Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1938:
Joe Louis, was an American professional boxer and the World Heavyweight Champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.
Louis was born on May 13, 1914, in a ramshackle dwelling on Bell Chapel Road, in rural Chambers County, Alabama. Louis was the son of Munroe Barrow and Lillie (Reese) Barrow, the seventh of eight children. He weighed 11 pounds at birth. Both Louis's parents were the children of former slaves, alternating between sharecropping and rental farming. Munroe was predominantly African American with some white ancestry, while Lillie was half Cherokee.
The Depression hit the Barrow family hard, but as an alternative to gang activity, Joe began to spend time at a local youth recreation center at 637 Brewster Street in Detroit. Legend has it that he tried to hide his pugilistic ambitions from his mother by carrying his boxing gloves inside his violin case.
Louis made his debut in early 1932 at age 17. Legend has it that before the fight, the barely-literate Louis wrote his name so large that there was no room for his last name, and thus became known as "Joe Louis" for the remainder of his boxing career.
By the end of his amateur career, Louis's record was 50-4, with 43 knockouts.
Joe Louis had 72 professional fights with only three losses. He tallied 57 knockouts and held the championship from 1937 to 1949, the longest span of any heavyweight titleholder. After returning from retirement, Louis failed to regain the championship in 1950, and his career ended after he was knocked out by Rocky Marciano in 1951. The man who had been called the Brown Bomber was finished.
Louis was portrayed in the white media as a modest, clean-living person, which facilitated his burgeoning celebrity status.
Louis fought a charity bout for the Navy Relief Society against his former opponent Buddy Baer on January 9, 1942, which generated $47,000 for the fund. The next day, he volunteered to enlist as a private in the United States Army at Camp Upton, Long Island.
For basic training, Louis was assigned to a segregated cavalry unit based in Fort Riley, Kansas. Louis used his personality status to help black harassment claims of some of the soldiers, among those was future baseball great Jackie Robinson. They would remain personal friends.
Louis continued to be a popular celebrity in his twilight years. His friends included former rival Max Schmeling—who provided Louis with financial assistance during his retirement—and mobster Frank Lucas, who, disgusted with the government's treatment of Louis, once paid off a $50,000 tax lien held against him. These payments, along with an eventual agreement in the early 1960s by the IRS to limit its collections to an amount based on Louis's current income, allowed Louis to live comfortably toward the end of his life.
One of Louis's other passions was the game of golf, in which he also played a historic role. He was a long-time devotee of the sport since being introduced to the game before the first Schmeling fight in 1936. In 1952, Louis was invited to play in the San Diego Open on a sponsor's exemption, becoming the first African American to play a PGA Tour event.
Joe Lewis was an entirely different personality from our earlier Hamite awardee, heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. They were different as apples and oranges, but both inspired the Negro race to accomplish more in life, even under the adverse conditions of racism, they taught us to fight to win. Joe Louis seemed like a strong, quiet type of a man who just wanted to do the right thing by America. We honor this legend with the 1938 Hamite Award for setting a wonderful example for his race of people.
Louis died of cardiac arrest in Desert Springs Hospital near Las Vegas on April 12, 1981. Ronald Reagan waived the eligibility rules for burial at Arlington National Cemetery and Louis was buried there with full military honors on April 21, 1981. His funeral was paid for in part by former competitor and friend, Max Schmeling, who also acted as a pallbearer.
WWII US Propaganda featuring Joe Louis
Joe Louis with Jean Anderson, Chicago, 1947
|How were blacks feeling in 1938?
Fox Lake Resort |
Moving on up to the eastside!!!! That's what I'm talking about. We finally have a place to travel for fun and relaxation. We just hope our white American brothers don't burn it down or deny/jack up the electricity and water rates or claim eminent domain like they did with other resorts blacks attempted to set up.
Even though the average black person cannot afford to visit or live in Fox Lake, it's still nice to know some of our peoples are enjoying the life and gives us the motivation to fight even harder this high wall of racism. I ain't mad at cha!
The Fox Lake resort community was developed in Angola, Indiana specifically for African Americans in the 1930s, when such communities were quite rare. In the years between World War I and World War II, and for some time after that, African American were not welcomed to traditionally white resort communities. Fox Lake provided black families with a place of their own where they could escape the heat of the cities and enjoy the pleasures of summertime activities. The historic district contains 32 relatively modest lake cottages, most of which were constructed before World War II.
