Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1944:
Fannie Barrier Williams
Frances "Fannie" Barrier Williams was an African-American educator and political and women's rights activist.
Fannie Barrier was the youngest of three children born to Anthony and Harriet Barrier. The family attended the First Baptist Church in Brockport and was the only black family in the congregation. Fannie recalled her Brockport youth as a time of innocence, but her personal experience and growing awareness of the unfair treatment received by women of color led her to pursue a lifetime of activism.
All three Barrier children attended Brockport public schools. After graduation, Fannie Barrier went on to the Brockport Normal School, a teachers college, and was the first black to graduate in 1870. After graduation, Fannie Barrier went to the Washington D.C. area to teach joining the emerging education movement which focused on freedmen and freedwomen.
She reported that she was "shattered" by the discrimination she encountered in the more southern city. She also experienced significant difficulties due to her race when she enrolled in the School of Fine Arts in Washington to study portrait painting and had a similar experience when she attempted to study at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
While teaching in Washington, D.C., she met her future husband S. Laing Williams of Georgia. He worked in the United States Pension Office while studying law at Columbian University (later George Washington University Law School). They were married in Brockport in August 1887, returned to Washington, and eventually settled in Chicago, Illinois where Williams was admitted to the Illinois bar and began a successful law practice.
Barrier Williams became active among local community activists and reformers. She was director of the art and music department of the Prudence Crandall Study Club, an organization formed by Chicago’s elite African-American community. With her husband, she worked for the Hyde Park Colored Voters Republican Club and the Taft Colored League.
Associating with both Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, she represented the viewpoint of African-Americans in the Illinois Women’s Alliance and frequently lectured on the need for all women, but especially black women, to have the vote. Her women’s rights was recognized when she was the only African-American selected to eulogize Susan B. Anthony at the 1907 National American Woman Suffrage Association convention.
Barrier Williams was among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She also helped found the National League of Colored Women in 1893 and its successor, the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) in 1896.
She was involved in the establishment and development of other reform- and service-oriented organizations, including:
Provident Hospital, in 1891, an inter-racial medical facility that included a nursing training school that admitted black women.
Frederick Douglass Center, in 1905, a settlement house.
the Phillis Wheatley Home for Girls.
the National Federation of Afro-American Women, 1895, working with Mary Church Terrell.
When Barrier Williams was nominated to the prestigious Chicago Women’s Club in 1894, she and her supporters received threats, both public and private. Barrier Williams continued to fight for inclusion and was admitted in 1895. She was also the first black and the first woman on the Chicago Library Board.
Barrier Williams achieved broader public recognition due to efforts to gain representation of blacks at the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893. She succeeded in having two staff appointments designated for African-Americans and ensured that African-American interests were included in the program. She was appointed as Clerk in charge of Colored Interests in the Department of Publicity and Promotions.
Barrier Williams was invited to present two major addresses at the Exposition. In the first, "The Intellectual Progress of the Colored Women of the United States Since the Emancipation Proclamation," Barrier Williams addressed the World’s Congress of Representative Women and disputed the notion that slavery had rendered African-American women incapable of the same moral and intellectual levels as other women.
Barrier Williams fought the war on racism in the trenches. These smaller battles she confronted and defeated were crucial for the future progress of the American black person. These were all learning experiences for us. We're going to win this thing and do it intelligently was the strategy of our black leaders.
We know we have right on our side and that gives us more strength. The people of our generation would like to thank and honor Fannie Barrier with the 1944 Hamite Award. A person may ask, what exactly does a Hamite Award represent? Our answer would be to simply read the biography of Fannie Barrier Williams who was a perfect representation of a Hamite winner.
After the death of her husband in 1921, Barrier Williams remained in Chicago until 1926, when she returned to Brockport to live with her sister. She continued to advocate for African-American women until her death in 1944.
Fannie Barrier Williams |
|How were blacks feeling in 1944?
I have a good feeling a change is coming! The American black person has been getting favorable rulings with the courts lately, and sad to say that it took a horrible war to bring us prosperity, but it's true. Blacks are leaving the South in record numbers headed West to Defense Depots to help the war effort.
Ever since Roosevelt has been in office, things have been going kind of decent, even though we know he's not a real crusader for the enforcement of Negroes Civil Rights, his wife Eleanor is behind a lot of our progress.
We also wish FDR would stop cheating on Eleanor, it doesn't look good for the country MR. President, and yes everybody knows you're doing it, you have a moral example to set for the country. We don't blame Eleanor one little bit for moving out and getting a place of her own.
Fox Lake Resort |
Moving on up to the eastside!!!! That's what I'm talking about. We finally have a place to travel for fun and relaxation. We just hope our white American brothers don't burn it down or deny/jack up the electricity and water rates or claim eminent domain like they did with other resorts blacks attempted to set up.
Even though the average Negro cannot afford to visit or live in Fox Lake, it's still nice to know some of our peoples are enjoying the life and gives us the motivation to fight even harder this high wall of racism. I ain't mad at cha!
The Fox Lake resort community was developed in Angola, Indiana specifically for African Americans in the 1930s, when such communities were quite rare. In the years between World War I and World War II, and for some time after that, African American were not welcomed to traditionally white resort communities. Fox Lake provided black families with a place of their own where they could escape the heat of the cities and enjoy the pleasures of summertime activities. The historic district contains 32 relatively modest lake cottages, most of which were constructed before World War II.
Occasionally big-name musicians were booked for dances at the clubhouse, which was surrounded by tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and basketball hoops. Saddle horses were available until the early 1950s. Other activities included trap shooting matches, weekly Family Night at the restaurant, and Sunday school held on the beach under the trees.
Today, Fox Lake is still a prosperous black community. Its traditions are still maintained by many second- and third-generation owners, who occupy a large number of the cottages.
What an wonderful history!!!
American Beach, Florida
American Beach, Florida was founded in 1935 by Florida's first black millionaire, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, and his Afro-American Life Insurance Company. The plan was for his employees to have a place to vacation and own homes for their families by the shore.
