Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1934:
William Monroe Trotter
What a firecracker. William Monroe Trotter was born in 1872. His father James was born into slavery in Mississippi; James' mother Letitia was enslaved, and his father was her white master Richard S. Trotter. James gained his freedom and left his master/dad moving to Ohio, where he met and married Virginia and moved to Boston where they raised William. The family became well to do and lived in a very nice neighborhood in Hyde Park.
William had a primary education and later attended college. When he became of age he got hired on at the U.S. Postal Office, becoming the first person of color to accomplish that feat, but left after he was repeatedly passed over for promotion because of discriminatory Republican-led federal government policy.
He was also politically active, supporting Democrat Grover Cleveland who rewarded him by appointing him Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, the highest federal position filled by black men at the time.
Trotter married Geraldine Louise ("Deenie") Pindell, who was from another activist family. He had known her since childhood. It bothered Trotter about the mistreatments of blacks during that era. He noticed that extreme racist attitudes were spreading North because whites were beginning to disallow blacks equal access to facilities.
Major leaders of blacks during this time were Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois. Washington sought a safe and slow approach in handling the discrimination issues, but Trotter and Dubois wanted to agitate and vocal in expressing displeasure. Needless to say, these men were at odds with each other and couldn't work together. Reminds us of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. during the 60s.
Trotter took his displeasure to racist Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States in which he protested Wilson's introduction of segregation into the federal workplace. A heated argument ensued and Wilson kicked him out of his office.
There were countless other times Trotter spoke up for the black cause with fire and brimstone; he was just what blacks needed. For so long because of the black person's peaceful nature had been discriminated against, raped and murdered without justice received. Here was a man saying, no more, we are prepared to fight back now. Trotter gain much respect from some of his rivals but also ridicule from others because they felt he should be more diplomatic.
He was a man who loved his race. His loving wife died from the Spanish flu of 1918, and some say he wasn't the same after that because being an activist herself, she was at every battle he fought. On the morning of April 7, 1934, his 62nd birthday, William Monroe Trotter died after a fall from the roof of his home in Boston. The cause is uncertain, but it is known that he was depressed and troubled at the time. He may have committed suicide.
We would like to honor this great man for his life's work in helping African-Americans in having equal access, and fighting for the rights; we sometimes take for granted today. William Monroe Trotter, we award you with the 1934 Hamite Award for a life of dedicated service to your family of fellow African-Americans and other citizens of America.
William Monroe Trotter|
|How were blacks feeling in 1934?
We have a new friend in the White House who goes by the name of Eleanor Roosevelt. Most blacks are crazy about her.
Fox Lake Resort |
Moving on up to the eastside!!!! That's what I'm talking about. We finally have a place to travel for fun and relaxation. We just hope our white American brothers don't burn it down or deny/jack up the electricity and water rates or claim eminent domain like they did with other resorts blacks attempted to set up.
Even though the average black person cannot afford to visit or live in Fox Lake, it's still nice to know some of our peoples are enjoying the life and gives us the motivation to fight even harder this high wall of racism. I ain't mad at cha!
The Fox Lake resort community was developed in Angola, Indiana specifically for African Americans in the 1930s, when such communities were quite rare. In the years between World War I and World War II, and for some time after that, African American were not welcomed to traditionally white resort communities. Fox Lake provided black families with a place of their own where they could escape the heat of the cities and enjoy the pleasures of summertime activities. The historic district contains 32 relatively modest lake cottages, most of which were constructed before World War II.
Occasionally big-name musicians were booked for dances at the clubhouse, which was surrounded by tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and basketball hoops. Saddle horses were available until the early 1950s. Other activities included trap shooting matches, weekly Family Night at the restaurant, and Sunday school held on the beach under the trees.
Today, Fox Lake is still a prosperous black community. Its traditions are still maintained by many second- and third-generation owners, who occupy a large number of the cottages.
What an wonderful history!!!
For the year 1934:
- Dora Lee Jones was the first African-American to set up a trade union for domestic workers.
- Arthur W. Mitchell was the first African-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat.
| Sports in 1934 |
- The New York Black Yankees was founded in Harlem as the Harlem Black Bombers in 1931 by financier James "Soldier Boy" Semler and dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. The team was active in the Negro Leagues from 1931 to 1948.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
| Political Scene in 1934 |
- Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States.
