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Wall of Respect, 1967 (from http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/wallofrespect/main.htm )

H. Rap Brown/Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (1943- )
Black militant leader
While a student at Southern University in Louisiana, Brown joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and, following Stokely Carmichael's departure in May 1967, became the organization's national director. The next year, Brown joined the Black Panthers, and at a February rally in Oakland, California, the Panthers made both him and Carmichael honorary officers of the Party.

Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)
Black nationalist leader
A native of Jamaica, Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement and Conservation Association and African Communities League in August 1914, with the main objective of building a black-governed nation in Africa. In 1917-18, Garvey established a chapter of this organization, which eventually changed its name to the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), in the United States, where

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1908-1972)
Pastor, public official, civil rights leader
Upon succeeding his father as pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem in 1937, Powell built up a large membership and drew a considerable public following by securing jobs and housing for the poor. In 1941, he became the first African American to serve on the New York City Council, and in 1945, he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he became a powerful voice for civil rights.

Malcolm X (1925-1965)
Black militant leader
Malcolm X grew up in Lansing, Michigan and learned about the Nation of Islam while in prison for burglary. At the end of his sentence in 1952, Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam Temple in Detroit and climbed the ranks of the religious sect. He quickly earned a reputation as a dynamic speaker, which eventually created tension between him and Elijah Muhammad, then the leader of the Nation of Islam. This tension ultimately resulted in Malcolm's split with the sect in 1964, when he formed his own movement called the Muslim Mosque, Inc. just before he was assassinated at a rally of his followers in Harlem.

Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali (1942- )
Ali was the first boxer to win the world heavyweight championship three separate times. He won his first championship in 1964, and he successfully defended his title nine times from 1965 to 1967. In 1967, Ali was convicted for his refusal to join the armed forces and was consequently barred from the ring and stripped of his championship title. The Supreme Court reversed the conviction in 1971, and Ali went on to win his next two heavyweight championships in 1974 and 1978.

Charlie Parker (1920-1955)
Alto-saxophonist, composer, bandleader
Considered to be the father of the modern jazz style known as bebop and one of the greatest improvisers in jazz history, Parker got his start in Kansas City during the late swing-era of the 1930s and moved to New York City in 1939, where he eventually formed a quintet with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Nicknamed "Bird" or "Yardbird," Parker developed a style that involved quick tempos and phrasings with unique hesitations and abrupt endings. In their 1967 mission statement, the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) identified Parker as a "prophet of the modern age."

Sara Vaughn (1924-1990)
Jazz vocalist, pianist
Known for her rich voice, her unusually wide range, and the originality of her improvisations, Vaughn got her start at Harlem's famed Apollo Theatre in 1942 and subsequently joined the big bands of Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine, both of which went on to develop bebop. She began performing as a soloist in 1945 and recorded such songs such as "It's Magic," "Misty," and "Send in the Clowns."

Eric Dolphy (1928-1964)
Woodwind musician
Trained on the oboe, clarinet, flute, and alto saxophone, Dolphy established the bass clarinet as a viable solo instrument in jazz and proved a major influence on free jazz, an approach to improvisation that liberated musicians from preset harmonies and timekeeping patterns. Dolphy's best-known work is the 1964 recording Out to Lunch.

John Coltrane (1926-1967)
Saxophonist, bandleader, composer
One of most influential figures in modern jazz, Coltrane is perhaps best known for his virtuoso solo performance "Giant Steps," recorded in 1959. While his ceaseless experimentation helped take jazz in new directions, the quartet he formed in the 1960s was among

Thelonious Monk (1917-1982)
Pianist, composer, bandleader
A major influence on the development of bebop, Monk was known for the odd, playful quality of his music and the percussive starkness of his performance style, often described as "angular." Many of his compositions, including "'Round Midnight" (1944) and "Blue Monk" (1954), became jazz standards.

Max Roach (1925- )
Jazz drummer, composer
Hailed as the world's greatest trap drummer and one of most influential modern percussionists, Roach worked with Charlie Parker during the development of bebop in the mid-1940s, moving the drums away from the fixed pulse typical of traditional jazz toward a more flexible, polyrhythmic approach. During the 1950s, he put together the Max Roach-Clifford Brown Quintet, which became one of the most dominant ensembles of the period. In the 1960s, he and lyricist Oscar Brown, Jr. composed the landmark "Freedom Now Suite," which infused jazz music with a political conscioussness and became the battle cry for a generation.

