Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1948:
Jesse Binga was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1865. He moved to Chicago to start a bank in 1908. The bank was created primarily for African-Americans because during this dark period in American history whites refused to do business with blacks. Binga State Bank grew to become very popular especially after The Great Migration.
A Binga Arcade was opened in 1929, which held offices, stores, and even a dance floor.
Jesse Binga grew to be a wealthy man and eventually he and his wife bought a house in a strictly white neighborhood. Big mistake, the house was bombed five different times by racist neighbors.
In 1929 the Great Depression hit and Binga Bank was forced to close because the bank's assets were too heavily invested in mortgage loans to black churches and fraternal societies, many of which could not meet their payments after their members lost their jobs.
Binga refused to seize the properties of these community institutions. Bank examiners claimed that Binga State Bank was run illegally and Jesse Binga was sent to jail for a ten-year sentence. After a few years, Binga was set free thanks to many protests and petitions. Binga was given a $15 a week job as a janitor at St. Anselm's Church.
We honor Jesse Binga with the 1948 Hamite Award. Jesse was a businessman with a heart. When hard times came he extended a helping hand to those blacks who couldn't meet the payments on their loans. How many other businessmen would do the same? Probably none. We don't know the details of his prison time, but looking back in history of how blacks were commonly charged with trumped up charges, we will give Jesse the benefit of the doubt.
Jesse died at age 85.
The opening day of Binga State Bank in Chicago, IL. Mr. Jesse Binga is pictured sixth from the left.
|How were blacks feeling in 1948?
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 cites 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 1948:
- Jesse L. Brown was the first African-American U.S. Navy aviator.
- James Baskett was the first African-American to receive an Academy Award. (Honorary Academy Award for his portrayal of "Uncle Remus" in Song of the South, 1946)
- William Grant Still was the first African-American composer to have an opera performed by a major U.S. company.
- Alice Coachman was the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal.
- Don Barksdale was the first African-American on an Olympic basketball team and first African-American Olympic gold medal basketball winner.
- Bill Powell was the first African-American to design and construct a professional golf course.
- Silas Hunt was the first African-American since Reconstruction to enroll at a traditionally white university of the South.
- Bob Howard was the first African-American star of a regularly scheduled network television series.
- Amanda Randolph was the first African-American to star in network television sitcom.
Lawrence Eugene Doby
Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor
African American cyclist
champion in the 1800s
John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil
| Sports in 1948 |
- Althea Gibson won the American Tennis Association (ATA) (which is the oldest African-American sports organization in the United States.) NY State Championship, and the ATA national championship in the girls' division in 1944-1945, after losing in the women's final in 1946, she won her first of ten straight national ATA women's titles in 1947.
- In the 1948 Negro World Series the Washington Homestead Grays, champions of the Negro National League, beat the Birmingham Black Barons, champions of the Negro American League, four games to one. The Black Barons featured the 17-year-old Willie Mays in his first professional season.
- Larry Doby and teammate Satchel Paige were the first African-American players to win a World Series championship when the Indians won in 1948.
- In 1948, a group of former pro bike racers, with money donated by Schwinn Bicycle Co. organized the exhumation and relocation of Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor's remains to a more prominent part of Mount Glenwood Cemetery in Thornton Township, Illinois, near Chicago. Trivia: A monument to his memory reads: "Dedicated to the memory of Marshall W. 'Major' Taylor, 1878-1932. World's champion bicycle racer who came up the hard way without hatred in his heart, an honest, courageous and god-fearing, clean-living, gentlemanly athlete. A credit to the race who always gave out his best. Gone but not forgotten." Inscription on bronze marker on gravestone paid for by Frank W. Schwinn.
- Satchel Paige was the first player who had played in the the Negro leagues to pitch in the World Series in 1948.
- John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil was named manager of the Kansas City Monarchs in 1948 after Frank Duncan's retirement, and continued to play first base as well as a regular through 1951, dropping to part-time status afterward.
- 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.
- 1948 - In the high jump finals of the 1948 Summer Olympics, Alice Coachman leaped 5 ft 6? in on her first try. Coachman was the only American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics in 1948. Her medal was presented by King George VI.
| 1948 Colored World Series |
| Washington Homestead Grays||3||5||3||14||10||4|
|Birmingham Black Barons||2||3||4||1||6||1|
|* indicates extra innings|
Location: Kansas City: Blues Stadium (1)
Birmingham: Rickwood Park (2,3,5)
New Orleans: Pelican Stadium (4)
Managers: Washington: Sam Bankhead
Birmingham: Piper Davis
Dates: September 26–October 5
Hall of Famers: Washington: Buck Leonard
Birmingham: Willie Mays
Harry S. Truman
Wedding photo of Harry and Bess Truman
| Political Scene in 1948 |
- Democrat Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–53). As the final running mate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Analysis: Truman at one time was very biased against blacks, using the word nigger freely in his speech. As a younger man Truman was once quoted as saying:
"I think one man is as good as another as long as he's decent and honest and not a nigger or a Chinaman. The Lord made the man out of dust, the nigger from mud and threw up what was left to create the Chinaman." Ouch Harry! I guess people can change, and that's what's important to remember here.
