Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1919:
Madam C. J. Walker
If someone were to ask you who the first self-made female millionaire in America was, what would be your reply? If you said Madam C. J. Walker, you would have been correct.
That would seem like an almost impossible task for an African American woman facing so many obstacles and achieve greatness as she did. She certainly set an excellent example for blacks of her day and ours also to follow.
Madam C. J. Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a successful line of beauty and hair products for black women under the company she founded, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. It seems in today's world the Koreans have that market, what the heck happened?
Back in her day, we would guess that non-black people in business thought it was below them in dealing with African Americans or didn't believe it would be much of a market for black beauty care products, whatever the reason Madam Walker took full advantage.
Madam C. J. Walker trained women to become "beauty culturists" and to learn the art of selling, and she very well understood the relationship a black woman has with her hair. Inspired by the model of the National Association of Colored Women, she began to organize her sales agents into local and state clubs. In 1917 she convened her first annual conference of the Madam Walker Beauty Culturists in Philadelphia.
During the convention, she gave prizes not only to the women who had sold the most products and brought in the newest sales agents but also to those who had contributed the most to charity in their communities. What a great and enterprising woman she was!
Madam Walker had other African American contemporaries who also did well in the hair care business, and depending who you believe were the first to get the ball moving on black hair care. They were Annie Malone with the "Poro System" and Madame Sarah Spencer Washington with the "Apex System". We're proud of you all.
Madam C. J. Walker died in 1919 of hypertension; she was only 51 years old. That is why we chose this year to award this remarkable person with the 1919 Annual Hamite Award. She truly inspires us to soar like an eagle. Thank you Madam C. J. Walker.
Madam C. J. Walker
Madam C. J. Walker, the epitome of success, cruising with her friends.
|How were blacks feeling in 1919?
All the black person has ever had was HOPE. It's obvious we are not a violent people as they portray us, but on the contrary, our white American brothers are extremely vicious and hateful human beings, almost animalistic in nature. If you look back in recorded history of all the lynchings, murders, rapes against the Negro, we did not retaliate; instead, we depended on a fair justice system that never showed up for us, or the political process to make things better. That's the American way, is it not?
But we notice lately, especially at the turn of the new century that the black person is starting to fight back. We are getting sick and tired of this mob violence which is always started by racist white newspapers who incite the whites with lies, or whites claiming that blacks did some grave injustice against their race. We're not perfect, and there are bad among us too, but for the most part it's all made up for an excuse to kill and intimidate blacks.
If you truthfully study our existence here in America, we have believed and followed the U.S. Constitution, joining in with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence more so than any other in this country. Quite frankly, we are true Americans. and not believers in the bolshevism system as some whites think. We will not give up hope and belief in our fellow white Americans. We wish the best for all the families of the riots this year which folks called The RED SUMMER.
|Famous African American Quotes |
Madam C. J. Walker
"I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them. There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard."
For the year 1919:
- James Wormley Jones was the first African-American special agent for the FBI.
The Coloured Hockey League performed from 1895-1930
| Sports in 1919 |
- Fritz Pollard becomes the first professional African American football player with the Akron Indians of the American Professional Football League.
- 1895-1930 - Coloured Hockey League was an all-black ice hockey league founded in Nova Scotia in 1895, which featured teams from across Canada's Maritime Provinces. The Coloured League is credited by some as being the first league to allow the goaltender to leave his feet to cover a puck in 1900. This practice was not permitted elsewhere until the formation of the National Hockey League in 1917. Historians also claim that the first player to use the slapshot was Eddie Martin of the Halifax Eureka in 1906. Trivia: In the Revolutionary War, America and the British promised the black slaves freedom if they fought for their respective sides. Of course, we all know that America won the war but failed to keep its promise to the slaves and forced them back into slavery. President George Washington had to know about this and did nothing on the slave's behalf. On the other hand, the British kept their promise and transported these slaves who were also called black loyalist to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, Africa to start a new life. The Coloured Hockey League players were from Nova Scotia and introduced exciting innovations to the game of hockey.
| Political / Judicial Scene in 1919 |
- 1919 - The NAACP sent a message to Woodrow Wilson about the mass killings of Negro citizens.