Miles Davis (1926-1991)
Trumpet player, band leader
Universally considered one of the major influences on the art of jazz since the 1940s, Davis played bebop with Charlie Parker's band before his 1949 recording Birth of the Cool ushered in the new style of cool jazz, so named for its more subdued feeling. With the quintets he organized in the 1950s, he helped forge modal jazz, an approach that departed from static harmonies. His album Kind of Blue (1959) remains one of the most significant and popular recordings in jazz history.

Charles Mingus (1922 -1979)
Composer, bandleader, bassist, pianist
A leading figure in the avant-garde of jazz, Mingus is known for developing a new "conversational" approach to the double bass. After performing with big bands in the 1940s, he formed his own record label in the early 1950s and established the Jazz Composer's Cooperative, which enabled young composers to record and perform their new works.

Nina Simone (1933- )
Generally known as "the high priestess of soul," Simone recorded in a range of styles beginning in the late 1950s, including jazz, blues, soul, gospel, and pop. During the 1960s, her vocal performance took on a political dimension, and her singing became associated with the black revolutionary spirit.

Sonny Rollins (1930- )
Tenor saxophonist
Considered one of the finest improvisers on the saxophone to emerge on the jazz scene since mid-century, Rollins worked with Miles Davis and Charlie Parker in the 1950s before joining the influential Clifford Brown-Max Roach quintet and later recording his own albums. His improvisational style is distinguished by its clarity of thought and its spontaneity.

Elvin Jones (1927- )
Jones's career is marked by collaborations with some of jazz's most legendary figures, including Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, and Miles Davis. In 1960, Jones joined John Coltrane's quartet, and it was as Coltrane's drummer that Jones helped establish the practice of polyrhythmic drumming, an innovative style that suggested a three-beat pulse instead of the common four beats and that, according to jazz critics, lent an African flavor to Jones's music.

Ornette Coleman (1930 - )
Saxophonist, composer, bandleader
A chief innovator of "free jazz," an unconventional approach to harmony that abandoned standard chord changes, Coleman developed an improvisational style in the 1950s that influenced not only other saxophonists but also players of many other instruments. His classic recordings include The Shape of Jazz to Come and Change of the Century (1959) and Free Jazz (1960).

Girls in Church
This photograph shows three young girls from the community around 43rd and Langley singing and playing the tambourine during a

Nat Turner (1800-1831)
Slave revolt leader
On August 21, 1831, Turner and five other slaves on a Virginia plantation killed their master and incited a large-scale revolt among other blacks in the area. Southern lawmakers responded to the rebellion with legislation that prohibited the education, transportation, and assembly of slaves--restrictions that lent considerable force to the proslavery, anti-abolitionist movement.

Spiritual Grace
This photograph shows the granddaughter of Elijah Muhammad praying at a Nation of Islam service. Robert Sengstacke, Jr. took the photograph while working on assignment for Muhammad Speaks, the newspaper of the Nation

Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975)
Leader of the Nation of Islam
In the early 1930s, Muhammad converted to Islam and served as the assistant minister to Wallace D. Fard, the Nation of Islam's founder. After Fard disappeared in 1934, Muhammad succeeded him.

W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963)
Sociologist, author, editor, activist
Widely thought to be the most important black protest leader in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, DuBois helped launch the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was an early advocate of Pan-Africanism, a belief that all peoples of African descent should unite in their struggle for freedom. In his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk, he attacked the views of Booker T. Washington, who encouraged accommodation as a strategy for African Americans, and thus aligned himself with the radical tradition of black activism.

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917- )
Poet, novelist
A Chicago native, Brooks became the first black poet to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950 and was named the poet laureate of Illinois in 1968. While her work always addressed the everyday life of urban African Americans, during the late 1950s, she drew inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement, writing poems about lynching and integration, and in the 1960s, she became strongly identified with the Black Arts Movement. She delivered a tribute to the Wall of Respect shortly after its unveiling in 1967.

LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka (1934- )
Writer, playwright, political activist
Jones's work covers a range of genres, from drama and poetry to novels, nonfiction, and jazz operas. While his 1963 book Blues People was one of the earliest to trace the social and political development of African American music, his experimentalist 1964 plays Dutchman and The Slave explored the charged relationship between American blacks and dominant white culture. An instrumental leader in the Black Arts and Black Power Movements, Jones established the Black Arts Repertory Theatre and co-edited the 1968 anthology of African American writing Black Fire.

Claudia McNeil (1917-1993 )
Although McNeil got her start as a singer in vaudeville and nightclubs, she won critical and popular acclaim for her role as the matriarch Lena Younger in the 1959 Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, a role she recreated in the 1961 film version. In their 1967 mission statement, members of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) noted that McNeil "evokes the eternal struggle of Black motherhood." Beginning in the 1950s, she also acted in television roles.

