Feb. 19: Smokey Robinson is Born & John Singleton Gets Academy Award Nod
Every day during the month of February, WPGC will feature an important moment in Black history. These daily vignettes are read by local children in the District and surrounding areas.
On Feb. 19, 1940, singer William “Smokey” Robinson was born in Detroit, Mich. He was raised by his older sister when his mother died early in his life and soon, he soared academically and musically in school. At 15-years-old, Robinson formed the first lineup of The Miracles and began to focus heavily on the group just two years later.
After establishing his own record label, Motown, and writing 26 top-4o hits, Robinson decided to retire from the band to focus on running his record label. His last performance with the group was in July 1972 in Washington, D.C. Just a year later, Robinson announced a comeback with his new solo venture.
On Feb. 19, 1992, John Singleton was named the first African-American director to be nominated for an Academy Award. On top of that, he was also the youngest at the ripe age of 24. That year, his movie Boyz n the Hood, also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay, both awards he failed to take home.
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