Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1888:
Tim Moore was born Harry Roscoe Moore in Rock Island, Illinois, one of 13 children of Harry and Cynthia Moore. As a boy, Moore was a very adventurous. At a very early age, he knew his calling was entertainment, dropping out of grammar school and performing on the streets for pennies along with a buddy named Romeo Washburn.
The pair ended up working for the Barnum & Bailey Circus and toured America and even Great Britain. As Moore and Washburn grew older, the act became less efficient, and the two were sent back to their parents in Rock Island.
Medicine shows were very popular back it the day; they would travel from city to city claiming to have magical medicine that could cure all the ills you may have, very similar to the claims made today. Well in time Moore joined the medicine show of "Doctor Mick" (Charles S. Mick), who sold a patented quack remedy called Pru-ri-ta. Doctor Mick traveled through the Midwestern states, with songs and dances provided by Moore and four Kickapoo Indians.
Moore left Doctor Mick, first to become a stable boy and later a jockey. He also tried his hand as a boxer, which on occasion in between his entertainment tours. Moore's love for boxing brought him face to face against heavyweight champ Jack Johnson. he fought under the name "Young Klondike"
He returned to performing about 1906, with a troupe of minstrels called "The Rabbit's Foot Company." By 1908, he was back in vaudeville and had met and married his first wife, Hester.
They performed as a team, "The Moores - Tim & Hester", appearing in the United States and abroad. The couple toured China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Fiji Islands and Hawaii with a vaudeville troupe.
Moore would go on to perform in many movies, many of which were stereotypical black films. He was loved by the black community. In the early 1940s, Moore was one of the top comedians headlining at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He also performed on radio as a dramatic actor. At what he thought was the end of his career, he retired from show business and took a job working the night shift at the Servus Rubber company, where boots and shoes were made.
In 1950, Moore was recommended by his old vaudeville friend, Flournoy Miller, for the role of George "Kingfish" Stevens, a character which was voiced on radio by white actor Freeman Gosden. He was called out of retirement by the Columbia Broadcasting System to star in a new television adaptation of Amos 'n' Andy, and the rest is history.
In January of 1958 Moore was involved in a serious but funny "Roast Beef Scandal". His wife had her relatives living with them, and Moore felt they were free-loaders. The last straw was when they ate the last of the roast beef. Moore was livid, he took out his gun and fired to scare them. The police were called, and he was arrested but later let go by the courts. The arresting police called him the "funniest prisoner in police history". The story made national news.
This man without a doubt brought much-needed laughter in our lives, and yes he was human, with faults (and relatives) just like all of us. That's one reason we could relate to this person. At this time, we would like to honor this great human being with the 1888 Hamite Award, the year he was born. Moore started his life's journey at an early age, and stuck with his dreams, ending up one of the most famous individuals on earth, even in times when it was harder for blacks to succeed.
Moore died at age 71 on December 13, 1958. There was no money to pay for his hospital care or his funeral, Moore having received his final $65.00 residual payment from Amos 'n' Andy in January 1958. At one time, Moore had made $700 per week.
Sammy Davis, Jr. later related that Frank Sinatra (who was a wonderful American brother whose name in history seems to constantly pop up in reaching out to blacks) organized the effort to pay Tim Moore's funeral expenses. Moore's grave remained unmarked from the time of his burial until 1983; fellow comedians Redd Foxx and George Kirby raised funds for a headstone.
Tim Moore promotional photo
|How were blacks feeling in 1888?
America, hold on to your horses because a funny man was born this year. We have a feeling Tim Moore is gonna keep us all entertained in the years to come.
Let me tell you what my smart mouth daughter said to me. We were at a public gathering having a good ole time, and I reach for my drink Coka Coke that just came on the scene, I'm feeling real modern and up with the times, and I get ready to take a nice big gulp and she hollers in front of everybody, Mama why are you so old fashioned? You don't drink Coka Coke that way, do it this way.
She pulls out this long drinking device that was invented this year called a wax straw and proceeds to suck all of my Coka Coke down her tight throat. I smacked her down real good, just playing of course and everybody was just laughing. Better learn to treat your mama better than that little girl.
