MCLA Gallery 51 is excited to collaborate with artist Lorenzo Baker to present What happens if February never ends? to offer 365 days of Black History. As we continue to discuss the Black history within art history, this project expands what we know and includes what has been omitted, in the context of Baker's ongoing practice and research. We will launch a simultaneous Instagram takeover by the artist, starting on January 1, 2022 and ending December 31, 2022, at @gallery_51. Look for complimentary programming on our 2022 Calendar of Events throughout the year.
february is a digital collage series by Lorenzo Baker that expands and explores the definitions of Black History. Looking at history from a unique vantage point, the daily project offers viewers insight into what is commonly known as Black History Month.
The push for celebrating Black History Month began in the 1920s, with the work of Historian Carter G. Woodson, who proposed in 1926 that, "It is not so much a Negro History Week as it is a History Week. We should emphasise not Negro History, but the Negro in History. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hatred and religious prejudice". Motivated by the achievements Carter. G Woodson, february extends the argument that the achievements, moments, and record of Black people should be commemorated well beyond the standardized 28/29-day long window.
Sourcing from the principles of Afrofuturism, which override western approaches to time, space, and meaning, february began by addressing the question “what happens if February never ends?” Utilizing historical photographs, documents, illustrations, and images sourced from the internet, the artworks bend the viewers understanding of what is worth historizing. As a daily meditation on Black History, each artwork blends and incorporates new or obscure information and data into depictions of well-known and unfamiliar icons within the black historical cosmos.
After Learning about the Jim Crow South, The Harlem Globetrotters, Scooby Doo, and the Gang travel back in time to fight Lynch Mobs.
The anti-lynching movement was a civil rights movement in the United States that aimed to eradicate the practice of lynching. Lynching was used as a tool to repress African Americans. The anti-lynching movement reached its height between the 1890s and 1930s.
A large part of the movement was composed of women's organizations. Such as Ida B. Wells, Mary Burnett Talbert, Angelina Grimké, and Juanita Jackson Mitchell
The movement was composed mainly of African Americans who tried to persuade politicians to put an end to the practice, but after the failure of this strategy, they pushed for anti-lynching legislation.
On January 4th 1935, senators’ democrats Edward P. Costigan and Robert F. Wagner together worked and set out a new bill that stated “To assure to persons within the jurisdiction of every state the equal protection of the crime of lynching.” The bill was made with many sections to which protected people from all types of lynching crime.
Gordon, or "Whipped Peter", was an enslaved African American who escaped from a Louisiana plantation in March 1863, gaining freedom when he reached the Union camp near Baton Rouge.
He became known as the subject of photographs documenting the extensive scarring of his back from whippings received in slavery.
Abolitionists distributed these carte de visite photographs of Gordon throughout the United States and internationally to show the abuses of slavery. Gordon escaped in March 1863 from the 3,000-acre (12 km2) plantation of John and Bridget Lyons, who owned him and nearly forty other slaves at the time of the 1860 census.
The Lyons plantation was located along the west bank of the Atchafalaya River in St. Landry Parish, between present-day Melville and Krotz Springs, Louisiana.
In order to mask his scent from the bloodhounds that were chasing him, Gordon took onions from his plantation, which he carried in his pockets.
After crossing each creek or swamp, he rubbed his body with these onions in order to throw the dogs off his scent.
Ghana is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east, and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.
The first permanent state in the territory of present-day Ghana dates back to the 11th century. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful was the Kingdom of Dagbon and the Kingdom of Ashanti. Beginning in the 15th century, the Portuguese Empire, followed by numerous other European powers, contested the area for trading rights, until the British ultimately established control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, what are now Ghana's borders follow the lines of what were four separate British colonial territories: Gold Coast, Ashanti, the Northern Territories and British Togoland. Those were unified as an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth on 6 March 1957.
Ghana's population of approximately 30 million spans a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. According to the 2010 census, 71.2% of the population was Christian, 17.6% was Muslim, and 5.2% practised traditional faiths. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests.
Sarah Rector was an African American member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, best known for being the "Richest Colored Girl in the world" or the "Millionaire girl a member of the race”.
In February 1911, Joseph Rector leased Sarah's parcel to the Standard Oil Company. In 1913, the independent oil driller B.B. Jones drilled a well on the property which produced a “gusher” that began to bring in 2,500 barrels of oil a day. Rector began to receive a daily income of $300 from this strike.
As news of Rector's wealth spread worldwide, she began to receive numerous requests for loans, money gifts, and even marriage proposals from four young men in Germany— despite the fact that she was only 12 years old. Given her wealth, the Oklahoma Legislature declared her to be a white person, so that she would be allowed to travel in first-class accommodations on the railroad, as befitted her position.
In 1914, an African American journal, The Chicago Defender, began to take an interest in Rector, just as rumors began to fly that she was a white immigrant who was being kept in poverty.
The newspaper published an article claiming that her estate was being mismanaged by her and her “ignorant” parents, and that she was uneducated, dressed in rags, and lived in an unsanitary shanty. National African American leaders such as Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois became concerned about her welfare.
This prompted Dubois to establish a Children’s Department of the NAACP, which would investigate claims of white guardians who were suspected of depriving black children of their land and wealth. Washington also intervened to help the Rector family.
Boys, possibly from Herron Hill School, playing brass instruments on steps, circa 1938- 1945.
four ladies dressed in classical roman attire reading the story of Ænone, 1889
Afeni Shakur Davis (born Alice Faye Williams; January 10, 1947 – May 2, 2016) was an American activist and businesswoman who was the mother of American rapper and actor Tupac Shakur.
In 1968, at the age of twenty-one, she changed her name to Afeni Shakur; Afeni is a Yoruba word for "lover of people" and Shakur is Arabic for "thankful”. She lived in Harlem, New York, and she joined the Black Panther Party. She wrote the Black Panther Party newsletter Panther Post.
In April 1968, Afeni Shakur was arrested with her then husband Lumumba Shakur at their apartment in Harlem on charges of conspiring with other Black Panther members to carry out bombings in New York. With bail set at $100,000 each for the 21 suspects, the Black Panthers decided to raise bail money first for Joseph and Shakur so that those two could work on raising bail for the others. Shakur had been effective in raising bail funds for jailed Panthers.
The pre-trial started in February 1970 and the actual trial on September 8, 1970. Charges brought against her and the other members of the Black Panther Party were attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to bomb buildings and conspiracy. During the course of the trial, the judge dismissed twelve out of the thirty charges. Shakur chose to represent herself in court, pregnant while on trial and facing a 300-year prison sentence and had no law degree. Shakur interviewed witnesses and argued in court.
She and the others in the "Panther 21" were acquitted in May 1971 after an eight- month trial. Altogether, Afeni Shakur spent two years in jail before being acquitted. Her son, Lesane Parish Crooks, was born on June 16, 1971. The following year, in 1972, Lesane Parish was renamed Tupac Amaru Shakur, which means "shining serpent" in Inca.
Martin Robinson Delany (May 6, 1812 – January 24, 1885) was an African-American abolitionist, journalist, physician, soldier, and writer, and arguably the first proponent of black nationalism. Delany is credited with the Pan-African slogan of "Africa for Africans."
Born as a free person of color in Charles Town, Virginia, now West Virginia (not Charleston, West Virginia) and raised in Chambersburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Delany trained as a physician's assistant. During the cholera epidemics of 1833 and 1854 in Pittsburgh, Delany treated patients, even though many doctors and residents fled the city out of fear of contamination. In this period, people did not know how the disease was transmitted.
In 1850, Delany was one of the first three black men admitted to Harvard Medical School, but all were dismissed after a few weeks because of widespread protests by white students. Delany had traveled in the South in 1839 to observe slavery firsthand. Beginning in 1847, he worked alongside Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York to publish the North Star.
Delany dreamed of establishing a settlement in West Africa. He visited Liberia, a United States colony founded by the American Colonization Society, and lived in Canada for several years, but when the American Civil War began, he returned to the United States. When the United States Colored Troops were created in 1863, he recruited for them. Commissioned as a major in February 1865, Delany became the first African-American field grade officer in the United States Army.
After the Civil War, Delany went to the South, settling in South Carolina. There he worked for the Freedmen's Bureau and became politically active, including in the Colored Conventions Movement. Delany ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor as an Independent Republican. He was appointed as a trial judge, but he was removed following a scandal. Delany later switched his party affiliation. He worked for the campaign of Democrat Wade Hampton III, who won the 1876 election for governor in a season marked by violent suppression of black Republican voters by Red Shirts and fraud in balloting.
Afro sometimes abbreviated to 'fro and also known as a "natural", is a hairstyle worn naturally outward by people with lengthy kinky hair texture.
The hairstyle is created by combing the hair away from the scalp, allowing the hair to extend out from the head in a large, rounded shape, much like a cloud or ball.
The Afro became a powerful political symbol which reflected black pride and a rejection of notions of assimilation and integration. In the mid-1960s, the Afro hairstyle began in a fairly tightly coiffed form, such as the hairstyle that became popular among members of the Black Panther Party.
As the 1960s progressed towards the 1970s, popular hairstyles, both within and outside of the African-American community, became longer and longer. As a result, the late 1960s/early 1970s saw an expansion in the overall size of Afros.
Some of the entertainers and sociopolitical figures of the time known for wearing larger Afros include political activist Angela Davis, actress Pam Grier, rock musician Jimi Hendrix, singer Miriam Makeba, and the members of the musical groups The Jackson 5 and The Supremes.
In contrast, the Afro's popularity among African-Americans had already started to wane by the early 1970s; the introduction of the Afro to the mainstream and its adoption by people of non-African descent caused the Afro to lose its radical, political edge.
James Meredith alone on his first day of class.
As a Civil Rights Movement figure, writer, political adviser and Air Force veteran. In 1962, he became the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, after the intervention of the federal government, an event that was a flashpoint in the Civil Rights Movement.
On the evening of September 29, after State Senator George Yarbrough withdrew the State Highway Police, a riot broke out the following day. Whites opposing integration had been gathering at the campus.
Despite the Kennedy administration's reluctance to use force, it ordered the nationalized Mississippi National Guard and federal troops to the campus.
In the violent clashes which followed, two men were killed by gunshot wounds, and the white mob burned cars, pelted federal marshals with rocks, bricks and small arms fire, and damaged university property.
The next day on October 1, 1962, after troops took control, Meredith became the first African-American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.
Meredith's admission is regarded as a pivotal moment in the history of civil rights in the United States. He persisted through harassment and extreme isolation to graduate on August 18, 1963, with a degree in political science.
Malcolm X and Kwame Nkrumah at the Harlem Rally honoring Nkrumah in in July, 1958.
March 6, 1957, marked the celebration of Ghana becoming the first colonized country in Africa to claim it's independence from Europe. During his independence day speech, Nkrumah made it abundantly clear that Ghana's independence was nothing more than a paper declaration without the independence of the entire African continent. From that day forward, a significant focus of Nkrumah's Convention People's Party was making Ghana the base of the African revolution. Liberation forces from all over the continent set up bases in Ghana and were provided resources to train and prepare for their liberation work. Since Nkrumah's vision was a Pan-African one - meaning he understood that all people of African descent are Africans and belong to the African nation - an important aspect of this period included inviting Africans from all over the world to come to Ghana to help in establishing that country as that revolutionary Pan-African base. Many people heeded this call. W.E.B. DuBois and his wife Shirley Graham DuBois moved to Ghana. Trumpeter Louie Armstrong came. Academic Julian Mayfield moved there. Poet Maya Angelou responded to the call.
Revolutionary organizer George Padmore, who remains probably the most unknown and significant contributor to African forward progress in the 20th Century, came to Ghana and became an adviser to Nkrumah's government. Ghana became the shining star for the hopes of Africans everywhere and Nkrumah became an inspiration and symbol of a greater future for African people. In July, 1958, Nkrumah came to the U.S. and a major rally was organized in Harlem to receive him. Malcolm X was invited to participate in that rally and it was there that he was introduced to Kwame
Nkrumah. According to Nkrumah's letters, published in 1990 in the book "The Conakry Years", Nkrumah and Malcolm developed a relationship that they maintained until Malcolm's assassination in 1965.