If a person were able to look past Truman's racist views, Harry Truman would probably be looked upon as a decent president for blacks. He took over the office after FDR passed away. He was faced with the humongous war issue of World War II. He made the decision to drop the atom bombs on Japan, even though he didn't really have to. Japan was already beaten and it was just a matter of time before they surrendered. The Soviet Union was closing in at one end and the United States at the other where crazed mad bomber Curtis LeMay was blowing everything that moved. Most advisors didn't want Truman to drop the bomb, but he didn't listen and did it anyway, and even gloated afterwards. The lies he told the world was he saved countless lives on both sides by not fighting a ground war.
Truman would go on to fully integrate the Armed services and also the Federal government. It's a start and it's no looking back now. Truman was different than most presidents. He had said in the beginning that Civil Rights for the Negro was a moral issue and he was going to make it a priority in being settled. FINALLY A PRESIDENT THAT UNDERSTANDS THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. In his second term election he wasn't expected to win. Truman has been particularly angry about reports of blacks who had fought valiantly in World War II, only to return home to unspeakable violence by whites. Harry Truman took a very unpopular platform of Civil Rights for the American Negro and bet his political career on victory. The Democratic party had become splintered because Truman announced he was going to add Civil Rights to the agenda. The Southerners didn't like this and rebelled, so it was widely expected for Truman to lose the election, which polls (which were taken by phones) had him behind. He surprised everyone and pulled off the victory. These events has to mean that after all these years of injustice and hate, the American people are voting for change.He was also the first U.S. president to address the NAACP. He felt the time was NOW to address these discrimination issues along with the fact he was going after the critical black vote, well you got mine Harry! here's another little tidbit of information into the mindset of the majority of presidents who didn't really care about the American Negro citizen and worked hand and hand, north and south together. A reporter asked Strom Thurmond why he had bolted from the Democratic party when President Truman had not done anything substantially different from his predecessor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Thurmond replied, "Yes -- but Truman means it."
| Race in 1948 |
- 1948 - Although African Americans had valiantly participated in every major U.S. war, it was not until after World War II that President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order integrating the U.S. armed forces.
"It is worthy of emphasis, that the antiquity of the Negro race is beyond dispute. His brightest days were when history was an infant; and, since he early turned from God, he has found the cold face of hate and the hurtful hand of the Caucasian against him."
George Washington Williams
How did it begin?
It's a worldwide negative perception of blacks.
Well, a quick and straightforward trip back in history will get the likely answer. The Arab trade of Zanj (Bantu) slaves in Southeast Africa predated the European transatlantic slave trade by 700 years but it wasn't until the Portuguese sailed to West Africa in search of gold and discovered something much more valuable, (slaves) and shared with the world what they encountered that aided in the bad rap on blacks.
During the transatlantic slave trade the African empires of Benin, Dahomey, and Yoruba were very powerful. From these kingdoms, more than from any other part of Africa were the people sold into American slavery.
These kingdoms had many districts with different tribes and clans who always fought against each other. These tribes were illiterate without a written form, passing their history to the next generation orally. They were blissfully ignorant of the world around them. As with all people of a common nature, they lived within the limits and respect of the land and were very content in doing so.
Europeans considered the Africans pagans because most tribes were involved with witchcraft, idol worship, cannibalism, superstition, female genital mutilation, and human sacrifices just to name a few of their foolish practices. Europeans thought of themselves as being illuminators to the world made in the image of God which in their minds was white and holy.
Before Christianity took place in Europe, whites believed in a different form of worship which was called mythology, but in time came to their senses with the help of a man named Thales who would later become known as the father of science. Thales was the first person in human history to dispel mythology and would usher in a new way of thinking which was based on facts which in its beginning was called Natural philosophy, and later would be called science. Science would eventually take mythology's place in the way white people believed. Goodbye Jupiter and Neptune.
Thales studied, recorded and compared facts laying the foundation for science. In time, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle would go on to perfect the methods of science. Over the centuries with this wealth of new knowledge discoveries with the aid of science, you can probably imagine how this had to elevate the Europeans ego and self-worth in themselves.
Before long they would claim white superiority, and many began even to doubt the existence of a God. So by the time the Portuguese made their arrival to Africa, they were only smarter and better educated than the blacks and of course dominated as they pleased.
Africans were still living in the past in a fast changing world and were no match for the very greedy and violent Europeans. Africans had seen the last of their glory days. It's a documented fact the Africans were the beginning of human innovation. Other races would go on to copy and perfect their existing creations, scientifically.
