Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1918:
George Henry White
George Henry White was elected as a Republican U.S. Congressman from North Carolina and served between 1897 and 1901. Because of the racist Jim Crow era that disenfranchised blacks their voting privileges, White is considered the last African-American Congressman of the Jim Crow era, one of twenty to be elected in the late nineteenth century from the South.
While in office, White accomplished much for his people. He worked for African-American civil rights and consistently highlighted issues of justice, relating discussions on the economy, foreign policy and colonization to the treatment of blacks in the South. He supported an effort for reduction legislation derived from the 14th Amendment, to reduce apportionment of Congressional delegations in proportion to the voting population that states were illegally disenfranchising.
White used the power of his office to appoint several African-American postmasters across his district. Following the actions of North Carolina Democrats in 1899, who changed the state constitution to disfranchise blacks, White chose not to seek a third term. He told the Chicago Tribune, "I cannot live in North Carolina and be a man and be treated as a man." He announced plans to leave his home state and start a law practice in Washington, DC at the end of his term.
White delivered his final speech in the House on January 29, 1901:
"This is perhaps the Negroes' temporary farewell to the American Congress, but let me say, Phoenix-like he will rise up some day and come again. These parting words are in behalf of an outraged, heart-broken, bruised and bleeding, but God-fearing people; faithful, industrious, loyal, rising people – full of potential force
What an insightful man White was to discern that the present situation would not last, and true to his word we now have elected a black President.
In 1906 White and his family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which had a well-established black community. The city began to attract more blacks as it had many industrial jobs; it was a destination in the Great Migration of African Americans out of the South in the early twentieth century. White founded a commercial savings bank as well as practicing law. White was wealthy with a net worth of $30,000 in 1902.
He had to be a shining example, a bright star to blacks during his day. He represented success, Black American success, a very positive role model. We would like to take this opportunity to award this marvelous human being with the 1918 Hamite Award which belongs to ones who have dedicated their lives in helping others and lived their existence as sterling examples. Thanks George Henry White.
White was an early officer in the National Afro-American Council, a nationwide civil rights organization created in 1898. He served several terms as one of nine national vice presidents, and was twice an unsuccessful candidate for the Council's presidency. He also became an early member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. White died in 1918, and is buried in an unmarked grave at Eden Cemetery in nearby Collingdale.
George Henry White |
|How were blacks feeling in 1918?
THIS IS THE SECOND & LAST YEAR OF AMERICA'S
PARTICIPATION IN THE GREAT WAR
War in the trenches abroad and at home. Our fellow white American soldiers hate our guts, and they don't hide their feelings about it either. They have effectively snuffed out our Civil Rights with unconstitutional laws that are guaranteed. They don't sound American to me.
But look at these excellent examples of true Americans below who despite all the distractions at home, have traveled to another land to fight in the Great War for a country that won't even treat them with dignity. There were over 370,000 African Americans who would serve in World War I. Within one week of Wilson’s declaration of war in 1917, the War Department had to stop accepting black volunteers because the quotas were filled with Colored soldiers. Blacks were keen to serve their country.
But why do we do it?
We do it because we believe in the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution. The Negro is cognizant that true America and white America are two very different and separate things. We are fighting for true America, not racist unpricinlpled white Americans. True America has no colors.
We love you boys and are so proud of you. Welcome home!
Negro Troops in France. The picture shows part of the 15th Regiment Infantry New York National Guard organized by Colonel Haywood, which has been under fire. Two of the men, Privates Johnson and Roberts, displayed exceptional courage while under fire and routed a German raiding party, for which the black people were decorated with the French Croix de Guerre. It will be noticed that the men have taken to the French helmet, instead of the flatter and broader British style.- photo#104-yr-1918
Harlem Hellfighters in action. Here, the men of the 369th are depicted wearing the American Brodie helmet; however, after being detached and seconded to the French, they wore the Adrian helmet, while retaining the rest of their American uniform. This particular image displays the action at Séchault, France on September 29, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. They would have worn the American Brodie helmet at this time.- photo#103-yr-1918
OVER 16 MILLION SOULS DEAD, AND FOR WHAT?
