Author Topic: Black History  (Read 433913 times)

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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #126 on: October 07, 2006, 12:58 PM »
In May 1927, on a local radio show called the Barn Dance, a classic opera piece had just finished.
It was long the opinion that realism had no place in classics, so George Hay (known as the Ole Judge) announced "you just heard some grand opera so now you gonna hear some grand ole opry." He introduced Deford Bailey who came to the mic and played Pan American Blues on his harmonica. A song that imitated a fast moving train.

The Grand Ole Opry, as we know it today, was born. Its first star being a black man born Dec 14 1899 in Smith county, not far from Nashville. At the age of three he contracted Polio and it was then he started to learn his musical style. He said "my folks didn't give me no rattler, they gave me a harmonica."
Deford was confined to bed for nearly a year and during that time he would lie in bed and listen to the sounds of dogs howling, of wild geese flying overhead, of the wind blowing through cracks in the wall, and most importantly, of trains rumbling in the distance.


He was always seen with top hat, suit and shined shoes. Folks would joke and say he could die and be buried the same day without having to be dressed. This form of dress came about in 1918 when as a young lad he was working as a house boy for Mr & Mrs J. C. Bradford, after having moved to Nashville upon the demise of his father. ( His mother died of a strange illness much earlier) One day Mrs. Bradford heard him playing harmonica in the yard and inquired how long he had been playing music like that. He answered all his life and from then on he was dressed in white top hat, white suit and shined shoes. She stood him in the corner and he played for her guests.

Deford worked odd jobs for several years and after being heard while working as an elevator operator, he was hired to play at a formal company dinner. That company was the National Life and Accident Insurance company and it created the broadcast station WSM Oct 5 1925, hiring George D Hay. George Hay dubbed Deford Bailey 'the harmonica wizard.
In 1928, the first full year of the Grand Ole Opry, Mr. Bailey played 49 of the 52 shows - 20 more than the next most frequent artist.

George Hay never introduced Deford as a 'colored' man on the radio, because he said his audience "would blow us out" if they knew. However when he started to tour with Roy Acuff and others from the Grand Ole Opry, his music was well accepted. Seems his small stature and communication skills made him a less threatening  'colored' man.

DeFord was the only African American in his day to perform regularly and on an equal basis with white performers, and before white audiences, in Dixie and elsewhere.
Sadly he was not equal in any other ways. Legal restrictions and social norms of the time made socializing with his white associates or fans next to impossible. He wasn't allowed to eat or sleep in the same places. They often had to find him special accommodations in the black section of town. Sometimes he had to sleep in the car if they couldn't find a safe place for him to stay. When eating meals, he usually had to eat in the kitchen of a restaurant or in the car. At times he was allowed into white only hotels, but only by posing as a valet to one of the white performers.

Another first for Nashville?  Deford Bailey made records in Atlanta and New York, and when RCA Victor came to Nashville to look for country artists in 1928, Bailey cut five sides for Victor - the first recording sessions ever in Nashville.

The first star of the Grand Ole Opry was fired in 1941 by George Hay. One cannot but see the racial prejudice that played into that. In his book, published in 1945, George Hay said this, "Mr. Bailey was lazy, like some members of his race, we gave him a whole year's notice to learn some new tunes, but he would not."
At Deford Bailey's funeral Roy Acuff let the truth out, "I wouldn't say he was lazy. It wasn't that he wouldn't learn new tunes, he couldn't learn new tunes. That was the only objection. I know that he was willing to do what he could do and when it came to playing the songs he knew, there was none of them who could top him."

The man that put the Grand Ole Opry on the map, and made the first recordings ever in Nashville never made the financial gain of the white stars that followed. He was never voted into the Country music Hall of Fame and died penniless in his daughter's arms at the age of 82 June 23 1983.



 
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Offline Allen

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Re: Black History
« Reply #127 on: October 07, 2006, 01:51 PM »
I always love reading your posts, Friend.  I learn so much.  And it truly amazes me, every single time, when I read about such prejudices.

It is my daughters 10th birthday today, and as a present, she received three small princess Barbie dolls, (which comprise a series of twelve).  One of them has dark skin, to which I do not believe she noticed, and certainly did not comment.

She goes to a good elementary school, which is somewhat racially diverse, and has almost no concept of racism.  I hope that the day is near, when humanity can look beyond external superficial differences, and look internally to the enormous similarities we all share.