Occasionally big-name musicians were booked for dances at the clubhouse, which was surrounded by tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and basketball hoops. Saddle horses were available until the early 1950s. Other activities included trap shooting matches, weekly Family Night at the restaurant, and Sunday school held on the beach under the trees.
Today, Fox Lake is still a prosperous black community. Its traditions are still maintained by many second- and third-generation owners, who occupy a large number of the cottages.
What an wonderful history!!!
American Beach, Florida
American Beach, Florida was founded in 1935 by Florida's first black millionaire, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, and his Afro-American Life Insurance Company. The plan was for his employees to have a place to vacation and own homes for their families by the shore.
(thank you so much Abraham, we needed this!) Throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, summers at American Beach were busy with families, churches, and children. It was a place where African Americans could enjoy "Recreation and Relaxation Without Humiliation." The beach included hotels, restaurants, bathhouses, and nightclubs as well as homes and other businesses.
American Beach played host to numerous celebrities during this period, including folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, singer Billie Daniels, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Billy Eckstein, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, actor Ossie Davis,and Sherman Hemsley. We know they had some fun! That's what I'm talking bout!
For the year 1938:
- Mary McLeod Bethune was the first African-American female federal agency head.
- Crystal Bird Fauset was the first African-American woman elected to a state legislature when she is chosen to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Joe Louis looks for an opening during boxing match with Max Schmeling
| Sports in 1938 |
- February 23, 1938 - Joe Louis KOs Nathan Mann in 3 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
- April 1, 1938 - Joe Louis KOs Harry Thomas in 5 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
- June 22 1935 - Fighter Joe Lewis defeats Max Schmeling in the fight of the century.
- August 17, 1938 - Henry Armstrong has the distinction of being the only boxer to hold three world championships at the same time, holding the featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight world titles for a brief period in 1938. Armstrong defended his welterweight title nineteen times.
July 31, 1938 - New York Yankees suspend Jake Powell, for racist comments. Trivia: asked how he stayed in shape during the offseason. Powell responded, "Oh, that's easy. I'm a policeman, and I beat niggers over the head with my blackjack." Powell was not a police officer in the offseason. After a surge of public outrage, including calls that Powell be banned for life, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspended Powell for ten games. Powell also went on a walking tour of Harlem to apologize personally to fans of the Yankees.
- 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 1938 |
- 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 Negro 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.
1930s - Blacks were appointed to positions of responsibility within numerous governmental agencies, the 'Black Cabinet' or 'Black Brain Trust' - a vocal and eloquent group of highly trained and politically astute African American intellectuals who spearheaded the struggle for civil rights during the 1930s.
November 1930 - African American politician, Crystal Bird Fauset becomes the first woman elected to a state legislature when she is chosen to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Andrew Moody and wife Tildy, ex-slave, Orange
Patsy Moses, ex-slave, Waco, Texas
| Former Slaves in 1938 |
Portraits of African American ex-slaves from the U.S. Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Project slave narratives collections
The bulk is portraits of men and women from locations in Texas. People from Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island are also represented. Most show individuals standing or sitting outside; a few are posed with or next to personal possessions.
The faces of Hamites. Wonderful, peace loving and strong black folks who endured the injustices of slavery. I don't know about you, but when I see these pictures, I just feel so honored to be from the same stock as these people. A truly magnificent and strong people. These were portraits of African American ex-slaves from the U.S. Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Project slave narratives collections. Born in slavery, slave narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938.
In 1937 an official project was organized and placed under the direction of folklorist John A. Lomax who coordinated and expanded data collecting activities throughout the South. The program continued up through the Spring of 1939. Photographs of former slaves were often taken at the time of the interviews. Photographs were taken by U.S. Government employees, and are therefore not eligible for copyright.
