GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an early African-American abolitionist, Freemason, and Mormon elder from Massachusetts. He was an active member of the Underground Railroad and the anti-slavery movement.Today in our History – August 3, 1798 – Kwaku Walker Lewis was born.Lewis was born on August 3, 1798, in Barre, Massachusetts, to Peter P. Lewis and Minor Walker Lewis. His full name was Kwaku Walker Lewis, named after his maternal uncle, Kwaku Walker. (Kwaku means “boy born on Wednesday” among the Akan people of Ghana.Lewis was one of nine children. He was raised in a prominent middle-class black family that valued education, activism and political involvement. As a young boy, Peter and Minor Lewis moved their family to Cambridge. Walker Lewis was a successful barber who owned residential and commercial building in Boston.In March 1826, Lewis married Elizabeth Lovejoy (the mixed-race daughter of Peter Lovejoy, who was black, and Lydia Greenleaf Bradford, who was white). Their first child, Enoch Lovejoy Lewis, was born on May 20, 1826. Their second, Lydia Elizabeth, would be born the following year in November.The Lewis family moved to Lowell, where the industrial revolution of textile mills brought economic prosperity to the area. In Lowell, together with his brother-in-law John Levy, Lewis opened a barbershop on Merrimack Street. Lewis purchased a two-family home in the Centralville section of Lowell.Lewis and many of his siblings and their families were actively involved in the abolition and equal rights movement throughout Massachusetts and the Northeast.While in Boston, Lewis was initiated into African Freemasonry about 1823, participating in Boston’s African Lodge #459 (Prince Hall Freemasonry). In 1825, he became the sixth Master and a year later was its Senior Warden. After the African Lodge declared its independence from the Grand Lodge of London and became its own African Grand Lodge, Walker Lewis was the Grand Master of African Grand Lodge #1 for 1829 and 1830.Around the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Lovejoy in 1826, Lewis and Thomas Dalton helped organize the Massachusetts General Colored Association (MGCA), the first such all-black organization in the United States.In 1829, the MGCA helped David Walker (no relation) to publish the radical, 76-page Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, which demanded unconditional and immediate emancipation of all slaves in the USA. Lewis arranged for the Boston printer who published the Articles for the African Grand Lodge, to print the controversial Appeal.In 1831, Lewis served as President of the African Humane Society in Boston, which provided funeral expenses for the poor, assisted widows, built the African School in Boston. The African Humane Society also sponsored a “settlement project” for African Americans who wanted to emigrate to settle in Liberia. When the ship sailed in 1813 its manifest contained most of the members of Hiram Lodge No. 3 of Providence, Rhode Island (chartered by Grand Master Prince Hall of African Grand Lodge in 1797).In Lowell during the 1840s and 1850s, Lewis’s home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. For some time, he sheltered fugitive Nathaniel Booth from Virginia, who settled in Lowell in 1844. Until 1850 Booth had a barber shop, but went to Canada after passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. Later he returned to Lowell.Walker’s son, Enoch ran a used clothing store, mainly to assist escaping slaves to change their appearances with new and better clothing. Walker would cut and style their hair to assist in their disguise.About 1842, Lewis, who had worshipped with the Episcopal Church, converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is believed to have been baptized by Parley P. Pratt. One year later, in the summer of 1843, Lewis was ordained an elder by William Smith, brother of founder Joseph Smith. Lewis became the third black man known to hold the Mormon priesthood. (The first two were Elijah Abel and Peter Kerr.)Walker’s first-born son, Enoch Lovejoy Lewis, also joined the church. On September 18, 1846, Enoch married a white Mormon woman, Mary Matilda Webster, in Cambridge.After settling in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848, Brigham Young announced a ban that prohibited all men of black African descent from holding the priesthood. In addition, he prohibited Mormons of African descent from participating in Mormon temple rites, such as the endowment or sealing. These racial restrictions remained in place until 1978, when the policy was rescinded by church president Spencer W. Kimball. Walker Lewis migrated to Utah to be with the main body of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He left Massachusetts at the end of March 1851 and arrived in Salt Lake City about October 1. There he received his patriarchal blessing from Presiding Patriarch John Smith, an uncle of Joseph Smith. He asked Jane Elizabeth Manning James, a black Mormon from Connecticut, to marry him as his polygamous wife, but she declined.Lewis was ignored by his fellow Mormons. The missionaries and apostles with whom he developed relationships with and worked closely in Massachusetts refused to acknowledge his presence once he was in Salt Lake City.Two months after Walker’s arrival, Brigham Young lobbied for, and the Utah Territorial Legislature (composed only of high-ranking Mormon leaders) passed, the Act in Relation to Service. This new territorial law made slavery legal in the territory of Utah, and Section Four of the statute provided punishment for “any white person… guilty of sexual intercourse with any of the African race,” regardless of their being married, consenting adults. The anti-miscegenation law was not repealed in Utah until the 1960s.Walker Lewis left after six months the following spring, returning to Lowell. His daughter-in-law Mary Matilda Webster Lewis subsequently died from “exhaustion” just after Christmas 1852 in the State Hospital at Worcester. His son, the widower Enoch Lewis, married the African-American Elisa Richardson Shorter in 1853.Lewis died on October 26, 1856, in Lowell of tuberculosis. He was buried in the family lot in the Lowell Cemetery. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make It A Champion day!
GM- FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and activist. His essays, collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in the Western society of the United States during the mid twentieth-century. Some of Baldwin’s essays are book-length, including The Fire Next Time (1963).No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976). An unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, was expanded and adapted for cinema as the Academy Award–nominated documentary film I Am Not Your Negro (2016). One of his novels, If Beale Street Could Talk, was adapted into the Academy-Award-winning film of the same name in 2018, directed and produced by Barry Jenkins.Baldwin’s novels, short stories, and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures. Themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class intertwine to create intricate narratives that run parallel with some of the major political movements toward social change in mid-twentieth-century America, such as the civil rights movement and the gay liberation movement. Baldwin’s protagonists are often but not exclusively African American, while gay and bisexual men also frequently feature as protagonists in his literature. These characters often face internal and external obstacles in their search for social- and self-acceptance. Such dynamics are prominent in Baldwin’s second novel, Giovanni’s Room, which was written in 1956, well before the gay liberation movement.Today in our History – August 2, 1924 – James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was born.James Baldwin was an essayist, playwright, novelist and voice of the American civil rights movement known for works including ‘Notes of a Native Son,’ ‘The Fire Next Time’ and ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain.’ Writer and playwright James Baldwin published the 1953 novel Go Tell It on the Mountain, receiving acclaim for his insights on race, spirituality and humanity. Other novels included Giovanni’s Room, Another Country and Just Above My Head, as well as essays like Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time. Writer and playwright James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924, in Harlem, New York. One of the 20th century’s greatest writers, Baldwin broke new literary ground with the exploration of racial and social issues in his many works. He was especially known for his essays on the Black experience in America.Baldwin was born to a young single mother, Emma Jones, at Harlem Hospital. She reportedly never told him the name of his biological father. Jones married a Baptist minister named David Baldwin when James was about three years old.Despite their strained relationship, Baldwin followed in his stepfather’s footsteps — who he always referred to as his father — during his early teen years. He served as a youth minister in a Harlem Pentecostal church from the ages of 14 to 16.Baldwin developed a passion for reading at an early age and demonstrated a gift for writing during his school years. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he worked on the school’s magazine with future famous photographer Richard Avedon. Baldwin published numerous poems, short stories and plays in the magazine, and his early work showed an understanding for sophisticated literary devices in a writer of such a young age.After graduating from high school in 1942, he had to put his plans for college on hold to help support his family, which included seven younger children. He took whatever work he could find, including laying railroad tracks for the U.S. Army in New Jersey.During this time, Baldwin frequently encountered discrimination, being turned away from restaurants, bars and other establishments because he was African American. After being fired from the New Jersey job, Baldwin sought other work and struggled to make ends meet.On July 29, 1943, Baldwin lost his father — and gained his eighth sibling the same day. He soon moved to Greenwich Village, a New York City neighborhood popular with artists and writers.Devoting himself to writing a novel, Baldwin took odd jobs to support himself. He befriended writer Richard Wright, and through Wright, he was able to land a fellowship in 1945 to cover his expenses. Baldwin started getting essays and short stories published in such national periodicals as The Nation, Partisan Review and Commentary.Three years later, Baldwin made a dramatic change in his life and moved to Paris on another fellowship. The shift in location freed Baldwin to write more about his personal and racial background.”Once I found myself on the other side of the ocean, I see where I came from very clearly…I am the grandson of a slave, and I am a writer. I must deal with both,” Baldwin once told The New York Times. The move marked the beginning of his life as a “transatlantic commuter,” dividing his time between France and the United States.Baldwin had his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, published in 1953. The loosely autobiographical tale focused on the life of a young man growing up in Harlem grappling with father issues and his religion.”Mountain is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else. I had to deal with what hurt me most. I had to deal, above all, with my father,” he later said.In 1954, Baldwin received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He published his next novel, Giovanni’s Room, the following year. The work told the story of an American living in Paris and broke new ground for its complex depiction of homosexuality, a then-taboo subject.Love between men was also explored in a later Baldwin novel Just Above My Head (1978). The author would also use his work to explore interracial relationships, another controversial topic for the times, as seen in the 1962 novel Another Country.Baldwin was open about his homosexuality and relationships with both men and women. Yet he believed that the focus on rigid categories was just a way of limiting freedom and that human sexuality is more fluid and less binary than often expressed in the U.S.”If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy,” the writer said in a 1969 interview when asked if being gay was an aberration, asserting that such views were an indication of narrowness and stagnation.Baldwin explored writing for the stage a well. He wrote The Amen Corner, which looked at the phenomenon of storefront Pentecostal religion. The play was produced at Howard University in 1955, and later on Broadway in the mid-1960s.It was his essays, however, that helped establish Baldwin as one of the top writers of the times. Delving into his own life, he provided an unflinching look at the Black experience in America through such works as Notes of a Native Son (1955) and Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961).Nobody Knows My Name hit the bestsellers list, selling more than a million copies. While not a marching or sit-in style activist, Baldwin emerged as one of the leading voices in the Civil Rights Movement for his compelling work on race.In 1963, there was a noted change in Baldwin’s work with The Fire Next Time. This collection of essays was meant to educate white Americans on what it meant to be Black. It also offered white readers a view of themselves through the eyes of the African American community.In the work, Baldwin offered a brutally realistic picture of race relations, but he remained hopeful about possible improvements. “If we…do not falter in our duty now, we may be able…to end the racial nightmare.” His words struck a chord with the American people, and The Fire Next Time sold more than a million copies.That same year, Baldwin was featured on the cover of Time magazine. “There is not another writer — white or Black — who expresses with such poignancy and abrasiveness the dark realities of the racial ferment in North and South,” Time said in the feature.Baldwin wrote another play, Blues for Mister Charlie, which debuted on Broadway in 1964. The drama was loosely based on the 1955 racially motivated murder of a young African American boy named Emmett Till.This same year, his book with friend Avedon entitled Nothing Personal, hit bookstore shelves. The work was a tribute to slain civil rights movement leader Medgar Evers. Baldwin also published a collection of short stories, Going to Meet the Man, around this time.In his 1968 novel Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone, Baldwin returned to popular themes — sexuality, family and the Black experience. Some critics panned the novel, calling it a polemic rather than a novel. He was also criticized for using the first-person