"The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People respectfully inquires how long the Federal Government under your administration intends to tolerate anarchy in the United States? the shame put upon the country by the mobs, including United States soldiers, sailors, and marines, which have assaulted innocent and unoffending negroes in the national capital. Men in uniform have attacked negroes on the streets and pulled them from streetcars to beat them. Crowds are reported ...to have directed attacks against any passing negro....The effect of such riots in the national capital upon race antagonism will be to increase bitterness and danger of outbreaks elsewhere. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People calls upon you as President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the nation to make a statement condemning mob violence and to enforce such military law as situation demands."
-NAACP telegram to President Woodrow Wilson
August 29, 1919
- 1919 - Woodrow Wilson would go down in history as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history in regards to playing fair to all American citizens. He was a complete no-show in the RED SUMMER. riots that gripped America.
- Democrat Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 and leader of the Progressive Movement. Analysis: This President, Woodrow Wilson was the only Democrat besides Grover Cleveland to be elected president since 1856. As a young person, his father defended slavery, owned slaves and set up a Sunday school for them. Both parents identified with the Confederacy and cared for wounded soldiers at their church. His upbringing would influence his decisions as President. He made promises he didn't keep. Believe it or not, many blacks supported him, but once in office, he forgot about promises he made. Wilson believed that slavery was wrong on economic labor grounds, rather than for moral reasons. He also idealized the slavery system in the South, viewing masters as patient with "indolent" slaves. Although he drafted hundreds of thousands of black people for the war, he believed in keeping the military segregated against the protest of black service members. Wilson scolded them "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you, gentlemen." He also instructed the segregation of the workplace in federal offices. In 1918, W. E. B. Du Bois—a leader of the NAACP who had campaigned for Wilson—was offered an Army commission in charge of dealing with race relations; DuBois accepted, but he failed his Army physical and did not serve. I can't figure out why Dubois would throw his support to this President unless he knew something we don't. Years earlier, Wilson was against blacks enrolling at Princeton University while president there because he didn't want to upset the white students. He also believed the KKK had proper cause and reason for the terror they inflicted upon the Negro race. It's interesting to note that another apparently racist President went down in history as one of the greatest men who had ever served in the United States. (what does that say about America?) It means a lousy U.S. President, but an excellent white President. This man resume speaks for itself. He served two terms so this meant another 8 years of despair and hopelessness for the lowly Negro citizen.
- March 1919 - Instead of support and honorable recognition from our American President after fighting for our country in WW1, he spreads fear and distrust of the Negro to white Americans. analysis: President Woodrow Wilson said that "the American Negro returning from abroad would be our greatest medium in conveying bolshevism to America." Other whites expressed a wide range of opinions, some anticipating unsettled times and others seeing no signs of tension.
- October 2, 1919 - United States President Woodrow Wilson has a stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed.
- 1919 - If a jury does not have any blacks on it, it cannot be considered equal protection under the law according to a West Virginia State Supreme Court ruling.
a white gang looking for blacks during the Chicago race riots of 1919.
The charred corpse of Will Brown after being killed, mutilated and burned in 1919.
Inflammatory newspaper headline in Elaine Race Riot of 1919.
October 3, 1919 issue of "The Gazette", Arkansas
A man lynched from a tree. Face partially concealed by angle and headgear.
| Race in 1919 |
- 1919 - The Red Summer refers to the race riots that occurred in more than three dozen cities in the United States during the summer and early autumn of 1919. In most instances, whites attacked African Americans. In some cases many blacks fought back, notably in Chicago, where along with Washington, D.C. and Elaine, Arkansas, the greatest number of fatalities occurred.
- 1919 - Seventy-six African Americans are known to have been lynched in 1919.
- 1919 - Newspapers played a huge role with false reporting and was just as culpable in the Negroes murders.
- 1919 - African Blood Brotherhood was a radical U.S. black liberation organization established in 1919 in New York City by journalist Cyril Briggs. The group was established as a propaganda organization built on the model of the secret society. The group's socialist orientation caught the attention of the fledgling American communist movement and soon evolved into a propaganda arm of the Communist Party of America. The group was terminated in the early 1920s.
- 1919 - After World War I, black sharecroppers unionized in Arkansas, unleashing a wave of white vigilantism and mass murder that left 237 blacks dead. In Elaine, Arkansas whites would go on to form a posse and actually used the county courthouse as the meeting place to plan how to murder these fellow Americans.
