Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1936:
Rose McClendon was a leading African-American Broadway actress of the 1920s. A founder of the Negro People's Theatre, she guided the creation of the Federal Theatre Project's African American theater units nationwide and briefly co-directed the New York Negro Theater Unit.
Rose McClendon was born as Rosalie Virginia Scott in Greenville, South Carolina, and as a child relocated to New York City. She started acting in church plays in her youth. She became a professional actress in her thirties, after winning a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Art.
Her first notable role came in Deep River, a "native opera with jazz", in 1926. In addition to acting, she also directed several plays at the Harlem Experimental Theatre. She appeared in the 1927 Pulitzer Prize-winning play In Abraham's Bosom by Paul Green. In 1931, she was in another Paul Green play on Broadway, The House of Connelly, which was the first production by the Group Theatre, directed by Lee Strasberg.
McClendon was a contemporary of Paul Robeson, Ethel Barrymore, Lynn Fontanne and Langston Hughes, who created a character for her in his 1935 play, Mulatto.
Her talent extended to directing as well as acting. In 1935 she co-founded, with Dick Campbell, the Negro People's Theatre in Harlem. More than 4,000 people attended its first production, an adaptation of Clifford Odets' Waiting for Lefty, and the group was organized in permanent form in June.
The Negro People's Theatre directly inspired the Negro Theatre Unit of the Federal Theatre Project, which was created in 1935 under McClendon's supervision.
In December 1935 McClendon was forced to leave the cast of Langston Hughes's Mulatto after she became critically ill with pleurisy. McClendon was to have portrayed Lady Macbeth in Orson Welles's Federal Theatre Project production of Macbeth (1936), but due to her continuing illness Edna Thomas played the role. Her condition later developed into pneumonia, and McClendon died at her home July 12, 1936.
This woman had to be an extraordinary talent. She hung out with the big-shots of her day. Can you imagine the joy she brought to our people? She didn't fit anyones mold but her own. She was born before her time. A great inspiration for sure taken away from us so soon. In loving memory of our dear sister, we would like to present Rose with the 1936 Hamite Award for bringing so much joy, we're sure to countless peoples of her day.
After McClendon's death in 1936, Dick Campbell, her Negro People's Theater co-founder, formed the Rose McClendon Players in her honor.
Actress Rose McClendon|
Photograph of opening-night audience for the Federal Theatre Project production of Macbeth
at the Lafayette Theatre. Rose McClendon, co-director of the Negro Theatre Unit of the
Federal Theatre Project, is second from right. (April 14, 1936)
|How were blacks feeling in 1936?
Thanks to Victor Green who invented the Negro Motorist Green Book this year. We have a measure of safety on the highways now. His Green Book is a directory of establishments or businesses that cater to colored folks.
We always don't know which business will accept blacks, so his book contains a listing of places all over America who are friendly to the American black person. Thanks, Vic! Even Victor says it's a shame, and he can't wait until his book isn't needed any longer. It's sad it has to be this way in the land of democracy, but we have crazy and violent people running our country and has the U.S. Constitution held as hostage.
Fox Lake Resort |
Moving on up to the eastside!!!! That's what I'm talking about. We finally have a place to travel for fun and relaxation. We just hope our white American brothers don't burn it down or deny/jack up the electricity and water rates or claim eminent domain like they did with other resorts blacks attempted to set up.
Even though the average Negro cannot afford to visit or live in Fox Lake, it's still nice to know some of our peoples are enjoying the life and gives us the motivation to fight even harder this high wall of racism. I ain't mad at cha!
The Fox Lake resort community was developed in Angola, Indiana specifically for African Americans in the 1930s, when such communities were quite rare. In the years between World War I and World War II, and for some time after that, African American were not welcomed to traditionally white resort communities. Fox Lake provided black families with a place of their own where they could escape the heat of the cities and enjoy the pleasures of summertime activities. The historic district contains 32 relatively modest lake cottages, most of which were constructed before World War II.
Occasionally big-name musicians were booked for dances at the clubhouse, which was surrounded by tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and basketball hoops. Saddle horses were available until the early 1950s. Other activities included trap shooting matches, weekly Family Night at the restaurant, and Sunday school held on the beach under the trees.
Today, Fox Lake is still a prosperous black community. Its traditions are still maintained by many second- and third-generation owners, who occupy a large number of the cottages.