(thank you so much Abraham, we needed this!) Throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, summers at American Beach were busy with families, churches, and children. It was a place where African Americans could enjoy "Recreation and Relaxation Without Humiliation." The beach included hotels, restaurants, bathhouses, and nightclubs as well as homes and other businesses.
American Beach played host to numerous celebrities during this period, including: folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, singer Billie Daniels, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Billy Eckstein, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, actor Ossie Davis,and Sherman Hemsley. We know they had some fun! That's what I'm talking bout!
For the year 1944:
- The "Golden Thirteen were the first African-American commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy.
- Samuel Gravely was the first African-American commissioned as a U.S. Navy officer from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.
- Dr. Howard Thurman with Dr. Alfred Fisk were the first African-American to co-pastor with a white minister at the first interracial church.
- Harry S. McAlpin was the first African-American reporter to attend a U.S. Presidential news conference.
- Camilla Williams was the first African-American to receive a contract with a major American opera company.
- Matt Baker created the first known comic book art by an African-American.
| Sports in 1944 |
- Althea Gibson won the American Tennis Association (ATA) (which is the oldest African-American sports organization in the United States.) NY State Championship, and the ATA national championship in the girls' division in 1944-1945, after losing in the women's final in 1946, she won her first of ten straight national ATA women's titles in 1947.
- In the 1944 Negro World Series, the Washington Homestead Grays, champions of the Negro National League were matched against the Birmingham Black Barons, champions of the Negro American League, for the second year in a row. The Grays won the series again, four games to one.
- The New York Black Yankees was founded in Harlem as the Harlem Black Bombers in 1931 by financier James "Soldier Boy" Semler and dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. The team was active in the Negro Leagues from 1931 to 1948.
| 1944 Colored World Series |
| Washington Homestead Grays||8||6||9||0||4||4|
|Birmingham Black Barons||3||1||0||6||2||1|
Location: Birmingham: Rickwood Park (1,3)
New Orleans: Pelican Stadium (2)
Pittsburgh: Forbes Field (4)
Washington: Griffith Stadium (5)
Managers: Washington: Candy Jim Taylor
Birmingham: Gus Welch
Dates: September 17–24
Hall of Famers: Washington: Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown,
Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Jud Wilson
| Education in 1944 |
- 1944 - William Trent, a long time activist for education for blacks, joined with Tuskegee Institute President Frederick D. Patterson and Mary McLeod Bethune to found the UNCF, a nonprofit that united college presidents to raise money collectively through an “appeal to the national conscience.”
HOW LONG WILL GOOD WHITE-AMERICANS |
SIT ON THE FENCE?
Since the beginning of American history, there's always been a fight between good and bad. The problem is that both good and bad forces claim to adore democracy. Someone is lying. You be the judge.
First, we need to define democracy and we'll let two of America's greatest Presidents do this for us by their actions and famous quotes.
Abraham Lincoln made the following quotes:
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."
"I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races.... But I hold that ... there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Now it's very clear from the many biased comments Abraham Lincoln made against black people he wasn't the type that would have blacks over for dinner, in fact, most whites shared his views many years ago. But that's okay, at least he was honest. This site believes he would have changed his racist views if living in our time because one of his most admirable qualities was flexibility.
In contrast to Abraham Lincoln, the first President of the United States, George Washington didn't share Lincoln's view of democracy.
Black slaves were actively sought and recruited to fight for America in the Revolutionary War and promised citizenship after the victory. It's well recorded that slaves fought with courage and valor that ensured American success. George Washington himself made the comment:
Washington wrote a letter to Colonel Henry Lee III stating that success in the war would come to whatever side could arm the blacks the fastest.
But after victory in the war, America didn't keep it promises, and most blacks were forced back into slavery. Of course, George Washington had to know about this but did nothing. Washington was a brilliant soldier but failed as an upholder of truth and justice and set the tone for future race relations in our country by trivializing and compromising real Democracy.
Washington had many slaves himself and didn't want to free them and damage his financial stake. He put money interests ahead of real Democracy. But all of America's founders didn't feel this way. A contemporary of Washington and future President John Adams hated slavery and was proud to boast he handled his business with paid workers. Did George Washington look at himself in the mirror and feel guilty about compromising (true) American Democracy? History says he didn't.
Washington created the blueprint for this distorted view of true Democracy
Blacks in the colonies had been treated poorly since their arrival from Africa, but this action by Washington made it official. This blueprint became the norm in much of America's dealings with black people. Whites felt if their supreme leader thought so lowly of black people, they would also.
We must all be honest with ourselves in admitting this view of Democracy was not American because it denied certain humans liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore we must call for what it was, which is Anti-American.
So we had two different Presidents with various versions of Democracy, and this is the way it remains today. What made Lincoln a force for good and better President was he put Democracy first and his personal prejudices second, but Washington put his financial interest ahead of true Democracy. This is what set these two men apart. Both were great men with different views about what it meant to be an American on the side of liberty and justice for all.
After Lincoln's death, democracy would take a downward spiral. One of the most biased President in American history led the attack. His name was Andrew Johnson, and he fought against the Civil Rights of blacks tooth and nail. Every favorable bill for former slaves that appeared on his desk was immediately denied. Later, there were new laws created to restrict black American citizens that worked very well. This was called the Jim Crow era. It was an all-out attack on Democracy by Anti-Americans and aided by good white Americans who remained on the fence. Read for yourself.
