Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1966:
Mississippi John Hurt
Mississippi John Hurt was an African American country blues singer and guitarist.
Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself how to play the guitar around age nine. Singing to a melodious finger-picked accompaniment, he began to play local dances and parties while working as a sharecropper into the 1920s. His fast, highly syncopated style of playing made his music adept for dancing.
On occasion, a medicine show would come through the area; Hurt recalls being wanted by one of them. "One of them wanted me, but I said no because I just never wanted to get away from home."
In 1923 he partnered with the fiddle player Willie Narmour as a substitute for his regular partner Shell Smith.
When Narmour got a chance to record for Okeh Records as a prize for winning first place in a 1928 fiddle contest, he recommended Hurt to Okeh Records producer Tommy Rockwell. After auditioning "Monday Morning Blues" at his home, he took part in two recording sessions, in Memphis and New York City.
While in Memphis, Hurt recalled seeing "many, many blues singers ... Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Bessie Smith, and lots, lots more." Hurt described his first recording session as such:
... a great big hall with only the three of us in it: me, the man Rockwell, and the engineer. It was something. I sat on a chair, and they pushed the microphone right up to my mouth and told me that I couldn't move after they had found the right position. I had to keep my head still. Oh, I was nervous, and my neck was sore for days after.
Hurt attempted further negotiations with Okeh to record again, but after the commercial failure of the resulting records, and Okeh Records going out of business during the Great Depression, Hurt returned to Avalon and obscurity, working as a sharecropper and playing local parties and dances.
Music lovers would later hunt Hurt down and encouraged him to perform again. Hurt entered the University and coffeehouse concert circuit and on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, as well as recording three further albums for Vanguard Records and also performed concerts. His performance at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival saw his star rise amongst the new folk revival audience.
Mississippi John Hurt was a good ole country boy who loved his home and his people. There was a time he couldn't sell his music, but he didn't feel sorry for himself, he made the most out of it and entertained his people. Can you imagine the fun and good times they had?
If they were in a major city listening to this man perform, people would have had to dig deep into their pockets to pay the greedy concert promoters.
He would later go on to get the recognition he deserved. Thank you, John, for making our lives a little more bearable. You were a breath of fresh air. We honor your memory with the 1966 Hamite Award with much thanks to your contributions to American culture and the Negro community.
Hurt died on November 2, 1966, of a heart attack in Grenada, Mississippi
Listen to a sample of his wonderful music:
Mississippi John Hurt|
|How were blacks feeling in 1966?
Tobacco packaging warning messages started in the year 1966 and it's about time. We have too many other things to worry about than losing a loved over something that's preventable. That goes for you too Sammy Davis!
Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health
For the year 1966:
- Donyale Luna was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Vogue.
- Basketball's Bill Russell was the first black coach in NBA history. (Boston Celtics)
- James T. Whitehead, Jr., becomes the first African American to pilot a U-2 spy plane.
Wilt Chamberlain and Nate Thurmond during a basketball game in 1966
John Junior Roseboro
| Sports in 1966 |
- Willie Mays won the National League Gold Glove Awards.
- Curt Flood was a Gold Glove winner in National League Baseball.
- John Roseboro was a Gold Glove winner in National League Baseball.
- Nov 8th Baltimore Orioles, Frank Robinson wins Most Valuable Player Award.
- Frank Robinson was honored in 1966 with the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of the year in any sport.
- Satchel Paige played his last professional game on June 21, 1966, for the Peninsula Grays of the Carolina League.
- February 11, 1966 - San Francisco Giant's Willie Mays signs the highest contract at $130,000 per year.
- February 14, 1966 - Basketball's Wilt Chamberlain breaks the NBA career scoring record at 20,884 points.
- March 29, 1966 - Boxer Muhammad Ali defeats George Chuvalo in 15 rounds for heavyweight boxing title.
- April 18, 1966 - Basketball's Bill Russell became the first black coach in NBA history.