Analysis: O.K. Mr. Roosevelt, we have studied your record on civil rights for the African-American and came to the conclusion that you put the problems of the world first before your black American citizens and perhaps if it weren't for your wife, Eleanor the civil rights movement would have taken longer to get off the ground. We know Roosevelt was loved by blacks and other races in his day, but from our vantage point in time, I searched high and low for concrete facts about laws he initiated to help black citizens. He did have some shining moments, though, but to me, it always seemed like he did it after being pushed into it by someone. Maybe I'm wrong, and if anybody knows something I don't I will be more than happy to change my assessment of this president, because believe it or not, we don't look for bad, we want to find good things they did for American citizens, and history won't lie. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the typical politician when it came to Negro civil rights, which meant they were not serious in demanding the enforcement of our rights. Roosevelt, like previous presidents, was afraid of the racist Southerners vote who in effect held America as a hostage with weak, spineless leaders. To Roosevelt's credit when he had Henry A. Wallace in 1941 as his Vice President this spoke volumes about the type of person Roosevelt was. Wallace had once studied under George Washington Carver as a young boy. Carver was a well respected black scientist by most which led Wallace to make the claim that white superiority was a hoax and all men were created equal in ability if given the opportunity. White racist was livid and demanded Roosevelt drop Wallace from the ticket to which he refused and threatened to drop out of the race all together until Eleanor addressed the convention floor to change the party's mind and her eventually her husband's also. We give big kudos to Roosevelt for this and notice a change in the air for human rights. But on the other hand, former Presiden Woodrow Wilson who went down in history as one of the most racist Presidents in America was a hero to Roosevelt who admired his vision for America and the world. Also during WWII Winston Churchhill was in dire need of assistance from the U.S. to fight Hitler's Germany and didn't have the money to complete a successful war campaign. Roosevelt offered him help under one condition that he dissolved colonial rule over the many countries around the world that Britain controlled, of course, Churchill didn't have a choice and agreed. So Roosevelt envisioned a new society where all the world could live in peace and free from the domination of other governments, but of course, the black citizens in his country would take the back burner. But at least he was trying, unlike his predecessors. Roosevelt came from a Dutch family, and the Dutch in America had a history of being fair to blacks and looked upon them as regular people like themselves, so we thought this president would actually WANT to help us. He never instigated any helpful Negro policy on his accord, for example, he signed an important piece of legislation to put America to work with the (Work Projects Administration; WPA program) in his New Deal promises. But because of racism blacks were being left out. He didn't have the motivation to act on his own to find the reason for this, it took his concerned wife Eleanor to speak up to this injustice against the American black person and eventually put many blacks to work. Eleanor had blacks coming and going out of the White House, and it probably got to the point where white people were saying to themselves "There's goes the neighborhood" She was a trendsetter for sure, loved by all races of people. Believe it or not, we think without a doubt she was the real catalyst for the Civil Rights movement, because of her concern for black citizens and the influence she had on her husband in getting favorable results. She helped opened the door for us, and we took advantage with the burgeoning rights movement. She, in my opinion, was a real first lady. Blacks loved her. Another occasion was when blacks were demanding an integrated Federal government, which he didn't want to get involved with until Civil Rights leader A. Philip Randolph threatened to march thousands of protesters on Washington D.C. This was the beginning of the integration of the Federal government providing fruits even today because of the multitude of black government workers we have. With Roosevelt's handling of the Japanese citizens by sending them to prison camps wasn't a good idea, and resentment still holds today for many. Franklin Roosevelt has been rated as one of the top three presidents ever, and after much thought, I think we agree. He wasn't a particularly bad or mean president, and he was better than the recent ones we've had. Franklin Roosevelt loved women and had affairs while serving as U.S. President. Eleanor was acutely aware of his womanizing ways and still supported him but lived separately from him. She still had influence over him, because if not the black person would have been in worse shape because she was a real American who wanted all citizens to enjoy a fair slice of America success. She was an excellent first lady who understood.
1934 - W.E.B. Du Bois resigns from the NAACP. He was in dispute over the strategy of the organization in its war against racial discrimination. Black leaders can't get along; white leaders don't get along with each other. Does that ego rear it's ugly head when mortal men attempt to lead?
Black Legion Uniforms with Skull-and-Crossbones
| Race in 1934 |
- 1934 - The Black Legion was a secret vigilante terrorist group and a white supremacist organization in the Midwestern United States that splintered from the Ku Klux Klan and operated during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1931 a chapter was formed in Highland Park, Michigan, expanding to an estimated total membership in the state estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 by the mid-1930s during the Great Depression. Its members were generally native-born Protestant men, many who had migrated from the South. One third of the members lived in Detroit, which had also been a strong center of KKK activity in the 1920s.
