Black Facts for January 20th

2012 - Etta James Profile - Songs, Biography, and History

One of the R&B and blues world"s greatest divas, Etta James gave the genre a boost into the mainstream and helped develop the rock craze in the process with her 1965 hit "The Wallflower" (aka "Roll With Me, Henry"). Her signature song, 1961"s "At Last," is one of the most popular wedding soundtracks of all time.  James was known for her saucy and sometimes scandalous stage demeanor and served as a major influence on rough blues-rock singers such as Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, and Rod Stewart.

Jamesetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles, CA; died January 20, 2012, Riverside, CA

Etta Jame"s was born Jansetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles Califor" wild life began early on—she grew up in a single-mother household and was eventually expelled from her high school, by which time she"d already formed more than one doo-wop group with her schoolmates. Bandleader Johnny Otis, later famous for "Willie and the Hand Jive," had the group record a novelty song of sorts, an answer to Hank Ballard and the Midnighters" huge smash "Work With Me Annie." The female response record, dubbed "Roll With Me, Henry," was another smash, though it was changed to "Dance With Me, Henry," and, later, "The Wallflower," to disguise the frank sexual nature of the song.

The hits dried up after that, however, and Etta"s solo career was slowing until she signed with Chess Records in 1960.

It was there that the Chess brothers redesigned Etta as a torchy jazz-pop singer, leading to hits like "At Last" and "All I Could Do Was Cry." 1967"s "Tell Mama" was another hit that marked a fork in her career, steering her more towards gutbucket soul. Etta stayed with the Chess label until it folded in 1975, long after most artists had left, and moved with the times to a more rock-based approach like Tina Turner"s, becoming noted for covers of offbeat artists like Randy Newman and Prince.

Eventually she turned to a straight blues approach, and since 1989 has reigned as one of the singular stars on that scene, loaded with Grammy and Blues

2009 - Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th President of the United States of America and the first African American to have held the post. He was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii to Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham. His parents separated when he was an infant and divorced when he was 2 years old, after which Obama Sr. returned to Kenya. Obama admitted to a feeling of loss and confusion at the absence of his father as well as an identity crisis about being a black child in predominantly white surroundings. Obama Sr. was killed in a tragic car accident in Nairobi in 1982 when Obama was 21 years old. Ann moved to Indonesia and remarried, and Obama has a half sister named Maya Soetoro Ng fom his mother’s second marriage. He was sent back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents while his mother and sister lived in Jakarta. He enrolled at Punahou Academy and graduated with academic honors.

After high school, Obama studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years before transferring to Columbia University in New York. He graduated from Columbia in 1983 with a degree in political science. After a brief stint in the business sector, he moved to Chicago in 1985 to work as a community organizer for low-income residents. During this time, he visited his father and grandfather’s graves in Kenya and upon his return, entered Harvard Law School in 1988. he met his future wife, Michelle Robinson, while working as an associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin when she was assigned to be his adviser during her summer internship at the firm. At Harvard, Obama was the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude in 1991. He then returned to Chicago to practice civil law at the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland, while also teaching part time at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992-2004. He married Michelle in 1992 and have two daughters named Malia and Sasha.

Obama published his autobiography in 1995, titled “Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and

The Speech that Made Obama President

Arts Facts

1788 - First African Baptist Church, Savannah, Georgia (1773– )

First African Baptist Church, located in the historic district of Savannah, Georgia, is recognized as one of the nation"s oldest African American Baptist Churches. Although the church was not officially established until 1788, the original congregation of mostly enslaved individuals had been formed in 1773 by former slave George Leile, who was ordained in 1775.

Leile was assisted by two local enslaved individuals he baptized, David George and Andrew Bryan, and formed a congregation named the Silver Bluff Baptist Church in Aiken County, South Carolina. He converted local slaves over the next few years. After the Revolutionary War began, George Leile and David George escaped to freedom in Canada, but Andrew Bryan stayed with the congregation.

