(L-R) Marian McPartland, Mary Lou Williams, Thelonious Monk
Grammy award winner Marian McPartland died last at her Long Island home. She was 95. Born Marian Turner, she was a musical prodigy at the age of three. She studied classical music and the violin, in addition to the piano.
Marian pursued classical studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She developed a love for American jazz and musicians such as Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Mary Lou Williams, and many others.
In 1938, Marian left Guildhall to join Billy Mayerl’s Claviers, a four-piano vaudeville act. Performing under the stage name of Marian Page, the group toured throughout Europe during World War II, entertaining Allied troops.
McPartland met and began performing with Chicago cornetist Jimmy McPartland in 1944 while touring with the USO. The couple soon married, playing at their own military base wedding in Germany. After the war, they moved to Chicago to be near Jimmy’s family. In 1949, the McPartlands settled in Manhattan.
Marian started her own trio which enjoyed a long residency at a New York City jazz club, the Hickory House, during 1952–1960. She also played at The Embers and appeared as a regular on NBC’s Judge for Yourself quiz program.
In 1958 a black and white group portrait of 57 notable jazz musicians, including McPartland, was photographed in front of a Brownstone in Harlem, New York City. Art Kane, a freelance photographer working for Esquire magazine, took the photo, which was called, “A Great Day in Harlem”, and it became an iconic view of NY’s Jazz scene at the time. As of Marian McPartland’s 95th birthday on March 20, 2013, she was one of only four of the 57 musicians who participated who was still living. Along with McPartland, other jazz notables featured in the photograph are Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, and saxophonist Benny Golson, who, like McPartland, is among the few still alive as of June 2013. The photo above shows McPartland in that iconic photo next to Mary Lou Williams and Thelonious Monk.
After many years of recording for labels such as Capitol, Savoy, Argo, Sesac, Time, and Dot, in 1969 she founded her own record label, Halcyon Records, before having a long association with the Concord Jazz label.
In 1964, Marian McPartland launched a new venture on WBAI-FM (New York City), conducting a weekly radio program that featured recordings and interviews with guests. Pacifica Radio’s West Coast stations also carried this series, which paved the way for Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, a National Public Radio series that began on 4 June 1978. It was the longest-running cultural program on NPR as well as one of the longest-running jazz programs ever produced on public radio. The program featured McPartland at the keyboard with guest performers, usually pianists, but also singers, guitarists, other musicians, and even the non-musician Studs Terkel.
In 2004, Marian was awarded a Grammy , a Trustees’ Lifetime Achievement Award, for her work as an educator, writer, and host of NPR Radio’s long-running Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. A master at adapting to her guest’s musical styles and having a well-known affinity for beautiful and harmonically-rich ballads, Marian also recorded many tunes of her own. Her compositions included “Ambiance,” “There’ll Be Other Times,” “With You In Mind,” “Twilight World,” and “In the Days of Our Love.”
Just before her 90th birthday, she composed and performed a symphonic piece, A Portrait of Rachel Carson, to mark the centennial of the environmental pioneer.
McPartland was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.
He arrived in this country to further his education. Unlike many of his ancestors, George came to the United States not on a slave ship but on his own accord. Upon arrival with his wife and children, George Bonney soon experienced some of the discrimination that couldn’t match the horrific treatment his ancestor’s had experienced in bondage. Like WEB Dubois, who had left the United States to live the rest of his life in George’s home country of Ghana, Dr. George E. Bonney found power in knowledge. With the civil rights movement firmly holding his back he used the power of knowledge to overcome any and all discriminatory obstacles. George became a faculty and staff member as a Statistical Geneticist and Biostatistician, Professor of Community Health and Family Medicine at the Howard University (“HU”) College of Medicine, and Director of the Statistical Genetics and Bioinformatics Unit in the National Human Genome Center (NHGC) at HU.
Dr. Bonney eventually became a United States citizen. Armed with the gift of helping, he dedicated his life in helping people in both the United States and Ghana to achieve an education which resulted in gainful employment and productive citizenship.
As he approached retirement, he eagerly made plans to focus full time and attention on the Village Schools of Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to education of underprivileged children in Ghana and across the continent of Africa. George established the non-profit more than five years ago. Those plans will not be realized by George who walked the last mile of the way on life’s highway on June 29, 2013. He is survived by a loving wife, a son and a daughter and two grandchildren. George’s wife Efua is an educator herself and is quite capable of carrying out George’s mission. I have no doubt that she will pick up the batton, for she too possess the gift of helping.
Although George never forgot his homeland, he will be funeralized and buried in the U.S.
The lawyers for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. From left, Louis L. Redding, Robert L. Carter, Oliver W. Hill, Thurgood Marshall and Spottswood W. Robinson III.
Robert L. Carter, leading strategist and persuasive voice in the legal assault on racial segregation in 20th-century America died Tuesday morning in Manhattan. The former federal judge in New York was 94.
The cause was complications of a stroke, said his son John W. Carter, a justice of the New York Supreme Court in the Bronx.
