January 4

Grace Bumbry (born January 4, 1937), an American opera singer, is considered one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation, as well as a major soprano for many years.

Benjamin Lundy (January 4, 1789 – August 22, 1839) was a Quaker abolitionist who established several anti-slavery newspapers and traveled extensively to campaign against slavery. Born in New Jersey, he first worked in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) where he saw the abuses of slavery firsthand as captives were transported down the Ohio River. He settled in Ohio where he founded the Union Humane Society and first began publishing, later working in Tennessee, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He traveled to St. Louis to campaign against Missouri being admitted as a free state in 1820, and also visited Texas in the early 1830 to speak against slavery before the Texas War for Independence, but was unsuccessful in both places. He supported establishing colonies outside the United States, and visited a settlement for freedmen in Canada and escorted 20 emancipated slaves to Haiti,


Reverdy C. Ransom (January 4, 1861 – April 22, 1959) was an early proponent of the Social Gospel and 48th Bishop of the A.M.E. Church (1924). Ordained in 1886, he served pastorates in Chicago, Boston, and New York City, often establishing outreach programs for African Americans newly arrived from the South, and was editor of the denomination's main publication, the A.M. E. Review. He was a member of the Niagara Movement and a founding member of the NAACP. A noted orator, he was the first African American to speak at Boston's Faneuil Hall when he gave the keynote address on the centennial of the birth of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.

Floyd Patterson (January 4, 1935 – May 11, 2006) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1952 to 1972, and twice reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1956 to 1962. At the age of 21, he became the youngest boxer in history to win the title, and was also the first heavyweight to regain the title after losing it. As an amateur he won a gold medal in the middleweight division at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Although Mike Tyson later became the youngest boxer to win a world heavyweight title at the age of 20, Patterson remains the youngest to hold the undisputed heavyweight title.

Grace Bumbry (born January 4, 1937), an American opera singer, is considered one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation, as well as a major soprano for many years. She was a member of a pioneering generation of singers who followed Marian Anderson (including Leontyne Price, Martina Arroyo, Shirley Verrett and Reri Grist) in the world of classical music and paved the way for future African American opera and classical singers.

Michele Wallace (born January 4, 1952) is a feminist author and daughter of artist Faith Ringgold. She became famous in 1979 when, at age 27, she published Black Macho and The Myth of The Superwoman, a book in which she criticized black nationalism and sexism. Her writings on literature, art, film, and popular culture have been widely published and have made her a "leader of a [new] generation of African-American intellectuals."


On January 4, 1853, Solomon Northup regained his freedom after having been kidnapped and sold into slavery to work in the cane fields of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. Northup, a freeborn New York farmer and musician, was able to send word to his home, and friends and family enlisted the aid of New York Governor Washington Hunt. In his first year of freedom, Northup wrote and published a memoir, Twelve Years a Slave (1853). The book was adapted and produced as the 1984 PBS television movie Solomon Northup's Odyssey, and the 2013 feature film 12 Years a Slave. The latter won an Academy Award in 2014 for Best Picture.

Photo Gallery

January 4 1967 during the recording of the extremely rowdy album Super Blues and is one of very few known images showing Little Walter and Muddy Waters play together and it is likely the one single known showing Walter use a specific mic type recording in the studio

January 4 2014 President Barack Obama with his First Lady Michelle Obama and First Daughters Sasha & Malia.


This article, published in the January 4, 1890, issue of the Planet provides a listing of African Americans lynched in the South.

"1969: Year of the Panther" The Black Panther, January 4, 1969

Caption: Grier in repose, but still animated. Publication: Los Angeles Times Publication date: January 4, 1976 North Carolina-born actress Pam Grier photographed for a Los Angeles Times interview.

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