Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1917:
Scott Joplin was an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the "King of Ragtime Writers". During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the "Maple Leaf Rag", became ragtime's first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.
What is Ragtime?
Ragtime music can best be described as a style that's rugged but smooth. Ragtime music was from the African American community long before it became accessible to the public. It was played in back rooms and cafes where blacks would gather to a party or have a good time, mostly in St. Louis and New Orleans. It would enjoy its peak in popularity between 1895 and 1918 when another African American style would take it's place that was called jazz.
Ragtime is considered to be the first musical American genre introduced to the world, and Scott Joplin played a huge role. Joplin was born into a musical family of laborers in Texarkana, Texas, and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers. He formed a vocal quartet and taught mandolin and guitar. Joplin knew his calling was music and would travel around the American South as an itinerant musician. He went to Chicago for the World's Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897.
Joplin began publishing music in 1895, and publication of his "Maple Leaf Rag" in 1899 brought him fame. This piece had a profound influence on subsequent writers of ragtime. It also brought the composer a steady income for life, though Joplin did not reach this level of success again and frequently had financial problems.
Joplin moved to St. Louis in 1901, where he continued to compose and publish music, and regularly performed in the St. Louis community. The score to his first opera A Guest of Honor was confiscated in 1903 with his belongings because of a non-payment of bills and is now considered lost. He continued to compose and publish music, and in 1907 moved to New York City to find a producer for a new opera.
In recognition of this great musical genius in creating a song that has endured time, we would like to honor Scott Joplin with the 1917 Hamite Award. Many people in the world have heard this song played over and over their entire lives and probably never realized it was created by a black man.
In 1916 Joplin descended into dementia as a result of syphilis. He was admitted to a mental institution in January 1917, and died there three months later at the age of 49. Joplin's death is widely considered to mark the end of ragtime as a mainstream music format, and in the next several years it evolved with other styles into stride, jazz, and eventually big band swing.
to listen to "Maple Leaf Rag" (click here)
|How were blacks feeling in 1917?
AMERICA HAS ENTERED THE GREAT WAR
War in the trenches abroad and at home. Our fellow white American soldiers hate our guts, and they don't hide their feelings about it either. They have effectively snuffed out our Civil Rights with unconstitutional laws that are guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution. They don't sound American to me.
But look at these excellent examples of true Americans below who despite all the distractions at home, have traveled to another land to fight in the Great War for a country that won't even treat them with dignity. There were over 370,000 African Americans who would serve in World War I. Within one week of Wilson’s declaration of war in 1917, the War Department had to stop accepting black volunteers because the quotas were filled with Colored soldiers. Blacks were keen to serve their country.
But why do we do it?
We do it because we believe in the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution. The Negro is cognizant that true America and white America are two very different and separate things. We are fighting for true America, not racist unpricinlpled white Americans. True America has no colors.
We love you boys and so proud of you. Please make it back home safely.
"Some of the colored men of the 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action." Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Strorms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor.
trivia: Just as in The Revolutionary War and Civil War, African Americans were eager to show their loyalty and worth to America. It's well recorded that blacks fought with extreme courage and valor. The Germans nicknamed them "Hell Fighters" due to their toughness and that they never lost a man through capture, lost a trench or a foot of ground to the enemy. America and the British wouldn't allow blacks to join the war effort but did condone them fighting under the white officers of France and Canada. Blacks didn't encounter the racism they experienced in America fighting with the French. For the most part, the French welcomed blacks with open arms and treated them equally which embarrassed America with its lie of upholders of democracy for all. Also, the racist American miltary in it's a shame went so far as to create the notorious pamphlet "Secret Information Concerning Black American Troops," which "warned" French civilian authorities of the alleged inferior nature and supposed rapist tendencies of African Americans and warn the French not to put on such a public display of equality for the world to see and informed that blacks should always be made to feel inferior in all their dealings. This was a fascinating period in world history because blacks were given a free pass to kill white people, which was a blow to the long-held theory of white superiority.
For the year 1917:
- NYPD officer Robert H. Holmes was the first African-American officer killed in the line of duty.
