Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1891:
Bridget "Biddy" Mason
Bridget "Biddy" Mason was born enslaved in 1818, in either Georgia or Mississippi. She was named Bridget without a surname. Now hold on to something, this is a new one for us, check this out. Bridget was given to Robert Smith and his bride as a wedding present. WHAT THE HECK, A WEDDING PRESENT, DANG, that's cold. Young people should know that blacks in slavery were not looked upon as being human beings, but property plain and simple. Amazing!
After the marriage, Smith took his new wife and slaves to Mississippi. Missionaries from Mormon church proselytized in Mississippi. They taught Smith and his wealthy family, and they converted. Slaves were not baptized in the church as a matter of policy. Members were encouraged to free their slaves, but Smith chose not to do so and wanted to hold on to their wedding gift.
Church leader Brigham Young sent a group of Mormons to Southern California in 1851. Robert Smith, family and slaves joined them in San Bernardino, California, some time later. Young counseled Smith again to free Bridget and his other slaves before going to California. Bridget was among a small group of blacks, free and slave, in the San Bernardino settlement.
Smith didn't like the idea of setting his slaves free, and with California being a free state there was absolutely nothing he could do if his slaves decided to proclaim their freedom,, so he decided to move to Texas, which was a slave state, but a California posse caught up with him before he could leave the state and let the slaves go free. Well it certainly is refreshing to hear of white people doing good things in regards to this slave issue. Right on Cali!
The Smiths fought in court for their slaves but lost the battle, and this is how Bridget became a free person. Bridget had no legal last name as a slave. After emancipation, she chose to be known as Bridget Biddy. Mason was the middle name of Amasa Lyman, Mormon Apostle and mayor of San Bernardino. Biddy had spent many years in the company of the Amasa Lyman household.
After becoming free, Mason worked in Los Angeles as a nurse and midwife. Saving carefully, she was one of the first blacks to purchase land in the city. As a businesswoman, she amassed a relatively large fortune of nearly $300,000, which she shared generously with charities. Biddy also fed and sheltered the poor, and visited prisoners. She was instrumental in founding a traveler's aid center, and an elementary school for black children. Because of her kind and giving spirit, many called her "Auntie Mason" or "Grandma Mason." Blacks can relate to this because we all have women like Bridget in our neighborhoods.
We would like to pause at this point to ask a question. If allowed to intergrate with mainstream America, do you think Bridget "Biddy" Mason would have made a negative or positive impact on American culture?
Well unless you have your head in the sand, you would say she would have made not only a great African American hero, but a supreme American hero, and want to know something else? There were many more blacks with the same moral character, peace and love this lady possessed. We were just fortunate to read about this particular story. This woman is a true representation of the black race, not the negative image the bad people would like us to believe. So it's with great honor we award this amazing woman the 1891 Hamite Award which is given to individuals who have set a superb example for others to follow in a mean and hateful world.
In 1872 Mason was a founding member of First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the city's first black church. The organizing meetings were held in her home on Spring Street. She donated the land on which the church was built. This land is now the site of Biddy Mason Park, a Los Angeles city park and site of an art installation describing her life. Bridget died on January 15, 1891.
Bridget "Biddy" Mason |
|How were blacks feeling in 1891?
Negroes are getting by the best way they can. Many of us work as porters on the railroad, steady job if you can get it, but must work close to 400 hours per month and purchase your accessories. Black woman might find a job as a housekeeper, laundress, cook, etc.
Men in the North might find work temporarily. All the major unions which pay more money are controlled by whites, and they don't allow blacks in membership, even though many are very well trained in different skills. So the work we pick up is mostly leftovers that the whites don't want. Black men could also find a job in the coal mines, but it was very dangerous.
Often this is also when officials sent blacks who were convicted of petty crimes to work off their fines. This became a second form of slavery because officials would lease these immates out to work making huge profits.
