Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1951:
Oscar Devereaux Micheaux was an American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 films. Although the short-lived Micheaux Book & Film Company produced some movies, 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.
Micheaux was born when African Americans were trying to succeed in a world dominated by whites. He struggled with social oppression as a young boy, which he reflected in writing in later years. To give their children education, his parents relocated to the city for better schooling. Micheaux attended a well-established school for several years before the family eventually ran into money troubles and were forced to relocate to the farm.
Unhappy, Micheaux became rebellious and discontented. His struggles caused internal problems within his family. His father was not happy with him and sent him away to do marketing within the big city. Micheaux found pleasure in this job because he was able to speak to many new people and learned many social skills that he would later reflect within his films.
When Micheaux was 17 years old, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, to live with his older brother, then working as a waiter. Micheaux became dissatisfied with what he viewed as his brother’s way of living “the good life.” He rented his place and found a job in the stockyards, which he found difficult. He worked many different jobs, moving from the stockyards to the steel mills.
After being “swindled out of two dollars” by an employment agency, Micheaux decided to become his boss. His first business was a small shoeshine stand, which he set up at a white local barbershop, away from Chicago competition. He learned the basic strategies of business and started to save money.
He became a Pullman porter on the major railroads, at that time considered prestigious employment for African Americans because it was relatively stable and well-paid, secure and gave freedom of travel and acquaintance. This job was an informal college education for Micheaux. He profited financially, and also gained contacts and knowledge about the world through traveling, as well as a greater understanding of business.
When he left the position, he had seen much of the United States, had a couple of thousand dollars saved in his bank account, and had made some connections with wealthy white people who helped his future endeavors.
Micheaux moved to Dallas, South Dakota, where he bought land and worked as a homesteader. This experience inspired his first novels and films. His neighbors on the frontier were all white. “Some recall that Micheaux rarely sat at a table with his white neighbors.” Micheaux’s years as a homesteader allowed him to learn more about human relations and farming, a time in his life full of tests and experiments. While farming, Micheaux wrote articles and submitted them to press. The Chicago Defender published one of his earliest articles.
In South Dakota, Micheaux married Orlean McCracken. Her family proved to be complicated and burdensome for Micheaux. Unhappy with their living arrangements, Orlean felt that Micheaux did not pay enough attention to her. She gave birth while he was away on business. She was reported to have emptied their bank accounts and fled. Orlean’s father sold Micheaux's property and took the money from the sale. After his return, Micheaux tried unsuccessfully to get Orlean and his property back.
Micheaux decided to concentrate on writing and, eventually filmmaking, a new industry. He wrote seven novels. In 1913, 1000 copies of his first book, The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Homesteader, were printed. He published the book anonymously, for unknown reasons. Based on his experiences as a homesteader and the failure of his first marriage, it was mostly autobiographical.
He discusses 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 and pretend to be successful while living the city lifestyle in poverty. His frustration with wanting to get members of his race to populate the frontier and make something of themselves, with real work and property investment.
Micheaux founded the Micheaux Film and Book Company of Sioux City in Chicago; its first project was the production of The Homesteader as a feature film. Micheaux had a major career as a film producer and director: he produced over 40 films, which drew audiences throughout the US as well as internationally. The Homesteader became known as Micheaux’s breakout film; it helped him become widely known as a writer and a filmmaker.
If there were such a thing as a heavyweight Hamite Award winner, it would without a doubt be Oscar Micheaux. Oscar was a prime example of not giving up. He was the active type and as a youngster, couldn't wait to go out and conquer the world. His brain was a gift he knew would be a shame to waste.
There was racial prejudice all around, but he didn't let that stop him. He rose above that and went on trying different things, giving it his all until he found something such as filmmaking that he liked and was a great success at it. He made a name for himself. Thank you, Oscar, for inspiring us today with your tenacious spirit in achieving success, we honor you with the 1951 Hamite Award which is given to people who have created an exemplary model for others to live their lives by.
Micheaux died on March 25, 1951, in Charlotte, North Carolina, of heart failure. He is buried in Great Bend Cemetery in Great Bend, Kansas, the home of his youth. His gravestone reads: "A man ahead of his time". So True!
Oscar Devereaux Micheaux
|How were blacks feeling in 1951?
