On this day in Black history: Joe Frazier defeats Jimmy Ellis, Lauryn Hill’s ‘Miseducation’ goes Diamond and more

On this day in Black history, February 16:

— In 1923, Empress of the Blues Bessie Smith recorded her first record, Down Hearted Blues, which sold 800,000 copies for Columbia Records. 

— In 1951, the city of New York passed an anti-discrimination housing bill, which included protections based on race, creed, color, national origin and gender. 

— In 1970, Joe Frazier, nicknamed Smokin’ Joe, became the American world heavyweight boxing champion when he won by knockout in a match against Jimmy Ellis that was held at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

— In 2021, Lauryn Hill‘s debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, earned RIAA-certified Diamond status, having sold 10 million copies. She was the first female hip-hop artist to achieve the feat. 

— Happy birthday to James BaskettJames IngramMarvin Sease, Lenny WilliamsLeVar BurtonTracy “Ice T” MarrowWasalu “Lupe Fiasco” JacoAbel “The Weeknd” TesfayeMikayla “Koffee” SimpsonDenzel Curry and Rayshawn “YFN Lucci” Bennett.

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