Harry Belafonte, is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and social activist. One of the most successful Caribbean American pop stars in history, he was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s.
Belafonte was born Harold George Bellanfanti, Jr. at Lying-in Hospital in Harlem, New York, the son of Melvine (née Love), a housekeeper of Jamaican descent, and Harold George Bellanfanti, Sr., a Martiniquan who worked as a chef in the National Guard. From 1932 to 1940, he lived with his grandmother in her native country of Jamaica.
When he returned to New York City, he attended George Washington High School after which he joined the Navy and served during World War II. In the 1940s, he was working as a janitor's assistant in NYC when a tenant gave him, as a gratuity, two tickets to see the American Negro Theater. He fell in love with the art form and also met Sidney Poitier.
At the end of the 1940s, he took classes in acting at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with the influential German director Erwin Piscator alongside Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau, Bea Arthur and Sidney Poitier, while performing with the American Negro Theatre. He subsequently received a Tony Award for his participation in the Broadway revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac.
His breakthrough album Calypso (1956) is the first million selling album by a single artist. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song," with its signature lyric "Day-O." He has recorded in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards.
He has also starred in several films, most notably in Otto Preminger's hit musical Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957) and Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).
Belafonte was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and '60s, and one of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s confidants. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for political and humanitarian causes, such as the anti-apartheid movement and the USA for Africa.
Since 1987 he has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In recent years he has been a vocal critic of the policies of both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidential administrations. Harry Belafonte now acts as the American Civil Liberties Union celebrity ambassador for juvenile justice issues.
Belafonte has won three Grammy Awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. In 1989 he received the Kennedy Center Honors. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994. In 2014, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards.
What hasn't this man accomplished? Harry knew at a very young age his destiny was in entertainment and he pursued his dreams without giving up. I'm sure he had setbacks, but he kept at it. He was a very famous star in his day, all the ladies wanted his company.
Once he achieved stardom, did he just sit on his lofty throne and ignore the terrible injustices that existed in the world. No, he did not! he was a champion Civil Rights crusader for his people.
Doesn't it make you proud to know that this important man cared enough to help? Thanks, Harry, your contributions, and entertainment accomplishments live on and will not go unnoticed. We bestow to you the 1999 Hamite Award which is given to those who have exhibited an extraordinary love for the human race.
Belafonte (center) at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C with Sidney Poitier (left) and Charlton Heston
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Close-up view of Actor and Vocalist Harry Belafonte photo #104-yr-1999
Genetically modified foods or GM foods are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques allow for the introduction of new traits as well as greater control over traits than previous methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.
In modern usage "science" most often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge, not only the knowledge itself. In the 17th and 18th, centuries scientists increasingly sought to formulate knowledge. The social sciences which study people and societies has caused much pain and suffering for blacks.
This scientist preached as fact the black person was a lower form of life and closely related to monkeys. Europeans believed this and brought these beliefs with them to The New World (America).
After freedom from slavery, this is why whites didn't want the black person involved in any of their affairs whatsoever because they felt they were a superior race and it would be a step backward. Jim Crow laws were based on these erroneous scientific beliefs which kept blacks separate from whites until the 1960s.
Throughout the years most people understood these scientists were wrong and adjusted their way of thinking, but many still believe these false teachings and use it as a tool for their racist hate.
If a person were to visit Google search engine and type "African immigrants in college" they would discover that these lowly so-called monkeys and apes out-perform most races in America's colleges.
But even in this day and age, it's still not uncommon to hear of blacks being compared to apes or monkeys. Science has much innocent blood on their hands because of these mistruths.
A scientist can be very useful in creating and inventing positive things for humankind but can also be very very wrong causing much pain and anguish. Genetically modified foods just doesn't sound right.
Are they overstepping boundaries? We can look at the bad shape of the world today to view the results of their constant encroaching on something that doesn't belong to them. Man's downward spiral began with science, only because he doesn't know what the hell he's doing.
Sports in 1999
Basketball great Michael Jordan retires from the NBA. Trivia: In 1999, Michael was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press's list of athletes of the century. Jordan also became the first NBA player in history to become a billionaire.
Tennis sensation Serena Williams is victorious at the U.S. Open Womens Singles Tennis Championship in Flushing Meadows, becoming first African American woman to do so since Althea Gibson's win in 1958.
Did you know you came from an amazing race of people who cared for you? It's true. The amazing accomplishments of our ancestors are recorded on this website. Years ago as slaves it was illegal for slaves to read and write, and a felony for anyone caught teaching them.
The slavemaster wanted to keep them ignorant so they wouldn't organize and rebel against their authority. He was able to dominate blacks in this way. The slavemaster understood the power of education.
Sadly today too many of our own have not learned how truly important it is to learn. Some may look at education as a white thing and to pick up a book as a sellout. Has any ignorant person ever made you feel that way? If so, you should run away as fast as you can from a person like this. You will meet him in a few years while he's pushing a shopping cart around town.
