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Black History Month

Today in black history: Aretha Franklin records ‘Respect,’ Morehouse College established, and more

The Undefeated edition’s black facts for Feb. 14

1760 — Richard Allen, founder of the first independent black denomination, is born into slavery in 1760, eventually buys his freedom and moves north. He converted to Methodism but grew tired of the mistreatment of black parishioners. He founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first national African-American church, in 1816.

1867 — Augusta Institute, now known as Morehouse College, is founded in Augusta, Georgia, by William J. White and former slave Richard C. Coulter. In 1879, the school was moved to Atlanta and its name was changed to Morehouse College after Henry L. Morehouse, the corresponding secretary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society.

1936 — National Negro Congress is organized. The inaugural meeting was held in Chicago and attended by 817 delegates representing more than 500 organizations.

1946 — Happy birthday, Gregory Hines (1946-2003). The theater, film and television actor won a Tony Award as best actor in a musical in 1992 for his portrayal of Jelly Roll Morton, the pioneering jazz composer. Hines had roles in films such as Waiting to Exhale, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club and White Nights, as well as his sitcom, The Gregory Hines Show, on CBS from 1997 to 1998. He was also a recurring character on NBC’s Will & Grace and ABC’s Lost at Home.

1966 — Wilt Chamberlain scores 41 points against the Detroit Pistons to break the NBA career scoring record, finishing the game with 20,884 career points.

1967 — Aretha Franklin records “Respect.” Fifty years ago today, Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” recorded her iconic song in Atlantic Records’ New York studio. This Otis Redding cover became the influential soul singer’s first No. 1 hit, providing a soundtrack for the civil rights movement and proving to be an important piece of music for women who were seeking the same type of regard as men.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.