SOUTHERN HATE if I said it once I must say it again, these people ain't normal!|
The Civil War Is Over, Why Do You Still Hate Me So Much Man?
There were over 179,000 black soldiers who fought in the Civil War for their freedom and the right to become American citizens. Many brave souls died. They thought once it was over things would be better for the colored people. But it wasn't and especially in the South.
What the HELL! Why do these southern whites hate blacks so much and fight against our pursuit of happiness at every turn? They ain't normal, and surely not American, because if they were they would believe all are created equal, which is what our country was founded on.
Southern whites had enjoyed a lifestyle much better than their ancestors before them. Before arriving in America, most white immigrants were destitute and severely oppressed by their governments. Many were uneducated peasants and serfs not much better off than a black slave. When they finally encountered blacks in America, they showed little empathy toward them.
No longer on the bottom rung of the ladder of humanity, these white immigrants would also proclaim themselves superior and joined the higher class of whites in dominating blacks unmercifully for many years. Whites as a group was happy as a lark even the not so intelligent ones.
The North understood slavery to be a temporary situation, but in contrast Southern whites viewed it as a permanent institution that should be expanded into new territories that hadn't been admitted to the union yet. Stop the Slave Power at all cost was the North's goal. This reason the Civil War started, not because Abraham Lincoln had this burning desire to free the slaves.
Before the war, southern whites grew very comfortable with their lifestyle and after losing it blamed blacks for everything. Many were brilliant and proud people. Now can you imagine proud, intelligent white people who had dominated blacks for hundreds of years, and faced with the possibility of black equality and being governed by the same individuals they mistreated and spit on and looked upon as ignorant savage beast?
They viciously fought against equality for black people at every turn and opportunity. They considered themselves true Sons of the South, do or die.
They had to feel like the North was punishing and embarrassing them by giving blacks American citizenship and the right to vote. Southern whites would kill many blacks for what they perceived as upholding their honor. What did the North do? They made a show of attempting to help black people, but in the end, that's all it was a show. In reality, they used blacks as a pawn to teach the South a lesson in hopes that one day the southern faithful would reconcile their hearts to the Union of America as one big happy white American family.
HOW LONG WILL WHITE-AMERICANS |
SIT ON THE FENCE?
Since the beginning of American history, there's always been a battle between those in authority. The problem is that some of these authorities view democracy differently. According to the dictionary, the word truth can be described as fidelity to an original or standard. Of course, we know the popular standard for American democracy is "all men are created equal and entitled to liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness. But these authorities have disagreed for centuries if blacks should truthfully have a part in these promises.
Who's right? You be the judge.
First, we need to define democracy, and we'll let two of America's greatest Presidents do this for us by their actions and famous quotes.
Abraham Lincoln made the following quotes:
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."
"I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races.... But I hold that ... there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Now it's very clear from the many negative comments Abraham Lincoln made against black people he wasn't likely to have blacks over for dinner, in fact, most whites shared his views. But that's okay; he lived in a different era than today. This site believes he would have changed his views if living in our time because one of his most admirable qualities was flexibility.
In contrast to Abraham Lincoln, the first President of the United States, George Washington evidently didn't share Lincoln's view of democracy.
Black slaves were actively sought and recruited to fight for America in the Revolutionary War and promised freedom after the victory. It's well recorded that slaves fought with courage and valor that ensured American success. George Washington himself made the comment:
Washington wrote a letter to Colonel Henry Lee III stating that success in the war would come to whatever side could arm the blacks the fastest.
But after victory in the war, America didn't keep its promises, and most blacks were forced back into slavery. Of course, George Washington had to know about this but did nothing. Washington had many slaves himself and didn't want to free them and damage his financial stake. He put money interests ahead of real Democracy. Washington was a brilliant soldier but failed as an upholder of truth and justice and set the tone for future race relations in our country by trivializing and compromising Democracy. It's sad to say, but Washington didn't stay in the truth.
So in a sense, Washington created the blueprint for this distorted and false view of Democracy
This blueprint became the norm in much of America's dealings with black people. Whites felt if their supreme leader thought so lowly of black people, they would also. Washington's inaction cannot be taken lightly because every single President after him would ignore the "Negro Problem" as they called it and continued with their lie by going against the lofty standard this country was founded. They actually became anti-Americans.
Lincoln had faced the "Negro Problem" issue head on and was very brave in doing so by instituting the Emancipation Proclamation. So we had two great Presidents with different opinions of Democracy and what it meant to be on the side of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. Abraham Lincoln chose to put Democracy first and his personal prejudices second, but Washington put his financial interest ahead of Democracy. This is what set these two great men apart in character.
