First rap concert in Africa
On November 30, 1988, L.L. Cool J performed the first rap concert in Africa. The show was done in Cote D’Ivoire
Tupac Shakur is shot…for the first time
On November 30 1994, Tupac Shakur was shot five times during a robbery outside a New York recording studio. At the time, the rapper and actor was on trial in New York on charges of sexually abusing a woman. Two days after the shooting, the jury found him guilty on the sex abuse charge but the panel acquitted him of more serious sex and weapons charges. Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996.
Sly & the Family Stone’s last number one hit
On November 30 1971, Sly and the Family Stone had the nation’s number-one hit when “Family Affair” topped the Hot 100 chart. It was the group’s last top ten hit.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller album released
On this December 1 1982, Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was released. It was the best-selling album by a solo act and the best-selling album worldwide, with up more than 40 million copies sold. Thriller produced the platinum singles “Billie Jean,” ‘’Beat It” and “The Girl Is Mine,” a duet with Paul McCartney.
Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat
On December 1 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus. The seamstress was arrested, sparking a yearlong boycott of the buses by blacks. Parks passed away in November, 2005, and was laid out in honor at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington before being buried in her adopted hometown, Detroit.
Sam Cooke debuts on television
On December 1 1957, singer Sam Cooke made his national TV debut. It happened on The Ed Sullivan Show, which aired Sunday nights on CBS. The show also featured the national TV debuts of two other acts, the Silhouettes and Buddy Holly.
Plaxico Burress surrenders
On December 1 2008, then-New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress surrendered to police and entered a plea to a gun charge. He shot himself in the leg with an illegal gun he tucked into his pants when he went into a New York night club the previous weekend. He has since been cut by the Giants and is currently serving a jail sentence for the incident.
Thriller music video debuts
On December 2 1984, Michael Jackson’s 14-minute mini-movie “Thriller” made its debut on MTV. The production budget for the extended video was $600,000, more than 20 times the cost of the average music video at the time. The video resurrected Jackson’s year-old “Thriller” album, putting it back in the top spot on the charts. An hour-long promotional program, “The Making of Thriller” had sold more than 750 million copies on tape within six months of the video’s debut.
Bob Marley shot
On December 3 1976, reggae singer Bob Marley, his wife Rita, their manager and a house guest were shot and slightly wounded by seven gunmen who broke into Marley’s home in Kingston, Jamaica. The attack occurred two days before Marley was to appear at a “Smile Jamaica” festival organized by the ruling left-wing party led by Michael Manley. Marley went ahead with the performance, then left Jamaica for a year and a-half.
Coolio caught shoplifting
On December 3 1998, rapper Coolio was found guilty of stealing clothes from a boutique in Stuttgart, Germany, and punching the boutique owner. He was fined $30,000.
Chuck Berry honored
On December 3 2000, Chuck Berry was among those who received the Kennedy Center Honors. Among the others honored during the ceremony in Washington were actor Donald Sutherland and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov
Stevie Wonder’s songwriting celebrated
On December 3 1992, Stevie Wonder was given an honor by his peers. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Songwriters.
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Thriller was released, Tupac was shot and Rosa Parks took a stand for civil rights; this is an incredibly historic week by any standard. The slideshow below takes a look a back on some of the pivotal cultural moments that have occurred this week in African-American history.