What an wonderful history!!!
American Beach, Florida
American Beach, Florida was founded in 1935 by Florida's first black millionaire, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, and his Afro-American Life Insurance Company. The plan was for his employees to have a place to vacation and own homes for their families by the shore.
(thank you so much Abraham, we needed this!) Throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, summers at American Beach were busy with families, churches, and children. It was a place where African Americans could enjoy "Recreation and Relaxation Without Humiliation." The beach included hotels, restaurants, bathhouses and nightclubs as well as homes and other businesses.
American Beach played host to numerous celebrities during this period, including: folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, singer Billie Daniels, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Billy Eckstein, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, actor Ossie Davis,and Sherman Hemsley. We know they had some fun! That's what I'm talking bout!
For the year 1936:
- William Grant Still was the first African-American to conduct a major U.S. orchestra.
| Sports in 1936 |
- 1936 - At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Jesse Owens won international fame with four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4x100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the games and as such has been credited with "single-handedly crushing Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy."
Trivia: Hitler "was highly annoyed by the series of triumphs by the marvelous colored American runner, Jesse Owens. People whose antecedents came from the jungle were primitive, Hitler said with a shrug; their physiques were stronger than those of civilized whites and hence should be excluded from future games." But these comments didn't stop Jesse Owens from taking a liking to the Fuher, and even boasted that he shook Hitler's hand.
- The New York Black Yankees was founded in Harlem as the Harlem Black Bombers in 1931 by financier James "Soldier Boy" Semler and dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. The team was active in the Negro Leagues from 1931 to 1948.
Jesse Owens on the podium after winning the long jump at the 1936 Summer Olympics
OLYMPIC PRIDE, AMERICAN PREJUDICE is a feature length documentary exploring the trials and triumphs of 18 African American Olympians in 1936. Set against the strained and turbulent atmosphere of a racially divided America, which was torn between boycotting Hitler’s Olympics or participating in the Third Reich’s grandest affair, the film follows 16 men and two women before, during and after their heroic turn at the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. They represented a country that considered them second class citizens and competed in a country that rolled out the red carpet in spite of an undercurrent of Aryan superiority and anti-Semitism. They carried the weight of a race on their shoulders and did the unexpected with grace and dignity.
The documentary tells a more detailed account of an important moment in world history -one that had not previously been told in its entirety. OLYMPIC PRIDE, AMERICAN PREJUDICE will have its world premiere at the 2016 LA Film Festival on SAT 06/04/16, screening in documentary competition.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
| Political Scene in 1936 |
- Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States.
Analysis: O.K. Mr. Roosevelt, we have studied your record on civil rights for the African-American and came to the conclusion that you put the problems of the world first before your black American citizens and perhaps if it weren't for your wife, Eleanor the civil rights movement would have taken longer to get off the ground. We know Roosevelt was loved by blacks and other races in his day, but from our vantage point in time, I searched high and low for concrete facts about laws he initiated to help black citizens. He did have some shining moments, though, but to me, it always seemed like he did it after being pushed into it by someone. Maybe I'm wrong, and if anybody knows something I don't I will be more than happy to change my assessment of this president, because believe it or not, we don't look for bad, we want to find good things they did for American citizens, and history won't lie. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the typical politician when it came to Negro civil rights, which meant they were not serious in demanding the enforcement of our rights. Roosevelt, like previous presidents, was afraid of the racist Southerners vote who in effect held America as a hostage with weak, spineless leaders. To Roosevelt's credit when he had Henry A. Wallace in 1941 as his Vice President this spoke volumes about the type of person Roosevelt was. Wallace had once studied under George Washington Carver as a young boy. Carver was a well respected black scientist by most which led Wallace to make the claim that white superiority was a hoax and all men were created equal in ability if given the opportunity. White racist was livid and demanded Roosevelt drop Wallace from the ticket to which he refused and threatened to drop out of the race all together until Eleanor addressed the convention floor to change the party's mind and her eventually her husband's also. We give big kudos to Roosevelt for this and notice a change in the air for human rights. But on the other hand, former Presiden Woodrow Wilson who went down in history as one of the most racist Presidents in America was a hero to Roosevelt who admired his vision for America and the world. Also during WWII Winston Churchhill was in dire need of assistance from the U.S. to fight Hitler's Germany and didn't have the money to complete a successful war campaign. Roosevelt offered him help under one condition that he dissolved colonial rule over the many countries around the world that Britain controlled, of course, Churchill didn't have a choice and agreed. So Roosevelt envisioned a new society where all the world could live in peace and free from the domination of other governments, but of course, the black citizens in his country would take the back burner. But at least he was trying, unlike his predecessors. Roosevelt came from a Dutch family, and the Dutch in America had a history of being fair to blacks and looked upon them as regular people like themselves, so we thought this president would actually WANT to help us. He never instigated any helpful Negro policy on his accord, for example, he signed an important piece of legislation to put America to work with the (Work Projects Administration; WPA program) in his New Deal promises. But because of racism blacks were being left out. He didn't have the motivation to act on his own to find the reason for this, it took his concerned wife Eleanor to speak up to this injustice against the American black person and eventually put many blacks to work. Eleanor had blacks coming and going out of the White House, and it probably got to the point where white people were saying to themselves "There's goes the neighborhood" She was a trendsetter for sure, loved by all races of people. Believe it or not, we think without a doubt she was the real catalyst for the Civil Rights movement, because of her concern for black citizens and the influence she had on her husband in getting favorable results. She helped opened the door for us, and we took advantage with the burgeoning rights movement. She, in my opinion, was a real first lady. Blacks loved her. Another occasion was when blacks were demanding an integrated Federal government, which he didn't want to get involved with until Civil Rights leader A. Philip Randolph threatened to march thousands of protesters on Washington D.C. This was the beginning of the integration of the Federal government providing fruits even today because of the multitude of black government workers we have. With Roosevelt's handling of the Japanese citizens by sending them to prison camps wasn't a good idea, and resentment still holds today for many. Franklin Roosevelt has been rated as one of the top three presidents ever, and after much thought, I think we agree. He wasn't a particularly bad or mean president, and he was better than the recent ones we've had. Franklin Roosevelt loved women and had affairs while serving as U.S. President. Eleanor was acutely aware of his womanizing ways and still supported him but lived separately from him. She still had influence over him, because if not the black person would have been in worse shape because she was a real American who wanted all citizens to enjoy a fair slice of America success. She was an excellent first lady who understood.
February 1936 - the first national meeting of the National Negro Congress was held in Chicago. It was a confluence of civic, civil rights, labor, and religious groups from across the nation; over 800 delegates representing 551 organizations and over 3 million constituents attended. A. Philip Randolph was elected President and John P. Davis was elected National Secretary.
1930s - Blacks were appointed to positions of responsibility within numerous governmental agencies, the 'Black Cabinet' or 'Black Brain Trust' - a vocal and eloquent group of highly trained and politically astute African American intellectuals who spearheaded the struggle for civil rights during the 1930s.
Black Legion Uniforms with Skull-and-Crossbones
| Race in 1936 |
- 1936 - The Black Legion was a secret vigilante terrorist group and a white supremacist organization in the Midwestern United States that splintered from the Ku Klux Klan and operated during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1931 a chapter was formed in Highland Park, Michigan, expanding to an estimated total membership in the state estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 by the mid-1930s during the Great Depression. Its members were generally native-born Protestant men, many who had migrated from the South. One third of the members lived in Detroit, which had also been a strong center of KKK activity in the 1920s.
