· April 10, 1947 Neville O’Riley Livingston (Bunny Wailer), singer and songwriter, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Wailer and Bob Marley were raised in the same household and he was an original member of the reggae group The Wailers, along with Marley and Peter Tosh. By 1973, Wailer was operating his own recording label and composing and recording solo. Wailer has won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album three times: in 1991 for “Time Will Tell – A Tribute to Bob Marley,” in 1995 for “Crucial! Roots Classics,” and in 1997 for “Hall of Fame – A Tribute to Bob Marley’s 50th Anniversary.” Other albums by Wailer include “Liberation” (1988), “Just Be Nice” (1993), and “Cross Culture” (2009). Newsweek Magazine has named him one of the three most important musicians in world music.
· April 10, 1948 Melvin Cornell Blount, hall of fame football player, was born in Vidalia, Georgia. Blount played college football at Southern University and in 1970 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970 NFL Draft and over his 14 professional seasons was a 6-time All-Pro selection and the 1975 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Blount retired in 1983 and from 1983 to 1990 served as Director of Player Relations for the National Football League. Also in 1983, he founded the Mel Blount Youth Home, a shelter and Christian mission for victims of child abuse and neglect, in his hometown. In 1989, he opened a second youth home near Pittsburgh. Blount was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
· April 10, 1981 Howard Thurman, author, theologian, educator and civil rights leader, died. Thurman was born November 18, 1900 in Daytona Beach, Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in 1923 and his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Theological Seminary in 1926. In 1929, he earned his Ph. D. from Haverford College. He was selected as Dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University in 1932 and served until 1944, when he left to help establish the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, the first racially integrated, intercultural church in the United States. In 1953, he became the first black Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University where he served until 1965. A prolific author, Thurman wrote 20 books including “Jesus and the Disinherited” (1949), which greatly influenced Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1953, Life Magazine rated Thurman among the 12 most important religious leaders in the United States and Ebony Magazine called him one of the 50 most important figures in African American history. His autobiography, “With Head and Heart: The Autobiography of Howard Thurman,” was published in 1981.
· April 10, 1993 Chris Hani, leader of the South African Communist Party and Chief of Staff of the armed wing of the African National Congress, was assassinated. Born Martin Thembisile Hani on June 28, 1942 in the small town of Cofimvaba, Hani joined the ANC Youth League at the age of 15. He also studied modern and classical literature at the University of Fort Hare and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes University. Following his arrest under the Suppression of Communism Act, Hani went into exile in Lesotho in 1963. He returned to South Africa in 1990 and in 1991 became head of the South African Communist Party. During this time Hani was the most popular ANC leader after Nelson Mandela. A township and municipality in South Africa are named in his honor and in 1997 one of the largest hospitals in the world was renamed the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in his memory.