Judge Carter presided over the merger of professional basketball leagues in the 1970s and was instrumental in opening the New York City police force to more minority applicants.
Mr. Carter’s greatest impact came in the late 1940s and 1950s as a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. The Legal Defense and Educational Fund was led by Charles Hamilton Houston. Thurgood Marshall succeeded Houston who went on tackle desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Often laboring behind the scenes, Judge Carter had a significant hand in many historic legal challenges to racial discrimination in the postwar years. None was more momentous than the landmark case known as Brown v. Board of Education. Decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Brown abolished legal segregation in the public schools throughout the United States.
Mr. Carter’s well-honed argument that the segregation of public schools was unconstitutional on its face became the Supreme Court’s own conclusion in Brown. The decision swept away half a century of legal precedent that the South had used to justify its “separate but equal” doctrine decided in its’ 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision.
Underpaid and overworked, Mr. Carter and his Legal Defense Fund colleagues argued before the court that the South’s schools rarely offered anything like equal opportunities to black children. Segregation itself, they contended, was so damaging to black children that it should be abolished, on the ground that it was contrary to the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal rights to all citizens.
Mr. Carter spent years doing research in law and history to construct that legal theory before it reached the Supreme Court. Though aspects of segregation law had been struck down before World War II, Mr. Carter’s task was still daunting. His challenge was to persuade the Supreme Court to overturn, finally, a looming obstacle to equal rights, the court’s 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. That ruling upheld a Louisiana law requiring racial separation on railroad cars. The South used that decision to justify a wide range of discriminatory practices for years to come.
“We have one fundamental contention,” Mr. Carter told the court. “No state has any authority under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to use race as a factor in affording educational opportunities among its citizens.”
Mr. Carter insisted on using the research of the psychologist Kenneth B. Clark to attack segregated schools, a daring courtroom tactic in the eyes of some civil rights lawyers. Experiments by Mr. Clark and his wife, Mamie, showed that black children suffered in their learning and development by being segregated. Mr. Clark’s testimony proved crucial in persuading the court to act, Mr. Carter wrote in a 2004 book, “A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights.”
As chief deputy to the imposing Mr. Marshall, who was to become the first black Supreme Court justice, Mr. Carter labored for years in his shadow. In the privacy of legal conferences, Mr. Carter was seen as the house radical, always urging his colleagues to push legal and constitutional positions to the limits.
Mr. Marshall had encouraged him to play the gadfly: “I was younger and more radical than many of the people Thurgood would have in, I guess. But he’d never let them shut me up.”
Robert Lee Carter was born in Caryville, in the Florida Panhandle, on March 17, 1917, the youngest of nine children. The family moved to New Jersey when he was 6 weeks old, and his father, Robert L. Carter, died when he was a year old. Annie Martin Carter, his mother, took in laundry for white people for 25 years.
Mr. Carter recalled experiencing racial discrimination as a 16-year-old in East Orange, N.J. The high school he attended allowed black students to use its pool only on Fridays, after classes were over. After he read in the newspaper that the State Supreme Court had outlawed such restrictions, he entered the pool with white students and stood up to a teacher’s threat to have him expelled from school. It was his first taste of activism, he said.
Judge Carter attended two predominantly black universities: Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he enrolled at 16, and Howard University School of Law in Washington. Enrolling in Columbia University as a graduate student, he wrote his master’s thesis on the First Amendment. Parts of the thesis was used in preparing for the school segregation cases in the 1950s.
Mr. Carter joined the Army a few months before the United States entered World War II. That experience made a militant of him, he said, starting with the day a white captain welcomed Mr. Carter’s unit of the Army Air Corps at Augusta, Ga. The captain, Mr. Carter states in his memoir, “wanted to inform us right away that he did not believe in educating niggers.”
“He was not going to tolerate our putting on airs or acting uppity,” Mr. Carter said.
In spite of repeated antagonisms, Mr. Carter completed Officer Candidate School and became a second lieutenant. He was the only black officer at Harding Field in Baton Rouge, La., and promptly integrated the officers’ club, arousing new anger. The determined Mr. Carter was soon transferred to a training base in Columbus, Ohio, where he continued to face racial hostility.
After leaving the service in 1944 he was hired as a lawyer at the Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The organization was then the legal arm of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It later became an independent organization. By 1948, he had become Marshall’s chief deputy and soon became active in the school segregation cases. One notable case was Sweatt v. Painter, in which the Supreme Court ruled in 1950 that the University of Texas Law School had acted illegally in denying admission to a black applicant.
Mr. Carter was also involved in housing discrimination cases, the dismantling of all-white political primaries in several Southern states and the ending of de facto school segregation in the North.
Mr. Carter was disappointed when Marshall passed him over and chose a white staff lawyer, Jack Greenberg, to succeed him as director-counsel of the fund in 1961. Considering it as a demotion, Mr. Carter moved to the N.A.A.C.P. as its general counsel. By then the NAACP was a separate entity. Mr. Carter resented what he considered as Mr. Greenberg’s undercutting him.