If you study ancient history and technological achievements which were in many ways the equal of, or superior of, much that we have today, were founded and carried to a high technological proficiency by Hamitic (African) people. This is the role in history given by God to the descendants of Ham. The Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Mayans, the Aztecs, all were Hamitic people. They were the great inventors of mankind. http://www.ldolphin.org/ntable.html
Why were the African people a no-show in technological discoveries other nations around the world were experiencing?
It wasn't because Africans weren't capable of learning. Type the key phrase into Google "African immigrants in college" you will discover the same lineage of Sub-Saharan Africans today out-perform all races in America's colleges academically. Skin color doesn't matter when it comes to learning; it was because of conditions beyond their control.
Africans couldn't share and contribute information with other nations during this period because of one humongous roadblock. The Sahara Desert. The entire continental United States would fit inside the Sahara Desert with plenty of room to spare. This desert spanned from west to east of Northern Africa and continued to grow, making it very dangerous and challenging for travel.
Sub Saharan Africans were landlocked, lost in time away from all other humanity. The Sahara Desert wasn't always a desert, but slowly grew to be that way. Cave drawings have been discovered in parts of the Sahara that actually depict the flora as green and thriving. http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/history_of_west_africa
So with Portuguese arriving in Africa with their advanced knowledge they encountered a people lost in time and because of their tribal culture and erroneous Pre-Adamic belief the Portuguese had about black people, these people were labeled ignorant wild beast, incapable of learning and the world agreed.
The Africans had a reputation as a peaceful and lovable people and were considered easy pickings by ruthless and brilliant Europeans who extended no mercy.
With their love for science, whites would constantly compare themselves with blacks. They collectively studied the Negro from the kinks in his hair, size of his brain to the jam in his toenails and declared themselves superior to this lowly ape-like creature.
They believed Africans were the descendants of pre-Adamism races and that the White race was made in the image and likeness of God and that Adam gave birth to the White race only.
They also believed and taught that blacks are not human beings but pre-Adamite beasts and could not possibly have been made in God's image and likeness because they are beastlike, immoral and ugly. Whites also claimed that the pre-Adamite races such as blacks didn't have souls. The world would be satisfied with their scientific theory they learned with the help of a blatant and racist media. Whites accepted these lies as truth and raised their kids to do the same.
Science, pre-Adamite beliefs, and the media would go on to replace common sense. According to whites, it was the destiny of these black beast to serve whites, and they believed they had God's backing. Some of the things they wrote as fact about the Negro would go on to cause many innocent deaths.
Typical American Newspaper Article Of Yesteryear
The above article was an editorial reply to another editor that was published in the Cayton's weekly., January 25, 1919, (Seattle, Wash.)
More than anything else science, pre-adamite beliefs and the racist media played an enormous role which perpetuated the negative image of blacks all over the world. The saddest part was when many blacks would believe these false teachings and felt unworthy, ugly and completely worthless as human beings and lived their lives in a useless way and the process was reinforcing these negative views.
Once in America the following comment gives insight into how whites viewed the Negro in the 1700s during colonial days.
Speaking on the duties of missionaries in converting the Negro to Christianity in 1784, Bishop Porteus published an extensive plan for the most effectual conversion of the slaves contending that
"despicable as they are in the eyes of man they are, nevertheless, the creatures of God."
When slaves first arrived in America, it wasn't quite agreed what their social status would be because it was supposed to be only temporary until white immigrants could come from other countries to take their place, but it didn't happen that way. This is when slavery slowly became associated with dark skin. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon against the lowly Negro who was considered inhuman and a savage beast.
But because it was later discovered that blacks were capable of learning, it made some bright whites change their negative view, except for white slavemasters who had a financial interest in keeping the Negro uneducated and made it a felony for anyone caught teaching them.
Real Americans soon began to realize blacks were human beings just as they were and started movements to free them from the bondage of slavery.
Writers of that day cite desirable characteristics of blacks, saying they were deeply religious, cheerful, imaginative, patient, courageous, had high physical endurance, affectionate and without vindictiveness, even though living under a brutal slavery system. They hated slavery, but always kept hope alive, waiting for their Judgement Day.
When their Judgement day arrived, how did slaves act once freed?
Imagine if you spent your entire existence depending and working from dusk to dawn for someone else and suddenly set free.
How would you do?
Who would teach you to read and write, the importance of family, morality, open a bank account, manage your money, how to distinguish between necessity and want, how to keep your house maintained, the importance of honesty in personal and business dealings, how to think big and become self-reliant with confidence and the many more life skills that's needed in society? All would agree that these are crucial life skills to master that the Negro didn't have during slavery.
Well, needless to say, many former slaves didn't measure up after freedom, wasting their lives with pleasure seeking and absolutely no ambition at all. These people gave the whole race a bad rap and continued to do so until this day.
But most wanted to learn these life skills and progress. That's why the Reconstruction schools of the 1870s were so important; it was like a halfway or transition house for the blacks into American culture. But of course we know that the U.S. government did away with Reconstruction in 1877 because of pressure from white southerners who didn't want educated blacks in America.