*When she was three, she picked out a black doll, which she described as having dark skin.  This doll, today, is one of her favorites, with which she plays all the time.
Allen

An action promulgated out of desperation will inevitably end in tragedy; for as its anagram so aptly foretells:  A rope ends it. �

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #128 on: October 07, 2006, 02:44 PM »
Thank you Allen.

I'd say your daughter's neutral attitude toward skin color is a grand testament to you and and her mother. She and the parents you are, should stand as a fine example of how it could be.
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Re: Black History
« Reply #129 on: October 07, 2006, 07:48 PM »
Without fail when one is engaged in a conversation about slavery, some idiot is going try to jusitify the insitution of slavery by saying it wasn't so bad.
I sent this to said idiot a few minutes ago.
Wonder if he and his family were to be pulled from his bed in the middle of tonight, and subjected to this, would he think it's not so bad?

http://www.dinsdoc.com/goodell-1-1-11.htm

Here is the full table of contents for this study.
http://www.dinsdoc.com/goodell-1-0a.htm




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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #130 on: October 07, 2006, 08:10 PM »
I found this to be of interest. It's an editorial in a Charelston S.C. newspaper January 13 1865. I quote a couple paragraphs as it dispells out right the nonsense that the civil war had nothing to do with slavery. This is right out the horse's mouth.
Link to full editorial is at the bottom.

"In 1860 South Carolina seceded alone from the old union of States. Her people, in Convention assembled, invited the slaveholding States (none others) of the old Union to join her in erecting a separate Government of Slave States, for the protection of their common interests. All of the slave states, with the exception of Maryland and Kentucky, responded to her invitation. The Southern Confederacy of slave States was formed.
It was on account of encroachments upon the institution of slavery by the sectional majority of the old Union, that South Carolina seceded from that Union. It is not at this late day, after the loss of thirty thousand of her best and bravest men in battle, that she will suffer it to be bartered away; or ground between the upper and nether mill stones, by the madness of Congress, or the counsels of shallow men elsewhere."
http://www.sewanee.edu/faculty/Willis/Civil_War/documents/Mercury.html

Another link into the devious mind of the Confederacy.
http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/merc2.html




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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #131 on: October 09, 2006, 11:45 AM »
In "Jesus" name. The end of many a prayer from 'good christians', but did the use of Jesus' name portend what it was suppsed to represent?
Enter Sir John Hawkins in the service of Queen Elizabeth, 1562. After being loaned a ship in disrepair from the Hanseatic League, it was repaired and Sir  Hawkins was given permission to use it in its first voyage, accompanied by Sir Francis Drake (cousin), both being 'devout' christians, with services being held on board twice a day while requiring the crew to serve God and love one another.

One would think this sounds idealic, but what was the first cargo?
Carrying Africans to the Americas  "with their own free will'. Off the coast of Sierra Leone Hawkins captured 300-500 slaves through plundering Portugeese ships, violence and subterfuge by promising Africans free land and riches in the new world.  
Queen Elizabeth made a cursory protest as to the destestable endeavours of slave trade, but after finding out the profits to be made she joined Sir Drake and Sir Hawkins, providing them full use of this 700 ton ship.

Thus began the British salve trade.
The name of the ship? "The Jesus of Lubeck"
a.k.a.; " The Good Ship Jesus." It's first cargo being African slaves.




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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #132 on: October 09, 2006, 07:32 PM »
The execution of Nathaniel Gordon. A rare example of justice visited upon a slave trader.

This link has that story and a extensive over view of slavery.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/slave-trader.htm
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Offline seaspirit06

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Re: Black History
« Reply #133 on: October 17, 2006, 11:16 PM »
A-Friend,

I see you have done an enormous amount of work here. I just "found" this thread. I am sure I can learn a lot from it. I grew up in Kansas City, went to a large suburban high school. The only black kids, if I may use the term black, were a few who happened to excel in the school. I didn't get to know them, I was a fairly mediocre student and used any ability to excel at something as a means to avoid that activity.  I grew up with certain prejudices as we all do, I suppose.  It is interesting that here in Charlotte when I discuss with my neighbors issues, such as schools, there is still the concept of "them" and "us". I guess, at heart, I am basicallly a Marxist in the sense that I believe socio-economic status, power structures, if you will, determine oppression.

I just taught my first swim lessons tonight at the Johnston YMCA which is in a poorer neighboorhood of Charlotte. I could teach elsewhere, I suppose, but I feel like I am doing something good for those kids. But do I do it out of some anglo paternalistic liberal, squeaky, do goodiness, that some would scoff at, or am truly helping these "disadvantaged" children? I know that is something that I have to judge for myself, but I just thought I would throw that out there. Thanks for all your work here with this thread I will try and learn some more history.