There is without a doubt change in the air for the American black person. These years will mark the beginning of no return. Victory after victory in the Supreme Court is going our way! We've been mistreated for so long, and now we can sense a new and kinder world. Our people must be ready.
WAKE UP EVERYBODY, WAKE UP NEGROES. THE SLEEP IS ALMOST OVER. PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR ACHIEVING. I HAVE A GOOD FEELING OUR CIVIL RIGHTS ARE SOON TO BE ENFORCED. SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN DENIED SINCE THE 1877 COMPROMISE. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR SO LONG I CAN ACTUALLY SMELL IT!
ARE YOU READY MY NEGROES?
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 black person 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 1951:
- Duke Slater was the first African-American named to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Sugar Ray Robinson
| Sports in 1951 |
- 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.
- Willie Mays makes his Major League Baseball debut May 25, 1951 for the New York Giants.
- Don Newcombe was the first black pitcher to win twenty games in one season.
- 1951 - boxer Sugar Ray Robinson was Ring magazine Fighter of the Year.
- January 12, 1951 - boxer Ezzard Charles TKOs Lee Oma in 10 rounds for heavyweight boxing title.
- February 14, 1951 - boxer Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Jake LaMotta & takes the middleweight title.
- July 18, 1951 - boxer Jersey Joe Walcott becomes the oldest person to win the heavyweight champion at age 37.
- October 4, 1951 - baseball's Monte Irvin steals home in the first inning of opening World Series.
- October 26, 1951 - boxer Joe Louis loses to Rocky Marciano.
Harry S. Truman
Wedding photo of Harry and Bess Truman
| Political Scene in 1951 |
- 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 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 afterward. 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 black person 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 have 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 care about the American Negro citizen and worked for 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."
Who is this man? |
His name was James F. Byrnes who was a major advisor/contributor to the events of World WarII. Byrnes was a protégé of Benjamin Tillman (who was known as "Pitchfork Ben") and often had a moderating influence on the fiery segregationist Senator of South Carolina. He would later go on to work for the very prejudice President Woodrow Wilson who often entrusted important political tasks to the capable young representative rather than to more veteran lawmakers.
During his time in the U.S. Senate, he was regarded as the most influential man on the floor. He had long been friends with Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom he supported for the Democratic nomination in 1932, and made himself the President's spokesman on the Senate floor.
Byrnes played a key role in blocking anti-lynching legislation, notably the Castigan-Wagner bill of 1935 and the Gavagan bill of 1937. Byrnes even claimed that lynching was necessary "to hold in check the Negro in the South," saying "rape is responsible, directly and indirectly, for most of the lynching in America"
During the war, Byrnes would advise the President on vital and grave matters which very often he embellished details. Roosevelt trusted him. A very popular Henry A. Wallace was Roosevelts Vice President, and the two would grow to dislike each other. Wallace was a man of the people. He felt that blacks should receive equal pay for equal work and was against the superior white theory and felt if blacks were given opportunity they would be just as successful as whites.
As a boy, Wallace had the honor of studying under the famous black scientist George Washington Carver. Many racist southerners didn't care for Wallace and worked with Byrnes to get him off the ticket. When Wallace ran for a second term for the Democratic nomination, he was seconds away from grabbing the honor but lost out on the convention floor because of shady backdoor politics Byrnes had managed against him, and the party ended up choosing Harry Truman as the Vice President nominee.
Roosevelt during this time was frail and sickly and perhaps didn't have the energy to stand up for Wallace who he liked just as much as Byrnes. After Roosevelt's death, Bynes would advise Harry Truman in important matters often omitting critical information the President should have known. In time Truman grew weary of Byrnes and got rid of him. Byrnes would then go on to becoming the Governor of South Carolina from 1951 to 1955, in which capacity he vigorously criticized the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Supporting segregation in education, the Democratic governor stated in his inaugural address.
"Whatever is necessary to continue the separation of the races in the schools of South Carolina is going to be done by the white people of the state. That is my ticket as a private citizen. It will be my ticket as governor." —James F. Byrnes
A man lynched from a tree. Face partially concealed by angle and headgear.
| Race in 1951 |
- May 24, 1951 - the United States Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in District of Columbia restaurants is unconstitutional.