Education and learning are not white; it's a gift for all humanity. Read at all cost; it will add a new dimension to your life, bringing a whole new world you never knew existed. Your ancestors made it all possible for you.
President Bill Clinton
Political Scene in 1999
1999 - Bill Clinton an American Democratic politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 was inaugurated into office. He previously served as Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992, and as the state's Attorney General from 1977 to 1979.
February 12, 1999 - United States President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial.
December 31, 1999 - Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, which leaves Vladimir Putin b> as the acting President.
sLANG tALK in the 1990s
Sup - What's up
Aiight - Alright, okay
All That - Complete package, not lacking
All that and a bag a chips - Complete
Bangin'/Slammin' - Got it going on
Beef - Trouble with someone
Beeotch - Bitch
Bling-Bling - Jewelry
The Bomb - Perfect, out of this world
Boo Ya! - In your face sucka
Bounce - To leave, go
Cha-Ching - Ring it up, gonna cost
Cheddar - Money, greenback
Chill Out - Relax
Chillin' - Relaxing
Churrin - Kids, children
Crib - The house, pad
Damn Skippy - You got that right!
Dawg - Friend, term of endearment
Dis - Disrepect
Dope - Super cool, badd
Down With That - In agreement
Fine - The best
Finna - About to do something
Fly - Cool, something good
Fresh - Brand new, cool, great
Hella - Emphasis
Hoochie - Fast, easy girl
Hood - Your neighborhood
It's all good - Everything is OK, under control
Jack You Up - Hurt you badly
Jet - Leave quickly
Let's Role - Leave
Math - Phone number
My Bad - My mistake, I'm sorry
O.G. - Original Ganster
Oh Snaps! - Oh yeah that's right!
Old School - Old way of doing things
Paper - Money
Phat - Cool
Pimpin - Correctly done
Po-po - Police
Scrub - A guy that's lacking
Straight - Telling the whole truth
Throw Down - Fight
Trippin - Worried about something
Vibe - Feeling
Wack - Terrible, not good
Wangsta - A fake ganster
Word - In agreement
Yayo - Money
Yo - Hello, short for "your"
Movies in 1999
The Matrix - Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne.
The Bone Collector - Stars: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah.
Life - Stars: Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Obba Babatundé.
The Wood - Stars: Elayn J. Taylor, Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones.
The Best Man - Stars: Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut.
Famous Birthdays in 1999
April 6, 1999 - Kwesi Boakye an American teen actor who is most notable for his role as Manny in the Tyler Perry film I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
May, 1999 - Ashley Jackson daughter of civil rights acrivist Jesse Jackson.
James L. Farmer, Jr. photo #104- in year 1941
Famous Deaths in 1999
March 20, 1999 - Thomas "Lapuppet" Carrol was a pioneer African-American martial artist.
April 9, 1999 - Albert Popwell was an African American actor in television and films from the late 1960s.
May 27, 1999 - Francine Everett was an African-American actress and singer.
July 9, 1999 - James Farmer was a civil rights activist and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement "who pushed for nonviolent protest to dismantle segregation, and served alongside Martin Luther King Jr.
October 12, 1999 - Wilt Chamberlain was one of the greatest African American basketball players of all time. Trivia:Wilt Chamberlain's had a bad relationship with fellow center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, ten years his junior. Although Abdul-Jabbar idolized him as a teenager and was once part of his inner circle, the student/mentor bond deteriorated into intense mutual loathing, especially after Chamberlain retired. Chamberlain often criticized Abdul-Jabbar for a perceived lack of scoring, rebounding, and defense. Abdul-Jabbar accused Chamberlain of being a traitor to the black race for his Republican political leanings, support of Richard Nixon, and relationships with white women. When Abdul-Jabbar broke Chamberlain's all-time scoring record in 1984, Chamberlain repeatedly called on Kareem to retire. When Abdul-Jabbar published his autobiography in 1990, he retaliated by writing a paper titled "To Wilt Chumperlane" in which he stated "Now that I am done playing, history will remember me as someone who helped teammates to win, while you will be remembered as a crybaby, a loser, and a quitter." Their relationship remained mostly strained until the end.
November 1, 1999 - Walter Payton was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) for thirteen seasons.
December 1, 1999 - Gene Bakerwas an American Major League Baseball infielder who played for the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates during eight seasons between 1953 and 1961.
December 26, 1999 - Curtis Mayfield was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, and one of the most influential musicians behind soul and politically conscious African-American music. He first achieved success and recognition with The Impressions during the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1950s and 1960s, and later worked as a solo artist. Trivia: Curtis Mayfield ranks high on talent. He didn't quite a crossover like others greats in the Motown era but was a force to be reckoned with. He kept the black community euphoric with his music. He mostly sang humanity conscious songs that made you think. Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down after lighting equipment fell on him during a live performance at Wingate Field in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, on August 13, 1990. Despite this, he continued his career as a recording artist winning numerous awards. What a remarkable talent. Go to youtube to check out some of his fantastic music which was on the same level as the great James Brown.
November 9, 1999 - Mabel King was an American film, stage television actress and singer. She was best known for her role as Mabel "Mama" Thomas on the ABC sitcom What's Happening!!