CAN'T TELL THAT LIE TO BLACK PEOPLE
THE GREAT WAR IS OFFICIALLY OVER
November 11, 1918
Now back home to the good ole U.S.A. to fight our daily war of injustice against unprincipled white Americans who claim to represent the true democracy that Abraham Lincoln died for.
Soldiers of the 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, 1919. Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Storms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor.
trivia: Just as in The Revolutionary War and Civil War, African Americans were eager to show their loyalty and worth to America. It's well recorded that blacks fought with extreme courage and valor. The Germans nicknamed them "Hell Fighters" due to their toughness and that they never lost a man through capture, lost a trench or a foot of ground to the enemy. America and the British wouldn't allow blacks to join the war effort but did condone them fighting under the white officers of France and Canada. Blacks didn't encounter the racism they experienced in America fighting with the French. For the most part, the French welcomed blacks with open arms and treated them equally which embarrassed America with its lie of upholders of democracy for all. Also, the racist American miltary in it's a shame went so far as to create the notorious pamphlet "Secret Information Concerning Black American Troops," which "warned" French civilian authorities of the alleged inferior nature and supposed rapist tendencies of African Americans and warn the French not to put on such a public display of equality for the world to see and informed that blacks should always be made to feel inferior in all their dealings. This was a fascinating period in world history because blacks were given a free pass to kill white people, which was a blow to the long-held theory of white superiority.
| Political Scene in 1918 |
- Democrat Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 and leader of the Progressive Movement. Analysis: This President, Woodrow Wilson was the only Democrat besides Grover Cleveland to be elected president since 1856. As a young person, his father defended slavery, owned slaves and set up a Sunday school for them. Both parents identified with the Confederacy and cared for wounded soldiers at their church. His upbringing would influence his decisions as President. He made promises he didn't keep. Believe it or not, many blacks supported him, but once in office, he forgot about promises he made. Wilson believed that slavery was wrong on economic labor grounds, rather than for moral reasons. He also idealized the slavery system in the South, viewing masters as patient with "indolent" slaves. Although he drafted hundreds of thousands of Negroes for the war, he believed in keeping the military segregated against the protest of black service members. Wilson scolded them "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you, gentlemen." He also instructed the segregation of the workplace in federal offices. In 1918, W. E. B. Du Bois—a leader of the NAACP who had campaigned for Wilson—was offered an Army commission in charge of dealing with race relations; DuBois accepted, but he failed his Army physical and did not serve. I can't figure out why Dubois would throw his support to this President unless he knew something we don't. Years earlier, Wilson was against blacks enrolling at Princeton University while he was president there because he didn't want to upset the white students. He also believed the KKK had proper cause and reason for the terror they inflicted upon the Negro race. It's interesting to note that another apparently racist President went down in history as one of the greatest ten who had ever served in the United States. (what does that say about America?) It means a lousy U.S. President, but an excellent white President. This man resume speaks for itself. He served two terms so this meant another 8 years of despair and hopelessness for the lowly Negro citizen.
A man lynched from a tree. Face partially concealed by angle and headgear.
| Race in 1918 |
- July 25-28, - 1918 - a race riot occurred in Chester, Pennsylvania. 3 blacks and 2 whites were killed.
- July 26-29, 1918 - a race riot occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 3 blacks and 1 white were killed.
- 1918 - There were 60 known cases of lynchings in America.
Movies in America
Actress Evelyn Preer
| Movies in 1918 |
- Evelyn Preer was a pioneering African-American stage and screen actress and blues singer of the 1910s through the early 1930s. Preer was regarded by many as the greatest actress of her time and was known within the black community as "The First Lady of the Screen"
Pearl Mae Bailey
- photo#100-yr-1918 -
- photo#101-yr-1918 -
Samuel Jethroe, nicknamed "The Jet"
- photo#102-yr-1918 -
Charity Adams Earley
Charles Arthur Hayes
| Famous Birthdays in 1918 |
- January 19, 1918 - John Harold Johnson businessman and publisher.
