, becomes professional basketball player. The 6’2″ point guard played in the NBA sporadically from 1984 until 1993. He also had an established playing career overseas

 Alvin Drew, Jr., born November 5, 1962, in Washington D.C., becomes an accomplished fighter pilot and astronaut. From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 67, page 34

Angelo Christoper Moore, born November 5, 1965, in Los Angeles, California, becomes a musician, best known for his work as the founding member, lead singer and saxphonist for the Los Angeles alternative rock band “Fishbone.” Moore also performs and records spoken word poetry under the stage name of Dr. Madd Vibe.

Judy Reyes, born November 5 or 19, 1967, in the Bronx, New York, becomes an American television actress, best known for her roles asCarla Espinosa on the NBC/ABC sitcom “Scrubs” (2001–2009), and as Zoila Diaz in the Lifetime comedy-drama “Devious Maids” (2013–2016). Information taken from website that gives both November 5th and 19th as birthday. Reyes has three sisters, including a twin sister named Joselin, who played a paramedic on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Seth Gilliam, born November 5, 1968, in New York, becomes an actor known for his HBO television roles, first as corrections officer-turned-prisoner Clayton Hughes on “Oz,” and later as Baltimore police detective promoted to Sergeant Ellis Carver on “The Wire.” On both of these series, he co-starred with Lance Reddick and J.D. Williams. His feature film credits include Private Sugar Watkins in the 1997 action movie “Starship Troopers.” Gilliam also had a recurring role during the seventh season of “The Cosby Show,” as Aaron Dexter, boyfriend of  Erika Alexander’s Pam, and appeared in the 18th episode of the seventh season of  “CSI: Miami (“Flight Risk”). He also portrayed Sergeant Steven Altameyer in 1996’s “Courage Under Fire (1996).”

Derrick Todd Lee, born November 5, 1968, in St. Francisville, Louisiana, died January 21, 2016, became a convicted American serial killer, nicknamed the Baton Rouge Serial Killer. Lee was initially overlooked by police, because they believed the killer was white. He was linked by DNA to the deaths of seven women in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas in Louisiana, and in 2004 was convicted, in separate trials, of the murders of Geralyn DeSoto and Charlotte Murray Pace. The Pace trial resulted in a death sentence. Newspapers have suggested Lee can be linked to other unsolved murders in the area, but the police lacked DNA evidence to prove these connections. After Lee’s arrest, it was discovered that another serial killer, Sean Vincent Gillis (white), was operating in the Baton Rouge area during the same time as Lee. Lee died on January 21, 2016, of an undisclosed medical condition at the Lane Memorial Hospital in Zachary, Louisiana, where he was transported for treatment from Louisiana State Penitentiary, where he had been awaiting execution.

James Edgar Collins, born November 5, 1973, in Jacksonville, Florida, becomes a professional basketball player. He attended Florida state University and was selected 36th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1997 NBA Draft. He played one season in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers in 1997-1998, who had obtained him from the 76ers by trading the rights to a 1998 second round pick (used to select Jelani McCoy). He has also been briefly signed by the Phoenix Suns in 1999, Washington Wizards in 1999 and Memphia Grizzlies in 2001, but has not played any NBA games for those teams, however he has played for teams of other countries.

Astou Ndiaye-Diattal, born November 5, 1973, in Kaolock, Senegal, becomes a professional basketball player for the Detroit Shock. Kedra Holland-Corn, born November 5, 1974, in Houston, Texas, becomes a professional basketball player for the Sacramento Monarchs and the Detroit Shock.(From: , an Internet source)

Jerry Stackhouse, born November 5, 1974, in Kingston, North Carolina, becomes a professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 30)

