Birth Name: Joseph Saddler
Place of Birth: The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
Date of Birth: January 1, 1957
*father – African-Nevisian
*mother – Sierra Leonean, African-Barbadian
Grandmaster Flash is an American DJ and rapper. He is considered a pioneer in the art of turntablism. He is known for perfecting the technique of scratching vinyl records to create new sounds in hip-hop music. Grandmaster Flash formed the group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the first hip-hop group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Grandmaster Flash was born in The Bronx, the son of Regina Johnson and Joseph Saddler. His father was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to emigrants from Nevis. His mother was born in New York City, to a Sierra Leonean father and a Barbadian mother. His uncle, Sandy Saddler, was a boxing world champion in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions.
While Grandmaster Flash is sometimes said to have been born in Bridgetown, Barbados, this is not correct.
Grandmaster Flash’s paternal grandfather was named Alexander Saddler.
Grandmaster Flash’s paternal grandmother was named Miriam Dasent (the daughter of Joseph Dacent).
Grandmaster Flash’s maternal grandfather was named Israel Johnson. Israel emigrated to the U.S. from Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone was a British colony. Many Africans had their surnames Anglicized due to colonization. Some African-American slaves joined the British during the Revolutionary War, and were relocated to Sierra Leone; it is possible that Israel was of African-American descent.
Grandmaster Flash’s maternal grandmother was named Tabitha Clark. Tabitha emigrated to the U.S. from Barbados.
Grandmaster Flash’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Naturalization record of Grandmaster Flash’s paternal grandfather, Alexander Saddler – https://www.familysearch.org
Naturalization record of Grandmaster Flash’s paternal grandmother, Miriam (Dasent) Saddler – https://www.familysearch.org
Grandmaster Flash’s mother on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Marriage record of Grandmaster Flash’s maternal grandparents, Israel Johnson and Tabitha Clark – https://www.familysearch.org