- July 11–12, 1951 - a race riot erupted in Cicero, Ilinoisl when a mob of around 4,000 attacked and burned an apartment building that housed the African-American family of Harvey Clark Jr., a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver who had relocated to the then-all-white city. Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson was forced to call out the Illinois National Guard. The Clarks moved away and the building had to be boarded up. The Cicero riot received worldwide condemnation.
- December 25, 1951 - Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriette Vyda Simms Moore, also a teacher, were killed in a bombing of their home on Christmas night 1951. Forensic work in 2005-6 resulted in the naming of the probable perpetrators as four Ku Klux Klan members.
HOW LONG WILL WHITE-AMERICANS |
SIT ON THE FENCE?
The purpose of this feature is to arrive at an honest and reliable answer how white Americans feel about black citizens. What better way to accomplish this than to examine its past leaders who represented the communities they served. The three greatest Presidents in American history are revisited for their treatment of black people. Their actions or inactions will without a doubt give us a clue.
George Washington is considered the Father of our country. His contemporaries which included men such as John Adams, John Dickinson, and Willam Whipple just to name a few disliked slavery. Whipple, who was a signer of the Declaration couldn't bring himself to sign the document without first freeing his slave and Dickinson did the same. These men, among others, sincerely believed in the principle that all men are created equal and have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Another of Washington's contemporaries was British author Thomas Day who made the following comment about America's founders:
"If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves."
While the Declaration was being created and debated most founders were content in sweeping the slave issue under the rug by leaving out much mention of black slaves because many of them were slaveholders themselves and figured this would make them look like hypocrites.
During the war, the colonist and British actively sought and recruited black slaves to fight and promised freedom after the victory. It's well recorded that slaves fought with courage and valor that ensured American success. George Washington himself remarked in writing:
Washington wrote a letter to Colonel Henry Lee III stating that success in the war would come to whatever side could arm the blacks the fastest.
But after victory, America didn't keep its promises, and most blacks were forced back into slavery. Of course, George Washington had to know about this but did nothing. Washington had many slaves himself and didn't want to free them and damage his financial stake. History shows he put money interests ahead of principle. Washington was a brilliant soldier but failed as an upholder of truth and justice. As a leader, Washington's inaction would set the tone for future race relations in our country.
Washington had trivialized the principle of human rights for black people, the very complaint the Patriots had against England and the reason the war was fought. It's sad to say, but Washington didn't stay in the truth, but at least the British kept their promise by shipping the many blacks who fought on their side to Sierra Leone Africa and Nova Scotia for a new life.
In contrast to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln evidently didn't share Washington's view of the principles this country was founded. Lincoln was an ardent lover of truth and democracy. He took pride in doing the right thing. We must be honest in saying Lincoln had adamant opinions how he felt about black people personally. He would go on to make the following quotes;
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."
"I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races.... But I hold that ... there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
"Nearly eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning, we have run down to the other declaration, that for some men to enslave others is a "sacred right of self-government." Our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust.… Let us repurify it. Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it.… If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union: but we shall have saved it, as to make, and keep it, forever worthy of the saving."
Now it's very clear from the many negative comments Abraham Lincoln made against black people he wasn't likely to have them over for dinner or have any other social interaction. But if living in our day would have probably changed his views. He was well known for his ability to adapt. So why was he a great President?
Because even though Lincoln felt blacks were not equal, he still felt they should be able to enjoy all the rights a white person did. HOW COURAGEOUS! Lincoln went against the grain and chose to institute the Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves and Reconstruction Acts that would eventually give blacks citizenship and the right to vote.
Lincoln understood what every single President in American history ignored, and that the most important thing for America to keep sacred was upholding the principles of human rights and equality for all. Something that had never been accomplished in any government of humankind's history. Throughout the years all U.S. Presidents bowed down to racist white power and sold out these principles.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
During the Roosevelt administration, America would proclaim itself a moral leader of the entire world for human rights and democracy.
Without a doubt, this opened the door for the advancement of black people. This was when The Black Cabinet who were an informal group of African-American public policy advisors to the President came into existence, an accomplishment unheard of up until that time.
Roosevelt also issued Executive Order 8802, which created the Fair Employment Practice Committee (FEPC) which was the most significant federal move in support of the rights of African-Americans between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The President's order stated that the federal government would not hire any person based on their race, color, creed, or national origin. Millions of blacks and women achieved better jobs and better pay as a result.
