A blog devoted to all things black history, created and designed by Ms. Bush's senior classes at Southfield-Lathrup High School.

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2nd March 2011

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I Have a Dream, Common ft. Will.i.am

1st March 2011

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1st March 2011

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1st March 2011

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1st March 2011

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Tagged: Herbie Hancockblack history month

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1st March 2011

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John Coltrane live playin “My Favorite Things”

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1st March 2011

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John Coltrane-on his own

Miles fired Coltrane from his band because Trane’s heroin addiction was affecting his performance on the band stand. Coltrane went back to his home in Philadelphia and resolved to kick his drug habit.  He had his wife and mother lock him in a room and give him only bread and water.  He overcame his drug habit, and had a religious experience, that he never went into great detail about.  All he said is that he experienced God.   He later said that he told God if he would free him from his drug habit, he would try to make people happy through his music.  From this point on, Trane became a man obsessed (Miles commented that he was so focused on his music, that while on the bandstand, you could put a naked woman in front of Coltrane while he was playing and Trane wouldn’t notice :).  He joined Thelonious Monk’sband for a legendary 6 month stint and learned a lot from Monk.  During this period, Coltrane used a technique that was called “Sheets of Sound.”  If you read 100 different sources, it seems like you get 100 different definitions.  One of the best explanations I heard of it, was that a lot of soloist reach a certain intense peak during their solos.  However, Trane would play such a flurry of notes and play  so intensely, that you would think he reached his peak, and then he would hit you with even MORE intensity, and it kept growing, and the effect was like waves of intensity, or sheets of sound, coming at you.

Robert Clemons

Tagged: Black historyJohn Coltrane

28th February 2011

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Born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, John Coltrane was always surrounded by music. His father played several instruments sparking Coltrane’s study of E-flat horn and clarinet. While in high school, Coltrane’s musical influences shifted to the likes of Lester Young and Johnny Hodges prompting him to switch to alto saxophone. He continued his musical training in Philadelphia at Granoff Studios and the Ornstein School of Music. He was called to military service during WWII, where he performed in the U.S. Navy Band in Hawaii.

Robert Clemons

Tagged: black historyJohn Coltrane

28th February 2011

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Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield was born on October 19, 1962 in Atmore, Alabama. He was the youngest of nine children, him and his family moved to Atlanta in the summer of 1964.  He began boxing at the age of 12 and won the Boys Club boving tournament, by 15 he became the Southeastern Regional Champion, winning this tournament and the Best Boxer Award. When Holyfield was 20 years old, he represented the U.S. in the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, where her won a silver medal after losing to Cuban World champion Pablo Romero.

Holyfield started out professionally as a light heavyweight with a televised win in six rounds over Lionel Byarm at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 1984.  After a few more matches on July 20, 1985 he moved up to cruiser weight division and first fought Tyrone Booze, and won an eight-round decision.  Holyfield became cruiser weight champion by defeating Qawi by a narrow 15 round split decision.  he moved up to heavy weight to get Tyson’s crown, his first was on July 16, 1988, he beat James Tillis by knockout in five rounds in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  He continued to win a couple more fights and got a title match with James Douglas on October 25, 1990, Holyfield won by knockout in the third round and became the new heavyweight champion of the world.  A few fighters challenged him for his belt but the one to take it from him first was Micheal Moorer in April 1994 by a 12 round decision.  After that he had a heart scare that put him in the hostipal and made him think about retirement, but then he felt better and passed his examination by the boxing commission, and got back in the ring to fight Ray Mecer and won by decision and became the first to knock him down. 

One of his toughest opponents was Mike Tyson.  The first time they met was on November 9.  Although Tyson was most favored to win, Holyfield surprised everyone with the win but TKO in the 11 round.  They would met up again on June 28, 1997, this fight was known as “The Bite Fight”.  In the third round Tyson bit one of Holyfield’s ear and was deducted 2 points, the ref was going to disqualify him but Hoylfield said he could still go on.  As the fight went on Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear tearing off the top of it called the helix and spitting the flesh out onto the ring.  Then Holyfield won by default.  He later got back in the ring and became a 5 time heavyweight champion, defeated a number of great boxers like John Ruiz and Hasim Rahman, and having a current record of 43-10-2.

Although he had such success in the ring he did things outside to.  In 1996 he was given the opportunity to carry the Olympic torch when it was on its way to his hometown of Atlanta for that year’s Olympics. He also founded Real Deal Records which signed the brief success of group Exhale.  He has a charity called Hoylfield Foundation and it is to keep kids out of the streets and give them a sport activity to do instead.

-Nick Harris

28th February 2011

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Stand-up comedy
While at Temple Cosby took a job as a bartender in a neighborhood café. The bar had hired a comedian who often did not show up for his act. Cosby filled in, entertaining the crowd with jokes and humorous stories. His reputation as a funny bartender spread throughout the city. Cosby soon got offers to do stand-up comedy in other clubs.
Cosby’s humor always focuses on stories about his family, everyday occurrences, boyhood experiences, and commonly held beliefs. He does not do racial humor. He told Newsweek, “I’m trying to reach all the people.” Cosby was soon making people laugh in large, well-known nightspots all over the country. He reached a point where his career as a comedian showed more promise than his prospects as a student, so he left Temple in 1962.
Robert Clemons

Stand-up comedy

While at Temple Cosby took a job as a bartender in a neighborhood café. The bar had hired a comedian who often did not show up for his act. Cosby filled in, entertaining the crowd with jokes and humorous stories. His reputation as a funny bartender spread throughout the city. Cosby soon got offers to do stand-up comedy in other clubs.