Soldiers of the 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, 1919. Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Storms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor.
trivia: Just as in The Revolutionary War and Civil War, African Americans were eager to show their loyalty and worth to America. It's well recorded that blacks fought with extreme courage and valor. The Germans nicknamed them "Hell Fighters" due to their toughness and that they never lost a man through capture, lost a trench or a foot of ground to the enemy. America and the British wouldn't allow blacks to join the war effort but did condone them fighting under the white officers of France and Canada. Blacks didn't encounter the racism they experienced in America fighting with the French. For the most part, the French welcomed blacks with open arms and treated them equally which embarrassed America with its lie of upholders of democracy for all. Also, the racist American military in it's a shame went so far as to create the notorious pamphlet "Secret Information Concerning Black American Troops," which "warned" French civilian authorities of the alleged inferior nature and supposed rapist tendencies of African Americans and warn the French not to put on such a public display of equality for the world to see and informed that blacks should always be made to feel inferior in all their dealings. This was a fascinating period in world history because blacks were given a free pass to kill white people, which was a blow to the long-held theory of white superiority.
The Homesteader (1919) is a lost black-and-white silent race film by African American
author and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. This is a newspaper advert for the film.
Movies in America
Actress Evelyn Preer
American film director Oscar Micheaux
| Movies in 1919 |
- Evelyn Preer was a pioneering African-American stage and screen actress and blues singer of the 1910s through the early 1930s. Preer was regarded by many as the greatest actress of her time and was known within the black community as "The First Lady of the Screen"
- 1919 - Oscar Micheaux was an African-American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 films. The first of which was released in 1919 called The Homesteader which was met with critical and commercial success.
Trivia: Image is everything and Oscar recognized that fact. Up unto the time, he began producing movies; the black person was portrayed as lazy, weak morals, thieves, dishonest savage people you couldn't trust. Well guess what? Oscar changed all of that with his movies. He put positive role models on the silver screen and finally the world was able to see the black person in their right light, as intelligent, well to do honest people, hard working, industrious human beings who loved their families. Oscar was a critical aspect of positive Negro development in this country. Are we continuing to lift the image of our people in this country today?
How did "acting" Cool begin for African Americans?|
It seems like it's been around forever and
expected of every black kid growing up
For most blacks, cool started on the southern plantations. Opportunists slavemasters devised a way for slaves to work harder and reap the benefits of their labor. During the year at a chosen plantation slave masters would hold a "Corn Shucking Festival." Slaves from nearby plantations would also join this event with their owner's permission, so it was almost like a community gathering of all the local slaves, with greedy slavemasters making all the money.
The slave who shucked the most corn won an award, sometimes cash or a suit of clothes. Anyone who found a red ear of corn also received a reward - perhaps a kiss from a young woman or a jug of whiskey. It was at these events that the term Shuckin' and jivin' came into existence by the slaves while working and telling tall stories, talking smack, and joking around with each other.
These gatherings, even though involving hard work had to be an event looked forward to by the slaves, because it was one of the few times during the year blacks had a chance to interact with one another. Shuckin' and jivin' would become a tool the slaves would use to convince their masters of an untruth, and even among themselves. It was an early form of being cool.
After slavery blacks were free (sort of) to do as they pleased. Most blacks wanted to assimilate into American culture very much but were shut out by the white racist. African and European culture met head on in what was supposed to be fair in America guaranteed by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but blacks didn't stand a chance.
Why, what happened?
Because most whites banded together by breaking the law and made blacks second class citizens and would go on to murder, lynch, rape, humiliate them all the way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement. After Lincoln, every single United States President was aware of this and did nothing. Whites achieved like crazy and prospered while blacks lagged far behind and got along the best way they knew how.
Blacks disliked whites very much for this terrible treatment and instead of violent disobedience, they protested by living their lives opposite of white culture. I mean let's face it, why would blacks want to imitate or become a part of a race of people that hated them?
This is when being cool became a symbol of white resistance and protest. Being cool would show you were down with the struggle. During slavery, we had already created our language which was AAVE and many blacks communicated this way. Any black that did not use it was looked down as trying to act white, joining the enemy sort of speak.
We developed our own way of walking with a proud gait, (George Jefferson strut) our own style of music, our own style of dance, our own style of food, our own style of worship, that didn't have anything in common with white folks and that suited blacks just fine. We were poor, but we were proud and cool and everyone who practiced these traits was cool and a part of the resistance.
In the process, we were creating a new culture that was admired over the world. Blacks have always had a remarkable ability to create something out of nothing. But sadly there was significant risk with this lifestyle in a great country such as America.
What were the downfalls?