There's not enough room on this web page to describe the hate and exclusion by government and white Americans against blacks during this period. Jim Crow laws touched every part of life, all across America. Blacks and whites were kept apart as much as possible. Good jobs went to whites; blacks were given the worst with less pay. Many industries wouldn’t hire blacks. Many unions passed special rules to exclude them. All juries and judges were white; blacks were illegally denied voting rights. No blacks allowed in public pools. Many restaurants would not serve blacks, and those that did had a dirty colored section. Blacks and whites went to county fairs on different days. Blacks couldn't use public libraries. Simple common courtesy was rarely shown the blacks. Whites beat, tortured, raped and killed blacks with no fear of punishment. Blacks were denied credit for businesses, housing, cars by the banks. Blacks were kept out of white neighborhoods with housing covenants. Oklahoma had black and white phone booths. Texas had cities where blacks were entirely restricted from living. Blacks could not leave their homes after 10:00 pm in Mobile Alabama. Blacks could not marry whites. Georgia had separate white and black parks. Prisons, hospitals, and orphanages were segregated as were schools and colleges. Blacks and whites had to use separate sets of books in school, in Florida, they couldn't be stored together. When a person was sworn in at a trial, the whites used one Bible, and the blacks had a separate Bible. For those who did complete college, a crucial question had to be answered. Who was going to be their clients? Whites didn't engage blacks in business, and the battered Negro couldn't afford their services. These laws became so entrenched in American life; even unwritten laws affected black citizenship; blacks understood to stay out of white stores and establishments. Segregation was so complete that whites did not see blacks except when being served by them. After the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, blacks have made enormous gains. This is how the United States of America became a polarized country. Each and every President knew what was going on and allowed this illegal activity for 87 years. Were they guilty of not upholding the United States Constitution in the Negroes behalf? Is this the reason why many other nations laugh at America with its constant claims of being on the side of good and high morality?
Did religion made things worse?
Even though the U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation and existed solely as a secular state completely free of religious influence in lawmaking, religion would soon be thrown into the loop. This made American people feel righteous and just in their own eyes. White's beleived they were "good" and made in God's image and blacks were not. In time slogans such as "In God We Trust" were printed on money to describe a people who had snuffed out Democracy, They felt God was on their side and loved only them.
Countless movies, radio shows, newspapers, magazines and other media would consistently portray these Anti-Americans as on the side of good, morally upstanding and righteous to the world with God on their side. Good white Americans had to know this was a farce because of the way it's black citizens were being treated and did nothing.
There were a relative few brave, good white Americans who spoke up during this period and got involved with some even losing their lives, but the majority did nothing. They remained on the fence because they were also partakers of the privileged American way of living and failed to realize how this was undermining true Democracy with the threat of one day being faced with an America they wouldn't recognize.
“Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege. In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.” Tim Wise
So, what now?
Because of the folly of racism and privilege by Anti-Americans and the lack of action to speak out for true Democracy by good Americans, has our country morphed into another form of power? Something that is completely different than it started out as, perhaps like an insatiable, detestable and ugly monster, without a soul or conscience? You be the judge.
The Manhattan Project|
The Manhattan Project began in 1939 and ended in 1946. It was a research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada.
The U.K. started their own atomic project first but didn't have funding to keep up with research and building so they ended up sharing all their scientific data with the United States which quickly surpassed and allowed them to stay in the game.
The Manhattan Project created the first nuclear bombs.The Trinity test is shown.
Most people working in the factories didn't understand what they were involved with. They were just happy to get a steady paycheck. Many residents continued to avoid discussion of "the stuff" in ordinary conversation despite it being the reason for their town's existence.
The Manhattan Project began modestly in 1939, but grew to employ more than 130,000 people in select cities across America and cost nearly US$2 billion (about $26 billion in 2016 dollars)
Roosevelt/Truman poster from 1944
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Adam Clayton Powell
| Political Scene in 1944 |
- Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States.
Analysis: O.K. Mr. Roosevelt, we have studied your record on civil rights for the African-American and came to the conclusion that you put the problems of the world first before your black American citizens and perhaps if it weren't for your wife, Eleanor the civil rights movement would have taken longer to get off the ground. We know Roosevelt was loved by blacks and other races in his day, but from our vantage point in time, I searched high and low for concrete facts about laws he initiated to help black citizens. He did have some shining moments, though, but to me, it always seemed like he did it after being pushed into it by someone. Maybe I'm wrong, and if anybody knows something I don't I will be more than happy to change my assessment of this president, because believe it or not, we don't look for bad, we want to find good things they did for American citizens, and history won't lie. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the typical politician when it came to Negro civil rights, which meant they were not serious in demanding the enforcement of our rights. Roosevelt, like previous presidents, was afraid of the racist Southerners vote who in effect held America as a hostage with weak, spineless leaders. To Roosevelt's credit when he had Henry A. Wallace in 1941 as his Vice President this spoke volumes about the type of person Roosevelt was. Wallace had once studied under George Washington Carver as a young boy. Carver was a well respected black scientist by most which led Wallace to make the claim that white superiority was a hoax and all men were created equal in ability if given the opportunity. White racist was livid and demanded Roosevelt drop Wallace from the ticket to which he refused and threatened to drop out of the race all together until Eleanor addressed the convention floor to change the party's mind and her eventually her husband's also. We give big kudos to Roosevelt for this and notice a change in the air for human rights. But on the other hand former Presiden Woodrow Wilson who went down in history as one of the most racist Presidents in America was a hero to Roosevelt who admired his vision for America and the world. Also during WWII Winston Churchhill was in dire need of assistance from the U.S. to fight Hitler's Germany and didn't have the money to complete a successful war campaign. Roosevelt offered him help under one condition that he dissolved colonial rule over the many countries around the world that Britain controlled, of course, Churchill didn't have a choice and agreed. So Roosevelt envisioned a new society where all the world could live in peace and free from the domination of other governments, but of course, the black citizens in his country would take the back burner. But at least he was trying, unlike his predecessors. Roosevelt came from a Dutch family, and the Dutch in America had a history of being fair to blacks and looked upon them as regular people like themselves, so we thought this president would actually WANT to help us. He never instigated any helpful Negro policy on his accord, for example, he signed an important piece of legislation to put America to work with the (Work Projects Administration; WPA program) in his New Deal promises. But because of racism blacks were being left out. He didn't have the motivation to act on his own to find the reason for this, it took his concerned wife Eleanor to speak up to this injustice against the American black person and eventually put many blacks to work. Eleanor had blacks coming and going out of the White House, and it probably got to the point where white people were saying to themselves "There's goes the neighborhood" She was a trendsetter for sure, loved by all races of people. Believe it or not, we think without a doubt she was the real catalyst for the Civil Rights movement, because of her concern for Negro citizens and the influence she had on her husband in getting favorable results. She helped opened the door for us, and we took advantage with the burgeoning rights movement. She, in my opinion, was a real first lady. Blacks loved her. Another occasion was when blacks were demanding an integrated Federal government, which he didn't want to get involved with until Civil Rights leader A. Philip Randolph threatened to march thousands of protesters on Washington D.C. This was the beginning of the integration of the Federal government providing fruits even today because of the multitude of black government workers we have. With Roosevelt's handling of the Japanese citizens by sending them to prison camps wasn't a good idea, and resentment still holds today for many. Franklin Roosevelt has been rated as one of the top three presidents ever, and after much thought, I think we agree. He wasn't a particularly bad or mean president, and he was better than the recent ones we've had. Franklin Roosevelt loved women and had affairs while serving as U.S. President. Eleanor was acutely aware of his womanizing ways and still supported him but lived separately from him. She still had influence over him, because if not the Negro would have been in worse shape because she was a real American who wanted all citizens to enjoy a fair slice of America success. She was an excellent first lady who understood.