- January 20, 1918 - Samuel Jethroe, nicknamed "The Jet" was an American center fielder in Negro league and Major League Baseball.
- February 17, 1918 - Charles Arthur Hayes was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Illinois.
- March 29, 1918 - Pearl Mae Bailey was an American actress and singer.
- April 15, 1918 - Hilda Simms was an African-American stage actress, best known for her starring role on Broadway in Anna Lucasta. Trivia: Hilda's mother who was a devout Catholic refused to see her perform because she stated she would not watch her daughter play a prostitute, she didn't raise her that way.
- July 18, 1918 - Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist.
- September 15, 1918 - Nipsey Russell comedian, best known today for his appearances as a guest panelist on game shows.
- October 8, 1918 - Geraldine Louise ("Deenie") Pindell was the wife of William Monroe Trotter who was a newspaper editor and real estate businessman based in Boston, Massachusetts, and an activist for African-American civil rights.
- 1918 - Charity Adams Earley was the first African-American woman to be an officer in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (later WACS) and was the commanding officer of the first battalion of African-American women to serve overseas during World War II. Adams was the highest ranking African-American woman in the army by the completion of the war
George Henry White
Portrait of Edward Alexander Bouchet, Yale College class of 1874, the first African-American to graduate from Yale College.
| Famous Deaths in 1918 |
- March 17, 1918 - Susan Maria McKinney Stewardwas an American physician and author. She was the third African-American woman to earn a medical degree, and the first in New York state.
- March 25, 1918 - Walter Daniel John Tull was an English professional footballer who played as an inside forward for Tottenham Hotspur and Northampton Town.
- September 28, 1918 - Freddie Stowers was an African American corporal in the United States Army who was killed in action during World War I, while serving in an American unit under French command. Over 70 years later, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions.
- October 28, 1918 - Edward Alexander Bouchet was an African American physicist and educator.
- December 28, 1918 - George Henry White was an attorney, banker and politician, elected as a Republican U.S. Congressman from North Carolina and serving between 1897 and 1901. He is considered the last African-American Congressman of the Jim Crow era, one of twenty to be elected in the late nineteenth century from the South.
- 1918 - Jim Perry did it all, he was an African American cowboy, roper, cook, top hand and musician.
- 1918 - Grafton Tyler Brown was an American painter, lithographer and cartographer. Brown was the first African American artist to create works depicting the Pacific Northwest and California.
| Famous Weddings in 1918 |
- March 19, 1918 - Louis Armstrong and Daisy Parker were wed in holy matrimony.
- September 12, 1918 - Amanda Randolph and Arthur Sherman were wed in holy matrimony.
Howard Theatre at 620 T Street NW, with inset of manager, Andrew J. Thomas (ca. 1910-1919).
Vaudeville star George Walker
Egbert "Bert" Austin Williams
Howard Theatre interior
| Entertainment in 1919 |
- George Walker formed the The Frogs (club)
Why did George Walker start a black club for actors when he could have just joined the American Actors Beneficial Association? Because like everything else in America, it was becoming commonplace for blacks and whites to be separated in everything. Doctors, Realtors, Lawyers, Unions, etc. and every other organization you can think of was segregated. It's almost like whites needed a race of people such as the lowly black person to measure its greatness. Blacks had no choice but to organize for their benefit. The Negro didn't want it this way, but like a famous rapper once said: "That's just the way it is" The American Actors Beneficial Association excluded blacks from its memberships and didn't appreciate it when Walker formed the Frogs. His original start up group, The Colored Vaudeville Benevolent Association, received negative attitude from white producers. The concept of the colored man supporting himself through performance and no longer just “taking what they were given” posed a threat to the white vaudevillian and theatrical community. With this, Walker set forth to create The Frogs. On July 18, 1908, at Walker’s home at 52 West 153rd St in Harlem, eleven of the most prominent names in the industry formed together to create the African American theatrical organization. The Frogs became known for their big event “The Frolic of the Frogs” or “The Frogs Frolic” every August at the Manhattan Casino (New York City) at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue. For 50 cents, people enjoyed a combination ball, party, and vaudeville show where favors were given to the ladies and door prizes went to the three people wearing unique costumes symbolic of the frogs. With a large success in the early years of the event, “The Frolic of the Frogs” was able to tour their event in cities such as Philadelphia, Richmond, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Popularity in the frolic was found among both blacks and whites. We love happy stories like "The Frogs" had given the people of New York. Come on let's face it, 99% of the time because of racial oppression; it's was negative for the Negro. George Walker died in 1911, but his longtime friend Bert Williams would take over the company continuing it's amazing success well into the 1920s.