- May 8, 1966 - The only homerun ever hit out of Baltimore's Memorial Park was delivered by Frank Robinson.
- May 21, 1966 - Boxer Muhammad Ali knocks out Henry Cooper in 6 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
- August 6, 1966 - Muhammad Ali knocks out Brian London in 3 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
- August 17, 1966 - Willie Mays takes second place on all-time homerun list.
- September 10, 1966 - Boxer Muhammad Ali knocks out Karl Mildenberger in 12 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
Lyndon B. Johnson
George C Wallace (Alabama Governor)
| Political Scene in 1966 |
- 1966 - Lyndon Baines Johnson, often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–69), a position he assumed after his service as the 37th Vice President (1961–63). Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, served as a United States Representative from 1937 to 1949 and as a United States Senator from 1949 to 1961, including six years as Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip. Analysis: Lyndon Baines Johnson was quite the man, probably the closest to Abraham Lincoln than anybody. When he first hooked up with John Kennedy to run for president, he was already known for his abrasive style of politics. He didn't have a problem telling you like it was. Kennedy chose him as a running mate because of Johnsons high southern support, and it would later pay off big time for the American Negro. Historians say that Johnson was more gung-ho about civil rights than Kennedy was, and wanted to push up the pace while Kennedy was content on going slow. John's brother, Robert Kennedy and LBJ hated each other, so there was a lot of animosity in the White House during those days, but they all needed each other, so they worked it out. After Kennedy was shot, LBJ quickly assumed control and one of the first things on his list were the Civil Rights bill that Kennedy had started. The southern politicians would always play games when a bill came their way they didn't like, and LBJ was very familiar with each and every one of them. He maneuvered the Civil Rights bill in a way that it reached the floor for a vote and guess what, SUCCESS! I wonder if Kennedy would have had the same success if he were alive to try? He used similar tactics with the Voting Rights Act also with success. He was a master politician. Riots would break out later in his administration with the American public turning against him. People blamed him that the blacks were rioting because of the bills he helped pass on their behalf. Johnson was unsurprised by the riots, and made the following comment:
"What did you expect? I don't know why we're so surprised. When you put your foot on a man's neck and hold him down for three hundred years, and then you let him up, what's he going to do? He's going to knock your block off."
President Johnson was a good president for the Negro and all other citizens. He understood without a doubt what true America stood for, and it's weird because he was from the south and once used to fight Harry Truman when he attempted to send his Civil Rights bill for a vote. People change sometimes. Thanks LBJ.
- January 10, 1966 - Georgia state representatives voted 184-12 not to seat Julian Bond because he had publicly endorsed SNCC's policy regarding opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
- September 1966 - President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Constance Baker Motley to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, making her the first African American woman federal judge. She remained on the bench, including a term as chief judge, until her death.
- November 8, 1966 - United States Federal education funding is denied to 12 school districts in the South because of violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Analysis: The south still wants to fight, but we get the feeling they will quit soon.
- 1966 - United States Supreme court rules that the "poll tax" is unconstitutional. Analysis: Can somebody please explain to me why they didn't do this decades ago. Blacks wouldn't have been so far behind educationally and socially. Well, get ready America for some socially challenged people in your neighborhoods.
- 1966 - Robert Weaver served as the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) from 1966 to 1968. He was also the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position in the United States.
- 1966 - Andrew Brimmer was the first African American to have served as a governor of the Federal Reserve System.
- 1966 - Edward William Brooke was an American Republican politician. In 1966, he became the first African American popularly elected to the United States Senate.
- 1966 - Ruby Doris Smith Robinson becomes the Executive Director of SNCC.