Oscar Micheaux felt it was wrong for blacks to live this way in America. Oscar was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 movies and he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of race films. He produced both silent movies and "talkies" after the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.
Oscar felt that blacks should become aggressive and use their brainpower in achieving instead of just settling for what the white man doled out. This man lived in some of the most racist times in American history, but he didn't let that stop him from fulfilling his dreams and doing it the legal way.
Evidently, Oscar had a brother who was the very cool type and was content on just putting up a show, or a front as living a successful life. We all know the type. A person that was living beyond his means. Blacks of his day called this way of living “the good life.”
Oscar didn't like it and was very upset with his brother. He later wrote in his book and discussed the culture of doers who want to accomplish, and those who see themselves as victims of injustice and hopelessness, and do not want to step out and try to succeed, but instead like to dress up, act cool and pretend to be successful while living the city lifestyle in poverty.
Oscar understood that education doesn't belong only to white people, it's a gift for all humanity to better ourselves, and honestly the best-proven way. Chinese, Japanese, Middle-Eastern and all other non-white nations understand this and have prospered by education. It's one of humanities treasure to learn.
But many blacks associated education with white and stayed far away from it, to continue with their cool lifestyle. A foolish mistake, and just what racist whites want you to believe.
Early Europeans completely dominated the Africans because they were better educated. They had guns we had spears, you do the math. In Africa our ancestors didn't value education, but traditions and silly ones at that. But that didn't save them. Education would have, though.
So without a doubt, it is entirely wrong to associate teaching and learning to white people. Many of us would look down upon another black who tried to better himself through education by saying they were trying to act white, and it wasn't cool. Racist whites laughed at us for believing this way because they knew we would always be behind.
After the 1960s, when our full Civil Rights were finally restored, many blacks chose to live the more standard American way by attending school to learn. But many also wanted to remain trapped in time with the old AAVE living in what they still perceived as defiance to the white American way of doing things. But were they only hurting themselves?
Later in time, being cool had become so prevalent in the black community it confused many kids, because they didn't quite understand if they were going to hang out with the cool kids or the so-called boring kids who liked to read and learn. At an early age, they are at a critical crossroad. Taking the cool route may seem easier, and a lot of fun, but would be a devastating mistake.
After the Civil Rights era we now have the opportunity to attend school and achieve as much as we can, but being cool has snatched many of the black kids and locked them into a culture hating education and in the process ruining their young lives.
Many entertainment figures reap much money from this cool culture by portraying cool as, well cool. They tell impressionable ones what's cool to hear, talk about, wear, eat, etc. and at the same time padding their cool humongous bank accounts.
These even get on television and flaunt their riches in a youngster's face never explicitly teaching on how they might be as successful, without being dishonest, stealing or selling drugs. Education is not cool for them to preach.
One thing is for sure, being cool can be a lot of fun and there's no denying that. Everybody wants to be liked, and it seems like cool people are respected and admired the most, from the clothes they wear to the type of songs they listen to the way they talk, the effortless way they seem to accomplish every task is amazing.
They possess incredible confidence. But truthfully everything they've accomplished wouldn't have been possible without the sacrifices of our wonderful ancestors. So don't you agree we owe a particular moral responsibility to them?
Kids should remember cool is not the real deal, It's a game we can't get caught up in. Our ancestors endured so much so we could achieve. We should never forget that. That's what this site was created. Browse through its pages, and you're going to read stories of amazing blacks.
They made it possible for us, and we're sure they would advise us to achieve through education first and foremost and save the cool for the weekends, and I ain't Shuckin and Jivin!
By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche (Pete Souza) (The Official White House Photostream) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Senate Office of Richard Lugar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Nat King Cole in June 1947
| Famous Birthdays in 1919 |
- January 13, 1919 - Milton Pitts Crenchaw is the father of black aviation in Arkansas. He was the first Arkansan to be successfully trained by the federal government as a civilian licensed pilot. He overcame racism and bigotry to serve his country during World War II as a civilian flight instructor.
- January 14, 1919 - Joe Seneca was the first African American film and television actor who had a lengthy Hollywood career, portraying bit parts in many major films.
- January 31, 1919 - Jackie Robinson was the first African American baseball player to play in the Major Baseball Leauge.
- February 21, 1919 - William Walker Cash was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues from 1943 to 1950 for the Philadelphia Stars. He batted and threw right-handed.