|| sLANG tALK in 1936 |
- Air out - to go, leave the scene
- Bad Hair - kinky negro hair
- Bailing - enjoying oneself, having a ball
- Bam & down in Bam - the southern parts
- Beating up your gums - not making sense when talking, big mouth
- Blowing your top - someone getting mad, to the boiling point
- Boogie-woogie - dancing, or could mean a venereal disease
- Bull-skating - a person that brags
- Butt sprung - whatever the person is wearing it doeasnt look good around the butt area
- Coal scuttle blonde - black lady
- Collar a nod - to go asleep
- Collor a hot - to get something to eat
- Conk buster - inexpensive liquor or could mean a smart black person
- Dat thing - sex of either male or female
- Diddy-Wah-Diddy - somewhere far away
- Dig - understand the meaning of something
- Dumb to the fact - don't know what you're talking about
- Dusty butt - inexpensive prostitute
- Eight-rock - super black person
- First thing smoking - a coming train
- Git up off of me - stop talking about me, leave me alone
- Good hair - white folks hair type
- Gut-bucket - a kind of music
- Handkerchief-head - a uncle tom
- I don't deal in coal - I don't hang with black females
- I'm cracking but I'm facking - I'm talking shit but it's true
- Inky dink - super black person
- Jar head - black man
- I shot him lightly and he died politely - I outsmarted him
- Jelly - term for sex
- Jig - short for zigaboo which means a negro
- Juice - alcoholic beverage
- July jam - super hot
- Knock yourself out - have a ball, enjoy yourself
- Liver-lip - black people's purple lips
- Made hair - black kinky hair that has been straightened
- Mammy - a word used to insult someone
- Miss Anne - term used for a white lady
- Mister Charlie - term used for a white man
- Pancake - agreeable black person
- Peckerwood - poor white folks
- Playing the dozens - bad talking about each others family
- Reefer - marijuana
- Rug-cutter - good dancer
- Scrap iron - inexpensive alcoholic beverage
- Solid - absolutely perfect
- Stomp - dance
- Stormbuzzard - a useless homeless person
- The man - The rule of the law or a person of authority
- Thousand on a plate - a serving of beans
- Tight head - a very kinky haired person
Movies in America
| Movies/Theater in 1936 |
- 1936 - The Big Broadcast of 1936 with Dorothy Dandridge of the (Dandridge Sisters)
- 1936 - The Negro Repertory Company was founded in January 1936, in cooperation with the Seattle Urban League. Federal Theatre Project national director Hallie Flanagan considered the company the best "Negro unit" in the program, and historian Rena Fraden says that they put on "some of the most experimental of productions of any Negro unit.
Marion Barry, Mayor of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1991, and again as the fourth Mayor from 1995-1999
| Famous Birthdays in 1936 |
- February 17, 1936 - Jim Brown, former African American professional football player and actor. He is best known for his exceptional and record-setting nine-year career as a running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.
- February 21, 1936 - Barbara Jordan was an American politician and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. A Democrat, she was the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, the first southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives, and the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention
- Mar 6, 1936 - Marion Barry, politician who served as Mayor of the District of Columbia.
- May 7, 1936 - Jimmy Ruffin, Motown Records great born in Collinsville, Mississippi.
- May 27, 1936 - Lou Gossett, a talented African American actor who has starred in many movies.
- August 21, 1936 - Wilt Chamberlain, was an American basketball player. Trivia: Wilt Chamberlain's had a bad relationship with fellow center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, ten years his junior. Although Abdul-Jabbar idolized him as a teenager and was once part of his inner circle, the student/mentor bond deteriorated into intense mutual loathing, especially after Chamberlain retired. Chamberlain often criticized Abdul-Jabbar for a perceived lack of scoring, rebounding, and defense. Abdul-Jabbar accused Chamberlain of being a traitor to the black race for his Republican political leanings, support of Richard Nixon, and relationships with white women. When Abdul-Jabbar broke Chamberlain's all-time scoring record in 1984, Chamberlain repeatedly called on Kareem to retire. When Abdul-Jabbar published his autobiography in 1990, he retaliated by writing a paper titled "To Wilt Chumperlane" in which he stated "Now that I am done playing, history will remember me as someone who helped teammates to win, while you will be remembered as a crybaby, a loser, and a quitter." Their relationship remained mostly strained until the end.
- August 22, 1936 - Chuck Brown was an American guitarist and singer who is affectionately called "the Godfather of Go-go." Go-go is a subgenre of funk music developed in and around Washington, D.C. in the mid and late 1970s. While its musical classification, influences, and origins are debated, Brown is regarded as the fundamental force behind the creation of go-go music. Trivia: Chuck once did time for murder to which he claimed was self-defense. Brown is called the "Godfather of Go-Go" and was considered a local legend in Washington, DC. Darryl Brooks, a local promoter who worked with Chuck Brown during his career, stated, "He was a symbol of D.C. manhood, back in the day, because of the authority that he spoke. He just spoke from a perspective that black men could understand."
- October 22, 1936 - Bobby Seale, American political activist. He is known for co-founding the Black Panther Party with Huey Newton.
- November 7, 1936 - Al Attles, African American retired professional basketball player and coach best known for his longtime association with the Golden State Warriors.
- November 18, 1936 - Donald Eugene Cherry, was an American jazz trumpeter. He is well known for his long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman.