Serious study of Malcolm's legacy reveals that he had a penchant for building relationships with revolutionary leaders/activists who's radical politics landed far outside the realm of the theology of the Nation of Islam. Another example of this was Malcolm's invitation to meet Fidel Castro during the Cuban leader's visit to Harlem in 1960. As he did with Nkrumah, Malcolm begged Elijah Muhammad for permission to meet both men. Although Muhammad was not overly enthusiastic about these meetings, Malcolm was able to negotiate space to make these connections. These political ambitions that Malcolm possessed speak to his evolving political consciousness and his growing radical beliefs which really explain his path towards leaving the Nation of Islam much better than the commonly held narrative that he left because of Muhammad's fathering of several children with secretaries within the Nation. Malcolm was inspired by the radical Pan-Africanist ideals of Kwame Nkrumah and according to Nkrumah, they spoke about those ideals in that period between 1958 and 1964.
Nietta Dunn participated in a sit-in at the H.L. Green lunch counter in downtown Lexington in the early 1960s. At the time, blacks were allowed to buy food, but they had to stand or leave.
African-American Women with Brooms of Bambusa, 1899
Cora Fluker was born in Livingston, Alabama, around 1920. When Denise and I visited her in 1997 it was a deeply moving experience. She told us of a childhood growing up sharecropping with her family. The conditions were so hard that she tried to run away at the age of nine only to be caught by the white landowner and beaten nearly to death. She showed us the scars on her back and seemed deeply haunted by this awful memory. She then broke out a testimony about her life and what led her to her praying ground under a pecan tree where she had a vision of Jesus and since devoted her life to preaching. When she sang and preached her voice had the power of a saxophone.
In 1963, members of the Civic Interest Progressives, a civil rights organization led by Marshall students and Huntington community leaders, challenged racial discrimination at local eateries such as Bailey's and the White Pantry Inn.
After students waging a sit-in were attacked at the White Pantry, they changed their strategy and held a series of "share-ins."
Although these protests led to the end of Jim Crow at many Huntington restaurants prior to the spring of 1963, the owner of the White Pantry turned violent and attacked one of the black students with a cattle prod.
The Big Dipper (US) or the Plough (UK) is an asterism consisting of seven bright stars of the constellation Ursa Major; six of them are of second magnitude and one, Megrez (δ), of third magnitude.
Four define a "bowl" or "body" and three define a "handle" or "head". It is recognized as a distinct grouping in many cultures.
The North Star (Polaris), the current northern pole star and the tip of the handle of the Little Dipper, can be located by extending an imaginary line through the front two stars of the asterism, Merak (β) and Dubhe (α).
This makes it useful in celestial navigation.
A wet nurse is a woman who breast feeds and cares for another's child. Wet nurses are employed when the mother is unable or elects not to nurse the child herself.
Wet-nursed children may be known as "milk-siblings", and in some cultures the families are linked by a special relationship of milk kinship. Mothers who nurse each other's babies are engaging in a reciprocal act known as cross-nursing or co-nursing
A woman can only act as a wet-nurse if she is lactating. It was once believed that a wet- nurse must have recently undergone childbirth.
This is not necessarily the case, as regular breast suckling can elicit lactation via a neural reflex of prolactin production and secretion.
Some adoptive mothers have been able to establish lactation using a breast pump so that they could feed an adopted infant.
By the 19th century, Americans adopted the practice of having wet nurses live with the employers in order to nurse and care for their charges. This practice had the effect of increasing the death rate for wet nurses' own, biological infants.
In the Southern United States, it was common practice for enslaved Black women to be forced to be wet nurses to their owner’s children.
In some instances, the enslaved child and the owner’s child would be raised together in their younger years.
Visual representations of wet-nursing practices in enslaved communities are most prevalent in representations of the Mammy archetype caricature Images such as the one here represent both a historically accurate practice of enslaved Black women wet- nursing their owner’s white children as well as sometimes an exaggerated racist caricaturization of a stereotype of enslaved Black women as “Mammy” characters.
Bill Pickett was a cowboy, rodeo, Wild West show performer and actor. In 1989, Pickett was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
He invented the technique of bulldogging, the skill of grabbing cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground. It was known among cattlemen that, with the help of a trained bulldog, a stray steer could be caught. Bill Pickett had seen this happen on many occasions.
He also thought that if a bulldog could do this feat, so could he. Pickett practiced his stunt by riding hard, springing from his horse, and wrestling the steer to the ground. Pickett's method for bulldogging was biting a cow on the lip and then falling backwards. He also helped cowboys with bulldogging. This method eventually lost popularity as the sport morphed into the steer wrestling that is practiced in rodeos.
The United States Postal Service chose to include Bill Pickett in the Legends of the West commemorative sheet unveiled in December 1993.
One month later, the Pickett family informed the Postal Service that the likeness was incorrect. Its source material was a misidentified photograph of Bill Pickett's brother and fellow cowboy star, Ben Pickett. In October 1994, the USPS released corrected stamps based on the poster for The Bull-Dogger.
Weeksville is a historic neighborhood founded by free African Americans in what is now Brooklyn, New York, United States. Today it is part of the present-day neighborhood of Crown Heights.
Weeksville was named after James Weeks, an African-American stevedore from Virginia. In 1838 (11 years after the final abolition of slavery in New York State) Weeks bought a plot of land from Henry C. Thompson, a free African American and land investor, in the Ninth Ward of central Brooklyn. Thompson had acquired the land from Edward Copeland, a politically minded European American and Brooklyn grocer, in 1835.
Previously Copeland bought the land from an heir of John Lefferts, a member of one of the most prominent and land-holding families in Brooklyn. There was ample opportunity for land acquisition during this time, as many prominent land-holding families sold off their properties during an intense era of land speculation.
Many African Americans saw land acquisition as their opportunity to gain economic and political freedom by building their own communities. The NYC Parks website confuses Weeks with a man of the same name who lived 1776-1863.
The village itself was established by a group of African-American land investors and political activists, and covered an area in the borough's eastern Bedford Hills area, bounded by present-day Fulton Street, East New York Avenue, Ralph Avenue and Troy Avenue. A 1906 article in the New York Age recalling the earlier period noted that James Weeks "owned a handsome dwelling at Schenectady and Atlantic Avenues."
By the 1850s, Weeksville had more than 500 residents from all over the East Coast (as well as two people born in Africa). Almost 40 percent of residents were southern-born. Nearly one-third of the men over 21 owned land; in antebellum New York, unlike in New England, non-white men had to own real property (to the value of $250) and pay taxes on it to qualify as voters.
The village had its own churches (including Bethel Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Berean Missionary Baptist Church), a school ("Colored School no. 2", now P.S. 243), a cemetery, and an old age home. Weeksville had one of the first African-American newspapers, the Freedman's Torchlight, and in the 1860s became the national headquarters of the African Civilization Society and the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum. In addition, the Colored School was the first such school in the U.S. to integrate both its staff and its students.
During the violent New York Draft Riots of 1863, the community served as a refuge for many African-Americans who fled from Manhattan.
After the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge and as New York City grew and expanded, Weeksville gradually became part of Crown Heights, and memory of the village was largely forgotten.
Tan Town Jubilee premiered that October with Nat D. Williams, an African-American syndicated columnist, high school teacher, and local talent show host, playing blues records from his own collection. Aside from a few initial bomb threats from whites, it was well received. In fact, so many African Americans tuned in to listen to “Nat D.” that WDIA rapidly rose to the number two spot in the market.
In an interview with the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, singer and WDIA personality Rufus Thomas likened the program’s debut to when Jackie Robinson broke the racial barrier to become the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. For the first time, what African Americans in Memphis heard on the radio, in that half hour, was a reflection of their community.
Toni Bell, who grew up listening to WDIA and worked at the station in the 1980s, says hearing Williams, Thomas, and other African-American personalities on the radio meant so much because no one on the air before spoke directly to their community or addressed the issues that concerned them.
“WDIA was the only place we could get someone black talking to us,” she says.
Realizing they had tapped into something, Ferguson and Pepper expanded the station’s African-American content. One new blues and R&B program in the line-up, Hoot and Holler, opened with Thomas saying, “I’m young and loose and full of juice. I got the goose, so what’s the use?” Within a year, WDIA had entirely converted to African-American programming and quickly became the number one station and the first to gross a million dollars annually in Memphis.
Bell explains it wasn’t just the music or even the personalities that made WDIA such a hit in Memphis and throughout the Mississippi Delta region when the station increased to 50,000 watts in 1954. It was the “shout outs.”
“People tuned in to hear if the DJ would mention seeing them on Friday night,” Bell says. “Or, the DJ might say, ‘I went to so-and-so barbecue in town last night.’ That was better than any advertising they could purchase.”
“Goodwill announcements”—service announcements for lost people and personal items—were extremely popular, too. Ferguson said in the recorded interview he initially thought they were a waste of time because only the person who lost the item and the person who found it would be interested. But he discovered that people throughout the Mississippi Delta felt a vested interested in seeing that person get their item back.
At one point, though, he admitted he thought the announcements had gotten out of control, and he chided the person handling them for broadcasting about “all the umbrellas that were lost in Memphis.”
“She reminded me that a five-dollar umbrella is a pretty important item to someone with a low income,” he said.
Marvin Gaye playing a game of football.
John Andrew Jackson was born into a brutal life of labor and abuse in what is present- day Lynchburg, South Carolina. Even as a boy, he was whipped or beaten—for praying, not obeying fast enough, or for no reason at all. Most horribly, he saw his sister whipped to death at the instruction of the plantation owner’s daughter.
He found some brief happiness with Louisa, a young woman who lived on a nearby plantation. He married her, but when she and their daughter, Jenny, were sold to a plantation owner in Georgia, Jackson’s devastation knew no bounds, and he resolved to use the rapidly degrading sanity of plantation owner Robert English to his advantage. With his owner collapsing into dementia, oversight and discipline on the plantation were lax.
Jackson began to hatch a plan for escape. If he couldn’t join Jenny and Louisa, he would escape slavery entirely and perhaps someday, somehow, be reunited with them.
Jackson traded some chickens for a pony that a neighboring slave had somehow obtained. He hid the pony deep in the woods. On Christmas Day, he took advantage of the customary three-day holiday and fled on horseback for Charleston.
As he was walking past the docked boats, several dockworkers asked him bluntly if he was a fugitive slave and asked to whom he “belonged.” Since he couldn’t plausibly pass as a Charleston slave and certainly didn’t want to admit to being a fugitive, Jackson said he “belonged to South Carolina.”
His clever and unexpected response may have perplexed his interrogators—and they let him be.
When Jackson found a ship heading to Boston, he tried to board, but the crewmen refused to let him.
That night, when he was sure no one was on the ship, he hid in a five-by-three foot box on a lower level of the vessel. Eventually, on the high seas, the crewmen found him and threatened to unload him on the next ship. There never was another ship, and Jackson made it to Boston safely.
From Boston, he went on to settle in Salem, Massachusetts. Rather than live underground, Jackson chose to keep his name and live openly. He worked to raise funds with Northern abolitionists who were willing to help him negotiate freedom for the wife and baby daughter he had left behind.
But this plan was doomed to failure. Before he was able to raise sufficient funds to purchase his family’s freedom, the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act effectively forced him to flee again, this time north to Canada with the help of the increasingly organized Underground Railroad.
sit-in participants at Walgreens drugstore in Nashville, On February 13, 1960, members of the Nashville Student Movement and the Nashville Christian Leadership Council began a campaign of sit-ins at “whites only” lunch counters in Nashville stores. Their goal was to end racial segregation at lunch counters.
124 students on February 13 participated in the sit-ins and on the 18th of February, over 200 conducted a sit-in. Managers displayed the sign "CLOSED IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY." Whites began verbally harassing the non-participants, police had to clear a few stores.
400 students representing Diane Nash sat in. The violence of harassment and beatings escalated. The protesters were beaten with fists and clubs, repeatedly knocked down, stomped, and burning cigarettes were pushed into their backs. Arrests were made. However, the racist violent white men were not arrested. Instead, 81 nonviolent protesters were taken to jail and charged with disorderly conduct. The students protesting refused to pay their fine, choosing to serve jail time.
After World War II, many Black people in the region left the state and headed north in search for better opportunities. Those that remained continued to toil in the cotton fields for 30 cents an hour ($2.27 in today’s currency) and remained economically powerless. By the mid-sixties, however, mechanization was rapidly making their labor obsolete.
