Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1883:
Eubie Blake was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He had eight brothers and sisters, all of whom died in infancy. That's an amazing story in itself for the parents to want children so badly, and the courage to keep trying after so many unfortunate deaths.
Eubie's parents were former slaves. John Blake, Eubie's father was a dockworker bringing in about $9.00 per week.
Eubie took an interest in music when he was around five years old. He was out shopping with his mom and ran and jumped on a piano bench and began playing around on the piano.
The store manager was impressed and commented how he was a natural. That was all Eubie's parents needed to hear and proceeded to buy the boy an organ for $75.00, which was an awful amount of money in those days. The parents made payments of 25 cents a week, the best investment of their's and Eubie's life.
When Blake was seven, he received music lessons from their neighbor, Margaret Marshall, an organist from the Methodist church. At age fifteen, without knowledge of his parents, he played piano at Aggie Shelton’s Baltimore bordello. That Eubie was a bit of a naughty boy we see.
Blake got his first big break in the music business when world champion boxer Joe Gans hired him to play the piano at Gans' Goldfield Hotel, the first "black and tan club" in Baltimore in 1907.
Blake said he first composed the melody to the "Charleston Rag" in 1899 when he would have been only 12 years old. In 1912, Blake began playing in vaudeville with James Reese Europe's "Society Orchestra" which accompanied Vernon and Irene Castle's ballroom dance act.
Shortly after World War I, Blake joined forces with performer Noble Sissle to form a vaudeville music duo, the"Dixie Duo." After vaudeville, the pair began work on a musical revues. The musicals also introduced hit songs such as "I'm Just Wild About Harry"
In 1978, a revue featuring the music of Eubie Blake, with lyrics by Noble Sissle, Andy Razaf, Johnny Brandon, F. E. Miller, and Jim Europe, opened on Broadway. The show was named Eubie! and it was a hit at the Ambassador Theatre, where it ran for 439 performances. The production won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1979.
On October 9, 1981, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Ronald Reagan.
Eubie died February 12, 1983. Wow, what a remarkable and exciting career! He was determined to become the best he could be and succeeded. He was a shining example to other musicians. Just imagine working a job you love, well this man was fortunate in doing just that, and it showed. He made many folks, black and white jubilant.
We were able to forget about our problems for a while. Thanks Eubie, it is our deepest pleasure to award you with the 1883 Hamite Award which is given to individuals who have paved the way and set an exemplary example for others to follow.
Eubie Blake |
"I'm Just Wild About Harry"
|How were blacks feeling in 1883?
There isn't one black member in the 50th Congress. Intimidation tactics by the racist Democrats, KKK, White League, etc. has managed to keep blacks away from the polls. How does America let THUGS dictate to HER? What a HORRIBLE and VILE stain on her history records. Can she ever be called the true champion of human rights with such a repulsive past?
In the meantime President Chester Arthur does nothing about it and goes on as if all is normal when in reality there's a major crisis with black American citizens in the South. SHAMEFUL, WHAT A SHAME, SHAME ON YOU AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE BRAVE. You have to address this Negro situation one day, and the longer you put it off, the worse it will become. It's going to be ONE BIG OLE MESS.
The 1875 Civil Rights bill that guaranteed African Americans equal treatment in public accommodations, public transportation, and prohibited exclusion from jury service, well listen to this. The Supreme Court decided the act was unconstitutional in 1883,
which means blacks will go on deprived of our Civil Rights.
We will also be deprived of economic, educational, and social progress the same as our other American brothers. In other words, we will not grow and prosper together, one will always be ahead of the other. Well what do our American brothers say about this horrible situation and the way we are being treated.
NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY SILENT ON THE SITUATION, and we wonder why, Oh wait a minute, maybe it's because the system will benefit them. We need the spirit of the old Radical Republicans in office, but they have long disappeared, we heard some of them were accepting bribes which led to the party's downfall. Who do we trust?
For the year 1883:
- Hortense Parker of Mount Holyoke College, was the first known African-American woman to graduate from one of the Seven Sisters college.
Octavius Valentine Catto
John W. "Bud" Fowler
| Sports in 1883 |
- Blacks were not accepted into the league baseball games, so they started their teams, becoming professional by the the 1870s. The first known baseball game between two black teams was held on November 15, 1859, in New York City. The Henson Base Ball Club of Jamaica, Queens, defeated the Unknowns of Weeksville, Brooklyn, 54 to 43.
