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FEATURED: John Lee Hooker (Photo: AP)

1881: Spelman College was founded in Atlanta, GA as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, an institute of higher education for African American women.

1912: Jazz double-bassist John Levy was born (Died: 2012).

1933: Journalist & author Tony Brown was born.

1935: Doo wop singer Richard Berry was born (Died: 1997).

1947: Actor Meshach Taylor was born.

1955: Jamaican singer Neville Staple was born.

1956: Nat King Cole was beaten on stage by racists in Birmingham, AL.

1961: John Lee Hooker was the featured act a Gerde’s Folk City, the Legendary folk and blues music venue in NYC. An unknown Bob Dylan opened for him.

1970: Singer/Songwriter Delroy Pearson was born.

1972: Benjamin L. Hooks was named to the Federal Communications Commission.

1980: Barry White received an honorary degree from UCLA’s Faculty Club in Recording Arts & Sciences.

1983: Harold Washington was elected the 1st black mayor of Chicago.

1983: Lou Gossett, Jr. won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in An Officer and a Gentleman.

1988: Willie D. Burton, the 1st black won an Oscar for Sound for the movie ‘The Bird.’

1997: The new Museum of African American History opened in Detroit.

2006: Singer June Pointer passed away.

2006: Rapper & actor Proof was fatally shot.

2007: Actor & director Roscoe Lee Browne passed away.

April 11th in Black History:  was originally published on