OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1871:
The Fisk Jubilee Singers
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are an African-American a cappella ensemble. The students are from Fisk University which is a historically black university that was founded in 1866 in Nashville, Tennessee. The first group was organized in 1871 to tour and raise funds for college.
Shortly after the Civil War, whites of the North started the college in hopes of teaching and training blacks in their new lives as freedmen.
What was the age requirement for attending this college you may wonder? It's amazing to note that students ranged from age seven to seventy. The visionary and excellent American the school was named after was General Clinton B. Fisk who worked out of the Tennessee Freedmen's Bureau.
Rising enrollment added to the needs of the university. Blacks were very excited about learning and blending into the American way of life. But funding was limited, so the leaders of the University would start fund-raisers to aid in keeping the school running. The school had a keen interest in religion and the arts and supported the opening of a student choir whose early repertoire consisted mostly of traditional spirituals which are how the Fisk Jubilee Singers got their start.
Life on the road for these singers was far from pleasant. White reviews would constantly compare them to the minstrel shows of that era, and not take them seriously, and even treatment on the road was brutal, often not having enough to eat or a place to sleep because whites didn't want negro's in their establishments. The singers were on the verge of quitting but later decided to keep on going. They focused on what their mission was, which was to raise money for their precious Fisk University.
Well in time, things did get better. When whites finally let go of the stereotyping, they discovered that these excellent Negro singers did indeed possess many talents. Soon they were performing for Queen Victoria of Great Britain, and for President Ulysses S. Grant at the White House. They raised much money for the University and in the process was helping their own to succeed.
How many blacks today, owe these courageous and persevering black singers a debt of gratitude? A debt they would want us to pay by doing the same on our own.
Wow! what beautiful young people. To endure such hardships and not one time thinking about themselves but only about other African Americans that needed their help back home. We gladly award these inspirational men and women with the 1871 Hamite Award which is given to those who have unwavering in their dedication to our amazing race of people who have endured so much hatred and yet we still rise and soar like eagles in the sky.
Jubilee Hall at Fisk University photo#102
The Fisk Jubilee Singers' in 2008 carrying on tradition. Good looking young African American citizens making our forefathers proud. photo#104
Swing Low Sweet Chariot - Fisk Jubilee Singers
The Fisk Jubilee Singers
How were blacks feeling in 1871?
Blacks are excited about what the year 1871 has accomplished for them and the implications. It is now possible to attend a college and learn about the world around us, helping us to grow as human beings. The folks from the North are kind, and many do want to help us, but we are still getting significant resistance in the South from the notorious KKK who are primarily white terrorist killing in the name of religion. They are crazy if they believe they have God on their side!
This is why we feel that America should stamp their crazy butts out right now or otherwise the racist poison they spread will not go away. We agree with Jefferson Long of Georgia who is the first black to make an official speech in House of Reps that opposes giving leniency to former Confederates.
Why should we? Over 600,000 lives were lost, black and white. They are like a rotten apple that can infect the Northerner's way of thinking also. We are not dummies as most people think, just been deprived. We realize most Northerners viewed slavery as a moral wrong but did not necessarily believe in racial equality. So that's why we must destroy these anti-Americans now!
The Meridian race riot of 1871 was started by KKK with over 30 blacks killed without any justice received, in fact, the ones arrested in that situation were black people, can you being that do-do? Come on America, the world is watching. let's stand up to America's true meaning, shining like a beacon for the whole world to admire.
We are always a positive minded people and even though there are distractions, we are still very elated about our freedom and the prospects.
Octavius Valentine Catto
Sports in 1871
Blacks were not accepted into the league baseball games, so they started their teams, becoming professional by the the 1870s. The first known baseball game between two black teams was held on November 15, 1859, in New York City. The Henson Base Ball Club of Jamaica, Queens, defeated the Unknowns of Weeksville, Brooklyn, 54 to 43.