In 1942, at Eleanor's instigation, Roosevelt met with a delegation of African-American leaders, who demanded full integration into the armed forces, including the right to serve in combat roles and the Navy, the Marine Corps and the United States Army Air Forces. Roosevelt agreed, but then did nothing to implement his promise.
Roosevelt also had a Vice President named Henry Wallace who was a true lover of democracy, justice, and liberty for all. Wallace was a different breed of people of his day because he believed all races were equal in America and weren't afraid to voice this. But sadly, Roosevelt didn't support Wallace as Vice President for his final term in office choosing instead go with Harry Truman who as a younger man once voiced how he felt about non-whites:
"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."
Roosevelt was a mixed bag when it came to upholding the principles the nation was founded. For example, there were black leaders during his administration who petitioned the United Nations with the declaration of Genocide that the government was committing against blacks. Roosevelt failed to see the importance of being proactive in upholding the principles of the Declaration of Independence for all citizens.
What can we learn from these three great men?
The one most important observation is there weren't any of these Presidents who sincerely liked black people, and throughout the years America's white citizens haven't been any different.
The honest truth is whites don't care for blacks as brothers, and historically blacks have been unable to figure out why. Black people view themselves as Americans and don't understand why they can't be looked upon and treated the same as an Irish American, Italian American, English American, Polish American, etc. and are always seeking inclusion as one big happy American family which makes total sense but sad to say many whites can't see beyond color (which represents advantage) even in this day and age.
When it's all said and done racism exist because of money and pride. Just imagine if every single black person in America was a millionaire and lacked for nothing and controlled the purse strings with all white people in extreme poverty begging and eating out of garbage cans. This would eliminate the bulk of racism because whites wouldn't have any power.
Money=power, but money doesn't have to equal hate, it what the one with the power chooses to do with it. This is where pride comes in because all racist feel they are special people and their way of doing things is the best way, the superior way and the only way as far as they are concerned. People have the power to opt for love, but always choose selfishness and hate.
Because of this, America has never been the one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all we see on television, and being the father of our country, George Washington started these false beliefs and practices.
White citizens today are not much different than these three past Presidents and through the years have become three classes:
(1) George Washington class: This shortsighted and selfish class puts money and greed interest ahead of principle that would promote peace and harmony for the whole.
(2) Abraham Lincoln class: This class puts the welfare of whole first and recognizes this earth doesn't belong to one single group of people and must be truthfully shared equitably.
(3) Franklin D. Roosevelt class: This class hopes for the best but won't lift a finger in achieving that. This class straddles the fence and can sympathize with both the Washington and the Lincoln class. They are wishy-washy and travels where the winds blow them.
It's important to remember that all three classes don't particularity like blacks and have minimal association with them if any, and this is said because even today it's rare for the races to mingle and when they do can be uncomfortable in a social setting, how ridiculous! The race with the power is the only one that can change this for the better. It's that simple.
In a sense, Washington created the blueprint for a distorted and false view of American principles that became the norm in much of America's dealings with black people. Abraham Lincoln tried to do away with this damaging logic and desired America to live up to the principles it was founded and died for his beliefs. Roosevelt dabbled on either side by sitting on the fence of inaction and did little for principle because being partakers of a privileged life was more advantageous to his class.
The danger of this, of course, was that in continuing to undermine principle, the prospect would exist of being faced with an America that wouldn't be recognizable. Lincoln was the only President to understand and appreciate this danger.
“Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege. In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.” Tim Wise
So has America changed, if yes, what has she become?
Good question, but you must answer yourself.
But there are many more questions that need to be answered. Because of the folly of greed and racism and lack of action to speak out by the real Americans, has this country morphed into another form of power that is completely different than it started out? Has it become like an insatiable, greedy, detestable and ugly monster without a soul or conscience?
|| sLANG tALK in 1951 |
- Baby - term of endearment to the opposite sex
- Bread - money, cash, moola
- Cookin' - doing something very well
- Cool it - forceful way of saying to stop doing what you're doing fool
- Cooties - considers another person dirty in a playful way
- Cut out - to leave the scene
- Dibs - wants a share
- Dig - understand
- Flick - a movie
- Gig - a job
- Give me five - a favorable greeting
- Heat - danger, usually the police are close or could mean a gun
- Hip - cool, everything under control, up to date, trendsetter
- Made in the shade - complete success at something
- Make out - kissing or could mean to be discovered by someone
- No sweat - no problem, everything is under control
- Pad - the house, home
- Punk - weak person, considered not cool to hang around
- Split - leave the scene
- Square - a person who is not hip, slow, not with the times
- The man - police
- Tight - everything is completely together, flawless.