- Lucy Diggs Slowe, of the American Tennis Association was the first African-American woman to win a major sports title.
| Sports in 1917 |
- 1917 - Lucy Stone wins the American Tennis Association women's championship.
- 1917 - Tally Holmes was the winner of the men’s singles division of the first National Tennis Championship in 1917. This tournament is now a yearly production put on by the American Tennis Association. Tally not only competed in the championship and won, but he was also one of the founders of the ATA.
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 / Judicial Scene in 1917 |
- 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 Negroes 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 eight years of despair and hopelessness for the lowly Negro citizen.
- November 5, 1917 - The Supreme Court held that (Buchanan v. Warley) a Louisville, Kentucky, city ordinance prohibiting the sale of real property to blacks violated the Fourteenth Amendment, which protected freedom of contract, reversing the ruling of the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
Largest Murder Trial in the History of the United States. Scene during Court Martial of 64 members
of the 24th Infantry United States of America on trial for mutiny and murder of 17 people at
Houston, Texas August 23, 1917. Trial held in Gift Chapel Fort Sam Houston. Trial started
November 1, 1917, Brigadier General George K. Hunter presiding. Colonel J.A. Hull, Judge Advocate,
Council for Defense, Major Harvy S. Grier. Major D.V. Sutphin, Assistant Advocate. Prisoners guarded
by 19th Infantry Company C, Captain Carl J. Adler.
Political cartoon about the East St. Louis massacres of 1917. The caption reads, "Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy?", referring to Wilson's phrase "the world must be made safe for democracy" (portrayed on the document he holds)
| Race in 1917 |
- July 2, 1917 - was an outbreak of labor- and race-related violence in East St. Louis, Illinois that caused between 40 and 200 deaths and extensive property damage. Analysis: Once again true American justice did not prevail. Countless examples of white against black crime with 100% total impunity. The United States government and its head which is bound by oath to protect and enforce the Constitution has a blind eye. The world is watching these so-called self-proclaimed righteous Americans and laughed at her. She is fighting for democracy and truth abroad under the banner of what's good, but her disgusting acts at home shame her into the gutter, and proves her out to be the liar that she is. Throughout history, the Negro has gotten the short end of the stick and refuses to retaliate in a huge way that would wake people up, and it's not because they don't know how, but they simply don't want to. They would rather just get along. But it's always the aggressive whites who instigates the hate and brutal murders. America had two major riots this year; please compare the outcomes of each. You can google the East St. Louis riots for more details, but it was a horrible tragedy and a typical one I might add that had up to 150 black families murdered and not one white went on trial. This empowered the whites to do it again when they felt like in American history. What were blacks thinking and feeling at this point in history? They had to feel like their government was letting them down, in fact ever since emancipation there hasn't been any love or aid whatsoever shown for the Negro. So we imagine they were sadly used to this treatment. Maybe they understood that America was their home, just as much as anyone. They probably remember how not too long ago another class of people, the Irish used to receive similar treatment from other races who felt that they were not much better than the Negro, and endured much discrimination upon arriving to America, but their torture stopped only because they were of the same skin color as others and blended into where you can't tell them apart. Blacks can't do that. They can see us when we're coming. It's important to remember that racist white America is something completely different than a true America. Only a few men in history understood this fact that a true America has no color. So blacks don't hate America, they hated the ones who spoke and acted falsely in her name.
- August 23, 1917 - The Houston Riot began the evening of August 23 when soldiers became angry because of police brutality of a black woman marched into the city of Houston. They were met outside the town by the police and a crowd of armed citizens, frightened by the reports of a mutiny. A race riot began, which left 20 people dead - four soldiers, four policemen, and 12 civilians. A later court martial would result in the hanging of many of the soldiers and much more received life sentences. and swiftly I might add, as opposed to justice executed when blacks were killed. Up to this point in history since the Emancipation, you would be hard pressed to find one single white person put on trial and executed for the lynching, murder, etc. of a black human being, and we're talking about thousands of deaths. It just didn't happen. White America is not upholding the principles of true America. They shame American ideals. Amazing!
- 1917 - There were thirty six known cases of African Americans being lynched in 1917.