Naked Soviet POWs in Mauthausen concentration camp. Between June 1941 and January 1942, the Nazis killed an estimated 2.8 million Red Army POWs, whom they viewed as "subhuman".
photo #105- in year 1939
Black Legion Uniforms with Skull-and-Crossbones
| Race in 1938 |
- July 9, 1938 - The Wapato riots happened in the Yakima Valley region of Washington State. A crowd of about 200 strong were determined to chase the small African American community out of town with violence. The farm owners had advertised for needed workers in the beet fields, and many blacks arrived to do just that to the dismay of white citizens. The blacks who were injured in the riot sued the county sheriff for failing to protect them, and of of course the case was eventually thrown out of court.
- 1938 - 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.
"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 -
|| sLANG tALK in 1938 |
- 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
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
Jack Benny's radio shows cast
Billie Thomas as Buckwheat in
"Our Gang Follies of 1938"
| Radio / Television / Movies in 1938 |
- Going Places - Dorothy Dandridge (role as member of the Dandridge Sisters)
- Snow Gets in Your Eyes - Dorothy Dandridge (role as member of the Dandridge Sisters)
- The Duke Is Tops - Lena Horne (musical)
- Starting in the year of 1937, a new funny man would co-star on the Jack Benny Show. This man went by the name of Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. Eddie's character of "Rochester" generated much laughter, becoming immensely popular and would become a household name from 1937 to 1965 in America. The humor on the show was the usual stereotypical stuff that blacks had to endure, but later it would become a stepping stone for many successful comedians to follow. Eddie became the first black to have a regular role on a nationwide radio program. The show started on radio and moved to television in 1951 until it went off the air in the 1964-1965 season. Trivia:
Anderson was frequently late for the show. Benny attempted to instill punctuality in Anderson by fining him $50 each time he arrived late at the studio. Anderson had a habit of losing track of time, especially when he was talking with someone. Must have had something to say huh Eddie?
Rosalind Cash in trailer for "The Omega Man" (1971)
Isabel Sanford with The Jeffersons co-stars, Sherman Hemsley and Mike Evans
Juanita Millender McDonald
Sugar Chile Robinson
| Famous Birthdays in 1938 |
- January 14, 1938 - Allen Toussaint was an American musician, songwriter/composer, record producer, and an influential figure in New Orleans R&B from the 1950s to the end of the century.
- January 18, 1938 - Curt Flood was a Major League Baseball player who spent most of his career as a center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals.
- January 25, 1938 - Etta James One of the greatest black female singers in the world. Thousands have used her popular song "At Last" as their wedding song.
- February 1, 1938 - Sherman Hemsley was an American actor, best known for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television series All in the Family and The Jeffersons.
- February 7, 1938 - Thomas "Lapuppet" Carrol was a pioneer African-American martial artist, and also a member of USA Karate Hall of Fame, and the Black Belt Hall of Fame.
- March 5, 1938 - Fred Williamson nicknamed "The Hammer" is an American actor and former professional American football defensive back.
- March 18, 1938 - Charley Pride an American country music singer, musician/guitarist, recording artist, performer, and business owner. His greatest musical success came in the early- to mid-1970s when he became the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley.
Trivia: One of Pride's lifelong dreams was to become a professional baseball player. In 1952, he pitched for the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League. He pitched well, and in 1953, he signed a contract with the Boise Yankees, the Class C farm team of the New York Yankees. Pride's singing ability soon came to the attention of the team manager, who also paid him to sing for 15 minutes before each game, which increased attendance and earned Pride another $10 on top of the $10 he earned for each game.
- March 31, 1938 - Nathaniel Taylor is an American television actor, best known for his recurring role as Rollo Lawson in the 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son.
- April 1938 - Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations.
- May 4, 1938 - Tyrone Davis was a leading American blues and soul singer with a distinctive style, recording a long list of hit records over a period of more than 20 years.
- May 30, 1938 - David L. Early was an American actor and teacher, best known for his work on various television series, motion pictures, and theater.
- July 4, 1938 - Bill Withers is an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985.
- July 10, 1938 - Lee Morgan was an American jazz trumpeter. Known mainly as one of the key hard bop musicians of the 1960s, Morgan came to prominence in his late teens, recording on John Coltrane's Blue Train (1957) and with the band of drummer Art Blakey before launching a solo career.
- August 15, 1938 - Maxine Waters is the U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district.
- September 7, 1938 - Juanita Millender-McDonald was an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1996 until her death in 2007, representing California's 37th congressional district, which includes most of South Central Los Angeles and the city of Long Beach, California.