Actress Rose McClendon
| Famous Deaths in 1936 |
- February 3, 1936 - George Washington Henderson was a a long-serving and eminently respected minister and professor of Theology, Latin, Greek and Ancient Literature.
- February 22, 1936 - John Hope was an African-American educator and political activist, the first African-descended president of both Morehouse College in 1906 and of Atlanta University in 1929, where he worked to develop graduate programs.
- July 12, 1936 - Rose McClendon was a leading African-American Broadway actress of the 1920s. McClendon was a contemporary of Paul Robeson, Ethel Barrymore, Lynn Fontanne and Langston Hughes.
- December 21, 1936 - Inman Page was an influential Oklahoma educator.
Mahalia Jackson - Photography by William P. Gottlieb
| Famous Weddings in 1936 |
- November 11, 1936 - in Yuma, Arizona, Lionel Hampton married Gladys Riddle.
- December 11, 1936 - Wynonie Harris married Olive E. Goodlow.
- 1936 - Louise Beavers married Robert Clark.
- 1936 - Mahalia Jackson married Isaac Lanes Grey Hockenhull ("Ike") .
The Negro Motorist Green Book was an annual guidebook for African Americans, commonly referred to simply as the "Green Book". It was published from 1936 to 1966, during the Jim Crow era, when discrimination against non-whites was widespread.
Middle-class blacks took to driving in part to avoid segregation on public transportation. Blacks employed as salesmen, entertainers, and athletes also traveled frequently for work purposes. African American travelers faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences, such as white-owned businesses refusing to serve them or repair their vehicles, being refused accommodation or food by white-owned hotels, and threats of physical violence and forcible expulsion from whites-only "sundown towns". New York mailman and travel agent Victor H. Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book to tackle such problems and "to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trip more enjoyable." The Green Book became "the bible of black travel during Jim Crow." These people were crazy on the for real side! You can bet the Chitlin' Circuit entertainers used the Green Book.
| It's a Party in 1936 |
- 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.
Jitterbugging in Negro juke joint,
Saturday evening, outside Clarksdale, Mississippi
An African American couple dance the jitterbug in front
of a crowd. Los Angeles California.
Thomas "Fats" Waller
Hall Johnson's famous negro music-drama "Run, little chillun"
| Music in 1936 |
Popular Soul Dances:
- Houston Two-Step
- Lindy Hop
- The Foxtrot
- The Big Apple is both a partner dance and a circle dance that originated in the Afro-American community of the United States in the beginning of the 20th century.
- The Hully Gully is a type of unstructured line dance often considered to have originated in the sixties, but is also mentioned some forty years earlier as a dance common in the black juke joints in the first part of the twentieth century.
- Shim Sham Shimmy, Shim Sham or just Sham originally is a particular tap dance routine and is regarded as tap dance's national anthem. For swing dancers, today it is a kind of line dance that recalls the roots of swing.
Musical Happenings in 1936:
- Muriel Rahn was an American vocalist and actress. She co-founded the Rose McClendon Players with her husband, Dick Campbell and was one of the leading black concert singers of the mid-20th Century. In 1929, she launched her professional career in New York City. She is perhaps best known for her starring role in the original Broadway production of Carmen Jones.
- Swing music, or simply swing, is a form of American music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1940. The period between 1935 and 1946 is when big band swing music reached its peak and was the most popular music in America. As with jazz, swing was created by African Americans, and its impact on the overall American culture was such that it marked and named an entire era of the United States, the Swing Era.
- Count Basie's orchestra gains a national following, the first major jazz band from Kansas City. He also developed a "new, stripped-down style that would remain his signature for the rest of his career."
- The influential gospel singer Roberta Martin begins performing with the Frye-Martin Quintet, who become the Roberta Martin Singers, an unusual development in a time when gospel was almost entirely segregated by gender.
- The Harlem Hamfats form, going on to pioneer the precursor to the modern blues band.
- Benny Goodman's band is joined by Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton, making Goodman the first white jazz bandleader to use African-American performers regularly, the first in the industry to do so.
- Maude Cuney Harris' Negro Musicians and their Music the first major publication on African-American music "produced by a player who was also an experienced writer."
- Thomas A. Dorsey promotes a song battle between Roberta Martin and Sallie Martin, which is "apparently... the first time anyone had asked for an admission fee for a sacred-music concert".