In Mississippi, labor unions were virtually non-existent, and plantation owners met any attempts to organize for Black economic or political power with hostility that amounted to economic terrorism. Nonetheless, with no experience and no model on which to base their work, the cotton workers in Shaw began organizing their union. By April 1965, they had developed a functioning union with roughly a thousand members from six counties, concentrated mostly in the Delta.
At its first statewide meeting, members decided to call their nascent union “The Mississippi Freedom Labor Union” drawing a connection to the recently formed Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP).
In the spring and summer of 1965, MFLU locals organized labor actions in various communities in the Delta. At its peak, MFLU had 1,350 members and about 350 on strike. In Indianola, “cotton choppers,” who weeded in between the cotton rows, struck for $1.25 an hour. The secretary of the Indianola local, Mrs. Edna Mae Garner, was one of many who made a defiant stand for a decent wage. “When [the bossman] asks me ‘will I do some chopping’ and I will tell him ‘No, I’m on strike ‘till I get $1.25 an hour.”
Farm workers in Tribbett, a small rural community near Greenville in Washington County, organized a strike after local plantation owner A.L. Andrews refused to pay them $1.25 an hour. In retaliation, Andrews evicted the families that rented on his property without warning and his neighbors supplied him with the labor needed to hoe his fields.
Students emerging from School after First Day of Integrated Classes
Playground basketball 1939-1946
The Mino, or Minon, which means "our mothers", called Dahomey Amazons by European writers, were a Fon all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey in the present-day Republic of Benin which lasted until 1904. They were so named by Western observers and historians due to their similarity to the mythical Amazons of ancient Anatolia and the Black Sea.
Frank Wills was the security guard who alerted the police to a possible break-in at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.. His actions eventually led to the discovery of the truth about the Watergate scandal and led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974.
On the night of June 17, Wills noticed a piece of duct tape on one of the door locks when he was making his first round. The tape was placed over the latch bolt to prevent the door from latching shut. He removed the tape and continued on his patrol. Thirty minutes later, Wills came back to the door and he noticed there was more tape on the door.
Without hesitation, Wills rushed up to the lobby telephone and asked for the Second Precinct police. Five men were found in the DNC offices and arrested. Details that emerged during their questioning and trials triggered the Watergate scandal.
One story reports that after the Watergate break-in, he received a raise of $2.50 above his previous $80 per week. Another story states he wanted, but did not receive, a promotion for discovering the burglary.
Sometime after the botched burglary, Wills quit his security job at the DNC headquarters and found another security job that paid him a little bit more money, but the second security job was still not enough to live on so he had to leave that job as well.
Over the next 20 years, Wills struggled to establish and maintain roots and stability while suffering bouts of unemployment.
He shuttled between Washington and other southern cities, with some time spent in the Bahamas. He said in an interview that Howard University feared losing their federal funding if they hired him.
In 1992, on the twentieth anniversary of the burglary of the DNC headquarters, reporters asked if he were given the chance to do it all over again, would he? Wills replied with annoyance, "That's like asking me if I'd rather be white than black. It was just a part of destiny."
That same year, Wills told a Boston Globe reporter, "I put my life on the line. I went out of my way. . . . If it wasn't for me, Woodward and Bernstein would not have known anything about Watergate. This wasn't finding a dollar under a couch somewhere." Wills was quoted saying, "Everybody tells me I'm some kind of hero, but I certainly don't have any hard evidence. I did what I was hired to do but still I feel a lot of folk don't want to give me credit, that is, a chance to move upward in my job.
Free Huey Rally in front of the Alameda County Courthouse, Oakland, California, September 1968
Huey Percy Newton Born February 17, 1942 was an African-American political activist and revolutionary who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966.
Newton had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for repeatedly stabbing another man, Odell Lee, with a steak knife in mid-1964. He served six months in prison and by October 27–28, 1967, he was out celebrating release from his probationary period.
Just before dawn on October 28, Newton and a friend were pulled over by Oakland Police Department officer John Frey. Realizing who Newton was, Frey called for backup. After fellow officer Herbert Heanes arrived, shots were fired, and all three were wounded.
Heanes testified that the shooting began after Newton was under arrest, and one witness testified that Newton shot Frey with Frey's own gun as they wrestled.
No gun on either Frey or Newton was found. Newton stated that Frey shot him first, which made him lose consciousness during the incident. Frey was shot four times and died within the hour, while Heanes was left in serious condition with three bullet wounds.
Black Panther David Hilliard took Newton to Oakland's Kaiser Hospital, where he was admitted with a bullet wound to the abdomen. Newton was soon handcuffed to his bed and arrested for Frey's killing.
Newton was convicted in September 1968 of voluntary manslaughter for the killing of Frey and was sentenced to 2 to 15 years in prison. In May 1970, the California Appellate Court reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial.
After two subsequent trials ended in hung juries, the district attorney said he would not pursue a fourth trial, and the Alameda County Superior Court dismissed the charges.
In his autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide, Newton wrote that Heanes and Frey were opposite each other and shooting in each other's direction during the shootout.
Will Harbut, 60, the groom who has attended Man o' War for 18 years, is pictured above with the world-famed horse
Will Harbut was born in 1885 and as a young man, moved to Maddoxtown, where he built
one of its first houses on the land he purchased. Maddoxtown was one of many “free
towns” that sprung up in Kentucky after the Civil War where freed men and women could
settle, farm and raise their families. The South of the pre-Civil War was a place
where landowners and slaves contributed to a thriving economy. As we understand today,
the master-slave relationship was a very complex one and, with the emancipation, was
forced into a state of social upheaval that saw newly-liberated men, women and children leaving homesteads and flocking into Southern cities. And just as suddenly, these families found themselves homeless and jobless. In an attempt to restore social and economic order, the state of Kentucky opened free towns to Afro-Americans as a means of attracting them to rural areas where they would find some measure of security and employment.
The residents of Maddoxtown farmed their land, while also working on the horse farms of the Bluegrass. As such, they were simply continuing a tradition of long-standing, since Afro-American men had cared for and ridden Kentucky thoroughbreds in the pre-Civil War era. Their contribution to thoroughbred history had been vital and important: 12 of the 15 jockeys who rode in the very first Kentucky Derby were Afro-Americans and thoroughbreds carrying Afro-American riders would wear the roses 15 times over the next 28 years. Men from the free towns around Lexington also served as trainers, as well as grooms, passing on their thoroughbred expertise from father-to-son.
Will Harbut’s Maddoxtown home, where he and his wife, Mary, raised their 12 children, faces out onto the rolling pastures of the world’s thoroughbred heartland. On any given morning, Will could stand on his porch and watch bands of thoroughbreds grazing and rollicking in the lush bluegrass. By the time he was hired by farm manager Harry/Harrie B. Scott, Will Harbut had already gotten the reputation for being a fine horseman and, some said, a horse whisperer. And when Scott was asked to run the operations at Faraway Farm in 1930, he took Will with him.
Man o' War (March 29, 1917 – November 1, 1947) was an American Thoroughbred who is widely considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time. Several sports publications, including The Blood-Horse, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and the (AP) Associated Press, voted Man o' War as the outstanding horse of the 20th century. During his racing career, just after World War I, Man o' War won 20 of 21 races and $249,465 (equivalent to $3,184,000 in 2019) in purses. He was the unofficial 1920 American horse of the year and was honored with Babe Ruth as the outstanding athlete of the year by The New York Times. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1957. On March 29, 2017, the museum opened a special exhibit in his honor, "Man o' War at 100".
After his undefeated season as a three-year old, Man o' War was retired to stud in
Lexington, originally at Elizabeth Daingerfield's Hinata Farm. In May 1922, he was
moved to Faraway Farm, a property on Huffman Mill Pike outside of Lexington that had
been jointly purchased by Riddle, his wife's niece Sarah Jeffords and her husband,
Walter. This land, including the stallion barn, is now part of Mt. Brilliant Farm.
In late 1936 or early 1937, the Riddle horses were moved to an adjacent property,
Faraway Farm, where Man o' War spent his final years. This portion of Faraway is now called Man o' War Farm.
During his lifetime, over 500,000 people signed the guest book at Faraway Farm and as many as 1.5 million are estimated to have visited him there. His longtime groom, Will Harbut, would lead the stallion out on display and proudly proclaim his charge's many accomplishments. Man o' War and Harbut were featured together on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1941. This photograph inspired a popular collectors' plate, "Forever Friends", by equine artist Fred Stone.
A teenager staring down a guard during the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights.
Protesters being physically removed during a demonstration against the violence in Selma.
Los Angeles, 1965
Baby Doll celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1942
Ted Landsmark is an attorney and architect. He served as the President of Boston Architectural College (BAC) from 1997 to 2014, and was previously the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education at the Massachusetts College of Art.
He also served as the Director of Boston's Office of Community Partnerships. Landsmark has received fellowships from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and the National Science Foundation, and he served on the editorial board for Architecture Boston.
Landsmark also serves as a trustee to numerous arts-related foundations including Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
He is widely recognized as an important advocate of diversity and of the African American cause in schools of architecture.
In the 1970s, Landsmark was working in Boston as a civil rights attorney and advocate.
Up until the violent assault from anti-busing activists and protestors, including Jim Kelly who is seen in the photograph The Soiling of Old Glory, Landsmark was involved primarily with trying to get more minority contractors into the construction industry.
He had not been paying much attention to the busing situation.
It was only after the incident and sustaining injuries did Landsmark become involved in the city's conflict over busing as part of desegregation of the public schools.
The photograph raised public ire against anti-busing supporters through its depiction of a supporter appearing to weaponize the American flag in support of his cause.
Ernest Green standing alone outside of Central High School stadium on graduation night; May 29, 1958
Ernest Green was one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Green was the first African-American to graduate from the school in 1958.
Birmingham, Alabama, 1963. The upside-down picket sign reads "Khrushchev could eat here. Why not American Negroes?"
White flight is a term that originated in the United States, starting in the 1950s and 1960s, and applied to the large-scale migration of people of various European ancestries from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions.
The term has more recently been applied to other migrations by whites, from older, inner suburbs to rural areas, as well as from the US Northeast and Midwest to the milder climate in the Southeast and Southwest.
Migration of middle-class white populations was observed during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s out of cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City and Oakland, although racial segregation of public schools had ended there long before the US Supreme Court's decision Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
In the 1970s, attempts to achieve effective desegregation by means of forced busing in some areas led to more families' moving out of former areas.
However, some historians have challenged the phrase "white flight" as a misnomer whose use should be reconsidered.
In her study of Chicago's West Side during the post-war era, historian Amanda Seligman argues that the phrase misleadingly suggests that whites immediately departed when blacks moved into the neighborhood, when in fact, many whites defended their space with violence, intimidation, or legal tactics.
Separate but equal was a legal doctrine in United States constitutional law according to which racial segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1868, which guaranteed "equal protection" under the law to all citizens.
Under the doctrine, as long as the facilities provided to each race were equal, state and local governments could require that services, facilities, public accommodations, housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation be segregated by race, which was already the case throughout the former Confederacy.
The phrase was derived from a Louisiana law of 1890, although the law actually used the phrase "equal but separate".
The doctrine was confirmed in the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation.
Though segregation laws existed before that case, the decision emboldened segregation states during the Jim Crow era, which had commenced in 1876 and supplanted the Black Codes, which restricted the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans during the Reconstruction Era. 18 states had segregation laws.
In practice the separate facilities provided to African Americans were rarely equal; usually they were not even close to equal, or they did not exist at all.
The doctrine of separate but equal was overturned by a series of Supreme Court decisions, starting with Brown v. Board of Education of 1954.
However, the overturning of segregation laws in the United States was a long process that lasted through much of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, involving federal legislation (especially the Civil Rights Act of 1964), and many court cases.
Unconscious body of civil rights marcher after mounted police officers attacked marchers in Selma, Alabama as they were beginning a 50 mile march to Montgomery to protest race discrimination in voter registration.
A scene at the corner of 62nd and Larchwood on the afternoon of May 13, 1985, following the dropping of a bomb on MOVE headquarters. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
MOVE is a black liberation group founded in 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart) and Donald Glassey, a social worker from the University of Pennsylvania. The group's name, MOVE, is not an acronym.