Movies in America
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
Jack Benny's radio shows cast
The Beulah TV Show with Louise Beavers
Lillian Randolph as Beulah
| Radio / Television / Movies in 1951 |
- 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.
Tarzan's Peril - Dorothy Dandridge (role as Melmendi, Queen of the Ashuba)
The Harlem Globetrotters - Dorothy Dandridge (role as Ann Carpenter)
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:
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 TV Show ran for three seasons, Tuesday nights at 7:30 ET from October 3, 1950 to December 23, 1952.
starring Louise Beavers.
June 28, 1951 - Amos 'n' Andy premieres on CBS TV.
Luther Vandross performing with Diana Ross
| Famous Birthdays in 1951 |
- February 25, 1951 - Donald O'Riley Quarrie CD is a former Jamaican track and field athlete.
- March 19, 1951 - Fred Rerun Berry was an American actor and street dancer. He was best known for the role of Fred "Rerun" Stubbs on the popular 1970s television show What's Happening.
- April 20, 1951 - Luther Vandross, an African American singer, songwriter and record producer. One of the greatest singers of all time.
- May 4, 1951 - Jackie Jacksonis an American singer and musician notable for being a member of The Jackson 5.
- August 14, 1951 - Kyle Johnson actor, most notable for his performance in the 1969 film The Learning Tree.
He is the son of actress Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Lt. Uhura in the classic Star Trek series and her husband Foster Johnson.
- October 26, 1951 - Bootsy Collins an American musician and singer-songwriter. Rising to prominence with James Brown in the early 1970s, and later with Parliament-Funkadelic, Collins's driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk.
- October 27, 1951 - Jayne Kennedy an American actress, beauty pageant titleholder, and sportscaster. She won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture award for 1981's Body and Soul.
- November 1, 1951 - Ronald Bell is an American saxophonist, composer, songwriter, arranger, producer and singer, who was a founding member of the band, Kool & the Gang.
- December 1, 1951 - Obba Babatundé is an American actor of stage and screen, known for his Emmy-nominated performance in the television movie Miss Evers' Boys.
Oscar Devereaux Micheaux
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 1st district
Mildred Rinker Bailey
| Famous Deaths in 1951 |
- March 25, 1951 - Oscar Devereaux Micheaux was an American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 films.
- April 20, 1951 - Sancho Mazique was a courageous Buffalo Soldier.
- May 12, 1951 - Oscar De Priest was an American lawmaker and civil rights advocate who served as a U.S. Representative from Illinois from 1929 to 1935. He was the first African American to be elected to Congress from outside the southern states and the first in the 20th century.
- December 12, 1951 - Mildred Rinker Bailey was a popular and influential American jazz singer during the 1930s, known as "The Queen of Swing", "The Rockin' Chair Lady" and "Mrs. Swing".
- 1951 - Nicolás Rolando Gabaldón was an early surfer who is credited by surfing experts with being California's first documented surfer of African-American and Latino descent at a time when many beaches were segregated and opportunities for minorities more limited than today.
- 1951 - William Edmondson was an African-American folk art sculptor. In 1937 Edmondson was the first African-American artist to be given a one-person show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Kim Hamilton, Ivan Dixon and Steven Perry
| Famous Weddings in 1951 |
- July 31, 1951 - Ray Charles and Eileen Williams are wed.
- 1951 - Tap dancer Leonard Reed married Barbara De Costa.
- 1951 - Actress, singer and voice artist Nichelle Nichols married Foster Johnson.
- 1951 - Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers are wed.
- 1951 - Kim Hamilton and Robert Henry Hamilton were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1951 - Juanita Moore and Charles Burris were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1951 - Maya Angelou and aspiring musician Tosh Angelos were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1951 - Louis Thomas Jordan and Vicky Hayes were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1951 - Shirley Graham and W. E. B. Du Bois were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1951 - - Rosetta Tharpe and Russell Morrison were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1951 - Singer Jackie Wilson and Freda Hood were wed in holy matrimony.
| Famous Divorces in 1951 |
- October 1951 - Dorothy Dandridge and dancer/entertainer Harold Nicholas were divorced.