By the end of the 1860s, the black baseball mecca was Philadelphia, which had an African-American population of 22,000. Two former cricket players, James H. Francis and Francis Wood, formed the Pythian Base Ball Club. They played in Camden, New Jersey, at the landing of the Federal Street Ferry, because it is hard to get permits for black baseball games in the city. Octavius Catto, the promoter of the Pythians, decided to apply for membership in the National Association of Base Ball Players, generally a matter of sending delegates to the annual convention; beyond that, a formality.
At the end of the 1867 season "the National Association of Baseball Players voted to exclude any club with a black player." In some ways Blackball thrived under segregation, with the few black teams of the day playing not only each other but white teams as well. "Black teams earned the bulk of their income playing white independent 'semipro' clubs."
- The mistreatment and segregation of Blacks didn't only happen in the South, but also the Northern cities like Philadelphia.
- Octavius Valentine Catto was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. As a man, he also became known as a top cricket and black baseball pioneer in 19th-century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- The first known professional black baseball player was Bud Fowler, who appeared in a handful of games with a Chelsea, Massachusetts club in April 1878 and then pitched for the Lynn, Massachusetts team in the International Association.
President Chester Arthur
| Political Scene in 1883 |
- Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st President of the United States (1881–85); he succeeded James Garfield upon the latter's assassination. At the outset, Arthur struggled to overcome his reputation, stemming from his beginnings in politics as a politician from the New York City Republican political machine. Analysis:Chester Arthur had a reputation for getting the job done, he just didn't do it for blacks. He attempted to get legislation passed that would benefit blacks during his administration, but he didn't make the Negro problems his priority. He gave up much too easily, and in the meantime there are still millions of uneducated, poor blacks around the Southern area, trying to fit in and survive the best way they know how.
- There isn't one black in the 50th Congress. Intimidation tactics by the racist Democrats, KKK, White League has been successful in keeping blacks away from the polls. In the meantime President Chester Arthur does nothing about it and goes on as if all is normal when in reality there is a major crisis with black American citizens.
SOUTHERN HATE if I said it once I must say it again, these people ain't normal!|
The Civil War Is Over, Why Do You Still Hate Me So Much Man?
There were over 179,000 black soldiers who fought in the Civil War for their freedom and the right to become American citizens. Many brave souls died. They thought once it was over things would be better for the colored people. But it wasn't and especially in the South.
What the HELL! Why do these southern whites hate blacks so much and fight against our pursuit of happiness at every turn? They ain't normal, and surely not American, because if they were they would believe all are created equal, which is what our country was founded on.
Southern whites had enjoyed a lifestyle much better than their ancestors before them. Before arriving in America, most white immigrants were destitute and severely oppressed by their governments. Many were uneducated peasants and serfs not much better off than a black slave. When they finally encountered blacks in America, they showed little empathy toward them.
No longer on the bottom rung of the ladder of humanity, these white immigrants would also proclaim themselves superior and joined the higher class of whites in dominating blacks unmercifully for many years. Whites as a group was happy as a lark even the not so intelligent ones.
The North understood slavery to be a temporary situation, but in contrast Southern whites viewed it as a permanent institution that should be expanded into new territories that hadn't been admitted to the union yet. Stop the Slave Power at all cost was the North's goal. This reason the Civil War started, not because Abraham Lincoln had this burning desire to free the slaves.
Before the war, southern whites grew very comfortable with their lifestyle and after losing it blamed blacks for everything. Many were brilliant and proud people. Now can you imagine proud, intelligent white people who had dominated blacks for hundreds of years, and faced with the possibility of black equality and being governed by the same individuals they mistreated and spit on and looked upon as ignorant savage beast?
They viciously fought against equality for black people at every turn and opportunity. They considered themselves true Sons of the South, do or die.
They had to feel like the North was punishing and embarrassing them by giving blacks American citizenship and the right to vote. Southern whites would kill many blacks for what they perceived as upholding their honor. What did the North do? They made a show of attempting to help black people, but in the end, that's all it was a show. In reality, they used blacks as a pawn to teach the South a lesson in hopes that one day the southern faithful would reconcile their hearts to the Union of America as one big happy white American family.