Our achievements have been many since then, so why does the negative image of blacks persist?
It's simple. The negative image of blacks persists around the world because of a lack of compassion and love mainly from non-black people. Even though erroneous beliefs of science and pre-Adamic theories happened centuries ago, hard habits are hard to break. It's entrenched in the hearts of many.
That's really sad, but as American citizens today, how are blacks doing?
Well under the circumstances blacks are doing a fantastic job, and it's a wonder we are still around. We as African-Americans are honing our life skills with increasing precision without the same network or support groups that other races enjoy. We are a unique type of people that don't have a reference point but must learn as we go.
Quite frankly, we are true Americans who continue to accomplish our goals non-violently and completely understand what the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence stands for. Would other races been able to do the same? We are love, always have been and always will be.
Historically, after being raped, tortured, lynched and murdered with perpetrators enjoying total impunity, the usual reply of blacks were these words, "I forgive you." Even though made out to be the violent savage beast, blacks seldom retaliated. It's true, check your history books. We live for today and as Americans realizing we have this excellent opportunity to excel and soar like the eagles, and we will!
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a white officer in the Union army had the task of training colored soldiers in the Civil War. He kept a diary for our enjoyment today. (click here)
George W. Williams - History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. (click here)
Europeans Come to Western Africa -
The Characteristics of the Negro People -
Movies in America
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
Jack Benny's radio shows cast
Lillian Randolph as Beulah
Comedian Timmie Rogers
| Radio / Television / Movies in 1948 |
- Words and Music - Lena Horne (Lena Horne performs "The Lady Is a Tramp" and "Where or When." )
- Comedian Timmie Rogers starred in United Sates television's first black prime-time show Uptown Jubilee on CBS Television.
1948 - African-American entertainers begin regularly appearing on television shows, particularly The Ed Sullivan Show
- Starting in the year of 1937, a new funny man would co-star on the Jack Benny Show. This man went by the name of Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. Eddie's character of "Rochester" generated much laughter, becoming immensely popular and would become a household name from 1937 to 1965 in America. The humor on the show was the usual stereotypical stuff that blacks had to endure, but later it would become a stepping stone for many successful comedians to follow. Eddie became the first black to have a regular role on a nationwide radio program. The show started on radio and moved to television in 1951 until it went off the air in the 1964-1965 season.
Trivia about Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
Anderson was frequently late for the show. Benny attempted to instill punctuality in Anderson by fining him $50 each time he arrived late at the studio. Anderson had a habit of losing track of time, especially when he was talking with someone. Must have had something to say huh Eddie?
- The Beulah Show is an American situation-comedy series that ran on CBS Radio from 1945 to 1954, and on ABC Television from 1950 to 1952. The show is notable for being the first sitcom to star an African American actress. Trivia: Actress Hattie McDaniel played the role of Beulah on November 24, 1947, earningd $1000 a week for the first season, doubled the ratings of the original series (played by white actors) and elated the NAACP to see a black woman as the star of a network radio program. McDaniel became ill in 1952 and was replaced by Lillian Randolph, who was in turn replaced for the 1953-54 radio season by her sister, Amanda Randolph.
| Famous Birthdays in 1948 |
- January 5, 1948 - Ted Lange an African-American actor, director, and screenwriter best known for his role as the bartender, Isaac Washington, in the 1970s TV series The Love Boat.
- January 10, 1948 - Teresa Graves was an American actress and singer. As the star of the 1974 Get Christie Love!, Graves is credited as being the first African-American woman to star in her own hour-long drama television series.
- January 14, 1948 - Carl Weathers an African-American actor and former professional football player.
- January 22, 1948 - Northern James Calloway was an American actor, voice artist, and comedian.
- February 1, 1948 - Rick James was a very popular singer, musician and composer.
- February 29, 1948 - Ken Foree an African-American actor.
- March 6, 1948 - Anna Maria Horsford an American television and film actress.
- April1, 1948 - Jimmy Cliff is a Jamaican reggae musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer and actor.
- April 9, 1948 - Badja Medu Djola was an American actor.
- May 7, 1948 - Mariann Aalda an American television, stage, and film actress. Aalda is primarily known for her work in television.
- June 12, 1948 - Lyn Collins was an African-American soul singer best known for working with James Brown in the 1970s and for the influential 1972 funk single "Think (About It)". Contrary to some reports, she is not related to Bootsy and Catfish Collins. Reflecting on her time working with James Brown, she reportedly said, "I would have preferred to sing more and scream less."
- June 19, 1948 - Phylicia Rashad an American Tony Award-winning actress, singer and stage director, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show.
- June 23, 1948 - Clarence Thomas an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Succeeding Thurgood Marshall.
- July 5, 1948 - Blu Mankuma an American actor.
- July 13, 1948 - Daphne Maxwell Reid an African-American actress. She is best known for her role as the second Vivian Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1993 until 1996.
