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
Dislike of black people is a relatively new phenomenon that started after the 16th century. Before this time there wasn't a thing such as racial prejudices. If color issues did arise, it was an infrequent occurrence. It's hardly mentioned in history books. For the most part, skin color was not a factor.
In fact, it's well documented how the early Greek philosophers who were all white, Socrates, Herodotus, Thales, Alexander the Great, Aristotle among others happily mingled with the blacks. Africa was known as the learning capital of the world, and many philosophers traveled to Africa to study about everything from philosophy to mathematics. Pythagoras is believed to have made it the furthest, having studied in Kemet for 23 years.
The Greek Poet Homer was one of those travelers and made the following statement:
"In ancient times the blacks were known to be so gentle to
strangers that many believed that the gods sprang from them.
Homer sings of the Ocean, father of the gods; and says that
when Jupiter wishes to take a holiday, he visits the sea,
and goes to the banquets of the blacks,--a people humble,
courteous, and devout."
Mr. Reade http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15735/15735.txt
Black people had a good reputation for being intelligent, kind and hospitable and enjoying an advanced civilization that the Greeks envied.
If alive today, Greek scholars would find it surprising how a person might believe in superiority simply because of skin color.
History makes the answer easy. After the 16th century, race became an issue for whites because of three dynamics. Greed, science, and white history (legacy).
Not to pick on white people, but it's entirely accurate they made our co-existence on this earth a race issue. This developed scorn or dislike they have for blacks continues down to our day.
- Greed The trans-Atlantic slave trade was about greed. Free black labor aided in making Europeans countries and America very rich on the backs of black slaves. This created animosity between the blacks and whites.
- Erroneous science theoriesThe introduction of false science teaching aided European and Americans in abandoning their conscience, because science didn't require one. Early Western philosophy advocated peace and treating all men with respect, but subsequent white generations did the opposite. Whites started to feel like gods themselves with their advancements in science and began to exhibit hubris, which is a Greek word denoting overconfident pride combined with arrogance. In other words, their heads became too big.
- Incomplete history recording Eurocentric history is always portrayed as the centerpiece of world history. African history was habitually erased by invading troops to eliminate its contributions and accomplishments to the world while preserving their European legacy. White history regularly portrays Africa as a wasteland full of ignorant savages, but current excavations prove the opposite. Africa was a developed continent with advanced civilizations just as good as Europe if not better.
Listed below are a few of the so-called geniuses who got the ball rolling in pitting white against black.
Not one ounce of truth could be found in what these early scientists preached as fact. Modern science doesn't agree with them. But guess what? There's still a lot of people who believe in this ridiculous white superiority crap, either conscious or unconsciously, which doesn't say much for the intelligence of these people.
Believe it or not, this is one reason a lot of whites dislike blacks today. It's not rare to hear about media services about blacks being called derogatory names associated with past world history.
So to honestly answer the question above "Why do many in America dislike black people?" At this point, it's because they want to.
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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