- Hall Johnson wrote Run, Little Chillun, which premiered on Broadway in 1933 and was produced in San Francisco in 1939 under the auspices of the Federal Theater Project.
- 1930s - "Fats" Waller was an important contributor to the popular stride piano style.
Rose McClendon Fashion Statement
Black Theater Fashion Statement
At the juke joint stylin
Womens Fashions in the 1930s
Womens Fashions in the 1930s
Mens Fashions in the 1930s
Charles Spurgeon Johnson, sociologist and first black president of Fisk University. Dressed to kill!
Mens Fashions in the 1930s
Jazz bandleader Tiny Bradshaw
| Fashions in 1936 |
The lighthearted, forward-looking attitude and fashions of the late 1920s lingered through most of 1930, but by the end of that year the effects of the Great Depression began to affect the public, and a more conservative approach to fashion displaced that of the 1920s. For women, skirts became longer and the waist-line was returned up to its normal position in an attempt to bring back the traditional "womanly" look. Other aspects of fashion from the 1920s took longer to phase out. Cloche hats remained popular until about 1933 while short hair remained popular for many women until late in the 1930s and even in the early 1940s.
For men, the most noticeable effect of the general sobering associated with the Great Depression was that the range of colors became more subdued. The bright colors popular in the 1920s fell out of fashion. Musicians and other fashion experimenters adopted the most extreme form of the drape, the zoot suit, with very high waists, pegged trousers, and long coats.
Feminine curves were highlighted in the 1930s through the use of the bias-cut in dresses. Madeleine Vionnet was the innovator of the bias-cut and used this method to create sculptural dresses that molded and shaped over the body's contours as it draped the female form.
Through the mid-1930s, the natural waistline was often accompanied by emphasis on an empire line. Short bolero jackets, capelets, and dresses cut with fitted midriffs or seams below the bust increased the focus on breadth at the shoulder. Most women wore skirts at or near knee-length, with simply-cut blouses or shirts and square-shouldered jackets.
S. H. Kress & Co. was the trading name of a chain of "five and dime" retail department stores in the
United States, established by Samuel Henry Kress, which operated from 1896 to 1981. There were
Kress stores with ornamented architecture on "Main Street" in hundreds of cities and towns.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1930s
American jazz violinist Eddie South
with a conk hairdo.
Mary McLeod Bethune
| Our Community in 1936 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- National Youth Administration was a federal agency that provided programs to promote relief and employment for young people. It focused on unemployed citizens aged sixteen to twenty-five years who were not in school. Mary McLeod Bethune lobbied the organization so aggressively and effectively for minority involvement that she earned a full-time staff position in 1936 as an assistant. Trivia:The NYA was an equal opportunity agency, providing aid to women and minorities. Eleanor Roosevelt helped get the organization started and felt strongly about minority participation, she states: "It is a question of the right to work," she said, "and the right to work should know no color lines."
- 1936 - In the 1930s, some believed the conk hairdo served as a rite of passage from adolescence into adulthood for black males. Because of the pain involved in the process, the conk represented masculinity and virility within the community. Many of the famous musicians of the early to mid 20th century, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, James Brown, and the members of The Temptations and The Miracles, were well known for sporting the conk hairstyle.
- The United States Population is 122,775,046 with a total of 11,891,143 being African Americans.
Howard Academy Educational & Recreational Council (HAERC) Receives Deed to the Old Howard Academy School, First High School for African Americans in Jefferson County, Florida
- Dedicated Group Realize Dream of Saving Local Historically Significant School -
Monticello, Florida -June 7, 2016, – For more than a year a small but committed group of Jefferson County residents have worked to secure and preserve a landmark of cultural and historical significance to the African American Community and the county. The Old Howard Academy High School located on Chestnut Street in Monticello, opened its doors to African American students in 1936 becoming the first high school for black students in Jefferson County.
The Academy provided students of color with an opportunity for an unprecedented organized education. “The Howard Academy was a vital part of the African-American community and was the foundation for the upbringing of students that yielded productive and professional members of the community,” said HAERC president, Louie Barrington.
After 1957 when another school on Second Street was built for African American students from grades 1 – 12 and with the integration of schools in the early 1970’s, Howard Academy was abandoned as a place of learning. The buildings were no longer a place of knowledge, culture, and laughter but storage space for Jefferson County school district offices. The buildings were empty and deteriorating, and the legacy of the Academy was slipping away with the dust of negligence.