Mr. Carter resigned in protest from the N.A.A.C.P. in 1968 when its board fired a white staff member, Lewis M. Steel, who had written an article in The New York Times Magazine critical of the Supreme Court. After a year at the Urban Center at Columbia, he joined the New York law firm of Poletti, Freidin, Prashker, Feldman & Gartner. President Richard M. Nixon nominated him to the federal bench for the Southern District of New York in 1972 at the recommendation of Senator Jacob K. Javits, Republican of New York.
On the bench, Judge Carter became known for his strong hand in cases involving professional basketball. He oversaw the merger of the National Basketball Association and the American Basketball Association in the 1970s, the settlement of a class-action antitrust suit against the N.B.A. brought by Oscar Robertson and other players, and a number of high-profile free-agent arbitration disputes involving players like Marvin Webster and Bill Walton.
In 1979, his findings of bias shown against black and Hispanic applicants for police jobs in New York City led to significant changes in police hiring policies and an increase in minority representation on the force.
Mr. Carter, who lived in Manhattan and died in a hospital there, married Gloria Spencer of New York in 1946. She died in 1971. Besides his son John, Judge Carter is survived by another son, David; a sister, Alma Carter Lawson; and a grandson.
Well into advanced age, Mr. Carter retained the fire of a civil rights fighter who believed that much remained to be done in the pursuit of racial equality.
“Black children aren’t getting equal education in the cities,” he said in an interview with The Times in 2004. “The schools that are 100 percent black are still as bad as they were before Brown. Integration seems to be out, at least for this generation.”
“I have hope” he went on to say.
“In the United States, we make progress in two or three steps, then we step back,” he added. “And blacks are more militant now and will not accept second-class citizenship as before.”
If you wish to hear about the Brown decision in his own words, you can view the Febone1960.net Black History Month Calendar video clip which includes Judge Robert L. Carter.
Febone1960.net extends its’ condolences to the family of this legal genius and fellow Howard Law Alum.
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The family of former D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Eugene Hamilton has scheduled a public viewing and funeral service.
The public viewing will be held on Sunday, November 27, 2011 at the Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home. The time for the viewing has been set for 2 PM to 4 PM and 6 PM to 8 PM. Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home is located at 11800 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD, 20904
Funeral service for family and close friends will be held on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM at The Lutheran Church of St. Andrew. The church is located at 15300 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD, 20905.
Judge Hamilton died Nov. 19 at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, Maryland of a heart attack at the age of 78.
The Memphis born son of a domestic worker and a postal employee rose to become chief judge of the D.C. Superior Court in 1993, making him the second Black American to hold that position. H. Carl Moultrie of whom the court building is named was the first.
During his seven years as chief judge along with his three decades on the bench, Judge Hamilton established a reputation as a strong advocate for children in the Washington Metropolitan area. Both Judge Hamilton and his wife, Virginia became heart loving foster parents for more than 50 foster children. They also adopted four of the children. Some of the foster children were severely handicapped.
After stepping down as chief judge, he remained active as a senior judge. In that capacity, the last major case he heard on November 18, 2011 involved a 10-year-old boy from Prince George’s County abandoned at a Children’s National Medical Center psychiatric ward. The child was ultimately moved to a long-term-care facility near Philadelphia thanks to Judge Hamilton who worked diligently to resolve the matter in the best interest of the child.
Known as someone who remembered his modest origins, Eugene Nolan Hamilton was born Aug. 24, 1933, in Memphis, Tennessee. Judge Hamilton received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1954 and a law degree in 1958, both from the University of Illinois. Before moving to the Washington area in 1961, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Prior to receiving an appointment to the in 1970, he worked in the Justice Department’s civil division. After taking the bench, he worked in all of the divisions of the D.C. Superior Court before becoming chief judge.
During his tenure as chief judge, the D.C. Superior Court began a pilot program for juvenile nonviolent offenders, called Urban Services Corps. The program combined a boot camp-like training program with months of supervision and job training.
In 2000, Judge Hamilton stepped down as chief judge a year before the end of his second term and after 30 years on the bench.
“I always set my mark for 30 years,” he said in an interview with The Post at the time.
In addition to his continuation on the bench in a senior status, Judge Hamilton taught as an adjunct law professor at Harvard and American University. At the time of his death, Judge Hamilton was teaching a Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School.
Judge Eugene Nolan Hamilton was a man amongst men and a man of integrity. May he rest in peace.
Febone1960.net offers condolences to his survivors which includes his wife of 55 years, Virginia David Hamilton of Brookeville; nine children, Alexandra Evans of Ashton; Steven Hamilton of Santa Clara, Calif.; James Hamilton of Bowie; Eric Hamilton and David Hamilton, both of Tampa; Rachael Hamilton of Columbia; Jeremiah Hamilton of Silver Spring; Michael Hamilton of Brookeville; and Marcus Hamilton of Wheaton; 15 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
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