By the end of the 1860s, the black baseball mecca was Philadelphia which had an African-American population of 22,000. Two former cricket players, James H. Francis and Francis Wood, formed the Pythian Base Ball Club. They played in Camden, New Jersey, at the landing of the Federal Street Ferry, because it is hard to get permits for black baseball games in the city. Octavius Catto, the promoter of the Pythians, decided to apply for membership in the National Association of Base Ball Players, generally a matter of sending delegates to the annual convention; beyond that, a formality.
At the end of the 1867 season "the National Association of Baseball Players voted to exclude any club with a black player." In some ways Blackball thrived under segregation, with the few black teams of the day playing not only each other but white teams as well. "Black teams earned the bulk of their income playing white independent 'semipro' clubs."
The mistreatment and segregation of Blacks not only happened in the South, but also the Northern cities like Philadelphia.
Octavius Valentine Catto was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. As a man, he also became known as a top cricket and black baseball pioneer in 19th-century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Misses Cooke's school room, Freedman's Bureau, Richmond, VA. photo #109-yr-1866
Freedmen's school?, South Carolina. African-American children, mainly girls, with adult women, possibly teachers. photo #100-yr-1865
Reconstruction in 1871
The Freedmen's Bureau began in 1865. Its purpose was to assist former black slaves from a life of slavery to the free labor system. The Bureau provided assistance in medical needs, housing, food, school and also legal aid. The Bureau helped people find lost family and taught them to read and write so they could better themselves. Oliver Otis Howard who was a Union general, was appointed the commissioner of the bureau in May 1865.
You have to remember during slavery days it was illegal in many states to teach blacks to read and write, so the Freedmen's Bureau had their hands full in assisting these illiterate former slaves into the American mainstream. They're many corrupt and insincere Bureau agents who along with white Southerners fought against Bureau successes every step of the way, but they are also honest Bureau officials who wanted to help and assist blacks in bettering themselves.
Congress realized the Bureau was needed for a longer period of time and sought to extend it with opposition from white Southerners and a powerful new ally, President, Andrew Johnson who vetoed the bill because he felt the Bureau showed preference to one race over another and wouldn't help in making blacks independent.
Andrew Johnson didn't care for blacks. He gave former Confederates back their land lost in the war and fired Bureau agents he felt were too partial to the black cause. It was like Johnson was saying to the South, "OK we fought a war and it's over, but we are not going to let a Negro tear us apart, it's time to heal. Screw the Negro! We whites have to stick together! He also was against every bill that came to his desk that would help blacks. His veto was later overridden by Congress, and the Bureau was extended a while longer, but not for long because it was dismantled by Congress in 1872.
After the Bureau shut down, and with some political setbacks for Republicans who were sympathetic to the black cause, Negroes were left to fend for themselves. But in an extraordinary display of unity and devotion to a common thread, the North and South put aside their differences to protect their shared interest, which was the union of the United States which meant for them wealth and prosperity in their pursuit of happiness, clothed in white skin under the banner of distorted American principles with the exclusion of the Negro from both North and South. WHEW! That's a Negro mouthful, but true. This display of unity and exclusion would hopefully serve future blacks well to learn from.
Why had American principles become distorted?
Even before slavery formally began, American principle stated "all men are created equal" and had a right to the pursuit of personal happiness. Slavery goes against American principles and the two can't co-exist. Abraham Lincoln himself was quoted as saying, "If slavery isn't wrong, then nothing is wrong" and to his credit and vision for a United and Strong America, the Reconstruction Amendments were introduced.
But laws have microscopic power over the motivations of a person's heart. White unprincipled Southerners didn't even attempt to join the new American spirit of things, aligning themselves as proud anti-American just as they had done by trying to secede in the Civil War. They fought tooth and nail against equality for the Negro.