- July 31, 1948 - Roger Hill an American actor.
- August 8, 1948 - Veronica Redd an African-American actress who played the recurring character of Mamie Johnson on The Young and the Restless.
- August 13, 1948 - Kathleen Deanna Battle is an American operatic light lyric soprano known for her light voice and silvery, pure tone.
- September 13, 1948 - Nell Carter singer and actress who won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin'.
- September 29, 1948 - Bryant Gumbel television journalist and sportscaster.
- October 2, 1948 - Avery Brooks actor, director and occasional singer.
- October 24, 1948 - Kweisi Mfume is the former President/CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
- October 28, 1948 - Telma Louise Hopkins an African-American singer and actress. A member of the 1970s pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn.
- November 13, 1948 - Sheila Frazier an African-American actress and producer, best known for her co-starring role in the film, Super Fly.
- November 21, 1948 - Irving Allen Lee was an African American actor known for playing Detective Calvin Stoner on The Edge of Night.
- December 21, 1948 - Samuel Jackson actor and film producer. He achieved prominence and critical acclaim in the early 1990s. One of the greatest actors to ever grace the screen.
- December 22, 1948 - Cherlynne Theresa "Lynne" Thigpen was an American actress, best known for her role as "The Chief" in the various Carmen Sandiego television series.
- December 31, 1948 - Donna Summer was an American singer, songwriter, and painter. She gained prominence during the disco era of the late-1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach No. 1 on the United States Billboard album chart and charted four number-one singles in the U.S. within a 12-month period.
- 1948 - Clamma Churita Dale an African-American operatic soprano.
- 1948 - Judyann Elder is an American actress, director, and writer.
| Famous Deaths in 1948 |
- May 22, 1948 - Claude McKay was a Jamaican-American writer and poet, who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
- July 9, 1948 - James Baskett an American actor known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus, singing the song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah".
- August 27, 1948 - Janie Porter Barrett was an American social reformer, educator and welfare worker.
Portrait of Ruby Dee
Pearl Mae Bailey
- photo#100-yr-1918 -
| Famous Weddings in 1948 |
- March 28, 1948 - just six days after his divorce became final, Nat King Cole married singer Maria Hawkins Ellington.
- August 31, 1948 - Pearl Bailey and John Randolph Pinkett were married.
- October 28, 1948 - Chuck Berry and Themetta Toddy Suggs were married.
- 1948 - Redd Foxx married Evelyn Killebrew
- 1948 - Fats Domino and Rosemary Hall were married.
- 1948 - Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee were married.
| Famous Divorces in 1948 |
- March 22, 1948 - Nat King Cole and Nadine Robinson were divorced.
Lenox Lounge in New York
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 1948 |
- 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.
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.
Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson
Pianist and composer James P. Johnson, Fess Williams, Freddie Moore, Joe Thomas 1948. William P. Gottlieb's office party. Photography by William P. Gottlieb
Charlie Parker, Tommy Potter, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach, Three Deuces, New York, N.Y.- Photography by William P. Gottlieb
Photography by William P. Gottlieb
Conductor Dean Dixon
Photography by William P. Gottlieb
| Music in 1948 |
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
- January 21, 1948: "I Love You Yes I Do" — Bull Moose Jackson and His Buffalo Bearcats
- March 20, 1948: "King Size Papa" — Julia Lee and Her Boy Friends
- May 22, 1948: "Tomorrow Night" — Lonnie Johnson
- June 19, 1948: "Good Rockin' Tonight" — Wynonie Harris
- July 10, 1948: "Long Gone" (Parts I & II) — Sonny Thompson
- July 10, 1948: "Run Joe" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
- July 24, 1948: "I Can't Go on Without You" — Bull Moose Jackson and His Buffalo Bearcats
- September 4, 1948: "Messin' Around" —; Memphis Slim and His House Rockers
- September 11, 1948: "My Heart Belongs to You" — Arbee Stidham
- September 18, 1948: "Pretty Mama Blues" — Ivory Joe Hunter
- October 2, 1948: "Corn Bread" —; Hal Singer Sextette
- October 2, 1948: "Late Freight" —; Sonny Thompson Quintet
- October 9, 1948: "Am I Asking Too Much" — Dinah Washington
- November 6, 1948: "Blues After Hours" — Pee Wee Crayton
- November 27, 1948: "It's Too Soon to Know" — The Orioles
- December 4, 1948: "Chicken Shack Boogie" — Amos Milburn
- December 4, 1948: "Bewildered" — Red Miller Trio
- December 18, 1948: "'Long About Midnight" — Roy Brown
- December 25, 1948: "Bewildered" — Amos Milburn
Popular Soul Dances:
- Swing Dance
- 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.
