blast from the past

blast from the past
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annual hamite award

OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1911:
George Walker
    George Walker was without a doubt a man before his time. Every project he attempted was done with the utmost class and professionalism. He wanted his fellow black actors to have everything their white counterparts had in practicing their craft and put his money where his mouth was.

    He was very professional all the way and expected those around him to be also. In 1893, a splendid thing happened to George Walker because this is when he met another great man who went by the name of Bert Williams. Bert Williams who initially wanted to attend college to become an engineer, had to put that dream aside because of lack of funds, decided to become a comedian.

    Williams was one of the funniest comedians of his day. Everybody knew Bert Williams, similar to the way everybody knows Richard Pryor today. Fellow vaudevillian W.C. Fields, who appeared in productions with Williams, described him as "the funniest man I ever saw – and the saddest man I ever knew."

    Walker and Williams would go on to become the most admired duo of their day. There were even rumors that famous white comedians Bob Hope and Bing Crosby would later copy their routine.

    In their vaudeville act, Walker would play the straight man, and Williams the jokester or funnyman. They were received very well by all races of people. They eventually went on to create the very first African American musical on Broadway entitled "In Dahomey" which they took on tour throughout the U.S. and Europe. Famous black composer, Will Marion Cook provided the wonderful music.

    That was one ticket I wish I could have bought!!!

    Walker was the most business savvy of the two and decided to rent out a large flat so that any black males who was seriously interested in theater work could live and practice their craft. This apartment became known as the Black Broadway. by having these men around” he and Williams “had an opportunity to study the musical and theatrical ability of the most talented members of our race.” Walker was commended in helping his own to succeed. he was respectfully called “the commander-in-chief of the colored theatrical forces.”

    We would be hard-pressed to find a better recipient of the 1911 Hamite Award than George Walker. He was truly an inspiration for many. He made the most out of absolutely nothing, teaching us that we can do the same, all it takes is skill, drive, and motivation to soar like the eagles.

    It's within our reach, and whatever we decide to accomplish, we will do so with the same level of integrity and professionalism as Mr. George Walker, making our African ancestors who were on that long voyage to America proud if they were alive to witness.

    While touring with Bandana Land in 1909, George Walker began to stutter and suffer memory loss, both well-known symptoms of syphilis, an incurable disease at the time; it hit the ranks of African-American performers hard by 1911. George Walker died on January 8, 1911.

George Walker
Vaudeville star George Walker
photo #114-yr-1908


black fashion in 1900
George Walker and Bert Williams
photo#117-yr-1900


George Walker and Bert Williams
Vaudeville perfomers Bert Williams (left) and George Walker in blackface and comic outfits.
photo#109-yr-1911




Bert Williams and George Walker Final Presentation




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How were blacks feeling in 1911?
sad mood of blacks

The people who have brought so much joy and laughter to the black people are beautiful human beings, and boy did we take a big hit this year.

Jimmy Bland, George Walker, Robert Allen "Bob" Cole, and Patrick Henry "Pat" Chappelle all gone and will be surely missed. We are grateful for the short time we had to experience their beautiful gift of making people happy in such a hateful world.



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african american first

 For the year 1911:
  • Omega Psi Phi, at Howard University was the first African-American intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established by blacks at a historically black college.

  • Samuel J. Battle was the first African-American police officer in New York City.

  • William Henry Lewis was the first African-American attorney admitted to the American Bar Association.



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Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Kappa Alpha Psi Chapter at Wilberforce University (Ohio) in 1922.
- photo#106 -yr-1911

blacks and education

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
Omega Psi Phi Founders
- photo#107 -yr-1911

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
The Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi in 1911.
- photo#108 -yr-1911



History of Education (1900-1950)
Black and Mexican kids were excluded


     Education in 1911
  • January 5, 1911 - Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity was founded as Kappa Alpha Nu on the night of January 5, 1911 by ten African-American college students. The decision upon the name Kappa Alpha Nu may have been to honor the Alpha Kappa Nu club which began in 1903 on the Indiana University campus. The name was changed to Kappa Alpha Psi shortly after the creation of the organization.