singular, the “I,” for the book’s narration.By the early 1970s, Baldwin seemed to despair over the racial situation. He had witnessed so much violence in the previous decade — especially the assassinations of Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. — caused by racial hatred.This disillusionment became apparent in his work, which employed a more strident tone than in earlier works. Many critics point to No Name in the Street, a 1972 collection of essays, as the beginning of the change in Baldwin’s work. He also worked on a screenplay around this time, trying to adapt The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley for the big screen.While his literary fame faded somewhat in his later years, Baldwin continued to produce new works in a variety of forms. He published a collection of poems, Jimmy’s Blues: Selected Poems, in 1983 as well as the 1987 novel Harlem Quartet.Baldwin also remained an astute observer of race and American culture. In 1985, he wrote The Evidence of Things Not Seen about the Atlanta child murders. Baldwin also spent years sharing his experiences and views as a college professor. In the years before his death, he taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Hampshire College.Baldwin died on December 1, 1987, at his home in St. Paul de Vence, France. Never wanting to be a spokesperson or a leader, Baldwin saw his personal mission as bearing “witness to the truth.” He accomplished this mission through his extensive, rapturous literary legacy. 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GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was a Trinidadian-American actor, dancer, musician, and artist. He was a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet before his film career began in 1957 with an appearance in Carib Gold. In 1973, he played the villainous Baron Samedi in the Bond film Live and Let Die. He also carried out advertising work as the pitchman for 7 Up.Today in our History – August 1, 1930 – Geoffrey Lamont Holder (August 1, 1930 – October 5, 2014) was born.Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Holder was one of four children of Bajan and Trinidadian descent. He was educated at Tranquility School and Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain. He made his performance debut at the age of seven in his brother Boscoe Holder’s dance company.After seeing him perform in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands the choreographer Agnes de Mille invited Holder to work with her in New York. Upon arriving he joined Katherine Dunham’s dance school where he taught folkloric forms for two years. From 1955 to 1956, he performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet as a principal dancer. He left the ballet to make his Broadway debut in the Harold Arlen and Truman Capote musical House of Flowers. While working on House of Flowers, Holder met Alvin Ailey, with whom he later worked extensively, and Carmen de Lavallade, his future wife. After the show closed he starred in an all-black production of Waiting for Godot in 1957. Holder began his movie career in the 1962 British film All Night Long, a modern remake of Shakespeare’s Othello. He followed that with Doctor Dolittle (1967) as Willie Shakespeare, leader of the natives of Sea-Star Island. In 1972, he was cast as the Sorcerer in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*. The following year he was a henchman—Baron Samedi—in the Bond movie Live and Let Die. He contributed to the film’s choreography.In addition to his movie appearances, Holder was a spokesman in advertising campaigns for the soft drink 7 Up in the 1970s and 1980s, declaring it the “uncola”, and, in the 1980s, calling it “crisp and clean, and no caffeine; never had it, never will”.In 1975, Holder won two Tony Awards for direction and costume design of The Wiz, the all-black musical version of The Wizard of Oz. Holder was the first black man to be nominated in either category. He won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design. The show ran for 1672 performances. As a choreographer, Holder created dance pieces for many companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, for which he provided choreography, music, and costumes for Prodigal Prince (1967), and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, for which he provided choreography, music, and costumes for Dougla (1974), and designed costumes for Firebird (1982). In 1978, Holder directed and choreographed the Broadway musical Timbuktu!.Holder’s 1957 piece “Bele” is also part of the Dance Theater of Harlem repertory.In the 1982 film Annie, Holder played the role of Punjab. He portrayed Nelson in the 1992 film Boomerang with Eddie Murphy. He was also the voice of Ray in Bear in the Big Blue House and provided narration for Tim Burton’s 2005 film version of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He reprised his role as the 7 Up spokesman in the 2011 season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice, where he appeared as himself in a commercial for “7 Up Retro” for Marlee Matlin’s team.In 1993 Holder did a series of commercials for the Armory Auto Group auto dealership in Albany, New York.Holder was a prolific painter (patrons of his art included Lena Horne and William F. Buckley, Jr.), ardent art collector, book author, and music composer. As a painter, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship in fine arts in 1956. A book of his photography, Adam, was published by Viking Press in 1986. Holder married Carmen de Lavallade in 1955. They spent their lives in New York City and had one son, Léo. They were the subject of a 2005 documentary, Carmen & Geoffrey. His elder brother Boscoe Holder was a dancer, choreographer, and artist. Boscoe’s son Christian Holder has also won acclaim as a dancer, choreographer, and entertainer.Holder died in Manhattan of complications from pneumonia on October 5, 2014, aged 84. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion is an American actor, producer, martial artist and entrepreneur. He was born on July 31, 1962 in Orlando, Florida to Wesley and Maryann Snipes, and grew up in the Bronx, New York. He was inclined towards becoming a dancer at first but later changed his mind when he took acting classes and began to enjoy them.He attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing but moved back to Florida and graduated from Jones High School in Orlando. He then attended the State University of New York where he graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in 1985. He also attended Southwest College in Los Angeles, California.Today in our History – July 31,1962 – Wesley Trent Snipes (born July 31,1962) was born.Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida, the son of Marian (née Long), a teacher’s assistant, and Wesley Rudolph Snipes, an aircraft engineer. He grew up in the Bronx, New York. He attended the High School of Performing Arts of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts but moved back to Florida before he could graduate.After graduating from Jones High School in Orlando, Snipes returned to New York and attended the State University of New York at Purchase. He also attended Southwest College in Los Angeles, California.At the age of 23, Snipes was discovered by an agent while performing in a competition. He made his film debut in the 1986 Goldie Hawn vehicle Wildcats. Later that year, he appeared on the TV show Miami Vice as a drug-dealing pimp in the episode “Streetwise” (first aired December 5, 1986). In 1987, he appeared as Michael Jackson’s nemesis in the Martin Scorsese–directed music video “Bad” and the feature film Streets of Gold.That same year, Snipes was also considered for the role of Geordi La Forge in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the role eventually went to LeVar Burton. Snipes auditioned & lobbied hard for the role of Leroy Green in the 1985 cult classic movie The Last Dragon but the role was given to Taimak instead.Snipes’s performance in the music video “Bad” caught the eye of director Spike Lee. Snipes turned down a small role in Lee’s Do the Right Thing for the larger part of Willie Mays Hayes in Major League, beginning a succession of box-office hits for Snipes. Lee would later cast Snipes as the jazz saxophonist Shadow Henderson in Mo’ Better Blues and as the lead in the interracial romance drama Jungle Fever. After the success of Jungle Fever the Washington Post described Snipes as “the most celebrated new actor of the season”.He then played Thomas Flanagan in King of New York opposite Christopher Walken. He played the drug lord Nino Brown in New Jack City, which was written specifically for him by Barry Michael Cooper. He also played a drug dealer in the 1994 film Sugar Hill.Snipes has played a number of roles in action films like Passenger 57, Demolition Man (with Sylvester Stallone), Money Train, The Fan, U.S. Marshals and Rising Sun, as well as comedies like White Men Can’t Jump, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar where he played a drag queen. Snipes has appeared in dramas like The Waterdance and Disappearing Acts.In 1997, he won the Best Actor Volpi Cup at the 54th Venice Film Festival for his performance in New Line Cinema’s One Night Stand. In 1998, Snipes had his largest commercial success with Blade, which has grossed over $150 million worldwide. The film turned into a series. He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an honorary doctorate in humanities and fine arts from his alma mater,SUNY/Purchase. In 2004, Snipes reprised his role in the third film, Blade: Trinity, which he also produced. In 2005, he sued New Line Cinema and David S. Goyer, the film’s studio and director, respectively. He claimed that the studio did not pay his full salary, that he was intentionally cut out of casting decisions, and that his character’s screen time was reduced in favor of co-stars Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel.The suit was later settled, but no details were released. He has discussed reprising the role of Blade as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Trinity was his last theatrical release in the U.S. until 2010..He later appeared in The Contractor, filmed in Bulgaria and the UK, Gallowwalkers, released in 2012, and Game of Death. Snipes was originally slated to play one of the four leads in Spike Lee’s 2008 war film Miracle at St. Anna but had to leave the film due to tax problems; his role eventually went to Derek Luke.Snipes made a comeback performance in Brooklyn’s Finest as Casanova “Caz” Phillips, a supporting character, it was his first theatrical release film since 2014. He also had to turn down the part of Hale Caesar in The Expendables because he was not allowed to leave the United States without the court’s approval. In 2014, he appeared in the sequel The Expendables 3. His comedic role-playing D’Urville Martin in Dolemite Is My Name has earned him positive reviews and a number of award nominations.In the late 1990s, Snipes and his brother started a security firm called the Royal Guard of Amen-Ra, dedicated to providing VIPs with bodyguards trained in law enforcement and martial arts. Amen-Ra is also the name of his film company. In 1996, the first film produced by Amen-Ra was A Great And Mighty Walk – Dr. John Henrik Clarke.In 2000, the business was investigated for alleged ties to the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors. It emerged that Snipes had spotted 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land near their Tama-Re compound in Putnam County, Georgia, intending to buy and use it for his business academy. Both Snipes’s business and the groups used Egyptian motifs as their symbols. Ultimately, Snipes and his brother did not buy the land, instead establishing their company in Florida, Antigua, and Africa.In 2005, Snipes entered into negotiations to fight Fear Factor host Joe Rogan on Ultimate Fighting Match, but the deal fell through.Snipes began training in martial arts when he was 12 years old. He has a 5th degree black belt in Shotokan karate and a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido. He has also trained in Capoeira under Mestre Jelon Vieira and in a number of other disciplines including kung fu at the USA Shaolin Temple and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing. During his time in New York, Snipes was trained in fighting by his friend and mentor Brooke Ellis.Snipes has been married twice, first to April Snipes (née Dubois), with whom he has a son Jelani, who had a cameo role in Snipes’ 1990 film Mo’ Better Blues. In 2003, Snipes married painter Nakyung “Nikki” Park, with whom he has four children.Snipes, who was raised a Christian, converted to Islam in 1978 but left Islam in 1988. During a 1991 interview, Snipes said “Islam made me more conscious of what African people have accomplished, of my self-worth, and gave me some self-dignity”.Snipes’ apartment in New York City was destroyed by the collapse of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers during the September 11 attacks. He was on the West Coast at the time.On October 12, 2006, Snipes, Eddie Ray Kahn, and Douglas P. Rosile were charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States and one count of knowingly making or aiding and abetting the making of a false and fraudulent claim for payment against the United States. Snipes was also charged with six counts of willfully failing to file federal income tax returns by their filing dates.The conspiracy charge against Snipes alleged that he filed a false amended return, including a false tax refund claim of over $4 million for the year 1996, and a false amended return, including a false tax refund claim of over US$7.3 million for the year 1997. The government alleged that Snipes attempted to obtain fraudulent tax refunds using a tax protester theory called the “861 argument” (essentially, an argument that the domestic income of U.S. citizens and residents is not taxable). The government also charged that Snipes sent three worthless, fictitious “bills of exchange” for $14 million to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).The government also charged that Snipes failed to file tax returns for the years 1999 through 2004. Snipes responded to his indictment in a letter on December 4, 2006, declaring himself to be “a non-resident alien” of the United States; in reality, Snipes is a birthright U.S. citizen. Such tactics are common of the “Freemen”, “Sovereign Citizen”, or “OPCA” (Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument) category of litigation strategy.Snipes retained Robert Barnes as his defense attorney. On February 1, 2008, Snipes was acquitted on the felony count of conspiracy to defraud the government and on the felony count of filing a false claim with the government. He was found guilty on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal income tax returns (and acquitted on three other “failure to file” charges). His co-defendants, Douglas P. Rosile and Eddie Ray Kahn, were convicted on the conspiracy and false claim charges in connection with the income tax refund claims filed for Snipes.On April 24, 2008, Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for willful failure to file federal income tax returns under 26 U.S.C. § 7203. Kahn was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Rosile was sentenced to four and one half years in prison. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed Snipes’s convictions in a 35-page decision issued on July 16, 2010.Snipes reported to federal prison on December 9, 2010 to begin his three-year sentence, and was held at McKean Federal Correctional Institution, a federal prison in Pennsylvania. On June 6, 2011, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear Snipes’s appeal. Snipes was released from federal prison on April 2, 2013, finishing his period of house arrest on July 19, 2013.On November 1, 2018, the United States Tax Court ruled that the Internal Revenue Service did not abuse its discretion in rejecting an offer in compromise made by Snipes and in sustaining the filing of a notice of federal tax lien in connection with approximately $23.5 million in Federal tax liabilities for tax year 2001 and years 2003 through 2006. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion is an American film marketing and public relations executive. She represented the Public Relations Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), known for its annual Academy Awards (Oscars), on the AMPAS Board of Governors for 21 years, until 2013. On July 30, 2013 she was elected as the 35th president of AMPAS and on August 11, 2015 she was re-elected. Boone Isaacs was the first African American to hold this office, and the third woman (after Bette Davis and Fay Kanin).Today in our History – July 30, 2013 – Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected as the 35th president of AMPAS. Veteran publicist Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African American to serve as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, followed the path of her pioneering sibling as a top-tier executive in the Hollywood motion picture industry. Ashley A. Boone Jr. (1939-1994), her brother, had been the most distinguished African American working at several studios, capping his career in 1979 as president for distribution and marketing at 20th Century Fox.Born in Springfield, Massachusetts into a middle class family of four children, Isaacs’ parents stressed academic achievement. Her youthful ambition to become a musical comedy star was discouraged. She graduated from Classical High School in 1967 then moved to California and earned her political science degree in 1971 at Whittier College.Isaacs entered the film industry in 1977 as a staff publicist at Columbia Pictures working on the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In the 1980s she promoted movies at Melvin Simon Productions directing campaigns for My Bodyguard, The Stuntman, and Love at First Sight; The Ladd Company where she worked on The Right Stuff, Once Upon a Time in America, and Police Academy; and Paramount Pictures where she rose to executive vice president for worldwide publicity. At Paramount in the 1990s she promoted Ghost, Forrest Gump, and Braveheart, among others.Isaacs joined New Line Cinema in 1997 as president of theatrical marketing, thus becoming the first black woman to head a major studio’s marketing operation, encompassing media buying, publicity, advertising, market research, and product placement. Projects at New Line included Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Rush Hour. Leaving New Line in 1999, she shifted to consulting via her strategic marketing firm CBI Enterprises Inc., working on critically-acclaimed films and box office hits like Spiderman 2, The Artist, Precious, The King’s Speech, and the documentary Tupac: Resurrection.Isaacs lent her talents to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), serving on its 48-member board of governors starting in 1988. AMPAS, with a membership composed of nearly 6,000 industry professionals and craftsmen, is widely known for its televised annual Academy Awards ceremony at which “Oscars” are given for cinematic excellence. In 2002, while representing the public relations branch on the board, she began coordinating several Governors Balls where she was responsible for planning the event’s entertainment, décor, and menu.Isaacs was serving as the board’s vice president when she was elected for a one-year term as president of AMPAS on July 30, 2013, thus becoming only the third woman and the first African American to hold that position in the 86-year history of the academy. As its 35th president, she indicated her immediate priorities were facilitating member participation, insuring a successful Academy Awards ceremony, and managing the development of a multi-million-dollar film museum.Isaacs, her husband, movie producer Stanley Isaacs, and son, Cooper, live in the Wilshire/Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, south of Hollywood. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event was a three-day conference in Boston organized by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, a civil rights leader and suffragist. In August 1895, representatives from 42 African-American women’s clubs from 14 states convened at Berkeley Hall for the purpose of creating a national organization. It was the first event of its kind in the United States.Speakers included Margaret Murray Washington (the wife of Booker T. Washington), author and former slave Victoria Earle Matthews, anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, scholar Anna J. Cooper, civil rights leader T. Thomas Fortune, and social reformers Henry B. Blackwell and William Lloyd Garrison. The National Federation of Afro-American Women, which became the National Association of Colored Women the following year, was organized during the conferenceToday in our History – July 29, 1895 – The First National Conference of the Colored Women of America.In 1892, Boston activist Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin founded the Woman’s Era Club, an advocacy group for black women, with the help of her daughter, Florida Ruffin Ridley, and educator Maria Louise Baldwin. It was the first black women’s club in Boston, and one of the first in the country. Its members, prominent black women from the Boston area, devoted their efforts to education, women’s suffrage, and race-related issues such as anti-lynching reform. Its slogan was “Help to make the world better”. The Woman’s Era, an illustrated monthly publication, was the club’s newspaper.In the early 1890s, when the Woman’s Era polled readers to see if there was a need for a national organization of black clubwomen, the response was overwhelmingly positive. In 1895, an obscure Missouri journalist named John Jacks sent a letter to the secretary of the British Anti-Slavery Society, Florence Belgarnie. In the letter, Jacks criticized the anti-lynching work of Ida B. Wells, and wrote that black women had “no sense of virtue” and were “altogether without character”. Outraged, Belgarnie sent the letter to Ruffin who distributed the letter to various women’s clubs in her call to organize. Soon after, Ruffin organized a national conference in Boston, and asked