- February 25, 1919 - Monford Merrill "Monte" Irvin a former left fielder and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball (MLB).
- March 17, 1919 - Nat King Cole was an African American singer and musician. He was widely noted for his soft, baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres.
- October 12, 1919 - Doris "Dorie" Miller was a Messman Third Class in the United States Navy noted for his bravery during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross, the third highest honor awarded by the U.S. Navy at the time, after the Medal of Honor.
- November 15, 1919 - Effie Neal Jones was a civil rights activist, food services provider, and counselor for the Four County Head Start Program in Laurinburg, North Carolina.
- November 30, 1919 - Jane Cooke Wright (also known as "Jane Jones") was a pioneering cancer researcher and surgeon noted for her contributions to chemotherapy.
Military funeral of Lt. James Reese Europe
James Reese Europe
| Famous Deaths in 1919 |
- April 14, 1919 – McCants Stewart was an American lawyer. Born to a prominent attorney in New York.
- May 9, 1919 - James Reese Europe was an African-American ragtime and early jazz bandleader, arranger, and composer. He was the leading figure on the African-American music scene of New York City in the 1910s. Eubie Blake called him the "Martin Luther King of music".
- May 25, 1919 - Madam C. J. Walker was an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, regarded as the first female self-made millionaire in America.
- June 1, 1919 - Caroline Still Anderson was an American physician, educator, and activist. She was a pioneering physician in the Philadelphia African-American community and one of the first Black women to become a physician in the United States.
- 1919 - John Henry Merrick was a successful businessman, a insurance agent, entrepreneur, and also into barbershop trade.
- 1919 - Charleton Tandy was a champion for black civil rights and very active in Republican politics. He helped establish the first school of higher education for blacks in Missouri. (Lincoln University) in 1870.
Lillian Randolph, Ernest Whitman, and Ruby Dandridge (right) on "Beulah" 1952 - 1953.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr.
Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen
| Famous Weddings in 1919 |
- September 30, 1919 - Ruby Dandridge and Cyril Dandridge were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1919 - Marcus Garvey and Amy Ashwood Garvey were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1919 - Author Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen and prominent African American physicist Elmer Imes were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1919 - Alberta Hunter and Willard Saxby Townsend were wed in holy matrimony.
Vaudeville star George Walker
Egbert "Bert" Austin Williams
| Entertainment in 1919 |
- George Walker formed the The Frogs (club)
Why did George Walker start a black club for actors when he could have just joined the American Actors Beneficial Association? Because like everything else in America, it was becoming commonplace for blacks and whites to be separated in everything. Doctors, Realtors, Lawyers, Unions, etc. and every other organization you can think of was segregated. It's almost like whites needed a race of people such as the lowly black person to measure it's greatness against. Blacks had no choice but to organize for their benefit. The Negro didn't want it this way, but like a famous rapper once said: "That's just the way it is" The American Actors Beneficial Association excluded blacks from its memberships and didn't appreciate it when Walker formed the Frogs. His original start up group, The Colored Vaudeville Benevolent Association, received negative attitude from white producers. The concept of the colored man supporting himself through performance and no longer just “taking what they were given” posed a threat to the white vaudevillian and theatrical community. With this, Walker set forth to create The Frogs. On July 18, 1908, at Walker’s home at 52 West 153rd St in Harlem, eleven of the most prominent names in the industry formed together to create the African American theatrical organization. The Frogs became known for their big event “The Frolic of the Frogs” or “The Frogs Frolic” every August at the Manhattan Casino (New York City) at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue. For 50 cents, people enjoyed a combination ball, party, and vaudeville show where favors were given to the ladies and door prizes went to the three individuals wearing unique costumes symbolic of the frogs. With a large success in the early years of the event, “The Frolic of the Frogs” was able to tour their event in cities such as Philadelphia, Richmond, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Popularity in the frolic was found among both blacks and whites. We love happy stories like "The Frogs" had given the people of New York. Come on let's face it, 99% of the time because of racial oppression; it's was negative for the Negro. George Walker died in 1911, but his longtime friend Bert Williams would take over the company continuing its amazing success well into the 1920s.
| It's a Party in 1919 |
- Back in the early 1900s because of prejudice and racial discrimination, black entertainers had to be very careful where they traveled. They weren't always welcome in various venues, so they created what's called a Chitlin Circuit. They named it Chitlin Circuit because of blacks typical love for soul food with chitlins being near the top as favorite. So, in other words, they understood there would be love on the circuit. They knew that the clubs, juke joints, theaters, etc. in the circuit were welcoming of the black race and safe to visit. This way of life existing from the early 1900s - 1960s. Noted theaters and entertainers on the circuit included:
The Fox Theatre in Detroit; the Victory Grill in Austin, Texas; the Carver Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama; the Cotton Club, Small's Paradise and the Apollo Theater in New York City; Robert's Show Lounge, Club DeLisa and the Regal Theatre in Chicago; the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.;the Royal Peacock in Atlanta; the Royal Theatre in Baltimore; the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia; the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; the Ritz Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida; and The Madam C. J. Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis.
