“Know the beauty of African-American history, and remember its glorious past.” –Safiyyah Muhammad

This week in our African-American Historical Perspective, we feature world-renown musician and composer Billy Preston. Preston was a child prodigy who grew up in Los Angeles, California, and later produced soulful hits such as “Nothing From Nothing,” “Will It Go Round in Circles” and “You Are So Beautiful.” He was a top session keyboardist, who played for Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and the Beatles, among others. Preston was mostly known for producing funk soul music.

August 30 – Thurgood Marshall became the first African-American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

August 31 – American Civil Rights leader, Eldridge Cleaver was born, 1935.

September 1 – Robert T. Freeman was the first to graduate from Harvard Dental School, in 1867.

September 2 – William Everett “Billy” Preston was born, 1946.

September 3 – Frederick Douglas escapes slavery. Disguised as a sailor, 1838.

September 4 – Richard Wright, author of Native Son and Black Boy born, 1908.

September 5 – George Washington Murray elected to Congress in 1895.