Movies in America
Actress Evelyn Preer
| Movies in 1917 |
- 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"
The beautiful Lena Horne was born in 1917
Isabel Sanford with
The Jeffersons co-stars, Sherman Hemsley and Mike Evans
Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timme Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y.
Fannie Lou Hamer
| Famous Birthdays in 1917 |
- April 25, 1917 - Ella Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
- June 30, 1917 - Lena Horne, singer, actress, civil rights activist and dancer.
- July 3, 1917 - Syvilla Fort was an American dancer, choreographer, and dance educator.Born in Seattle, she was African American and drew on her heritage in her original dance works.
- August 13, 1917 - Claudia McNeil was an American actress known for premiering the role of matriarch Lena Younger in both the stage and screen productions of A Raisin in the Sun.
- August 22, 1917 - John Lee Hooker, an African American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist.
- August 29, 1917 - Isabel Sanford was an American stage, film and television actress best known for her role as Louise "Weezy" Mills-Jefferson on the CBS sitcoms All in the Family (1971–1975) and The Jeffersons (1975–1985).
- September 7, 1917 - Jacob Lawrence was an African-American painter known for his portrayal of African-American life. Lawrence referred to his style as "dynamic cubism," though by his own account the primary influence was not so much French art as the shapes and colors of Harlem.
- October 6, 1917 - Fannie Lou Hamer, an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader.
- October 10, 1917 - Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire.
- October 21, 1917 - Dizzy Gillespie, an African American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer.
- December 14, 1917 - Martha Davis, an African-American singer and pianist.
- December 18, 1917 - Ossie Davis, an African American film, television and Broadway actor, director, poet, playwright, author, and social activist.
- December 18, 1917 - Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson was an American jump blues, jazz, bebop and R&B alto saxophonist and blues shouter. He was nicknamed Cleanhead after an incident in which his hair was accidentally destroyed by lye contained in a hair straightening product.
- December 29, 1917 - Tom Bradley, was the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles, serving from 1973 to 1993. He was the only African-American mayor of that city.
Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton
| Famous Deaths in 1917 |
- March 17, 1917 - Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton was an American jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing described by author Edward Hotaling, as "one of the great riders of the New York circuit all through the 1890s" and who holds the record as the youngest jockey to ever win the Kentucky Derby.
- April 1, 1917 - Scott Joplin, an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the King of Ragtime Writers.
- June 7, 1917 - Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was an American poet and teacher. She was the first black person (the term she preferred to African-American) to win a Pulitzer prize when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 for her second collection, Annie Allen.
- 1917 - Matthew Oliver Ricketts was an American politician and physician. He was the first African-American state senator in the Nebraska Legislature, where he served for two terms.
- 1917 - James David Corrothers was an African-American writer and minister.
James P. Johnson
| Famous Weddings in 1917 |
- 1917 - James Farmer Sr. and Pearl Marion Houston were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1917 - Musician James P. Johnson and singer Lillie Mae Wright 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 1917 |
- 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 Negro 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 it were 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 professional 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 individuals 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 it's incredible 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.
“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
How did it begin?
Actually, it's a worldwide negative perception of whites, but why? Well, a quick and simple trip back in history will get the probable answer.
The best way to describe European history would be wars, wars, and more wars.
The Europeans wanted better and pursued a life of civilization as opposed to barbarism. They discovered a tool that would help them with that. It was called Science, which was a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In other words, every single thing would be studied and scrutinized.
Foolishly, church leaders of that day welcomed science, but it would eventually become a direct enemy of humanity's maker.
Because science would teach the ordinary person to believe in themselves and the intellectual powers, they possess as opposed to an All Mighty Creator. Because the Creator of the universe is mathematically correct, once these early scientists were able to figure equations for themselves in regards to nature, they felt there were like a god. Science would also teach the world to exist because of a Big Bang theory and evolution, instead of being created.
Did these early Europeans belief in science affect the Negro?
Absolutely! It affected all tribal nature human beings. Whites collectively proclaimed themselves superior and this is where the trouble started for the rest of humankind. The Europeans were much smarter and more advanced than tribal communities. Millions of Negroes and other races lost their lives and suffered much because of science.