I just can't keep up with all these new inventions coming out, I guess next will be fast food. Black folks are still leaving the South for a better life, they have been called the Exodusters. We have a new President this year with Benjamin Harrison winning the election, and as usual, it remains to be seen what type of man he's going to be. We're still making do the best we know how, but just as second class citizens in ALL aspects of life, when we see our so-called American brothers living the life, it's demoralizing.
Top row left: black baseball player Moses Fleetwood Walker.
Walker remained in Syracuse until the team released him in August 1889.
Shortly after, the American Association and the National League both unofficially banned
African-American players, making the adoption of Jim Crow in baseball complete.
Baseball would remain segregated until 1946 when Jackie Robinson
"broke the color barrier" in professional baseball.
Octavius Valentine Catto
John W. "Bud" Fowler
Moses Fleetwood Walker
| Sports in 1888 |
- Blacks were not accepted into the league baseball games, so they started their teams, becoming professional by the the 1870s. The first known baseball game between two black teams was held on November 15, 1859, in New York City. The Henson Base Ball Club of Jamaica, Queens, defeated the Unknowns of Weeksville, Brooklyn, 54 to 43.
By the end of the 1860s, the black baseball mecca was Philadelphia, which had an African-American population of 22,000. Two former cricket players, James H. Francis and Francis Wood, formed the Pythian Base Ball Club. They played in Camden, New Jersey, at the landing of the Federal Street Ferry, because it is hard to get permits for black baseball games in the city. Octavius Catto, the promoter of the Pythians, decided to apply for membership in the National Association of Base Ball Players, generally a matter of sending delegates to the annual convention; beyond that, a formality.
At the end of the 1867 season "the National Association of Baseball Players voted to exclude any club with a black player." In some ways Blackball thrived under segregation, with the few black teams of the day playing not only each other but white teams as well. "Black teams earned the bulk of their income playing white independent 'semipro' clubs."
- The mistreatment and segregation of Blacks didn't only happen in the South, but also the Northern cities like Philadelphia.
- Octavius Valentine Catto was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. As a man, he also became known as a top cricket and black baseball pioneer in 19th-century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- The first known professional black baseball player was Bud Fowler, who appeared in a handful of games with a Chelsea, Massachusetts club in April 1878 and then pitched for the Lynn, Massachusetts team in the International Association.
- Moses Fleetwood Walker and his brother, Welday Wilberforce Walker, were the first two black players in the major leagues. They both played for the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings in the American Association.
- The few blacks on the white minor league teams were constantly dodging verbal and physical abuse from both competitors and fans. Then the Compromise of 1877 removed the remaining obstacles from the South's enacting the Jim Crow laws. To make matters worse, on July 14, 1887, Cap Anson's Chicago White Stockings marched his team onto the field, military style as was his custom, he demanded that the blacks not play, and later that same day, league owners voted to refuse future contracts to blacks, citing the "hazards" imposed by such athletes.
- In 1888, the Middle States League was formed, and it admitted two all-black teams to its otherwise all-white league, the Cuban Giants and their arch-rivals, the New York Gorhams. They became traveling teams known as the Colored All-Americans. They would go to various cities playing games that were not authorized by the professional white league. They would play against any team that just wanted some real, fair competition and make a little money in the process. The New York Gorhams quit playing after awhile and by 1892 the Cuban Giants were the only black team in the East still in operation on a full-time basis.
- March 10, 1888 - Heavyweight boxing champion John L Sullivan draws Charlie Mitchell in thirty rounds of boxing.
- 1888 - George Dixon claimed the World Bantamweight Championship in 1888. Trivia: George Dixon is the inventor of Shadowboxing.
Saint Paul's College
| Educational Scene in 1888 |
- September 24, 1888 - Saint Paul's College was founded with fewer than a dozen students. The school was intended chiefly to develop African-American teachers, a critical and prestigious jobs in the late 19th and early 20th century South. Trivia: Throughout the 2012–2013 school year, the college sought to merge with another institution, but on June 3, 2013, the board announced the college would close on June 30, 2013.
| Political Scene in 1888 |
- Jun 23, 1888 - Frederick Douglass is the first African-American nominated for United States President.
