Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1889:
Olivia America Davidson
Olivia America Davidson Washington was born to a freed slave and a free black woman in 1854. Olivia had nine brothers and sisters. After her family had moved from Virginia to Ohio, this is what set this young lady's fascinating future in motion.
Olivia was a member of the Enterprise Academy, which was in the Northern part of the state owned and operated by African-American educators. Olivia had a chance to learn much about the black activist movement during this period.
She also had a chance to mingle with members of Oberlin College which was noteworthy for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students in addition to white males, until they submitted to the stupidity of racism and stopped admitting blacks in the 1880s.
She attended the State Normal School in Framingham, Massachusetts where she graduated on June 29, 1881, one of six honor students. Olivia then returned to Hampton to rest, recover from a serious illness, and to teach the Indians. Booker T. Washington, who had been the postgraduate speaker at Hampton, contacted her and asked her to help him open Tuskegee.
After recovering from her illness, she joined him as a teacher and vice principal on August 25, 1881. She threw herself into the work and labored unceasingly despite precarious health, becoming Booker T.'s partner in building Tuskegee.
On August 11, 1886, in Athens, Ohio, she married Booker T. Washington, two years after the death of his first wife, Fannie N. Smith. She also served as stepmother to Portia, the child of Booker T.'s first marriage. Also in 1886, she addressed the Alabama State Teachers' Association on the topic of "How Shall We Make the Women of Our Race Stronger?," advocating that teachers strive to reach black girls as the "hope of the race." During her time at Tuskegee, she helped fundraise for the school both locally and through and through her contacts up north.
Later, she suffered exposure to the early morning cold. Her health deteriorated further, and she died some three months later of laryngeal tuberculosis on May 9, 1889, at Massachusetts General Hospital.
We haven't forgotten you Olivia. Olivia may not have been as famous as other black activists, but her work was an invaluable aid to the success of our cause. There were many Olivia's through the course of history that gave their lives for black achievement. What would we have done without them?
We would like to take this opportunity to award Olivia Washington with the 1889 Hamite Award which is the year she died. This award is given in honor of our brave ancestors who survived horrendous elements in a mean world, teaching us much in the process about our resiliency and commendable stock, which is forgiving, loving, gentle, peaceful and strong beyond compare. Olivia recognized the need in living her life in accordance with their accomplishments. Have we? Thanks Mrs. Washington, we have not forgotten you.
Olivia America Davidson Washington
|How were blacks feeling in 1889?
Our white American brothers are engaging in an orchestrated effort to segregate themselves from us. America should have taken Senator Charles Sumner advice and destroyed the anti-Americans in the South without mercy. Their poison lives and hate is becoming more common in the North. America is speaking loud and clear on how they feel about us. We are second class citizens in everything.
But there are still great black people who are getting involved and speaking up, wow how courageous!
There are obstacles at every turn. Our kids don't have hope, our families are starting to suffer, our men are starting to stray. They are effectively breaking up the black American family unit. But I bet it's going to come back and bite them in the butt one day.
The sad thing is, whites are still constantly praising the principles this country was founded on but in the real world are practicing hate.
It's a strange twist of fate because the American principles were created by Anglo-Saxons, but we believe and practice them more and better than they do. Maybe one day we all will come together, but for the life of me I don't see that happening anytime soon.
On a lighter side, I got my neighbor Vera to fix my hair up real pretty because I wanted to take a Kodac picture. I didn't like the way she took the pictures, so I did my own, I think I'll call it a selfie. Boy, I tell you I'm enjoying these new inventions coming out year after year, I guess pretty soon they will have us flying in the air.
Authentic newspaper article for the year 1889
Get a feel for what was really happening in 1889
Whites in 1889 felt they were superior to blacks because they were better educated and also believed they were made in God's image being pure, white and holy. They believed the wild beast mentioned in the Bible were blacks who were inhuman and their only purpose in life were to be slaves and serve whites. They also believed that blacks didn't have a soul. This belief was very popular and called the preadamic theory. Their self-serving beliefs in religion of yesteryear are matched by the various religions of our day who kill and maim in the name of God.|
We don't know who the author of this article is (Mr. Calhoun), but it doesn't matter because his voice was typical of his day and especially in the South.