Sidney Poitier (1927- )
Born in the Bahamas, Poitier moved to New York to study acting in 1945, landed his first film role in the 1950 feature No Way Out, and quickly became a leading black film star. In 1959, he originated the role of Walter Lee Younger in the Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, and in 1963, he became the first African American to win a best actor Oscar for his performance in Lilies of the Field.

Oscar Brown, Jr. (1926- )
Composer, singer, actor, playwright, director
A Chicago native, Brown first gained national attention for his 1960 album Sin and Soul, and, in 1963, wrote and performed in a one-man show--Oscar Brown Entertains--for which he was hailed as "the high priest of hip." In the 1960s, he developed a number of musicals in Chicago, including Opportunity Please Knock (1967), which was produced with the help of a youth gang.


Darlene Blackburn
Dancer, choreographer, music educator
A Chicago artist, Blackburn founded her own dance troupe in the 1960s and performed works that drew on African dance traditions. She performed solo at the dedication of the Wall of Respect in October 1967.

Billie Holiday (1915-1959)
Singing in obscure Harlem clubs as a teenager, Holiday was discovered in 1932 by legendary producer John Hammond. He introduced her to Benny Goodman, with whom Holiday would make her first commercial recordings the following year. Holiday made history in 1939 with her recording of "Strange Fruit," a strong anti-racism statement that remained part of her repertoire for the rest of her career.

Ray Charles (1930- )
Vocalist, composer, musician
Charles learned how to play the piano and clarinet and how to arrange music as a young student in Florida at the St. Augustine School for the Blind. He won his first Grammy Award in 1959 for "Georgia on My Mind," and two years later, he made history in Memphis, Tennessee with his performance before an integrated audience at the city auditorium.

James Brown (1933- )

With his musical roots in gospel, Brown began recording successfully in 1956 with his single "Please, Please, Please." He went on to place ninety-eight singles on Billboard magazine's Rhythm and Blues charts, seventeen of which reached number one.

Aretha Franklin (1942- )
Also known as the Queen of Soul, Franklin was the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She made her first professional recordings as a gospel artist at the age of fourteen, began recording for Atlantic Records in 1966, and was named top vocalist of 1967 by Billboard magazine. In 1967, Franklin also released her hit "Respect," which became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement.

The Marvelettes
As high school students in rural Michigan in the late 1950s, Gladys Horton, Georgeanna Marie Tillman, Wanda Young, Katherine Anderson, and Juanita Grant formed the Marvelettes. They were discovered at a school talent show by Robert Bateman, who in turn introduced the young women to Motown Records' Berry Gordy. The Marvelettes made Motown history with their "Please Mr. Postman," which reached number one in the U.S. in 1961 and was the record company's biggest-selling album up to that point.

Stevie Wonder (1950- )
Vocalist, songwriter, musician
Blind from birth, Wonder won an audition at Motown Records when he was just twelve years old. In addition to the huge commercial success he has achieved as a recording artist, he has used his music to advance social issues and political causes. His song "Happy Birthday" (1960), for example, helped further the campaign to recognize Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday.

Muddy Waters (1915-1983)

Waters learned how to play the harmonica and guitar as an adolescent farm laborer in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He first recorded for the Library of Congress in 1941-42, before moving to Chicago, where he launched his career at small taverns throughout the city's South and West sides. His first hit came in 1947 with "I Can't Be Satisfied," which he recorded for Aristocrat Records.

from http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/wallofrespect/main.htm

Related Links

http://www.muralart.org [Accessed 17 August 2000] Chicago Public Art Group.

http://www2.rmcil.edu/live/bustour.html [Accessed 17 August 2000]. Chicago Mural Tour with Chicago Public Art Group.

http://www.dusablemuseum.org [Accessed 17 August 2000] Dusable Museum of African American History, Chicago.

http://blackhistory.eb.com/index2.html [Accessed 17 August 2000]. Encyclopaedia Britannica Guide to Black History.

http://www.umich.edu/~eng499/ [Accessed 17 August 2000]. Black Arts Movement site.

http://www.africana.com [Accessed 17 August 2000]. Portal for African and African American News, Culture, and Internet Services.

http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/african/intro.html [Accessed 8 August 2000]. The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture.

http://www.tulane.edu/~amistad/ [Accessed 17 August 2000]. Amistad Research Center, Tulane University.

http://web-dubois.fas.harvard.edu/ [Accessed 17 August 2000]. W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard University.


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