- Nov 6, 1888 - Benjamin Harrison (R-Sen-Ind) is elected new 23rd President of the United States.
- 1888 - Edward Park Duplex African-American pioneer of California becomes the first elected mayor of Wheatland, California in 1888.
- 1888 - Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. He was the winner of the popular vote for president three times—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was one of the two Democrats (alongside Woodrow Wilson) elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination dating from 1861 to 1933.
Sidenote: Grover Cleveland was a president who didn't really care about Civil Rights for racial groups. He didn't make an effort to help disenfranchised blacks in the South choosing to ignore those American citizens and also with the Chinese immigrants who were murdered in the Washington territory, he sided with the terrorist and felt it was the Chinese fault for the riots. But to keep the peace with the Chinese government who had complained, he went ahead and provided reparations. When will we finally get a president who understands true American principles and the meaning, or were those words just fantasy?
"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 tribal 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 smarter and better educated than 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 dawn to dusk 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
Anna Madah Hyers dressed as 'Urlina' in the opera Urlina the African Princess (1879)
| Musicals / Movies in 1888 |
- The Hyers Sisters, Anna Madah and Emma Louise were singers and pioneers of black musical theater. With Joseph Bradford and Pauline Hopkins, the Hyers Sisters produced the "first full-fledged musical plays... in which African Americans themselves comment on the plight of the slaves and the relief of Emancipation without the disguises of minstrel comedy." Their first play was Out of Bondage (also known as Out of the Wilderness) which premiered in 1876.
The Hyers Sisters under the management of their proud father not only toured in America but internationally. As small children, the father had them classically trained by German professor Hugo Sank and later opera singer Josephine D'Ormy and they performed for private parties before making their professional stage debut. They were very well received everywhere they performed and blazed a path for other black entertainers to follow. They traveled until the mid-1880s with their own shows and continued to appear on stage into the 1890s. Wow, absolutely amazing!
Archie Alphonso Alexander
| Famous Birthdays in 1888 |
- January 20, 1888 – Lead Belly was an American folk and blues musician notable for his strong vocals, virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced. Trivia: Lead Belly, although a very talented musician had a very violent history. He spent many times in prision for assault, once for murder, but was always released because of his talent.
- May 14, 1888 – Archie Alphonso Alexander was an African-American mathematician and engineer. He was an early African-American graduate of the University of Iowa and the first to graduate from the University of Iowa's College of Engineering. He was also a governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- May 28, 1888 – Cyril Valentine Briggs was an African-Caribbean American writer and communist political activist.
- December 9, 1888 – Tim Moore was a celebrated American vaudevillian and comic actor of the first half of the 20th century. He gained his greatest recognition in the starring role of George "Kingfish" Stevens in the CBS television series Amos 'n' Andy. Trivia: On occasion in between his entertainment tours, Moore had a love for boxing, even going up against heavyweight champ Jack Johnson. he fought under the name "Young Klondike"
- 1888 – John Campbell Dancy, Jr. African American social worker.
|| Famous African American Quotes |
Tim Moore - vaudevillian, comic actor and star of the television series Amos 'n' Andy.
"I've made it a point never to tell a joke on stage that I couldn't tell in front of my mother."
| Famous Deaths in 1888 |
- April 10, 1888 - Sarah A. Campbell was a cook, gold and silver prospector and was co-founder of the Custer Park Mining Company.
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
African American composers
| Music in 1888 |
Musical Happenings in 1888:
- April 5, 1888 - Opera star Sissieretta Jones made her New York debut at Steinway Hall.
- By 1881, Billy Johnson was performing in minstrel shows. In 1886 he joined Lew Johnson's minstrels and the following year moved to Hicks and Sawyer's minstrels, where he stayed for six seasons. He began writing songs and eventually landed a job with Bob Cole as songwriter and stage producer for the more upscale Black Patti Troubadours. Cole and Johnson produced a musical sketch for Black Patti, then left that company to produce their own musical, A Trip to Coontown (1898), the first full length black-produced musical on an American stage. However, during the third season of this musical, the pair separated.