It's amazing how these people throughout history created problems mainly because of greed and later blame others for their sorrows with a complete absence of mea culpa. Africans before slavery were far behind the rest of the world regarding civilization, but that didn't mean they weren't happy. No doubt they loved their tribal life the same as the Native Americans but were uprooted by a common enemy.
Once in America and enlightened to civilization there was no way most former slaves would want to return to Africa. Otherwise, they would have departed. Colonization of Africa had been proposed for years by various leaders. No, these proud but unwanted men and women were African American citizens now, and there would be no turning back. They fought bravely in every single American war to ensure that right for themselves and the blacks after them.
Mr. Calhoun wanted blacks to relocate to hot New Mexico, a plan that was rejected because politicians knew blacks would end up living where they very well pleased which was guaranteed to them by their American civil rights. Blacks even to this day are notorious in fighting for justice in our courts instead of with violence. Maybe Calhoun should have moved to hot New Mexico himself.
It would be a different world today if whites would have taken their advance knowledge and helping the former slaves instead of proclaiming themselves superior and making this a race issue. It's obvious they were smarter. But back then they didn't realize freedom justice, and liberty has no color and belongs to all, not just white people.
Abbeville press and banner. (Abbeville, S.C.), 16 Oct. 1889. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
Octavius Valentine Catto
John W. "Bud" Fowler
Moses Fleetwood Walker
| Sports in 1889 |
- Blacks were not accepted into the league baseball games, so they started their teams, becoming professional by the the 1870s. The first known baseball game between two black teams was held on November 15, 1859, in New York City. The Henson Base Ball Club of Jamaica, Queens, defeated the Unknowns of Weeksville, Brooklyn, 54 to 43.
By the end of the 1860s, the black baseball mecca was Philadelphia, which had an African-American population of 22,000. Two former cricket players, James H. Francis and Francis Wood, formed the Pythian Base Ball Club. They played in Camden, New Jersey, at the landing of the Federal Street Ferry, because it is hard to get permits for black baseball games in the city. Octavius Catto, the promoter of the Pythians, decided to apply for membership in the National Association of Base Ball Players, generally a matter of sending delegates to the annual convention; beyond that, a formality.
At the end of the 1867 season "the National Association of Baseball Players voted to exclude any club with a black player." In some ways Blackball thrived under segregation, with the few black teams of the day playing not only each other but white teams as well. "Black teams earned the bulk of their income playing white independent 'semipro' clubs."
- The mistreatment and segregation of Blacks didn't only happen in the South, but also the Northern cities like Philadelphia.
- Octavius Valentine Catto was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. As a man, he also became known as a top cricket and black baseball pioneer in 19th-century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- The first known professional black baseball player was Bud Fowler, who appeared in a handful of games with a Chelsea, Massachusetts club in April 1878 and then pitched for the Lynn, Massachusetts team in the International Association.
- Moses Fleetwood Walker and his brother, Welday Wilberforce Walker, were the first two black players in the major leagues. They both played for the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings in the American Association.
- The few blacks on the white minor league teams were constantly dodging verbal and physical abuse from both competitors and fans. Then the Compromise of 1877 removed the remaining obstacles from the South's enacting the Jim Crow laws. To make matters worse, on July 14, 1887, Cap Anson's Chicago White Stockings marched his team onto the field, military style as was his custom, he demanded that the blacks not play, and later that same day, league owners voted to refuse future contracts to blacks, citing the "hazards" imposed by such athletes.
- In 1888, the Middle States League was formed, and it admitted two all-black teams to its otherwise all-white league, the Cuban Giants and their arch-rivals, the New York Gorhams. They became traveling teams known as the Colored All-Americans. They would go to various cities playing games that were not authorized by the professional white league. They would play against any team that just wanted some real, fair competition and make a little money in the process. The New York Gorhams quit playing after awhile and by 1892 the Cuban Giants were the only black team in the East still in operation on a full-time basis.
