Week of March 26-April 1
1831—The founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Church, Richard Allen, dies at age 71 in Philadelphia, Pa. As its first bishop, Allen set the AME Church on the path to becoming the first Black religious denomination in America to be fully independent of White control. He, in effect, chartered a separate religious identity for African-Americans. He also founded schools throughout the nation to teach Blacks. This includes Allen University in Columbia, S.C.
1944—Singer/Actress Diana Ross is born in Detroit, Mich. She headed the most popular female signing group of the 1960s—The Supremes.
1950—Singer Teddy Pendergrass is born in Philadelphia, Pa. For a period, Pendergrass was the leading sex symbol in R&B music. However, an automobile accident on March 18, 1982 left him paralyzed from the chest down. Pendergrass died Jan. 13, 2010.