Its name was chosen by John Africa to say what they intended to do. Members intend to be active because they say, "Everything that's alive moves. If it didn't, it would be stagnant, dead." When members greet each other they say "on the MOVE.”
In 1985, a police helicopter dropped a bomb on the MOVE compound, a row house in the middle of the 6200 block of Osage Avenue. The resulting fire killed eleven MOVE members, including five children, and destroyed 65 houses in the neighborhood. The survivors later filed a civil suit against the city and the police department, and were awarded $1.5 million in a 1996 settlement.
On Monday, May 13, 1985, nearly five hundred police officers, along with city manager Leo Brooks, arrived in force and attempted to clear the building and execute the arrest warrants. Water and electricity was shut off in order to force MOVE members out of the house. Commissioner Sambor read a long speech addressed to MOVE members that started with, "Attention MOVE: This is America. You have to abide by the laws of the United States." When the MOVE members did not respond, the police decided to forcefully remove the members from the house.
There was an armed standoff with police, who lobbed tear gas canisters at the building. The MOVE members fired at them and a gunfight with semi-automatic and automatic firearms ensued. Police went through over ten thousand rounds of ammunition before Commissioner Sambor ordered that the compound be bombed.
From a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter, Philadelphia Police Department Lt. Frank Powell proceeded to drop two one-pound bombs (which the police referred to as "entry devices") made of FBI-supplied Tovex, a dynamite substitute, targeting a fortified, bunker-like cubicle on the roof of the house. The resulting explosions ignited a fire from fuel for a gasoline-powered generator stored in the rooftop bunker.
The fire spread and eventually destroyed approximately sixty-five nearby houses. Despite the earlier drenching of the building by firefighters, officials said they feared that MOVE would shoot at the firefighters, so held them back.
Goode later testified at a 1996 trial that he had ordered the fire to be put out after the bunker had burned. Sambor said he received the order, but the fire commissioner testified that he did not receive the order. Eleven people (John Africa, five other adults, and five children aged 7 to 13) died in the resulting fire. Ramona Africa, one of the two MOVE survivors from the house, said that police fired at those trying to escape.
On May 24, 1796, a runaway-slave advertisement was posted in the Pennsylvania Gazette by the steward at George Washington’s house in Philadelphia.
Oney, as she was known to George and Martha Washington, was one of nine enslaved African Americans who served in the President’s House in Philadelphia from 1790 to 1796. Judge was the only slave who escaped from the Philadelphia Executive Mansion.
George Washington was elected the first president of the United States in 1789, and in 1790, when the capital moved to Philadelphia, Ona traveled with the family to their official residence. She served as the main personal attendant to the first lady.
She had arrived in Philadelphia just as the Free African Society and the first independent black churches were being established.
white refugees from the Haitian revolution were given refuge in the city after 1793, many of them bringing their slaves. By 1796, over 450 Haitians had claimed their freedom under a Pennsylvania state law that enabled them to do so after a full six months’ residency.
The Washington slaves knew that the president had taken precautions to prevent them from taking advantage of this law. His plan was to send them back to Virginia before they completed six months’ residence, then return them to the Philadelphia for another period of service.
Washington informed his secretary about this scheme, stating his “wish to have it accomplished under pretext that may deceive both them [the slaves] and the Public.”
One historian has suggested this was “perhaps the only documented incident of George Washington telling a lie.”
Realizing that the relative freedom she had enjoyed in Philadelphia would soon become a memory, Judge carefully planned her escape.
Assisted by acquaintances in Philadelphia’s free black community, she stored her belongings at a friend’s house and found a merchant sloop, the Nancy, that would transport her to Portsmouth, N.H. Judge made her way to the Nancy one evening in late May while the first family was at dinner.
By the time they learned of her escape, Judge had arrived in Portsmouth. She was not legally free and was at risk of recapture under the federal Fugitive Slave Law—which Washington had signed in 1793.
The Washington’s were shocked, and the Gazette advertisement suggests that they initially had no idea why she had fled. Martha Washington, in particular, took Judge’s flight badly, viewing it as ingratitude and as a personal slight, and came to believe that Judge was pregnant and had been seduced by a mentally unstable Frenchman. At least, that is the story that George Washington used in his efforts behind the scenes to recapture her.
In late August, however, Judge’s luck ran out. The daughter of Sen. John Langdon, a close friend of the Washington’s and a frequent visitor to the Executive Mansion, came upon her on a Portsmouth street and expressed surprise that she was not attending the first lady. President Washington was soon apprised of the situation and immediately ordered Oliver Wolcott, the secretary of the treasury, to engage the Portsmouth collector of customs to retrieve her.
That action was illegal by the terms of Washington’s own Fugitive Slave Law, which required a slaveholder to use the federal courts. Washington was aware, though, that a public attempt to openly return a possibly pregnant slave to bondage would be bad publicity and might even provoke a riot.
But the collector came to quite a different conclusion about her motives once he interviewed her. She convinced him that there was no seducer, French or otherwise, and that a “thirst for complete freedom” had been her only motivation.
Cleveland Robinson standing on second floor balcony of the National Headquarters of the March on Washington in Harlem, pointing to a banner announcing the march, 1963
Cleveland Lowellyn "Cleve" Robinson (December 12, 1914 – August 23, 1995) was an American labor organizer, and civil rights activist. He was a key figure in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom for which he acted as the Chairman of the Administrative Committee.
Robinson was a stalwart of the civil rights movement. In 1957, he participated in the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. He was the chairman and one of the key organizers of the August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In September 1972, he helped to found the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), successor organization to the Negro American Labor Council (NALC), and served as its first vice-president.
Robinson suffered from glaucoma for many years, and was legally blind in 1970. His level of commitment and activity was in no way impaired by this disability. He never lost touch with his Jamaican origins and traveled to the island often, keeping up a keen interest in a number of Jamaican-American political, cultural and fraternal organizations. Robinson died of kidney failure in New York City in August 1995. His papers are held by the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Belle Grove, also known as Belle Grove Plantation, was a plantation and elaborate Greek Revival and Italianate-style plantation mansion near White Castle in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Completed in 1857, it was one of the largest mansions ever built in the South, surpassing that of the neighboring Nottoway. Nottoway is often cited as the largest antebellum plantation house remaining in the South. The masonry structure stood 62 feet (19 m) high and measured 122 feet (37 m) wide by 119 feet (36 m) deep, with seventy-five rooms (including a jail cell) spread over four floors.
The post-War era at Belle Grove saw the finely crafted home rot away in Louisiana's harsh environment. Neglect allowed a roof leak to expand and destroy one wing of the mansion. Several owners purchased the home, each with aspirations of restoration, but none had the means necessary in the lean years of the Great Depression and World War II to stop the onslaught of rapid decay. On March 17, 1952, a mysterious fire during the night destroyed what remained of the house.
Rear view in 1936, showing total collapse of three-story side wing
Dozens of books have been written regarding Belle Grove's beauty and charm, while hundreds of photographs have been published illustrating those narratives.
During the late 1930s a comprehensive set of photographs and architectural drawings were produced for the Historic American Buildings Survey. This material, an inventory of the house's contents made on the death of Isayah E. Henry in 1908, and a drawing of the missing wing, are all available on the website of the Library of Congress.
Mmmhm ya that one too......mmmmhmmm that one as well..... Mmmhmmmm mmmmhmmm
Ruby Bridges is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960.
In early 1960, Bridges was one of six black children in New Orleans to pass the test that determined whether they could go to the all-white school, William Frantz Elementary.
Two of the six decided to stay at their old school, Bridges went to a school by herself, and three children were transferred to McDonogh No. 19 and became known as the McDonogh Three.
As soon as Bridges entered the school, white parents pulled their own children out; all the teachers refused to teach while a black child was enrolled. Only one person agreed to teach Ruby and that was Barbara Henry, from Boston, Massachusetts, and for over a year Henry taught her alone, "as if she were teaching a whole class."
Women protesting against Ruby Bridges attending the all-white elementary school. Every day, mothers would carry a tiny coffin with a black doll in it and, with joyful looks on their faces, would demand the protection of their “white civil rights” towards the 6 year- old threat named Ruby.
That first day, Bridges and her adult companions spent the entire day in the principal's office; the chaos of the school prevented their moving to the classroom until the second day.
On the second day, however, a white student broke the boycott and entered the school when a 34-year-old Methodist minister, Lloyd Anderson Foreman, walked his 5-year-old daughter Pam through the angry mob, saying, "I simply want the privilege of taking my child to school ..." A few days later, other white parents began bringing their children, and the protests began to subside.
Every morning, as Bridges walked to school, one woman would threaten to poison her; because of this, the U.S. Marshals dispatched by President Eisenhower, who were overseeing her safety, allowed Ruby to eat only the food that she brought from home.
Two African American Students Attempting to Attend Classes at Texarkana College
Ray Charles Robinson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray". He was often referred to as "The Genius".
Charles started losing his vision at the age of 5, and by 7 he was blind.
He pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic.
He contributed to the integration of country music, rhythm and blues, and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, notably with his two Modern Sounds albums.
While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company.
Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was also influenced by Louis Jordan and Charles Brown.
He became friends with Quincy Jones. Their friendship lasted until the end of Charles's life. Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles "the only true genius in show business", although Charles downplayed this notion.
In 2002, Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and number two on their November 2008 list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". Billy Joel said, "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley".
The house of common sense and home of proper propaganda book store. Harlem, NY
Lewis H. Michaux, whose National Memorial African book store was for 44 years a Harlem landmark
Mr. Michaux called his bookstore the house of common sense and the home of proper propaganda. The community called it Michaux's.
The store was situated for 38 years on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard at 125th Street. Browsers and customers included Kwame Nkrumah, who later became Ghana's first President; Malcolm X and many authors and scholars, such as W. E. B. DuBois, who met his wife, Shirley Graham, there.
Joe Louis, Earths Kitt, Louis Armstrong and Langston Hughes held autograph parties
Outside the store, at the intersection Mr. Michaux called Harlem Square, street speakers for decades mounted stepladders to espouse black nationalism.
Mr. Michaux himself was a black nationalist. He was involved in nationalist movements in Harlem from the 1930's to the 1960's, and he supported Marcus Garvey's back-to- Africa movement. He picketed in Harlem to put blacks in business on busy 125th Street. He picketed at the United Nations to protest its acions in Zaire and the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congo's, Prime Minister. He led an organization called African Nationalists in America, and he was a member of the advisory board of the now-defunct Liberator, a magazine that began in 1960 and provided the first national forum for many now prominent black authors, critics and playwrights.
“You couldn't find 15 to 20 books by black people,” he said. He added that his receipts then for a day's sales were often only 75 cents or a dollar. When he retired, he said, he was taking in up to $1,500 a day.
When he closed his store, which was moved in 1968 to West 125th Street from Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard to make room for the State Harlem Office Building, he had amassed an inventory of 200,000 hooks by and about black people. His bookstore was the largest in Harlem.
A Brothel in Paris 1900
March 15, 1960 – A policeman maintains order at Sprayberry’s Cafeteria as students approaach the cashier’s desk during a sit-in
Toni Morrison is a noted author and educator and the first African American woman
to receive the Nobel Prize in literature.
Toni Morrison was born on February 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio. Her birth name was Chloe Anthony Wofford. She spent her childhood in Lorain and left to attend college at Howard University. Upon graduating from Howard with an English degree in 1953, Morrison attended Cornell University and earned an M.A. degree in 1955.
Morrison then began a career teaching English courses at Texas Southern University and then at Howard University. In 1964, Morrison accepted a position as an editor with Random House and left college teaching for the next nineteen years.
While at Howard University, Morrison began to write fiction. In 1970, she published
her first novel, The Bluest Eye. She later completed two novels
entitled Sula (1973) and Song of Solomon (1977). Both of these works received critical acclaim. Song of Solomon won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award.
In 1983, Morrison left Random House and returned to teaching as the Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities at the State University of New York-Albany. She continued to write and completed her best known novel, Beloved, in 1987. Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel. Two years later, she became the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. This was the first time that an African-American woman writer received a named professorship at an Ivy League institution. In 1993, she became the first African- American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.
At Howard she changed her name from Chloe to Toni (having taken the name Anthony on becoming a Roman Catholic at the age of 12), apparently because she found that people constantly mispronounced “Chloe”. However she later regretted the name change, saying in 1992: “I am really Chloe Anthony Wofford. That’s who I am. I have been writing under this other person’s name. I write some things now as Chloe Wofford, private things. I regret having called myself Toni Morrison when I published my first novel, The Bluest Eye.”