Benjamin Harrison portrayed as wasting the surplus gained under Grover Cleveland
| Political Scene in 1889 |
- Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States (1889–1893); he was the grandson of the ninth President, William Henry Harrison. Harrison had become a prominent local attorney, Presbyterian church leader, and politician in Indianapolis, Indiana. Analysis: Benjamin Harrison attempted to pass legislation to protect black Americans' civil rights. He once said "if states have the authority over civil rights, then "we have a right to ask whether they are at work upon it." He also endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn the 1883 Supreme Court rulings that declared much of the Reconstruction-era Civil Rights Acts unconstitutional. None of these measures gained congressional approval. These elected officials were just following the racist voter's wishes. Harrison couldn't do it all by himself. America is straying so far away from the principles of what Abraham Lincoln died for, the meaning of a true America. Men like Harrison recognized that and tried to change America's course. But he faced a massive white wall of white privileged resistance and gave up too soon.
- 1889 - the white Democrat-dominated legislature passed a constitutional amendment incorporating a "grandfather clause", which effectively disfranchised most blacks in the state until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- 1889 - President Benjamin Harrison appointed Frederick Douglass to be the U.S. minister to Haiti. Douglass had hoped that his appointments would open doors for other African-Americans. However, it took many years and struggle before they would follow in his footsteps. Sidenote: Maybe back then black leaders couldn't discern that white politicians were trying to buy their silence by appointing them to goverment positions, but it is without a doubt a recurring theme and very easy to see from our vantage point in time.
- 1889 - Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. He was the winner of the popular vote for president three times—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was one of the two Democrats (alongside Woodrow Wilson) elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination dating from 1861 to 1933.
Analysis: Grover Cleveland was a president who didn't really care about Civil Rights for racial groups. He didn't make an effort to help disenfranchised blacks in the South choosing to ignore those American citizens and also with the Chinese immigrants who were murdered in the Washington territory, he sided with the terrorist and felt it was the Chinese fault for the riots. But to keep the peace with the Chinese government who had complained, he went ahead and provided reparations. When will we finally get a president who understands true American principles and the meaning, or were those words just fantasy?
What is The Declaration of Independence?
It is a statement that the colonist wrote that officially declared their independence from Great Britain. They would now be called, The United States of America. This very special occasion is celebrated every July 4th in America.
The Declaration in part states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
After becoming official, many of the political leaders set their slaves free because they felt it was hypocritical denying a race of people life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These men had a moral conscience, and strived to be true Americans.
But on the other hand, many leaders chose to hold on to their slaves because it would mean a significant loss monetarily. These men didn't have a moral conscience. They let money and greed reign supreme.
The world was watching and ridiculed the men who held on to their slaves. America's very first test in morality and would set the tone for many years to come and up unto this day. Most Americans would put money first, with the lesser group clinging to true American principles. There were 12 American Presidents who were slaveholders, 8 of them while in office.
You ugly detestable greedy creep.
Is this what America has become?
Yes, the Negro thinks so
Looking through the eyes of a young person, imagine what you would see. Many may not understand how America came to be so polarized. Since the 60s, blacks have made enormous strides, but generally speaking today a youngster might see a white class of people who seem to have it all together, professionally, socially, educationally, economically, and the blacks are always demanding.
Can you imagine how overwhelming and intimidating this could be to some? But when a young black person understands their rich history, it will without a doubt give them courage and strength to believe in themselves, and when that happens, color of skin becomes less of an issue.
Young people deserve to be told the truth about how America became this way, and not in hate or a way that puts down another race. The truth, pure and simple that can be backed up with any library or Google search. America did not just happen yesterday, it took many years for this situation to become this way, and you might be surprised to learn that it was orchestrated by some not so sweet people who didn't sincerely believe in the meaning of the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.
During slavery, the Negro depended on their masters for every single necessity of life. Even the smallest want of a slave had to be approved by his master. It also was a severe crime for anyone caught teaching the slaves to read or write. Books were hidden from the Negro, which meant that slaves were illiterate.
The Emancipation Proclamation freed over four million slaves, most of whom had lived and worked on plantations. America wanted to help these former slaves with Reconstruction aid such as education, medical, housing, etc., attempting to place these illiterate and uneducated Negroes on the road to complete American success.
What was the general attitude of the Negro with this Reconstruction help?
YEAH, THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, THANKS SO MUCH AMERICA, WE WILL PROVE WE CAN BECOME SELF-RELIANT
PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS! WE CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT'S IN THOSE BOOKS YOU HAVE BEEN HIDING FROM US. LET"S GET THIS THING STARTED!