We're so happy about the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. which allows us to build desperately needed colleges to teach our young. Blacks had been starting colleges on their own with the generous help of the black church and community, like those two women who started Spelman College out of the basement of a church and many of their first students couldn't even read or write. We love them so much for thinking big and just know that in the years to come they are going to grow like wildfire.
We will keep chipping away slowly but surely at this organized hate against our race and one day will prevail and soar like the eagles. But they are taking our voting power away day by day with disenfranchising blacks at the polls, and our voices are not being heard in the political arena, and it's making it tough.
For the year 1891:
- Dr. Daniel Hale Williams founds Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first African American-owned hospital in the nation.
- Wiley Overton, hired by the Brooklyn Police Department was the first African-American police officer in present-day New York City.
Octavius Valentine Catto
John W. "Bud" Fowler
Moses Fleetwood Walker
Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton
Isaac Burns Murphy
| Sports in 1891 |
- 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.
- George Dixon beat Cal McCarthy in 22 rounds to win the Featherweight boxing title. Trivia: George Dixon is the inventor of Shadowboxing.
- Isaac Burns Murphy also known as the "Colored Archer," wins the Kentucky Derby riding the race horse Kingman.
- Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton was an American jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing described by author Edward Hotaling, as "one of the great riders of the New York circuit all through the 1890s" and who holds the record as the youngest jockey to ever win the Kentucky Derby.
An early image of students learning to make butterat the
"Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race".
Education of Slaves
John O. Crosby, President of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, at the time known as the "Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race".
The Dudley Administrative Building on the Campus of the Negro Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina, now North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Elizabeth City State University
| Education in 1891 |
- March 3, 1891 - the Elizabeth City State University was established by the North Carolina General Assembly in response to a bill calling for the creation of a two-year normal school for the "teaching and training teachers of the colored race to teach in the common schools of North Carolina." This was to provide training for more teachers of primary grades.
- March 9, 1891 - the Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race was established by an act of the North Carolina General Assembly as an annex of the private Shaw University in Raleigh.
- May 15, 1891 - Delaware State University was established by the Delaware General Assembly.
- 1891 - West Virginia State University was established as the West Virginia Colored Institute in 1891 under the second Morrill Act which provided for land-grant institutions for black students in the 17 states that had segregated schools.
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?
Benjamin Harrison portrayed as wasting the surplus gained under Grover Cleveland
| Political Scene in 1891 |
- 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 huge white wall of white privileged resistance and gave up too soon.
- Harrison spoke for African American civil rights in addresses to Congress. He stated:
" The colored people did not intrude themselves upon us; they were brought here in chains and held in communities where they are now chiefly bound by a cruel slave code...when and under what conditions is the black man to have a free ballot? When is he in fact to have those full civil rights which have so long been his in law? When is that quality of influence which our form of government was intended to secure to the electors to be restored? ... in many parts of our country where the colored population is large the people of that race are by various devices deprived of any effective exercise of their political rights and many of their civil rights. The wrong does not expend itself upon those whose votes are suppressed. Every constituency in the Union is wronged."
Some people may say, well at least Harrison had good intentions, but you know what they say about that!
"A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them."
Liberty Hyde Bailey
We wonder if this is the beginning of grand speeches in the Negroes behalf without results. Sometimes when a person publicly acknowledges a wrong, it soothes the conscious, because it shows to others you care, but that old saying "action speaks louder than words" apply here. We want to see solid, steady progress for these former slaves who happen to be American citizens, and history will show if it was ever given to them.
There are still millions of wandering, lost demoralized black American citizens, will anyone help us, or continue to act like we don't exist? We are behind economically, socially, educationally to our American brothers, it just ain't fair!!!!!
SOUTHERN HATE if I said it once I must say it again, these people ain't normal!|
The Civil War Is Over, Why Do You Still Hate Me So Much Man?
There were over 179,000 black soldiers who fought in the Civil War for their freedom and the right to become American citizens. Many brave souls died. They thought once it was over things would be better for the colored people. But it wasn't and especially in the South.
What the HELL! Why do these southern whites hate blacks so much and fight against our pursuit of happiness at every turn? They ain't normal, and surely not American, because if they were they would believe all are created equal, which is what our country was founded on.