Musical Happenings in 1948:
- Doo-wop is a genre of music that was developed in African-American communities across America in the 1940s, achieving mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early '60s. Built upon vocal harmony, doo-wop was one of the most mainstream, pop-oriented R&B styles of the time. In it's beginning, singers would gather on street corners, and in subways, generally in groups of three to six. They sang a cappella arrangements, and would mimic certain instruments since instruments were little used: the bass singing "bom-bom-bom", a guitar rendered as "shang-a-lang" and brass riffs as "dooooo -wop-wop".
- Charlie Parker's "Parker's Blues" is released on the Savoy label; it features Parker, John Lewis, Curly Russell and Max Roach, an exhaustively scrutinized recording of historical importance.
- WDIA in Memphis becomes the first radio station to feature exclusively African-American music.
- A number of popular guitar boogie records are released, including John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen", Arthur Smith's "Guitar Boogie" and Les Paul's "Hip-Billy Boogie".
- Mahalia Jackson's "Move On Up a Little Higher" becomes the first million-selling recording.
- African-American entertainers begin regularly appearing on television shows, particularly The Ed Sullivan Show.
- Billy Eckstine signs with MGM, soon becoming the first African-American male to become a pop idol. He will be the "first black ballad singer to succeed as a soloist independently of a dance band".
- Nat King Cole's group becomes the first jazz combo to have a sponsored radio show.
- Dean Dixon, "one of the first African Americans to prepare himself as a symphony conductor", debuts with the New York Philharmonic.
Fashion styles in the 1940s - Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill, Minton's Playhouse
New York, N.Y. (Photograph by William P. Gottlieb)
Rose McClendon Fashion Statement
Black Theater Fashion Statement
At the juke joint stylin
Men Fashions in the 40s
American jazz violinist Eddie South
with a conk hairdo.
Afro Puffs in the 1860s? Absolutely beautiful woman from the island of Nosy-Be, north west Madagascar (1868)
| Fashions and Styles in 1948 |
Immediately after the war, men's suits were broad-shouldered and often double-breasted. As wartime restrictions on fabric eased, trousers became fuller, and were usually styled with cuffs (turn-ups). In America, Esquire introduced the "Bold Look", with wide shoulders, broad lapels, and an emphasis on bold, coordinated accessories. Dark charcoal gray was the usual color, and the era of the gray flannel suit was born. Sport coats generally followed the lines of suit coats. Tartan plaids were fashionable in the early 1950s, and later plaids and checks of all types were worn, as were corduroy jackets with leather buttons and car coats. Khaki-colored pants, called chinos, were worn for casual occasions. Some young men wore tight trousers or jeans, leather jackets, and white tee shirts.
The "New Look" was the style of the 1940s. The signature shape was characterized by a below-mid-calf length, full-skirt, pointed bust, small waist, and rounded shoulder line. The "softness" of the New Look was deceptive; the curved jacket peplum shaped over a high, rounded, curved shoulders, and full skirt of Dior's clothes relied on an inner construction of new interlining materials to shape the silhouette. Throughout the post-war period, a tailored, feminine look was prized and accessories such as gloves and pearls were popular. Tailored suits had fitted jackets with peplums, usually worn with a long, narrow pencil skirt. Day dresses had fitted bodices and full skirts, with jewel or low-cut necklines or Peter Pan collars. At the end of 1945 the demand for nylon stockings was so great that Nylon riots ensued at stores selling the products.
Due to the baby boom, there was a high demand for clothing for children. Children's clothing began to be made to a higher quality, and some even adopted trends popular with teenagers; many boys started wearing jeans to Elementary school. Many girls' and young women's dresses were styled after those of the older women.
- Men's Hairstyles:
The conk, which was derived from congolene, a hair straightener gel made from lye was a hairstyle very popular among African-American men from the 1920s to the 1960s. This hairstyle called for a man with naturally "kinky" hair to have it chemically straightened using a relaxer, sometimes the pure corrosive chemical lye, so that the newly straightened hair could be styled in specific ways. Back in those days, you were cool to have a conk job done.
- Women's Hairstyles:
The hot comb was an invention developed in France as a way for women with coarse curly hair to achieve a fine straight look traditionally modeled by historical Egyptian women. However, it was Annie Malone who first patented this tool, while her protégé and former worker, Madam CJ Walker widened the teeth. Today, hot combs are still used by many African-American beauticians and families as an alternative to chemical hair straightening. Many African American and women of other races, still utilize hot combs because this form of straightening is temporary and less damaging to the hair if done properly.
- Braiding Hairstyles:
Historically, hair braiding was not a paid trade. Since the African diaspora, in the 20th and 21st centuries it has developed as a multi-million dollar business in such regions as the United States and western Europe. An individual's hair groomer was usually someone whom they knew closely. Sessions included shampooing, oiling, combing, braiding, and twisting, plus adding accessories.
Dang it! We're so Tired of all the Hate|
We can't wait to leave this wicked South,
and make the big bucks in the North!
Will our white American brothers love us there?
What type of employment awaits the Negro in the 1900s?
FSA photo of cropper family chopping the weeds
from cotton near White Plains, in Georgia Postmarked 1912
90% of Negroes still lived in the South up until the late 1910s.