"Colored Waiting Room" sign from
segregationist era United States
photo #100 -year-1878
| Race in 1883 |
- November 3, 1883 - A new party called the Readjusters were trying to implement social progress for it's black community in Virginia. The whites didn't like it and a fight ensued, 4 blacks died. Whites patrolled the streets armed with shotguns after the riot to intimidate the blacks from voting in upcoming election. As expected there was a low voter turnout, and the Democrats won in a landside. That was also the end of the Readjuster Party.
- 1883 - The Supreme Court decided the The 1875 Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional.
"It is worthy of emphasis, that the antiquity of the Negro race is beyond dispute. His brightest days were when history was an infant; and, since he early turned from God, he has found the cold face of hate and the hurtful hand of the Caucasian against him."
George Washington Williams
How did it begin?
It's a worldwide negative perception of blacks.
Well, a quick and straightforward trip back in history will get the likely answer. The Arab trade of Zanj (Bantu) slaves in Southeast Africa predated the European transatlantic slave trade by 700 years but it wasn't until the Portuguese sailed to West Africa in search of gold and discovered something much more valuable, (slaves) and shared with the world what they encountered that aided in the bad rap on blacks.
During the transatlantic slave trade the African empires of Benin, Dahomey, and Yoruba were very powerful. From these kingdoms, more than from any other part of Africa were the people sold into American slavery.
These kingdoms had many districts with different tribes and clans who always fought against each other. These tribes were illiterate without a written form, passing their history to the next generation orally. They were blissfully ignorant of the world around them. As with all people of a tribal nature, they lived within the limits and respect of the land and were very content in doing so.
Europeans considered the Africans pagans because most tribes were involved with witchcraft, idol worship, cannibalism, superstition, female genital mutilation, and human sacrifices just to name a few of their foolish practices. Europeans thought of themselves as being illuminators to the world made in the image of God which in their minds was white and holy.
Before Christianity took place in Europe, whites believed in a different form of worship which was called mythology, but in time came to their senses with the help of a man named Thales who would later become known as the father of science. Thales was the first person in human history to dispel mythology and would usher in a new way of thinking which was based on facts which in its beginning was called Natural philosophy, and later would be called science. Science would eventually take mythology's place in the way white people believed. Goodbye Jupiter and Neptune.
Thales studied, recorded and compared facts laying the foundation for science. In time, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle would go on to perfect the methods of science. Over the centuries with this wealth of new knowledge discoveries with the aid of science, you can probably imagine how this had to elevate the Europeans ego and self-worth in themselves.
Before long they would claim white superiority, and many began even to doubt the existence of a God. So by the time the Portuguese made their arrival to Africa, they were smarter and better educated than blacks and of course dominated as they pleased.
Africans were still living in the past in a fast changing world and were no match for the very greedy and violent Europeans. Africans had seen the last of their glory days. It's a documented fact the Africans were the beginning of human innovation. Other races would go on to copy and perfect their existing creations, scientifically.
If you study ancient history and technological achievements which were in many ways the equal of, or superior of, much that we have today, were founded and carried to a high technological proficiency by Hamitic (African) people. This is the role in history given by God to the descendants of Ham. The Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Mayans, the Aztecs, all were Hamitic people. They were the great inventors of mankind. http://www.ldolphin.org/ntable.html
Why were the African people a no-show in technological discoveries other nations around the world were experiencing?
It wasn't because Africans weren't capable of learning. Type the key phrase into Google "African immigrants in college" you will discover the same lineage of Sub-Saharan Africans today out-perform all races in America's colleges academically. Skin color doesn't matter when it comes to learning; it was because of conditions beyond their control.
Africans couldn't share and contribute information with other nations during this period because of one humongous roadblock. The Sahara Desert. The entire continental United States would fit inside the Sahara Desert with plenty of room to spare. This desert spanned from west to east of Northern Africa and continued to grow, making it very dangerous and challenging for travel.
Sub Saharan Africans were landlocked, lost in time away from all other humanity. The Sahara Desert wasn't always a desert, but slowly grew to be that way. Cave drawings have been discovered in parts of the Sahara that actually depict the flora as green and thriving. http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/history_of_west_africa
So with Portuguese arriving in Africa with their advanced knowledge they encountered a people lost in time and because of their tribal culture and erroneous Pre-Adamic belief the Portuguese had about black people, these people were labeled ignorant wild beast, incapable of learning and the world agreed.
The Africans had a reputation as a peaceful and lovable people and were considered easy pickings by ruthless and brilliant Europeans who extended no mercy.