These entertainers provided much needed joy and happiness for black folks. Once the band's gig was over, they would leave for the next stop on the circuit. Sounds like a lot of fun and an exciting life!
Many notable performers worked on the chitlin' circuit, including Patti LaBelle, Count Basie, Hammond B-3, Jeff Palmer, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Sheila Guyse, Peg Leg Bates, The Supremes, George Benson, James Brown & The Famous Flames, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson 5, Redd Foxx, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Lena Horne, Etta James, B.B. King, The Miracles, Donna Hightower, Moms Mabley, The Delfonics, Wilson Pickett, Richard Pryor, Otis Redding, Duke Ellington, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner, The Four Tops, Tammi Terrell, The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Muddy Waters, Flip Wilson and Jimmie Walker.
(photo#113 & 114-yr-1900)
Slaves kidnapped from their homes years ago 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 tasty 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.
Robert Nathaniel Dett
Florence Cole Talbert-McCleave
James Sylvester Scott
James Reese Europe
| Music in 1919 |
Popular Soul Dances:
- The Breakaway
- The Bunny Hug
- The Texas Tommy Swing
Musical Happeningsin 1919:
- James Sylvester Scott publishes three rags, "which are among the most demanding of all published piano ragtime": "New Era Rag", "Troubadour Rag" and "Pegasus: A Classic Rag.
- Popular bandleader James Reese Europe is murdered; he becomes the first African American honored with a public funeral in New York City.
- Tin Pan Alley publishes songs that spark a fad for blues-like music; these songs include syncopated foxtrots like "Jazz Me Blues", pop songs that were marketed as blues like "Wabash Blues", as well as actual blues songs.
- Canadian-born black composer R. Nathaniel Dett is the first to arrange a spiritual in a classical oratorio, with Chariot Jubilee.
- The National Association of Negro Musicians is founded, after Nora Holt organizes a black musicians summit in Chicago.
- Blacks are on the move out of the South during the late 1910s. Trivia: More than 60,000 African Americans from Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas move to Chicago, especially in the city's South Side. The black population boom "ushered in the city's jazz age, widening the market for black musical entertainment", including cabarets, dance halls, and vaudeville and movie theaters.
- Soprano Florence Cole Talbert recorded three songs for the Broome Special Phonograph label, including "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" and "Villanelle".
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.
George Walker and Bert Williams in the early 1900s
Fashionable Bert Williams in the 1900s
Women's fashion in 1910s
Women's fashion in 1910s
Men's fashion in 1910s
| Fashions in 1919 |
Popular entertainers of the 1990s, George Walker and Bert Williams in the fancy clothes they wore back in the early 1900s. Sharp as a tack!
Fashion in the years 1910–1919 is characterized by a rich and exotic opulence in the first half of the decade in contrast with the somber practicality of garments worn during the Great War. Men's trousers were worn cuffed to ankle-length and creased. Skirts rose from floor length to well above the ankle, women began to bob their hair, and the stage was set for the radical new fashions associated with the Jazz Age of the 1920s.
During the early years of the 1910s the fashionable silhouette became much more lithe, fluid and soft than in the 1900s. Waistlines were loose and softly defined. They gradually dropped to near the natural waist by mid-decade, where they were to remain through the war years. Tunics became longer and underskirts fuller and shorter. By 1916 women were wearing calf-length dresses. Changes dress during World War I were dictated more by necessity than fashion. As more and more women were forced to work, they demanded clothes that were better suited to their new activities; these derived from the shirtwaists and tailored suits. Social events were postponed in favor of more pressing engagements and the need to mourn the increasing numbers of dead, visits to the wounded, and the general gravity of the time meant that darker colors and simpler cuts became the norm. Costume jewelry was introduced. Expensive necklaces were replaced with glass or crystal beads.