1944 - Harry S. Truman and FDR defeated the Republican ticket of Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York and running mate Governor John Bricker of Ohio.
January 1944 - Ralph Bunche was appointed the first Negro official in US State Department.
1944 - Adam Clayton Powell ran for the United States Congress on a platform of civil rights for African Americans: support for "fair employment practices, and a ban on poll taxes and lynching. Powell was elected as a Democrat to represent the Congressional District that included Harlem. He was the first black Congressman from New York State and the first in the Post-Reconstruction Era from any Northern state other than Illinois.
Trivia: Where would we be without Adam Clayton Powell? He was a breath of fresh air for the American Negro. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind on our behalf. He helped opened many doors for us.
1944 - Henry A. Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States (1941–1945). Wallace was a strong supporter of New Deal liberalism, rapid desegregation, and softer policies towards the Soviet Union. His public feuds with other officials caused significant controversy during his time as Vice President under Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the midst of World War II, and resulted in Democrats dropping him from the ticket in the 1944 election for Senator Harry S Truman. Analysis: Credit is given to President Roosevelt for choosing a man like Henry A. Wallace for the Vice President. Why? Because Wallace was one of those rare white Americans who had sincerely felt all citizens, deserve justice and equality in America. When this site happens upon one of these great individuals it makes up super excited; it's almost like finding refreshing water in a barren desert. Black scientist George Washington Carver was a major influence in the life of Wallace when he was a boy. Carver was acquainted with Henry's dad who was a president of Iowa State College. The father invited Carver to the family home, and Carver would go on walks with the boy throughout the property and helped him to identify species of plants and plant parts. In the greenhouse, he taught Young Henry about plant breeding. They would experiment with diseased plants and crop breeding. As he grew older, Henry Wallace would denounce the foolish white superiority theory. He stated that all are created equal and can achieve if given the opportunity, something that blacks were denied. Wallace served as Secretary of Agriculture until September 1940, after Franklin Roosevelt selected him as his running mate on the 1940 presidential ticket. Wallace was the type of man who bucked the system. He was very much like the Radical Republicans of yesteryear. Most white lawmakers didn't like him so much so that Roosevelt dropped him from the next election for Harry Truman. In 1948 Wallace would make an unsuccessful run as the Progressive Party's presidential candidate in the 1948 U.S. presidential election. His platform advocated universal government health insurance, an end to the nascent Cold War, full voting rights for black Americans, and an end to segregation. His campaign included African American candidates campaigning alongside white candidates in the segregated South, and he also refused to appear before segregated audiences or to eat or stay in segregated establishments. Time magazine, which opposed the Wallace candidacy, described Wallace as "ostentatiously" riding through the towns and cities of the segregated South "with his Negro secretary beside him." A barrage of eggs and tomatoes were hurled at Wallace and struck him and his campaign members during the tour.
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 1944 |
- 1944 - The Fort Lawton Riot refers to a series of events in August 1944 starting with a violent conflict between U.S. soldiers and Italian prisoners of war at Fort Lawton in Seattle, Washington during World War II. After the riot, prisoner Guglielmo Olivotto was found dead. This led to the court-martial of 43 soldiers, all of them African Americans. After an investigation, President George W. Bush signed legislation allowing the Army to disburse back pay to the defendants or their survivors.
- 1944 - Agana race riot took place at Agana, Guam over the two nights of 24–25 December 1944 during the War in the Pacific and occurred between white and black members of the United States Marines. It was one of the most serious incidents between African American military personnel and White enlisted men in the United States armed forces during the Second World War.
- 1944 - Port Chicago disaster was a deadly munitions explosion that occurred on July 17, 1944, at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Port Chicago, California, United States. Munitions detonated while being loaded onto a cargo vessel bound for the Pacific Theater of Operations, killing 320 sailors and civilians and injuring 390 others. Most of the dead and injured were enlisted African-American sailors.
Movies in America
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
Jack Benny's radio shows cast
| Radio / Television / Movies / Broadway in 1944 |
- Since You Went Away - Dorothy Dandridge (role as Black Officer's Wife in Train Station)
- Atlantic City - Dorothy Dandridge (role as Singer)
- Boogie-Woogie Dream - Lena Horne (short subject; filmed in 1941)
- Broadway Rhythm - Lena Horne (MGM Technicolor musical film)
- Two Girls and a Sailor - Lena Horne (role as herself)
- Frederick O'Neal won the Clarence Derwent award for his Broadway performance as the greedy brother-in-law in Anna Lucasta.
- Starting in the year of 1937, a new funny man would co-star on the Jack Benny Show. This man went by the name of Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. Eddie's character of "Rochester" generated much laughter, becoming immensely popular and would become a household name from 1937 to 1965 in America. The humor on the show was the usual stereotypical stuff that blacks had to endure, but later it would become a stepping stone for many successful comedians to follow. Eddie became the first black to have a regular role on a nationwide radio program. The show started on radio and moved to television in 1951 until it went off the air in the 1964-1965 season. Trivia:
Anderson was frequently late for the show. Benny attempted to instill punctuality in Anderson by fining him $50 each time he arrived late at the studio. Anderson had a habit of losing track of time, especially when he was talking with someone. Must have had something to say huh Eddie?