Selena Senora Cuffe(née Saunders), born November 5, 1975,  in Culver City, California, becomes an African-American businesswoman, best known for co-founding Heritage Link Brands, LLC, the largest importer of black produced wine from South Africa and the African Diaspora, with her husband, Khary Cuffe. The only joint child of Dr. Joseph Saunders and Veronica Saunders, Cuffe was raised in the Ladera Heights, the Windsor Hills community of Los Angeles County, California by her mother. Cuffe’s father, Joseph, died one month before her second birthday. Cuffe’s paternal great-grandfather, J. Saunders, was born into slavery. A descendant of the Ashanti tribe of Ghana, he was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation at the age of eight. He had 16 children, the youngest of whom was Cuffe’s grandfather, Titus Saunders Sr., a de-segregationist of the Georgia public school system who founded the state’s first integrated school transportation system. Both of Cuffe’s paternal grandparents graduated from college in the 1920s. Cuffe graduated with a BA in International Relations from Stanford University. During college, she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Cuffe also holds a Master of Business Administration, with honors, from the Harvard Business School and is certified, with merit, by the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust. She served on the Harvard Business School Alumni Board and Stanford University Bing Overseas Studies Advisory Council. In her final position before founding Heritage Link Brands, LLC, Selena served as Director for the Council on Internation Educational Exchange (CIEE), overseeing the promotion of student and work exchanges for 50,000+ people worldwide. She left CIEE in January 2007 to work for Heritage Link Brands, LLC full-time. While on a business trip to South Africa in September 2005, Cuffe decided to visit the First Annual Soweto Wine Festival in Johannesburg. It was organized by the Cape Wine Academy. There, she met vintners from the Seven Sisters winery, one of the only black-owned wineries in South Africa. The Seven Sisters were having difficulty exporting to the United States and finding a distributor in their local market. At the same festival Cuffe found that out of South Africa’s $3-billion wine industry, less than two percent was owned by blacks. Seeing the inequality – blacks made up over 80 percent of the country’s population – and wanting to help the indigenous vintners she had encountered, Cuffe began to craft the idea Heritage Link Brands, LLC. Heritage Link Brands was founded in October 2005. Cuffe remained with the Council on International Educational Exchange while she financed the new company with her savings and credit cards. In 2006 she brought M’hudi, the first black owned family vineyard in South Africa, post-apartheid into the company’s wine portfolio. In January 2007, Cuffe left her job to run Heritage Link Brands, LLC. In the following month, February, the wines were first launched in a test market with Whole Foods Market. That spring, Heritage Link Brands Wine Club and Shop were established, and TIME magazine featured Cuffe and her company in September 2007, exactly two years after Cuffe visited the Soweto Wine Festival. Heritage Link Brands wine can now be found in over 40 states. The company also imports wines from the Fair Trade certified community of Koopmanskloof (producing under the label One World). One World holds the distinction of being the first Fair Trade certified wine to be served onboard any US airline. Phillip Crosby, born November 5, 1976, in Bessemer City, North Carolina, becomes a professional football player for the Buffalo Bills. (From: , an Internet source)

JaJuan Dawson, born November 5, 1977, in Gibson, Louisiana, becomes become a professional football player for the Cleveland Browns, and the Houston Texans. He began his football career at Tulane College. (From: , an Internet source)


Eric Thomas, born November 5, 1977, in Miami, Florida, becomes a professional football player. He played for college teams such as North Carolina State.)


Uzodinma Iweala, born November 5, 1982, in Washington D.C., becomes a Nigerian author and physician who wrote of African civil war. His debut novel, Beasts of No Nation, is a formation of his thesis work at Harvard. It depicts a child soldier in an unnamed African country. It has since been made into a movie which stars Idris Elba. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 131)

Eliud Kipchoge, born 5 November 1984 in Kapsisiywa, Nandi district, becomes a Kenyan long distance runner who has won medals at the Olympic and World level. He came to prominence in 2003 by winning the junior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, setting aworld junior record over 5000 metres on the track and then becoming world champion at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. An Olympic 5000 m bronze for Kenya followed at the 2004 Athens Olympics and he took another bronze at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships. A series of silver medals came, starting at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics before another runner-up placing at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He was fifth at the 2009 World Championships but again reached the podium at the 2010 Commonwealth Games; he was second behind Moses Kipsiro in the 5000 metres. He has won four medals at editions of the annual IAAF World Athletics Final and is a five-time 5000 m finalist at the World Championships.