Cosby’s humor always focuses on stories about his family, everyday occurrences, boyhood experiences, and commonly held beliefs. He does not do racial humor. He told Newsweek, “I’m trying to reach all the people.” Cosby was soon making people laugh in large, well-known nightspots all over the country. He reached a point where his career as a comedian showed more promise than his prospects as a student, so he left Temple in 1962.

Robert Clemons

Tagged: black historyBill cosby

28th February 2011

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Men and women belong to different species and communications between them is still in its infancy.
-Bill Cosby

Robert Clemons

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28th February 2011

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A word to the wise ain’t necessary - it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.
-Bill Cosby

Robert Clemons

Tagged: Black historyBill cosby

28th February 2011

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Early years

 William Henry Cosby Jr. was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, on July 12, 1937, to Anna and William Cosby. One of Cosby’s four brothers died at age six. Cosby’s father joined the navy and was away from home for months at a time. Cosby, as the oldest son, helped his mother pay the bills by doing odd jobs such as delivering groceries and shining shoes.

Bill was known as a comedian even as a child. He particularly enjoyed the comedy of Sid Caesar (1922–). In high school he was captain of the track and football teams, and played basketball and baseball. He tried to keep up with his schoolwork, but he dropped out of high school in the tenth grade to join the navy in the early 1950s. Cosby’s mother had always stressed the importance of education to her children. She would often read books to them, including Mark Twain (1835–1910) novels and the Bible. Eventually Bill earned his high school diploma through correspondence school and was accepted at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on an athletic scholarship.
-Robert Clemons

Early years


William Henry Cosby Jr. was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, on July 12, 1937, to Anna and William Cosby. One of Cosby’s four brothers died at age six. Cosby’s father joined the navy and was away from home for months at a time. Cosby, as the oldest son, helped his mother pay the bills by doing odd jobs such as delivering groceries and shining shoes.

Bill was known as a comedian even as a child. He particularly enjoyed the comedy of Sid Caesar (1922–). In high school he was captain of the track and football teams, and played basketball and baseball. He tried to keep up with his schoolwork, but he dropped out of high school in the tenth grade to join the navy in the early 1950s. Cosby’s mother had always stressed the importance of education to her children. She would often read books to them, including Mark Twain (1835–1910) novels and the Bible. Eventually Bill earned his high school diploma through correspondence school and was accepted at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on an athletic scholarship.

-Robert Clemons

Tagged: black historyBill cosby

28th February 2011

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Busta Rhymes

Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr., better known as Busta Rhymes, was born on May 20, 1972 in Redhook Brooklyn, New York.  He lived with his Jamaican parents Geraldine Green and Trevor Smith.  Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him his stage name after NFL wide receiver George “Buster” Rhymes.  At the age of 16 in was in a music group called Leaders of the New School, their first recorded album “A Future Without a Past” was released in 1991.  In 1993 they released “T.I.M.E.(The Inner Minds Eye)”, shorty after that the group broke up on Yo! MTV Raps, and that’s when Busta Rhymes decided to go solo. Busta is most known for being a rapper, songwriter, producer, and actor.  Some of the work he did was: 

  • Through the success of him being in Leaders of the New School, he appeared in a few movies before putting out a solo record.  He played Jawaan in 1993’s “Who’s the Man?”, Buster in “Strapped”, and in 1995 he played Dreads in “Higher Learning”
  • In 1996 he got back in the studio and produced a hit single “Woo Hah! Got You All in Check”, which appeared on his debut solo album “The Coming” and went platinum
  • His next album “When Disaster Strikes” produced the hit “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” released in 1997
  • 1998 “Extinction Level Event (Final World Front)” with singles like “Gimme Some More” and “Whats It Gonna Be?”
  • 2000 he released ‘Anarchy”
  • On his fifth studio album “Genesis” he linked up with artist like Mary J. Blige, Diddy, Kelis and others, with hits like “Break Ya Neck”
  • 2002 “It Aint Safe No More” hit single “Make It Clap” featuring Spliff Starr
  • "The Big Bang" in 2006 became his first number 1 album with hit like "Touch It"
  • His latest album “Back on My B.S.” came out in 2009 singles like “Arab Money”
  • A few more movies he did was “Shaft” as Rasaan, “Halloween: Resurrection” as Freddie Harris, and “Full Clip” as Pope
  • With his distinctive voice he landed voice overs as the Reptar Wagon in “The Rugrats Movie” and Flonominal in “Boondocks”

Although he has had much success, he was faced with some legal issues that could have landed him in jail and end his career.  On August 20, 2006, he was arrested for third-degree assault after attacking a man who spat on his car in New York City, on March 18, 2008 a judge in New York City sentenced him to three years probation, 10 days of community service, 1250 dollar fine, and to enroll in a drunken driving program.  But as tragedies struck, he was one of the first to try and help, like when Hurricane Katrina came and the earthquake in Haiti.

-Nick Harris

28th February 2011

Link

Bill Cosby Biography →

A short video bio of the great Bill Cosby

Robert Clemons

Tagged: Black history Bill cosby