Tommie Smith and John Carlos
Three Proud People mural in Newtown
| Famous Birthdays in 1944 |
- January 12, 1944 - Joe Frazier also known as Smokin' Joe, was an American professional boxer, Olympic gold medalist and Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a one-fight comeback in 1981.
- January 30, 1944 - Sharon Pratt Kelly former D.C. mayor.
- February 9, 1944 - Alice Malsenior Walker an American author and activist.
- March 26, 1944 - Diana Ross is one of the most popular and talented African American singers on the earth today.
- May 24, 1944 - Patti LaBelle words cannot describe how talented this soulful African American singer is.
- June 6, 1944 - Tommie Smith is an American former track & field athlete and wide receiver in the American Football League. His Black Power salute with John Carlos atop the medal podium caused controversy at the time as it was seen as politicizing the Olympic Games. It remains a symbolic moment in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement.
- October 9, 1944 - Nona Hendryx is an American vocalist, record producer, songwriter, musician, author, and actress.
William Tecumseh Vernon
Fannie Barrier Williams
| Famous Deaths in 1944 |
- March 4, 1944 - Fannie Barrier Williams was an African-American educator and political and women's rights activist. She became well known for her efforts to have blacks officially represented on the Board of Control of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.
- July 25, 1944 - William Tecumseh Vernon was an American educator, minister and bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, president of Western University beginning in 1896, and Register of the Treasury from 1906 to 1911.
- 1944 - King Daniel Ganaway was a butler who was also an amateur photographer in his spare time. He won first prize in a photo contest over many professionals.
- 1944 - Edward Austin Johnson was an attorney who became the first African-American member of the New York state legislature when he was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1917.
Julian Francis Abele
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
| Famous Weddings in 1944 |
- 1944 - Nelson Mandela and Evelyn Ntoko Mase were married.
- 1944 - Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Elaine Plaines were married.
- 1944 - Prominent African-American architect Julian Francis Abele and Marguerite Bulle were married.
| Famous Divorces in 1944 |
- June 15, 1944 - Lena Horne and Louis Jones were divorced.
Lenox Lounge in New York
The Negro Motorist Green Book was an annual guidebook for African Americans, commonly referred to simply as the "Green Book". It was published from 1936 to 1966, during the Jim Crow era, when discrimination against non-whites was widespread.
Middle-class blacks took to driving in part to avoid segregation on public transportation. Blacks employed as salesmen, entertainers and athletes also traveled frequently for work purposes. African American travelers faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences, such as white-owned businesses refusing to serve them or repair their vehicles, being refused accommodation or food by white-owned hotels, and threats of physical violence and forcible expulsion from whites-only "sundown towns". New York mailman and travel agent Victor H. Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book to tackle such problems and "to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trip more enjoyable." The Green Book became "the bible of black travel during Jim Crow." These people were crazy on the for real side! You can bet the Chitlin' Circuit entertainers used the Green Book.
| It's a Party in 1944 |
- 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 they 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.
Early figures of blues, including Robert Johnson, Son House, Charley Patton, and countless others, traveled the juke joint circuit, scraping out a living on tips and free meals. 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.
Jitterbugging in Negro juke joint,
Saturday evening, outside Clarksdale, Mississippi
An African American couple dance the jitterbug in front
of a crowd. Los Angeles California.
(Attribution: Ed Berger)
Nat King Cole
| Music in 1944 |
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
Popular Soul Dances:
- January 1, 1944: "Ration Blues" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
- January 15, 1944: "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me" - Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra
- March 25, 1944: "Cow-Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay)" — The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald
- April 1, 1944: "Main Stem" — Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra
- April 15, 1944: "When My Man Comes Home" — Buddy Johnson and His Band
- April 29, 1944: "Straighten Up and Fly Right" — The Nat King Cole Trio
- July 15, 1944: "G.I. Jive" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
- August 19, 1944: "Till Then" — The Mills Brothers
- September 2, 1944: "Hamp's Boogie Woogie" — Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra
- September 30, 1944: "I'm Lost" —; Benny Carter and His Orchestra
- October 21, 1944: "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You" — The Nat King Cole Trio
- November 18, 1944: "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall" — The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald
- Swing Dance
- Lindy Hop
- The Big Apple is both a partner dance and a circle dance that originated in the Afro-American community of the United States in the beginning of the 20th century.
- The Hully Gully is a type of unstructured line dance often considered to have originated in the sixties, but is also mentioned some forty years earlier as a dance common in the black juke joints in the first part of the twentieth century.
Musical Happenings in 1944:
- Doo-wop is a genre of music that was developed in African-American communities across America in the 1940s, achieving mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early '60s. Built upon vocal harmony, doo-wop was one of the most mainstream, pop-oriented R&B styles of the time. In it's beginning, singers would gather on street corners, and in subways, generally in groups of three to six. They sang a cappella arrangements, and would mimic certain instruments since instruments were little used: the bass singing "bom-bom-bom", a guitar rendered as "shang-a-lang" and brass riffs as "dooooo -wop-wop".
- Billy Eckstine formed his own big band and it became the finishing school for adventurous young musicians who would shape the future of jazz. Included in this group were Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Charlie Parker, and Fats Navarro, as well as vocalist Sarah Vaughan. The Billy Eckstine Orchestra is considered to be the first bop big-band.
- Swing music, or simply swing, is a form of American music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1940. The period between 1935 and 1946 is when big band swing music reached its peak and was the most popular music in America. As with jazz, swing was created by African Americans, and its impact on the overall American culture was such that it marked and named an entire era of the United States, the Swing Era.
- Louis Jordan's "G.I. Jive" becomes the first song to simultaneously top all three Billboard charts: "pop", "race" and "folk".
- The Metropolitan Opera House hosts a jazz concert for the very first time. The musical performers were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.