Enthusiasm and motivation were very high to excel. The schools that had been built for the Negro were packed to capacity with students from 7-70 years of age. Educated blacks were getting elected to office as politicians. Fruitful black communities sprang up, and for the first time in American history, the Negro felt like he was a part of America, and was super happy looking toward a prosperous future.
But sadly, there were some who were not as happy, and these were the former Confederates who lived in the same cities. They didn't want any part of Negro success and to be governed by the people they just lost as slaves. So there was a great white resistance.
What was the result?
After only a few short years, the U.S. Government bowed down to these white supremacist and canceled Reconstruction aid to the former slaves. This was called the 1877 Compromise, (please click on 1877 for details) and blacks calling it the 1877 Grand Betrayal. Terrorist had attacked countless black American citizens. Negroes were hanged, tortured, raped, murdered by the whites with total impunity. The U.S. government knew and did nothing, ignoring the enforcement duties set out in the Constitution.
The little gains the Negro was able to achieve were snatched away, and in the meantime, there were still millions of illiterate, defeated, restricted and uneducated black nomads wandering around in a racist society trying to make it the best way they could, and this situation would remain this way until the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, and yes this is how the black ghetto's got their start.
There's not enough room on this web page to describe the hate and exclusion by government and white Americans against blacks during this period. Jim Crow laws touched every part of life, all across America. Blacks and whites were kept apart as much as possible. Good jobs went to whites; blacks were given the worst with less pay. Many industries wouldn’t hire blacks. Many unions passed special rules to exclude them. All juries and judges were white; blacks were illegally denied voting rights. No blacks allowed in public pools. Many restaurants would not serve blacks, and those that did had a dirty colored section. Blacks and whites went to county fairs on different days. Blacks couldn't use public libraries. Simple common courtesy was rarely shown the blacks. Whites beat, tortured, raped and killed blacks with no fear of punishment. Blacks were denied credit for businesses, housing, cars by the banks. Blacks were kept out of white neighborhoods with housing covenants. Oklahoma had black and white phone booths. Texas had cities where blacks were entirely restricted from living. Blacks could not leave their homes after 10:00 pm in Mobile Alabama. Blacks could not marry whites. Georgia had separate white and black parks. Prisons, hospitals, and orphanages were segregated as were schools and colleges. Blacks and whites had to use separate sets of books in school, in Florida, they couldn't be stored together. When a person was sworn in at a trial, the whites used one Bible, and the blacks had a separate Bible. For those who did complete college, a crucial question had to be answered. Who was going to be their clients? Whites didn't engage blacks in business, and the battered Negro couldn't afford their services. These laws became so entrenched in American life; even unwritten laws affected black citizenship; blacks understood to stay out of white stores and establishments. Segregation was so complete that whites did not see blacks except when being served by them. After the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, blacks have made enormous gains. This is how the United States of America became a polarized country. Each and every President knew what was going on and allowed this illegal activity for 87 years. Were they guilty of not upholding the United States Constitution in the Negroes behalf? Is this the reason why many other nations laugh at America with its constant claims of being on the side of good and high morality?
We are rating each and every President up unto the Civil Rights movement of the 60s in regards to the Constitutional laws he took oath to uphold for all American citizens. The ratings can be located at the end of each President's term in office. Please keep in mind there are millions of poor and uneducated blacks in America seeking assistance into assimilating into American culture after 200 years of brutal slavery. Our focus is to find a courageous President, like Abe Lincoln that will solve this problem, and not pass it on to the next administration. Do you think the decisions of these Presidents would have an impact on the lives of blacks today? Of course it would.
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated before the Amendments to the Constitution became official, but without a doubt he understood and enforced the high standards and morality the Constitution stood for.
Andrew Johnson opposed the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave citizenship to former slaves. He fought the Negro every step of the way. Johnson was also a former slaveholder. He didn't believe all were created equal. He didn't uphold the Constitution.
Ulysses S. Grant was complete opposite of Andrew Johnson. Grant assisted the Negro in his quest of assimilation. He understood and enforced the United States Constitution.
Rutherford B. Hayes was an opportunist and sold out the Negro big time with the 1877 Compromise. He didn't understand what his country stood for.