December 10, 1999 - Shirley Ann Hemphill was an American stand-up comedian and actress.
Crash Crew was an early hip-hop group who recorded for Sugar Hill Records. DJ Daryll C (Crash Crew) died in 1999 due to diabetes.
Lamont Coleman (May 30, 1974 – February 15, 1999), better known by his stage name Big L, was an American rapper. Big L was killed on February 15, 1999 after being shot nine times in the face and chest.
Raymond Rogers (May 14, 1971 – March 28, 1999), better known as Freaky Tah, was an MC, hype man and promoter. Freaky Tah was a member of a hip hop group called the Lost Boyz. Freaky Tah was shot in the back of his head while he was going towards the exit of Sheraton Hotel in Queens, New York.
Botany Boyz are a rap group from Houston, Texas, United States. They are the owners of the labels Big Shot Records and Plat-Num Productions. Member B.G. Gator committed suicide.
D12, an initialism for The Dirty Dozen, is an American hip hop group from Detroit, Michigan. D12 has had chart-topping albums in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Member of the group Bugz was shot and killed.
Sandy & Papo MC, Sandy MC & MC Papo or simply Sandy & Papo, was a duo of merengue house and hip-hop, with temporary residence in Venezuela. The group came to an end when on July 11, 1999 Luis Deschamps (MC Papo) died in a car accident.
John Paul Larkin (13 March 1942 – 3 December 1999), better known by his stage name Scatman John, was an American musician who created a fusion of scat singing and dance music, best known for his 1995 hits "Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)" and "Scatman's World". Scatman John died from lung cancer.
The Nationwide Rip Ridaz were an assortment of Crips gang members from Compton, South Central, and Watts, California. Member of the group Big Freeze was shot and killed in a restaurant.
Famous Weddings in 1999
February 14, 1999 - Isaiah Washington and Jenisa Marie Washington were wed.
May 15, 1999 - Tiki Barber and Ginny Cha were wed.
May 21, 1999 - Deion Sanders married beautiful model-actress Pilar Biggers in Nassau, Bahamas.
July 18, 1999 - Michael Strahan and Jean Muggli were wed.
July 24, 1999 - Grant Hill and Tamia were wed.
July 24, 1999 - Sandra Pepa Denton and Anthony Treach Criss were wed.
September 3, 1999 - Cedric the Entertainer is married to the former Lorna Wells, with whom he has a son, Croix Alexander.
September 26, 1999 - Rick Fox and Vanessa L. Williams were wed.
December 15, 1999 - Phil Collen and Anita Thomas were wed.
December 18, 1999 - Rasheeda and Kirk Frost were wed.
1999 - Foxy Brown and Ricardo Brown were wed.
1999 - Wendi Williams and Kevin Hunter were wed.
Famous Divorces in 1999
February 14, 1999 - Prince and Mayte Garcia were divorced.
April 1999 - Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman were divorced.
October 8, 1999 - Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe were divorced.
1999 - Ving Rhames and Valerie Scott were divorced.
1999 - Karrine Steffans and Kool g. Rap were divorced.
1999 - Sheryl Swoopes and Eric Jackson were divorced.
How did "acting" Cool begin for African Americans?
It seems like it's been around forever and expected of every black kid growing up
For most blacks, cool started on the southern plantations. Opportunists slavemasters devised a way for slaves to work harder and reap the benefits of their labor. During the year at a chosen plantation slave masters would hold a "Corn Shucking Festival." Slaves from nearby plantations would also join this event with their owner's permission, so it was almost like a community gathering of all the local slaves, with greedy slavemasters making all the money.
The slave who shucked the most corn won an award, sometimes cash or a suit of clothes. Anyone who found a red ear of corn also received a reward - perhaps a kiss from a young woman or a jug of whiskey. It was at these events that the term Shuckin' and jivin' came into existence by the slaves while working and telling tall stories, talking smack, and joking around with each other.
These gatherings, even though involving hard work had to be an event looked forward to by the slaves, because it was one of the few times during the year blacks had a chance to interact with one another. Shuckin' and jivin' would become a tool the slaves would use to convince their masters of an untruth, and even among themselves. It was an early form of being cool. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Corn-Shucking+Festival
After slavery blacks were free (sort of) to do as they pleased. Most blacks wanted to assimilate into American culture very much but were shut out by the white racist. African and European culture met head on in what was supposed to be fair in America guaranteed by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but blacks didn't stand a chance.
Why, what happened?
Because most whites banded together by breaking the law and made blacks second class citizens and would go on to murder, lynch, rape, humiliate them all the way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement. After Lincoln, every single United States President was aware of this and did nothing. Whites achieved like crazy and prospered while blacks lagged far behind and got along the best way they knew how.
Blacks disliked whites very much for this terrible treatment and instead of violent disobedience, they protested by living their lives opposite of white culture. I mean let's face it, why would blacks want to imitate or become a part of a race of people that hated them?