- 1966 - George Wallace, when sworn in as governor of Alabama, made his famous address: "segregation now; segregation tomorrow; segregation forever!" Wallace has the third longest gubernatorial tenure in post-Constitutional U.S. history at 5,848 days. Analysis: George Wallace was quite the character. He would get folks so worked up you couldn't help but hate him. Because much of the garbage that came out of his mouth was filled with hate, or looking back was it all a show? People didn't realize it then, but he was merely telling racist Southerners what they wanted to hear, with his top priority getting elected, he didn't care how he got there. He was without a doubt a thorn in the side for many years to the Negro. He was finally cut down by an assassins bullet that left him paralyzed. Presidential contender and Congresswoman Shirley Chilsom, while once again displaying blacks forgiving nature paid him a visit in the hospital, to the protest from other blacks. In time Wallace renounced what he had said about black people, only stating he was wrong, and he even backed up those sentiments by appointing a record number of blacks to state positions in Alabama. I think he played an important part in the Civil Rights struggle because he proved people could change.
Who is this man? |
His name was George Kennan, who was an American diplomat and historian, who served as ambassador to the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. He was known best as an advocate of a policy of containment of Soviet expansion during the Cold War on which he later reversed himself. He lectured widely and wrote scholarly histories of the relations between USSR and the United States. He was also one of the groups of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men."
If you've ever wondered how the world became such a hateful and dangerous place, this man George Kennan explains it for us. Kennan didn't have any great powers to implement his ideas and was a Cold War strategist to various leaders in American history who obviously listened to much of what he had to say.
Memo PPS23 (1948) "Memo PPS23", written 28 February 1948, declassified 17 June 1974
We must be very careful when we speak of exercising "leadership" in Asia. We are deceiving ourselves and others when we pretend to have answers to the problems, which agitate many of these Asiatic peoples. Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3 of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia.
In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.
In the face of this situation, we would be better off to dispense now with some the concepts which have underlined our thinking about the Far East. We should dispense with the aspiration to 'be liked' or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism.
We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers' keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague — and for the Far East — unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.
Do you think leaders of America are overstepping their boundaries with these strategies?
| Race in 1966 |
- March 15, 1966 - There were race riots that erupted in the Watts section of Los Angeles, California in 1966.
- June 5, 1966 - James Meredith begins a solitary "March Against Fear" for 220 miles from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi to protest racial discrimination. He was shot by a sniper on the way.
Trivia: Martin Luther King, Floyd McKissick, and Stokely Carmichael would continue on with the march.
- June 6, 1966 - Stokely Carmichael launches the"Black Power" movement.
- July 3, 1966 - There was a race riots in Omaha Nebraska.
- July 12, 1966 - There was a race riot in Chicago.
- August 5, 1966 - Martin Luther King Jr. was stoned during Chicago march for Civil Rights.
- August 7, 1966 - There was a race riot in Lansing Michigan.
- August 27, 1966 - There was a race riot in Waukegan, Illinois.
- September 6, 1966 - There was a race riot in Atlanta, Georgia.
- October 15, 1966 - Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense). In formulating a new politics, they drew on their experiences working with a variety of Black Power organizations. Newton and Seale first met in 1962 when they were both students at Merritt College.
Trivia: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover called the party "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country", and he supervised an extensive program (COINTELPRO) of surveillance, infiltration, perjury, police harassment, and many other tactics designed to undermine Panther leadership, incriminate party members, discredit and criminalize the Party, and drain the organization of resources and manpower. The program was also accused of using assassination against Black Panther members.
- 1966 - Stokely Carmichael became chairman of SNCC, taking over from John Lewis, who later was elected to the US Congress.
Season 5, 1970-1971 - Mission Impossible cast from left:
Leonard Nimoy, Greg Morris, Lesley Ann Warren, Peter Lupus, and Peter Graves
Movies in America
Diahann Carroll and Sammy Davis, Jr. on Hollywood Palace
| Television / Movies in 1966 |
- The Hollywood Palace was an hour-long American television variety show that was broadcast weekly (generally on Saturday nights) on ABC from January 4, 1964 to February 7, 1970. The series used a different host each week.