The Howard Theatre is a historic theater, located at 620 T Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C. Opened in 1910; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In its heyday, the theater was known for catering to an African-American clientele, and had played host to many of the great black musical artists of the early and mid-twentieth century. The Howard Theatre was billed as the "Theater of the People", and supported two theatrical organizations, the Lafayette Players and the Howard University Players.
| It's a Party in 1918 |
- Back in the early 1900s because of prejudice and racial discrimination, black entertainers had to be very careful where they traveled. They weren't always welcome in various venues, so they created what's called a Chitlin Circuit. They named it Chitlin Circuit because of blacks typical love for soul food with chitlins being near the top as favorite. So, in other words, they understood they would be love on the circuit. They knew that the clubs, juke joints, theaters, etc. in the circuit were welcoming of the black race and safe to visit. This way of life existing from the early 1900s - 1960s. Noted theaters and entertainers on the circuit included:
The Fox Theatre in Detroit; the Victory Grill in Austin, Texas; the Carver Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama; the Cotton Club, Small's Paradise and the Apollo Theater in New York City; Robert's Show Lounge, Club DeLisa and the Regal Theatre in Chicago; the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.;the Royal Peacock in Atlanta; the Royal Theatre in Baltimore; the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia; the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; the Ritz Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida; and The Madam C. J. Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis.
Early figures of blues, including Robert Johnson, Son House, Charley Patton, and countless others, traveled the juke joint circuit, scraping out a living on tips and free meals. These entertainers provided much-needed joy and happiness for black folks. Once the band's gig was over, they would leave for the next stop on the circuit. Sounds like a lot of fun and an exciting life!
Many notable performers worked on the chitlin' circuit, including Patti LaBelle, Count Basie, Hammond B-3, Jeff Palmer, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Sheila Guyse, Peg Leg Bates, The Supremes, George Benson, James Brown & The Famous Flames, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson 5, Redd Foxx, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Lena Horne, Etta James, B.B. King, The Miracles, Donna Hightower, Moms Mabley, The Delfonics, Wilson Pickett, Richard Pryor, Otis Redding, Duke Ellington, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner, The Four Tops, Tammi Terrell, The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Muddy Waters, Flip Wilson and Jimmie Walker.
Slaves kidnapped from their homes years ago bascially 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.
W. C. Handy
| Music in 1918 |
Popular Soul Dances:
- The Bunny Hug
- The Texas Tommy Swing
Musical Happenings in 1918:
- Blacks are on the move out of the South during the late 1910s. Trivia: More than 60,000 African Americans from Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas move to Chicago, especially in the city's South Side. The black population boom "ushered in the city's jazz age, widening the market for black musical entertainment", including cabarets, dance halls, and vaudeville and movie theaters.
- 1918 - The Cotton Club is founded in Harlem, soon becoming the most prominent jazz venuesof the era.
- 1918 - A Kansas woman named Nora Holt becomes the first African American to complete a Master's Degree education in music, from the Chicago Musical College.