Ozark Mountain area in Arkansas.
Concerned Citizens of Lakeland confront the Ku Klux Klan on Florida Avenue, August 1938.
man crouches on the ground as he reacts to night stick strikes from state police, following a civil rights demonstration. 1964.
In the late afternoon of May 1, 1866, long broiling tensions between the residents of southern Memphis, Tennessee erupted into a three day riot known as the Memphis Riot of 1866. The riot began when a white police officer attempted to arrest a black ex-soldier and an estimated fifty blacks showed up to stop the police from jailing him. Accounts vary as to who began the shooting, but the altercation that ensued quickly involved more and more of the city.
The victims initially were only black soldiers, but the violence quickly spread to other blacks living just south of Memphis who were attacked while their homes, schools, and churches were destroyed. White Northerners who worked as missionaries and school teachers in black schools were also targeted.
In an attempt to restore order, U.S. Army commander George Stoneman ordered the black soldiers of the Third United States Colored Heavy Artillery regiment back to Fort Pickering just outside the city and they obeyed. Nonetheless, the violence continued throughout the night as the targets now became the black civilians in the city. Memphis police and firemen openly participated in the violence and looting and as a result the city’s black citizens could not count on them to stop the attacks or put out the fires in the African American neighborhoods.
The conflict stretched into a second day when Memphis Mayor John Park refused to request state or federal assistance. On the afternoon of the third day, General Stoneman declared martial law and sent black and white troops into the city to reestablish order.
Within a month a congressional committee arrived to investigate the riot.
The investigation and interviews were thorough, but the report was controlled by Radical Republicans in Congress and used to gain support for Reconstruction policies. The national impact of the report was the rapid endorsement of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, making all ex-slaves citizens, and the increasing of Republican majorities in Congress in the November 1866 elections.
The report sought to show the vulnerability of southern blacks immediately after the end of the Civil War but it targeted Irish southerners as their major threat (as opposed to white southerners in general).
The report blamed the overwhelmingly Irish police force of Memphis as well as the black-Irish competition for manual labor jobs for the underlying tensions that led to the conflict. Yet it virtually ignored the non-Irish whites who participated in the rioting and the role of black soldiers who before the fighting had been given responsibility for patrolling much of the city.
The authority given to the black soldiers disturbed and discomforted many of Memphis’s
white citizens who preferred that the newly freed slaves retain subordinate roles
in their city.
By the end of May 3, Memphis’s black community had been devastated. Forty- six blacks had been killed.
Two whites died in the conflict, one as the result of an accident and another, a policeman, because of a self-inflicted gunshot.
There were five rapes and 285 people were injured. Over one hundred houses and buildings burned down as a result of the riot and the neglect of the firemen. No arrests were made.
Mansa Musa, fourteenth century emperor of the Mali Empire, is the medieval African ruler most known to the world outside Africa. His elaborate pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in 1324 introduced him to rulers in the Middle East and in Europe. His leadership of Mali, a state which stretched across two thousand miles from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Chad and which included all or parts of the modern nations of Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad, ensured decades of peace and prosperity in Western Africa.
Mansa Musa became the first Muslim ruler in West Africa to make the nearly four thousand mile journey to Mecca.
During his reign Mali may have been the largest producer of gold in the world at a point of exceptional demand. One of the richest people in history, he is known to have been enormously wealthy; reported as being inconceivably rich by contemporaries, "There’s really no way to put an accurate number on his wealth”
Musa's journey was documented by several eyewitnesses along his route, who were in awe of his wealth and extensive procession, and records exist in a variety of sources, including journals, oral accounts, and histories.
Musa is known to have visited the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, Al-Nasir Muhammad, in July 1324. But Musa's generous actions inadvertently devastated the economy of the regions through which he passed. In the cities of Cairo, Medina, and Mecca, the sudden influx of gold devalued the metal for the next decade.
Prices on goods and wares greatly inflated. To rectify the gold market, on his way back from Mecca, Musa borrowed all the gold he could carry from money-lenders in Cairo, at high interest. This is the only time recorded in history that one man directly controlled the price of gold in the Mediterranean.
Elijah J. McCoy (May 2, 1844 – October 10, 1929) was a Canadian-born inventor and engineer of African American descent who was notable for his 57 US patents, most having to do with the lubrication of steam engines. Born free in Canada, he came to the United States as a young child when his family returned in 1847, becoming a U.S. resident and citizen.
When Elijah McCoy arrived in Michigan, he could find work only as a fireman and oiler
at the Michigan Central Railroad. In a home-based machine shop in Ypsilanti, Michigan,
McCoy also did more highly skilled work, such as developing improvements and inventions.
He invented an automatic
lubricator for oiling the steam engines of locomotives and ships, patenting it in 1872 as "Improvement in Lubricators for Steam-Engines" (U.S. Patent 129,843). Similar automatic oilers had been patented previously; one is the displacement lubricator, which had already attained widespread use and whose technological descendants continued to be widely used into the 20th century. Lubricators were a boon for railroads, as they enabled trains to run faster and more profitably with less need to stop for lubrication and maintenance.
McCoy continued to refine his devices and design new ones; 50 of his patents dealt
with lubricating systems. After the turn of the century, he attracted notice among
his black contemporaries. Booker T. Washington in Story of the Negro (1909) recognized him as having produced more patents than any other black inventor
up to that time. This creativity gave McCoy an honored status in the black community
that has persisted to this day. He continued to invent until late in life, obtaining
as many as 57 patents; most related to lubrication but others also included a folding
ironing board and a lawn sprinkler. Lacking the capital with which to manufacture
his lubricators in large numbers, he usually
assigned his patent rights to his employers or sold them to investors. Lubricators with the McCoy name were not manufactured until 1920, near the end of his career, when he formed the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company to produce them.
Historians have not agreed on the importance of McCoy's contribution to the field of lubrication. He is credited in some biographical sketches with revolutionizing the railroad or machine industries with his devices. Early twentieth-century lubrication literature barely mentions him; for example, his name is absent from E. L. Ahrons' Lubrication of Locomotives (1922), which does identify several other early pioneers and companies of the field. This popular expression, typically meaning the real thing, has been possibly attributed to Elijah McCoy's oil-drip cup invention. One theory is that railroad engineers looking to avoid inferior copies would request it by name, and inquire if a locomotive was fitted with "the real McCoy system". This theory is mentioned in Elijah McCoy's biography at the National Inventors Hall of Fame.It can be traced to the December 1966 issue of Ebony in an advertisement for Old Taylor bourbon whiskey: "But the most famous legacy McCoy left his country was his name." A 1985 pamphlet printed by the Empak Publishing Company also notes the phrase's origin but does not elaborate.
Other possibilities for its origin have been proposed and while it has undoubtedly been applied as an epithet to many other McCoys, its association with Elijah has become iconic and remains topical.
The expression, "The real McCoy", was first published in Canada in 1881, but the expression, "The Real McKay", can be traced to Scottish advertising in 1856.
In 1932, the Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began a study to record the natural history of syphilis in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks. It was called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.”
The study initially involved 600 black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent.
Researchers told the men they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue.
In truth, they did not receive the proper treatment needed to cure their illness. In exchange for taking part in the study, the men received free medical exams, free meals, and burial insurance.
Although originally projected to last 6 months, the study actually went on for 40 years.
Bobby Seale is an American political activist. He and fellow activist Huey P. Newton co-founded the Black Panther Party. Seale and Newton were heavily inspired by the teachings of human rights leader and activist Malcolm X, who was assassinated in 1965.
Bobby Seale was one of the original "Chicago Eight" defendants charged with conspiracy and inciting a riot in the wake of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Bobby Seale, while in prison, stated, "To be a Revolutionary is to be an Enemy of the state. To be arrested for this struggle is to be a Political Prisoner."
During the trial, one of Seale's many vociferous protests led Judge Julius Hoffman to have him bound and gagged, as commemorated in the song "Chicago" written by Graham Nash and mentioned in the poem and song "H2Ogate Blues" by Gil Scott-Heron.
Bobby Seale ran for Mayor of Oakland, California in 1973. He received the second-most votes in a field of nine candidates but ultimately lost in a run-off with incumbent Mayor John Reading.
Joseph Robert Love, known as Dr. Robert Love (2 October 1839 – 21 November 1914), was a 19th-century Bahamian-born medical doctor, clergyman, teacher, journalist, politician and Pan-Africanist. He lived, studied, and worked successively in the Bahamas, the United States of America, Haiti, and Jamaica. Love spent the last decades of his life in Jamaica, where he held political office, published a newspaper, and advocated for the island's black majority.
Love was born in the Bahamas on 2 October 1839. He got primary education and was influence by the Anglican Church during this period. Later he became a teacher in Bahamas.
In the late 1860s, He went to United States. In June 1871, he became clergy in Trinity Church, New York and transferred to the Church of St. Stephen, Savannah in December. In 1872, claiming about the discrimination to people of darker color there, he left Church of St. Stephen, Savannah and established St. Augustine's mission that mainly consist of black people; during this period he also managed schools for black children. In 1876 he left the mission and left for Buffalo. In Buffalo, he was Rector of St. Philip's until 1878. From 1877 he started to study at the University of Buffalo and in 1880 he obtained a medical degree.
In 1881, Love moved to Haiti, where he served as the rector of an Anglican church in Port-au-Prince. He was forced to end his career in church due to a quarrel, and he became a doctor in the Haitian army that engaged with the revolt in Haiti. During his time in Haiti he experienced grave difficulty in politics. In 1889, he was eventually expelled. He went to Kingston, Jamaica and failed in his attempts to return to Haiti.
In 1881, Love moved to Haiti, where he served as the rector of an Anglican church in Port-au-Prince. He was forced to end his career in church due to a quarrel, and he became a doctor in the Haitian army that engaged with the revolt in Haiti. During his time in Haiti he experienced grave difficulty in politics. In 1889, he was eventually expelled. He went to Kingston, Jamaica and failed in his attempts to return to Haiti.
In Jamaica, he started the Jamaica Advocate newspaper in December 1894, which became an influential newspaper on the island. Love used the paper as a forum to express his concern for the living conditions of Jamaica's black population. He was a staunch advocate of access to education for the majority of the population. He believed that girls, like boys, should receive secondary school education.
Love piloted a voter registration drive, as a means of empowering the black majority, and challenging white minority rule. The white elite in the Colony of Jamaica worried that Love was filling the heads of black people with dangerous ideas of racial equality.
Love's activism in favour of Jamaica's economically depressed black majority influenced later Jamaican and Caribbean activists, including Marcus Garvey.
Freaknik was an annual spring break meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, primarily of students from historically black colleges and universities. Begun in 1983 as a small picnic near the Atlanta University Center, it was initially sponsored by the DC Metro Club and was typically held during the third weekend in April to coincide with the schools of the Atlanta University Center's Reading Day.
The event increased in size and popularity in the 1990s with dancing, drinking, parties, a basketball tournament, rap sessions, a film festival and a job fair.
Freaknik was conceived in March 1983 in a dorm room on the second-floor of Thurman Hall at Morehouse College when Pat Stanback, a member of the DC Metro club, was challenged by a member of the California club about who would throw the biggest party.
Pat brought the idea to the President of the DC Metro club and they voted on the name and sponsored the first Freaknik in April, 1983 at John White Park in Atlanta. The first few years alternated between John White Park and Adams Park with them announcing the location at the last minute in hopes of evading police.
Many students from the AUC, Atlanta University Center, attended and partied to music provided by Flash Attack Inc.. DJ Bam Bam Barney and DJ Flash did the first 2 annual gatherings.
As it grew, the festival attracted upwards of 250,000 revelers to the city. However, as the freaknik grew in attendance Atlantans' reception of the festival was mixed. Many residents had attended and enjoyed Freaknik since it was started. Otherwise, Freaknik went largely unnoticed by most of the city.
The problems with Freaknik began in 1993, when the number of people coming to Atlanta for the event suddenly doubled to more than 80,000.
Many residents believe the City of Atlanta was caught off guard in 1993 by the increased number of people who came to the city for Freaknik. In some areas, the massive increase in cars on the road caused traffic to come to a halt, and the revelers got out of their cars and danced in the streets.