HAERC was born from the appreciation of those who attended the Academy and from their desire to salvage their legacy and heritage from dust and decay. “We wanted to remind the residents and the county of the significant contribution the Academy made to the lives of the students that were educated within its walls. We came together to save our beloved school, accentuate its importance in our lives and our community. We want to give back a portion of that which the Howard Academy Experience gave to our lives. We want to make it again a place of learning, resources, community service and showcase those that have contributed to the wealth and culture of Jefferson County in the past. We want it to stand in perpetuity for those who will help its growth, education, success, and wealth for generations to come” Barrington said.
“Receiving the deed today from the School Board now begins the hard work, we will be asking the community, social organizations, churches, foundations, businesses and corporations to assist us in our fundraising efforts to restore that which changed so many young lives. We are excited and eager to begin the next phase of the Old Howard Academy School” said Louiza Collins, HAERC Treasurer.
The group will be hosting its open house/fundraising kickoff event on Saturday, August 7, 2016, on the site of the historic school. The family/community event will include games, food and cultural reflections of the community during the “good old school days” of the Academy said Mary Madison, HAERC Secretary.
About the Howard Academy Educational & Recreational Council (HAERC)
HAERC is based in Monticello, Florida and was established in 2015. It is a 501c3 tax exempt organization. HAERC’s mission is to restore the Howard Academy School to its construction state and house within its walls a facility for education, cultural history, and community events for the residents of Jefferson County.
How to Make Donations
To make donations to this 5013c organization, to volunteer your services or time or for more information on the Howard Academy Restoration Project, please contact Louie Barrington via email at email@example.com or via telephone at 850.728.2314. Donations are tax deductible.
How did "acting" Cool begin for African Americans?|
It seems like it's been around forever and
expected of every black kid growing up
For most blacks, cool started on the southern plantations. Opportunists slavemasters devised a way for slaves to work harder and reap the benefits of their labor. During the year at a chosen plantation slave masters would hold a "Corn Shucking Festival." Slaves from nearby plantations would also join this event with their owner's permission, so it was almost like a community gathering of all the local slaves, with greedy slavemasters making all the money.
The slave who shucked the most corn won an award, sometimes cash or a suit of clothes. Anyone who found a red ear of corn also received a reward - perhaps a kiss from a young woman or a jug of whiskey. It was at these events that the term Shuckin' and jivin' came into existence by the slaves while working and telling tall stories, talking smack, and joking around with each other.
These gatherings, even though involving hard work had to be an event looked forward to by the slaves, because it was one of the few times during the year blacks had a chance to interact with one another. Shuckin' and jivin' would become a tool the slaves would use to convince their masters of an untruth, and even among themselves. It was an early form of being cool.
After slavery blacks were free (sort of) to do as they pleased. Most blacks wanted to assimilate into American culture very much but were shut out by the white racist. African and European culture met head on in what was supposed to be fair in America guaranteed by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but blacks didn't stand a chance.
Why, what happened?
Because most whites banded together by breaking the law and made blacks second class citizens and would go on to murder, lynch, rape, humiliate them all the way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement. After Lincoln, every single United States President was aware of this and did nothing. Whites achieved like crazy and prospered while blacks lagged far behind and got along the best way they knew how.
Blacks disliked whites very much for this terrible treatment and instead of violent disobedience, they protested by living their lives opposite of white culture. I mean let's face it, why would blacks want to imitate or become a part of a race of people that hated them?
This is when being cool became a symbol of white resistance and protest. Being cool would show you were down with the struggle. During slavery, we had already created our language which was AAVE and many blacks communicated this way. Any black that did not use it was looked down as trying to act white, joining the enemy sort of speak.
We developed our own way of walking with a proud gait, (George Jefferson strut) our own style of music, our own style of dance, our own style of food, our own style of worship, that didn't have anything in common with white folks and that suited blacks just fine. We were poor, but we were proud and cool and everyone who practiced these traits was cool and a part of the resistance.
In the process, we were creating a new culture that was admired over the world. Blacks have always had a remarkable ability to create something out of nothing. But sadly there was significant risk with this lifestyle in a great country such as America.
What were the downfalls?