Fashion styles in the 1940s - Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill, Minton's Playhouse
New York, N.Y. (Photograph by William P. Gottlieb)
Rose McClendon Fashion Statement
Black Theater Fashion Statement
At the juke joint stylin
Men Fashions in the 40s
American jazz violinist Eddie South
with a conk hairdo.
Afro Puffs in the 1860s? Absolutely beautiful woman from the island of Nosy-Be, north west Madagascar (1868)
| Fashions and Styles in 1944 |
Immediately after the war, men's suits were broad-shouldered and often double-breasted. As wartime restrictions on fabric eased, trousers became fuller, and were usually styled with cuffs (turn-ups). In America, Esquire introduced the "Bold Look", with wide shoulders, broad lapels, and an emphasis on bold, coordinated accessories. Dark charcoal gray was the usual color, and the era of the gray flannel suit was born. Sport coats generally followed the lines of suit coats. Tartan plaids were fashionable in the early 1950s, and later plaids and checks of all types were worn, as were corduroy jackets with leather buttons and car coats. Khaki-colored pants, called chinos, were worn for casual occasions. Some young men wore tight trousers or jeans, leather jackets, and white tee shirts.
The "New Look" was the style of the 1940s. The signature shape was characterized by a below-mid-calf length, full-skirt, pointed bust, small waist, and rounded shoulder line. The "softness" of the New Look was deceptive; the curved jacket peplum shaped over a high, rounded, curved shoulders, and full skirt of Dior's clothes relied on an inner construction of new interlining materials to shape the silhouette. Throughout the post-war period, a tailored, feminine look was prized and accessories such as gloves and pearls were popular. Tailored suits had fitted jackets with peplums, usually worn with a long, narrow pencil skirt. Day dresses had fitted bodices and full skirts, with jewel or low-cut necklines or Peter Pan collars. At the end of 1945 the demand for nylon stockings was so great that Nylon riots ensued at stores selling the products.
Due to the baby boom, there was a high demand for clothing for children. Children's clothing began to be made to a higher quality, and some even adopted trends popular with teenagers; many boys started wearing jeans to Elementary school. Many girls' and young women's dresses were styled after those of the older women.
- Men's Hairstyles:
The conk, which was derived from congolene, a hair straightener gel made from lye was a hairstyle very popular among African-American men from the 1920s to the 1960s. This hairstyle called for a man with naturally "kinky" hair to have it chemically straightened using a relaxer, sometimes the pure corrosive chemical lye, so that the newly straightened hair could be styled in specific ways. Back in those days, you were cool to have a conk job done.
- Women's Hairstyles:
The hot comb was an invention developed in France as a way for women with coarse curly hair to achieve a fine straight look traditionally modeled by historical Egyptian women. However, it was Annie Malone who first patented this tool, while her protégé and former worker, Madam CJ Walker widened the teeth. Today, hot combs are still used by many African-American beauticians and families as an alternative to chemical hair straightening. Many African American and women of other races, still utilize hot combs because this form of straightening is temporary and less damaging to the hair if done properly.
- Braiding Hairstyles:
Historically, hair braiding was not a paid trade. Since the African diaspora, in the 20th and 21st centuries it has developed as a multi-million dollar business in such regions as the United States and western Europe. An individual's hair groomer was usually someone whom they knew closely. Sessions included shampooing, oiling, combing, braiding, and twisting, plus adding accessories.
Hi there, I'm Annie.
Thanks for viewing my collection of wonderful soul-food dishes that my amazing ancestors cooked, and more than likely yours did too.
We didn't have much of anything back in the day and had to live off the scraps we were given. But like a famous rapper once said in his songs, we knew how to "make a dollar out of 15 cents" Enjoy.
Sweet Potatoes / Yams
Rice and Beans
Fish and Chips
Biscuits and Gravy
(images - https://pixabay.com/)
| Southern Cooking - Soul Food |
Have you ever wondered what African-Americans ate back in the day? Well, maybe we can help you with that. We've found the oldest known black cookbook to date.
This cookbook was written by an actual former slave woman that had once lived on a plantation, but gained her freedom with the Emancipation Proclamation moving from Mobile, Alabama to San Francisco, California where she published an entirely excellent collection of 160 authentic and tasty recipes of the Old South entitled;
"What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking"
This book is indeed a rare gemstone with tons of actual recipes that black folks enjoyed back in the day, but Mrs. Fisher cooking wasn't limited to blacks only, many whites also loved her delicious recipes and persuaded her to make a cookbook.
Here is just a sample of some of the southern foods mentioned in her book, and by the way, it wasn't called soul-food until the 1960's.
- Maryland Beat Biscuit
- Cream Cake
- Flannel Cakes
- Sallie Lund
- Egg Corn Bread
- Plantation Corn Bread
- Light Bread
- Lamb or Mutton Chops
- Pork Steak or Chops
- Ginger Cookies
- Sweet Wafers
Pickels, Sauces Etc.
- Sweet Cucumber Pickles
- Sweet Cucumber Mangoes
- Chow Chow
- Creole Chow Chow
- Cherry Chutney
- Game Sauce
- Compound Tomato
- Sweet Pickle Peaches
- Sweet Pickle Prunes
- Sweet Watermelon Kind Pickle
- Sauce for Boiled Fish or Mutton
- Milanese Sauce
- Sauce for Suet Pudding
- Pastry for making Pies of all kinds
- Preparing the Fruit for Pies
- Lemon Pies
- Cream Apple
- Sweet Potato
- Gooseberry and Cherry
- Light Bread
- Blackberry Roll
- Corn Fritters
Preserves, Spices, ETC.
- Brandy Peaches
- Quince Preserves
- Syrups for Preserves
- Preserved Peaches
- Preserved Pears
- Currant Jelly
- Cranberry Jelly
- Strawberry Jam
- Raspberry and Currant Jam Combined
- Marmalade Peach
- Crab Apple Jelly
- Blackberry Brandy
- Blackberry Syrup for Dysentery in Children
- Preserved Apricots
- Apple Sauce for Roast Pork
- Charlotte Eusse
- Spiced Currants
- Preserved Cherries
- Domestic Duck
- Wild Duck
Soups, Chowders, Etc.