- 1951 - Redd Foxx divorced Evelyn Killebrew.
- 1951 - Actress, singer and voice artist Nichelle Nichols divorced Foster Johnson.
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 1951 |
- 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.
Slaves kidnapped from their homes years ago mainly belonged to tribes. Each tribe was as different as night and day to the next tribe.|
They each had their individual languages and customs. So upon arriving in America they had to create a way to communicate with their master and each other, so over time they developed a spanking new and unique language called African American Vernacular English, and it didn't stop there.
Each group had their defined drum beat from their tribe that was added to the new way of life in the New World but with a new American twist with musical instruments they didn't have in Africa.
So to put it simply, soul or black music is a mixture of many different African beats incorporated into a new American culture. Think about how exciting that is, if it's possible to create anything positive at all from slavery it has to be African American music. It's admired all over the world.
We all originate from the same place, so it doesn't matter if we're listening to early 1900s blues singer "Ma Rainey" or the great 1940s singers "Billie Holiday" and "Nat King Cole" down to the famous rappers of our time such as the two late greats, "Biggie Smalls" or "Tupac", it all sounds good to us because we can feel and hear that beat.
Many cultures have contributed to the American way of life such as German Americans who introduced the Christmas tree tradition, or Italian Americans with their delicious pizza, or Mexican Americans with the tacos and delicious burritos, or the English Americans with their mainstays such as baseball and apple pie. The list goes on and on, and to add to those contributions, and without a doubt, soul music has changed the American way of life, it is truly an original, and one of our many proud contributions to our home here in America.
Alan Freed AKA 'Moondog'
| Music in 1951 |
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
Popular Soul Dances:
- January 6, 1951: "Bad, Bad Whiskey" — Amos Milburn
- March 3, 1951:"Black Night" — Charles Brown
- June 9, 1951: "Rocket 88" —; Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
- June 9, 1951: "Chica Boo" — Lloyd Glenn
- June 30, 1951: "Sixty Minute Man" — The Dominoes
- September 1, 1951: "Don’t You Know I Love You" — The Clovers
- September 22, 1951: "The Glory of Love" —; The Five Keys
- November 3, 1951: "'T' 99 Blues" — Jimmie Nelson and the Peter Rabbit Trio
- November 10, 1951: "Fool, Fool, Fool" — The Clovers
- November 10, 1951: "I Got Loaded" — "Peppermint" Harris
- November 17, 1951: "I'm in the Mood" — John Lee Hooker
- December 8, 1951: "Because of You" — Tab Smith and His Orchestra
- December 29, 1951: "Flamingo" — Earl Bostic and His Orchestra
Musical Happenings in 1951:
- The Bop
- The Stroll
- The Hand Jive
- The Cha Cha
- The Twist
- Bosa Nova
- Disc jockey Alan Freed learns from Cleveland record store owner Leo Mintz that white youths were becoming interested in African American music, and starts The Moondog Show in response, becoming the first white dj to play R&B for his mostly white listeners.
- One of the most prominent female and black composers of the era, Julia Perry, achieves wonderful praise with her Stabat Mater for contralto and string orchestra.
- Janet Collins becomes the first African-American ballet dancer to appear onstage at the Metropolitan Opera, in a producing of Aida.
- William Warfield and Muriel Rahn become the first African American concert artists to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show
- Doo-wop is a genre of music that was developed in African-American communities iacross 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".
1950s Mens Fashions
1950s Men's Fashions
1950s Women's Fashions
2.Actress Diahann Carroll wears a full-skirted dress with a small Peter Pan collar
360 Waves hairstyle
American jazz violinist Eddie South
with a conk hairdo.
Black couple in the 1950s
| Fashions in 1951 |
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). Dark charcoal gray was the usual color, and the era of the gray flannel suit was born. By the later 1950s, a new Continental style of suit appeared from the fashion houses of Italy, with sharper shoulders, lighter fabrics, shorter, fitted jackets and narrower lapels. Hawaiian shirts, worn untucked from suspenders, also became widely popular during this era. Some young men wore tight trousers or jeans, leather jackets, and white tee shirts. Browline eyeglasses were commonly worn by men during the 1950s and early 1960s.