Absalom Jones, born November 6, 1746, in Sussex, Delaware, (died in 1818), becomes a minister and an abolitionist. Some people call Jones the “Black Bishop of the Episcopal Church.” From: African American Registry, an Internet source, and Notable Black American Men, page 644)

William Wells Brown, born November 6, 1814, in Lexington, Kentucky (died November 6, 1884, in Chelsea, Massachusetts), becomes an antislavery lecturer, a groundbreaking novelist, a playwright, and historian.

George Coleman Poage, born November 6, 1880, in Hannibal, Missouri (died in 1962), , becomes an Olympic athlete. He became the first Black student to graduate from La Crosse, Wisconsin, High School, and the first Black athlete to become a member of the Milwaukee Athlete Club. More importantly, Poage became the first Black Olympian medalist. He received Olympic bronze medals in 1904, in the 400 and 200-meter hurdles. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 94)

Amos White, born November 6, 1889 in Kingstree, South Carolina, (died July 2, 1980), raised in an orphanage, becomes a jazz musician playing the trumpet. After attending Benedict College, he returned to the orphanage to take a teaching position. During World War I, White played in the 816th Pioneer Infantry Band in France, and settled in New Orleans after the war. Working as a typesetter, he played jazz in his spare time, working with Papa Celestin and Fate Marable among others. In the 1920s he appeared on many records by blues singers such as Bessie Smith and Lizzie Miles,

Juanita Long Hall, born November 6, 1901, in Keyport, New Jersey (died February 28, 1968),  becomes a trailblazing singer, actress and music director, who began singing very early in church choirs. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 1 and Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 62, page 65)


Joe Carter (1), born November 6, 1927, in Midland, Georgia, and becomes a blues musician, who played slide guitar and harmonica. From: All Music Guide, an Internet source)


Derrick Bell, Jr., born November 6, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, becomes an educator, lawyer, author, and activist. Bell became the first Black tenured professor on Harvard University’s law school faculty. He became the first Black to head a non-Black law school at the University of Oregon. From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 6, and Notable Black American Men, page 71)


Del Marie Neely Anderson, born November 6, 1937, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, becomes an educator, model, and president of San Jose City College, in San Jose, California, in 1991. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 2, page 5)

 Roscoe Chenier, born November 6, 1941, in Notleyville, Louisiana, becomes a blues guitarist. His second cousin, Clifton Chenier, became a zydeco blues legend. (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source) 

Joan Murray, born November 6, 1941, in Ithaca, New York, the birth place of achiever Alex Haley, becomes the first Black woman to report the news on TV, as a TV news correspondent for WCBS-TV, in April 1965. She received the “Mary McLeod Bethune Achievement Award, from the National Council of Negro Women. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 1)


Ann Hobson-Pilot, born November 6, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes a musician, playing the harp. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 2, page 292)


George Lawrence James, born November 6, 1947, in Mount Pleasant, New Jersey, becomes an Olympic gold medalist in 1968, in the 4×400-meter relay. He receives a silver medal in the 400-meter run for the same year. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 56)


Sharon McPhail, born November 6, 1948, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, becomes a lawyer and serve as the president of the National Bar Association in 1991 and 1992. The NAACP presented her with an award as “Unsung Heroine,” in 1989 and 1990. (From: Soul Vibrations: Astrology for African Americans, page 176, and Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 2)

 Corey Glover, born November 6, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, becomes lead singer of the group Living Colour, and an actor. (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source) 

Eric Deggans, born November 6, 1965 in Washington, D.C., becomes a journalist. After nearly 18 years critiquing television, media, music and pop culture at the Tampa Bay Times, he left the newspaper for a a job as National Public Radio’s first TV critic.