After Lincoln's death, democracy would take a wild downward spiral. One of the most biased President in American history led the attack. His name was Andrew Johnson. He fought against Reconstruction aid for blacks tooth and nail. Every favorable bill for former slaves that appeared on his desk was immediately denied. Later, there were new illegal laws created to restrict black American citizens that worked very well. This was called the Jim Crow era. It was an all-out attack on Democracy by Anti-Americans and aided by good white Americans who remained neutral by sitting on the fence and not speaking up. Read for yourself.
There's not enough room on this web page to describe the hate and exclusion by the government and white Americans against blacks during this period. Jim Crow laws touched every part of life, all across America. Blacks and whites were kept apart as much as possible. Good jobs went to whites; blacks were given the worst with less pay. Many industries wouldn’t hire blacks. Many unions passed special rules to exclude them. All juries and judges were white; blacks were illegally denied voting rights. No blacks allowed in public pools. Many restaurants would not serve blacks, and those that did had a dirty colored section. Blacks and whites went to county fairs on different days. Blacks couldn't use public libraries.|
Simple common courtesy was rarely shown the blacks. Whites beat, tortured, raped and killed blacks with no fear of punishment. Blacks were denied credit for businesses, housing, cars by the banks. Blacks were kept out of white neighborhoods with housing covenants. Oklahoma had black and white phone booths. Texas had cities where blacks were entirely restricted from living. Blacks could not leave their homes after 10:00 pm in Mobile Alabama. Blacks could not marry whites. Georgia had separate white and black parks. Prisons, hospitals, and orphanages were segregated as were schools and colleges. Blacks and whites had to use different sets of books in school, in Florida, they couldn't be stored together. When a person was sworn in at a trial, the whites used one Bible, and the blacks had a separate Bible. For those who did complete college, a crucial question had to be answered. Who was going to be their clients?
Whites didn't engage blacks in business, and the battered black person couldn't afford their services. These laws became so entrenched in American life; even unwritten laws affected black citizenship; blacks understood to stay out of white stores and establishments. Segregation was so complete that whites did not see blacks except when being served by them. After the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, blacks have made enormous gains. This is how the United States of America became a polarized country. Each and every President knew what was going on and allowed this illegal activity for 87 years. Were they guilty of not upholding the United States Constitution in the black people behalf? Is this the reason why many other nations laugh at America with its constant claims of being on the side of good and high morality?
Religion made things worse
Even though the U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation and existed solely as a secular state entirely free of religious influence in lawmaking, religion would soon be thrown into the loop. This made American people feel righteous and just in their own eyes. White's believed they were "good" and made in God's image and blacks were not. In time slogans such as "In God, We Trust" were printed on money to describe people who had snuffed out Democracy by living a lie. They felt God was on their side and loved only them.
Countless movies, radio shows, newspapers, magazines and other media would consistently portray these anti-Americans as on the side of good, morally upstanding and righteous to the world. Good white Americans that were sitting on the fence had to know this was a farce because of the way its black citizens were being treated and did nothing.
But there was a relative few brave, justice loving white Americans who spoke up and got involved for democracy with some even losing their lives, but the majority did nothing. They remained on the fence because they were also partakers of the privileged American way of living and failed to realize how this was undermining true Democracy with the prospect of one day being faced with an America they wouldn't recognize.
“Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege. In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.” Tim Wise
So, what has America become?
Because of the folly of racism and privilege by anti-Americans and the lack of action to speak out by good Americans, it appears this country has morphed into another form of power. Something that is completely different than it started out as, like an insatiable, greedy, detestable and ugly monster without a soul or conscience?