In general, styles were unchanged from the previous decade. The sack coat or lounge coat continued to replace the frock coat for most informal and semi-formal occasions. The gap between the shorter trousers and the shoes was filled with short gaiters or spats.
The most formal evening dress remained a dark tail coat and trousers with a dark or light waistcoat. Evening wear was worn with a white bow tie and a shirt with a winged collar. Gentlemen of all classes, especially the middle and working class often wore the newsboy cap and flat cap.
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.
Twenty one people were killed on Commercial Street in the North End when a tank of
molasses ruptured and exploded. An eight foot wave of the syrupy brown liquid moved down
Commercial Street at a speed of 35mph. Wreckage of the collapsed tank visible in background, center,
next to light colored warehouse. Elevated railway structure visible to the far right.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1910s
Marcus Garvey, National Hero of Jamaica, full-length, seated at desk
Photo of Yarmouth, first ship in the Black Star Liner Fleet
| Our Community in 1919 |
- January 15, 1919 - The Boston Molasses Disaster happened when a large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph, killing 21 and injuring 150.
Trivia: Life is so unpredictable. I bet drowning in molasses was the last thing on any of the victim's mind before they got out of bed that morning. Terrible tragedy.
- June 3, 1919 - The Liberty Life Insurance Company of Chicago opens for business, it is organized by blacks.
- June 23, 1919 - The Black Star Line having a maximum capitalization of $500,000, BSL stocks were sold at UNIA conventions at five dollars each. It stood as a major symbol for Marcus Garvey's followers and African Americans in search of a way to get back to their homeland.
- October 28, 1919 - The Volstead Act passed by the United States Congress, establishing alcoholic prohibition, despite President Wilson's veto. Analyis: Yeah right, good luck trying to keep alcohol from the people. I'd bet against it. It would seem like America is trying to get it's morals in order.
- The United States Population is 93,402,151 with a total of 9,827,763 being African Americans. It looks like the Negroes are having second thoughts about bringing children into this racist and lawless society because their population increased by only 1 million from the last 10 years, where as the whites almost 17 million.
| Typical Local News & Advertisements in the Black Community for 1919|
October 29, 1919 - The Smarter Set - Richmond Va. times-dispatch - For the first time this season a theatrical company composed entirely of colored players will appear at the strand tonight. The Smarter Set will be seen in a new musical comdey entitled "Children of the Sun" Ragtime music with a tilt that raises it above the general run of jazz and yet makes it suffiently syncopated to retain it's full identity.
1919 - Southern Unions Want The Negro- Ignoring protest entered by extreme Southern delegates, The Southern Labor Congress is seeking to admit the Negro laborer as a equal brother craftsman. They will be organized into separate unions if enough blacks apply. Do you think the Great Black Migration of The Negro moving North has anything to do with this amazing change of heart?
September 13, 1919 - The Dallas express advertisement for Nile Queen "For hair and Skin" Better than the Best
Nile Queen, whitener & cleanser, hair beautifier, cream powder - 5 shades, cold cream.
1919 - University of South Carolina herald and news advertisement. Stomach Out Of Fix? Phone your druggist or doctor for a dozen bottles of Shivar Ale pure digestive and aromatics with shivar mineral water and ginger.
August 3, 1919 - The New York Tribune (Northern newspaper gives us a glimspe into how whites felt as opposed to Southern) had an interesting opinion about the race riots that was going on that year, and reflects the views of many white Americans today. The commentator was angry at black newspapers because he felt they were inciting the Negro to riot. He made the following comment;
"That fostering the feeling that the white man is oppressing the black man purposely"
Oppression is sometimes hard to realize while it's actually happening or either they simply don't want to realize it, a wonderful thing about history is it will show up the truth. Of course today we know that white America was purposely oppressing black people with denial of their Civil Rights and restrictive Jim Crow laws, but these people, similar as today thought they were just as innocent and rightgeous as can be.
Another example of America's twisted rightgeous thinking can be found with the comments of a Southerner who expressed his views by saying;
"What the South asserts in it's lynching is the determination to maintain white integrity and seperateness. It is not inspired by race hate, but by the instinct of race preservation. The Southern people have no unkind feelings for the Colored race as such. On the contrary they like the Negro, they understand him and are ready to help him." So you rape our women, murder and call us nigger all the time because you like us? We don't want to live with you, we just want to compete fairly. Live and let live.
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