- 1918 - James Reese Europe's band for the 369th Infantry is the only African American military band of World War 1 sent on a special mission to perform for troops on leave in Aix-les-Bains. The band performs throughout the area, and is very well received. The band popularizes ragtime in France.
- 1918 - The Pace and Handy Music Company music publishing, a firm for African American composers, co-owned by W. C. Handy, relocates to New York and becomes a leading local institution.
"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 -
George Walker and Bert Williams in the early 1900s
Fashionable Bert Williams in the 1900s
Women's fashion in 1910s
Women's fashion in 1910s
Men's fashion in 1910s
| Fashions in 1918 |
Popular entertainers of the 1990s, George Walker and Bert Williams in the fancy clothes they wore back in the early 1900s. Sharp as a tack!
Fashion in the years 1910–1919 is characterized by a rich and exotic opulence in the first half of the decade in contrast with the somber practicality of garments worn during the Great War. Men's trousers were worn cuffed to ankle-length and creased. Skirts rose from floor length to well above the ankle, women began to bob their hair, and the stage was set for the radical new fashions associated with the Jazz Age of the 1920s.
During the early years of the 1910s the fashionable silhouette became much more lithe, fluid and soft than in the 1900s. Waistlines were loose and softly defined. They gradually dropped to near the natural waist by mid-decade, where they were to remain through the war years. Tunics became longer and underskirts fuller and shorter. By 1916 women were wearing calf-length dresses. Changes dress during World War I were dictated more by necessity than fashion. As more and more women were forced to work, they demanded clothes that were better suited to their new activities; these derived from the shirtwaists and tailored suits. Social events were postponed in favor of more pressing engagements and the need to mourn the increasing numbers of dead, visits to the wounded, and the general gravity of the time meant that darker colors and simpler cuts became the norm. Costume jewelry was introduced. Expensive necklaces were replaced with glass or crystal beads.
In general, styles were unchanged from the previous decade. The sack coat or lounge coat continued to replace the frock coat for most informal and semi-formal occasions. The gap between the shorter trousers and the shoes was filled with short gaiters or spats.
The most formal evening dress remained a dark tail coat and trousers with a dark or light waistcoat. Evening wear was worn with a white bow tie and a shirt with a winged collar. Gentlemen of all classes, especially the middle and working class often wore the newsboy cap and flat cap.
Dang it! We're so Tired of all the Hate|
We can't wait to leave this wicked South,
and make the big bucks in the North!
Will our white American brothers love us there?
What type of employment awaits the Negro in the 1900s?
FSA photo of cropper family chopping the weeds
from cotton near White Plains, in Georgia Postmarked 1912
90% of Negroes still lived in the South up until the late 1910s.
King Cotton was still a big source of income for blacks. These workers were hired as temporary help. Many were tenant farmers, renting a piece of land and some of their tools and supplies, and paying the rent at the end of the growing season with a portion of their harvest. White and black farm laborers were paid comparable wages, and rental rates. Blacks didn't exclusively work in the cotton fields, for example some blacks worked in the Turpentine industry.
"Dipping and scraping pine trees. Turpentine industry in Florida." Postmarked 1912
Whites were much more likely to own land as opposed to blacks. Black children were unlikely to be in school because they helped the parents in the fields to support the family and also because of a lack of good quality schools. Funds that were intended for black schools went to white schools instead in the form of raising teacher salaries and per-pupil funding while reducing class size. Black schools suffered at this expense. Separate but Equal was a big lie, because it was anything but equal.
The government didn't have a special watchdog organization to enforce these racist laws, and the requirement of equality was not enforced. Black children never really had a fair chance.
Boll weevil ruins Cotton Crops in the 1920s
Of course hindsight is 20-20. But wouldn't it have been nice if during slavery someone would have thought to travel to Mexico and bring back the Cotton boll weevil to transplant them into Southern cotton crops?
Cotton boll weevil |
Where were you when we really
needed you, pre-1863?
A little integration of the boll weevil and Mr. King Cotton would have been a good thing for the Negro. We wonder what kind of effect that would have had on chattel slavery?