clubs to send delegates. The first day was to be devoted to the business of organizing, and the second and third to “vital questions concerning our moral, mental, physical and financial growth and well-being.” In the call, Ruffin explained the choice of venue:Boston has been selected as a meeting place because it has seemed to be the general opinion that here, and here only, can be found the atmosphere which would best interpret and represent us, our position, our needs, and our aims.On July 29, 1895, representatives of 42 black women’s clubs from 14 states—including the Colored Women’s League of Washington, the Women’s Loyal Union of New York, and the Ida B. Wells Club of Chicago—gathered in Berkeley Hall for the First National Conference of the Colored Women of America, with Josephine Ruffin presiding. They convened at the hall for three days, with an extra session on August 1 at the Charles Street Church. According to the New York Times, it was “the first movement of the kind ever attempted”.In her opening address, Ruffin explained:Our woman’s movement is woman’s movement in that it is led and directed by women for the good of women and men, for the benefit of all humanity, which is more than any one branch or section of it. We want, we ask the active interest of our men, and, too, we are not drawing the color line; we are women, American women, as intensely interested in all that pertains to us as such as all other American women.Several notable speakers addressed the group. Margaret Murray Washington, the wife of Booker T. Washington, gave an influential speech titled “Individual Work for Moral Elevation”. African-American women, she said, were divided into two classes: those who “had the opportunity to improve and develop mentally, physically, morally, spiritually and financially” and those who had been deprived of that opportunity by slavery. She urged members of the former class to do all they could to uplift and inspire the latter, reasoning that individual success was not enough; that only by “lifting as we climb” was it possible for the race to make progress.Ella L. Smith, the first African-American woman to receive an M.A. degree from Wellesley College, spoke about the need for higher education. Noted scholar Anna J. Cooper spoke about the need to organize. In “The Value of Race Literature”, author and former slave Victoria Earle Matthews stressed the importance of collecting literature by and about African Americans. Agnes Jones Adams gave a speech titled “Social Purity” in which she asserted that being white was not a “criterion for being American”. Civil rights leader T. Thomas Fortune and social reformers Henry B. Blackwell and William Lloyd Garrison spoke about political equality. Helen Appo Cook, president of the National League of Colored Women, read a paper on “The Ideal National Union”. Alexander Crummell, Anna Sprague (the daughter of Frederick Douglass), and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells also spoke. Other club women gave speeches on justice, temperance, and the need for industrial training.As the convention’s chaplain, Eliza Ann Gardner of Boston gave the opening benediction. Although it was not unheard of for Christian women to preach in those days, it was unusual for a woman to be given the title of chaplain. Alice T. Miller of Boston read a poem, and singers Moses Hamilton Hodges and Arianna Sparrow gave solo performances.The National Federation of Afro-American Women (NFAAW) was organized during the conference, and its mission defined as:(1) the concentration of the dormant energies of the women of the Afro-American race into one broad band of sisterhood: for the purpose of establishing needed reforms, and the practical encouragement of all efforts being put forth by various agencies, religious, educational, ethical and otherwise, for the upbuilding, ennobling and advancement of the race; (2) to awaken the women of the race to the great need of systematic effort in home-making and the divinely imposed duties of motherhood.Delegates from the conference were elected officers for the organization, and were Margaret Murray Washington (President), Florida Ruffin Ridley (Cor. Sec.), L. C. Carter (Rec. Sec.), Libby B. Anthony (Treasurer), Mary Dickerson, Helen Crum, and Ella Mahammitt (Vice Presidents). Ruffin was nominated for treasurer but refused the position. The Woman’s Era was designated as the organization’s news outlet. The NFAAW held another conference in 1896, when it merged with other groups to form the National Association of Colored Women.
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was was an American minister and evangelist based in New York City. He was known for the slogan “You can’t lose with the stuff I use!” Though his preaching is considered a form of prosperity theology, Rev. Ike diverged from traditional Christian theology and taught what he called “Science of Living.”Today in our History – July 28, 2009 – Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, better known as Reverend Ike (June 1, 1935 – July 28, 2009) died.Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II was born in Ridgeland, South Carolina to parents from the Netherlands Antilles, and was of African and Indo (Dutch-Indonesian) descent. He began his career as a teenage preacher and became assistant pastor at Bible Way Church in Ridgeland, South Carolina. After serving a stint in the Air Force as a Chaplain Service Specialist (a non-commissioned officer assigned to assist commissioned Air Force chaplains), he founded, successively, the United Church of Jesus Christ for All People in Beaufort, South Carolina, the United Christian Evangelistic Association in Boston, Massachusetts, his main corporate entity, and the Christ Community United Church in New York City.Known popularly as “Reverend Ike,” his ministry reached its peak in the mid 1970s, when his weekly radio sermons were carried by hundreds of stations across the United States. He was famous for his “Blessing Plan” – radio listeners sent him money and in return he blessed them. He said radio listeners who did this would become more prosperous. He was criticized for his overt interest in financial remuneration. In 1972,The New York Times described his church service: “Close your eyes and see green,” the minister exhorted. “Money up to your armpits, a roomful of money and there you are, just tossing around in it like a swimming pool.”The preacher was the Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter 2d—better known as “Reverend Ike”—urging several thousand of his devoted parishioners to think positive thoughts.From the red‐carpeted stage of what was once a Loew’s movie palace at 175th Street and Broadway, Reverend Ike evoked giggles from the predominantly black congregation. But they repeated his words obediently during a recent Sunday as, microphone in hand, he sang, “Lots and lots of money, ready for my use, oh yes, it’s ready for my use.” Rev. Ike bought the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre movie palace in the Washington Heights neighborhood for over half a million dollars, renamed it the “Palace Cathedral” – although colloquially it was known as “Reverend Ike’s Prayer Tower” – and had it fully restored. Restorations included the seven-story high, twin chamber Robert Morton organ. The “Miracle Star of Faith”, visible from the George Washington Bridge, tops the building’s cupola. In 2016, the building was designated as a landmark by the New