This is when being cool became a symbol of white resistance and protest. Being cool would show you were down with the struggle. During slavery, we had already created our language which was AAVE and many blacks communicated this way. Any black that did not use it was looked down as trying to act white, joining the enemy sort of speak.
We developed our own way of walking with a proud gait, (George Jefferson strut) our own style of music, our own style of dance, our own style of food, our own style of worship, that didn't have anything in common with white folks and that suited blacks just fine. We were poor, but we were proud and cool and everyone who practiced these traits was cool and a part of the resistance.
In the process, we were creating a new culture that was admired over the world. Blacks have always had a remarkable ability to create something out of nothing. But sadly there was significant risk with this lifestyle in a great country such as America.
What were the downfalls?
Oscar Micheaux felt it was wrong for blacks to live this way in America. Oscar was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 movies and he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of race films. He produced both silent movies and "talkies" after the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.
Oscar felt that blacks should become aggressive and use their brainpower in achieving instead of just settling for what the white man doled out. This man lived in some of the most racist times in American history, but he didn't let that stop him from fulfilling his dreams and doing it the legal way.
Evidently, Oscar had a brother who was the very cool type and was content on just putting up a show, or a front as living a successful life. We all know the type. A person that was living beyond his means. Blacks of his day called this way of living “the good life.”
Oscar didn't like it and was very upset with his brother. He later wrote in his book and discussed the culture of doers who want to accomplish, and those who see themselves as victims of injustice and hopelessness, and do not want to step out and try to succeed, but instead like to dress up, act cool and pretend to be successful while living the city lifestyle in poverty.
Oscar understood that education doesn't belong only to white people, it's a gift for all humanity to better ourselves, and honestly the best-proven way. Chinese, Japanese, Middle-Eastern and all other non-white nations understand this and have prospered by education. It's one of humanities treasure to learn.
But many blacks associated education with white and stayed far away from it, to continue with their cool lifestyle. A foolish mistake, and just what racist whites want you to believe.
Early Europeans completely dominated the Africans because they were better educated. They had guns we had spears, you do the math. In Africa our ancestors didn't value education, but traditions and silly ones at that. But that didn't save them. Education would have, though.
So without a doubt, it is entirely wrong to associate teaching and learning to white people. Many of us would look down upon another black who tried to better himself through education by saying they were trying to act white, and it wasn't cool. Racist whites laughed at us for believing this way because they knew we would always be behind.
After the 1960s, when our full Civil Rights were finally restored, many blacks chose to live the more standard American way by attending school to learn. But many also wanted to remain trapped in time with the old AAVE living in what they still perceived as defiance to the white American way of doing things. But were they only hurting themselves?
Later in time, being cool had become so prevalent in the black community it confused many kids, because they didn't quite understand if they were going to hang out with the cool kids or the so-called boring kids who liked to read and learn. At an early age, they are at a critical crossroad. Taking the cool route may seem easier, and a lot of fun, but would be a devastating mistake.
After the Civil Rights era we now have the opportunity to attend school and achieve as much as we can, but being cool has snatched many of the black kids and locked them into a culture hating education and in the process ruining their young lives.
Many entertainment figures reap much money from this cool culture by portraying cool as, well cool. They tell impressionable ones what's cool to hear, talk about, wear, eat, etc. and at the same time padding their cool humongous bank accounts.
These even get on television and flaunt their riches in a youngster's face never explicitly teaching on how they might be as successful, without being dishonest, stealing or selling drugs. Education is not cool for them to preach.
One thing is for sure, being cool can be a lot of fun and there's no denying that. Everybody wants to be liked, and it seems like cool people are respected and admired the most, from the clothes they wear to the type of songs they listen to the way they talk, the effortless way they seem to accomplish every task is amazing.
They possess incredible confidence. But truthfully everything they've accomplished wouldn't have been possible without the sacrifices of our wonderful ancestors. So don't you agree we owe a particular moral responsibility to them?
Kids should remember cool is not the real deal, It's a game we can't get caught up in. Our ancestors endured so much so we could achieve. We should never forget that. That's what this site was created. Browse through its pages, and you're going to read stories of amazing blacks.
They made it possible for us, and we're sure they would advise us to achieve through education first and foremost and save the cool for the weekends, and I ain't Shuckin and Jivin!
"Heartbreak Hotel" Whitney Houston featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price
"What's It Gonna Be?!" Busta Rhymes featuring Janet
"No Scrubs" TLC
"Bills, Bills, Bills" Destiny's Child
"Never Gonna Let You Go" Faith Evans
"Spend My Life with You" Eric Benet featuring Tamia
"We Can't Be Friends" Deborah Cox featuring R.L.
"Heartbreaker" Mariah Carey featuring Jay-Z
"Satisfy You" Puff Daddy featuring R. Kelly
"U Know What's Up" Donell Jones
Popular Soul Dances:
The Funky Charleston
The Humpy Dance
Musical Happenings for 1999:
March 15, 1999 – Soul singer Curtis Mayfield was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Health reasons prevented him from attending the ceremony, which included fellow inductees Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Dusty Springfield, George Martin, and 1970s Curtom signee and labelmate the Staple Singers.