During slavery, the dependence on free black labor had transformed these money-hungry, greedy white Southerners into a hateful white SLAVE POWER who had to be stopped at all cost. This Slave Power wanted to expand slavery to new territories, but the North took a stand, and this is what started the Civil War, not because Lincoln had a burning desire to free the slaves.
President Lincoln understood the motives of the Slave Power were against American principles and fought the war because of it.
OH MIGHTY, MIGHTY SLAVE POWER you have indeed caused alot of pain and misery! Crazy terrorist maniac, didn't your mama teach you better?
Has A True and Principled America Simply Become An Idea
That's Too Lofty For Human Beings To Follow?
The Repulsive Slave Power That Was Intertwined With Slavery,
Along With it's Peoples and Racist Beliefs Were Wounded in The Civil War,
But Not Completely Destroyed, And Were Allowed To Thrive.
Would This Come Back To Haunt America With Bad Race Relations,
Between It's Black and White American Citizens?
only time will tell my friends
Oliver Otis Howard, commissioner of The Freedmen's Bureau photo#111-yr-1866
Trivia: Howard University was named for General Oliver Otis Howard, who was both the founder of the University and, at the time, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau. Howard later served as President of the university from 1869–74.
Susie Taylor photo #104- yr-1864
Carpetbagger photo #100-yr-1865
Hiram Rhodes Revels photo#110-yr-1870
Now with the re-building of America at hand and much money to be made, who would profit? Previously the North had noble motives in helping these millions of former slaves transition into the mainstream but after political losses and resistance from white Southerners they eventually aligned themselves with these unprincipled anti-Americans because of skin color and shared money interest and ignored the continued assistance needed in helping their black skin brothers.
With the dismantlement of the Freedmen's Bureau, America officially had over four million black nomads attempting to find their way in a hostile and prejudice land. Well at least the North could say they tried if this would soothe the conscience. This time in history was the foundation for future race relations, and a good solid foundation was not laid. The North gave up the fight too quickly and passed a terrible situation to future generations.
By now we're sure the Negro has to wonder to himself if America is being undermined and distorted at this point in history? Is something shady going on? Abraham Lincoln understood how this could happen and lost his life attempting to protect real justice, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.
How Were Former Slaves Feeling At This Time In History?
Please consider a quote from a person who was there. Susie Taylor, our 1864 Hamite Award winner.
"For two hundred years we had toiled for them; the war of 1861 came and was ended, and we thought our race was forever freed from bondage, and that the two races could live in unity with each other, but when we read almost every day of what is being done to my race by some whites in the South, I sometimes ask, "Was the war in vain? Has it brought freedom, in the full sense of the word, or has it not made our condition more hopeless?"
Carpetbaggers were mostly well-educated, middle-class white Northerners who were called Carpetbaggers because of the fancy luggage most carried. Carpetbaggers would travel to areas of the south to assist in the rebuilding during and after the civil war. (1865-1877)
They assisted the abolitionists in teaching former black slaves to read and write among other things. White Southerners didn't like carpetbaggers because they felt they were money hungry and greedy opportunist, which in many cases were true.
Many carpet baggers would buy former plantations at low prices and hire black workers to turn a profit, and was also involved in the politics of rebuilding the south.
Hiram Rhodes Revels was elected as the first African American to serve in the United States Senate. Revels denounced the carpetbaggers for manipulating the black vote for personal benefit, and for keeping alive wartime hatreds...
"Since reconstruction, the masses of my people have been, as it were, enslaved in mind by unprincipled adventurers, who, caring nothing for the country, were willing to stoop to anything no matter how infamous, to secure power to themselves, and perpetuate it."
Abolitionists were no nonsense type of people who recognized injustice and wanted swift action taken to remedy the wrong. They had been around during the American Revolution but became stronger in voice and influence during 1830 - 1870, becoming involved with the Northern churches and politics.
Abolitionists were whites and blacks who hated slavery and wanted it immediately outlawed. Other anti-slavery movements sought a gradual change from slavery to freedom, or to restrict slavery in parts of the United States and prevent it from spreading further.