Well what the heck is a boll weevil?
The boll weevil is a beetle which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Thought to be native to Central America, it migrated into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century and had infested all U.S. cotton-growing areas by the 1920s, devastating the industry and the people working in the American south.
Southern blacks were tied to the cotton fields in the early 1900s, but after 1914, many were fed up and wanted to try something new and different. By then they were open for a change because of restrictive Jim Crow laws and the boll weevil destroyed many crops, putting them out of work. They decided to take the plunge, a new and exciting life for them. Their move was called the Great Migration. News had spread to these poor black Southerners about better opportunities in the North, so many of them packed up their belongings and bid farewell to the South, never looking back.
During World War I, blacks were very much desired in the workplace. The United States had a quota for Colored soldiers to enlist for service. Blacks filled the quota very quickly, and many had to be turned back. With white men fighting in the war, this left openings in industry for blacks to fill. How did they do? Employers loved them and wanted more. They proved themselves to be excellent workers. This is probably one of the main reasons for so many riots when the white soldiers returned to America because blacks had taken their jobs. So by the early 1900s, we have proven ourselves to be excellent and courageous soldiers and dependable workers at home.
In other cases, some Negroes were recruited to travel North by agents of the businesses who would pay their fare. In some cases, these poor blacks were tricked into traveling a great distance for jobs only to discover they would be hired as strikebreakers, which was a very dangerous undertaking. Money was better for the Negro in the North, but in many cases, racism persisted with many riots happening. Many unions in the North had explicit rules barring membership by black workers.
Blacks had various successes at different job locations, for example when the auto industry took off, Ford Motor Co. hired many blacks to work in its automobile plant, but other auto plants often excluded them. Jobs were not a certainty for the Negro; he had to stay alerted and knock on many doors. But blacks were making a little advancement, by 1940 there were more than 200,000 African Americans in the CIO, many of them officers of union locals.
A. Philip Randolph|
When the war broke out a very special man by the name of A. Philip Randolph petitioned President Roosevelt for jobs in the Defense plants which previously had been reserved for whites. Randolph had a special card up his sleeve in the form of 100,000 peaceful marchers on Washington to protest if Roosevelt declined.
Roosevelt half-heartedly gave in and created a new program for blacks called the Fair Employment Practice Committee which was designed to monitor the hiring practices of companies. The Committee did accomplish many blacks being hired into the Defense departments at very nice wages but closed down later because of a lack of funding from the U.S. Government.
After World War II, The G.I. Bill which was a law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans. Benefits included low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend university, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of unemployment compensation was a big boon for whites and was a major factor in the creation of the white American middle class.
But sadly because of racial inequality, many of the benefits of the G.I. bill were not granted to black soldiers. This is because "at the very moment when a wide array of public policies was providing most white Americans with valuable tools to advance their social welfare—insure their old age, get good jobs, acquire economic security, build assets, and gain middle-class status—most black Americans were left behind or left out." It seems like we can get off the ground with these people, but we never give up. Also the black middle class failed to keep pace with the white middle class because blacks had fewer opportunities to earn college degrees.
In time, it became critical to have a college degree, for better pay wages which many whites were now working toward with the help of the G.I. Bill, but blacks were left behind in dying trades or just making it the best way they could because of racial discrimination and National leaders doing absolutely nothing to help.
Once they returned home after the war, blacks faced not only discrimination but also poverty, which confronted most blacks during the 1940s and 1950s and represented another barrier to harnessing the benefits of the G.I. Bill, as poverty made seeking an education problematic to while labor and income were needed at home. Banks and mortgage agencies routinely refused loans to blacks, making the G.I. Bill even less effective for blacks.
In addition to the other obstacles, gaining admission to universities was no easy task for blacks on the G.I. Bill. Most universities had segregationist principles underlying their admissions policies, utilizing either official or unofficial quotas. Those blacks that were prepared for college level work and gained access to predominantly white universities still experienced racism on campus.