July 1999 – Country singer Charley Pride received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1999 – Soul singer Curtis Mayfield was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame just prior to his death.
Blues Hall of Fame for 1999:
The Blues Hall of Fame is a music museum located in Memphis, Tennessee. Until recently, the "Blues Hall of Fame" was not a physical building, but a listing of people who have significantly contributed to blues music. Started in 1980 by the Blues Foundation, it honors those who have performed, recorded, or documented blues. The actual building for the hall opened to the public on May 8, 2015
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Grammy winners in 1999:
The 41st Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 24, 1999 at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the year 1998. Lauryn Hill was the main recipient, winning a total of 5 awards including Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Known as the "Grammy Year of Women.
Album of the Year
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' - Lauryn Hill
Best New Artist
Best Traditional Blues Album
Otis Rush for Any Place I'm Going
Best Contemporary Blues Album
Keb' Mo' for Slow Down
Best Opera Recording
Pierre Boulez (conductor), Jessye Norman
Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
Deniece Williams for This Is My Song
Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
Cissy Houston for He Leadeth Me
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album
Kirk Franklin for The Nu Nation Project
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group
Herbie Hancock for Gershwin's World
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance
Grover Mitchell (director) for Count Plays Duke performed by the Count Basie Orchestra
Best Jazz Vocal Performance
Shirley Horn for I Remember Miles
Best Album Notes
performed by the Miles Davis Quintet
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
Doo Wop (That Thing)-Lauryn Hill
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
St. Louis Blues-Stevie Wonder
Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
The Boy is Mine'-Brandy & Monica
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
Live! One Night Only-Patti LaBelle
Best R&B Song
Lauryn Hill (songwriter) for "Doo Wop (That Thing)"
Best R&B Album
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Best Rap Solo Performance
"Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"-Will Smith
Best Reggae Album
Friends-Sly and Robbie
Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
"Fly Away"-Lenny Kravitz
MusiCares Person of the Year
Grammy Hall of Fame Award
Amazing Grace Aretha Franklin with James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir
Grammy Hall of Fame Award
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Grammy Hall of Fame Award
"Dancing in the Street" Martha and the Vandellas
Grammy Hall of Fame Award
Clifford Brown & Max Roach Clifford Brown and Max Roach
Grammy Hall of Fame Award
Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
Grammy Hall of Fame Award
"Ain't No Sunshine" Bill Withers
Grammy Hall of Fame Award
Are You Experienced? The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Grammy Hall of Fame Award
"At Last" Etta James
Hall of Fame Award
"Be My Baby" The Ronettes
Hall of Fame Award
Belafonte at Carnegie Hall Harry Belafonte
Hall of Fame Award
Bitches Brew Miles Davis
Hall of Fame Award
Blue Train John Coltrane
Hall of Fame Award
"Boogie Chillen" John Lee Hooker
Hall of Fame Award
Born Under a Bad Sign Albert King
Hall of Fame Award
Brilliant Corners Thelonious Monk Quintet
Hall of Fame Award
"Candy" Big Maybelle
"all men are created equal"
The cornerstone of American Principles
But is it true, or just empty words?
Well, once again we have to go back in history to get the likely answer.
Just imagine in your mind what America was going through in it's beginning. Poor European immigrants from around the world braved the mighty oceans traveling to the "New World" for a better life. Anything was better than where they were leaving.
The church had dominated the thinking of Europeans for many years but with the invention of the printing press and sharing of information they slowly began forming their ideas and belief systems independent of the church. One of these beliefs was in social science which taught the Negro was an inferior ape-like creature with no prospect for advancement and whites were superior to them.
Sounds silly I know, but Europeans believed it (and some still do today). They brought these beliefs with them to America. This is the reason whites didn't want anything whatsoever to do with blacks because in their superior way of thinking it would be a step backward to intermingle and share America with people of African descent whom they considered beast like.
Europeans were much smarter and more advanced than Africans. Africans were a tribal people lost in time practicing all sorts of superstitious traditions. Leaders didn't teach their citizens to read or write, and much of African history was lost forever because of this failure. Africans would pass their culture down to the next generation orally.
When Africans finally collided with the Europeans through the slave trade, they were shocked at the degree of hate these people had against them. Europeans loved science because it excused them from a moral conscience they had been burdened with in their practice of religion. So when they raped, pillaged, and murdered they did so in the name of science or white superiority which made it perfectly O.K. with their hearts.
After the Africans made it to America and were forced to work as slaves, it took many years until white people began to feel they were wrong about the mistreatment of blacks and started movements to free them. After slavery was finally abolished in 1863, another form of hate and discrimination would appear on the scene named Jim Crow.
After Abraham Lincoln had died, every single U.S. President up unto Lyndon Baines Johnson would ignore the Declaration of Independence principle that "All men are created equal" and violated the law of the land by disobeying our U.S. Constitution that guaranteed Negroes first class citizenship with Jim Crow laws. They just refused to accept blacks as equals. Throughout history this was referred to as the "Negro Problem"
It would remain this way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
Some of the early Americans who penned the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution which was essentially a moral roadmap for all Americans to live by were honest to true goodness Americans who understood the vision for the United States.