Free African-Americans (before the Emancipation Proclamation) also played a role in the movement, but enslaved blacks such as Harriet Tubman had a more dangerous mission for fear of getting caught and punished and very possibly killed.
HOW LONG WILL WHITE-AMERICANS SIT ON THE FENCE?
Since the beginning of American history, there's always been a battle between those in authority. The problem is that some of these authorities view democracy differently. According to the dictionary, the word truth can be described as fidelity to an original or standard. Of course, we know the popular standard for American democracy is "all men are created equal and entitled to liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness. But these authorities have disagreed for centuries if blacks should truthfully have a part in these promises.
Who's right? 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 negative comments Abraham Lincoln made against black people he wasn't likely to have blacks over for dinner, in fact, most whites shared his views. But that's okay; he lived in a different era than today. This site believes he would have changed his 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 evidently 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 freedom 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 its promises, and most blacks were forced back into slavery. Of course, George Washington had to know about this but did nothing. 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. 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 Democracy. It's sad to say, but Washington didn't stay in the truth.
So in a sense, Washington created the blueprint for this distorted and false view of Democracy
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. Washington's inaction cannot be taken lightly because every single President after him would ignore the "Negro Problem" as they called it and continued with their lie by going against the lofty standard this country was founded. They actually became anti-Americans.
Lincoln had faced the "Negro Problem" issue head on and was very brave in doing so by instituting the Emancipation Proclamation. So we had two great Presidents with different opinions of Democracy and what it meant to be on the side of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. Abraham Lincoln chose to put Democracy first and his personal prejudices second, but Washington put his financial interest ahead of Democracy. This is what set these two great men apart in character.
After Lincoln's death, democracy would take a wild downward spiral. One of the most biased President in American history led the attack. His name was Andrew Johnson. He fought against Reconstruction aid for blacks tooth and nail. Every favorable bill for former slaves that appeared on his desk was immediately denied. Later, there were new illegal 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 neutral by sitting on the fence and not speaking up. Read for yourself.
There's not enough room on this web page to describe the hate and exclusion by the 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 different 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 black person 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 black people 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?
Religion made things worse
Even though the U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation and existed solely as a secular state entirely 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 believed 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 people who had snuffed out Democracy by living a lie. 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. Good white Americans that were sitting on the fence had to know this was a farce because of the way its black citizens were being treated and did nothing.
But there was a relative few brave, justice loving white Americans who spoke up and got involved for democracy 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 prospect 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 has America become?
Because of the folly of racism and privilege by anti-Americans and the lack of action to speak out by good Americans, it appears this country has morphed into another form of power. Something that is completely different than it started out as, like an insatiable, greedy, detestable and ugly monster without a soul or conscience?
Education of Slaves
Mary Jane Patterson
Education in 1871
1871 - In the Reconstruction era, with carpetbaggers, mission societies, along with The Freedmen’s Bureau opened 1,000 schools across the South for black children. Schooling was a high priority for the Freedmen, and the enrollments were high and enthusiastic.
1871 - School attendance on the rise for African-Americans.
In 1869 to 1871 Mary Jane Patterson taught in Washington, D. C., at the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth known today as Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.). She served as the school's first Black principal, from 1871 to 1872. Patterson was demoted and served as assistant principal under Richard Theodore Greener, the first black Harvard University graduate.
A cartoon threatening that the KKK would lynch carpetbaggers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Independent Monitor, 1868 photo #101
Nast cartoon of Democratic donkey, from "Harper's Weekly", January 19th 1870 photo #112-yr-1870
Political Scene in 1871
1871 - Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States (1869–77). As Commanding General, Grant worked closely with President Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War. He implemented Congressional Reconstruction, often at odds with Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson. Analysis: Ulysses S. Grant was a President that understood and enforced the U.S. Constitution. He lobbied for the 15th Amendment, giving blacks the right to vote. He was also a strong believer in Reconstruction Aid and Civil Rights to the Negro, opposite of his predecessor, Andrew Johnson.