James A Garfield was a strong defender of Civil Rights, and wanted the Negro to progress through education. Sadly he didn't get a chance to fufill his intentions because he was assassinated, but we give him the benefit of the doubt. We believe he understood the U.S. Constitution.
Chester Arthur wasn't really ever concerned with the negro issue. but he didn't make this humongous Negro problems his priority but chose to ignore it and pass it on to the next admin. He did not understand the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
Grover Cleveland actually sided with the white terrorist in the Chinese race riots and felt it was the Chinese fault. He wasn't a true believer in the U.S. Constitution, he only believed in it as far as it would benefit him, just like typical America.
Movies in America
Anna Madah Hyers dressed as 'Urlina' in the opera Urlina the African Princess (1879)
| Musicals / Movies in 1889 |
- The Hyers Sisters, Anna Madah and Emma Louise were singers and pioneers of black musical theater. With Joseph Bradford and Pauline Hopkins, the Hyers Sisters produced the "first full-fledged musical plays... in which African Americans themselves comment on the plight of the slaves and the relief of Emancipation without the disguises of minstrel comedy." Their first play was Out of Bondage (also known as Out of the Wilderness) which premiered in 1876.
The Hyers Sisters under the management of their proud father not only toured in America but internationally. As small children, the father had them classically trained by German professor Hugo Sank and later opera singer Josephine D'Ormy, and they performed for private parties before making their professional stage debut. They were very well received everywhere they played and blazed a path for other black entertainers to follow. They traveled until the mid-1880s with their shows and continued to appear on stage into the 1890s. Wow, that's absolutely amazing!
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
Asa Philip Randolph
| Famous Birthdays in 1889 |
- January 9, 1889 - Beatrice Morrow Cannady was a renowned civil rights advocate in early 20th-century Oregon, United States. She was editor of the Advocate, the state's largest African-American newspaper. She was also one of the founders of Oregon's chapter of the NAACP.
- February 27, 1889 - Freddie Keppard was an early jazz cornetist who once held the title of "King" in the New Orleans jazz scene. This title was previously held by Buddy Bolden and succeeded by Joe Oliver.
- April 5, 1889 - Chandler Owen was an African-American writer, editor and early member of the Socialist Party of America.
- April 15, 1889 - Asa Philip Randolph was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the American labor movement, and socialist political parties.
- June 6, 1889 - Benjamin Rucker was an American stage magician, better known by his stage name Black Herman. Born in Amherst, Virginia, he was the most prominent African-American magician of his time.
- July 10, 1889 - Noble Sissle was an American jazz composer, lyricist, bandleader, singer and playwright.
- September 15, 1889 - Claude McKay was a Jamaican-American writer and poet, who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
- October 14, 1889 - Clarence Muse was an actor, screenwriter, director, composer, and lawyer. He was inducted in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1973. Muse was the first African American to "star" in a film.
Henry "Box" Brown
Olivia America Davidson Washington
| Famous Deaths in 1889 |
- January 1, 1889 - James Francis Shober was an African American doctor and the first Black physician in North Carolina. James Shober died at the age of 36.
- May 9, 1889 - Olivia A. Davidson was a co-founder of the Tuskegee Institute and the second wife of Booker T. Washington.
- 1889 - Henry "Box" Brown was a 19th-century Virginia slave who escaped to freedom at age 33 by arranging to have himself mailed in a wooden crate in 1849 to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania abolitionists. He left behind his enslaved wife and children.
Trivia: We were ready to give this individual a Hamite Award for his heartwarming story until we read about the wife and children he left behind. While in slavery, his master sold his wife and children to another master. Because of this, Henry "Box" Brown decided to pull off his daring scheme. But once he made it to freedom, and started earning money with his new found fame, the new master contacted him to ask if he wanted to purchase the freedom of his family, to which he declined. Jerks comes in all colors.
- 1889 - William Jefferson Hardin who was a marvelous speaker spoke in behalf of black suffrage during the Civil War era.
|| Famous African American Quotes |
Henry "Box" Brown - mailed himself into freedom from slavery
"if you have never been deprived of your liberty, as I was, you cannot realize the power of that hope of freedom, which was to me indeed, an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast."
| Famous Weddings in 1889 |
- 1889 - Sam Lucas and Carrie Melvin Lucas were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1889 - Teacher Josephine Silone and William Ward Yates were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1889 - George Washington Henderson and Mary Virginia Harris were wed in holy matrimony.