- September 28, 1938 - Ben E. King is an American soul and R&B singer.
- November 24, 1938 - Reuben Greene is an American film, theater and television actor.
- December 14, 1938 - Hal Williams is an American actor, best known for his recurring role as Police Officer Smith ("Smitty") on Sanford and Son.
- December 18, 1938 - Roger Earl Mosley is an American actor, director and writer best known for his role as the helicopter pilot Theodore "T.C." Calvin on the long-running television series, Magnum, P.I.
- December 28, 1938 - Sugar Chile Robinson an American jazz pianist and singer who became famous as a child prodigy. Sugar's real name is Frank Isaac Robinson. Trivia: Sugar Chile Robinson is quite an individual, he once performed for President Harry Truman, and hollered out to him"How am I doing Mr President" – which became his catchphrase. He got to hang around with the big shots of the industry such as Count Basie and Billie Holiday. He toured the UK, appearing at the London Palladium. He stopped recording in 1952, later explaining to his dad that he wanted to go to school to get his college degree, and that's what he did! What an example he set for other young black kids during that time period. A true Hamite.
- December 31, 1938 - Rosalind Cash was an American singer and actress. Her best known film role is as Charlton Heston's character's love interest Lisa.
- 1938 - Paul Benjamin is an American actor. Benjamin was born in Pelion, South Carolina. He made his film debut in 1969 as a bartender in Midnight Cowboy.
- 1938 - Ron Rich is an American actor who played the role of football player Luther 'Boom Boom' Jackson in the 1966 Billy Wilder comedy The Fortune Cookie.
James Weldon Johnson
photographed by Carl Van Vechten
Josephine Leavell Allensworth
James Sylvester Scott
| Famous Deaths in 1938 |
- April 8, 1938 - Thomas Ezekiel Miller was an American educator, lawyer and politician. After being elected as a state legislator in South Carolina, he was one of only five African Americans elected to Congress from the South in the Jim Crow era of the last decade of the nineteenth century, as disfranchisement reduced black voting.
- April 10, 1938 - Joseph Nathan Oliver better known as King Oliver or Joe Oliver, was an American jazz cornet player and bandleader. He was particularly recognized for his playing style and his pioneering use of mutes in jazz.
- June 26, 1938 - James Weldon Johnson was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist.
- August 16, 1938 - Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer and musician.
- August 30, 1938 - James Sylvester Scott was an African-American ragtime composer, regarded as one of the three most important composers of classic ragtime, along with Scott Joplin and Joseph Lamb.
- 1938 - Josephine Leavell Allensworth was an African-American musician, music teacher, and activist. She co-founded Allensworth, California and the Women's Improvement League.
Sugar Ray Robinson
| Famous Weddings in 1938 |
- 1938 - Louis Armstrong and Alpha Smith were married.
- 1938 - boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and Marjorie Joseph were married.
| Famous Divorces in 1938 |
- 1938 - Louis Armstrong and pianist, composer Lil Hardin are divorced.
- 1938 - Josephine Baker and Jean Lion were divorced.
- 1938 - Sugar Robinson and Marjorie Joseph were divorced.
The Negro Motorist Green Book was an annual guidebook for African Americans, commonly referred to simply as the "Green Book". It was published from 1936 to 1966, during the Jim Crow era, when discrimination against non-whites was widespread.
Middle-class blacks took to driving in part to avoid segregation on public transportation. Blacks employed as salesmen, entertainers, and athletes also traveled frequently for work purposes. African American travelers faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences, such as white-owned businesses refusing to serve them or repair their vehicles, being refused accommodation or food by white-owned hotels, and threats of physical violence and forcible expulsion from whites-only "sundown towns". New York mailman and travel agent Victor H. Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book to tackle such problems and "to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trip more enjoyable." The Green Book became "the bible of black travel during Jim Crow." These people were crazy on the for real side! You can bet the Chitlin' Circuit entertainers used the Green Book.
|It's a Party in 1938 |
- 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.