- Mission: Impossible series aired on the CBS network from September 1966 to March 1973. It chronicles the missions of a team of secret government agents known as the Impossible Missions Force. Barnard "Barney" Collier (Greg Morris), a mechanical and electronics genius and owner of Collier Electronics was a true inspiration to blacks, finally a black man that used his brains in a television role.
| Famous Birthdays in 1966 |
- January 11, 1962 - Kim Coles is an African-American actress and comedian, known for her role as a cast member on the sketch comedy, In Living Color, and as Synclaire James on the Fox series, Living Single.
- January 30, 1966 - Wayne Wilderson an American comedian and actor.
- February 13, 1966 - Jerome Austin "The Governor" Browne former Major League Baseball second baseman from 1986 to 1995.
- March 3, 1966 - Tone Loc an American rapper and actor.
- March 5, 1966 - Michael Jerome Irvin former American football player for the Dallas Cowboys, and an actor.
- March 14, 1966 - Elise Neal an American film and television actress.
- March 14, 1966 - Gary Anthony Williams an African-American actor.
- April 13, 1966 - Wesley Polk Chamberlain former professional baseball right fielder/left fielder.
- May 6, 1966 - Amy Hunter an American actress and model.
- May 13, 1966 - Cheryl Dunye a film director, producer, screenwriter, editor and actress.
- May 16, 1966 - Sommore is an actress and comedian. Trivia: Sommore is the older half-sister of actress Nia Long.
- May 16, 1966 - Janet Jackson is an African-American singer, songwriter, and actress.
- May 17, 1966 - Hill Harper an American film, television and stage actor, and author.
- May 17, 1966 - Cynda Williams is an American television and film actress.
- May 20, 1966 - Gina Ravera an American actress from San Francisco, California.
- June 9, 1966 - Tamela J. Mann an American actress and gospel singer.
- June 22, 1966 - Camille Benjamin is an American former professional tennis player.
- July 3, 1966 - Moisés Rojas Alou former Dominican-American outfielder in Major League Baseball.
- July 13, 1966 - Gerald Levert was an African-American R&B singer, songwriter and producer.
- July 15, 1966 - Kristoff St. John an African-American actor.
- July 1966 - Cinqué Lee an African-American actor and filmmaker. Trivia: Cinqué Lee is the younger brother of filmmaker Spike Lee.
- August 14, 1966 - Halle Berry is an African-American actress and former fashion model.
- August 25, 1966 - Albert Jojuan "Joey" Belle former American Major League Baseball outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and Baltimore Orioles.
- August 30, 1966 - Michael Michele an American film and television actress.
- September 1, 1966 - Tim Hardaway is a retired American basketball player.
- September 13, 1966 - Bruce Edward "Damian" Broadus was an African-American R&B duo.
- September 17, 1966 - Doug E. Fresh is an African-American rapper, record producer, and beat boxer, also known as the Human Beat Box.
- September 21, 1966 - LaVan Davis an American singer and actor.
- September 24, 1966 - Kelly Jo Minter an African-American actress who has starred in many feature films.
- September 27, 1966 - Def Jef an American alternative hip hop musician and rapper of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
- September 28, 1966 - Bellina Logan an American television and film actress.
- September 30, 1966 - Shanésia Davis-Williams an African American actress.
- October 8, 1966 - Karyn Parsons-Rockwell an American Model, television and film actress.
- October 15, 1966 - Eric Benét is an American R&B and neo soul singer-songwriter, who has received a total of four Grammy nominations to date for his musical work.
- November 3, 1966 - Devika Parikh an Afro-Indian American actress, whose name means "little goddess" in Sanskrit.
- November 3, 1966 - Gary Anthony Sturgis an African-American actor.
- November 15, 1966 - Rachel India True is an American film and television actress and model.
- November 22, 1966 - Michael Kenneth Williams an African-American actor.
- November 25, 1966 - Stacy Lattisaw is an African-American R&B, dance and gospel singer.