|| sLANG tALK in 1934 |
- Air out - to go, leave the scene
- Bad Hair - kinky negro hair
- Bailing - enjoying oneself, having a ball
- Bam & down in Bam - the southern parts
- Beating up your gums - not making sense when talking, big mouth
- Blowing your top - someone getting mad, to the boiling point
- Boogie-woogie - dancing, or could mean a venereal disease
- Bull-skating - a person that brags
- Butt sprung - whatever the person is wearing it doeasnt look good around the butt area
- Coal scuttle blonde - black lady
- Collar a nod - to go asleep
- Collor a hot - to get something to eat
- Conk buster - inexpensive liquor or could mean a smart black person
- Dat thing - sex of either male or female
- Diddy-Wah-Diddy - somewhere far away
- Dig - understand the meaning of something
- Dumb to the fact - don't know what you're talking about
- Dusty butt - inexpensive prostitute
- Eight-rock - super black person
- First thing smoking - a coming train
- Git up off of me - stop talking about me, leave me alone
- Good hair - white folks hair type
- Gut-bucket - a kind of music
- Handkerchief-head - a uncle tom
- I don't deal in coal - I don't hang with black females
- I'm cracking but I'm facking - I'm talking shit but it's true
- Inky dink - super black person
- Jar head - black man
- I shot him lightly and he died politely - I outsmarted him
- Jelly - term for sex
- Jig - short for zigaboo which means a negro
- Juice - alcoholic beverage
- July jam - super hot
- Knock yourself out - have a ball, enjoy yourself
- Liver-lip - black people's purple lips
- Made hair - black kinky hair that has been straightened
- Mammy - a word used to insult someone
- Miss Anne - term used for a white lady
- Mister Charlie - term used for a white man
- Pancake - agreeable black person
- Peckerwood - poor white folks
- Playing the dozens - bad talking about each others family
- Reefer - marijuana
- Rug-cutter - good dancer
- Scrap iron - inexpensive alcoholic beverage
- Solid - absolutely perfect
- Stomp - dance
- Stormbuzzard - a useless homeless person
- The man - The rule of the law or a person of authority
- Thousand on a plate - a serving of beans
- Tight head - a very kinky haired person
Movies in America
Actress Louise Beavers
Actress Rose McClendon
| Movies in 1934 |
- In 1934, Louise Beavers played Delilah in the first Imitation of Life. In 1959 a remake was done with Juanita Moore playing the role. Trivia: his movie made the whole black community cry, such a powerful performance. We could relate to Delilah as our very own mama. We wanted to jump in the television screen and slap her daughter for denying her and passing for white. This film was not only a breakthrough for Beavers, but was “the first time in American cinema history that a black woman's problems were given major emotional weight in a major Hollywood motion picture.
- 1934 - Josephine Baker was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) or to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker, who refused to perform for segregated audiences in America, is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
- 1920s - Rose McClendon was a leading African-American Broadway actress of the 1920s. McClendon was a contemporary of Paul Robeson, Ethel Barrymore, Lynn Fontanne and Langston Hughes.
| Famous African American Quotes |
Actress Louise Beavers
As Beavers' career grew, some people criticized her for the roles she accepted, alleging that such roles institutionalized the view that blacks were subservient to whites. Beavers dismissed their criticism and acknowledged the limited opportunities available, and said:
"I am only playing the parts. I don't live them"
Barbara McNair was always a
great presence on television
Lloyd Haynes and Michael Constantine from the television program Room 222
| Famous Birthdays in 1934 |
- February 5, 1934 - Hank Aaron, homerun king "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron. One of the greatest of all times who doesn't get the recognition he deserves in the mainstream media.
- March 4, 1934 - Barbara McNair was an American singer and actress. Her big break came with a win on Arthur Godfrey's TV show Talent Scouts, which led to bookings at The Purple Onion and the Cocoanut Grove. Barbara was always a very pleasant and familar face on the television screeen.
- May 5, 1934 - Johnnie Taylor, was an American vocalist in a wide variety of genres, from blues, rhythm and blues, soul, and gospel to pop, doo-wop and disco.
- May 15, 1934 - Alvin Poussaint, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of numerous books on child psychiatry, with a particular focus on the raising of African-American children.
- May 28, 1934 - Betty Shabazz, also known as Betty X, was an American educator and civil rights advocate. She was the wife of Malcolm X.
- June 9, 1934 - Jackie Wilson an American singer and performer. Known as "Mr. Excitement", Wilson was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul.
- June 16, 1934 - Bill Cobbs an American film and television actor. He has starred in over 160 television programs and movies.
- July 14, 1934 - Lee Elder an American professional golfer. He is best remembered for becoming the first African-American to play in the Masters Tournament in 1975. Trivia: Elder and his wife set up the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund in 1974. This fund was developed to offer monetary aid to low-income young men and women seeking money for college. In 1986 he protested to the PGA governors for allowing four American golfers to play in a tournament in Sun City, Bophuthatswana, a small area set up by the apartheid regime of South Africa that surrounds it. In 1990, Elder spoke out against country clubs that still excluded blacks from membership. Elder has actively promoted Summer Youth Golf Development Programs, raised money for the United Negro College Fund, and served on the advisory boards of Goodwill Industries.