Thomas "Fats" Waller
| Music in 1938 |
- June 25, 1938 - "A Tisket A Tasket" by Ella Fitzgerald hits #1
Popular Soul Dances:
Musical Happenings in 1938:
- Houston Two-Step
- Lindy Hop
- The Foxtrot
- The Big Apple is both a partner dance and a circle dance that originated in the Afro-American community of the United States in the beginning of the 20th century.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ira Tucker joins the Dixie Hummingbirds. He will become "one of the most influential lead singers in the history of gospel music," and will change the music's image with his energetic stage presence that has been called one of the roots of the showmanship of rhythm and blues and rock and roll.
- Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Rock Me" was a landmark popular recording of gospel music. Tharpe becomes the first to perform gospel music outside of an explicitly religious setting, when she performs at the Cotton Club in Harlem.
- Louis Jordan leaves Chick Webb's orchestra to form a small band, the Tympany Five, that will contribute towards transforming the popular big band swing style to a smaller, combo style known as jump blues, an important milestone in the evolution of rhythm and blues.
- Zora Neale Hurston finishes research for her book, The Sanctified Church, on behalf of the Works Progress Administration.
- 1930s - "Fats" Waller was an important contributor to the popular stride piano style.
Rose McClendon Fashion Statement
Black Theater Fashion Statement
At the juke joint stylin
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 1938 |
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
African-American painter known for his portrayal of black life,
Jacob Lawrence demonstration at Lincoln School
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1930s
American jazz violinist Eddie South
with a conk hairdo.
| Our Community in 1938|
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- 1938 - African-American painter Jacob Lawrence holds his first solo exhibition at the Harlem YMCA and showcases his Toussaint L'Overture series, who was was the leader of the Haitian Revolution.
- 1938 - Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 (1938), was a United States Supreme Court decision holding that states that provided a school to white students had to provide in-state education to blacks as well. States could satisfy this requirement by allowing blacks and whites to attend the same school or creating a second school for blacks. Analysis:It's amusing how the Supreme Court in recent favorable rulings are actually giving support to the American Negro. The court is looked upon as a god when it comes into interpreting America's truth. HOGWASH! These are just regular people who have allowed racism and injustice to persist since the Emancipation Proclamation, and now we are supposed to believe they are so righteous with these rulings. They have become leaders of a fake and phony America, not the one Lincoln envisioned and died. The damage to the black person is already done, whites have enjoyed entrenched privileged success in America on every level, and if the battered black person can catch up remains to be seen. I guess what I'm trying to say is, these folks have common sense and aren't dummies, they knew the court wasn't representing and enforcing the Constitution. They should have made these kinds of rulings years ago, but by doing so now, it makes them feel grotesquely righteous in their own wicked eyes.
- July 24, 1938 - Instant coffee was invented in 1938.
- April 6, 1938 - Teflon which made cooking and cleaning a little easier was invented by Roy J Plunkett.
- 1938 - 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.
#100 - Public Domain image - Portraits of African American ex-slaves from the U.S. Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Project slave narratives collections. Born in slavery, slave narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938.
Federal Writers' Project (FWP) interviews with former slaves began as early as 1936 with initial efforts concentrated primarily in Florida. In 1937 an official project was organized and placed under the direction of folklorist John A. Lomax who coordinated and expanded data collecting activities throughout the South. The program continued up through the Spring of 1939. Photographs of former slaves were often taken at the time of the interviews. Photographs were taken by U.S. Government employees, and are therefore not eligible for copyright.
#101 - Public Domain image - By Trailer for "The Omega Man" (1971) (Trailer for "The Omega Man" (1971)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#102 - Public Domain image - By St. Louis Cardinals / MLB (ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#103 - Public Domain image -
By World Telegram staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image -
The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder is properly attributed. Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use, and all other use is permitted.
HistoryImages.com, and/or Interesting.com.
#106 - Public Domain image -
I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.If this is not legally possible:
I grant any entity the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.
PD Public domain false false. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jean_stovall_anderson_and_joe_louis.jpg
#107 - Public Domain image -
Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#108 - Public Domain image -
By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#109 - Public Domain image -
#110 - Public Domain image - William P. Gottlieb [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
If you have any more information about an item you've seen on our website or if you are the copyright owner and believe our website has not properly attributed your work to you or has used it without permission, we want to hear from you. Please email email@example.com with your contact information and a link to the relevant content.