Oscar Micheaux felt it was wrong for blacks to live this way in America. Oscar was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 movies and he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of race films. He produced both silent movies and "talkies" after the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.
Oscar felt that blacks should become aggressive and use their brainpower in achieving instead of just settling for what the white man doled out. This man lived in some of the most racist times in American history, but he didn't let that stop him from fulfilling his dreams and doing it the legal way.
Evidently, Oscar had a brother who was the very cool type and was content on just putting up a show, or a front as living a successful life. We all know the type. A person that was living beyond his means. Blacks of his day called this way of living “the good life.”
Oscar didn't like it and was very upset with his brother. He later wrote in his book and discussed the culture of doers who want to accomplish, and those who see themselves as victims of injustice and hopelessness, and do not want to step out and try to succeed, but instead like to dress up, act cool and pretend to be successful while living the city lifestyle in poverty.
Oscar understood that education doesn't belong only to white people, it's a gift for all humanity to better ourselves, and honestly the best-proven way. Chinese, Japanese, Middle-Eastern and all other non-white nations understand this and have prospered by education. It's one of humanities treasure to learn.
But many blacks associated education with white and stayed far away from it, to continue with their cool lifestyle. A foolish mistake, and just what racist whites want you to believe.
Early Europeans completely dominated the Africans because they were better educated. They had guns we had spears, you do the math. In Africa our ancestors didn't value education, but traditions and silly ones at that. But that didn't save them. Education would have, though.
So without a doubt, it is entirely wrong to associate teaching and learning to white people. Many of us would look down upon another black who tried to better himself through education by saying they were trying to act white, and it wasn't cool. Racist whites laughed at us for believing this way because they knew we would always be behind.
After the 1960s, when our full Civil Rights were finally restored, many blacks chose to live the more standard American way by attending school to learn. But many also wanted to remain trapped in time with the old AAVE living in what they still perceived as defiance to the white American way of doing things. But were they only hurting themselves?
Later in time, being cool had become so prevalent in the black community it confused many kids, because they didn't quite understand if they were going to hang out with the cool kids or the so-called boring kids who liked to read and learn. At an early age, they are at a critical crossroad. Taking the cool route may seem easier, and a lot of fun, but would be a devastating mistake.
After the Civil Rights era we now have the opportunity to attend school and achieve as much as we can, but being cool has snatched many of the black kids and locked them into a culture hating education and in the process ruining their young lives.
Many entertainment figures reap much money from this cool culture by portraying cool as, well cool. They tell impressionable ones what's cool to hear, talk about, wear, eat, etc. and at the same time padding their cool humongous bank accounts.
These even get on television and flaunt their riches in a youngster's face never explicitly teaching on how they might be as successful, without being dishonest, stealing or selling drugs. Education is not cool for them to preach.
One thing is for sure, being cool can be a lot of fun and there's no denying that. Everybody wants to be liked, and it seems like cool people are respected and admired the most, from the clothes they wear to the type of songs they listen to the way they talk, the effortless way they seem to accomplish every task is amazing.
They possess incredible confidence. But truthfully everything they've accomplished wouldn't have been possible without the sacrifices of our wonderful ancestors. So don't you agree we owe a particular moral responsibility to them?
Kids should remember cool is not the real deal, It's a game we can't get caught up in. Our ancestors endured so much so we could achieve. We should never forget that. That's what this site was created. Browse through its pages, and you're going to read stories of amazing blacks.
They made it possible for us, and we're sure they would advise us to achieve through education first and foremost and save the cool for the weekends, and I ain't Shuckin and Jivin!
By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche (Pete Souza) (The Official White House Photostream) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Senate Office of Richard Lugar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#101 - Public Domain image - By Federal Theatre Project [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#102 - Public Domain image - By Phil Konstantin.Philkon at en.wikipedia [Public domain],
from Wikimedia Commons
#103 - Public Domain image -
By Federal Theatre Project (Library of Congress American Memory Collection) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - Public Domain image -
This image only consists of typefaces, individual words, slogans, or simple geometric shapes. These are not eligible for copyright alone because they are not original enough, and thus the image is considered to be in the public domain. For more information, see Wikipedia:Public domain – Fonts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Negro_Motorist_Green_Book.jpg
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-G00630 / CC-BY-SA [CC BY-SA 3.0 de], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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