Up Next

Black History Month

On this day in black history: Smokey Robinson is born, John Singleton nominated for an Oscar, Tuskegee Airmen are here and more

Black History Month: The Undefeated Edition Feb. 19

1940 – Happy birthday, Smokey Robinson
William “Smokey” Robinson is born in 1940 in Detroit. Robinson was ranked 20th on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Singers, and was once called America’s “greatest living poet” by Bob Dylan. He wrote some of R&B’s most classic love songs by groups such as The Temptations and The Supremes. He sang hits such as “Cruisin,” “Tears of a Clown” and “Ooo Baby Baby.”

1942 – Tuskegee Airmen initiated
The Tuskegee Airmen are initiated into the armed forces. They were the first African-American flying unit in the U.S. military, and flew 1,578 missions and won more than 850 medals.

1992 – John Singleton nominated for Oscar for Boyz N the Hood
John Singleton is nominated for his debut film Boyz N the Hood (1991). He was the youngest African-American and, at 24, the youngest person to be nominated for the Academy Award for best director. Singleton was also nominated for the Academy Award for best screenplay.

2002 – Vonetta Flowers wins gold
Bobsledder Vonetta Flowers becomes the first black person to win a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Flowers started as a track and field star, but eventually retired from the sport and switched to bobsledding.

Callan Mathis is an intern at The Undefeated and a journalism graduate student at Georgetown University. She runs eight miles a day, is an unapologetic Knicks fan, and a really good cook. So, she also goes by Forrest Gump, Spike Lee and Ayesha Curry.