Fashions for young African American women
Fashions for African American Men
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
Making a fashion statement
| Fashions in 1888 |
Fashion in the 1880s is characterized by the return of the bustle. The long, lean line of the 1870s was replaced by a full, curvy silhouette with gradually widening shoulders. Fashionable waists were low and tiny below a full, low bust supported by a corset.
Skirts were looped, draped, or tied up in various ways, and worn over matching or contrasting underskirts Choker necklaces and jewelled collars were also fashionable in the 1880s. Long, jacket-like fitted bodices called basques were also popular for daywear An usual type of undergarment was called combinations, a camisole with attached knee or calf-length drawers, worn under the corset, bustle, and petticoat.
Three piece suits, "ditto suits", consisting of a sack coat with matching waistcoat vest continued as an informal alternative to the contrasting frock coat, waistcoat and trousers. Formal wear remained a dark tail coat and trousers with a dark waistcoat. Evening wear was worn with a white bow tie and a shirt with a winged collar. By the 1880s the majority of the working class, even shepherds adopted jackets and waistcoats in fustian and corduroy with corduroy trousers, giving up their smock frocks.
Young girls wore dresses with round collars and sashes. Fashionable dresses had dropped waists. Pinafores were worn for work and play. A hat or bonnet was worn as well, along with long, knee-length button-up boots or shorter boots with gaitors to give the appearance of wearing long boots. Older boys wore knee-length breeches and jackets with round-collared shirts.
Yeow!, Slavery is Finally Over!|
It's smooth sailing ahead
We can't wait to get out in the workforce to make our own money
What type of employment awaits us in the 1800s?
90% of Negroes still lived in the South up until the late 1910s. Blacks looking for work in the South mainly worked on the land they lived. Most were tenant farmers that did contract work on a farm by farm basis. Some blacks were hired just for a particular job and once the job was over had to find employment elsewhere. They would work and harvest the field for the season and pay the owner out of their profits for room and board and use of farming tools.
Some but not many blacks also worked in manufacturing, and for the most part were paid comparable wages as their white counterparts. However, blacks were much less likely to hold better-paying skilled jobs, and they were more liable to work for lower-paying companies.
If blacks were not working on farms, they were engaged in unskilled labor and service jobs. They were unable to afford their homes. Because of the crazy events unfolding with voter intimidations and outright murders by the KKK, with total impunity and the total disregard for assistance from American presidents, and the end of Reconstruction help. Most black children had not attended school in the year before the Census was taken, and white children were much more likely to have attended.
Immediately after the emancipation blacks were very eager to learn, school attendance was sky high, but unfolding events that were perpetrated or voted on in approval by white citizens demoralized many blacks at this point in history before the turn of the century, and don't forget the effects of damaging Jim Crows laws which were about to formally get underway.
So a typical look at the African American family at the end of the 1800s Census lived and worked on a farm in the South and did not own their home, and children in these families were unlikely to be in school even at very young ages.
Blacks also found employment in the mining industry, which was very dangerous work. In 1883, thousands of European immigrants and a large number of African Americans migrated to southern West Virginia to work in coal mines. These coal miners worked in company mines with company tools and equipment, which they were required to lease. Along with these expenses, the miners have deducted pay for housing rent and items they purchased from company stores. Furthermore, the coal companies went as far as creating their monetary system so the miners could only shop at company-owned stores. In addition to the poor economic condition, safety in the mines was a great concern with many men either killed or permanently injured.
African-Americans also worked in the shipping business as stevedores or more commonly called, longshoreman which consisted of waterfront manual laborer involved in loading and unloading ships. In the 1800s, the word stevedore was usually applied to black laborers who loaded and unloaded bales of cotton and other freight on and off riverboats.
Work for Negroes in the Northern cties weren't much better. Many blacks probably thought that after the Civil War their streets were going to be paved golden with opportunity, but boy were they in for a surprise!