- Calf 's Head
- Mock Turtle
- Green Turtle
- Oyster Gumbo
- Ochra Gumbo
- Old Fashioned Turnip
- Corn and Tomato
- Fish Chowder
- Chicken Gumbo
- Fricassed Chicken
- Fried Chicken
- Chicken fried Steak
- Meat Stews or Entrees
- Ice Cream
- Boiled Turkey
- Beef a la Mode
- Spiced Round
- Hog Maws
- Stuffed Ham
- Lima Beans
- Jumberlie a Creole Dish
- Baked Fish
- Ribs, Beef or Pork
- Boiled Corn
- Peach Cobbler
- Egg Plant Stuffed
- Chitterlings or "Chitlins"
- Corned Beef Hash
- Ladies' Custard
- Tonic Bitters
- Terrapin Stew
- Leaven Biscuit
- Pap for infant Diet
- Sorghum Syrup
- Meringue for Pudding
- Circuit Hash
What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking
Paperback – March, 1995
by Abby Fisher (Author), Karen Hess (Editor)
Southern Jewel Million Dollar Pound Cake
(this recipe is not from Mrs. Fisher cookbook, but has been in Annie's family for generations, it's everyones favorite!)
Butter: 1 pound
Sugar: 3 cups
Milk: 3/4 cup
Cake Flour: 4 cups (Soft as Silk Cake Flour)
Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon
Vanilla Flavor: 1 teaspoon
Lemon Flavor: 1 teaspoon
For best results, leave butter and eggs out overnight
Cream butter well, add sugar and mix until butter and sugar look like whip cream.
Beat each egg individually and then add with sugar and butter, mix well for at least a couple minutes.
Add milk and cake flour a little at a time, then add flavorings.
Spray Pam spray on entire round cake pan, and then add cake batter.
Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325.
Let cake cool for about 30 minutes, and then remove cake from cake pan.
Dang it! We're so Tired of all the Hate|
We can't wait to leave this wicked South,
and make the big bucks in the North!
Will our white American brothers love us there?
What type of employment awaits the Negro in the 1900s?
FSA photo of cropper family chopping the weeds
from cotton near White Plains, in Georgia Postmarked 1912
90% of Negroes still lived in the South up until the late 1910s.
King Cotton was still a big source of income for blacks. These workers were hired as temporary help. Many were tenant farmers, renting a piece of land and some of their tools and supplies, and paying the rent at the end of the growing season with a portion of their harvest. White and black farm laborers were paid comparable wages, and rental rates. Blacks didn't exclusively work in the cotton fields, for example some blacks worked in the Turpentine industry.
"Dipping and scraping pine trees. Turpentine industry in Florida." Postmarked 1912
Whites were much more likely to own land as opposed to blacks. Black children were unlikely to be in school because they helped the parents in the fields to support the family and also because of a lack of good quality schools. Funds that were intended for black schools went to white schools instead in the form of raising teacher salaries and per-pupil funding while reducing class size. Black schools suffered at this expense. Separate but Equal was a big lie, because it was anything but equal.
The government didn't have a special watchdog organization to enforce these racist laws, and the requirement of equality was not enforced. Black children never really had a fair chance.
Boll weevil ruins Cotton Crops in the 1920s
Of course hindsight is 20-20. But wouldn't it have been nice if during slavery someone would have thought to travel to Mexico and bring back the Cotton boll weevil to transplant them into Southern cotton crops?
Cotton boll weevil |
Where were you when we really
needed you, pre-1863?
A little integration of the boll weevil and Mr. King Cotton would have been a good thing for the Negro. We wonder what kind of effect that would have had on chattel slavery?
Well what the heck is a boll weevil?
The boll weevil is a beetle which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Thought to be native to Central America, it migrated into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century and had infested all U.S. cotton-growing areas by the 1920s, devastating the industry and the people working in the American south.
Southern blacks were tied to the cotton fields in the early 1900s, but after 1914, many were fed up and wanted to try something new and different. By then they were open for a change because of restrictive Jim Crow laws and the boll weevil destroyed many crops, putting them out of work. They decided to take the plunge, a new and exciting life for them. Their move was called the Great Migration. News had spread to these poor black Southerners about better opportunities in the North, so many of them packed up their belongings and bid farewell to the South, never looking back.
During World War I, blacks were very much desired in the workplace. The United States had a quota for Colored soldiers to enlist for service. Blacks filled the quota very quickly, and many had to be turned back. With white men fighting in the war, this left openings in industry for blacks to fill. How did they do? Employers loved them and wanted more. They proved themselves to be excellent workers. This is probably one of the main reasons for so many riots when the white soldiers returned to America because blacks had taken their jobs. So by the early 1900s, we have proven ourselves to be excellent and courageous soldiers and dependable workers at home.
In other cases, some Negroes were recruited to travel North by agents of the businesses who would pay their fare. In some cases, these poor blacks were tricked into traveling a great distance for jobs only to discover they would be hired as strikebreakers, which was a very dangerous undertaking. Money was better for the Negro in the North, but in many cases, racism persisted with many riots happening. Many unions in the North had explicit rules barring membership by black workers.
Blacks had various successes at different job locations, for example when the auto industry took off, Ford Motor Co. hired many blacks to work in its automobile plant, but other auto plants often excluded them. Jobs were not a certainty for the Negro; he had to stay alerted and knock on many doors. But blacks were making a little advancement, by 1940 there were more than 200,000 African Americans in the CIO, many of them officers of union locals.
A. Philip Randolph|
When the war broke out a very special man by the name of A. Philip Randolph petitioned President Roosevelt for jobs in the Defense plants which previously had been reserved for whites. Randolph had a special card up his sleeve in the form of 100,000 peaceful marchers on Washington to protest if Roosevelt declined.
Roosevelt half-heartedly gave in and created a new program for blacks called the Fair Employment Practice Committee which was designed to monitor the hiring practices of companies. The Committee did accomplish many blacks being hired into the Defense departments at very nice wages but closed down later because of a lack of funding from the U.S. Government.