- August 22, 1934 - Diana Sands was an American actress, perhaps most famous for her portrayal of Beneatha Younger, the sister of Sidney Poitier's character in the original stage and film versions of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun.
- September 19, 1934 - Lloyd Haynes was an actor and television writer, best known for his starring role in the Emmy Award-winning series Room 222.
William Monroe Trotter
Maggie Lena Walker
| Famous Deaths in 1934 |
- April 7, 1934 - William Monroe Trotter was a newspaper editor and real estate businessman based in Boston, Massachusetts, and an activist for African-American civil rights.
- April 28, 1934 - Charley Patton also known as Charlie Patton, was an American Delta blues musician.
- August 18, 1934 - Delilah Leontium Beasley was an American historian, and newspaper columnist for the Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, US. Beasley becomes the first African-American woman to be published regularly in a major metropolitan newspaper.
- November 10, 1934 - George Alexander McGuire was the first Bishop, Metropolitan Archbishop of the African Orthodox Church (AOC).
- December 26, 1934 - Rudolph Fisher was an African-American physician, radiologist, novelist, short story writer, dramatist, musician, and orator. His parents were John Wesley Fisher, a clergyman, and Glendora Williamson. Fisher had three children.
- 1934 - Wallace D. Fard was the founder of the Nation of Islam. He arrived in Detroit in 1930, where he taught a distinctive form of Islam to members of the city's African-American population.
| Famous Weddings in 1934 |
- October 26, 1934 - Baseball great Leroy Satchel Paige and Janet Howard were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1934 - Singer Dionne Warwick and actor and drummer William David Elliott were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1934 - Rosetta Tharpe and COGIC preacher Thomas Thorpe were wed in holy matrimony.
Hi there, I'm Annie.
Thanks for viewing my collection of wonderful soul-food dishes that my amazing ancestors cooked, and more than likely yours did too.
We didn't have much of anything back in the day and had to live off the scraps we were given. But like a famous rapper once said in his songs, we knew how to "make a dollar out of 15 cents" Enjoy.
Sweet Potatoes / Yams
Rice and Beans
Fish and Chips
Biscuits and Gravy
(images - https://pixabay.com/)
| Southern Cooking - Soul Food |
Have you ever wondered what African-Americans ate back in the day? Well, maybe we can help you with that. We've found the oldest known black cookbook to date.
This cookbook was written by an actual former slave woman that had once lived on a plantation, but gained her freedom with the Emancipation Proclamation moving from Mobile, Alabama to San Francisco, California where she published an entirely excellent collection of 160 authentic and tasty recipes of the Old South entitled;
"What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking"
This book is indeed a rare gemstone with tons of actual recipes that black folks enjoyed back in the day, but Mrs. Fisher cooking wasn't limited to blacks only, many whites also loved her delicious recipes and persuaded her to make a cookbook.
Here is just a sample of some of the southern foods mentioned in her book, and by the way, it wasn't called soul-food until the 1960's.
- Maryland Beat Biscuit
- Cream Cake
- Flannel Cakes
- Sallie Lund
- Egg Corn Bread
- Plantation Corn Bread
- Light Bread
- Lamb or Mutton Chops
- Pork Steak or Chops
- Ginger Cookies
- Sweet Wafers
Pickels, Sauces Etc.
- Sweet Cucumber Pickles
- Sweet Cucumber Mangoes
- Chow Chow
- Creole Chow Chow
- Cherry Chutney
- Game Sauce
- Compound Tomato
- Sweet Pickle Peaches
- Sweet Pickle Prunes
- Sweet Watermelon Kind Pickle
- Sauce for Boiled Fish or Mutton
- Milanese Sauce
- Sauce for Suet Pudding
- Pastry for making Pies of all kinds
- Preparing the Fruit for Pies
- Lemon Pies
- Cream Apple
- Sweet Potato
- Gooseberry and Cherry
- Light Bread
- Blackberry Roll
- Corn Fritters
Preserves, Spices, ETC.
- Brandy Peaches
- Quince Preserves
- Syrups for Preserves
- Preserved Peaches
- Preserved Pears
- Currant Jelly
- Cranberry Jelly
- Strawberry Jam
- Raspberry and Currant Jam Combined
- Marmalade Peach
- Crab Apple Jelly
- Blackberry Brandy
- Blackberry Syrup for Dysentery in Children
- Preserved Apricots
- Apple Sauce for Roast Pork
- Charlotte Eusse
- Spiced Currants
- Preserved Cherries
- Domestic Duck
- Wild Duck
Soups, Chowders, Etc.