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
African American composers
| Music in 1889 |
Musical Happenings in 1889:
- By 1881, Billy Johnson was performing in minstrel shows. In 1886 he joined Lew Johnson's minstrels and the following year moved to Hicks and Sawyer's minstrels, where he stayed for six seasons. He began writing songs and eventually landed a job with Bob Cole as songwriter and stage producer for the more upscale Black Patti Troubadours. Cole and Johnson produced a musical sketch for Black Patti, then left that company to produce their own musical, A Trip to Coontown (1898), the first full length black-produced musical on an American stage. However, during the third season of this musical, the pair separated.
How did religion begin for the American Negro?
Well, it was an exciting journey for sure, but as usual, we have to go back into history for the likely answer. Before arriving in America as slaves, generally speaking, our ancestors practiced a religion which included fetishism.
What is fetishism you may ask?
Traditional Benin Voodoo Dance
Fetishism is a man-made object (such as the doll aound the lady's neck in the picture) that is thought to have power over others. Africans were extremely superstitious in their native land.
But once exposed to religious teachers in America, quickly left their superstitious past behind them, and would frown upon new arrivals of Africans who practiced fetishism in religion.
In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had lost their grip on people with their questionable religious practices. There were many who thought the Church was wrong and formed a protest or a Protestant Reformation that resulted in the creation of tons of different religions with their doctrines and teachings claiming to be Christian.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems,
and world views
that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Episcopal, Jesuits, Methodists, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, Wesleyanism were all against Roman Catholic teachings.
But there would be a new religion on the horizon for humanity that went by the name of science. The introduction of science was in many ways entirely different than Christianity because it taught man to believe and rely on himself and his creations, rather than on a Supreme Being he couldn't see.
Faith is something foreign and unbelievable to a scientist. Also, this new form of religion would give these believers complete moral authority to do as they wished without a guilty conscience or retribution from a Surpreme Being.
This is what made slavery right or moral in the eyes of so many whites because new science taught that whites were superior and blacks inferior. The theory of evolution is another example in clear teaching that the world exists because of a big bang instead of being created, and also man evolved from apes rather than being created.
Do you believe in Evolution? If so, evolution is your religion because mainstream religion and evolution just don't jive, it's either one or the other.
During slavery, most of the first black congregations and churches were founded by free blacks, but slaves learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. Methodist and Baptist were the preferred choices of slaves because of its message.
But after slavery blacks were still restricted in the white churches so what they did next is not a surprise. They began to form their churches free from white rulership and exclusion, but kept the doctrine and teachings, but of course with a more lively twist (singing and dancing). It's clear they still had African culture in their hearts. This would mark the beginning of a new American creation, the black church.
The following is a very brief history of religion in Black America:
William J. Seymour - photo#111-yr-2015
Charles Fox Parham an independent holiness evangelist who believed strongly in divine healing, was an important figure in the emergence of Pentecostalism as a distinct Christian movement. But it wasn't until one of his black students named William J. Seymour learned these teaching and took it back to California with him that the Pentecostal movement took off like wildfire.
Seymour's preaching sparked the famous three-year-long Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Worship at the racially integrated Azusa Mission featured an absence of any order of service. (whites would later dislike this) People preached and testified as moved by the Spirit, spoke and sung in tongues, and fell in the Spirit. Blacks whites and other races would attend these services. But there was a matter of Jim Crow to be kept in mind that made it illegal for blacks and whites to mix.
So whites broke away from Seymour and began their Pentecostal churches. It's a fact that the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is considered to have started with one-eyed black preacher William J. Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.
The Church Of God in Christ (COGIC) -
Church Of God in Christ Baptism
The Church Of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) and is a Pentecostal Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. It ranks as the largest Pentecostal denomination and the fifth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. Evangelical Baptist, and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century and appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Early COGIC leaders were very much attracted by the Pentecostal message and would break from the Baptist for this reason.
A.M.E. Church -
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the US. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.
Baptists are individuals who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism) and that it must be done by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors, and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.
An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Jews felt like they were chosen people who were promised a land filled with milk and honey, a holy land. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's wife Sarah had trouble conceiving children so to keep the promise alive and in the family she chose Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid to have sexual relations with Abraham to bear a son, which is what they did. This son's name was Ishmael.