After World War II, The G.I. Bill which was a law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans. Benefits included low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend university, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of unemployment compensation was a big boon for whites and was a major factor in the creation of the white American middle class.
But sadly because of racial inequality, many of the benefits of the G.I. bill were not granted to black soldiers. This is because "at the very moment when a wide array of public policies was providing most white Americans with valuable tools to advance their social welfare—insure their old age, get good jobs, acquire economic security, build assets, and gain middle-class status—most black Americans were left behind or left out." It seems like we can get off the ground with these people, but we never give up. Also the black middle class failed to keep pace with the white middle class because blacks had fewer opportunities to earn college degrees.
In time, it became critical to have a college degree, for better pay wages which many whites were now working toward with the help of the G.I. Bill, but blacks were left behind in dying trades or just making it the best way they could because of racial discrimination and National leaders doing absolutely nothing to help.
Once they returned home after the war, blacks faced not only discrimination but also poverty, which confronted most blacks during the 1940s and 1950s and represented another barrier to harnessing the benefits of the G.I. Bill, as poverty made seeking an education problematic to while labor and income were needed at home. Banks and mortgage agencies routinely refused loans to blacks, making the G.I. Bill even less effective for blacks.
In addition to the other obstacles, gaining admission to universities was no easy task for blacks on the G.I. Bill. Most universities had segregationist principles underlying their admissions policies, utilizing either official or unofficial quotas. Those blacks that were prepared for college level work and gained access to predominantly white universities still experienced racism on campus.
During the 70s and 80s, the number of employed blacks increased. The civil rights movement played a huge role in this development. There were heavy gains in blue-collar jobs, such as steel, automobile production, electrical and non-electrical machinery, appliances, food and tobacco manufacturing, and textiles, and also white-collar occupations, where the four major subcategories-professional and technical, managerial and administrative, sales, and clerical increased very sharply.
The black labor force by the late 1990s, approximately sixty percent of these were white-collar sales and clerical personnel; many in this group were non-union workers with limited benefits and wages. However, another twenty percent of the black labor force, nearly three million workers, was classified as professional and technical employees and administrators. The percentage of the black labor force in the blue-collar field declined.
So what type of work did blacks do in the 1900s?
There were black doctors, dentist, newspaper editors, plumbers, mailman, teachers, singers, scientist, athletes, Pullman porters, laborers, politicians, judges, lawyers, mill workers, welders, domestic help, authors, factory workers, customer service, business owners, policemen, firemen, and every other profession you could think of. Sadly, their numbers and presence weren't as high as white Americans because of entrenched discrimination against the black race. It's in the history books, read it for yourself.
Blacks have historically had a harder time than other races being employed in America, ever since emancipation, and for the most part it has to do with racism. We're not fooled into believing any different. But we don't let this stop us and continue to push on. Our amazing journey has had many barriers and roadbloocks every step of the way.
The Fair Employment Practice Committee of the 40s and the Civil Rights movement helped a bit, but after slavery and the following Jim Crow years, racism had become deeply entrenched in the American workforce. It's not out in the open as it was during Jim Crow days but today more subtle and hidden, but just as hurtful, degrading and discouraging. But to our credit, blacks seem always to find a way. Truly remarkable American people, and if it were possible, would make our battered ancestors who sailed deep seas, shout for joy in their graves.
African Americans in the Twentieth Century
African Americans and the G.I. Bill
Blacks in the 1970's
Social and Economic Issues of the 1980s and 1990s
What The Negro Achieved in Industry
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1940s
| Our Community in 1944 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- January 1944 - Ralph Bunche was appointed the first Negro official in US State Department.
- 1944 - Gunnar Myrdal publishes "An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, written with the collaboration of R. M. E. Sterner and Arnold Rose. He characterized the problem of race relations as a dilemma because of a perceived conflict between high ideals, embodied in what he called the "American Creed," on the one hand and poor performance on the other.
- 1944 - Smith v. Allwright , 321 U.S. 649, was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court with regard to voting rights and, by extension, racial desegregation. It overturned the Texas state law that authorized the Democratic Party to set its internal rules, including the use of white primaries. The court ruled that the state had allowed discrimination to be practiced by delegating its authority to the Democratic Party. This affected all other states where the party used the rule.
- 1944 - William Trent, a long time activist for education for blacks, joined with Tuskegee Institute President Frederick D. Patterson and Mary McLeod Bethune to found the UNCF, a nonprofit that united college presidents to raise money collectively through an “appeal to the national conscience.”
- 1944 - Harry S. McAlpin was the first African-American reporter to attend a U.S. Presidential news conference in 1944.
- 1940s - The Pepsi Cola company begins.
Trivia: Originally created and developed by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in 1893 and introduced as Brad's Drink, it was later renamed Pepsi-Cola on August 28, 1898. Bradham put the drink on the market in 1903. In the 1940s, President of Pepsi Walter Mack noticed that blacks were not being represented in advertising for soft drinks. He felt these were untapped dollars that Pepsi should capitalize. At this same time Coke had a reluctance to hire blacks. So Mack hired an all black advertising team headed by Hennan Smith, who was an advertising executive "from the Negro newspaper field." Henna portrayed blacks in a very positive light in his ads, and Mack's intuition was correct, Pepsi's sales skyrocketed, even beating Coke for the first time in Chicago. But here's the sad news. Pepsi was becoming very popular, and the white affiliates of the soft drink company didn't want it associated with black people, resulting in President Walter Mack making the following statement:
"We don't want it to become known as a nigger drink."
After Mack left the company in 1950, support for the black sales team faded and it was sadly cut. Of course, that was many years ago, and I won't be thinking about it the next time I pop open a can, but it's just good to know your history.
- The United States Population is 131,669,275 with a total of 12,865,518 being African Americans.
#100 - By dbking (originally posted to Flickr as _MG_9594) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
#101 - By Newtown graffiti
CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
#102 - By George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Crogman, W.H. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Arvee Eco from QUEENS, USA (The legend himself Smokin' Joe Fraizer. (cropped)) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By James J. Kriegman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ianlopez12 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ed Berger [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons
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