Before slavery, the Negro had been isolated from the rest of the world for many years due to the humongous Sahara Desert to the North and the Arab slave traders to the East made it tough if not impossible to travel. They weren't able to share in the new learning discoveries the world were experiencing. These people were a group lost in time, away from the modern world.
Once the Portuguese got the slave trade started with the entire world, the scientist had an opportunity to scrutinize and evaluate the lowly Negro, and I have to warn you right now it wasn't pretty.
An illustration from the influential American magazine Harper's Weekly shows an alleged similarity between "Irish Iberian" and "Negro" features in contrast to the higher "Anglo-Teutonic." The accompanying caption reads "The Iberians are believed to have been originally an African race, which thousands of years ago spread themselves through Spain over Western Europe. Their remains are found in the barrows, or burying places, in various parts of these countries. The skulls are of a small prognathous type. They came to Ireland and mixed with the natives of the South and West, who themselves are supposed to have been of small type and descendants of savages of the Stone Age, who, in consequence of isolation from the rest of the world, had never been out-competed in the healthy struggle of life, and thus made way, according to the laws of nature, for superior races." (this is an Harper's Weekly assessment of race, not ours) photo#101-yr-2015
The following excerpts are scientist views of the Negro back then:
Charles White (1728–1813), an English physician and surgeon, believed that races occupied different stations in the "Great Chain of Being," and he tried to scientifically prove that human races have distinct origins from each other. He believed that Whites and Negroes were two different species. White was a believer in polygeny, the idea that different races had been created separately.
Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) was a German philosopher who said "The yellow Indians do have a little talent. The Negroes are far below them, and at the lowest point are a part of the American people".
Franz Ignaz Pruner (1808–1882) was a medical doctor who studied the racial structure of Negroes in Egypt. In a book which he wrote in 1846, he claimed that Negro blood had a negative influence on the Egyptian moral character. He argued that the main feature of the Negro's skeleton is prognathism, which he claimed was the Negro's relation to the ape. He also argued that Negroes had very similar brains to apes and that Negros have a shortened big toe, which is a characteristic connecting Negroes closely to apes.
Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), the Swedish physician, botanist, and zoologist says The Afer or Africanus: black, phlegmatic, relaxed; black, frizzled hair; silky skin, flat nose, tumid lips; females without shame; mammary glands give milk abundantly; crafty, sly, careless; anoints himself with grease; and regulated by will.
Scottish lawyer Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782) was a polygenist: he believed God had created different races on Earth in separate regions. In his 1734 book Sketches on the History of Man, Home claimed that the environment, climate, or state of society could not account for racial differences, so the races must have come from distinct, separate stocks.
Charles Darwin (1809 – 19 April 1882) apparently believed that the struggle for existence among humans would result in racial extermination. In Descent of Man he asserted, "At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.
When comparing Caucasians to Negroes, Voltaire (1694 – 1778) compared them to different breeds of dog:
The Negro race is a species of men different from ours as the breed of spaniels is from that of greyhounds. The mucous membrane, or network, which Nature has spread between the muscles and the skin, is white in us and black or copper-colored in them.
Benjamin Rush (1745–1813), a Founding Father of the United States and a physician, proposed that being black was a hereditary skin disease, which he called "negroidism," and that it could be cured. Rush believed non-whites were white underneath, but they were stricken with a non-contagious form of leprosy which darkened their skin color. Rush drew the conclusion that "Whites should not tyrannize over [blacks], for their disease should entitle them to a double portion of humanity. However, by the same token, whites should not intermarry with them, for this would tend to infect posterity with the 'disorder'... attempts must be made to cure the disease.
The German anatomist Johann Blumenbach (1752–1840) was a believer in monogenism, the concept that all races have a single origin. He also believed in the "degeneration theory" of racial backgrounds. He said that Adam and Eve were Caucasian and that other races came about by degeneration from environmental factors, such as the sun and poor dieting and believed that the degeneration could be reversed if proper environmental control was taken and that all contemporary forms of man could revert to the original Caucasian race. According to Blumenbach, there are five races, all belonging to a single species: Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malay. Blumenbach said: I have allotted the first place to the Caucasian because this stock displays the most beautiful race of men.
O.K. O.K., enough already! I told you it wasn't going to be pretty.
