Black History Month: February 2019 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.

TODAY'S SPOTLIGHT ON JAY-Z

Born and raised in Brooklyn, JAY-Z (Shawn Corey Carter) used the tough lessons of the city streets to become one of the most successful rappers and entrepreneurs of our time. He launched his Roc-A-Fella Records label in 1995 and has gone on to sell more than 50 million records in his 18 year-career. He has garnered 17 Grammy Awards — including 3 recently won for his Watch The Throne album with Kanye West. Jay-Z also holds the record for the most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 with twelve. In addition to his music career, Jay-Z owns the 40/40 club, is part owner of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and is also co-creator of Rocawear clothing line. He is the founder of Roc Nation, Roc Nation Sportsco-founder Roc-A-Fella Records, and former CEO of Def Jam. He is also a best-selling author now, releasing his first book Decoded in 2010. The rap entrepreneur is worth $550 million.

TRIVIA:

Date of birth: December 4th, 1969 Married Beyonce Knowles on April 4, 2008. Beyonce gave birth to their first child Blue Ivy on January 7, 2012. Was raised in the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn. Released his first single, “In My Lifetime” on Payday Records in 1995. Was sentenced to three years probation in 2001 for allegedly stabbing record producer Lance “Un” Rivera. Began his career as a roadie for rapper Jaz-O. Was a close friend of the Notorious B.I.G. Started a non-profit organization the Shawn Carter Foundation to help underprivileged children. Jay-Z was ranked as the 10th-most successful artist of the 2000s by Billboard and ranking as the 5th top solo male artist and as the 4th top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent. Ranked the 88th-greatest artist of all time by Rolling Stone. Ghostwriter” for such stars as: Foxy Brown, Ma$e, Dr. Dre, and others. The second rapper to have his own signature sneaker, the S. Carter by Reebok. (Master P was first, affiliated with Converse.) It went on to become one of the biggest-selling sneakers of 2003. In 2006, came out of rap retirement and released Kingdom Come. In 2007, he left the presidency of Def Jam and sold his remaining stake in Rocafella to found RocNation in 2008. His latest business move? The mogul has entered the music streaming business by acquiring Swedish tech company Aspiro, where he later launched TIDAL music service. The rapper has also executive produced a new docuseries called, TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, based on Kalief Browder who committed suicide after two years in solitary confinement at Riker’s Island. PERSONAL QUOTES

JAY-Z on learning: “I'm hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That's what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that's from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.” JAY-Z on fear of failure: “Successful people have a bigger fear of failure than people who've never done anything because if you haven't been successful, then you don't know how it feels to lose it all.” JAY-Z on racism: “Racism is taught in the home. We agree on that? Well, it's very hard to teach racism to a teenager who's listening to rap music and who idolizes, say, Snoop Dogg. It's hard to say, 'That guy is less than you.' The kid is like, 'I like that guy, he's cool. How is he less than me?” JAY-Z on going back to the hood: “You make your first album, you make some money, and you feel like you still have to show face, like 'I still go to the projects.' I'm like, why? Your job is to inspire people from your neighborhood to get out. You grew up there. What makes you think it's so cool?” JAY-Z on representing hip-hop: “Wherever I go, I bring the culture with me, so that they can understand that it's attainable. I didn't do it any other way than through hip-hop.” (Source: Brainy Quotes)

TODAY IN BLACK HISTORY:

In 1841, Grafton Tyler Brown, lithographer and painter, was born. In 1888, In West Chester, Pennsylvania, African-American painter Horace Pippin was born. Pippin was considered one of the major American painters of his period. One of his more significant works, “John Brown Going To His Hanging,” is owned by the Pennsylvania Academy Of Fine Arts. In 1898, a black postmaster was lynched and his wife and three daughters shot and maimed for life in Lake City, South Carolina. In 1911, Activist and social reformer Frances Ellen Watkins Harper died in her home in Philadelphia. Harper founded the National Convention Of Colored Women in 1864 and was involved in other projects for women's rights. BLACK HISTORY MONTH QUESTION OF THE DAY:

U.S. representative Barbara Jordan earned which distinction in 1976?

A. She became the first female African-American keynote speaker at a national political convention. B. She headed the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. C. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The answer is A: She became the first female African-American keynote speaker at a national political convention.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT:

Mahalia Jackson was born in New Orleans, and while raised in the church, she secretly listened to the blues recordings of Betsy Smith and Ma Rainey. She moved to Chicago in 1927, joining a Baptist choir, eventually another choir and gospel group until the late 1940's. Although she recorded four sides for Decca in the late 1930's, none gained any notice, but it was her 1947 recording of “Move Up A Little Higher” that sold a million copies and soon gained her The Queen of Gospel crown.

She appeared on radio and TV, by 1952, she was touring Europe. She sang at an inaugural party for president John F.Kennedy, at the 1963 March on Washington and at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. She appeared in some movies and is credited with having inspired a whole new generation of gospel singers and of making gospel appreciated around the world.