Eleanora Fagan, known as Billie ("Lady Day") Holiday, began her singing career in a speakeasy in New York City.


The first gospel choir in the world was founded by the "Father of Gospel," Thomas Dorsey, and Theodore Frye in Chicago.


Clarence ("Buddy") Bradley was the first Black to choreograph a show of white dancers.


"Emperor Jones" became the first major movie starring an African American, Paul Robeson, with whites playing supporting roles.

Soprano Caterina Jarboro, singing "Aida," became the first Black to perform with an American opera company.

The first Black cartoonist to work for a national publication was Elmer Sims Campbell.


Stage and screen star Etta Moten performing for President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first African American to sing at the White House. 


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February 2001