Blacks were denied at every level on the economic ladder. It has been observed that this was a period the black crime rate rose, with the white crime rate going down. Whites controlled every single aspect of gainful American employment.
Factories were going full steam ahead, but when blacks tried to enter, they were shut out, why? Mainly because the whites didn't want to work side by side with blacks, so as a result they were not hired.
The textiles and garment industries were also booming during this period, but there aren't records of blacks ever being hired.
It was possible for blacks to find work with the railroads as Pullman porters, track workers, or common laborers, but at the same time when their families and friends wanted to travel on the train, they were segregated. How demoralizing that had to be. White railroad unions blocked them out from making better pay which was in the maintenance and train building departments.
In the early 1800s, there were many black craftsmen such as carpenters, machinist, contractors, etc. who enjoyed a good reputation with their skilled art trade, but in the late 1800s that image changed due to the increase of separate but equal doctrine. It's not a dispute blacks couldn't do the work, the issue was the color of skin that kept them out of the workforce.
When a black would apply for employment at a retail store, they wouldn't hire them, saying whites did not want to be served by them. One black was fortunate enough to land a job as the cities only black clerk at a commercial bank. What was the catch? He never received a raise or promotion and dared not complained.
Businesses would hire newly arriving immigrants before hiring their American black brothers. Blacks were better educated, but just the wrong color in their eyes.
If a black person extended himself through higher learning going on to become a doctor or lawyer, one important question has to be answered. Who were going to be his paying clients? This problem persist in today's world and as long as America is around, it always will. It's a deeply entrenched belief in white people whether conscious or unconscious to avoid doing business with blacks. (generally speaking)
Whites rarely would patronize black professionals, even famous black sociologist of those days WEB Dubois made a comment "Education will get you nothing but disappointment and humiliation.'' which Dubois had to be frustrated when making that statement because he was at the forefront in African American achievement through education.
It has been noted that there were only two avenues open for blacks during this period in history which was strike-breaking and vice.
Different businesses such as the coal mines would hire blacks a strike-breakers when the whites would protest for more money. Of course, many blacks lost their lives with the violent outburst by the white workers fearing they were losing their jobs. Blacks had to take the chance along with the danger, what else could they do?
They had to feed their families too. With the women, it was the same thing. When white dressmakers went on strike, the company hired black women to take their place. So basically, blacks were used as pawns in the game.
The other avenue open to blacks was the vice, and this clearly explains how and why this phenomenon has extended down to our day for a segment of our black community. It would seem these blacks are still demoralized and traumatized from these events in history. But we have every hope they will rise and soar like the eagles. There was a lot of gambling, prostitution, lottery, and bootlegging, going on in the cities, and maybe the police kept a blind eye to it because they ignored it for a while. - At this point in history, Philadelphia was estimated to have 10,000 prostitutes and 1,000 brothels in the 1890s. Most of the vise would find it's way into the black neighborhoods with black leaders unable to stop it.
We think it's important to note that old saying that "the more things change the more they stay the same" applies here. America has made some progress in racial relations but the attitude still exist for blacks entering the workplace which is mostly white. Many will keep quiet but may not want you there, but you have your family to feed just like they do and as long as everyone does his work and obey the rules is all that matters. We're not out to win a popularity contest. But if they sincerely want to work with you, that would be wonderful!
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1880s
| Our Community in 1888 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- January 3, 1888 - first wax drinking straw patented by Marvin C Stone in Washington DC.
- October 17, 1888 - first owned African American bank ( Capitol Savings Bank of Washington, D.C.) opened.
- October 17, 1888 - visionary Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (movie).
- 1888 - the St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Helena, Montana was founded.
- The United States Population is 50,155,783 with a total of 6,580,793 being African Americans.
#100 - Public Domain image - Chicken by Will Accooe (New York : Howley, Haviland and Co., c1899.). African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920, American Memory, Library of Congress
#101 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], 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
#104 - By CBS Television (eBay frontback) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - By Publicity photo-unknownUploaded by We hope at en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - By Pach Brothers - photographAdam Cuerden - restoration. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - See page for author [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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