This week on The Historians Podcast, New York City attorney Jim Kaplan considers the impact of black separatist leader Marcus Garvey on African independence. Born in Jamaica, Garvey lived some of his most productive years in Harlem. [Read more…] about Marcus Garvey’s Influence on African Independence
On April 6th 1917 America declared war against Germany. It was the first time in the nation’s history that the United States sent soldiers abroad to defend foreign soil. In May 1917, General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing was designated Supreme Commander of the troops in France. He assembled the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in July 1917 and its involvement on the battlefield tipped the balance in favor of Allied Forces towards the middle of 1918. [Read more…] about ‘Black Devils’ At War In Europe & At Home
When Paris first heard American jazz, it is – from our perspective – impossible to make sense of the cultural thunderbolt that must have hit audiences. This music was so wholly different to European ears that it was either scornfully rejected or eagerly accepted. [Read more…] about Harlem & The Hellfighter Band That Set France Jazz Mad
The modern banjo derives from mid-1600 instruments that had been used in the Caribbean by enslaved people taken from West Africa. The original version was made from a hollowed-out (hard-skinned) gourd and a varying number of horsehair strings. [Read more…] about Banjo Pickers and Harlem-On-The-Seine
From Ethel Waters and Althea Gibson to Marcus Garvey and Langston Hughes, Harlem’s extraordinary historic legacy was vital to the intellectual, cultural and political advancements of African Americans and the United States.
Now, with funding from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, While We Are Still Here is planning to install twenty-five historic markers around the Harlem community, beginning in the summer of 2021, to celebrate historic places. [Read more…] about Historic Signs Will Celebrate Harlem History
Born in 1799, Clemente Bassano (the family name originates from the Veneto region of Italy) settled in London and started his career as a fishmonger in Soho. By 1825 he ran a warehouse from Jermyn Street, St James’s, importing almonds, oil, capers, and macaroni.
His daughter Louise was an opera singer who toured with Franz Liszt on his London visit in 1840/1. Her brother Alessandro became a high society photographer with a studio in Regent Street. His portrait of Horatio Kitchener was used during the First World War for an iconic recruitment poster. [Read more…] about Harlem’s “Black Beauty” Mills; London’s Josephine Baker
He later moved to London where he met several Black Nationalists seeking to end white European colonialism in Africa.
At a library in London he read Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery in which Washington, the founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, urged that African-Americans pull themselves up and establish black institutions, over seeking equal rights through integration. [Read more…] about Marcus Garvey In Harlem: Roots of African Independence
The Underground Railroad Coalition recently announced a major effort to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the New York State constitutional provision that ended slavery in the State on July 4, 1827.
The emancipation provision in the New York State Constitution of 1799 provided for the gradual elimination of slavery in New York, but it did not end the widespread legal race discrimination in the state. The most glaring example of this was the New York State Constitution of 1821, which eliminated property qualifications to vote for white men, but denied black men owning less than $250 worth of property the right to vote. [Read more…] about Real Estate, Philip Payton And The Rise of Black Harlem
A new full-color digital graphic novel by the Association of the United States Army Book Program, Medal of Honor: Henry Johnson, recognizes the remarkable acts of Henry Johnson of Albany during the First World War.
Her hair was flaming red and so were her freckles. Born Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith on August 14, 1894 in Alderson, West Virginia, she was the youngest of four children.
“I am hundred percent American Negro with a trigger Irish temper” – as she summarized her genealogy. The “Queen Victoria” in her birth name is both puzzling and amusing, but whatever the explanation she lived her life as a royal – Queen of Montmartre. [Read more…] about Ada ‘Bricktop’ Smith: Queen of Montmarte