Southern whites had enjoyed a lifestyle much better than their ancestors before them. Before arriving in America, most white immigrants were destitute and severely oppressed by their governments. Many were uneducated peasants and serfs not much better off than a black slave. When they finally encountered blacks in America, they showed little empathy toward them.
No longer on the bottom rung of the ladder of humanity, these white immigrants would also proclaim themselves superior and joined the higher class of whites in dominating blacks unmercifully for many years. Whites as a group was happy as a lark even the not so intelligent ones.
The North understood slavery to be a temporary situation, but in contrast Southern whites viewed it as a permanent institution that should be expanded into new territories that hadn't been admitted to the union yet. Stop the Slave Power at all cost was the North's goal. This reason the Civil War started, not because Abraham Lincoln had this burning desire to free the slaves.
Before the war, southern whites grew very comfortable with their lifestyle and after losing it blamed blacks for everything. Many were brilliant and proud people. Now can you imagine proud, intelligent white people who had dominated blacks for hundreds of years, and faced with the possibility of black equality and being governed by the same individuals they mistreated and spit on and looked upon as ignorant savage beast?
They viciously fought against equality for black people at every turn and opportunity. They considered themselves true Sons of the South, do or die.
They had to feel like the North was punishing and embarrassing them by giving blacks American citizenship and the right to vote. Southern whites would kill many blacks for what they perceived as upholding their honor. What did the North do? They made a show of attempting to help black people, but in the end, that's all it was a show. In reality, they used blacks as a pawn to teach the South a lesson in hopes that one day the southern faithful would reconcile their hearts to the Union of America as one big happy white American family.
Movies in America
Anna Madah Hyers dressed as 'Urlina' in the opera Urlina the African Princess (1879)
Cover of Musical Gems, a book of songs by Sam T. Jack's Creole Burlesque Co.
| Musicals / Burlesque in 1891 |
- 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 performed 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, absolutely amazing!
- Sam Lucas convinced Sam T. Jack, a burlesque impresario to feature beautiful Creole women in a risqué burlesque show. It was the first to present beautiful black women as chorus girls in place of the traditional all-male chorus. It has been called the first black burlesque show. It included original songs, sketches and comedy numbers by black artists. The Creole Show opened in Haverhill, Massachusetts, on August 4, 1890, and toured across the United States, and would stay on the circuit until 1897.
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
Zora Neale Hurston
Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen
| Famous Birthdays in 1891 |
- January 4, 1891 - Mordecai Wyatt Johnson was an American educator and pastor.
- January 7, 1891 - Zora Neale Hurston A very popular and talented author.
- April 13, 1891 - Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen was an American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. First working as a nurse and a librarian, she published two novels—Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929)—and a few short stories.
- December 2, 1891 - Charles Harris Wesley was an American historian, educator, minister, and author.
George Washington Williams
Bridget "Biddy" Mason
| Famous Deaths in 1891 |
- January 15, 1891 - Bridget "Biddy" Mason was an African-American nurse and a Californian real-estate entrepreneur and philanthropist.
- July 11, 1891 - Decatur Dorsey was a Union Army soldier in the American Civil War and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of the Crater. Born into slavery, Dorsey enlisted in the United States Colored Troops and served through the last year of the war.
- September 14, 1891 - John Adams Hyman was a Republican U.S. Congressman from North Carolina from 1875 to 1877, the first African American to represent the state in the House of Representatives.
- 1891 - Isaac Myers was a pioneering African American trade unionist, a co-operative organiser and a caulker from Baltimore, Maryland.
- 1891 - George Washington Williams was an American Civil War veteran, minister, politician, lawyer, journalist, and historian.
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
African American composers
| Music in 1891 |
Popular Soul Dances:
Musical Happenings in 1891:
- Cakewalk Dance was a strutting dance popular at the end of the 19th century, developed from a black-American contest in graceful walking that had a cake as a prize.
- Buck Dances
- 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 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.
