Profile: Steve Biko

Synopsis Born in South Africa in 1946, Steve Biko co-founded the South African Students’ Organization in 1968, subsequently spearheading the nation’s Black Consciousness Movement, and co-founded the Black People’s Convention in 1972. Biko was arrested many times for his anti-apartheid work and, on September 12, 1977, died from injuries that he’d sustained while in police custody. Early Years Bantu Stephen Biko was born on December … Continue reading Profile: Steve Biko

Profile: Sarah Vaughan

Synopsis Born on March 27, 1924, in Newark, New Jersey, Sarah Vaughan grew up with a love of music and performing. Winning a talent competition held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater launched her singing career. She worked with bandleaders Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine before becoming a successful solo performer who commingled pop and jazz. At age 66, Vaughan died in Hidden Hills, California, on April … Continue reading Profile: Sarah Vaughan

Profile: Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)

  Born in 1917, Ella Fitzgerald turned to singing after a troubled childhood and debuted at the Apollo Theater in 1934. Discovered in an amateur contest, she went on to become the top female jazz singer for decades. In 1958, Fitzgerald made history as the first African-American woman to win a Grammy Award. Due in no small part to her vocal quality, with lucid intonation and a … Continue reading Profile: Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)