But on the other hand, this true vision of America was too lofty for most whites to follow. They sought only to take from our country for their selfish gains. They considered themselves privileged ones.
But not all were anti-American.
Great men such as Wiliam Whipple who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence was a true American.
During the Revolutionary War period Whipple wrote as follows to Josiah Bartlett, “The last accounts from South Carolina were favorable. A recommendation is gone thither for raising some regiments of blacks. This, I suppose, will lay a foundation for the emancipation of those wretches in that country. I hope it will be the means of dispensing the blessings of Freedom to all the human race in America.” William Whipple
Even though these true Americans like William Whipple didn't particularly like blacks, they were special people because they put their personal feelings on the back burner and American ideals and principles first. William Whipple could not sign the Declaration of Independence and own slaves at the same time, so what did he do? He set his slave free. Many other true early Americans did the same thing.
William Whipple, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and a true American photo#105-yr-2015
But most American leaders chose to ignore American ideals and principles for their advantage and held on to their slaves, and after slavery was outlawed created illegal laws that made a joke of the U.S. Constitution, and trashed the Declaration of Independence which was anything but being true American and this is the way it remained until the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
Not much has changed. We still have a strong racist element in America and will continue to do so until this dark period in America's history is talked about and hashed out between the races. Many white Americans will probably never change their negative view of blacks which was initiated by erring scientist years ago and continue to pass their hate down from generation to generation.
So what does this have to do with American standards?
America in its infancy was slowly creating a standard that would become admired over the world. Although quickly fading from practice in our day the American standard consisted of honesty in business dealings, promoting fairness, practicing proper relationships, justice, civility, right dress, speech, eating, and anything positive that enriched the community as a whole. Yes, even racist anti-Americans understood and lived by these standards when it didn't conflict with their hate.
Now here's the problem.
With blacks finally attaining enforcement of their civil rights in the 1960s, many didn't quite know which standard to live. Many wondered to themselves, "Should we live under the American standard where many were unkind to us and made us feel unwelcome or continue living under the old Negro standard that was adopted during and after slavery?"
In the following movie, great black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux created a film entitled "Birthright" which was about a well spoken black man named (Peter) who left his Southern roots to go to Harvard and obtain his education. He returned to the south with the hopes of opening up schools to teach the young black kids. He met a beautiful woman (Sissy), and both shared a mutual love interest, and while at a house he was living they had a conversation where she mentioned that since he had an education, he now lived under a different code or (standard) than the other black people in the Southern town. Sissy tells him that since he changed his code (standard) and returned to judge the residents, it wasn't fair. Blacks in the city still lived by the old Negro code or standard. This movie can be found in its entirety on Netflix under (Pioneers of African-American Cinema) There are still many blacks today who live by this old Negro code or standard.
What's a Negro standard?
Many blacks took pride in being different from white America, even down to this day. So during slavery we created our special language to communicate with each other (AAVE), our flashy style of dress, our own and unique way we dealt with one another, it's a standard white people just wouldn't understand, and we loved it because it belonged to us. It's how we survived for decades.
Did blacks hold onto the old Negro standard after the Civil Rights movement?
After the 60s, it wasn't easy trying to blend in and assimilate into the American way of doing things, especially when you know there are ones that hate you. It could be very discouraging. It was especially hard on our black men. But happily many blacks made the smart choice of choosing the American standard, even though they knew they would be called Uncle Toms or sellouts by members of our race for trying to act white or like the enemy as they saw it.
These people were wise because they understood just like the slaves of old what this country was founded on and this gave them strength to live as true Americans. They could care less about racist whites and their hate for us or the foolish blacks who would say bad things about them. They remembered true American brothers like William Whipple and made their mind to follow the American standard of living.
Now if these blacks had stayed in the old Negro standard, they would have been left behind. You cannot blend the American standard with the old Negro standard. It would never work, and that goes for others such as Mexicans, Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc. We all must live by one standard way of doing things in America, even if we may hate one another.
So, if one from the old Negro standard wants to achieve it would be a mistake to look at it as trying to be white. No, we are working to be better Americans, true Americans. Browse through this website and learn about the countless number of blacks who died so that we could attempt this.
After the Civil Rights movement when whites were finally able to have contact with blacks through the event of integration many came to the realization that blacks were not much different than themselves. We're all humans, not like those crazy racist scientists preached as fact years ago to ruin America. They have much blood on their hands.
We must achieve and become victorious even under the bad hand of white racist which without a doubt we will encounter on our American journey. The only difference is today; it's not out in the open like it once was.
But on the other hand, we will also encounter the William Whipple's of the world. How do you think we elected a black President? It couldn't have been accomplished without white people. That in a sense was William voting for our first black president. So when issues arise, don't hate America, if you must hate at all hate the actions of the anti-American racist who reside in her.