A popular style of brassiere for women during the 1950s was the "bullet bra", where cups were pointed in a conical shape. This brassiere design was popularized by famous actresses of that day. Women who had worn trousers on war service refused to abandon these practical garments which suited the informal aspects of the post-war lifestyle. Casual sportswear was an increasingly large component of women's wardrobes. Casual skirts were narrow or very full. In the 1950s, pants became very narrow, and were worn ankle-length.
Shorts were very short in the early '50s, and mid-thigh length Bermuda shorts appeared around 1954 and remained fashionable through the remainder of the decade. Loose printed or knit tops were fashionable with pants or shorts. They also wore bikinis to sport training.
Swimsuits were one- or two-piece; some had loose bottoms like shorts with short skirts. Bikinis appeared in Europe but were not worn in America in the 1950s.
- 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.
- 360 Waves Hairstyle is generally worn by men. The hair is cropped short to the head in the styling of a Caesar cut. There are brushing techniques that will result in the resemblance of "oceanic waves" in the hair. In the 1950s African American males would straighten their hair with a homemade lye relaxer or one from the barber shop and have a texturizing cream put in for a wave pattern. This was commonly worn by young men in Doo-wop groups.
- 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.
Pullman porters, who were mainly black, are widely credited with contributing to the development of the black middle class in America. Before the Civil War, sleeping cars were not in use. George Pullman came up with the brilliant idea of making rail travel a memorable event with servers to cater to whites every need.
During slavery, most whites didn't own slaves, and this gave them an opportunity to experience that. Pullman became the number #1 employer of blacks in the country. He was a tight businessman though because the pay was lousy with the porters working over 400 hours a month. Porters also had to purchase their clothing and accessories. They received most of their income by tips.
But the job was steady work and that meant alot for black families. Famous porters of old included, Thurgood Marshall, Oscar Micheaux, Malcolm X and the photojournalist Gordon Parks.
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
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1950s
Beautiful black family in the 50s
| Our Community in 1951 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- July 14, 1951 - George Washington Carver monument is unveiled.
- September 3, 1951 - The TV soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" debuts on CBS. Trivia: Shows like these had many women and I must admit men also hooked. These shows were a preview of the no holds barred entertainment of reality shows. Dang shame (lol)
- 1951 - The Martinsville Seven were a group of seven African American men from Martinsville, Virginia who were convicted and executed for raping a white woman in 1949. At the time of their arrest soon after the events, all but one was between the ages of 20 and 23. They were quickly tried in six separate trials (two agreed to be tried together), and each was sentenced to death. All were executed in two days in early February 1951.
- 1951 - Jet magazine was an American weekly marketed toward African-American readers, founded in 1951 by John H. Johnson of Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago, Illinois. In 2014, Johnson Publishing Company indicated that it would cease publishing Jet issues at the end of June, continuing solely as a digital magazine app. Trivia: Redd Foxx called Jet magazine "the Negro bible."
- 1950s Happenings in America - Car Hops at burger establishments where waitresses roller-skate to your vehicle and take your order. 3D Movies which had been around since the 1920s was making a comeback, competing against the television. Everybody loved the Blackjack Chewing Gum which had a licorice flavor. Frisbee throwing was becoming a serious art form, the tricks some could do with a frisbee were amazing. Hula Hoop was a regular in everyone's home, the inventors put sand or rocks inside the hoop to make noise while in use. Pez candy was a favorite for kids. Men of all races wore sideburns which was facial hair that grew down about an inch below the ears.
- The United States Population is 150,697,361 with a total of 15,044,937 being African Americans. Negroes are having more babies, and more than likely it was because of the Great Migration and jobs opening up in the North with the war effort.
#100 - By ImagePros (Flickr) [
CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
#101 - See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#102 - By Trailer screenshot (The Decks Ran Red trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#103 - Public Domain image - By TGC-Topps Gum Cards (eBay frontback) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - Public Domain image -
By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer: Palumbo, Ed, photographer. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image -
By National Broadcasting Company (ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - Public Domain image -
By CBS Radio. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - Public Domain image -
By Louise Dahl-Wolfe (Archives of American Art) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#108 - Public Domain image -
By Harris & Ewing [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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