- December 8, 1966 - Wendell Edward Pierce an African-American actor.
- December 11, 1966 - Gary Dourdan an American actor.
- December 29, 1966 - Mystro Clark was the American host of the syndicated version of the series Soul Train from 1997 until 1999.
Mississippi John Hurt
| Famous Deaths in 1966 |
- March 10, 1966 - Clinton Rosemond was an American actor in films from the 1930s and 40s. Often typecast as a butler or servant, and often uncredited due to a lack of film roles for African-American actors, Rosemond was frequently relegated to playing demeaning parts.
- July 9, 1966 - George "Mule" Suttles was an American first baseman and outfielder in Negro league baseball.
- August 29, 1966 - Melvin Beaunorus Tolson modernist poet, educator.
- October 7, 1966 - Smiley Lewis was an American New Orleans rhythm and blues musician.
- October 18, 1966 – Cyril Valentine Briggs was an African-Caribbean American writer and communist political activist.
- November 2, 1966 - Mississippi John Hurt was an American country blues singer and guitarist.
- December 25, 1966 - Saint Elmo Brady was the first African American to obtain a Ph.D. degree in chemistry in the United States. He received his doctorate at the University of Illinois in 1916.
- 1966 - John W. Cooper was an African-American ventriloquist of the early 20th century.
John William Coltrane
| Famous Weddings in 1966 |
- February 10, 1966 - Bob Marley married Rita Marley.
- June 1, 1966 - Georg Stanford Brown married Tyne Daly.
- June 12, 1966 - Akasha Gloria Hull married Prentice Roy Hull.
- February 10, 1966 - Bob Marley married Rita Marley.
- 1966 - Roberta Flack married Stephen Novosel.
- 1966 - Louis Jordan married Martha Weaver.
- 1966 - John Coltrane married Alice McLeod.
John William Coltrane
| Famous Divorces in 1966 |
- December 28, 1966 - Billy Dee Williams and Cicely Tyson were divorced.
- 1966 - Quincy Jones and Jeri Caldwell were divorced.
- 1966 - B.B. King and Sue Carol Hall were divorced.
- 1966 - John Coltrane and Juanita Naima Grubbs were divorced.
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 1966 |
- 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.
Sam & Dave
| Music in 1966 |
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
Popular Soul Dances:
- January 1, 1966 - "I Got You (I Feel Good)" James Brown
- January 8, 1966 - "A Sweet Woman Like You" Joe Tex
- January 22, 1966 - "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" Stevie Wonder
- February 26, 1966 - "Baby Scratch My Back" Slim Harpo
- March 12, 1966 - "634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)" Wilson Pickett
- April 30, 1966 - "Get Ready" The Temptations
- May 7, 1966 - "When a Man Loves a Woman" Percy Sledge
- June 18, 1966 - "Hold On! I'm a Comin'" Sam & Dave
- June 25, 1966 - "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" The Temptations
- July 23, 1966 - "Let's Go Get Stoned" Ray Charles
- August 27, 1966 - Blowin' in the Wind Stevie Wonder
- September 3, 1966 - "You Can't Hurry Love" The Supremes
- September 17, 1966 - "Land of a Thousand Dances" Wilson Pickett
- September 24, 1966 - "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" The Temptations
- October 29, 1966 - "Reach Out I'll Be There" The Four Tops
- November 12, 1966 - "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing" Lou Rawls
- November 19, 1966 - "Knock On Wood" Eddie Floyd
- November 26, 1966 - "You Keep Me Hangin' On" The Supremes
- December 24, 1966 - "(I Know) I'm Losing You"The Temptations
Musical Happenings in 1966:
- The Twist
- The Monkey
- Chicago Walk
- The Stroll
- The Dog
- The Madison
- The Hully Gully
- The Camel Walk
- The Shotgun
- The Watusi
- The Pony
- The Swim
- The Hitch Hike
- Cool Jerk
- Hand Jive
- October 12, 1966 - Jimi Hendrix Experience forms with Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell.