We can't let anyone hold us back from achieving our dreams which wouldn't make any sense believing "I'm gonna waste my life away with selfish pleasure seeking because of the white man, and also my homies will call me a sellout if I attempt to better myself." which is the thinking from the old Negro standard.
We must all strive to be sharp, smart, successful and proud African Americans living under American standards because it's the best in the world and many of our ancestors died for the opportunity we have today.
So to answer the above question, are all men created equal? It depends on who point of view you take. If you look through the eyes of racist anti-American people, then we are not created equal, but if you look at it through the eyes of true Americans, yes without a doubt we are all created equal and share mutually in achieving in America which is the greatest country in the world.
I think I'll look at it through the eyes of true America, like our friend and American brother William Whipple.
Young woman wearing a spaghetti strap top, a silver necklace, and straight-leg jeans photo #111-yr-1990
Double breasted power suit with large shoulder pads photo #112-yr-1990
A classic dark blue pair of Converse All-Stars resting on the Black & White Ed. Shoebox photo #109-yr-1990
Slap bracelets photo #110-yr-1990
Jheri curl hairstyle worn in the 80s and 90s. photo #108-yr-1980
Fashions and Styles in 1999
The early 1990s saw a continuation of late 1980s fashion: women wore denim button down shirts, leggings, drainpipe jeans, colored tights, bike shorts, black leather jackets with shoulder pads, and skater dresses. Popular accessories included court shoes, cowboy boots, headscarves, leggings, slouch socks, Keds, ballet flats, and penny loafers. Leotards worn as tops with jeans were popular with young girls, teens, college girls, young women and women. A common outfit was to wear a skirt, dress shorts, babydoll or minidress with black opaque tights, white slouch socks and white sneakers especially Keds. Women's fashion in the mid 1990s became more feminine and form-fitting. Women tended to dress differently for each occasion. Both long and short skirts were favored, and loungewear generally consisted of leggings, large T-shirts, and baggy sweaters while at home or relaxing during the weekends.The most common look among young women was the short black slip dress worn over a tight, undersized white T-shirt. Among other fashion trends included lean pants, hot pants, black Lycra leggings, belted trench coats, and leather. Popular shoes and accessories during the mid-1990s included Wonderbra, Loafers, Mary Janes, suede sneakers, mules, clogs, knee high boots, jelly shoes, Go-go boots, black shoes, silver jewelry, dainty earrings and necklaces, conch shell necklaces,Slap bracelets, berets, straw hats, floppy hats, gold jewelry, and hipster belts. Navel piercings had started to gain popularity around this time.
Continuing on from the late 1980s, many young men wore tapered high waisted jeans with matching denim jackets, Stone Island or Ralph Lauren polo shirts with contrasting collars, short Harrington jackets, brightly colored windcheaters, Hush Puppies shoes, V neck sweaters, soccer shorts, pastel colored three button sportcoats, graphic print T shirts, tracksuit tops with a vertical contrasting stripe down the sleeve, sweatpants, shiny red or blue rayon monkey jackets, grey or tan leather jackets with shoulder pads, and wool baseball jackets with contrasting sleeves. Short shorts were popular in the early years of the decade, but were replaced with looser and baggier basketball shorts after 1993 when hip-hop fashion went mainstream. Hip-hop fashion went mainstream in 1995, with oversized baseball jackets, baggy jeans, bomber jackets, Baja Jackets, and tracksuits popular among young men as casual wear. Simultaneously, industrial and military styles crept into mainstream fashion, with machinery pieces becoming accessories. Baseball caps started being worn forwards again.
Southern hip hop provided a platform for Fashion designers and musical artists to collaborate forming an influential subculture of anti fashion and alternative fashion designs, especially the popular recycled clothing worn by Arrested Development and Goodie Mob.
Black leather reefer jackets and trenchcoats were also fashionable in the late 1990s.
The Jheri curl often spelled Jerry curl or Jeri Curl is a permed hairstyle that was common and popular among African American, Black Canadian, and Black British, especially during the 1980s and the 1990s. Invented by the hairdresser Jheri Redding, the Jheri curl gave the wearer a glossy, loosely curled look. It was touted as a "wash and wear" style that was easier to care for than the other popular chemical treatment of the day, the relaxer. For African-American men, the cornrows (popularized by former NBA player Allen Iverson) and buzz cut were a popular trend that continued into the early 2000s.
United States Census for African Americans in the 1990s
Jane Elizabeth Manning James
O J Simpson
Our Community in 1999 Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
February 12, 1999 - Scientists warn about genetically modified food may have health consequences.
1999 - FIDE awarded Maurice Ashley the grandmaster title in 1999, making him the world's first black chess grandmaster, the game's highest rank.
February 16, 1999 - The 1968 Heisman Trophy of Football great O.J. Simpson's is sold for $230,000 to help settle a $33.5 million civil judgement against him.
June 1999 - a monument to Jane Elizabeth Manning James' life was dedicated near James' grave in the Salt Lake City Cemetery by the Genesis Group (an official organization begun under LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith to support Latter-day Saints of African descent).