Enforcement Acts were a series of actions, but it wasn’t until the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, the third Enforcement Act, that their regulations to protect blacks, and to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution were actually implemented and followed. It was only after the creation of the Third Enforcement Act that trials were conducted, and perpetrators were convicted for any crimes they had committed in violation of the Enforcement Acts.
The Enforcement Act of 1871 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 are very similar to the original act as they all have the same goal but revised first act with the intention of being more efficient. The Act of 1871 has more severe punishments with larger fines for disregarding the regulations, and the prison sentences vary in length.
The third Enforcement Act passed by Congress and also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act (formally, "An Act to enforce the Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other Purposes"), made state officials liable in federal court for depriving anyone of their civil rights or the equal protection of the laws. It further made some the KKK's intimidation tactics into federal offenses.
The cartoons of Thomas Nast 1870 in Harper's Weekly. Cartoonists followed Nast and used the donkey to represent the Democrats, and the elephant to represent the Republicans.
March 1871 - The Meridian race riot of 1871 was a race riot in Meridian Mississippi in which mobs of whites killed as many as 30 blacks over a few days. Whites drove the Republican mayor from office, and no person was charged or tried in the freedmen's deaths.
May 12, 1871 - Segregated street cars integrated in Louisville, Kentucky.
June 20, 1871 - Ku Klux Klan trials began in federal court in Oxford Mississippi.
Willie M. "Bill" Pickett
James Weldon Johnson photographed by Carl Van Vechten
Oscar DePriest Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 1st district photo #105-yr-1928
William Tecumseh Vernon
Footage of Bill Pickett in "The Bulldogger"
Famous Birthdays in 1871
March 9, 1871 - Oscar De Priest was an American lawmaker and civil rights advocate who served as a U.S. Representative from Illinois from 1929 to 1935. He was the first African American to be elected to Congress from outside the southern states and the first in the 20th century.
June 17, 1871 - James Weldon Johnson was an African American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist.
July 11, 1871 - 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.
September 9, 1871 - Delilah Leontium Beasley was an American historian, and newspaper columnist for the Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, US. Beasley becomes the first African-American woman to be published regularly in a major metropolitan newspaper.
December 5, 1871 - Willie M. "Bill" Pickett was a cowboy, rodeo, and Wild West show performer. Trivia: Bill invented the technique of bulldogging, the skill of grabbing cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground. We see this on television all the time when watching rodeo.
1871 - Frederick Douglas Patterson was an American entrepreneur, the first African American to manufacture cars, and known for the Greenfield-Patterson automobile of 1915, built in Ohio. He later converted his business to the Greenfield Bus Body Company.
Octavius Valentine Catto
Famous Deaths in 1871
August 28, 1871 - Miles James was a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm.
October 10, 1871 - Octavius Valentine Catto was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. He became principal of male students at the Institute for Colored Youth, where he had also been educated.
November 22, 1871 - Oscar James Dunn was one of three African Americans who served as a Republican Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana during the era of Reconstruction.
Norris Wright Cuney
Famous Weddings in 1871
July 5, 1871 - Norris Wright Cuney and Adelina Dowdie were wed.
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield
Plantation scenarios were common in black minstrelsy, as shown here in this poster for Callender's Colored Minstrels.
During the Civil War, Thomas Wentworth Higginson served as colonel of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, the first federally authorized black regiment, from 1862–1864. Following the war, Higginson devoted much of the rest of his life to fighting for the rights of freed slaves, women and other disfranchised peoples.
John Brown Song
Music in 1871
Musical Happenings in 1871:
The 1870s was a decade where the only way to obtain music was on sheet music sold in stores. People would sit at the piano and sing.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are an African-American a cappella ensemble, consisting of students at Fisk University. The first group was organized in 1871 to tour and raise funds for college.