King Cotton was still a big source of income for blacks. These workers were hired as temporary help. Many were tenant farmers, renting a piece of land and some of their tools and supplies, and paying the rent at the end of the growing season with a portion of their harvest. White and black farm laborers were paid comparable wages, and rental rates. Blacks didn't exclusively work in the cotton fields, for example some blacks worked in the Turpentine industry.
"Dipping and scraping pine trees. Turpentine industry in Florida." Postmarked 1912
Whites were much more likely to own land as opposed to blacks. Black children were unlikely to be in school because they helped the parents in the fields to support the family and also because of a lack of good quality schools. Funds that were intended for black schools went to white schools instead in the form of raising teacher salaries and per-pupil funding while reducing class size. Black schools suffered at this expense. Separate but Equal was a big lie, because it was anything but equal.
The government didn't have a special watchdog organization to enforce these racist laws, and the requirement of equality was not enforced. Black children never really had a fair chance.
Boll weevil ruins Cotton Crops in the 1920s
Of course hindsight is 20-20. But wouldn't it have been nice if during slavery someone would have thought to travel to Mexico and bring back the Cotton boll weevil to transplant them into Southern cotton crops?
Cotton boll weevil |
Where were you when we really
needed you, pre-1863?
A little integration of the boll weevil and Mr. King Cotton would have been a good thing for the Negro. We wonder what kind of effect that would have had on chattel slavery?
Well what the heck is a boll weevil?
The boll weevil is a beetle which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Thought to be native to Central America, it migrated into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century and had infested all U.S. cotton-growing areas by the 1920s, devastating the industry and the people working in the American south.
Southern blacks were tied to the cotton fields in the early 1900s, but after 1914, many were fed up and wanted to try something new and different. By then they were open for a change because of restrictive Jim Crow laws and the boll weevil destroyed many crops, putting them out of work. They decided to take the plunge, a new and exciting life for them. Their move was called the Great Migration. News had spread to these poor black Southerners about better opportunities in the North, so many of them packed up their belongings and bid farewell to the South, never looking back.
During World War I, blacks were very much desired in the workplace. The United States had a quota for Colored soldiers to enlist for service. Blacks filled the quota very quickly, and many had to be turned back. With white men fighting in the war, this left openings in industry for blacks to fill. How did they do? Employers loved them and wanted more. They proved themselves to be excellent workers. This is probably one of the main reasons for so many riots when the white soldiers returned to America because blacks had taken their jobs. So by the early 1900s, we have proven ourselves to be excellent and courageous soldiers and dependable workers at home.
In other cases, some Negroes were recruited to travel North by agents of the businesses who would pay their fare. In some cases, these poor blacks were tricked into traveling a great distance for jobs only to discover they would be hired as strikebreakers, which was a very dangerous undertaking. Money was better for the Negro in the North, but in many cases, racism persisted with many riots happening. Many unions in the North had explicit rules barring membership by black workers.
Blacks had various successes at different job locations, for example when the auto industry took off, Ford Motor Co. hired many blacks to work in its automobile plant, but other auto plants often excluded them. Jobs were not a certainty for the Negro; he had to stay alerted and knock on many doors. But blacks were making a little advancement, by 1940 there were more than 200,000 African Americans in the CIO, many of them officers of union locals.
A. Philip Randolph|
When the war broke out a very special man by the name of A. Philip Randolph petitioned President Roosevelt for jobs in the Defense plants which previously had been reserved for whites. Randolph had a special card up his sleeve in the form of 100,000 peaceful marchers on Washington to protest if Roosevelt declined.
Roosevelt half-heartedly gave in and created a new program for blacks called the Fair Employment Practice Committee which was designed to monitor the hiring practices of companies. The Committee did accomplish many blacks being hired into the Defense departments at very nice wages but closed down later because of a lack of funding from the U.S. Government.
After World War II, The G.I. Bill which was a law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans. Benefits included low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend university, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of unemployment compensation was a big boon for whites and was a major factor in the creation of the white American middle class.
But sadly because of racial inequality, many of the benefits of the G.I. bill were not granted to black soldiers. This is because "at the very moment when a wide array of public policies was providing most white Americans with valuable tools to advance their social welfare—insure their old age, get good jobs, acquire economic security, build assets, and gain middle-class status—most black Americans were left behind or left out." It seems like we can get off the ground with these people, but we never give up. Also the black middle class failed to keep pace with the white middle class because blacks had fewer opportunities to earn college degrees.
In time, it became critical to have a college degree, for better pay wages which many whites were now working toward with the help of the G.I. Bill, but blacks were left behind in dying trades or just making it the best way they could because of racial discrimination and National leaders doing absolutely nothing to help.