With their love for science, whites would constantly compare themselves with blacks. They collectively studied the Negro from the kinks in his hair, size of his brain to the jam in his toenails and declared themselves superior to this lowly ape-like creature.
They believed Africans were the descendants of pre-Adamism races and that the White race was made in the image and likeness of God and that Adam gave birth to the White race only.
They also believed and taught that blacks are not human beings but pre-Adamite beasts and could not possibly have been made in God's image and likeness because they are beastlike, immoral and ugly. Whites also claimed that the pre-Adamite races such as blacks didn't have souls. The world would be satisfied with their scientific theory they learned with the help of a blatant and racist media. Whites accepted these lies as truth and raised their kids to do the same.
Science, pre-Adamite beliefs, and the media would go on to replace common sense. According to whites, it was the destiny of these black beast to serve whites, and they believed they had God's backing. Some of the things they wrote as fact about the Negro would go on to cause many innocent deaths.
Typical American Newspaper Article Of Yesteryear
The above article was an editorial reply to another editor that was published in the Cayton's weekly., January 25, 1919, (Seattle, Wash.)
More than anything else science, pre-adamite beliefs and the racist media played an enormous role which perpetuated the negative image of blacks all over the world. The saddest part was when many blacks would believe these false teachings and felt unworthy, ugly and completely worthless as human beings and lived their lives in a useless way and the process was reinforcing these negative views.
Once in America the following comment gives insight into how whites viewed the Negro in the 1700s during colonial days.
Speaking on the duties of missionaries in converting the Negro to Christianity in 1784, Bishop Porteus published an extensive plan for the most effectual conversion of the slaves contending that
"despicable as they are in the eyes of man they are, nevertheless, the creatures of God."
When slaves first arrived in America, it wasn't quite agreed what their social status would be because it was supposed to be only temporary until white immigrants could come from other countries to take their place, but it didn't happen that way. This is when slavery slowly became associated with dark skin. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon against the lowly Negro who was considered inhuman and a savage beast.
But because it was later discovered that blacks were capable of learning, it made some bright whites change their negative view, except for white slavemasters who had a financial interest in keeping the Negro uneducated and made it a felony for anyone caught teaching them.
Real Americans soon began to realize blacks were human beings just as they were and started movements to free them from the bondage of slavery.
Writers of that day cite desirable characteristics of blacks, saying they were deeply religious, cheerful, imaginative, patient, courageous, had high physical endurance, affectionate and without vindictiveness, even though living under a brutal slavery system. They hated slavery, but always kept hope alive, waiting for their Judgement Day.
When their Judgement day arrived, how did slaves act once freed?
Imagine if you spent your entire existence depending and working from dawn to dusk for someone else and suddenly set free.
How would you do?
Who would teach you to read and write, the importance of family, morality, open a bank account, manage your money, how to distinguish between necessity and want, how to keep your house maintained, the importance of honesty in personal and business dealings, how to think big and become self-reliant with confidence and the many more life skills that's needed in society? All would agree that these are crucial life skills to master that the Negro didn't have during slavery.
Well, needless to say, many former slaves didn't measure up after freedom, wasting their lives with pleasure seeking and absolutely no ambition at all. These people gave the whole race a bad rap and continued to do so until this day.
But most wanted to learn these life skills and progress. That's why the Reconstruction schools of the 1870s were so important; it was like a halfway or transition house for the blacks into American culture. But of course we know that the U.S. government did away with Reconstruction in 1877 because of pressure from white southerners who didn't want educated blacks in America.
Our achievements have been many since then, so why does the negative image of blacks persist?
It's simple. The negative image of blacks persists around the world because of a lack of compassion and love mainly from non-black people. Even though erroneous beliefs of science and pre-Adamic theories happened centuries ago, hard habits are hard to break. It's entrenched in the hearts of many.
That's really sad, but as American citizens today, how are blacks doing?
Well under the circumstances blacks are doing a fantastic job, and it's a wonder we are still around. We as African-Americans are honing our life skills with increasing precision without the same network or support groups that other races enjoy. We are a unique type of people that don't have a reference point but must learn as we go.
Quite frankly, we are true Americans who continue to accomplish our goals non-violently and completely understand what the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence stands for. Would other races been able to do the same? We are love, always have been and always will be.