- Calf 's Head
- Mock Turtle
- Green Turtle
- Oyster Gumbo
- Ochra Gumbo
- Old Fashioned Turnip
- Corn and Tomato
- Fish Chowder
- Chicken Gumbo
- Fricassed Chicken
- Fried Chicken
- Chicken fried Steak
- Meat Stews or Entrees
- Ice Cream
- Boiled Turkey
- Beef a la Mode
- Spiced Round
- Hog Maws
- Stuffed Ham
- Lima Beans
- Jumberlie a Creole Dish
- Baked Fish
- Ribs, Beef or Pork
- Boiled Corn
- Peach Cobbler
- Egg Plant Stuffed
- Chitterlings or "Chitlins"
- Corned Beef Hash
- Ladies' Custard
- Tonic Bitters
- Terrapin Stew
- Leaven Biscuit
- Pap for infant Diet
- Sorghum Syrup
- Meringue for Pudding
- Circuit Hash
What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking
Paperback – March, 1995
by Abby Fisher (Author), Karen Hess (Editor)
Southern Jewel Million Dollar Pound Cake
(this recipe is not from Mrs. Fisher cookbook, but has been in Annie's family for generations, it's everyones favorite!)
Butter: 1 pound
Sugar: 3 cups
Milk: 3/4 cup
Cake Flour: 4 cups (Soft as Silk Cake Flour)
Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon
Vanilla Flavor: 1 teaspoon
Lemon Flavor: 1 teaspoon
For best results, leave butter and eggs out overnight
Cream butter well, add sugar and mix until butter and sugar look like whip cream.
Beat each egg individually and then add with sugar and butter, mix well for at least a couple minutes.
Add milk and cake flour a little at a time, then add flavorings.
Spray Pam spray on entire round cake pan, and then add cake batter.
Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325.
Let cake cool for about 30 minutes, and then remove cake from cake pan.
| It's a Party in 1934 |
- Back in the early 1900s because of prejudice and racial discrimination, black entertainers had to be very careful where they traveled. They weren't always welcome in various venues, so they created what's called a Chitlin Circuit. They named it Chitlin Circuit because of blacks typical love for soul food with chitlins being near the top as favorite. So, in other words, they understood there would be love on the circuit. They knew that the clubs, juke joints, theaters, etc. in the circuit were welcoming of the black race and safe to visit. This way of life existing from the early 1900s - 1960s. Noted theaters and entertainers on the circuit included:
The Fox Theatre in Detroit; the Victory Grill in Austin, Texas; the Carver Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama; the Cotton Club, Small's Paradise and the Apollo Theater in New York City; Robert's Show Lounge, Club DeLisa and the Regal Theatre in Chicago; the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.;the Royal Peacock in Atlanta; the Royal Theatre in Baltimore; the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia; the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; the Ritz Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida; and The Madam C. J. Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis.
Early figures of blues, including Robert Johnson, Son House, Charley Patton, and countless others, traveled the juke joint circuit, scraping out a living on tips and free meals. These entertainers provided much-needed joy and happiness for black folks. Once the band's gig was over, they would leave for the next stop on the circuit. Sounds like a lot of fun and an exciting life!
Many notable performers worked on the chitlin' circuit, including Patti LaBelle, Count Basie, Hammond B-3, Jeff Palmer, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Sheila Guyse, Peg Leg Bates, The Supremes, George Benson, James Brown & The Famous Flames, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson 5, Redd Foxx, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Lena Horne, Etta James, B.B. King, The Miracles, Donna Hightower, Moms Mabley, The Delfonics, Wilson Pickett, Richard Pryor, Otis Redding, Duke Ellington, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner, The Four Tops, Tammi Terrell, The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Muddy Waters, Flip Wilson and Jimmie Walker.
Jitterbugging in Negro juke joint,
Saturday evening, outside Clarksdale, Mississippi
An African American couple dance the jitterbug in front
of a crowd. Los Angeles California.
Slaves kidnapped from their homes years ago 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.
Mildred Rinker Bailey
Thomas "Fats" Waller
Hall Johnson's famous negro music-drama "Run, little chillun"
| Music in 1934 |
Popular Soul Dances:
- The Buzz
- Houston Two-Step
- Lindy Hop
- The Foxtrot
- The Hully Gully is a type of unstructured line dance often considered to have originated in the sixties, but is also mentioned some forty years earlier as a dance common in the black juke joints in the first part of the twentieth century.