One or two African-American troupes dominated the scene for much of the late 1860s and 1870s. The first of these was Brooker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels, who played the Northeast around 1865. Sam Hague's Slave Troupe of Georgia Minstrels formed shortly after that and toured England with great success beginning in 1866. In the 1870s, white entrepreneurs bought most of the successful black companies. Charles Callender obtained Sam Hague's troupe in 1872 and renamed it Callender's Georgia Minstrels. They became the most famous black troupe in America, and the words Callender and Georgia came to be synonymous with the institution of black minstrelsy.
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield dubbed "The Black Swan", was an African-American singer considered the best-known black concert artist of her time. She was noted by James M. Trotter for her "remarkably sweet tones and wide vocal compass". She toured and conducted a Philadelphia music studio. Among her voice pupils was Thomas Bowers, who became known as "The Colored Mario" and "The American Mario" for the similarity of his voice to Italian opera tenor Giovanni Mario.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson:
Thomas Wentworth Higginson leads the First South Carolina Colored Volunteers, the first group of authorized African American soldiers. Higginson is a notable author who helps popularize many aspects of African American music. He contributed to the preservation of Negro spirituals by copying dialect verses and music he heard sung around the regiment's campfires.
John Brown's Song:
is a United States marching song about the abolitionist John Brown. The song was popular in the Union during the American Civil War.
"Juba Juba", a popular song about the Juba:
Juba dis and Juba dat,
and Juba killed da yellow cat,
You sift the meal and ya gimme the husk,
you bake the bread and ya gimme the crust,
you eat the meat and ya gimme the skin,
and that's the way,
my mama's troubles begin
A song about the hambone from Step it Down (v.s.):
Hambone Hambone pat him on the shoulder
If you get a pretty girl, I'll show you how to hold her.
Hambone, Hambone, where have you been?
All 'round the world and back again.
Hambone, Hambone, what did you do?
I got a train and I fairly flew.
Hambone, Hambone where did you go?
I hopped up to Miss Lucy's door.
I asked Miss Lucy would she marry me.
(falsetto)"Well I don't care if Papa don't care!"
First come in was Mister Snake,
He crawled all over that wedding cake.
Next walked in was Mister Tick,
He ate so much it made him sick.
Next walked in was Mister Coon,
We asked him to sing us a wedding tune,
Popular Soul Dances:
The Juba or Hambone dance was originally from West Africa. It became an African-American plantation dance that was performed by slaves during their gatherings when no rhythm instruments were allowed due to fear of secret codes hidden in the drumming.
Buck & Wing
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. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Corn-Shucking+Festival
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!
Fashions for young African American women photo #103-yr-1870
Fashions for young African American women photo #103a-yr-1870
Stylish clothes for African American men photo #107-yr-1870
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention Illustration from Harper's Weekly The person who drew this Illustration was kind to black people. Usually during that time period they would portray the Negro with wild hair and humongous noses with exaggerated lips. They made us look normal. Thank you Harper's. photo #101-yr-1869
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention Illustration from Harper's Weekly photo #101-yr-1869
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention Illustration from Harper's Weekly photo #101-yr-1869
THE ULTIMATE FASHION HISTORY: The 1870s - 1890s
Fashions in 1871
For women by the 1870s, fullness in the skirt had moved to the rear, where elaborately draped overskirts were held in place by tapes and supported by a bustle. This fashion required an underskirt, which was heavily trimmed with pleats, flounces, rouching, and frills.
Innovations in men's fashion of the 1870s included the acceptance of patterned or figured fabrics for shirts and the general replacement of neckties tied in bow knots with the four-in-hand and later the Ascot tie.