Historically, after being raped, tortured, lynched and murdered with perpetrators enjoying total impunity, the usual reply of blacks were these words, "I forgive you." Even though made out to be the violent savage beast, blacks seldom retaliated. It's true, check your history books. We live for today and as Americans realizing we have this excellent opportunity to excel and soar like the eagles, and we will!
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a white officer in the Union army had the task of training colored soldiers in the Civil War. He kept a diary for our enjoyment today. (click here)
George W. Williams - History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. (click here)
Europeans Come to Western Africa -
The Characteristics of the Negro People -
The Callender Minstrels
Movies in America
Anna Madah Hyers dressed as 'Urlina' in the opera Urlina the African Princess (1879)
| Musicals / Movies in 1883 |
- The Hyers Sisters, Anna Madah and Emma Louise were singers and pioneers of black musical theater. With Joseph Bradford and Pauline Hopkins, the Hyers Sisters produced the "first full-fledged musical plays... in which African Americans themselves comment on the plight of the slaves and the relief of Emancipation without the disguises of minstrel comedy." Their first play was Out of Bondage (also known as Out of the Wilderness) which premiered in 1876.
The Hyers Sisters under the management of their proud father not only toured in America but internationally. As small children, the father had them classically trained by German professor Hugo Sank and later opera singer Josephine D'Ormy and they performed for private parties before making their professional stage debut. They were very well received everywhere they performed and blazed a path for other black entertainers to follow. They traveled until the mid-1880s with their own shows and continued to appear on stage into the 1890s.Wow, absolutely amazing!
- The Callender's Georgia Minstrels became the most popular black troupe in America, and the words Callender and Georgia came to be synonymous with the institution of black minstrelsy.
An ad for Odessa Warren Grey Millinery in a newspaper in 1913, when it was at the 41 West 135th Street location.
Ernest Everett Just
Ahmet Ali Çelikten
| Famous Birthdays in 1883 |
- February 7, 1883 - Eubie Blake was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music.
- April 27, 1883 - Hubert Henry Harrison a West Indian-American writer, orator, educator, critic, and radical socialist political activist based in Harlem, New York.
- May 12, 1883 - Hazel Harrison African American concert pianist.
- May 26, 1883 - Mamie Smith vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist and actress, who appeared in several films late in her career.
- August 2, 1883 - Powell S. Barnett musician, baseball player, and community leader in Seattle, Washington.
- August 13, 1883 - Odessa Warren Greya prominent milliner, entrepreneur and performer in Harlem, New York; she is best known as the star of a recently rediscovered silent film, where she co-stars with Bert Williams.
- August 14, 1883 - Ernest Everett Just was a pioneering African-American biologist, academic and science writer. Just's primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms.
- September 1, 1883 - Anita Bush was an American stage actress and playwright. She founded the Anita Bush All-Colored Dramatic Stock Company in 1915, a pioneering black repertory theatre company that helped launch the careers of Charles Gilpin, Dooley Wilson, Evelyn Preer and others.
- December 15, 1883 - William Augustus Hinton an American bacteriologist, pathologist and educator.
- December 22, 1883 - Arthur Wergs Mitchell U.S. Representative from Illinois.
- 1883 - Lottie Hawkins was an African-American educator in North Carolina.
- 1883 - Ahmet Ali Çelikten was an Ottoman aviator who may have been the first Black pilot in aviation history and was one of the few Black pilots in World War I, like Eugene Jacques Bullard. His grandmother came from Bornu (now in Nigeria) to the Ottoman Empire as a slave.
James Thomas Rapier
| Famous Deaths in 1883 |
- May 5, 1883 - Josiah Henson, author, abolitionist, and minister.
- May 31, 1883 - James Thomas Rapier was an attorney, a planter and a politician; elected as a United States Representative from Alabama, he served from 1873 until 1875.
- July 28, 1883 - Hannah Smalls who was the wife of war hero Robert Smalls died.
| Famous Weddings in 1883 |
- Sissieretta Jones and news dealer and hotel bellman David Richard Jones were wed in holy matrimony.
Slaves kidnapped from their homes years ago primarily belonged to tribes. Each tribe was as different as night and day to the next tribe.|
They each had their individual languages and customs. So upon arriving in America they had to create a way to communicate with their master and each other, so over time they developed a spanking new and unique language called African American Vernacular English, and it didn't stop there.
Each group had their defined drum beat from their tribe that was added to the new way of life in the New World but with a new American twist with musical instruments they didn't have in Africa.