But something happened later that would throw things into a tizzy. At a very old age Sarah was now able to have kids and bore a son named Isaac.
Now here's the problem. Does the promise belong to Sarah's son or Hagar's son? Sarah felt it belonged to her bloodline, so she sent Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness for them to die. But guess what? They didn't die. Muhammad who was the final prophet sent by God as identified in the Quran was born within Ishmael's seed line.
So even to this day these two groups don't care for each other.
This religion by far has proven to be the most destructive for humankind. Its users have created a world of me, me, me, by magnifying themselves, sincerely believing they are all of that and a bag of chips. Also the belief that spirited competition is healthy and useful. Win at all cost! The survival of the fittest theory. Many genocides were accomplished in the name of science. It teaches us that man originates from apes, (many blacks lost their life because of this false teaching) the earth was created from nothing and in essence humans are their gods. The bad far outweighs the good with the practice of science. Just look around.
Fashions for young African American women
Fashions for African American Men
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
Making a fashion statement
| Fashions in 1889 |
Fashion in the 1880s is characterized by the return of the bustle. The long, lean line of the 1870s was replaced by a full, curvy silhouette with gradually widening shoulders. Fashionable waists were low and tiny below a full, low bust supported by a corset.
Skirts were looped, draped, or tied up in various ways, and worn over matching or contrasting underskirts Choker necklaces and jewelled collars were also fashionable in the 1880s. Long, jacket-like fitted bodices called basques were also popular for daywear An usual type of undergarment was called combinations, a camisole with attached knee or calf-length drawers, worn under the corset, bustle, and petticoat.
Three piece suits, "ditto suits", consisting of a sack coat with matching waistcoat vest continued as an informal alternative to the contrasting frock coat, waistcoat and trousers. Formal wear remained a dark tail coat and trousers with a dark waistcoat. Evening wear was worn with a white bow tie and a shirt with a winged collar. By the 1880s the majority of the working class, even shepherds adopted jackets and waistcoats in fustian and corduroy with corduroy trousers, giving up their smock frocks.
Young girls wore dresses with round collars and sashes. Fashionable dresses had dropped waists. Pinafores were worn for work and play. A hat or bonnet was worn as well, along with long, knee-length button-up boots or shorter boots with gaitors to give the appearance of wearing long boots. Older boys wore knee-length breeches and jackets with round-collared shirts.
Pullman porters, who were primarily black, are widely credited with contributing to the development of the black middle class in America. Before the Civil War, sleeping cars were not in use. George Pullman came up with the brilliant idea of making rail travel a memorable event with servers to cater to whites every need.
During slavery, most whites didn't own slaves, and this gave them an opportunity to experience that. Pullman became the number #1 employer of blacks in the country. He was a tight businessman though because the pay was lousy with the porters working over 400 hours a month. Porters also had to purchase their clothing and accessories. They received most of their income by tips.
But the job was steady work and that meant alot for black families. Famous porters of old included, Thurgood Marshall, Oscar Micheaux, Malcolm X and the photojournalist Gordon Parks.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1880s
First consumer Kodak camera sold
| Our Community in 1889 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- April 1, 1889 – the first dishwashing machine marketed in Chicago, Illinois.
- April 6, 1889 – the first consumer Kodak camera is sold.
- 1889 - Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church founded in Portland, Oregon.
- The United States Population is 50,155,783 with a total of 6,580,793 being African Americans.
#100 - Public Domain image - Chicken by Will Accooe (New York : Howley, Haviland and Co., c1899.). African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920, American Memory, Library of Congress
#101 - Public Domain image - Reading the story Aenone 1 photographic print. | Photograph shows four African-American ladies dressed in classical roman attire reading the story of Aenone. Photograph references a book by Leonard Kip entitled "Ænone: a tale of slave life in Rome," published in 1866. Contributor: Tomlinson, F. N.
Original Format: Photos, Prints, Drawings Date: 1889
#102 - Public Domain image - By James L. Allen [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
#103 - Public Domain image - By John Bottega, NYWTS staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - Public Domain image -
By Glauberman, Arthur [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image - By Samuel W. Rowse (où l'avez vous obtenue ?) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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