This in turn caused panic in some areas where people could not get home from their jobs, and they were trapped in areas where many revelers started harassing and yelling obscenities at residents.
Group of boys playing basketball on outdoor court near apartment buildings, possibly
Women wearing a Elk’s badge standing in a garden next to a dog wearing crown
On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., for a political rally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organized by a number of civil rights and religious groups, the event was designed to shed light on the political and social challenges African Americans continued to face across the country.
The march, which became a key moment in the growing struggle for civil rights in the United States, culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for racial justice and equality.
As blacks faced continuing discrimination in the postwar years, the March on Washington group met annually to reiterate blacks’ demands for economic equality.
The civil rights movement of the 1960s transformed the political climate, and in 1963, black leaders began to plan a new March on Washington, designed specifically to advocate passage of the Civil Rights Act then stalled in Congress.
Chaired again by A. Philip Randolph and organized by his longtime associate, Bayard Rustin, this new March for Jobs and Freedom was expected to attract 100,000 participants.
President John F. Kennedy showed as little enthusiasm for the march as had Roosevelt, but this time the black leaders would not be dissuaded. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference put aside their long-standing rivalry, black and white groups across the country were urged to attend, and elaborate arrangements were made to ensure a harmonious event.
The growing disillusion among some civil rights workers was reflected in a speech planned by John Lewis of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, but in order to preserve the atmosphere of goodwill, leaders of the march persuaded Lewis to omit his harshest criticisms of the Kennedy administration.
The march was an unprecedented success. More than 200,000 black and white Americans shared a joyous day of speeches, songs, and prayers led by a celebrated array of clergymen, civil rights leaders, politicians, and entertainers.
Azie Taylor Morton (February 1, 1936 – December 7, 2003) served as Treasurer of the United States during the Carter administration from September 12, 1977 to January 20, 1981. She remains the only African American to hold that office. Her signature was printed on US currency during her tenure.
Before becoming treasurer, she served on President John F. Kennedy's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. From 1972 to 1976, she was a special assistant to Robert Schwarz Strauss, the chair of the Democratic National Committee. She was also an election observer for the presidential elections in Haiti, Senegal, and the Dominican Republic; a member of the American Delegation to Rome, Italy for the Enthronement of Pope John Paul II; chair of a People to People Mission to the Soviet Union and China; and a representative to the first African/African American Conference held in Africa. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States, in 1961 and subsequent years, in order to challenge the non-enforcement of the United States Supreme Court decisions Morgan v. Virginia (1946) and Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which ruled that segregated public buses were unconstitutional.
The Freedom Riders challenged this status quo by riding interstate buses in the South in mixed racial groups to challenge local laws or customs that enforced segregation in seating.
The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Police arrested riders for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violating state and local Jim Crow laws, along with other alleged offenses.
The Birmingham, Alabama, Police Commissioner, Bull Connor, together with Police Sergeant Tom Cook (an avid Ku Klux Klan supporter), organized violence against the Freedom Riders with local Klan chapters. The pair made plans to bring the Ride to an end in Alabama. They assured Gary Thomas Rowe, an FBI informer and member of Eastview Klavern #13 the most violent Klan group in Alabama, that the mob would have 15 minutes to attack the riders without any arrests being made.
On May 14, Mother's Day, in Anniston, a mob of Klansmen, some still in church attire, attacked the first of the two buses (the Greyhound). The driver tried to leave the station, but was blocked until KKK members slashed its tires.
The mob forced the crippled bus to stop several miles outside of town and then firebombed it. As the bus burned, the mob held the doors shut, intending to burn the riders to death.
Sources disagree, but either an exploding fuel tank or an undercover state investigator brandishing a revolver caused the mob to retreat, and the riders escaped the bus.
The mob beat the riders after they got out. Only warning shots fired into the air by highway patrolmen prevented the riders from being lynched.
J. Rosamond Johnson, was an American composer and singer during the Harlem Renaissance. Johnson is most notable as the composer of the hymn "Lift Every Voice and Sing". His brother, the poet James Weldon Johnson, wrote the lyrics of the famous piece.
James Weldon Johnson was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Johnson is best remembered for his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917.
”Lift Every Voice and Sing" was publicly performed first as a poem as part of a celebration
of Abraham Lincoln's birthday on February 12, 1900, by 500 school children at the
segregated Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida. Its principal, James Weldon Johnson,
wrote the words to introduce its honored guest Booker
T. Washington. The NAACP dubbed it "The Negro National Anthem" for its power in voicing the cry for liberation and affirmation for African-American people.
Rising to prominence with James Brown in the early 1970s, and later with Parliament-Funkadelic, Collins's driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk.
He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
With his elder brother Phelps "Catfish" Collins, Frankie "Kash" Waddy, and Philippé Wynne, Collins formed a funk band, The Pacemakers, in 1968.
In March 1970, after most of the members of James Brown's band quit over a pay dispute, The Pacemakers were hired as Brown's backing band and they became known as The J.B.'s. (They are often referred to as the "original" J.B.'s to distinguish them from later line-ups that went by the same name.) Although they worked for Brown for only 11 months, the original J.B.'s played on some of Brown's most intense funk recordings, including "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine", "Bewildered (1970)", "Super Bad", "Soul Power", "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing", and two instrumental singles, the much-sampled "The Grunt" and "These Are the J.B.'s". In regards to his tenure working for James Brown, Collins stated:
"He treated me like a son. And being out of a fatherless home, I needed that father figure and he really played up to it. I mean, Good Lord. Every night after we played a show, he called us back to give us a lecture about how horrible we sounded. [Affects James Brown voice] “Nah, not on it, son. I didn’t hear the one. You didn’t give me the one.”
He would tell me this at every show. One night, we knew we wasn’t sounding really
good – we were off – and he calls us back there and said, “Uh huh, now that’s what
I’m talkin’ about. Y’all was on it tonight. Y’all hit the one.” My brother and I looked
at each other like, “This mother has got to be crazy.” We knew in our heart and soul
that we wasn’t all that on that show. So then I started figuring out his game, man.
By telling me that I wasn’t on it, he made me practice harder. So I just absorbed
what he said and used it in a positive way."
After parting ways with James Brown, Collins returned to Cincinnati and formed House Guests with his brother Phelps Collins, Rufus Allen, Clayton "Chicken" Gunnels, Frankie Waddy, Ronnie Greenaway and Robert McCullough. The House Guests released "What So Never the Dance" and another single on the House Guests label, as well as a third as The Sound of Vision on the House Guests label.
Next Collins moved to Detroit, Michigan, after Philippé Wynne suggested joining The Spinners, for whom Wynne had been singing. However, following the advice of singer and future Parliament member Mallia Franklin, Collins had another choice. Franklin there introduced both Collins brothers to George Clinton, and 1972 saw both of the Collins brothers, along with Waddy, join Funkadelic. Collins played bass on most of Funkadelic and Parliament albums through the early 1980s, garnering several songwriting credits as well. In 1976 Collins, Catfish, Waddy, Joel Johnson (1953–2018), Gary "Mudbone" Cooper, Robert Johnson and The Horny Horns formed Bootsy's Rubber Band, a separate touring unit of Clinton's P-Funk collective. The group recorded five albums together, the first three of which are often considered to be among the quintessential P-Funk recordings. The group's 1978 album Bootsy? Player of the Year reached the top of the R&B album chart and spawned the #1 R&B single "Bootzilla".
Like Clinton, Collins took on several alter egos, from Casper the Funky Ghost to Bootzilla, "the world's only rhinestone rockstar monster of a doll", all as parts of the evolving character of an alien rock star who grew gradually more bizarre as time went on (see P-Funk mythology). He also adopted his trademark "space bass" around this time.
Issac Woodard was an African American World War II veteran. Hours after being honorably discharged from the United States Army on February 12, 1946, he was attacked while still in uniform by South Carolina police over a dispute with a bus driver over the use of the restroom.
The attack and his injuries sparked national outrage and galvanized the civil rights movement in the United States.
The attack left Woodard completely and permanently blind.
Due to South Carolina's reluctance to pursue the case, President Harry S. Truman ordered a federal investigation. The sheriff was indicted and went to trial in federal court in South Carolina, where he was acquitted by an all-white jury.
On February 12, 1946, former U.S. Army Sergeant Isaac Woodard Jr. was on a Greyhound Lines bus traveling from Camp Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, where he had been discharged, en route to rejoin his family in North Carolina. When the bus reached a rest stop just outside Augusta, Woodard asked the bus driver if there was time for him to use a restroom.
The driver grudgingly acceded to the request after an argument. Woodard returned to his seat from the rest stop without incident, and the bus departed.
The bus stopped in Batesburg. Though Woodard had caused no disruption, the driver contacted the local police (including Chief of Police Lynwood Shull), who forcibly removed Woodard from the bus.
After demanding to see his discharge papers, a number of policemen, including Shull, took Woodard to a nearby alleyway, where they beat him repeatedly with nightsticks.
They then took Woodard to the town jail and arrested him for disorderly conduct, accusing him of drinking beer in the back of the bus with other soldiers.
During the course of the night in jail, Shull beat and blinded Woodard. Woodard also suffered partial amnesia as a result of his injuries.
Newspaper accounts indicate that Woodard's eyes had been "gouged out"; historical documents indicate that each globe was ruptured irreparably in the socket.
Biscuits have been a staple at the Southern supper table since at least the mid-18th century.
The classic Southern bread has many varieties—the labor-intensive beaten biscuit, the fluffy buttermilk biscuit, and the minimalist drop biscuit. As the biscuit has evolved over time, so has the process of making them.
On November 30, 1875, Alexander P. Ashbourne invented a biscuit cutter. Ashbourne (c.1820-1915) was an African American grocery store owner in Oakland, California.
His spring-loaded cutter consisted of a board to load and unload biscuits, and a metal plate with various shapes.The cook could push down on the plate to cut the dough into shapes.
(From 1875 to 1880, Ashbourne patented three additional inventions that improved on the process of preparing, treating, and refining coconut oil for domestic use.)
A gentlemen picks up and returns Addie Frazier’s KKK hood after a klan march 1979.
The phenomenon of slaves running away and seeking to gain freedom is as old as the institution of slavery itself.
In the history of slavery in the United States, "fugitive slaves" (also known as runaway slaves) were slaves who left their master and traveled without authorization; generally they tried to reach states or territories where slavery was banned, including Canada.
Most slave law tried to control slave travel by requiring them to carry official passes if traveling without a master.
Fugitive slaves early in U.S. were sought out just as they were through the Fugitive slave law years, but early efforts included only Wanted posters, flyers etc.
when the slaves were found gone, most masters did everything they could to find their lost “property.”
Flyers would be put up, posses to find him/her would be sent out, and under the new Fugitive Slave Act they could now send federal marshals into the north to extract them.
This new law also brought up bounty hunters to the game of returning slaves to their masters; a “slave” who had already been freed could be brought back into the south to be sold back into slavery if he/she was without freedom papers.
In 1851 there was a case of a black coffeehouse waiter who was snatched by federal marshals on behalf of John Debree, who claimed the man to be his property.
Black Dentist Accepts Black Patients only.
Doctor W.T.Ford has a poster printed for his new dental office in Cordele, Georgia.
Underscoring Black Self sufficiency amidst ongoing segregation of the south, the doctor only accepts “colored People.”
Inventor Otis Boykin was born on August 29, 1920, in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from high school, he attended Fisk College in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating in 1941.
That same year, he took a job as a lab assistant with the Majestic Radio and TV Corporation in Chicago, Illinois. He rose in the ranks, ultimately serving as a supervisor.
He eventually took a position with the P.J. Nilsen Research Laboratories while trying to start his own business, Boykin-Fruth Incorporated.
At the same time, he decided to continue his education, pursuing graduate studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois.
He was forced to drop out in 1947, after only two years of education, because he was unable to afford tuition.
Boykin, who took a special interest in working with resistors, began researching and inventing on his own. He sought and received a patent for a wire precision resistor on June 16, 1959.
This resistor would later be used in radios and televisions. Two years later, he created a breakthrough device that could withstand extreme changes in temperature and pressure.The device, which was cheaper and more reliable than others on the market, came in great demand by the United States military for guided missiles and IBM for computers.