  • November 17, 1911 - Omega Psi Phi was founded. It's stated purpose has been to attract and build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift. Throughout the world, many notable members are recognized as leaders in the arts, academics, athletics, entertainment, business, civil rights, education, government, and science fields.



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annual bbq



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blacks and politics

William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
photo #105-yr-1909

     Political Scene in 1911
  • William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930). He is the only person to have served in both of these offices. Sidenote: Looks like another four years of frustration for the Negro with Taft at the helm. There was hardly any help with the Negroes problems in his administration, and whites are still stepping up their assault on the little progress the black people are etching out. Congress, who was voted in by white citizens passed a law that made it a requirement to pass a literacy test in the workplace, which had the support of all the white labor unions, but to his credit, Taft vetoed the bill. For those that don't know, most blacks were still illiterate at this point in history. They had endured over 200 years of slavery, forbidden to learn to read and write. In fact if anyone was caught teaching them, it was a severe crime, a felony. After emancipation, there were schools opened for the black person to teach them to read and write but because of white displeasure and pressure, were shut done after a few short years. Slavery was outlawed but whites still controlled the Negro with certain requirements they knew they wouldn't be able to perform, like literacy test, which was already a must for those wishing to vote. This was an obvious and apparent assault on the Negroes Civil Rights protected by the US Constitution. But not one single President wants to acknowledge this issue and much more for black citizens. Read a quote from his predecessor Theodore Roosevelt, and you tell me if these Presidents are in a fantasy world and out of touch with the Negro citizens.

    'the President has not just a right but a duty to do anything demanded by the needs of the nation unless such action is forbidden by the Constitution or federal law."

    Hey, Mr. Roosevelt, I believe we have many needs within our Constitutional rights you didn't even want to address. Amazing! I guess the Negro is invisible or doesn't exist to these Presidents, or they wish would disappear. But this is our home and us ain't going nowhere, is the way the black person felt. One day you're gonna have to be fair and deal with us, and then what are you going to do when you have a community full of uneducated angry blacks as your neighbors? Taft met with Booker T. Washington and publicly endorsed his program for the uplifting of black Americans, advising them to stay out of politics at the time and emphasize education and entrepreneurship. But nothing of substance came from the meeting. Instead of laying the foundation for a robust and united America, it was all a pretense.




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Treasures of humanity


racism

race issues in america
"Colored Waiting Room" sign from
segregationist era United States
photo #100 -year-1878

A man lynched from a tree
A man lynched from a tree. Face partially concealed by angle and headgear.
photo #109-yr-1906



BBC's Racism: History- A lynching in Texas in 1916


     Race in 1911
  • May 25, 1911 - Laura and L.D. Nelson - were an African-American mother and son who were lynched on May 25, 1911, near Okemah, the county seat of Okfuskee County, Oklahoma.

  • 1911 - Lynchings - Sixty African-Americans are known to have died by lynching in 1911.



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black Movies in America
Movies in America


Evelyn Preer
Actress Evelyn Preer
photo #104-yr-1896



Remembering Evelyn Preer


     Movies in 1911
  • Evelyn Preer was a pioneering African-American stage and screen actress and blues singer of the 1910s through the early 1930s. Preer was regarded by many as the greatest actress of her time and was known within the black community as "The First Lady of the Screen"



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famous african american birthdays

Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson - Photography by William P. Gottlieb
photo #108-yr-1948

Thelma  McQueen
Thelma "Butterfly" McQueen
photo #102-yr-1911

Muriel Rahn
Muriel Rahn
photo #103-yr-1911

 Romare Bearden
Romare Bearden photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, photographer
photo #112-yr-1912

 Cootie Williams
Cootie Williams
photo #113-yr-1945



Cootie Williams - Echoes Of Harlem


     Famous Birthdays in 1911
  • January 7, 1911 - Thelma "Butterfly" McQueen  was an American actress. Originally a dancer, McQueen first appeared as Prissy, Scarlett O'Hara's maid in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind.

  • May 8, 1911 - Robert Leroy Johnson,  African American blues singer and musician.

  • May 18, 1911 - Big Joe Turner,  African-American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri.

  • July 10, 1911 - Cootie Williams   was an American jazz, jump blues, and rhythm and blues trumpeter.

  • August 18, 1911 - Amelia Boynton Robinson   was an American activist who was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama and a key figure in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches.

  • September 2, 1911 - Romare Bearden  was an American artist and writer who depicted African-American life. He has worked with many types of media including cartoons, oils and collages.

  • October 26, 1911 - Mahalia Jackson,  an African-American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as "The Queen of Gospel.

  • November 13, 1911 - John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil   was a first baseman and manager in the Negro American League, mostly with the Kansas City Monarchs.

  • December 21, 1911 - Joshua "Josh" Gibson,  an African-American who played the position of catcher in baseball's Negro leagues.

  • 1911 - Muriel Rahn   was an African-American vocalist and actress. She co-founded the Rose McClendon Players with her husband, Dick Campbell and was one of the leading black concert singers of the mid-20th Century. She is perhaps best known for her starring role in the original Broadway production of Carmen Jones.



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famous african american deaths

Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
African American composers
photo #108-yr-1881

George Walker
Vaudeville star George Walker
photo #114-yr-1908

James Alan Bland
James Alan Bland
photo #104-yr-1911



"My Castle On The Nile" J. Rosamond Johnson & Bob Cole


     Famous Deaths in 1911
  • January 4, 1911 - Charlotte E. Ray was the first African-American female lawyer in the United States.

  • January 6, 1911 - George Walker, actor.

  • February 22, 1911 - Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, African-American abolitionist, poet and author.

  • May 5, 1911 - James Alan Bland  also known as Jimmy Bland, was an African-American musician and song writer.

  • August 2, 1911 - Robert Allen "Bob" Cole was an American composer, actor, playwright, and stage producer and director.

  • October 21, 1911 - Patrick Henry "Pat" Chappelle,  African American theatre owner and entrepreneur, who established and ran The Rabbit's Foot Company, a leading traveling vaudeville show in the first part of the twentieth century.



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famous african american weddings

     Famous Weddings in 1911
  • 1911 - Educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown and Edward S. Brown were wed in holy matrimony.



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Howard Theatre
Howard Theatre at 620 T Street NW, with inset of manager, Andrew J. Thomas (ca. 1910-1919).
photo #110-yr-1915

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Rabbit Foot vaudeville shows
Cover of theatre programme
- photo#112a - yr1900

George Walker
Vaudeville star George Walker
photo #114-yr-1908

Egbert  Austin Williams
Egbert "Bert" Austin Williams
photo #104-yr-1910

Howard Theatre interior
Howard Theatre interior
photo #111-yr-1915

     Entertainment in 1911
  • The Rabbit's Foot Company was a leading traveling vaudeville show in the first part of the twentieth century. Owner Pat Chappelle became known as one of the biggest employers of African-Americans in the entertainment industry, with many tent traveling shows. Chappelle was described at that time as the "Pioneer of Negro Vaudeville" and "the black P. T. Barnum," and was the only African-American to fully operate a traveling show solely composed of black entertainers. Pat Chappelle died this year.


  • George Walker formed the The Frogs (club) Why did George Walker start a black club for actors when he could have just joined the American Actors Beneficial Association? Because like everything else in America, it was becoming commonplace for blacks and whites to be separated in everything. Doctors, Realtors, Lawyers, Unions, etc. and every other organization you can think of was segregated. It's almost like whites needed a race of people such as the lowly black person to measure its greatness. Blacks had no choice but to organize for their benefit. The Negro didn't want it this way, but like a famous rapper once said: "That's just the way it is" The American Actors Beneficial Association excluded blacks from its memberships and didn't appreciate it when Walker formed the Frogs. His original start up group, The Colored Vaudeville Benevolent Association, received negative attitude from white producers. The concept of the colored man supporting himself through performance and no longer just “taking what they were given” posed a threat to the white vaudevillian and theatrical community. With this, Walker set forth to create The Frogs. On July 18, 1908, at Walker’s home at 52 West 153rd St in Harlem, eleven of the most prominent names in the industry formed together to create the African American theatrical organization. The Frogs became known for their big event “The Frolic of the Frogs” or “The Frogs Frolic” every August at the Manhattan Casino (New York City) at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue. For 50 cents, people enjoyed a combination ball, party and vaudeville show where favors were given to the ladies, and door prizes went to the three people wearing the unique costumes symbolic of the frogs. With a large success in the early years of the event, “The Frolic of the Frogs” was able to tour their event in cities such as Philadelphia, Richmond, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Popularity in the frolic was found among both blacks and whites. We love happy stories like "The Frogs" had given the people of New York. Come on let's face it, 99% of the time because of racial oppression; it's was negative for the Negro. George Walker died this year, but his longtime friend Bert Williams would take over the company continuing it's amazing success.


  • The Howard Theatre is a historic theater, located at 620 T Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C. Opened in 1910, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In its heyday, the theater was known for catering to an African-American clientele, and had played host to many of the great black musical artists of the early and mid-twentieth century. The Howard Theatre was billed as the "Theater of the People", and supported two theatrical organizations, the Lafayette Players and the Howard University Players.



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juke joints, party for black people
chitlin circuit

     It's a Party in 1911
    Chitlin' Circuit:
  • Back in the early 1900s because of prejudice and racial discrimination, black entertainers had to be very careful where they traveled. They weren't always welcome in various venues, so they created what's called a Chitlin Circuit. They named it Chitlin Circuit because of blacks typical love for soul food with chitlins being near the top as favorite. So, in other words, they understood they would be love on the circuit. They knew that the clubs, juke joints, theaters, etc. in the circuit were welcoming of the black race and safe to visit. This way of life existing from the early 1900s - 1960s. Noted theaters and entertainers on the circuit included:

    The Fox Theatre in Detroit; the Victory Grill in Austin, Texas; the Carver Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama; the Cotton Club, Small's Paradise and the Apollo Theater in New York City; Robert's Show Lounge, Club DeLisa and the Regal Theatre in Chicago; the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.;the Royal Peacock in Atlanta; the Royal Theatre in Baltimore; the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia; the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; the Ritz Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida; and The Madam C. J. Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis.

    Early figures of blues, including Robert Johnson, Son House, Charley Patton, and countless others, traveled the juke joint circuit, scraping out a living on tips and free meals. These entertainers provided much-needed joy and happiness for black folks. Once the band's gig was over, they would leave for the next stop on the circuit. Sounds like a lot of fun and an exciting life!

    Many notable performers worked on the chitlin' circuit, including Patti LaBelle, Count Basie, Hammond B-3, Jeff Palmer, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Sheila Guyse, Peg Leg Bates, The Supremes, George Benson, James Brown & The Famous Flames, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson 5, Redd Foxx, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Lena Horne, Etta James, B.B. King, The Miracles, Donna Hightower, Moms Mabley, The Delfonics, Wilson Pickett, Richard Pryor, Otis Redding, Duke Ellington, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner, The Four Tops, Tammi Terrell, The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Muddy Waters, Flip Wilson and Jimmie Walker.




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famous black/african american singers
Slaves kidnapped from their homes years ago belonged to tribes. Each tribe was as different as night and day to the next tribe.
famous black singers


They each had their individual languages and customs. So upon arriving in America they had to create a way to communicate with their master and each other, so over time they developed a spanking new and unique language called African American Vernacular English, and it didn't stop there.

Each group had their defined drum beat from their tribe that was added to the new way of life in the New World but with a new American twist with musical instruments they didn't have in Africa.

So to put it simply, soul or black music is a mixture of many different African beats incorporated into a new American culture. Think about how exciting that is, if it's possible to create anything positive at all from slavery it has to be African American music. It's admired all over the world.

We all originate from the same place, so it doesn't matter if we're listening to early 1900s blues singer "Ma Rainey" or the great 1940s singers "Billie Holiday" and "Nat King Cole" down to the famous rappers of our time such as the two late greats, "Biggie Smalls" or "Tupac", it all sounds good to us because we can feel and hear that beat.

Many cultures have contributed to the American way of life such as German Americans who introduced the Christmas tree tradition, or Italian Americans with their delicious pizza, or Mexican Americans with the tacos and delicious burritos, or the English Americans with their mainstays such as baseball and apple pie. The list goes on and on, and to add to those contributions, and without a doubt, soul music has changed the American way of life, it is truly an original, and one of our many proud contributions to our home here in America.
famous african american singers


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Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin
photo #101-yr-1899

Sissieretta Jones
Sissieretta Jones
photo #103-yr-1883

Sissieretta Jones
Sissieretta Jones
Black Patti Troubadours

photo #106-yr-1896

James Reese Europe
James Reese Europe sheet music cover for "Good Night Angeline"
photo #102-yr-1910

Egbert  Austin Williams
Egbert "Bert" Austin Williams
photo #104-yr-1910

Storyville, New Orleans
Storyville, New Orleans



A visit to Storyville, New Orleans' most famous red light district




SISSIERETTA JONES &BLACK OPERA SINGERS,BILL DOGGETT LECTURE UC IRVINE




Turkey Trot


     Music in 1911

  Popular Soul Dances
  • The Texas Tommy

  • Turkey Trot



  Musical Happenings in 1911:
  • A private performance of Treemonisha by Scott Joplin is the first of an African American "folk opera written by a black composer".


  • Sissieretta Jones formed the Black Patti Troubadours (later renamed the Black Patti Musical Comedy Company), a musical and acrobatic act made up of 40 jugglers, comedians, dancers and a chorus of 40 trained singers. Jones sung passionately and pursued her career choice of opera and different repertory regardless to her lack of audience attendance. For more than two decades, Jones remained the star of the Famous Troubadours, while they graciously toured every season and established their popularity in the principal cities of the United States. The Black Patti Troubadours reveled in vernacular music and dance. Jones retired from performing in 1915.


  • John Leubrie Hill acted and wrote songs for the Williams and Walker musicals in the first decade of the 20th century.


  • Raymond Lawson becomes the first known African American pianist to perform concertos with a symphony orchestra, the Hartford Symphony.


  • Eubie Blake said of James Reese Europe, "He was our benefactor and inspiration. Even more, he was the Martin Luther King of music." Europe earned this praise by being an unflagging innovator not only in his compositions and orchestrations, but in his organizational ability and leadership. One of America's greatest musicians, he progressed from strength to strength but was pointlessly cut down at what seemed like the pinnacle of his career.


  • Egbert "Bert" Austin Williams was one of the pre-eminent entertainers of the Vaudeville era and one of the most popular comedians for all audiences of his time. He was by far the best-selling black recording artist before 1920. In 1918, the New York Dramatic Mirror called Williams "one of the great comedians of the world."


  • Chicago’s Pekin Theatre was the first black owned musical and vaudeville stock theatre in the United States. Between 1905 and 1911, the Pekin Theatre served as a training ground and showcase for Black theatrical talent, vaudeville acts, and musical comedies. Additionally, the theatre allowed “African-American theatre artists with an opportunity to master theater craft and contribute significantly to the development of an emerging Black theater tradition.”


  • Storyville was the red-light district of New Orleans, Louisiana from 1897 to 1917. It was established by municipal ordinance under the New Orleans City Council, to regulate prostitution and drugs. The ordinance did not legalize prostitution but rather designated a sixteen block area as the part of the city in which it was not illegal. The area was originally referred to as "The District," but its nickname, "Storyville," soon caught on. It became a centralized attraction in the heart of New Orleans. Only a few of its remnants are now visible. Establishments in Storyville ranged from cheap "cribs" to more expensive houses, up to a row of elegant mansions along Basin Street for well-heeled customers. New Orleans' cribs were 50-cent joints, whereas the more expensive establishments could cost up to $10. Black and white brothels coexisted in Storyville; but black men were barred from legally purchasing services in either black or white brothel.   Trivia:  It's interesting to note that Jim Crow even restricted the Negro male from legally purchasing the services of a prostitute. Amazing! In the early 1900s, a Blue Book could be purchased for 25 cents. Blue Books were created for tourists and those unfamiliar with this area of New Orleans and contained, in alphabetical order, the names of all the prostitutes of Storyville, and separated them based on race.
    Jazz did not originate in Storyville, but it flourished there as in the rest of the city. Many out-of-town visitors first heard this style of music there before the music spread north. Some outsiders continue to associate Storyville with the origins of jazz. It was the tradition in the better Storyville establishments to hire a piano player and sometimes small bands. Famous musicians who got their start in Storyville include Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, and Pops Foster.
    At the start of World War I, Secretary of War Newton Baker did not want troops to have distractions while deploying. The Navy had troops located in New Orleans, and the city was pressed to close Storyville. Prostitution was made illegal in 1917 and Storyville was used for the purpose of entertainment. Most of its buildings were later destroyed.



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the meaning of cool
How did "acting" Cool begin for African Americans?

It seems like it's been around forever and
expected of every black kid growing up



For most blacks, cool started on the southern plantations. Opportunists slavemasters devised a way for slaves to work harder and reap the benefits of their labor. During the year at a chosen plantation slave masters would hold a "Corn Shucking Festival." Slaves from nearby plantations would also join this event with their owner's permission, so it was almost like a community gathering of all the local slaves, with greedy slavemasters making all the money.

The slave who shucked the most corn won an award, sometimes cash or a suit of clothes. Anyone who found a red ear of corn also received a reward - perhaps a kiss from a young woman or a jug of whiskey. It was at these events that the term Shuckin' and jivin' came into existence by the slaves while working and telling tall stories, talking smack, and joking around with each other.

These gatherings, even though involving hard work had to be an event looked forward to by the slaves, because it was one of the few times during the year blacks had a chance to interact with one another. Shuckin' and jivin' would become a tool the slaves would use to convince their masters of an untruth, and even among themselves. It was an early form of being cool.
http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Corn-Shucking+Festival

After slavery blacks were free (sort of) to do as they pleased. Most blacks wanted to assimilate into American culture very much but were shut out by the white racist. African and European culture met head on in what was supposed to be fair in America guaranteed by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but blacks didn't stand a chance.


Why, what happened?

Because most whites banded together by breaking the law and made blacks second class citizens and would go on to murder, lynch, rape, humiliate them all the way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement. After Lincoln, every single United States President was aware of this and did nothing. Whites achieved like crazy and prospered while blacks lagged far behind and got along the best way they knew how.

Blacks disliked whites very much for this terrible treatment and instead of violent disobedience, they protested by living their lives opposite of white culture. I mean let's face it, why would blacks want to imitate or become a part of a race of people that hated them?

This is when being cool became a symbol of white resistance and protest. Being cool would show you were down with the struggle. During slavery, we had already created our language which was AAVE and many blacks communicated this way. Any black that did not use it was looked down as trying to act white, joining the enemy sort of speak.

We developed our own way of walking with a proud gait, (George Jefferson strut) our own style of music, our own style of dance, our own style of food, our own style of worship, that didn't have anything in common with white folks and that suited blacks just fine. We were poor, but we were proud and cool and everyone who practiced these traits was cool and a part of the resistance.

In the process, we were creating a new culture that was admired over the world. Blacks have always had a remarkable ability to create something out of nothing. But sadly there was significant risk with this lifestyle in a great country such as America.

What were the downfalls?

Oscar Micheaux felt it was wrong for blacks to live this way in America. Oscar was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 movies and he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of race films. He produced both silent movies and "talkies" after the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.

cool black americans


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.

cool black americans


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!

the meaning of cool


Resources:
By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche (Pete Souza) (The Official White House Photostream[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Senate Office of Richard Lugar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
https://pixabay.com/en/flag-united-states-american-waving-40724/



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black fashion in 1900
George Walker and Bert Williams in the early 1900s
photo#117-yr-1900

black fashion in 1900
Fashionable Bert Williams in the 1900s
photo#103-yr-1910

black womens fashion in 1910s
Women's fashion in 1910s
photo#111-yr-1910

black womens fashion in 1910s
Women's fashion in 1910s
photo#112-yr-1910

black mens fashion in 1910s
Men's fashion in 1910s
photo#113-yr-1910

     Fashions in 1911

  Popular Fashions:

    Popular entertainers of the 1990s, George Walker and Bert Williams in the fancy clothes they wore back in the early 1900s. Sharp as a tack!

