Sunday, February 6, 2011

Andresflava celebrates Black History Month

Ruth Graves Wakefield (1905-1977) invented chocolate chips (and chocolate chip cookies) in 1930. Wakefield ran the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. Her new cookie invention was called the "Toll House Cookie." Her original cookies used broken-up bars of semi-sweet chocolate. Her cookbook, "Toll House Tried and True Recipes," was published in 1940.

The potato chip was invented in 1853 by George Crum. A African American chef. French fries were popular at the restaurant and one day a diner complained that the fries were too thick. Although Crum made a thinner batch, the customer was still unsatisfied. Crum finally made fries that were too thin to eat with a fork, hoping to annoy the extremely fussy customer. The customer was happy and potato chips were invented!

The Jackson 5ive was a Saturday morning cartoon series produced by Rankin/Bass and Motown Productions on ABC from September 11, 1971 until September 1, 1973; a fictionalized portrayal of the careers of Motown recording group The Jackson 5.

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, an animated series created, produced, and hosted (in live action bookends) by comedian Bill Cosby. He also provided voices for many of characters, including Albert. The show premiered in 1972 and ran until 1985. Based on Cosby's remembrances of his childhood.

  • Rapper Jay-Z allegedly developed his stage name as a reference to New York's J/Z subway lines that have a stop in his Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, neighborhood.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was stabbed by an African-American woman in 1958 while attending his book signing at Blumstein's department store in Harlem. The next year, King and his wife visited India to study Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence.

  • As a child Muhammad Ali was refused an autograph by his idol, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. When Ali became a prize-fighter, he vowed never to deny an autograph request, which he has honored to this day.

  • Ella Fitzgerald had a three-octave range — a range greater than most professional Opera singers.

  • Famed guitarist Jimi Hendrix was known by close friends and family members simply as "Buster."

  • Louis Armstrong bought his first coronet at the age of seven with money he borrowed from his employers. He taught himself to play while in a home for juvenile delinquents.

  • Due to his acclaimed "Banana Boat" song, most people assume Harry Belafonte was born in the Caribbean; in fact, the internationally renowned entertainment icon and human rights activist was born in Harlem, New York.

  • Before becoming a professional musician, Chuck Berry studied to be a hairdresser.

  • Legendary singer James Brown performed in front of a televised audience in Boston the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Brown is often given credit for preventing riots with the performance.

  • Female science fiction author Octavia Butler was dyslexic. Despite her disorder, she went on to win two Hugo awards and two Nebulas for her writing.

  • The "King of Pop," Michael Jackson, co-wrote the single "We Are the World" with Motown legend Lionel Richie. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief in Africa.

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