Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008) was a South African
singer, actor, and civil rights activist. She was a vocal opponent of
apartheid and white-minority government, in South Africa and elsewhere.
Associated with genres including afropop, jazz, and world music, she
began singing professionally in the 1950s. She had a brief role in the
anti-apartheid film Come Back, Africa (1959), which led to performances
in Venice, London, and New York City. Makeba moved to the United States,
where her career flourished, and released several albums and songs,
including the hit “Pata Pata” (1967). She and Harry Belafonte received a
Grammy Award for their 1965 album An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba. Her
1968 marriage to Stokely Carmichael of the Black Panther Party was not
well received in the US, and she moved to Guinea, where she wrote and
performed music more explicitly critical of apartheid. Nicknamed Mama
Africa, she was one of the first African musicians to receive worldwide
recognition. Her music, in Nelson Mandela’s words, “inspired a powerful
sense of hope in all of us”.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Roman Herculian guard Adrian of Nicomedia, who had converted to
Christianity after being impressed with the faith of Christians that he
had been torturing, was martyred.
Irish convicts who were involved at the Battle of Vinegar Hill
during the 1798 Irish Rebellion began an uprising against British
colonial authorities in New South Wales, Australia.
The first known case of the so-called Spanish flu was first
observed at Fort Riley, Kansas.
All three presidents of the Austrian National Council resigned,
and Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss later used that pretext to create an
A series of blasts occurred at an arms dump in Brazzaville,
Congo, killing at least 250 people, injuring 2,300 others, and leaving
more than 13,800 people homeless.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
That steals the scene (“dominates a performance through charisma,
humour, or powerful acting”).
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The greatest barrier to consciousness is the belief that one is
–P. D. Ouspensky
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