In 1964, Boykin moved to Paris, creating electronic innovations for a new market of customers. His most famous invention was a control unit for the pacemaker.
Ironically, Boykin died in Chicago in 1982 as a result of heart failure. Upon his death, he had 26 patents to his name.
George McLaurin, first African-American student admitted to the University of Oklahoma, forced to sit apart from other students. 1948.
In McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, McLaurin argued that the Fourteenth Amendment was being violated by how they were being treated. It was not until 1950 that the Supreme Court ruled that the treatment must be equal between White and African American students. Mclaurin v Oklahoma State Regents was an important case in history because it was one of the first cases that attempted to combat the "separate but equal" provision in the Plessy v Ferguson case. Mclaurin v Oklahoma showed how the "separate but equal" provision can still be manipulated in a way that discriminates against individuals on the basis of race.
This case played an influential role in history because its ruling led the way to the eventual overturning of Plessy v Ferguson. The Mclaurin case showed the inequality in the separate but equal provision, the accommodations made for Mclaurin required that he sit separate from the other students, in an alcove labeled "reserved of colored" , he sat alone in the cafeteria and he also had his own desk in the library which was behind a stack of newspapers so he would not be seen by the white students.
All of these discriminatory practices happened under the umbrella of the separate but equal provision." In 1950 a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that McLaurin had not received equal treatment as required by the Constitution.
Writing for the Court, Chief Justice Frederick M. Vinson wrote that McLaurin was "handicapped in his pursuit of effective graduate instruction. Such restrictions impair and inhibit his ability to study, to engage in discussion and exchange views with other students, and in general to learn his professions."
In 1956, forty black students applied for transfers at a white school. This was after the passing of the Pearsall Plan in North Carolina.
At 15 years of age, on 4 September 1957, Dorothy Counts was one of the four black students enrolled at various all-white schools in the district; She was at Harry Harding High School, Charlotte, North Carolina.
Three students were enrolled at other schools, including Central High School. The harassment started when the wife of John Z. Warlick, the leader of the White Citizens Council, urged the boys to "keep her out" and at the same time, implored the girls to spit on her, saying, "spit on her, girls, spit on her."
Dorothy walked by without reacting, but told the press that many people threw rocks at her—most of which landed in front of her feet—and that many spat on her back.
Photographer Douglas Martin won the 1957 World Press Photo of the Year with an image of Counts being mocked by a crowd on her first day of school.
More abuse followed that day. She had trash thrown at her while eating her dinner and the teachers ignored her.
The following day, she befriended two white girls, but they soon drew back because of harassment from other classmates.
Her family received threatening phone calls and after four days of extensive harassment—which included a smashed car and having her locker ransacked, her father decided to take his daughter out of the school. At a press conference, he said:
It is with compassion for our native land and love for our daughter Dorothy that we withdraw her as a student at Harding High School. As long as we felt she could be protected from bodily injury and insults within the school’s walls and upon the school premises, we were willing to grant her desire to study at Harding.
The family moved to Pennsylvania, where Counts attended an integrated school in Philadelphia, and later earned a degree from Johnson C. Smith University.
She has spent her professional career in child care resources.
In 2008, Harding High School awarded Counts an honorary diploma.
In 2010, Counts received a public apology from a member of the crowd which harassed her in 1957.
In 2010, Harding High School renamed its library in honor of Counts-Scoggins, an honour rarely bestowed upon living persons.
Marchers cross the Alabama river on the Edmund Pettus Bridge at Selma on March 21, 1965.
Huey Percy Newton (February 17, 1942 – August 22, 1989) was an African- American political
activist, pro second amendment and Marxist-
Leninist revolutionary who, along with fellow Merritt College student Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party (1966–1982). Together with Seale, Newton created a ten-point program which laid out guidelines for how the African-American community could achieve liberation.
In the 1960s, under Newton's leadership, the Black Panther Party founded over 60 community support programs (renamed survival programs in 1971) including food banks, medical clinics, HIV support groups, sickle cell anemia tests, prison busing for families of inmates, legal advice seminars, clothing banks, housing cooperates, and their own ambulance service. The most famous of these programs was the Free Breakfast for Children program which fed thousands of impoverished children daily during the early 1970s.
Newton also co-founded the Black Panther newspaper service which became one of America's most widely distributed African-American newspapers. In 1967, he was involved in a shootout which led to the death of a police officer and in 1974 was accused of shooting a woman, leading to her death. Despite graduating from high school not knowing how to read, he taught himself literacy by reading Plato's Republic and earned a Ph.D. in social philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz's History of Consciousness program in 1980.
In 1989, he was murdered in Oakland, California by Tyrone Robinson, a member of the
Black Guerrilla Family.
Newton was known for being an advocate of self-defense, Palestinian statehood, and for his support of communist-led governments in Cuba, China, North Korea, and Vietnam.
The number one cause of black migration out of the South at this time was to escape racial violence or "bulldozing" by white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the White League.
Vigilantes operated with almost total impunity, and no other issue was of more importance to the majority of southern blacks living in the countryside.
Given the extreme level of discrimination and violent intimidation blacks faced in the rural South, the Exodusters can more accurately be described as refugees.
Many steamboat captains refused to carry migrants across the Mississippi River, and thousands of Exodusters found themselves stranded for months in St. Louis.
The political response of southern white Democrats, and of some conservative “representative” Black men, was one of disgust and incomprehension.
They distrusted the intentions of white philanthropy in aiding black migration; in fact, they were convinced of ulterior motives.
In solidarity, the Democratic party as a whole “refused to admit to the fact of Southern lawlessness because many of the crimes had been perpetrated by Democrats, usually for their party’s own advancement.
The Exoduster movement has been characterized as an example of millenarianism, in that many exodusters created settlements they believed to be their new, Promised Land.
Andrew "Rube" Foster (September 17, 1879 – December 9, 1930) was an American baseball player, manager, and executive in the Negro leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
Foster, considered by historians to have been perhaps the best African-American pitcher of the first decade of the 1900s, also founded and managed the Chicago American Giants, one of the most successful black baseball teams of the pre-integration era.
Most notably, he organized the Negro National League, the first long-lasting professional league for African-American ballplayers, which operated from 1920 to 1931. He is known as the "father of Black Baseball."
Foster adopted his longtime nickname, "Rube", as his official middle name later in life.
The Free Breakfast for School Children Program was a community service program run by the Black Panther Party as an early manifestation of the social mission envisioned by founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale along with their founding of the Oakland Community School, which provided high-level education to 150 children from impoverished urban neighborhoods. Inspired by contemporary research about the essential role of breakfast for optimal schooling, the Panthers would cook and serve food to the poor inner city youth of the area. Initiated in January 1969 at St. Augustine's Church in Oakland, California, the program became so popular that by the end of the year, the Panthers set up kitchens in cities across the US, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school.
The Free Breakfast Program became the central organizing activity of the group. The reach and success of the program in so many communities underscored the inadequacies of the federal government's then-flagging and underresourced lunch programs in public schools across the country. Many of these programs were held in predominantly black neighborhood but also served children of other ethnicity.
Despite its successes, Federal authorities attempted to discredit and derail the Free Breakfast Program. Among other actions, authorities raided breakfast program locations while children were eating.
Fred Hampton, leader of the Chicago local, helped organize a number of community programs. These included five different breakfast programs on the West Side, a free medical center, a door to door program of health services (which offered testing for sickle cell anemia), and blood drives for the Cook County Hospital.
The Chicago party also reached out to local gangs to clean up their acts, get them away from crime and bring them into the class war. The Party's efforts met with wide success, and Hampton's audiences and organized contingent grew by the day.
The Loew's Grand Theatre on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia, was selected to air the premiere of the film Gone with the Windin 1939. All of the film's black actors, including future Academy Award winner Hattie McDaniel, were barred from attending.
Hattie McDaniel was an African American stage actress, professional singer- songwriter, and comedian. She is best known for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first Academy Award won by an African American entertainer.
In addition to acting in many films, McDaniel was a radio performer and television star; she was the first black woman to sing on radio in the United States.
She appeared in over 300 films, although she received screen credits for only 80 or so.
McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood: one at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to radio and one at 1719 Vine Street for acting in motion pictures.
In 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and in 2006 became the first black Oscar winner honored with a US postage stamp.
African American men preparing to serve a meal in an outdoor setting among trees at Tuskegee Institute - 1895
black girl playing the viola
Mornice Garrett and her seven children eat dinner, chicken necks boiled with spaghetti. Their two rooms lack space for either a dining table or any chairs.
Citizens Studying the Mississippi voter application before going down to the courthouse to try to register.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections.
Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act secured voting rights for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.
The Act contains numerous provisions that regulate election administration. The Act's "general provisions" provide nationwide protections for voting rights. Section 2 is a general provision that prohibits every state and local government from imposing any voting law that results in discrimination against racial or language minorities.
Other general provisions specifically outlaw literacy tests and similar devices that were historically used to disenfranchise racial minorities.
The Act also contains "special provisions" that apply to only certain jurisdictions. A core special provision is the Section 5 preclearance requirement, which prohibits certain jurisdictions from implementing any change affecting voting without receiving preapproval from the U.S. Attorney General or the U.S. District Court for D.C. that the change does not discriminate against protected minorities. Another special provision requires jurisdictions containing significant language minority populations to provide bilingual ballots and other election materials.
After the Civil War, the three Reconstruction Amendments were ratified and limited this discretion. The Thirteenth Amendment (1865) prohibits slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) grants citizenship to anyone "born or naturalized in the United States" and guarantees every person due process and equal protection rights; and the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) provides that "[t]he right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." These Amendments also empower Congress to enforce their provisions through "appropriate legislation".
Southern states generally sought to disenfranchise racial minorities during and after Reconstruction.
From 1868 to 1888, electoral fraud and violence throughout the South suppressed the African-American vote.
From 1888 to 1908, Southern states legalized disenfranchisement by enacting Jim Crow laws; they amended their constitutions and passed legislation to impose various voting restrictions, including literacy tests, poll taxes, property-ownership requirements, moral character tests, requirements that voter registration applicants interpret particular documents, and grandfather clauses that allowed otherwise-ineligible persons to vote if their grandfathers voted (which excluded many African Americans whose grandfathers had been slaves or otherwise ineligible).
Following the 1964 elections, civil rights organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) pushed for federal action to protect the voting rights of racial minorities.
Their efforts culminated in protests in Alabama, particularly in the city of Selma, where County Sheriff Jim Clark's police force violently resisted African-American voter registration efforts. Speaking about the voting rights push in Selma, James Forman of SNCC said:
Our strategy, as usual, was to force the U.S. government to intervene in case there were arrests—and if they did not intervene, that inaction would once again prove the government was not on our side and thus intensify the development of a mass consciousness among blacks.
Our slogan for this drive was "One Man, One Vote."
In January 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Bevel, and other civil rights leaders organized several demonstrations in Selma that led to violent clashes with police.
These marches received national media coverage and drew attention to the issue of voting rights. King and other demonstrators were arrested during a march on February 1 for violating an anti-parade ordinance; this inspired similar marches in the following days, causing hundreds more to be arrested.
On February 4, civil rights leader Malcolm X gave a militant speech in Selma in which he said that many African Americans did not support King's nonviolent approach; he later privately said that he wanted to frighten whites into supporting King.
The next day, King was released and a letter he wrote addressing voting rights, "Letter From A Selma Jail", appeared in The New York Times.
With the nation paying increasing attention to Selma and voting rights, President Johnson reversed his decision to delay voting rights legislation, and on February 6, he announced he would send a proposal to Congress.
However, he did not reveal the proposal's content or when it would come before Congress.
Because of discrimination Los Angeles' African American residents were excluded from the high-paying jobs, affordable housing, and politics available to white residents; moreover, they faced discrimination by the white-dominated Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)
In 1950, William H. Parker was appointed and sworn in as Los Angeles Chief of Police. After a major scandal called Bloody Christmas of 1951, Parker pushed for more independence from political pressures that would enable him to create a more professionalized police force.
The public supported him and voted for charter changes that isolated the police department from the rest of the city government. In the 1960s, the LAPD was promoted as one of the best police forces in the world.
Despite its reform and having a professionalized, military-like police force, William Parker's LAPD faced repeated criticism from the city's Latino and black residents for police brutality. Chief Parker coined the term "Thin Blue Line", representing the police as holding down pervasive crime.