1990s - The United States Population is 248,709,878 with a total of 29,986,060 being African Americans.
How did religion begin for the American Negro?
Well, it was an exciting journey for sure, but as usual, we have to go back into history for the likely answer. Before arriving in America as slaves, generally speaking, our ancestors practiced a religion which included fetishism.
What is fetishism you may ask?
Traditional Benin Voodoo Dance
Fetishism is a man-made object (such as the doll aound the lady's neck in the picture) that is thought to have power over others. Africans were extremely superstitious in their native land.
But once exposed to religious teachers in America, quickly left their superstitious past behind them, and would frown upon new arrivals of Africans who practiced fetishism in religion.
In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had lost their grip on people with their questionable religious practices. There were many who thought the Church was wrong and formed a protest or a Protestant Reformation that resulted in the creation of tons of different religions with their doctrines and teachings claiming to be Christian.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views
that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Episcopal, Jesuits, Methodists, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, Wesleyanism were all against Roman Catholic teachings.
But there would be a new religion on the horizon for humanity that went by the name of science. The introduction of science was in many ways entirely different than Christianity because it taught man to believe and rely on himself and his creations, rather than on a Supreme Being he couldn't see.
Faith is something foreign and unbelievable to a scientist. Also, this new form of religion would give these believers complete moral authority to do as they wished without a guilty conscience or retribution from a Surpreme Being.
This is what made slavery right or moral in the eyes of so many whites because new science taught that whites were superior and blacks inferior. The theory of evolution is another example in clear teaching that the world exists because of a big bang instead of being created, and also man evolved from apes rather than being created.
Do you believe in Evolution? If so, evolution is your religion because mainstream religion and evolution just don't jive, it's either one or the other.
During slavery, most of the first black congregations and churches were founded by free blacks, but slaves learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. Methodist and Baptist were the preferred choices of slaves because of its message.
But after slavery blacks were still restricted in the white churches so what they did next is not a surprise. They began to form their churches free from white rulership and exclusion, but kept the doctrine and teachings, but of course with a more lively twist (singing and dancing). It's clear they still had African culture in their hearts. This would mark the beginning of a new American creation, the black church.
The following is a very brief history of religion in Black America:
William J. Seymour - photo#111-yr-2015
Charles Fox Parham an independent holiness evangelist who believed strongly in divine healing, was an important figure in the emergence of Pentecostalism as a distinct Christian movement. But it wasn't until one of his black students named William J. Seymour learned these teaching and took it back to California with him that the Pentecostal movement took off like wildfire.
Seymour's preaching sparked the famous three-year-long Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Worship at the racially integrated Azusa Mission featured an absence of any order of service. (whites would later dislike this) People preached and testified as moved by the Spirit, spoke and sung in tongues, and fell in the Spirit. Blacks whites and other races would attend these services. But there was a matter of Jim Crow to be kept in mind that made it illegal for blacks and whites to mix.
So whites broke away from Seymour and began their Pentecostal churches. It's a fact that the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is considered to have started with one-eyed black preacher William J. Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.
The Church Of God in Christ (COGIC) -
Church Of God in Christ Baptism photo#112-yr-2015
The Church Of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) and is a Pentecostal Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. It ranks as the largest Pentecostal denomination and the fifth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. Evangelical Baptist, and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century and appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Early COGIC leaders were very much attracted by the Pentecostal message and would break from the Baptist for this reason.
A.M.E. Church -
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the US. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.
Baptists are individuals who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism) and that it must be done by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors, and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.
An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Jews felt like they were chosen people who were promised a land filled with milk and honey, a holy land. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's wife Sarah had trouble conceiving children so to keep the promise alive and in the family she chose Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid to have sexual relations with Abraham to bear a son, which is what they did. This son's name was Ishmael.
But something happened later that would throw things into a tizzy. At a very old age Sarah was now able to have kids and bore a son named Isaac.
Now here's the problem. Does the promise belong to Sarah's son or Hagar's son? Sarah felt it belonged to her bloodline, so she sent Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness for them to die. But guess what? They didn't die. Muhammad who was the final prophet sent by God as identified in the Quran was born within Ishmael's seed line.
So even to this day these two groups don't care for each other.
This religion by far has proven to be the most destructive for humankind. Its users have created a world of me, me, me, by magnifying themselves, sincerely believing they are all of that and a bag of chips. Also the belief that spirited competition is healthy and useful. Win at all cost! The survival of the fittest theory. Many genocides were accomplished in the name of science. It teaches us that man originates from apes, (many blacks lost their life because of this false teaching) the earth was created from nothing and in essence humans are their gods. The bad far outweighs the good with the practice of science. Just look around.
#103 - Public Domain images -
#104 - Public Domain image -
By U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service. (ca. 1953 - ca. 1978) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image -
By U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service. (ca. 1953 - ca. 1978) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - Public Domain image -
By Columbia Records (eBay item photo frontphoto back) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - Public Domain image -
By General Artists Corporation-GAC (management)-photographer-James Kriegsmann, New York. (eBay item photo frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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