“Pebbles” born Perri McKissack, on November 6, 1966, in Oakland, California, becomes a dancer and R&B singer. (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source)


Matty Rich, born Matthew Statisfield Richardson, November 6, 1971, in Brooklyn, New York, becomes film directorscreenwriter, and video game executive. Rich broke into the film world with the 1991 film Straight Out of Brooklyn, which was financed by credit cards and donations. Rich also plays Larry Love, a major character in the film. The low-budget independent film grossed $2.7 million dollars at the box office and only cost $450,000 to make. Rich was only 19 years old at the time (he wrote the film as a short story at age 17, and first filmed it as an 8-minute short for himself and high school students. The film was critically acclaimed and Rich won many awards, including an Independent Spirit Award. In interviews, Rich had proudly stated that even though he dropped out of New York University‘s (NYU) famed Tisch School of the Arts after one month (he accused the faculty of racism), he still made a successful film. This drew criticism from Spike Lee, a Tisch graduate, who accused Rich of being “ignorant”.[2] Rich’s second film, 1994’s The Inkwell, received mixed reviews but was a commercial failure. He has not made another film since. (From: List of Black Directors – Some sources give November 26, as Rich’s birthday)

 Scott Cloman, born November 6, 1975, in Compton, California, becomes a professional football player for the Washington Redskins. (From:, an Internet sports source) 

Ainsley Battles, born November 6, 1977, in Lilburn, Georgia, becomes a professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. (From:, an Internet source)


Troy Hambrick, born November 6, 1978, in Lacoochee, Florida, becomes a professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys. (From:, an Internet sports source)


Corey Jackson, born November 6, 1978, becomes a professional football player for the Cleveland Browns. His birth pace is not known at this time. (From:, an Internet sports source)

 Lamar Odom, born November 6, 1979, in Jamaica, New York, becomes a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat. (From:, an Internet source) 

George Washington, born November 7, 1817, in Virginia (died in 1905), becomes a farmer and businessperson who founded a town called Centralia, in the state of Washington. After reaching the northwest, George Washington again entered the lumber business and established a homestead on the Chehalis River. But his farm lay in the path of the Northern Pacific Railroad. He and the company came to terms and with the settlement he received, Washington planned a new town in 1872. He called it Centerville, and he laid out 2,000 lots, setting aside sites for parks and churches. The town thrived, though the name was changed to Centralia. George Washington Park (named after him) is in the heart of Centralia, at Pearl St. and Harrison Street.

 Rev. Preston Taylor, born November 7, 1849, in Shreveport, Louisiana (died in 1931), becomes a minister, pastor of the Church of the Disciples, in Nashville, Tennessee. During his 15 years as pastor of the Christian church in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, he built the largest congregation in the State, among those of his faith. Taylor served as a drummer boy in the Union army during the siege of Richmond, Virginia, in the Civil War. (From: Men of Mark, page 189)

