April 12, 1864
On April 12, 1864, some 3,000 rebels under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest overran Fort Pillow, a former Confederate stronghold situated on a bluff on the Tennessee bank of the Mississippi, some 40 miles north of Memphis. The garrison consisted of about 600 Union soldiers, roughly evenly divided between runaway slaves-turned-artillerists from nearby Tennessee communities and white Southern Unionist cavalry mostly from East Tennessee.
April 11, 1899
Dr. Percy Lavon Julian was an African American chemist who is most well known for extracting medicinal drugs from plants. He was born in Montgomery, Alabama on April 11, 1899 to James Sumner and Elizabeth Lena Julian. His grandparents had been slaves in the Civil War era and Julian grew up facing immense racial segregation.
April 10, 1947
Bob Marley , in full Robert Nesta Marley (born February 6, 1945, Nine Miles, St. Ann, Jamaica—died May 11, 1981, Miami, Florida, U.S.), Jamaican singer-songwriter whose thoughtful ongoing distillation of early ska, rock steady, and reggae musical forms blossomed in the 1970s into an electrifying rock-influenced hybrid that made him an international superstar.
April 9, 1968
Martin Luther King Jr. buried after funeral services at Ebenezer Baptist Church and memorial services at Morehouse College, Atlanta. More than 300,000 persons marched behind the coffin of the slain leader which was carried through streets of Atlanta on farm wagon pulled by two Georgia mules.
April 8, 1920
Carmen McRae Born April 8, 1920. After winning an amateur contest at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theatre in her hometown New York City, McRae went on to become a noted jazz singer with Earl Hines, Mercer "Duke" Ellington and Benny Carter bands among others and recording more than 20 albums. She Died Nov. 10, 1994 in Beverly Hills, Ca.
April 7, 1954
Anthony “Tony” Drew Dorsett is a retired American Football Running Back who is mostly famous for his performances with the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos.
April 6, 1935
John Pepper Clark , pseudonym J.P. Clark-Bekederemo (born April 6, 1935, Kiagbodo, Nigeria), the most lyrical of the Nigerian poets, whose poetry celebrates the physical landscape of Africa. He was also a journalist, playwright, and scholar-critic who conducted research into traditional Ijo myths and legends and wrote essays on African poetry.
April 4, 1856
Booker T. Washington was a renowned nineteenth century African American author and most importantly advisor to presidents of the United States. Besides being a remarkable orator, he was also an educator. Washington came a long way from slavery to eventually become a prominent leader and championed African American’s rights.
April 4, 1972
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. , (born Nov. 29, 1908, New Haven, Conn., U.S.—died April 4, 1972, Miami, Fla.), black American public official and pastor who became a prominent liberal legislator and civil-rights leader.
April 3, 1968
The following speech, a sermon Dr. Martin Luther King gave at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, was the last public appearance before his assassination the next day. King, in Memphis to support a strike by garbage workers, gives a poignant vision of the victorious future of the civil rights struggle, but without him there to witness its final triumph.
April 2, 1939
Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr. was a legendary singer and recording artist who came to be known as the “Prince of Soul”. Gaye was born on April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. He was raised by his father “Reverend Marvin Gay Sr.” who was a very strict guardian. Gaye was musically inclined from an early age and found a means of escape from the violence prevalent in his neighborhood.
April 1, 2011 (aged 60)
(William) Manning Marable, (born May 13, 1950, Dayton, Ohio—died April 1, 2011, New York, N.Y.), American scholar who was a leading figure in scholarly research regarding the African American experience, most notably as an author and as a professor (from 1993) at Columbia University, New York City, founding director (1993–2003) of Columbia’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies, and director (from 2002) of Columbia’s Center for Contemporary Black History.