Resentment of such longstanding racial injustices are cited as reasons why Watts' African-American population exploded on August 11, 1965, in what would become the Watts Riots.
Young Eritrean Woman on the Triumph Silent Scout B. 1934
On April 3, King addressed a rally and delivered his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" address at Mason Temple, the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ. King's flight to Memphis had been delayed by a bomb threat against his plane.
In the prophetic peroration of the last speech of his life, in reference to the bomb threat, King said the following:
And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.
Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
King was booked in Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel (owned by Walter Bailey) in Memphis. Abernathy, who was present at the assassination, testified to the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations that King and his entourage stayed at Room 306 so often that it was known as the "King- Abernathy suite."
According to Jesse Jackson, who was present, King's last words on the balcony before his assassination were spoken to musician Ben Branch, who was scheduled to perform that night at an event King was attending: "Ben, make sure you play 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty."
King was fatally shot by James Earl Ray at 6:01 p.m., April 4, 1968, as he stood on the motel's second-floor balcony. The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder.
Abernathy heard the shot from inside the motel room and ran to the balcony to find King on the floor.
Jackson stated after the shooting that he cradled King's head as King lay on the balcony, but this account was disputed by other colleagues of King; Jackson later changed his statement to say that he had "reached out" for King.
After emergency chest surgery, King died at St. Joseph's Hospital at 7:05 p.m.
According to biographer Taylor Branch, King's autopsy revealed that though only 39 years old, he "had the heart of a 60 year old", which Branch attributed to the stress of 13 years in the civil rights movement.
King is buried within Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park
Afeni Shakur feeding baby Tupac
“Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be”
― James Baldwin
black soldiers, american civil war
She was also a solo dancer and choreographer for vaudeville shows such as Bob Cole, Joe Jordan, and J. Rosamond Johnson's The Red Moon (1908) and S. H. Dudley's His Honor the Barber (1911). Aida Overton Walker is also well known for her 1912 performance of the "Salome" dance at Hammerstein's Victoria Theatre. This was Aida's response to the national "Salomania" craze of 1907 that spread through the white vaudeville circuit.
Aida Overton was born in Richmond, Virginia on February 14, 1880. Her family moved to New York City when she was young. There, she gained an education and considerable musical training.
At 15, she joined John Isham's "Octoroons," a Black touring group. In the following years she became a chorus member in “Black Patti's Troubadours,” where she met her future husband George Walker, a vaudeville comedian. Her early career was defined by her collaborations with him and his partner Bert Williams, who together soon became the major black vaudeville and musical comedy powerhouses of the era. She and George Walker married within a year of meeting.
Overton Walker first gained national attention in 1900, with her performance of "Miss Hannah from Savannah" in the show Sons of Ham. For the next ten years, she was known primarily for her work in musical theater. Her song and dance made her an instant hit with audiences at the time. She, Walker, and Williams worked together on such musicals as In Dahomey (1903), In Abyssinia (1906), and Bandanna Land (1908). In 1904, after two seasons in England touring with In Dahomey, the group returned to New York. She created a version of the Salome dance, a popular dance routine of the time.
Working alongside her husband, Walker's career and performances were praised by critics.
Her successes were well known. She was both financially successful and respected by
In late 1908, Walker's husband fell ill and the partners closed In Dahomey in 1909. She left the stage for a time to care for her husband.
In 1910, Overton Walker joined the Smart Set Company. During this time she also began touring the vaudeville circuit as a solo act. In 1911, she performed in His Honor the Barber with Smart Set Company. Overton Walker performed as a male character in Lovie Dear, as well as in Bandanna Land, in which she took over her husband's role.
Her husband died in 1911. In 1912, Overton Walker went on tour with her show for 16 weeks, then returned to New York, where she performed as Salome at the Paradise Roof Garden on Broadway.
Her success at Hamerstein's theatre led to an invitation to return the following year in Bon Bon Buddy, a musical developed from a song which her husband had popularized in Bandanna Land years before. An ode to her late husband, Overton Walker's performance was so successful she was asked to perform two extra weeks.
Walker died suddenly from kidney failure in 1914. She had continued performing until only two months before her death.
In an October 1905 article in The Colored American Magazine, Overton Walker expressed her belief that the performing arts could have an effect on race relations, stating that, "I venture to think and dare to state that our profession does more toward the alleviation of color prejudice than any other profession among colored people."
Selma Burke became involved in the Harlem Renaissance during her marriage to Claude McKay.
She worked for the Works Progress Administration and the Harlem Artists Guild, teaching art to children in Harlem.
One of her WPA works, a bust of Booker T. Washington, was given to Frederick Douglass High School in Manhattan in 1936.
In 1942 she joined the Navy making her one of the first African American women to enroll. While in the Navy, Burke was commissioned to do a bronze relief portrait of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The portrait she created was adapted by the mint and is currently on United States dimes.
Burke founded the Selma Burke Art Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1968 where she continued to introduce art to inner-city youth.
She was widely lauded for her engagement in civic organizations and endeavors in the Pittsburgh area.
July 20, 1975 was adopted as Selma Burke Day by former Governor Milton Shapp of Pennsylvania.
African American Soldiers and their civilian peers dancing in the hall of a recreational facility.
Children viewing Ronald Moody’s Midonz (1937) at the Baltimore Museum of Art’s Contemporary Negro Art Exhibition 1939
The Maasai (/ˈmɑːsaɪ, mɑːˈsaɪ/) are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations internationally due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress. The Maasai speak the Maa language (ɔl Maa), a member of the Nilotic language family that is related to the Dinka, Kalenjin and Nuer languages. Except for some elders living in rural areas, most Maasai people speak the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili and English. The Maasai population has been reported as numbering 1,189,522 in Kenya in the 2019 census, compared to 377,089 in the 1989 census.
The Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have instituted programs to encourage the Maasai to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, but the people have continued their age-old customs. Many Maasai tribes throughout Tanzania and Kenya welcome visits to their villages to experience their culture, traditions, and lifestyle, in return for a fee.
The Maasai inhabit the African Great Lakes region and arrived via the South Sudan. Most Nilotic speakers in the area, including the Maasai, the Turkana and the Kalenjin, are pastoralists, and are famous for their fearsome reputations as warriors and cattle-rustlers. The Maasai and other groups in East Africa have adopted customs and practices from neighboring Cushitic-speaking groups, including the age set system of social organization, circumcision, and vocabulary terms.
According to their oral history, the Maasai originated from the lower Nile valley north of Lake Turkana (Northwest Kenya) and began migrating south around the 15th century, arriving in a long trunk of land stretching from what is now northern Kenya to what is now central Tanzania between the 17th and late 18th century. Many ethnic groups that had already formed settlements in the region were forcibly displaced by the incoming Maasai, while other, mainly Southern Cushitic groups, were assimilated into Maasai society. The Nilotic ancestors of the Kalenjin likewise absorbed some early Cushitic populations.
Thomas J. Martin may not be immediately familiar, but his work as an inventor is quite notable.
In 1872, Martin would make an improvement upon an earlier model of the fire extinguisher and was granted a patent (pictured) for his version of the fire- fighting tool on this day.
Not much is known about Martin, but what is known is that he lived in the town of Dowagiac in the state of Michigan.
Martin’s fire extinguisher would wisely be attached to a reservoir of stored water
and used to spray burning fires.
The nature of invention relates to the construction, arrangement and combination of suitable pipes and valves for conducting water from suitable reservoirs to buildings by means of stationary engines, for the purpose of preventing or extinguishing fires in dwellings, mills, factories, towns and cities and may also be used for warning, ventilating and washing buildings and for washing pavements and sprinkling streets.
Man in Deli Doorway
Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 18, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African American community and of the contemporary black elite.
Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery
and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were
newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory
laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early
20th centuries. Washington was a key proponent of African-American businesses and
one of the founders of the National Negro Business League. His base was the Tuskegee
Institute, a historically black college he founded in Tuskegee, Alabama. As lynchings
in the South reached a peak in 1895, Washington gave a speech, known as the "Atlanta
compromise", which brought him national fame. He called for black progress through
education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to challenge directly the Jim Crow
segregation and the disenfranchisement of black voters in the South.
Washington mobilized a nationwide coalition of middle-class blacks, church leaders, and white philanthropists and politicians, with a long-term goal of building the community's economic strength and pride by a focus on self-help and schooling. With his own contributions to the black community, Washington was a supporter of racial uplift, but secretly he also supported court challenges to segregation and to restrictions on voter registration.
Black activists in the North, led by W. E. B. Du Bois, at first supported the Atlanta compromise, but later disagreed and opted to set up the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to work for political change. They tried with limited success to challenge Washington's political machine for leadership in the black community, but built wider networks among white allies in the North.
Decades after Washington's death in 1915, the civil rights movement of the 1950s took
a more active and progressive approach, which was also based on new grassroots organizations
based in the South, such as Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Washington mastered the nuances of the political arena in the late 19th century, which enabled him to manipulate the media, raise money, develop strategy, network, push, reward friends, and distribute funds, while punishing those who opposed his plans for uplifting blacks. His long-term goal was to end the disenfranchisement of the vast majority of African Americans, who then still lived in the South.
His legacy has been very controversial to the civil rights community, of which he was an important leader before 1915. After his death, he came under heavy criticism for accommodationism to white supremacy. However, a more balanced view of his very wide range of activities has appeared since the late 20th century. As of 2010, the most recent studies, "defend and celebrate his accomplishments, legacy, and leadership”.
A white man riding along with African-American children on a small carousel in a segregated playground. Photograph by Margaret Bourke-White. Greenville, South Carolina, USA, 1956.
Two African American boys work in the Freedom Press Office in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for the Mississippi Project, a campaign to increase black voter registration in the South.
the stereotype that African Americans are excessively fond of watermelon emerged for a specific historical reason and served a specific political purpose. The trope came in full force when slaves won their emancipation during the Civil War. Free black people grew, ate, and sold watermelons, and in doing so made the fruit a symbol of their freedom. Southern whites, threatened by blacks’ newfound freedom, responded by making the fruit a symbol of black people’s perceived uncleanliness, laziness, childishness, and unwanted public presence. This racist trope then exploded in American popular culture, becoming so pervasive that its historical origin became obscure. Few Americans in 1900 would’ve guessed the stereotype was less than half a century old.
Not that the raw material for the racist watermelon trope didn’t exist before emancipation. In the early modern European imagination, the typical watermelon-eater was an Italian or Arab peasant. The watermelon, noted a British officer stationed in Egypt in 1801, was “a poor Arab’s feast,” a meager substitute for a proper meal. In the port city of Rosetta he saw the locals eating watermelons “ravenously ... as if afraid the passer-by was going to snatch them away,” and watermelon rinds littered the streets. There, the fruit symbolized many of the same qualities as it would in post-emancipation America: uncleanliness, because eating watermelon is so messy. Laziness, because growing watermelons is so easy, and it’s hard to eat watermelon and keep working—it’s a fruit you have to sit down and eat. Childishness, because watermelons are sweet, colorful, and devoid of much nutritional value. And unwanted public presence, because it’s hard to eat a watermelon by yourself. These tropes made their way to America, but the watermelon did not yet have a racial meaning. Americans were just as likely to associate the watermelon with white Kentucky hillbillies or New Hampshire yokels as with black South Carolina slaves.
Emancipation, of course, destroyed that relationship. Black people grew, ate, and sold watermelons during slavery, but now when they did so it was a threat to the racial order. To whites, it seemed now as if blacks were flaunting their newfound freedom, living off their own land, selling watermelons in the market, and—worst of all—enjoying watermelon together in the public square. One white family in Houston was devastated when their nanny Clara left their household shortly after her emancipation in 1865. Henry Evans, a young white boy to whom Clara had likely been a second mother, cried for days after she left. But when he bumped into her on the street one day, he rejected her attempt to make peace. When Clara offered him some watermelon, Henry told her that “he would not eat what free negroes ate.”
Newspapers amplified this association between the watermelon and the free black person. In 1869, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper published perhaps the first caricature of blacks reveling in eating watermelon. The adjoining article explained, “The Southern negro in no particular more palpably exhibits his epicurean tastes than in his excessive fondness for watermelons. The juvenile freedman is especially intense in his partiality for that refreshing fruit.”