Lightfoot Solomon Michauxborn November 7, 1884, in Newport News, Virginia (died October 20, 1968),becomes the first black evangelist to regularly appear on network television on this half-hour religion program broadcast from Washington, D.C. Michaux, Lightfoot Solomon radio evangelist, born the son of John Michaux, a fish peddler and grocer, and May Blanche. Lightfoot, whose ancestry was African, Indian, and French-Jewish, spent his formative years in Newport News among Jewish and white gentile merchants on Jefferson Avenue, the main commercial street where the Michauxs lived in quarters above the family’s store. He attended the Twenty-second Street School, quitting after the fourth grade to become a seafood peddler. Impressed with the town’s commercial atmosphere, he aspired to be a successful businessman. While engaged in one business venture, he met Mary Eliza Pauline, a mulatto orphan. They married in 1906; the couple had no children of their own but helped raise Michaux’s two young sisters. During World War I, Michaux obtained government contracts to furnish food to defense establishments. With the profits from his enterprises he moved his business to Hopewell, Virginia, in 1917. Finding no churches in that wartime boom town, he and his wife joined with a Filipino evangelist to found a church there. Michaux’s wife subsequently convinced him to accept the call to preach, and in 1918 he was licensed and ordained in the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. He returned to Newport News in 1919, went into business with his father, and launched a tent revival. The first 150 of Michaux’s converts formed a congregation within the Church of Christ denomination. In 1921 the Michaux congregation seceded from the Church of Christ to establish an independent church, calling it the Church of God. This church, along with its other related operations, was incorporated under an umbrella grouping known as the Gospel Spreading Tabernacle Association. In 1922 Michaux and several of his members were arrested for singing on the streets of Newport News during early morning hours while inviting townsfolk to join the church. During the Great Depression, Michaux used his radio pulpit to offer free housing and employment services to the black and white indigent, and he invited the hungry to sell copies of the church’s Happy News paper in exchange for meals in the Happy News Café. After President Herbert Hoover evicted the Bonus Army (15,000 unemployed World War I veterans and their families who converged on the capital in 1932 to demand immediate payment of bonuses that were not due until 1945) for which Michaux had been holding worship services, Michaux used his radio pulpit to campaign for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, 1936, and 1940. For this reason, observers credit Michaux with influencing the first African Americans to leave the Republican Party and enter the Democratic fold in 1932. Political observers were baffled therefore when, in 1952, Michaux campaigned. (Some sources give October 7, as Michaux’s birth date)

Albert Camus, born November 7, 1913, in Drean, Algeria, died January 4, 1960, becomes a French pied-noir author, journalist, and philosopher whose views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement after his split with Garry Davis’ movement Citizens of the World, which the surrealist Andre Breton was also a member. The formation of this group, according to Camus, was to “denounce two ideologies found in both the USSR and the USA” regarding their idolatry of technology. Camus received the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times” He was the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, after Rudyard Kipling, and the first African-born writer to receive the award. He is the shortest-lived of any Nobel literature laureate to date, having died in an automobile accident just over two years after receiving the award.

Alvin Baptiste, born November 7, 1932, in New Orleans, Louisiana (died May 6, 2007), becomes a jazz clarinetist and educator who taught at his own jazz institute at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Al Attles, born November 7, 1936, in Newark, New Jersey, becomes a general manager of the Golden State Warriors, basketball team. He is a graduate of Weequahic High School in Newark. Attles later became one of the first African-American coaches in the NBA, when he succeeded George Lee as Warriors head coach in 1970. Attles guided the Rick Barry-led Warriors to the 1975 NBA championship, making him the second African American coach to win an NBA title (the first was Bill Russell). Attles coached the Warriors until 1983, compiling a 557-518 regular season record. . (From: Almanac of Famous People, 7th Edition)


Nathan Cliff Heard, born November 7, 1936, in Newark, New Jersey (died March 16, 2004), becomes a novelist who wrote his most famous book, “Howard Street” (1968), while serving time in the Trenton State Penitentiaryfor armed robbery. His movie credits include “Gordon’s War” (1973). (From: Selected Black American Authors, page 121)


Dee Clark, born Delectus Clark November 7, 1938, in Blytheville, Arkansas (died December 7, 1990), becomes an R&B singer, best known for a string of R&B and pop hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including the ballad “Raindrops,” which became a million-seller in the United States in 1961. Clark made his first recording in 1952 as a member of the Hambone Kids, who scored an R&B hit with the song “Hambone.” In 1953, he joined an R&B group called the Goldentones, who later became the Kool Gents. Clark embarked on a solo career in 1957 and over the next four years landed several moderate hits, two of which (“Just Keep It Up” and “Hey Little Girl”) reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100). (From: , an Internet source)