The beliefs these so-called scholars had is the single most reason why millions of Negroes were tortured, murdered and raped throughout history. Scientist published their findings as fact and people all over the world believed them.
But we wonder what the scientist would say if alive today with access to a computer, and visit Google to type in the key phrase "African immigrants in college" they would discover that these same Africans out-perform academically
every single race in America's colleges.
That's interesting, but what does it prove?
It proves that intelligence is not dependent on skin color or race, but instead access to education and a fertile mind to receive instruction. In America, slavery happened years ago but damaged and demoralized the fertile minds of many black Americans, and continues down to this day. There are some blacks who think of education and learning as a white thing and don't want anything to do with it, now if that's not an effect of slavery I don't know what is.
Doesn't It boggles the mind that these so-called superior, intelligent and civilized humans didn't for one time think to share their knowledge of enlightenment with the world so all could live a better life, be happy and progress? No, sadly these people chose to claim white superiority, to dominate and to kill weaker ones similar to the barbarian way of life they came. An example of this is with Colonialism.
What is Colonialism?
Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of colony in one territory by a political power from another territory. It is a set of unequal relationships between the colonial power and the colony and often between the colonists and the indigenous population.
In other words a much powerful nation sets up shop in a weaker nation by force and robs the resources and forces the natives to work as slaves for little or no pay while grossly benefiting from unequal trade activities while depositing profits to it's mother country.
Colonial rule in the Belgian Congo began in the late 19th century under King Leopold II
of Belgium. Leopold exploited the Congo for its natural resources, first ivory and later rubber which was becoming a valuable commodity. The regime in the Congo was responsible for using forced labor, murder and mutilation to force native Congolese
who did not fulfill quotas for rubber collections. It's estimated millions of Congolese
died during this time.
Colonialism demoralized the native population making Europe stronger and Africa weaker. Even though many white nations participated, non-Europeans nations included, the United Kingdom was the king in this horrible act against humanity.
Because of whites belief in science aided with their secondary faith in religion, they felt they were obligated to save and civilize the world. Google "White man's Burden" for proof of this belief, and by the way our United States President Teddy Roosevelt loved the White Man's Burden theory.
Whites tend to have a poor memory in regards to their crimes against humanity, but the other nations who suffered through it haven't forgotten, because just like the effects of slavery still lingers for blacks in America, people who suffered through colonialism still feel the pain and can see with their literal eye the destruction it left behind.
There isn't any denying that science has also helped make our lives better, but the responsibility that goes along with it is simply too much for humans to handle. Whites did not temper science with love and common sense. Just look around the world today, and you would probably agree we are on the brink of destruction with pollution, nuclear weapons, degradation of the earth, etc. are all products of science. The bad far outweigh the good.
Early science also taught Europeans it was man's nature to compete. In fact, they felt it was healthy and natural to compete to create superior human beings, especially white ones. This erroneous belief about competition would go on to be the largest difference in European and African cultures.
Whites brought these competitive qualities and attitudes with them from Europe. Africans were totally opposite because in their homeland everything was shared and done for the tribal community. There wasn't an I in Africa, it was US.
Blacks played an enormous role in the building of this country, even with hands tied behind their backs but were not welcome to participate. Whites felt that it just didn't look and feel right for blacks to be associated with superior whites in the building of America.
So white Americans kidnapped the U.S. Constitution and created laws (Jim Crow) to keep things entirely separate and achieved like crazy in all aspects of life, and boasting white superiority.
It has not been proven that competitiveness is better than teamwork. View this small list of words associated with competitiveness out of the dictionary and you'll have to agree this is the state of America today.
aggressive, brutal, cutthroat, every person for themselves, fierce, merciless, ruthless, unmerciful, vicious, voracious, without mercy,
adverse, alien, argumentative, belligerent, bitter, cold, contentious, contrary, disapproving, dour, hateful, ill-disposed, inhospitable,
inimical, malevolent, malicious, malignant, militant, nasty, ornery, pugnacious, rancorous, scrappy, sour, spiteful, unfriendly, unkind,
unpropitious, unsociable, unsympathetic, unwelcoming, viperous, warlike.
