The first Black prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera Company, Janet Collins, made her debut in "Aida."


Marian Anderson became the first Black to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Chuck Berry released his rock n roll hit called "Maybellene."


Sammy Davis, Jr. debuted on Broadway in a musical.

Singer Nat King Cole became the first Black with his own national network television variety series, which ran for 64 weeks on NBC.


Alvin Ailey founded the Black modern dance troupe known as the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre.

Arthur Mitchell, founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, was the first Black dancer in the country to become a member of a classical ballet company.


Berry Gordy founded Motown Records.

Lorraine Hansberry won the N.Y. Drama Critics Circle Award for her play "A Raisin in the Sun."

William ("Count") Basie was the first Black man to win a Grammy Award and Ella Fitzgerald was the first Black woman to win the Grammy.


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February 2001