- Charles Keil's Urban Blues is a landmark of American urban ethnomusicology, focusing on the music of blacks who had relocated from rural Southern states to the Northern cities.
- Charley Pride becomes the first African-American to perform on the Grand Ole Opry.
- The first African-American classical ballet company is formed by Arthur Mitchell in New York.
- EMI and Philips are the first major record companies to issue cassettes in addition to LPs.
- Ford Motors begins supplying its cars with a Stereo 8, an eight-track player, built into the dashboard.
Grammy winners in 1966:
The 8th Annual Grammy Awards were held March 15, 1966 at Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York. They recognized accomplishments of musicians for the year 1965.
Best Comedy Performance
- Bill Cosby for Why Is There Air?
Best Folk Recording
- Harry Belafonte & Miriam Makeba for An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba
Best Instrumental Jazz Performance - Small Group or Soloist With Small Group
- Ramsey Lewis for The "In" Crowd performed by the Ramsey Lewis Trio
Best Instrumental Jazz Performance - Large Group or Soloist with Large Group
- Ellington for Ellington '66
Best Rhythm & Blues Recording
- James Brown for "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"
Kids Fashions from Stockton, California
in the 60s
1960s Girls Fashions
360 Waves hairstyle
American jazz violinist Eddie South
with a conk hairdo.
| Fashions in 1966 |
- Tie Dye T-shirts
- Men & Women Hairstyles:
The Afro was the hairstyle of choice. If you could grow a big one, you were badd. Men, women and kids wore afros if they could. Some of our peoples hair was so kinky, an afro wasn't a choice. Kinky haired (or we would lovingly call them nappy headed) women and girls would have to constantly get their hair straightened or braided. Men and boys with kinky hair would have to break out the conk or straightening comb or either get a Covadis haircut. Waves hairstyles was generally worn by men. The hair is cropped short to the head in the styling of a Caesar cut. There are brushing techniques that will result in the resemblance of "oceanic waves" in the hair. We would steal our sisters nylons and use them for a haircap.
- 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.
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
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1960s
Fluorescent body paint. Paints and decorations that fluoresce under black light are used in theater and several art forms
Romare Bearden photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, photographer
| Our Community in 1966 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- January 16, 1966 - Harold R Perry becomes the second black Roman Catholic bishop in the United States.
- October 1966 - The Black Panthers are founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.
- 1966 - Artist Romare Bearden was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
- 1966 - James T. Whitehead, Jr., becomes the first African American to pilot a U-2 spy plane.
- 1960s - The term "Soul food," as it relates to cuisine, became very popular during the 1960s.
- 1960s - adding a fluorescent blacklight glow to the room. White T-shirts and teeth would light up the room, secret symbols or slogans on posters would be revealed. These lights also appeared in nightclubs and theater productions around the country, creating a surreal atmosphere.
- 1960s - Lava Lamps entranced people and consisted of an illuminated glass cylinder within which a colorful, wax like substance was heated.
- The United States Population is 179,323,175 with a total of 18,871,831 being African Americans. Things must be getting a little better because blacks are having more babies.
#100 - By Andy L (P1070177) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
#101 - Title: [Senator Robert] Kennedy discusses school with young Ricky Taggart of 733 Gates Ave. / World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick DeMarsico. Creator(s): DeMarsico, Dick, photographer Date Created/Published: 1966 February 4. Rights Advisory: No known copyright restriction. For information see "New York World-Telegram & ..." http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003679638/
#102 - By CBS Television (eBay item photo frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#103 - [Public domain],
#104 - [Public domain],
#105 - By Stax (Billboard, page 9, March 11, 1967) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - By CBS Television (eBay item photo frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - By Department of Housing and Urban Development [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Michigan State University (photographer not identified) (1967 Wolverine (Michigan State yearbook), page 49) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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