Today (Friday) marks the 10th day of African American History Month observance here in the United States. The idea was started in 1926 by Doctor Carter G. Woodson to focus attention on black history. English to Africa reporter James Butty has today’s facts.
On this day in 1927, African American opera singer Leontyne Price was born in Laurel, Mississippi. She has achieved international fame for her brilliant voice, and performed in many operas, including Aida, a story about an Ethiopian princess. Also on this day in 1992, renowned African American author Alex Haley passed away. Haley became famous for his publication of the novel “Roots”, which traces his ancestry back to Africa. The book was adapted to television and revived an interest in genealogy, particularly among African Americans. On February 11,1990, anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment. Three years later, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping end apartheid and establishing a multiracial government in South Africa. In 1994, Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president. And in 1998, he received the Congressional gold medal during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. He was the first black person to receive the award.