William C. ("Billy") McClain
The illustration represents a corsage by Charvet. It is a blouse of pink cambric finely plaited, and with a white cascade frill, also of cambric, down the center. The scarf is of white cambric and the waistband of pink cambric.
Early 1890s fashion includes gray coat with covered buttons and matching waistcoat, dark trousers, short turnover shirt collar, and floppy bow tie. The short hair and pointed beard are typical.
Work fashions in the 1890s (housekeeper)
Dapper young African-American woman with Afro-textured hair wearing a hat.
The Black Victorians (Victorian Era 1800s-1900s)
| Fashions and Styles in 1891 |
- After the American Civil War and emancipation, many blacks migrated to towns or cities, where they were influenced by new styles. Many straightened their hair to conform to white beauty ideals. They wanted to succeed, and to avoid mistreatment and legal and social discrimination. Some women, and a smaller number of men, lightened their hair with household bleach. They used creams and lotions, combined with hot irons, to straighten hair. The black hair care industry was initially dominated by white-owned businesses. In the late 19th century, African-American entrepreneurs such as Annie Turbo Malone, Madam C. J. Walker, Madam Gold S.M. Young, Sara Spencer Washington and Garrett Augustus Morgan revolutionized hair care by inventing and marketing chemical (and heat-based) applications to alter the natural tightly curled texture. Men began using pomades, and other products, to achieve the standard aesthetic look.
By the 1890s, the sack coat was fast replacing the frock coat for most informal and semi-formal occasions. Three-piece suits ("ditto suits") consisting of a sack coat with matching vest and trousers were worn, as were matching coat and waistcoat with contrasting trousers.
Shirt collars were turned over or pressed into "wings", and became taller through the decade. The usual necktie was a four-in-hand or an Ascot tie, made up as a neckband with wide wings attached and worn with a stickpin, but the 1890s also saw the return of the bow tie for day dress.
Early 1890s dresses consisted of a tight bodice with the skirt gathered at the waist and falling more naturally over the hips and undergarments than in previous years. Corsets in the 1890s helped define the hourglass figure. Afternoon dresses typical of the time period had high necks, wasp waists, puffed sleeves and bell-shaped skirts. Evening gowns had a squared decolletage, a wasp-waist cut and skirts with long trains.
- Portrait of the stylish African-American impresario William C. ("Billy") McClain in late 1800s.
Pullman porters, who were mainly 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 1890s
Daniel Hale Williams
| Our Community in 1891 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- August 24, 1891 - Thomas Edison wins a patent for the motion picture camera.
- November 10, 1891 - Granville T Woods patents electric railway.
- December 19, 1891 - Charles Uncles is ordained the first Negro Catholic priest in the United States, Baltimore, MD.
- 1891 - Minnie Cox was appointed postmaster of Indianola, Mississippi becoming the first black female postmaster in the United States.
- The United States Population is 62,947,714 with a total of 7,488,676 being African Americans.
- African American surgeon Daniel Hale Williams establishes Chicago’s Provident Hospital, the first hospital staffed and operated by 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 - Bob Cole detail from "Pliney come out in the moonlight" (New York : J.H. Remick and Co., c1910. ). African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920, American Memory, Library of Congresss
#102 - Public Domain image - Here we go 'round the Mulberry Bush
1 photographic print on stereo card : stereograph. | 7 White children and 1 African American woman in a semi-circle.
Original Format: Photos, Prints, Drawings Date: 1891
#103 - Public Domain image - Hop-Scotch 1 photographic print on stereo card : stereograph. | 4 children playing. Original Format: Photos, Prints, Drawings Date: 1891
#104 - Public Domain image - By Harper & Brothers (publisher) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - Public Domain image -
By University of Miami [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - Public Domain image -
By North Carolina Department of Public Instruction [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
#108 - Public Domain image - By AdamantlyMike at en.wikipedia [Public domain],
from Wikimedia Commons
#109 - Public Domain image - By Not given [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#110 - Public Domain image - This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.
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