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107 Jamz Celebrates Black History Month – Today In Black History February 7th

This Black History month we salute African Americans who made American history.
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On this day in black history:

The legendary Alcorn A&M College opened it’s doors in 1872.  The school was founded on the site originally occupied by Oakland College, a whites only school established by the Presbyterian Church. Oakland College closed its doors at the beginning of the American Civil War so that its students could fight for the Confederate States of America.  The college never re-opened at the end of the war, so the property was sold to the state of Mississippi.
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In 1871 the school was then renamed Alcorn University in honor of the states governor James L. Alcorn and was established as a historically black college.  The school has a strong and rich history and has turned out thousands of successful students, including civil right activist Medgar Evers who graduated in 1948.
Today Alcorn State is fully accredited, with seven schools and degree programs in more than fifty areas, including a nursing program. The facilities have increased from three historic buildings to approximately 80 modern structures.
As with all HBCU’s Alcorn has a famous marching band.  Here’s a sample of what their working with. This is a look at Alcorn State University Marching Band @ The Annual Port City Classic last year in Shreveport, LA.
http://youtu.be/ySxBR6M1EpI
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On this day in 1926 Negro History week originated by Carter G.Woodson is observed for the first time.  Later in 1976, it would become Black History Month.  Here’s more info about this great leader.

In 1883 on this day the legendary composer, lyricist, ragtime, jazz, and popular music pianist Eubie Blake was born.  In 1921, Blake and his long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote the Broadway musical Shuffle Along.  This was one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans, so this was quite an accomplishment. Blake’s compositions included such hits as, “Bandana Days”, “Charleston Rag”, “Love Will Find A Way”, “Memories of You“, and “I’m Just Wild About Harry“.  In his honor, the musical Eubie! opened on Broadway in 1978.

Blake continued to play and record into late life, until his death. Eubie Blake died February 12, 1983 in Brooklyn, just five days after celebrating his (claimed) 100th birthday (actually his 96th).  When he got up in age he kinda forgot the actual date of birth and unintentionally started listing his birth year as 1883, when is was actually 1887.

Regardless of the age discrepancy Eubie Blake was one of the greatest pianist to ever live.  Here he is playing one of his classics, “Memories of You” in his 90′s.

 

 

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