On January 20, 1788, at a local barn, First African Baptist Church was recognized officially by the Rev. Abraham Marshall. Andrew Bryan was appointed preacher and sixty-seven people joined the church. By 1794 the congregation was able to erect its first structure, which they named Bryan Street African Baptist Church. By the year 1800, the congregation had grown to seven hundred members. In 1802 Bryan Street Church renamed itself First African Baptist Church.

In 1832 the congregation suffered a serious split when more than two thousand six hundred members left to found another congregation. They purchased a building and kept the name First African Baptist Church, leaving the previous congregation with less than two hundred members. The remaining members took the name Third Baptist Church but later changed to First Bryan Baptist Church.

The current building was completed in 1859. The pipe organ, baptismal pool, and light fixtures are all original, as well as the solid oak pews in the main sanctuary, made by enslaved church members. The original church steeple extended 100 feet but was destroyed by a hurricane in 1892. The church ceiling, in the design of the “Nine Patch Quilt,” recalls that the church was once a safe house for fugitive slaves. Beneath the lower auditorium

2013 - Second inauguration of Barack Obama

The second inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States, marked the commencement of the second term of Barack Obama as President and Joe Biden as Vice President. A private swearing-in ceremony took place on Sunday, January 20, 2013 in the Blue Room of the White House. A public inauguration ceremony took place on Monday, January 21, 2013, at the United States Capitol building.

The inauguration theme was "Faith in America"s Future", a phrase that draws upon the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln"s Emancipation Proclamation and the completion of the Capitol dome in 1863. The theme also stressed the "perseverance and unity" of the United States and echoed the "Forward" theme used in the closing months of Obama"s reelection campaign. The inaugural events held in Washington, D.C. from January 19 to 21, 2013 included concerts, a national day of community service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the swearing-in ceremony, luncheon and parade, inaugural balls, and the interfaith inaugural prayer service. The presidential oath was administered to Obama during his swearing-in ceremony on January 20 and 21, 2013 by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts.

In his second inauguration address, Obama proclaimed that "while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth". He called for laws to combat climate change, enactment of immigration reform and gun control. Obama stated that more progress was needed on human rights and civil rights (including racial minority rights, women"s rights, and LGBT rights). He vowed to promote democracy abroad and stated that the United States must "be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice" around the world. Additionally, the president vowed to keep existing alliances strong, emphasized the economic recovery and the end of wars, and stated that "no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation". During the speech, Obama linked the Seneca Falls Convention, Selma to

1947 - Josh Gibson

Josh Gibson was an American Negro League professional baseball player. He was born in Buena Vista, Georgia on December 21, 1911. His father had a farm there but he moved the family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gibson was studying to be an electrician and only attended school till the 9th grade. He did not play baseball for a team until the age of 16, when he played for an amateur team sponsored by the department store where he worked. After this he was recruited by a semi-professional baseball team called the Pittsburgh Crawfords. The team gained professional status in 1931. Gibson himself played his first professional game in 1930. He was sitting in the stands during a Gray’s game but one of their catchers named Buck Ewing was injured and Gibson was invited to replace him.

Gibson was married to Helen Mason in 1929 at the age of 17. The next year, he was recruited by a team called the Homestead Grays, the top Negro league team in Pittsburgh. Soon after he debuted for the team, his wife went into labor and died due to complications during delivery. The twins Helen gave birth to survived, and were raised by her mother.

Josh Gibson has often been called one of baseball’s greatest home run hitters. The Negro leagues scheduled games within the league, as well as barnstorming games against semi-professional and non-league teams. Although there are no published or organized records of league scores in different seasons, Gibson’s record in both types of games have been outstanding. He had a sturdy built with a 6 foot 1 inch frame, a powerful throw and agility and speed while stopping players from stealing bases. He became the second highest paid player in the black league after Satchel Paige, another future hall of fame player. One of his records was a 580 foot home run, which almost reached the top of the bleacher. The leading sports writers of the time compared him to legends like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.

Various statistics have been compiled from sources across the country. According to some records, Gibson hit

Education Facts

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