So to put it simply, soul or black music is a mixture of many different African beats incorporated into a new American culture. Think about how exciting that is, if it's possible to create anything positive at all from slavery it has to be African American music. It's admired all over the world.
We all originate from the same place, so it doesn't matter if we're listening to early 1900s blues singer "Ma Rainey" or the great 1940s singers "Billie Holiday" and "Nat King Cole" down to the famous rappers of our time such as the two late greats, "Biggie Smalls" or "Tupac", it all sounds good to us because we can feel and hear that beat.
Many cultures have contributed to the American way of life such as German Americans who introduced the Christmas tree tradition, or Italian Americans with their delicious pizza, or Mexican Americans with the tacos and delicious burritos, or the English Americans with their mainstays such as baseball and apple pie. The list goes on and on, and to add to those contributions, and without a doubt, soul music has changed the American way of life, it is truly an original, and one of our many proud contributions to our home here in America.
James Monroe Trotter
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
African American composers
| Music in 1883 |
Musical Happenings in 1883:
- By 1881, Billy Johnson was performing in minstrel shows. In 1886 he joined Lew Johnson's minstrels and the following year moved to Hicks and Sawyer's minstrels, where he stayed for six seasons. He began writing songs and eventually landed a job with Bob Cole as songwriter and stage producer for the more upscale Black Patti Troubadours. Cole and Johnson produced a musical sketch for Black Patti, then left that company to produce their own musical, A Trip to Coontown (1898), the first full length black-produced musical on an American stage. However, during the third season of this musical, the pair separated.
- James Monroe Trotter a multi-talented man wrote a book entitled Music and Some Highly Musical People, published in 1878. It is the first comprehensive study of music ever written in the United States. It is still used by students of music history and those interested in tracing the origins of music in the United States, especially African-American music.
Fashions for young African American women
Fashions for African American Men
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
Making a fashion statement
| Fashions in 1883 |
Fashion in the 1880s is characterized by the return of the bustle. The long, lean line of the 1870s was replaced by a full, curvy silhouette with gradually widening shoulders. Fashionable waists were low and tiny below a full, low bust supported by a corset.
Skirts were looped, draped, or tied up in various ways, and worn over matching or contrasting underskirts Choker necklaces and jewelled collars were also fashionable in the 1880s. Long, jacket-like fitted bodices called basques were also popular for daywear An usual type of undergarment was called combinations, a camisole with attached knee or calf-length drawers, worn under the corset, bustle, and petticoat.
Three piece suits, "ditto suits", consisting of a sack coat with matching waistcoat vest continued as an informal alternative to the contrasting frock coat, waistcoat and trousers. Formal wear remained a dark tail coat and trousers with a dark waistcoat. Evening wear was worn with a white bow tie and a shirt with a winged collar. By the 1880s the majority of the working class, even shepherds adopted jackets and waistcoats in fustian and corduroy with corduroy trousers, giving up their smock frocks.
Young girls wore dresses with round collars and sashes. Fashionable dresses had dropped waists. Pinafores were worn for work and play. A hat or bonnet was worn as well, along with long, knee-length button-up boots or shorter boots with gaitors to give the appearance of wearing long boots. Older boys wore knee-length breeches and jackets with round-collared shirts.
Pullman porters, who were primarily black, are widely credited with contributing to the development of the black middle class in America. Before the Civil War, sleeping cars were not in use. George Pullman came up with the brilliant idea of making rail travel a memorable event with servers to cater to whites every need.
During slavery, most whites didn't own slaves, and this gave them an opportunity to experience that. Pullman became the number #1 employer of blacks in the country. He was a tight businessman though because the pay was lousy with the porters working over 400 hours a month. Porters also had to purchase their clothing and accessories. They received most of their income by tips.
But the job was steady work and that meant alot for black families. Famous porters of old included, Thurgood Marshall, Oscar Micheaux, Malcolm X and the photojournalist Gordon Parks.
How did religion begin for the American Negro?
Well, it was an exciting journey for sure, but as usual, we have to go back into history for the likely answer. Before arriving in America as slaves, generally speaking, our ancestors practiced a religion which included fetishism.
What is fetishism you may ask?
Traditional Benin Voodoo Dance
Fetishism is a man-made object (such as the doll aound the lady's neck in the picture) that is thought to have power over others. Africans were extremely superstitious in their native land.