During the 70s and 80s, the number of employed blacks increased. The civil rights movement played a huge role in this development. There were heavy gains in blue-collar jobs, such as steel, automobile production, electrical and non-electrical machinery, appliances, food and tobacco manufacturing, and textiles, and also white-collar occupations, where the four major subcategories-professional and technical, managerial and administrative, sales, and clerical increased very sharply.
The black labor force by the late 1990s, approximately sixty percent of these were white-collar sales and clerical personnel; many in this group were non-union workers with limited benefits and wages. However, another twenty percent of the black labor force, nearly three million workers, was classified as professional and technical employees and administrators. The percentage of the black labor force in the blue-collar field declined.
So what type of work did blacks do in the 1900s?
There were black doctors, dentist, newspaper editors, plumbers, mailman, teachers, singers, scientist, athletes, Pullman porters, laborers, politicians, judges, lawyers, mill workers, welders, domestic help, authors, factory workers, customer service, business owners, policemen, firemen, and every other profession you could think of. Sadly, their numbers and presence weren't as high as white Americans because of entrenched discrimination against the black race. It's in the history books, read it for yourself.
Blacks have historically had a harder time than other races being employed in America, ever since emancipation, and for the most part it has to do with racism. We're not fooled into believing any different. But we don't let this stop us and continue to push on. Our amazing journey has had many barriers and roadbloocks every step of the way.
The Fair Employment Practice Committee of the 40s and the Civil Rights movement helped a bit, but after slavery and the following Jim Crow years, racism had become deeply entrenched in the American workforce. It's not out in the open as it was during Jim Crow days but today more subtle and hidden, but just as hurtful, degrading and discouraging. But to our credit, blacks seem always to find a way. Truly remarkable American people, and if it were possible, would make our battered ancestors who sailed deep seas, shout for joy in their graves.
African Americans in the Twentieth Century
African Americans and the G.I. Bill
Blacks in the 1970's
Social and Economic Issues of the 1980s and 1990s
What The Negro Achieved in Industry
Historical photo of the 1918 Spanish influenza ward at Camp Funston, Kansas,
showing the many patients ill with the flu.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1910s
Color cover of the book Tarzan of the Apes, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and published in 1914
| Our Community in 1918 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- January 27, 1918 - "Tarzan of the Apes", the first Tarzan film, premieres at Broadway Theater.
- March 11, 1918 - The first confirmed cases of the Spanish Flu in the United States were reported at Fort Riley, Kansas. It is said that this flu killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS has killed in 24 years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. 675,000 Americans lost their lives with millions more in other countries.
- September 28, 1918 - World War1 hero Freddie Stowers was ordered to assault Côte 188, a tall, heavily defended hill overlooking a farm near Ardeuil-et-Montfauxelles, in the Ardennes region of France. Stowers began crawling toward a German machine gun nest and shouted for his men to follow. Stowers was struck by an enemy machine gun, but kept going until he was struck a second time. He collapsed from loss of blood, but ordered his men not to be discouraged and to keep going and take out the German guns. Inspired by Stowers' courage, the men forged ahead and successfully drove the Germans from the hill and into the plain below. Stowers, meanwhile, succumbed to his wounds on Côte 188.
- The United States Population is 93,402,151 with a total of 9,827,763 being African Americans. It looks like the Negroes are having second thoughts about bringing children into this racist and lawless society because their population increased by only 1 million from the last 10 years, where as the whites almost 17 million.
#100 - Public Domain image - By William Morris Agency (ebay) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#101 - Public Domain image - See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#102 - Public Domain image - By Bowman Gum [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#103 - Public Domain image -This image is a work of a U.S. Army employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
PD Public domain false false
#104 - Public Domain image -By International Film Service, Photographer (NARA record: 544230) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image -By Warren, Boston and Cambridgeport, Massachusetts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - By U.S. Army photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#108 - [Public domain],
By U.S. Congress - Black Americans in Congress. Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, Public Domain, Link
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