Infants continued to be dressed in flowing gowns, a style that continued into the early twentieth century. Gender dress changes often did not occur until a child was five or six. As the girls got older, they wore longer skirts. A four-year-old would wear her skirt at knee length; ten to twelve at mid-calf; and by sixteen, the girls dress would be ankle length. Boys often dressed similar to adult males, as they too wore blazers and Norfolk jackets.
Yeow!, Slavery is Finally Over!
It's smooth sailing ahead
We can't wait to get out in the workforce to make our own money
What type of employment awaits us in the 1800s?
90% of Negroes still lived in the South up until the late 1910s. Blacks looking for work in the South mainly worked on the land they lived. Most were tenant farmers that did contract work on a farm by farm basis. Some blacks were hired just for a particular job and once the job was over had to find employment elsewhere. They would work and harvest the field for the season and pay the owner out of their profits for room and board and use of farming tools.
Some but not many blacks also worked in manufacturing, and for the most part were paid comparable wages as their white counterparts. However, blacks were much less likely to hold better-paying skilled jobs, and they were more liable to work for lower-paying companies.
If blacks were not working on farms, they were engaged in unskilled labor and service jobs. They were unable to afford their homes. Because of the crazy events unfolding with voter intimidations and outright murders by the KKK, with total impunity and the total disregard for assistance from American presidents, and the end of Reconstruction help. Most black children had not attended school in the year before the Census was taken, and white children were much more likely to have attended.
Immediately after the emancipation blacks were very eager to learn, school attendance was sky high, but unfolding events that were perpetrated or voted on in approval by white citizens demoralized many blacks at this point in history before the turn of the century, and don't forget the effects of damaging Jim Crows laws which were about to formally get underway.
So a typical look at the African American family at the end of the 1800s Census lived and worked on a farm in the South and did not own their home, and children in these families were unlikely to be in school even at very young ages.
Blacks also found employment in the mining industry, which was very dangerous work. In 1883, thousands of European immigrants and a large number of African Americans migrated to southern West Virginia to work in coal mines. These coal miners worked in company mines with company tools and equipment, which they were required to lease. Along with these expenses, the miners have deducted pay for housing rent and items they purchased from company stores. Furthermore, the coal companies went as far as creating their monetary system so the miners could only shop at company-owned stores. In addition to the poor economic condition, safety in the mines was a great concern with many men either killed or permanently injured.
African-Americans also worked in the shipping business as stevedores or more commonly called, longshoreman which consisted of waterfront manual laborer involved in loading and unloading ships. In the 1800s, the word stevedore was usually applied to black laborers who loaded and unloaded bales of cotton and other freight on and off riverboats.
Work for Negroes in the Northern cties weren't much better. Many blacks probably thought that after the Civil War their streets were going to be paved golden with opportunity, but boy were they in for a surprise!
Blacks were denied at every level on the economic ladder. It has been observed that this was a period the black crime rate rose, with the white crime rate going down. Whites controlled every single aspect of gainful American employment.
Factories were going full steam ahead, but when blacks tried to enter, they were shut out, why? Mainly because the whites didn't want to work side by side with blacks, so as a result they were not hired.
The textiles and garment industries were also booming during this period, but there aren't records of blacks ever being hired.
It was possible for blacks to find work with the railroads as Pullman porters, track workers, or common laborers, but at the same time when their families and friends wanted to travel on the train, they were segregated. How demoralizing that had to be. White railroad unions blocked them out from making better pay which was in the maintenance and train building departments.
In the early 1800s, there were many black craftsmen such as carpenters, machinist, contractors, etc. who enjoyed a good reputation with their skilled art trade, but in the late 1800s that image changed due to the increase of separate but equal doctrine. It's not a dispute blacks couldn't do the work, the issue was the color of skin that kept them out of the workforce.
When a black would apply for employment at a retail store, they wouldn't hire them, saying whites did not want to be served by them. One black was fortunate enough to land a job as the cities only black clerk at a commercial bank. What was the catch? He never received a raise or promotion and dared not complained.
