Black History Month: February 2022

To recall and celebrate the positive contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week beginning on Feb. 12, 1926. In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month.


Alicia Keys is one of the most successful and charitable artists of our generation. The singer-songwriter, producer and actress released her debut album Songs In A Minor back in 2001 and has sold over 35 million albums worldwide and 30 million singles worldwide. The 15 time Grammy winner became the second American recording artists to win five Grammys in one night in 2002. Known for her philanthropy, Alicia is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep A Child Alive, a non-profit organization that provides medicine to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa and has donated to several charities and causes. 


Alicia Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook on January 25, 1981 in New York City.
She is married to Kaseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean. They have two children, Egypt (born October 14, 2010_ and Genesis Ali Dean (born December 27, 2014)
Alicia's debut album Songs in A Minor sold over 12 million worldwide and gained her 5 Grammys
She became the best-selling new artists and best-selling R&B artists of 2001
Her second album The Diary of Alicia Keys was released in 2003, selling 8 million copies
Alicia Keys appeared on The Cosby Show as a child.
Alicia Keys attended NYC's Professional Performance Arts School and studied choir. She graduated at age 16.
She was accepted to Columbia University on a full scholarship, but left after four weeks to pursue music.
Alicia wrote her first song at age 14. The song was featured on her first album and it is called "Butterflyz".
Alicia’s first public performance was in a production of The Wizard of Oz at the age of four.
Alicia Keys married Swizz Beatz on July 31, 2010 on the island of Corsica.  
In 2010, VH1 included Keys on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Billboard placed her number ten on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years.
In February 2012, Keys was ranked 14th on VH1's 100 Greatest Women In Music list.
She made her film debut in Smokin' Aces.
She hosted the 61st annual Grammy Awards on February 10th, 2019.

(Source: Wikipedia, Biography)

Personal Quotes:

On bringing light into the world: "There's too much darkness in the world. Everywhere you turn, someone is tryin' to tear someone down in some way; everywhere you go, there's a feeling of inadequacy, or a feeling that you're not good enough. I want to bring a certain light to the world."
On being happy: "I'm a very positive person, but this whole concept of having to always be nice, always smiling, always happy, that's not real. It was like I was wearing a mask. I was becoming this perfectly chiseled sculpture, and that was bad. That took a long time to understand."
On failure: "Failure isn't an option. I've erased the word 'fear' from my vocabulary, and I think when you erase fear, you can't fail."
On embracing her curves: "I'm not ashamed of what I am and that I have curves and that I'm thick. I like my body."
On dishonesty: "I'd rather not have anything than be a liar."


In 1999, Lauryn Hill won a record five Grammys, including album of the year and best new artist, on the strength of her solo debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.


As of 2013, 45.7% of black households in the U.S. were married couples.


The Harlem Renaissance, a period of artistic growth among African-American writers and artists that was centered in Harlem, occurred roughly during which decade?

A) 1910s
B) 1920s
3) 1930s

The answer is B) 1920s. The Harlem Renaissance was more than just an artistic movement. It included an increase in racial consciousness, "the back to Africa" movement led by Marcus Garvey, and racial integration.


Film producer Will Packer was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 11, 1974. He is responsible for producing films such as This Christmas, Stomp the Yard, Obsessed, Takers, Think like a Man and Ride Along. In 2013, Pack launched Will Packer Productions and signed a two-year deal with Universal Television to develop new projects. He later signed a three-year deal with Universal Pictures. 

Will Packer Productions has produced a number of box office hits including Ride Along 2, No Good Deed and Think Like a Man Too along with The Wedding Ringer and Girls Trip. Girls Trip, which starred Tiffany HaddishRegina HallQueen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith, was the highest-grossing live action comedy of 2017. It was also the first film written, directed, produced and starring African-Americans to gross over $100 million. The film went on to gross $140 million on a $19 million budget.

Packer also served as executive producer on the NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton, and on 2016 television mini-series Roots. He also produced 2018's Night School, starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish.