Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1914:
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL).
Garvey felt the pangs of racism at an early age when white children he had played with all of his life started to distant themselves when he was in teenage years. His father encouraged him to read, which he loved doing. When of age Garvey headed to London England where he attended Birkbeck College, taking classes in law and philosophy.
Garvey also looked up to Booker T. Washington and what he was doing in America. In 1914, Garvey returned to Jamaica, where he organized the UNIA which stands for the Universal Negro Improvement Association.
The UNIA held many conventions which attracted blacks because of the self-help message it delivered. Garvey came up with a remarkable idea to purchase a fleet of ships and start making money within the black community. He had many black dockworkers under his employ. The ships were under the Black Star Line banner. The UNIA had 65,000 to 75,000 members paying dues to his support and funding.
During the first year, the Black Star Line's stock sales brought in $600,000. This caused it to be successful during that year. It had numerous problems during the next biennium: mechanical breakdowns on its ships, what it said were unskilled workers, and poor record keeping. The officers were eventually accused of mail fraud.
This man thought big and felt that black people should have a permanent homeland in Africa, Garvey sought to develop Liberia. It had been founded by the American Colonization Society in the 19th century as a colony for free blacks from the United States.
Well in time because of numerous failures with the ships, Garvey had to stop his dream and making matters worse had the FBI on his back for mail fraud. He always claimed his innocence until his dying day, and looked back in history we do too. Garvey and W.E.B. Du Bois who was another famous black leader didn't like each other.
While W. E. B. Du Bois felt that the Black Star Line was "original and promising," he added that "Marcus Garvey is, without a doubt, the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America and the world. He is either a lunatic or a traitor." Du Bois feared that Garvey's activities would undermine his efforts toward black rights.
Garvey suspected that Du Bois was prejudiced against him because he was a Caribbean native with darker skin. Du Bois once described Garvey as "a little, fat black man; ugly, but with intelligent eyes and a big head". Garvey called Du Bois "purely and simply a white man's nigger" and "a little Dutch, a little French, a little Negro ... a mulatto ... a monstrosity". This led to an acrimonious relationship between Garvey and the NAACP. Garvey accused Du Bois of paying conspirators to sabotage the Black Star Line to destroy his reputation.
Come on men, can't we all just get along? Look what's at stake! This had to be what the black person was saying to themselves. We notice that many influential leaders didn't particularly get along with their contemporaries, and these two were no different. But never the less, two great men who wanted the best for our race of people, just a different way of going about it.
We would like to take this opportunity in awarding Marcus Garvey the 1914 Hamite Award for his courageous vision of putting blacks in the driver seat. Just think about what he was trying to accomplish against staggering odds.
To start our shipping line. Wow, that would have been fantastic if he would have continued. Maybe he should have started with just one ship, and add others later after he learned the tricks of the trades in shipping, but hindsight was not a luxury at that time and without a doubt we give him big props for trying and really wish more in our race would think as BIG as Marcus Garvey. We can do it!
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. |
|How were blacks feeling in 1914?
For the year 1914:
- Eugene Jacques Bullard was the first African-American military pilot.
History of Education (1900-1950)
Black and Mexican kids were excluded
| Education in 1914 |
- January 9, 1914 - Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity is founded at Howard University.
HOW LONG WILL GOOD WHITE-AMERICANS |
SIT ON THE FENCE?
Since the beginning of American history, there's always been a fight between good and bad. The problem is that both good and bad forces claim to adore democracy. Someone is lying. 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 biased comments Abraham Lincoln made against black people he wasn't the type that would have blacks over for dinner, in fact, most whites shared his views many years ago. But that's okay, at least he was honest. This site believes he would have changed his racist 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 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 citizenship 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 it promises, and most blacks were forced back into slavery. Of course, George Washington had to know about this but did nothing. 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 real Democracy.
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. But all of America's founders didn't feel this way. A contemporary of Washington and future President John Adams hated slavery and was proud to boast he handled his business with paid workers. Did George Washington look at himself in the mirror and feel guilty about compromising (true) American Democracy? History says he didn't.
Washington created the blueprint for this distorted view of true Democracy
Blacks in the colonies had been treated poorly since their arrival from Africa, but this action by Washington made it official. 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.
We must all be honest with ourselves in admitting this view of Democracy was not American because it denied certain humans liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore we must call for what it was, which is Anti-American.
So we had two different Presidents with various versions of Democracy, and this is the way it remains today. What made Lincoln a force for good and better President was he put Democracy first and his personal prejudices second, but Washington put his financial interest ahead of true Democracy. This is what set these two men apart. Both were great men with different views about what it meant to be an American on the side of liberty and justice for all.
After Lincoln's death, democracy would take a downward spiral. One of the most biased President in American history led the attack. His name was Andrew Johnson, and he fought against the Civil Rights of blacks tooth and nail. Every favorable bill for former slaves that appeared on his desk was immediately denied. Later, there were new 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 on the fence. Read for yourself.
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?
Did religion made things worse?
Even though the U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation and existed solely as a secular state completely 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 beleived 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 a people who had snuffed out Democracy, 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 with God on their side. Good white Americans had to know this was a farce because of the way it's black citizens were being treated and did nothing.
There were a relative few brave, good white Americans who spoke up during this period and got involved 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 threat 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 now?
Because of the folly of racism and privilege by Anti-Americans and the lack of action to speak out for true Democracy by good Americans, has our country morphed into another form of power? Something that is completely different than it started out as, perhaps like an insatiable, detestable and ugly monster, without a soul or conscience? You be the judge.
| Political Scene in 1914 |
- Democrat Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 and leader of the Progressive Movement. Analysis: This President, Woodrow Wilson was the only Democrat besides Grover Cleveland to be elected president since 1856. As a young person, his father defended slavery, owned slaves and set up a Sunday school for them. Both parents identified with the Confederacy and cared for wounded soldiers at their church. His upbringing would influence his decisions as President. He made promises he didn't keep. Believe it or not, many blacks supported him, but once in office, he forgot about promises he made. Wilson believed that slavery was wrong on economic labor grounds, rather than for moral reasons. He also idealized the slavery system in the South, viewing masters as patient with "indolent" slaves. Although he drafted hundreds of thousands of black people for the war, he believed in keeping the military segregated against the protest of black service members. Wilson scolded them "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen." He also instructed the segregation of the workplace in federal offices. In 1918, W. E. B. Du Bois—a leader of the NAACP who had campaigned for Wilson—was offered an Army commission in charge of dealing with race relations; DuBois accepted, but he failed his Army physical and did not serve. I can't figure out why Dubois would throw his support to this President unless he knew something we don't. Years earlier, Wilson was against blacks enrolling at Princeton University while he was president there because he didn't want to upset the white students. He also believed the KKK had proper cause and reason for the terror they inflicted upon the Negro race. It's interesting to note that another apparently racist President went down in history as one of the greatest ten who had ever served in the United States. (what does that say about America?) It means a lousy U.S. President, but an excellent white President. This man resume speaks for itself. He served two terms so this meant another 8 years of despair and hopelessness for the lowly Negro citizen.
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.
A man lynched from a tree. Face partially concealed by angle and headgear.
| Race in 1914 |
- 1914 - There were fifty-one known cases of black Americans being lynched in America.
Movies in America
Actress Evelyn Preer
| Movies in 1914 |
- 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"
- 1914 - Sam Lucas revived his role of Uncle Tom in William Robert Daly’s film adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Lucas is generally credited as the first black man to portray Uncle Tom, who was typically played by a black-faced white. The film was shot on location in the south; authentic fields of cotton and Mississippi river boats are shown in the film. It was a silent film, which was accompanied by organs or other instruments at local theatres.
Jazz musician and trumpeter Erskine Hawkins
Comedian Timmie Rogers
Jersey Joe Walcott
| Famous Birthdays in 1914 |
- January 31, 1914 - Jersey Joe Walcott was an American world heavyweight boxing champion. He broke the world's record for the oldest man to win the world's heavyweight title when he earned it at the age of 37 years old.
- February 2, 1914 - William Ellisworth Artis African-American sculptor.
- May 13, 1914 - Joe Louis was an American professional boxer and the World Heavyweight Champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.
- May 29, 1914 - Henry Ransom Cecil McBay was an African-American chemist and a teacher.
- June 3, 1914 - Roy E. Glenn, Sr. was an African-American character actor who was born in Pittsburg, Kansas.
- July 4, 1914 - Timmie Rogers was an American comedian, singer-songwriter, bandleader and actor who appeared on many national TV shows in the 1960s and 1970s.
- July 8, 1914 - Billy Eckstine singer and a bandleader of the swing era.
- July 25, 1914 - Woody Strode was a decathlete and football star who went on to become a popular and pioneering African-American film actor.
- July 26, 1914 - Erskine Ramsay Hawkins was an American trumpet player and big band leader from Birmingham, Alabama, dubbed "The 20th Century Gabriel".
- September 2, 1914 - Walter Samuel McAfee McAfee was involved with physics.
- October 19, 1914 - Juanita Moore was an American film, television, and stage actress. She was the fifth African American to be nominated for an Academy Award in any category, and the third in the Supporting Actress category at a time when only a single African American had won an Oscar.
- October 20, 1914 - Fayard Antonio Nicholas choreographer, dancer and actor.
- December 13, 1914 - George "Tiger" Haynes sometimes billed as Colonel Tiger Haynes, was an American actor and jazz musician.
Ada Overton Walker
Mary Fields, the first African-American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States.
| Famous Deaths in 1914 |
- July 23, 1914 - Charlotte Louise Bridges Forten Grimké was an African-American anti-slavery activist, poet, and educator. She grew up in a prominent abolitionist family in Philadelphia. She taught school for years, including during the war to freedmen in South Carolina.
- September 14, 1914 - Allen Allensworth born into slavery, escaped and became a Union soldier; later he became a Baptist minister and educator, and was appointed as a chaplain in the United States Army. He planted numerous churches, and in 1908 founded Allensworth, California, the only town in the state to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans.
- September 28, 1914 - Christian Abraham Fleetwood was a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army, an editor, a musician, and a government official. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the American Civil War.
- October 11, 1914 - Aida Overton Walker also billed as Ada Overton Walker and as "The Queen of the Cakewalk", was an African-American vaudeville performer and wife of vaudevillian George Walker. She appeared with her husband and his performing partner Bert Williams, and in groups such as Black Patti's Troubadours.
- October 21, 1914 - Samuel McElwee was the first African American to serve three terms in legislature and also the first one to be nominated as the Speaker of the House.
- 1914 - Mary Fields also known as Stagecoach Mary, was the first African-American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States, and just the second American woman to work for the United States Postal Service. Trivia: Fields stood 6 feet tall and weighed about 200 lbs, liked to smoke cigars, and was once said to be as "black as a burnt-over prairie (black)." She usually had a pistol strapped under her apron and a jug of whiskey by her side. Hollywood needs to make a movie about this woman!!
- 1914 - Greene Evans was a Fisk Jubilee Singer and politician.
Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone
James Sylvester Scott
| Famous Weddings in 1914 |
- April 28, 1914 - Hair Care expert Annie Malone and Aaron Eugene Malone were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1914 - African-American ragtime composer James Sylvester Scott and Nora Johnson were wed in holy matrimony.
Howard Theatre at 620 T Street NW, with inset of manager, Andrew J. Thomas (ca. 1910-1919).
Vaudeville star George Walker
Egbert "Bert" Austin Williams
Howard Theatre interior
| Entertainment in 1914 |
- 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 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 in 1911, but his longtime friend Bert Williams would take over the company continuing its amazing success well into the 1920s.
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.
| It's a Party in 1914 |
- 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 there 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.
Slaves kidnapped from their homes years ago basically belonged to tribes. Each tribe was as different as night and day to the next tribe.|
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.
Black Patti Troubadours
Robert Nathaniel Dett
W. C. Handy
Storyville, New Orleans
| Music in 1914 |
Popular Soul Dances
- The Bunny Hug
- The Texas Tommy Swing
Musical Happenings in 1914:
- 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.
- Robert Nathaniel Dett's most important work began in 1913 at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia. He trained the choir at that traditionally African-American school to a new level of musical excellence. His 40-voice Hampton Singers performed at Carnegie Hall in January 1914.
- W. C. Handy publishes "St. Louis Blues", "the most widely popular and enduring commercial success of all blues songs" It will carry "the blues all over the world".
- James P. Johnson publishes "Carolina Shout", the song that will make him famous and launch his career as one of the big composers of Eastern ragtime.
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.
George Walker and Bert Williams in the early 1900s
Fashionable Bert Williams in the 1900s
Women's fashion in 1910s
Women's fashion in 1910s
Men's fashion in 1910s
| Fashions in 1914 |
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!
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.
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.
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.
Dang it! We're so Tired of all the Hate|
We can't wait to leave this wicked South,
and make the big bucks in the North!
Will our white American brothers love us there?
What type of employment awaits the Negro in the 1900s?
FSA photo of cropper family chopping the weeds
from cotton near White Plains, in Georgia Postmarked 1912
90% of Negroes still lived in the South up until the late 1910s.
King Cotton was still a big source of income for blacks. These workers were hired as temporary help. Many were tenant farmers, renting a piece of land and some of their tools and supplies, and paying the rent at the end of the growing season with a portion of their harvest. White and black farm laborers were paid comparable wages, and rental rates. Blacks didn't exclusively work in the cotton fields, for example some blacks worked in the Turpentine industry.
"Dipping and scraping pine trees. Turpentine industry in Florida." Postmarked 1912
Whites were much more likely to own land as opposed to blacks. Black children were unlikely to be in school because they helped the parents in the fields to support the family and also because of a lack of good quality schools. Funds that were intended for black schools went to white schools instead in the form of raising teacher salaries and per-pupil funding while reducing class size. Black schools suffered at this expense. Separate but Equal was a big lie, because it was anything but equal.
The government didn't have a special watchdog organization to enforce these racist laws, and the requirement of equality was not enforced. Black children never really had a fair chance.
Boll weevil ruins Cotton Crops in the 1920s
Of course hindsight is 20-20. But wouldn't it have been nice if during slavery someone would have thought to travel to Mexico and bring back the Cotton boll weevil to transplant them into Southern cotton crops?
Cotton boll weevil |
Where were you when we really
needed you, pre-1863?
A little integration of the boll weevil and Mr. King Cotton would have been a good thing for the Negro. We wonder what kind of effect that would have had on chattel slavery?
Well what the heck is a boll weevil?
The boll weevil is a beetle which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Thought to be native to Central America, it migrated into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century and had infested all U.S. cotton-growing areas by the 1920s, devastating the industry and the people working in the American south.
Southern blacks were tied to the cotton fields in the early 1900s, but after 1914, many were fed up and wanted to try something new and different. By then they were open for a change because of restrictive Jim Crow laws and the boll weevil destroyed many crops, putting them out of work. They decided to take the plunge, a new and exciting life for them. Their move was called the Great Migration. News had spread to these poor black Southerners about better opportunities in the North, so many of them packed up their belongings and bid farewell to the South, never looking back.
During World War I, blacks were very much desired in the workplace. The United States had a quota for Colored soldiers to enlist for service. Blacks filled the quota very quickly, and many had to be turned back. With white men fighting in the war, this left openings in industry for blacks to fill. How did they do? Employers loved them and wanted more. They proved themselves to be excellent workers. This is probably one of the main reasons for so many riots when the white soldiers returned to America because blacks had taken their jobs. So by the early 1900s, we have proven ourselves to be excellent and courageous soldiers and dependable workers at home.
In other cases, some Negroes were recruited to travel North by agents of the businesses who would pay their fare. In some cases, these poor blacks were tricked into traveling a great distance for jobs only to discover they would be hired as strikebreakers, which was a very dangerous undertaking. Money was better for the Negro in the North, but in many cases, racism persisted with many riots happening. Many unions in the North had explicit rules barring membership by black workers.
Blacks had various successes at different job locations, for example when the auto industry took off, Ford Motor Co. hired many blacks to work in its automobile plant, but other auto plants often excluded them. Jobs were not a certainty for the Negro; he had to stay alerted and knock on many doors. But blacks were making a little advancement, by 1940 there were more than 200,000 African Americans in the CIO, many of them officers of union locals.
A. Philip Randolph|
When the war broke out a very special man by the name of A. Philip Randolph petitioned President Roosevelt for jobs in the Defense plants which previously had been reserved for whites. Randolph had a special card up his sleeve in the form of 100,000 peaceful marchers on Washington to protest if Roosevelt declined.
Roosevelt half-heartedly gave in and created a new program for blacks called the Fair Employment Practice Committee which was designed to monitor the hiring practices of companies. The Committee did accomplish many blacks being hired into the Defense departments at very nice wages but closed down later because of a lack of funding from the U.S. Government.
After World War II, The G.I. Bill which was a law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans. Benefits included low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend university, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of unemployment compensation was a big boon for whites and was a major factor in the creation of the white American middle class.
But sadly because of racial inequality, many of the benefits of the G.I. bill were not granted to black soldiers. This is because "at the very moment when a wide array of public policies was providing most white Americans with valuable tools to advance their social welfare—insure their old age, get good jobs, acquire economic security, build assets, and gain middle-class status—most black Americans were left behind or left out." It seems like we can get off the ground with these people, but we never give up. Also the black middle class failed to keep pace with the white middle class because blacks had fewer opportunities to earn college degrees.
In time, it became critical to have a college degree, for better pay wages which many whites were now working toward with the help of the G.I. Bill, but blacks were left behind in dying trades or just making it the best way they could because of racial discrimination and National leaders doing absolutely nothing to help.
Once they returned home after the war, blacks faced not only discrimination but also poverty, which confronted most blacks during the 1940s and 1950s and represented another barrier to harnessing the benefits of the G.I. Bill, as poverty made seeking an education problematic to while labor and income were needed at home. Banks and mortgage agencies routinely refused loans to blacks, making the G.I. Bill even less effective for blacks.
In addition to the other obstacles, gaining admission to universities was no easy task for blacks on the G.I. Bill. Most universities had segregationist principles underlying their admissions policies, utilizing either official or unofficial quotas. Those blacks that were prepared for college level work and gained access to predominantly white universities still experienced racism on campus.
During the 70s and 80s, the number of employed blacks increased. The civil rights movement played a huge role in this development. There were heavy gains in blue-collar jobs, such as steel, automobile production, electrical and non-electrical machinery, appliances, food and tobacco manufacturing, and textiles, and also white-collar occupations, where the four major subcategories-professional and technical, managerial and administrative, sales, and clerical increased very sharply.
The black labor force by the late 1990s, approximately sixty percent of these were white-collar sales and clerical personnel; many in this group were non-union workers with limited benefits and wages. However, another twenty percent of the black labor force, nearly three million workers, was classified as professional and technical employees and administrators. The percentage of the black labor force in the blue-collar field declined.
So what type of work did blacks do in the 1900s?
There were black doctors, dentist, newspaper editors, plumbers, mailman, teachers, singers, scientist, athletes, Pullman porters, laborers, politicians, judges, lawyers, mill workers, welders, domestic help, authors, factory workers, customer service, business owners, policemen, firemen, and every other profession you could think of. Sadly, their numbers and presence weren't as high as white Americans because of entrenched discrimination against the black race. It's in the history books, read it for yourself.
Blacks have historically had a harder time than other races being employed in America, ever since emancipation, and for the most part it has to do with racism. We're not fooled into believing any different. But we don't let this stop us and continue to push on. Our amazing journey has had many barriers and roadbloocks every step of the way.
The Fair Employment Practice Committee of the 40s and the Civil Rights movement helped a bit, but after slavery and the following Jim Crow years, racism had become deeply entrenched in the American workforce. It's not out in the open as it was during Jim Crow days but today more subtle and hidden, but just as hurtful, degrading and discouraging. But to our credit, blacks seem always to find a way. Truly remarkable American people, and if it were possible, would make our battered ancestors who sailed deep seas, shout for joy in their graves.
African Americans in the Twentieth Century
African Americans and the G.I. Bill
Blacks in the 1970's
Social and Economic Issues of the 1980s and 1990s
What The Negro Achieved in Industry
Front view of a Greyhound Lines Supercoach from the mid to late 1930s.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1910s
| Our Community in 1914 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- January 5, 1914 - Ford Motor Company wages jump from $2.40/9-hr day to $5.00/8-hr day.
- February 16, 1914 - The first airplane flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
- May 21, 1914 - Greyhound Bus company begins service in Minnesota. Trivia: Of course blacks were segregated with the Greyhound Bus lines also. It would be until the 50s that things started to change. A white mob in near Anniston, Alabama stopped a bus, broke the windows, slashed the tires and tried to firebomb it. The mob held the bus' doors shut, intending to burn the riders to death. An undercover state investigator brandishing a revolver caused the mob to retreat. When the riders escaped the bus, the mob beat them, while warning shots fired into the air by highway patrolmen prevented them from being lynched.
- 1914 - Inventor Garrett Morgan patents a safety hood smoke protection device.
Trivia: He was able to sell his invention around the country, sometimes using the tactic of having a hired white actor take credit rather than revealing himself as its inventor.
- 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.
Hi there, I'm Annie.
Thanks for viewing my collection of wonderful soul-food dishes that my amazing ancestors cooked, and more than likely yours did too.
We didn't have much of anything back in the day and had to live off the scraps we were given. But like a famous rapper once said in his songs, we knew how to "make a dollar out of 15 cents" Enjoy.
Sweet Potatoes / Yams
Rice and Beans
Fish and Chips
Biscuits and Gravy
(images - https://pixabay.com/)
| Southern Cooking - Soul Food |
Have you ever wondered what African-Americans ate back in the day? Well, maybe we can help you with that. We've found the oldest known black cookbook to date.
This cookbook was written by an actual former slave woman that had once lived on a plantation, but gained her freedom with the Emancipation Proclamation moving from Mobile, Alabama to San Francisco, California where she published an entirely excellent collection of 160 authentic and tasty recipes of the Old South entitled;
"What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking"
This book is indeed a rare gemstone with tons of actual recipes that black folks enjoyed back in the day, but Mrs. Fisher cooking wasn't limited to blacks only, many whites also loved her delicious recipes and persuaded her to make a cookbook.
Here is just a sample of some of the southern foods mentioned in her book, and by the way, it wasn't called soul-food until the 1960's.
- Maryland Beat Biscuit
- Cream Cake
- Flannel Cakes
- Sallie Lund
- Egg Corn Bread
- Plantation Corn Bread
- Light Bread
- Lamb or Mutton Chops
- Pork Steak or Chops
- Ginger Cookies
- Sweet Wafers
Pickels, Sauces Etc.
- Sweet Cucumber Pickles
- Sweet Cucumber Mangoes
- Chow Chow
- Creole Chow Chow
- Cherry Chutney
- Game Sauce
- Compound Tomato
- Sweet Pickle Peaches
- Sweet Pickle Prunes
- Sweet Watermelon Kind Pickle
- Sauce for Boiled Fish or Mutton
- Milanese Sauce
- Sauce for Suet Pudding
- Pastry for making Pies of all kinds
- Preparing the Fruit for Pies
- Lemon Pies
- Cream Apple
- Sweet Potato
- Gooseberry and Cherry
- Light Bread
- Blackberry Roll
- Corn Fritters
Preserves, Spices, ETC.
- Brandy Peaches
- Quince Preserves
- Syrups for Preserves
- Preserved Peaches
- Preserved Pears
- Currant Jelly
- Cranberry Jelly
- Strawberry Jam
- Raspberry and Currant Jam Combined
- Marmalade Peach
- Crab Apple Jelly
- Blackberry Brandy
- Blackberry Syrup for Dysentery in Children
- Preserved Apricots
- Apple Sauce for Roast Pork
- Charlotte Eusse
- Spiced Currants
- Preserved Cherries
- Domestic Duck
- Wild Duck
Soups, Chowders, Etc.
- Calf 's Head
- Mock Turtle
- Green Turtle
- Oyster Gumbo
- Ochra Gumbo
- Old Fashioned Turnip
- Corn and Tomato
- Fish Chowder
- Chicken Gumbo
- Fricassed Chicken
- Fried Chicken
- Chicken fried Steak
- Meat Stews or Entrees
- Ice Cream
- Boiled Turkey
- Beef a la Mode
- Spiced Round
- Hog Maws
- Stuffed Ham
- Lima Beans
- Jumberlie a Creole Dish
- Baked Fish
- Ribs, Beef or Pork
- Boiled Corn
- Peach Cobbler
- Egg Plant Stuffed
- Chitterlings or "Chitlins"
- Corned Beef Hash
- Ladies' Custard
- Tonic Bitters
- Terrapin Stew
- Leaven Biscuit
- Pap for infant Diet
- Sorghum Syrup
- Meringue for Pudding
- Circuit Hash
What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking
Paperback – March, 1995
by Abby Fisher (Author), Karen Hess (Editor)
Southern Jewel Million Dollar Pound Cake
(this recipe is not from Mrs. Fisher cookbook, but has been in Annie's family for generations, it's everyones favorite!)
Butter: 1 pound
Sugar: 3 cups
Milk: 3/4 cup
Cake Flour: 4 cups (Soft as Silk Cake Flour)
Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon
Vanilla Flavor: 1 teaspoon
Lemon Flavor: 1 teaspoon
For best results, leave butter and eggs out overnight
Cream butter well, add sugar and mix until butter and sugar look like whip cream.
Beat each egg individually and then add with sugar and butter, mix well for at least a couple minutes.
Add milk and cake flour a little at a time, then add flavorings.
Spray Pam spray on entire round cake pan, and then add cake batter.
Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325.
Let cake cool for about 30 minutes, and then remove cake from cake pan.
#102 - Public Domain image -By The Library of Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#103 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - Public Domain image - See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image - By By an unknown photographer (US National Archives website) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - Public Domain image - By Tonymartin at en.wikipedia [Public domain or Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
#107 - Public Domain image -Carl Van Vechten [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
#108 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain, Public domain, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
#109 - Public Domain image -By Harris & Ewing, Photographers (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/hec.24762/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#110 - Public Domain image
By UnknownRestored by Adam Cuerden - Library of Congress exhibit, Public Domain, Link
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