Businesses would hire newly arriving immigrants before hiring their American black brothers. Blacks were better educated, but just the wrong color in their eyes.
If a black person extended himself through higher learning going on to become a doctor or lawyer, one important question has to be answered. Who were going to be his paying clients? This problem persist in today's world and as long as America is around, it always will. It's a deeply entrenched belief in white people whether conscious or unconscious to avoid doing business with blacks. (generally speaking)
Whites rarely would patronize black professionals, even famous black sociologist of those days WEB Dubois made a comment "Education will get you nothing but disappointment and humiliation.'' which Dubois had to be frustrated when making that statement because he was at the forefront in African American achievement through education.
It has been noted that there were only two avenues open for blacks during this period in history which was strike-breaking and vice.
Different businesses such as the coal mines would hire blacks a strike-breakers when the whites would protest for more money. Of course, many blacks lost their lives with the violent outburst by the white workers fearing they were losing their jobs. Blacks had to take the chance along with the danger, what else could they do?
They had to feed their families too. With the women, it was the same thing. When white dressmakers went on strike, the company hired black women to take their place. So basically, blacks were used as pawns in the game.
The other avenue open to blacks was the vice, and this clearly explains how and why this phenomenon has extended down to our day for a segment of our black community. It would seem these blacks are still demoralized and traumatized from these events in history. But we have every hope they will rise and soar like the eagles. There was a lot of gambling, prostitution, lottery, and bootlegging, going on in the cities, and maybe the police kept a blind eye to it because they ignored it for a while. - At this point in history, Philadelphia was estimated to have 10,000 prostitutes and 1,000 brothels in the 1890s. Most of the vise would find it's way into the black neighborhoods with black leaders unable to stop it.
We think it's important to note that old saying that "the more things change the more they stay the same" applies here. America has made some progress in racial relations but the attitude still exist for blacks entering the workplace which is mostly white. Many will keep quiet but may not want you there, but you have your family to feed just like they do and as long as everyone does his work and obey the rules is all that matters. We're not out to win a popularity contest. But if they sincerely want to work with you, that would be wonderful!
Members of the Jubilee Singers nine men and women sitting or standing before the camera
The Fisk Jubilee Singers' in 2008 carrying on tradition
The former Freedman's Savings Bank on Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. photo #105-yr-1874
The Story of the Freedman’s Bank
Frederick Douglass - Memorial Day Speech at Arlington National Cemetery - 1871 - Hear and Read
Our Community in 1871
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
The Meridian race riot of 1871 was a race riot in Meridian, Mississippi in March 1871. It followed the arrest of freedmen accused of inciting riot in a downtown fire, and blacks' organizing for self-defense.
The Enforcement Acts were three bills passed by the United States Congress between 1870 and 1871. They were criminal codes which protected African-Americans’ right to vote, to hold office, to serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws.
January 19, 1871 - The first Negro lodge of US Masons approved in New Jersey.
October 6, 1871 - Fisk University's Jubilee Singers begin their first national tour. The Jubilee Singers become world-famous singers of black spirituals.
1871 - George Washington, an early black settler in Washington Territory becomes the first African American to found a predominately white town when he establishes Centerville, later Centralia, Washington.
The Freedman's Savings Bank, was a private corporation chartered by the U.S. government to encourage and guide the economic development of the newly emancipated African-American communities in the post-Civil War period. The bank's central office was located in Washington D.C., but had many branches throughout America, especially in the South. Although functioning only between 1865 and 1874, the company achieved notable successes as a leading financial institution of African-Americans. Its failure in 1874 was devastating to the newly emancipated black community. Trivia: With over 480,000 names on file, it make for the largest single repository of lineage-linked African-American records. The searchable database is available to amateur as well as professional genealogists.
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#103 - Public Domain image - By Prints & Photographs Department, MSRC (Deep Roots Magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - Public Domain image - By Photo by Nicole Kaklis.Nrswanson at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
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