Once they returned home after the war, blacks faced not only discrimination but also poverty, which confronted most blacks during the 1940s and 1950s and represented another barrier to harnessing the benefits of the G.I. Bill, as poverty made seeking an education problematic to while labor and income were needed at home. Banks and mortgage agencies routinely refused loans to blacks, making the G.I. Bill even less effective for blacks.
In addition to the other obstacles, gaining admission to universities was no easy task for blacks on the G.I. Bill. Most universities had segregationist principles underlying their admissions policies, utilizing either official or unofficial quotas. Those blacks that were prepared for college level work and gained access to predominantly white universities still experienced racism on campus.
During the 70s and 80s, the number of employed blacks increased. The civil rights movement played a huge role in this development. There were heavy gains in blue-collar jobs, such as steel, automobile production, electrical and non-electrical machinery, appliances, food and tobacco manufacturing, and textiles, and also white-collar occupations, where the four major subcategories-professional and technical, managerial and administrative, sales, and clerical increased very sharply.
The black labor force by the late 1990s, approximately sixty percent of these were white-collar sales and clerical personnel; many in this group were non-union workers with limited benefits and wages. However, another twenty percent of the black labor force, nearly three million workers, was classified as professional and technical employees and administrators. The percentage of the black labor force in the blue-collar field declined.
So what type of work did blacks do in the 1900s?
There were black doctors, dentist, newspaper editors, plumbers, mailman, teachers, singers, scientist, athletes, Pullman porters, laborers, politicians, judges, lawyers, mill workers, welders, domestic help, authors, factory workers, customer service, business owners, policemen, firemen, and every other profession you could think of. Sadly, their numbers and presence weren't as high as white Americans because of entrenched discrimination against the black race. It's in the history books, read it for yourself.
Blacks have historically had a harder time than other races being employed in America, ever since emancipation, and for the most part it has to do with racism. We're not fooled into believing any different. But we don't let this stop us and continue to push on. Our amazing journey has had many barriers and roadbloocks every step of the way.
The Fair Employment Practice Committee of the 40s and the Civil Rights movement helped a bit, but after slavery and the following Jim Crow years, racism had become deeply entrenched in the American workforce. It's not out in the open as it was during Jim Crow days but today more subtle and hidden, but just as hurtful, degrading and discouraging. But to our credit, blacks seem always to find a way. Truly remarkable American people, and if it were possible, would make our battered ancestors who sailed deep seas, shout for joy in their graves.
African Americans in the Twentieth Century
African Americans and the G.I. Bill
Blacks in the 1970's
Social and Economic Issues of the 1980s and 1990s
What The Negro Achieved in Industry
Edward Franklin Frazier
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1940s
Matthew Alexander Henson
| Our Community in 1948 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- Edward Franklin Frazier of Howard University becomes the first African American President of the American Sociological Association.
- May 3, 1948 - U.S. Supreme Court rules against racially restrictive housing covenants in Shelley v. Kraemer.
- July 26, 1948 - Executive Order 9981 is issued by President Harry Truman directing the desegregation of the armed forces.
- October 1, 1948 - California Supreme Court says it's now alright for interracial marriages. They outlaw miscegenation. Are you happy now Sammy Davis? (just kiddin)
- 1948 - First African-American Arctic explorer Matthew Alexander Henson was invited in 1937 as a member of The Explorers Club due to his achievement and was the first African American to be accepted. In 1948 he was made an honorary member, a distinction for 20 persons annually.
- 1940s - The Pepsi Cola company begins.
Trivia: Originally created and developed by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in 1893 and introduced as Brad's Drink, it was later renamed Pepsi-Cola on August 28, 1898. Bradham put the drink on the market in 1903. In the 1940s, President of Pepsi Walter Mack noticed that blacks were not being represented in advertising for soft drinks. He felt these were untapped dollars that Pepsi should capitalize. At this same time Coke had a reluctance to hire blacks. So Mack hired an all black advertising team headed by Hennan Smith, who was an advertising executive "from the Negro newspaper field." Henna portrayed blacks in a very positive light in his ads, and Mack's intuition was correct, Pepsi's sales skyrocketed, even beating Coke for the first time in Chicago. But here's the sad news. Pepsi was becoming very popular, and the white affiliates of the soft drink company didn't want it associated with black people, resulting in President Walter Mack making the following statement:
"We don't want it to become known as a nigger drink."
After Mack left the company in 1950, support for the black sales team faded and it was sadly cut. Of course, that was many years ago, and I won't be thinking about it the next time I pop open a can, but it's just good to know your history.
- The United States Population is 131,669,275 with a total of 12,865,518 being African Americans.
#100 - By Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
#101 - By Mercury Records The full size copy of the photo shows the photographer to be James Kriegsmann, New York. (Billboard 30 August 1952 page 30) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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#104 - William P. Gottlieb [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Gale Agency (management)/photographer-James Kriegsmann, New York (Bay item photo frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Charles Henry Alston, 1907-1977, Artist (NARA record: 3569253) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
William P. Gottlieb [Public domain],
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#108 - Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By U.S. Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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