York City Landmark Commission.Rev. Ike was also the “chancellor” of the United Church Schools, including the Science of Living Institute and Seminary (which awarded him, his wife, and his son Doctor of the Science of Living degrees); the Business of Living Institute (home of Thinkonomics); and other educational projects.Ike made a guest appearance on Hank Williams, Jr.’s single “Mind Your Own Business”, a Number One country music hit in December 1986. This song is Reverend Ike’s only chart single. In December 2005, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s personal assistant May Pang told Radio Times: At night he (John Lennon) loved to channel-surf, and he would pick up phrases from all the shows. One time, he was watching Reverend Ike, a famous black evangelist, who was saying, “Let me tell you guys, it doesn’t matter, it’s whatever gets you through the night.” John loved it and said, “I’ve got to write it down or I’ll forget it.” He always kept a pad and pen by the bed. That was the beginning of [the song] “Whatever Gets You thru the Night”.Ike and his wife, Eula M. Dent, had one son, Xavier Eikerenkoetter. Reverend Ike died in Los Angeles at age 74 on July 28, 2009, after having not fully recovered from a stroke in 2007. His son gave a moving eulogy at his father’s memorial service comparing his father to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X – as a “spiritual activist” and a liberator of minds. Xavier subsequently took over the church. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion did what no other in his position has done. It assisted our people to apply for better pay jobs, better education and housing.Today on our History – July 26, 1948 – President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981—ending discrimination in the military—on July 26, 1948.President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981—ending discrimination in the military—on July 26, 1948. Truman’s order ended a long-standing practice of segregating Black soldiers and relegating them to more menial jobs.African Americans had been serving in the United States military since the Revolutionary War, but were deployed in their largest numbers during World War II. By December 31, 1945, more than 2.5 million African Americans had registered for the military draft, and with African American women volunteering in large numbers throughout the war the U.S. Armed Forces had become the number one employer of Black people. By the time WWII ended, some 900,000 African Americans had served in the Army, Army Air Forces, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army Nurse Corps.Black WWII veterans were eligible for a free college education under the Servicemen Readjustment Act of 1944—the GI Bill—as well as other benefits, but most faced discrimination when trying to access their benefits. This led many veterans to re-examine their poor treatment while they were in service.After witnessing racism in the service, Grant Reynolds resigned from his commission as a WWII chaplain and joined with the activist A. Philip Randolph to co-chair the Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service and Training. By composing letters and telegrams, holding protest rallies and hearings, and threatening to conduct a nationwide draft resistance campaign, the Committee worked with groups like the Committee to End Segregation in the Armed Forces and the League for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation to demand equal treatment for Black people in the United States Armed Forces.The pressure from these groups pushed President Truman to establish a Commission on Civil Rights which, in October 1947, issued a report calling for a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission, federal anti-lynching and anti-poll tax laws, and a bolstering of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.Truman urged the U.S. Congress to move forward with the Commission’s recommendations. When Congress rejected his pleas, Truman pushed for many of the proposals on his own. One of his most significant actions was the signing of Executive Order 9981, which states: “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an African-American amateur golfer. Black newspapers had called her “The Queen of Negro Women’s Golf.” As stated in Arthur Ashe’s book, Hard Road to Glory, many observers called Gregory the best African-American female golfer of the 20th century. Gregory learned to play golf while her husband was away serving in the Navy during World War II. In 1948 Gregory won a tournament in Kankakee, Illinois, during which she defeated former United Golf Association champions Lucy Mitchell, Cleo Ball, and Geneva Wilson.In 1950 she won the Sixth City Open in Cleveland, the Midwest Amateur, and the United Golf Association’s national tournament, as well as tying the women’s course record at a Flint, Michigan tournament. On September 17, 1956, she began competing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, thus becoming the first African-American woman to play in a national championship conducted by the United States Golf Association. Because she was African-American, Gregory was denied entry into the player’s banquet at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda at the conclusion of the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1959. Also, in Gary, Indiana, African-Americans were banned from playing the South Gleason Park Golf Course. However, in the early 1960s, Gregory played that course, stating, “My tax dollars are taking care of the big course and there’s no way you can bar me from it.” She was followed by other African-Americans who played the course soon after her, and the ban was ended. In 1963, Gregory was mistaken as a maid by Polly Riley, another contestant at the Women’s Amateur in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In 1971, Gregory was runner-up at the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, making her the first African-American to finish as runner-up in a USGA women’s competition. In 1989, at age 76 and competing against a field of 50 women, she won the gold medal in the U.S. National Senior Olympics, beating her competitors by 44 strokes. In all, during her career, Gregory won nearly 300 tournaments. Gregory was also the first African-American appointed to the Gary [Indiana] Public Library Board, which occurred in 1954. A granite marker in Gregory’s memory stands at the sixth hole of the South Gleason Park Golf Course in Gary, Indiana. She was inducted into the United Golf Association Hall of Fame in 1966, the African American Golfers Hall of Fame in 2006, the National African American Golfers Hall of Fame in 2011, and the National Black Golf Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2000, the Urban Chamber of Commerce of Las Vegas began the Ann Gregory Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament, which lasted seven yearsToday in our HISTORY – Ann Gregory (July 25, 1912 – February 5, 1990) was born.Ann Gregory was a pioneering African American female golfer. Born in Aberdeen, Mississippi, on July 25, 1912, Gregory was the middle child of five born to Henry and Myra Moore. Her parents died in a car accident when she was four, and their former employer, a white family named Sanders, took her in. Gregory graduated from high school in 1930 and moved in with her sister and brother-in- law in Gary, Indiana. She worked as a caterer and began playing tennis as a