But once exposed to religious teachers in America, quickly left their superstitious past behind them, and would frown upon new arrivals of Africans who practiced fetishism in religion.
In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had lost their grip on people with their questionable religious practices. There were many who thought the Church was wrong and formed a protest or a Protestant Reformation that resulted in the creation of tons of different religions with their doctrines and teachings claiming to be Christian.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems,
and world views
that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Episcopal, Jesuits, Methodists, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, Wesleyanism were all against Roman Catholic teachings.
But there would be a new religion on the horizon for humanity that went by the name of science. The introduction of science was in many ways entirely different than Christianity because it taught man to believe and rely on himself and his creations, rather than on a Supreme Being he couldn't see.
Faith is something foreign and unbelievable to a scientist. Also, this new form of religion would give these believers complete moral authority to do as they wished without a guilty conscience or retribution from a Surpreme Being.
This is what made slavery right or moral in the eyes of so many whites because new science taught that whites were superior and blacks inferior. The theory of evolution is another example in clear teaching that the world exists because of a big bang instead of being created, and also man evolved from apes rather than being created.
Do you believe in Evolution? If so, evolution is your religion because mainstream religion and evolution just don't jive, it's either one or the other.
During slavery, most of the first black congregations and churches were founded by free blacks, but slaves learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. Methodist and Baptist were the preferred choices of slaves because of its message.
But after slavery blacks were still restricted in the white churches so what they did next is not a surprise. They began to form their churches free from white rulership and exclusion, but kept the doctrine and teachings, but of course with a more lively twist (singing and dancing). It's clear they still had African culture in their hearts. This would mark the beginning of a new American creation, the black church.
The following is a very brief history of religion in Black America:
William J. Seymour - photo#111-yr-2015
Charles Fox Parham an independent holiness evangelist who believed strongly in divine healing, was an important figure in the emergence of Pentecostalism as a distinct Christian movement. But it wasn't until one of his black students named William J. Seymour learned these teaching and took it back to California with him that the Pentecostal movement took off like wildfire.
Seymour's preaching sparked the famous three-year-long Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Worship at the racially integrated Azusa Mission featured an absence of any order of service. (whites would later dislike this) People preached and testified as moved by the Spirit, spoke and sung in tongues, and fell in the Spirit. Blacks whites and other races would attend these services. But there was a matter of Jim Crow to be kept in mind that made it illegal for blacks and whites to mix.
So whites broke away from Seymour and began their Pentecostal churches. It's a fact that the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is considered to have started with one-eyed black preacher William J. Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.
The Church Of God in Christ (COGIC) -
Church Of God in Christ Baptism
The Church Of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) and is a Pentecostal Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. It ranks as the largest Pentecostal denomination and the fifth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. Evangelical Baptist, and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century and appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Early COGIC leaders were very much attracted by the Pentecostal message and would break from the Baptist for this reason.
A.M.E. Church -
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the US. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.
Baptists are individuals who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism) and that it must be done by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors, and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.
An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Jews felt like they were chosen people who were promised a land filled with milk and honey, a holy land. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's wife Sarah had trouble conceiving children so to keep the promise alive and in the family she chose Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid to have sexual relations with Abraham to bear a son, which is what they did. This son's name was Ishmael.
But something happened later that would throw things into a tizzy. At a very old age Sarah was now able to have kids and bore a son named Isaac.
Now here's the problem. Does the promise belong to Sarah's son or Hagar's son? Sarah felt it belonged to her bloodline, so she sent Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness for them to die. But guess what? They didn't die. Muhammad who was the final prophet sent by God as identified in the Quran was born within Ishmael's seed line.
So even to this day these two groups don't care for each other.
This religion by far has proven to be the most destructive for humankind. Its users have created a world of me, me, me, by magnifying themselves, sincerely believing they are all of that and a bag of chips. Also the belief that spirited competition is healthy and useful. Win at all cost! The survival of the fittest theory. Many genocides were accomplished in the name of science. It teaches us that man originates from apes, (many blacks lost their life because of this false teaching) the earth was created from nothing and in essence humans are their gods. The bad far outweighs the good with the practice of science. Just look around.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1880s
| Our Community in 1883 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- Sep 24, 1883 - The National Black Convention meets in Louisville, Kentucky.
- November 3, 1883 - The United States Supreme Court decides Native Americans can't be Americans.
- The United States Population is 50,155,783 with a total of 6,580,793 being African Americans.
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