- Shim Sham Shimmy, Shim Sham or just Sham originally is a particular tap dance routine and is regarded as tap dance's national anthem. For swing dancers, today it is a kind of line dance that recalls the roots of swing.
Musical Happenings in 1934:
- Muriel Rahn was an American vocalist and actress. She co-founded the Rose McClendon Players with her husband, Dick Campbell and was one of the leading black concert singers of the mid-20th Century. In 1929, she launched her professional career in New York City. She is perhaps best known for her starring role in the original Broadway production of Carmen Jones.
- Swing music, or simply swing, is a form of American music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1940. The period between 1935 and 1946 is when big band swing music reached its peak and was the most popular music in America. As with jazz, swing was created by African Americans, and its impact on the overall American culture was such that it marked and named an entire era of the United States, the Swing Era.
- Mildred Bailey records with Coleman Hawkins and Benny Goodman's band. She will become the "first white female to be completely accepted in jazz circles.
- Kenneth Morris begins working for the gospel publisher Lillian E. Bowles, where he will give gospel its "second infusion of jazz". Morris will later found one of the largest gospel publishing companies in the world.
- Asadata Dafora's Kykuntor is produced in New York; it is the first African ballet-opera.
- 1930s - "Fats" Waller was an important contributor to the popular stride piano style.
- Hall Johnson wrote Run, Little Chillun, which premiered on Broadway in 1933 and was produced in San Francisco in 1939 under the auspices of the Federal Theater Project.
Womens Fashions in the 1930s
Womens Fashions in the 1930s
Mens Fashions in the 1930s
Charles Spurgeon Johnson, sociologist and first black president of Fisk University. Dressed to kill!
Mens Fashions in the 1930s
Jazz bandleader Tiny Bradshaw
| Fashions in 1934 |
The lighthearted, forward-looking attitude and fashions of the late 1920s lingered through most of 1930, but by the end of that year the effects of the Great Depression began to affect the public, and a more conservative approach to fashion displaced that of the 1920s. For women, skirts became longer and the waist-line was returned up to its normal position in an attempt to bring back the traditional "womanly" look. Other aspects of fashion from the 1920s took longer to phase out. Cloche hats remained popular until about 1933 while short hair remained popular for many women until late in the 1930s and even in the early 1940s.
For men, the most noticeable effect of the general sobering associated with the Great Depression was that the range of colors became more subdued. The bright colors popular in the 1920s fell out of fashion. Musicians and other fashion experimenters adopted the most extreme form of the drape, the zoot suit, with very high waists, pegged trousers, and long coats.
Feminine curves were highlighted in the 1930s through the use of the bias-cut in dresses. Madeleine Vionnet was the innovator of the bias-cut and used this method to create sculptural dresses that molded and shaped over the body's contours as it draped the female form.
Through the mid-1930s, the natural waistline was often accompanied by emphasis on an empire line. Short bolero jackets, capelets, and dresses cut with fitted midriffs or seams below the bust increased the focus on breadth at the shoulder. Most women wore skirts at or near knee-length, with simply-cut blouses or shirts and square-shouldered jackets.
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
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1930s
James Weldon Johnson
photographed by Carl Van Vechten
American jazz violinist Eddie South
with a conk hairdo.
| Our Community in 1934 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- 1934 - Author Zora Neale Hurston's first novel, Jonahs Gourd Vine, is published for all to enjoy.
- 1934 - James Weldon Johnson became the first African-American professor to be hired at New York University.
- 1934 - The Southern Tenant Farmers' Union (STFU) was founded in 1934 as a civil farmer's union to further organize the tenant farmers in the Southern United States. The Southern Tenant Farmers' Union was one of few unions in the 1930s that was open to all races. Promoting not only nonviolent protest for their fair share of the AAA money, they also promoted the idea that blacks and whites could work efficiently together. Because these ideas were highly controversial at the time, the Farmers' Union met with harsh resistance from the landowners and local public officials by being harassed and ignored.
- 1934 - In the 1930s, some believed the conk hairdo served as a rite of passage from adolescence into adulthood for black males. Because of the pain involved in the process, the conk represented masculinity and virility within the community. Many of the popular musicians of the early to mid 20th century, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, James Brown, and the members of The Temptations and The Miracles, were well known for sporting the conk hairstyle.
- The United States Population is 122,775,046 with a total of 11,891,143 being African Americans.
#103 - Public Domain image - See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - Public Domain image - Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image -
By CBS Television (eBay item photo frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - Public Domain image - By Brunswick Records (Billboard page 11) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - Public Domain image - By CBS Television (eBay itemphoto frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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