More and more blacks have developed this competitive and lofty spirit and probably will soon look down on others as well, even within our race. Ole Blue Eyes, who was a great singer and real American who viewed each human being as equal had an incredible grip on the situation about the division between blacks and whites. Check out what he said below.
One of the greatest entertainers of all times, Frank Sinatra once made a quote about the damaging effects of ones who subscribe to white superiority whether covertly or overtly.
"We've got a hell of a long way to go in this racial situation. As long as most white men think of a Negro first and a man second, we're in trouble. I don't know why we can't grow up."
| It's a Party in 1917 |
- 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.
Alton A. Adams
Storyville, New Orleans
W. C. Handy
"Storyville" Garrett Morris
| Music in 1917 |
Top Soul Hits:
- Clarence Willaims & Armand J. Piron "I can beat you doing what you're doing me"
Popular Soul Dances:
- The Bunny Hug
- The Texas Tommy Swing
Musical Happenings in 1917:
- Blacks are on the move out of the South during the late 1910s. Trivia: More than 60,000 African Americans from Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas move to Chicago, especially in the city's South Side. The black population boom "ushered in the city's jazz age, widening the market for black musical entertainment", including cabarets, dance halls, and vaudeville and movie theaters.
- Alton A. Adams, was the first black bandmaster to serve in the U.S. Navy. He composed a great deal of band music-- "The Governor's Own" and "The Virgin Islands March" are two of his most famous compositions. The latter was quickly adopted as an unofficial anthem for the Virgin Islands but became the official anthem in 1963. Adams also was a prolific music journalist. He died in 1987.
- W. C. Handy's band makes some of the earliest major recordings by African American artists at a session for the Columbia Phonograph Company.
- Classical composer, arranger, and professional singer Harry Burleigh published several versions of the Negro spiritual "Deep River" in 1916 and 1917, and he quickly became known for his arrangements of spirituals for voice and piano; one of his arrangements in Common Metre is the hymn tune "McKee", used with John Oxenham's hymn In Christ There Is No East or West. His arrangements helped to make spirituals a favorite genre for concert singers.
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 most 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 brothels.
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 1917 |
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.
Pullman porters, who were primarily black, are widely credited with contributing to the development of the black middle class in America. Before the Civil War, sleeping cars were not in use. George Pullman came up with the brilliant idea of making rail travel a memorable event with servers to cater to whites every need.
During slavery, most whites didn't own slaves, and this gave them an opportunity to experience that. Pullman became the number #1 employer of blacks in the country. He was a tight businessman though because the pay was lousy with the porters working over 400 hours a month. Porters also had to purchase their clothing and accessories. They received most of their income by tips.
But the job was steady work and that meant alot for black families. Famous porters of old included, Thurgood Marshall, Oscar Micheaux, Malcolm X and the photojournalist Gordon Parks.
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.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1910s
James Weldon Johnson
photographed by Carl Van Vechten
Cover of the July 1918 issue of The Messenger
| Our Community in 1917 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- Aug. 9, 1917 - The Washington State Federation of Colored Women was founded in Spokane Washington.
- 1917 - Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen starts the The Messenger, which was an independent magazine. Trivia: The Messenger tackled issues which other journals and magazines avoided. The Messenger was notable for its critical perspective during the Harlem Renaissance. It was described as "The most feared black publication" during its reigning era from 1917 till 1928. Randolph and his wife Lucille ran for secretary of state and the state legislature on the Socialist ticket in 1917. The January issue of 1918 supported Bolshevism in Russia after its revolution.
- James Weldon Johnson starts working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- 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.
#100 - Public Domain image - Portrait of Bandmaster Alton Augustus Adams, first African American bandmaster in the U.S. Navy, scanned by Mark Clague (Professor University of Michigan) from his private collection. Photo is dated 1922 and thus in the public domain. Scan has been corrected and edited in photoshop to remove stains and spots.
#102 - Public Domain image - By Friedman-Abeles, New York, photographer. (eBay item photo frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Victor Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - By Photographer-Friedman-Abeles, New York (eBay item frontback) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - By CBS Television Network (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - 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
#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 //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lonnie_Clayton_(c.1893).jpg
#109 - Public Domain image -
By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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