Tag Archives: trailblazer

Rest in Power: Oliver Mtukudzi, music legend and pan-African trailblazer

“Tuku” used his powerful poetic voice to change whole systems, forge global connections, and advocate for justice, freedom and the oppressed.

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi performing in 2018. Credit: Mário Pires.

Where does one begin when paying tribute to a figure who is, at once, a recently-departed soul but simultaneously a living, breathing and immortal legend?

One could begin with his illustrious career. Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi released a discography of 60-odd albums, sold out shows across the globe, and picked up dozens of awards and accolades. He created a music that metamorphosed from gospel, to soul, to a genre of its own we now know as “Tuku music”.

Alternatively, one could start with the man behind the…

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African-American Trailblazer Breakfast recognizes local civic accomplishments

The African-American community will mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day next week and Black History Month in February.

In Las Vegas, the annual African-American Trailblazer Awards Breakfast will recognize local residents for their outstanding civic accomplishments.

Councilman Cedric Crear, Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler and honoree Craig Knight joined us Monday to talk more about the breakfast.


Fifth Annual African-American Trailblazer Breakfast

Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts

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African American advertising trailblazer Barbara Gardner Proctor passes | Reel Chicago

Proctor opened
very first
African-American owned
ad agency

Barbara Gardner Proctor’s story is what American dreams are made of. Born in 1933 in Black Mountain, North Carolina, to a single mother, Bernice Gardner, and raised by a grandmother and an uncle in extreme poverty with no electricity or running water, Proctor would eventually rise to become a Chicago advertising icon.

According to Ad Age, Proctor passed away at the age of 85, succumbing to dementia and a hip injury.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan mentioned Proctor in his State of the Union address as a “spirit of America” who “rose from a ghetto shack to build a multi-million-dollar advertising agency in Chicago.” The Washington Post described her East Wacker Drive offices as “glitzy plush.”

Not too bad for a woman whose…

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Brehanna Daniels: From NASCAR trailblazer to ‘Titan Games’

Brehanna Daniels has always wanted to be famous for acting.

But over the past few years, she’s repeatedly turned heads all over the country for other achievements.

Next up? Daniels — who made national headlines in 2017 and 2018 as the first…

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Trailblazer Fritz Pollard made history in Pasadena – Pasadena Star News

Sometimes being first to achieve something significant also means rarely enjoying the spotlight or hearing the cheers.

Such was the case for Fritz Pollard, a halfback for Brown University, who was the first African-American to play in the annual football game in Pasadena.

It was an honor he earned without any fanfare on Jan. 1, 1916. In the mud-soaked game, his team lost 14-0 to Washington State at Tournament Park, where New Year’s games were held before the Rose Bowl was built.

But some of the hardship for Pollard was just getting to and from the game.

The Brown team spent a week on several trains traveling from its home in Providence, Rhode Island, to Pasadena.

Having an African-American amid a contingent of whites was unusual in those days, especially on dining cars where Pollard had…

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Wally Triplett, N.F.L. Trailblazer, Is Dead at 92

Wally Triplett, one of the first African-Americans drafted by a National Football League team, died on Thursday. He was 92.

His death was announced by the Detroit Lions, the team that drafted him in 1949. The announcement did not say where he died.

Triplett, a running back, was the third African-American selected in an N.F.L. draft, but he was the first to play in a regular-season game. He played 18 games for the Lions in 1949 and 1950 and, after serving two years in the Army during the Korean War, six games for the Chicago Cardinals in the 1952-53 season.

George Taliaferro, who died in October, was the first black player drafted in the N.F.L. but played instead for a team in a rival league that season. He was chosen in the 13th round, six rounds before Triplett, in 1949.

Triplett was also the…

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