PFC. Milton Olive, III, born November 7, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois (died October 22, 1965), becomes a war hero, while participating in a search and destroy mission in the Vietnam Conflict. Olive became a United States Armysoldier and a recipient of America’s highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War. At the age of 18, Olive sacrificed his life to save others by smothering a live grenade. He was the first African American Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War. (From: Negro Almanac, page 560)


David Ware, born November 7, 1949, in Plainfield, New Jersey, becomes a jazz musician, playing the tenor saxophone. (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source)


Alexa Canady-Davis, born November 7, 1950, in Lansing, Michigan, becomes the first Black woman neurosurgeon in the United States, in 1984. n 1976 Alexa Canady became the first African-American woman to enter the field of neurosurgery as a physician in training. Since then, Canady has become one of the top specialists in the United States, and her office at Children’s Hospital in Detroit has emerged as a leader in pediatric neurosurgery under her watch. From across the Midwest, families of patients of all ages with particularly baffling neurological disorders or deeply entrenched brain tumors come to Canady for consultation. Job offers to serve as medical-school dean regularly come her way as well, but Canady loves her high-stress, hands-on job. “Things are possible here that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere,” she told Detroit Free Press writer Patricia Anstett about her work. “I love working at this hospital. It’s been joyous. I’ll work until it’s no longer fun.” (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 28, and Notable Black American Women, Book 1)


Kathy Laverne McMillan, born November 7, 1957, in Raeford, North Carolina, becomes an Olympic athlete in the 1976 long jump competition, receiving an Olympic silver medal. She competed for the United States at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in MontrealCanada, where she won the silver medal in the Women’s Long Jump event.

 (From: Black Olympian Medalists, page 81) 

Troy Yvette Beyer, born November 7, 1964, in New York City, New York, to an African American mother and a Caucasian Jewish father, becomes film directorscreenwriter and actress. Beyer began her acting career with a role on the children’s program” Sesame Street” at the age of four. Beyer moved to Los Angeles, where she became a regular on the ABC prime-time soap opera Dynasty in 1986, playing Jackie Deveraux, the daughter of Diahann Carroll’s character Dominique Deveraux. She went on to earn ShoWest‘s Newcomer of the Year Award for her leading role in the feature Rooftops (1989). Beyer, who now goes by her birth name, Troy Beyer, is a motivational speaker and self-help author who has written a book entitled Ex-Free: 9 Keys to Freedom After Heartbreak. She is a regular guest on The Steve Harvey Morning Show. (From: List of Black Directors)


“Kwami,” born November 7, 1970, in possibly Little Rock, Arkansas, becomes a radio program producer and host of “PHATLIP! YouthTalk Radio and co-founder of the Young People’s Congress, a youth advocacy organization that is an extension of the radio show. The reference source did not indicate if “Kwami” is the name given him at birth.

(From: Faces Forward, page 97) 

James Cotton, born November 7, 1976, in Cleveland, Ohio, becomes a professional football player for the Atlanta Falcons. (From:, an Internet sports source)

 Larry Foster, born November 7, 1976, in Harvey, Louisiana, becomes a professional football player for the Arizona Cardinals. (From:, an Internet sports source) 

Kelley Gibson, born Jawann Kelley Gibson on November 7, 1976, in Eaton, Maryland, becomes a professional basketball player for the Houston Comets. (From:, and, both Internet sports sources)


Anthony Thomas, born November 7, 1977, in Winnfield, Louisiana, becomes a professional football player for the Chicago Bears. (From:, an Internet sports source)


LeCharles Bentley, born November 7, 1979, in Cleveland, Ohio, becomes a professional football player for the New Orleans Saints. (From:, an Internet sports source)


Will Demps, born November 7, 1979, in Charleston, South Carolina, becomes a professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens. (From:, an Internet sports source)


Tim Wansley, born November 7, 1979, in Buford, Georgia, becomes a professional football player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (From:, an Internet sports source)


Janet Griffin can be contacted via Facebook

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

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