    Overview:
    Fashion in the years 1910–1919 is characterized by a rich and exotic opulence in the first half of the decade in contrast with the somber practicality of garments worn during the Great War. Men's trousers were worn cuffed to ankle-length and creased. Skirts rose from floor length to well above the ankle, women began to bob their hair, and the stage was set for the radical new fashions associated with the Jazz Age of the 1920s.

    Women:
    During the early years of the 1910s the fashionable silhouette became much more lithe, fluid and soft than in the 1900s. Waistlines were loose and softly defined. They gradually dropped to near the natural waist by mid-decade, where they were to remain through the war years. Tunics became longer and underskirts fuller and shorter. By 1916 women were wearing calf-length dresses. Changes dress during World War I were dictated more by necessity than fashion. As more and more women were forced to work, they demanded clothes that were better suited to their new activities; these derived from the shirtwaists and tailored suits. Social events were postponed in favor of more pressing engagements and the need to mourn the increasing numbers of dead, visits to the wounded, and the general gravity of the time meant that darker colors and simpler cuts became the norm. Costume jewelry was introduced. Expensive necklaces were replaced with glass or crystal beads.

    Men:
    In general, styles were unchanged from the previous decade. The sack coat or lounge coat continued to replace the frock coat for most informal and semi-formal occasions. The gap between the shorter trousers and the shoes was filled with short gaiters or spats. The most formal evening dress remained a dark tail coat and trousers with a dark or light waistcoat. Evening wear was worn with a white bow tie and a shirt with a winged collar. Gentlemen of all classes, especially the middle and working class often wore the newsboy cap and flat cap.



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Happy Day Washing Machine
Advertising postcard, picture side, for the "Happy Day" washing machine,
sold by the National Sewing Machine Co.
of Belvidere, Illinois.

photo #110-yr-1910

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United States Census for Negroes
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1910s

Lewis Howard Latimer
Lewis Howard Latimer
photo #101-yr-1876



Did You Know? 03 - "Lewis Latimer"


Our Community in 1911

Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:

  • USA Living in 1911
    Annual income - $520.00
    A pound of butter would cost you 34 cents
    A half gallon of milk was a whopping 17 cents.
    A pound of round steak was 18 cents
    A pound of potatoes went for around 22 cents
    A spanking brand new car cost an amazing $750.00

  • January 7, 1911 - The beginning of terror, Lieutenant Myron Crissy, flying in San Francisco, CA became the first man to drop live explosives from an airplane.

  • In 1911 Lewis Howard Latimer became a patent consultant to various law firms.

  • The United States Population is 93,402,151 with a total of 9,827,763 being African Americans. It looks like the Negroes are having second thoughts about bringing children into this racist and lawless society because their population increased by only 1 million from the last 10 years, where as the whites almost 17 million.



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RESOURCES:


Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License

#101 -   Public Domain image - Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

#102 -   Public Domain image - By Trailer screenshot (Affectionately Yours trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

#103 -   By Carl Van Vechten [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

#104 -   This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923. See this page for further explanation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Bland%27s_3_Great_Songs.jpg

#105 -   By G.H. Farnum [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

#106 -   By Wilberforce University [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

#107 -  This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. This applies worldwide.In case this is not legally possible: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc grants any entity the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

#108 -  This image is in the public domain in the United States. In most cases, this means that it was first published prior to January 1, 1923 (see the template documentation for more cases). Other jurisdictions may have other rules, and this image might not be in the public domain outside the United States. See Wikipedia:Public domain and Wikipedia:Copyrights for more details. PD-US Public domain in the United States http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alphachapter1912.jpg

#109 -  By Photographer not credited [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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