World famous journalist and history’s best selling Black author Alex Haley was born Alexander Murray Palmer Haley in Ithaca, New York on August 11, 1921. Haley began his writing career as a senior editor for Reader’s Digest shortly after retiring from the Coast Guard in 1959. He conducted the very first interview for Playboy magazine, which was with jazz legend Miles Davis. Another one of Haley’s historical interviews for Hugh Hefner’s groundbreaking publication was with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which was the longest interview King had ever granted to any publication. Haley’s first, and perhaps most widely read writings, was The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Published in 1965, this timeless autobio of one of the most influential people in history, was comprised of over 50 in-depth interviews with the controversial civil rights champion between 1963 and his assassination in 1965. His most widely recognized work is Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel turned television miniseries, which reached a record breaking 130 million viewers and sparked an increased public interest in family genealogy. Haley passed away on this date in 1992 in Seattle Washington.
Other “Black Facts” on this date:
1854- minister, orator, and educator Dr. Joseph Charles Price was born on this date in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Price attended Lincoln University where he graduated as valedictorian in 1879 and later went on to become the founder of HBCU Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC in 1882.
1907- Grace Towns Hamilton, educator, activist, and politician was born in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1965, Hamilton became the first African American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly and went on to serve in the Georgia House of Representatives until 1984.
1927- world renowned lyric soprano opera singer Mary Violet Leontyne Price was born in Jackson, Mississippi on this date. Ms. Price received countless awards for her unparalleled vocal abilities including the Presedential Medal of Freedom, the NAACP Springarn Medal, and 19 Grammys, more than any other opera singer in history.
1989- Ronald(Ron) H. Brown was elected Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Brown was the first Black person to become head of one of America’s major political parties. Brown died in a plane crash in 1996, which was largely speculated as a government cover up of corruption.
2007- Senator Barack Obama formally announced the start of his historical campaign in Springfield, Illinois. Exactly one year later, the would be president won his second Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album “(Audacity of Hope) nine months before he was elected by popular vote as the 44th President of the United States.
– ShaBe Allah (@KingPenStatus)