hobby, but by 1937, she entered and won the Gary Amateur City Championship.In 1938 Moore married Leroy Percy Gregory, a steel mill worker, who also enjoyed playing golf. By 1944, she was receiving lessons from Pro-golfer Calvin Ingram. The following year, she entered her first professional tournament, the 8th Annual Chicago Women’s Golf Club Tournament, and finished second place. A member of the UGA, an organization for African American Golfers formed in 1925, Gregory was often invited to play in famous tournaments, causing a media uproar as she was usually the only African American woman competing.In 1948 Gregory won her first of five Chicago Women’s Golf Club tournaments, as well as a tournament in Kankakee, Illinois, where both she and her husband competed and won in their categories. In 1950 she won six of the seven tournaments she entered that year and was dubbed “The Queen of Negro Golf.” In 1956 the Chicago Women’s Golf Club became the first African American organization to join the United States Golf Association, and Gregory soon became the first African American to play in the SGA women’s national championship.Despite her accomplishments, Gregory had to fight the racism of her era. She broke down the color barrier in Indiana at South Gleason Golf Course by demanding to play the full eighteen holes when African Americans were allowed to play only nine. Once, she was mistaken for a maid by a fellow player during a tournament, which led to a very embarrassing moment for the player when she faced Gregory on the green.Gregory took home over four hundred trophies and won over three hundred golf tournaments from all over the world in a career that spanned over five decades. She won the Pepsi Cola International Championship in Puerto Rico (1963, 1964), Nassau (1965), Jamaica (1966), Spain (1967), and Hawaii (1968), playing often alongside celebrities like Althea Gibson, Joe Lewis, and Jackie Robinson. Her golfing career ended in 1989 with a Gold Medal at the Senior Olympic Games. She died the next year on February 5, 1990 at the age of 77.Gregory was deeply involved in her community and was the first African American to be appointed as a trustee of the Gary Public Library Board, an executive member of the Gary United Fund, and a member of the St. Mary’s Medical Center advisory board. She was a member and trustee of the Delaney Memorial United Methodist Church. In 2007 the Urban Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas, Nevada, held the first of seven annual Ann Gregory Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournaments, awarding up to $200,000 to deserving college students. Gregory was inducted into the United Golf Association Hall of Fame (1966), the African American Golfers Hall of Fame (2006), the National African American Golfers Hall of Fame (2011), and the National Black Golf Hall of Fame (2012).A granite marker in her memory stands at the sixth hole of the South Gleason Golf Course in Gary, Indiana. Gregory is survived by her daughter Jo Ann and three grandchildren. Research more this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American and later British actor and playwright who made his career after 1824 largely on the London stage and in Europe, especially in Shakespearean roles. Born in New York City, Aldridge is the only actor of African-American descent among the thirty-three actors of the English stage honoured with bronze plaques at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon.He was especially popular in Prussia and Russia, where he received top honours from heads of state. At the time of his sudden death, while on tour in Poland, he was arranging a triumphant return to America, with a planned 100-show tour to the United States. Aldridge married twice, once to an Englishwoman, once to a Swedish woman, and had a family in England. Two of his daughters became professional opera singers.Today in our History – July 24, 1807 – Ira Frederick Aldridge (July 24, 1807 – August 7, 1867) was born.Ira Frederick Aldridge was the first African American actor to achieve success on the international stage. He also pushed social boundaries by playing opposite white actresses in England and becoming known as the preeminent Shakespearean actor and tragedian of the 19th Century.Ira Frederick Aldridge was born in New York City, New York on July 24, 1807 to free blacks Reverend Daniel and Lurona Aldridge. Although his parents encouraged him to become a pastor, he studied classical education at the African Free School in New York where he was first exposed to the performance arts. While there he became impressed with acting and by age 15 was associating with professional black actors in the city. They encouraged Aldridge to join the prestigious African Grove Theatre, an all-black theatre troupe founded by William Henry Brown and James Hewlett in 1821. He apprenticed under Hewlett, the first African American Shakespearean actor. Though Aldridge was gainfully employed as an actor in the 1820s, he felt that the United States was not a hospitable place for theatrical performers. Many whites resented the claim to cultural equality that they saw in black performances of Shakespeare and other white-authored texts. Realizing this, Aldridge emigrated to Europe in 1824 as the valet for British-American actor James William Wallack.Aldridge eventually moved to Glasgow, Scotland and began studies at the University of Glasgow, where he enhanced his voice and dramatic skills in theatre. He moved to England and made his debut in London in 1825 as Othello at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden, a role he would remain associated with until his death. The critic reviews gave Aldridge the name Roscius (the celebrated Roman actor of tragedy and comedy). Aldridge embraced it and began using the stage name “The African Roscius.” He even created the myth that he was the descendant of a Senegalese Prince whose family was forced to escape to the United States to save their lives. This deception erased Aldridge’s American upbringing and cast him as an exotic and almost magical being.Throughout the mid-1820s to 1860 Ira Aldridge slowly forged a remarkable career. He performed in London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Bath, and Bristol in King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, and The Merchant of Venice. He also freely adapted classical plays, changing characters, eliminating scenes and installing new ones, even from other plays. In 1852 he embarked on a series of continental tours that intermittently would last until the end of his life. He performed his full repertoire in Prussia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and Poland. Some of the honors he received include the Prussian Gold Medal for Arts and Sciences from King Frederick, the Golden Cross of Leopold from the Czar of Russia, and the Maltese Cross from Berne, Switzerland.Aldridge died on August 7, 1867 while on tour in Lodz, Poland. He was 60 at the time of his death. Aldridge had been married twice and left behind several children including a daughter named Luranah who would, in her own right, go on to become a well-known actress and opera singer. There is a memorial plaque at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stafford-upon-Avon, in honor of his contributions to the performing arts. In 2014 a second plaque was unveiled in Lodz, Poland to honor his memory and legacy. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!