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Jacob was born in Atlantic City and moved to Harlem when he was 13. His mother quickly enrolled him in an arts and crafts settlement house in Harlem in order to keep him busy.
Mr. Lawrence showed immediate potential and scored a scholarship to the American Artists School as well as a paid gig with the Works Progress Administration.
He deemed his style “dynamic cubism” and credited the shapes and colors of Harlem as being more influential than his French predecessors.
Lawrence was an astute observer who used his art to tell the story of struggling African Americans from the Civil War period up until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Jacob excelled at visually expressing complicated narratives.
His subjects ranged from the historically grandiose, depicting Toussaint L’Ouverture during the Haitian revolution, to simpler portrayals of the struggle, strength, and perseverance of African Americans traveling from the agricultural communities of the South to Northern industrial cities.
While the rest of the country struggled with the Depression, Mr. Lawrence felt lucky to live during a vital period of Harlem’s history.
He claimed the 30’s “was actually a wonderful period in Harlem although we didn’t know this at the time. Of course it wasn’t wonderful for our parents. For them, it was a struggle, but for the younger people coming along like myself, there was a real vitality in the community.”*
In 1970, Jacob settled in Seattle as a professor of art at the University of Washington; he died in 2000.
*Leslie King-Hammond, “Inside-Outside, Uptown-Downtown, Jacob Lawrence and the Aesthetic Ethos of the Harlem Working-class Community,” in Peter T. Nesbett and Michelle Dubois, eds., Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001)
Posted Apr 22nd 2013 3:10PM by Sam Pattillo
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Ella Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia, but her parents separated shortly after her birth, and she moved to New York with her mother. Ella made her singing debut at 17, at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, and started getting a loyal following. After winning a local talent contest, she got the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. There, she met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, who offered her the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.
Ella Fitzgerald became a regular feature in Webb’s Orchestra and recorded several hit songs with them, including Love and Kisses and (If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini). Her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, A-Tisket, A-Tasket brought her wide public acclaim. Chick Webb died in June 1939, and the band was renamed “Ella and her Famous Orchestra” with Ella taking on the role of bandleader. Fitzgerald recorded nearly 150 songs with the orchestra before it broke up in 1942, and she began her solo career.
Ella Fitzgerald went on to record many other popular singles and collaborations, including Lullaby of Birdland, Summertime, Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye, Cheek to Cheek, Dream a Little Dream of Me, The Man I Love, Mack the Knife, Misty, and One Note Samba. Over the course of her 59-year recording career, Ella Fitzgerald sold 40 million copies of her 70-plus albums, winning 13 Grammy Awards in the process.
Ella Fitzgerald died on June 15, 1996 at the age of 79 in Beverly Hills, California.
NEW YORK CITY — A controversial church led by a Hackensack man has filed a lawsuit against a Connecticut toymaker, claiming action figures the company produced in his likeness weren’t up to par.
According to the New York Daily News, the Harlem-based Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ is asking for the return of a $45,000 deposit and a $120,000 in damages from the Emil Vicale Corp. on the basis that it placed “pointed noses and faces” and lightened the skin of its leader, Jermaine Grant.
The church preaches that blacks are among the lost tribes of Israel, and Grant — who also calls himself the “Chief High Priest Tazadaqyah” — has predicted that a black Jesus will kill or enslave all white people upon his return to Earth.
The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the church as a hate group. According to the SPLC’s website, it maintains chapters in various cites around the country, including Jersey City, Vineland, Asbury Park and Camden.
Vicale Corp., based in Oxford, Conn., regularly produces action figures that bear likeness to controversial celebrities, including Sarah Palin, Anthony Weiner and Patricia Krencil, the so-called “Tan Mom” from Nutley.
According to the Daily News, Grant lives in a Hackensack home he purchased for $700,000 in 2005.
By Dan Ivers/NJ.com NJ.com
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