Coincidentally, before reading this last post, I posted a  poem yesterday (which you may consider not a poem!) called "Nose Hair Clippers" where I used "In the name of Jesus we ......." repetitively, perhaps I could change one of the lines to "In the name of Jesus we shackled people and traded them amongst "us". Interesting stuff about the slave trade. Pardon my punctuation. Still bridled at that comment on "Influences". My reference to "nameless black men building aluminum temples" was to James Hampton. I had forgotten his name but was influenced by his work several years ago when I read about it. Interesting that I couldn't recall his name. Perhaps I should have looked back to find his name before I used those words in that "poem".

At any rate, again, thanks for all the work here. This kind of information is deserving of a much larger audience.

Keep on Truckin!
Sincerely,
Scott
 ':sun'
“Some circumstantial evidence is very strong as when you find a trout in the milk”

Henry David Thoreau

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #134 on: October 18, 2006, 11:31 AM »
"I just taught my first swim lessons tonight at the Johnston YMCA which is in a poorer neighboorhood of Charlotte. I could teach elsewhere, I suppose, but I feel like I am doing something good for those kids. But do I do it out of some anglo paternalistic liberal, squeaky, do goodiness, that some would scoff at, or am truly helping these "disadvantaged" children? I know that is something that I have to judge for myself, but I just thought I would throw that out there."

I applaud you for that, Scott, but why question it? You're doing a good thing for the sake of doing a good thing.
While one simply can't ignore racism, either past or present, there are lessons to be learned from those like yourself, who can do good deeds, while being neutral.

Those that would scoff at paternalistic, do goodines, are fools. I would pay it no heed.

 I spent a few days last week with friends in Charlotte, right off Harris Blvd, just past Sugar Creek road. Small world huh?

I'm glad you enjoyed this thread, it's where I spend the most time. Hope to see more of you here.

Is there any hope for fat old guys that can't swim?
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Offline Allen

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Re: Black History
« Reply #135 on: October 18, 2006, 12:18 PM »
Dear Scott.

I read your post slowly and carefully, and, formed some thoughts before reading friends response.  Funnily enough, I had exactly the same thoughts as him.  Your post is very inspiring.  While continuing to analyze all the intellectual references you made, keep it simple.  What I mean by this is: Realize you are a good person, who is connecting and empathizing with people and circumstances whom/which are different.

A great book by E.M. Forster, Howards End, has a fantastic quote in its beginning:

Only connect

You will have to read the book to fully understand it. This is what the person who gave the book to me, made me do; which ended up being one of the greatest gifts I ever received.
Allen

An action promulgated out of desperation will inevitably end in tragedy; for as its anagram so aptly foretells:  A rope ends it. �

Offline seaspirit06

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Re: Black History
« Reply #136 on: October 18, 2006, 10:47 PM »
Allen and A-Friend,

Thanks for the compliments. Yeah, I over analyze things to death, probably my scientific training. I consider myself a world citizen or at least would like to think my views are progressive and not close-minded. I wish we didn't have labels like, black, white, yellow, Arab, and American...etc.I 've never done a lot of reading on race but my guess it was a "euro-centric" way to define and categorize observations of people. Someone trying to make rational sense of their  "world". Both of you guys I am sure are well aware that Caucasians can have very dark skin as well as white...a pigment of the skin. Then of course there are other geographical definitions also. Not to toot my horn too much, but I am familar with Drew having worked for the Red Cross. I saw that he was referenced on here, quickly skimming this thread.

Yep small world.

I hope (no pun intended) that that was a rhetorical question about fat old guys who can't swim! Since this a thread concerning African American history I don't think this is the appropriate forum for discussing the six pack of abs that we old guys all have, or at least I hope I have. They are just hidden under there (somewhere?!), that's all. We could have a serious dialogue about the higher rates of obeseity(sp.?) amongst African Americans and reasons. Likewise, but not necessarily analagous, we could have a serious dialoge about wealth or income distribution amongst race. Race is a tricky and complicated term, but that probably wouldn't be very productive!......ah, now I am digressing. So thanks to both of you, and I should shut up now and read some more of the previous posts here. Or maybe I'll be a bit lazy, tonight. I'll "splash" on over to the axe to see if I understand anything that has been posted there! Man, I thought my stuff was weird, but wow, there is some really odd stuff there.

Cheers, Bottoms Up, Skol Arriba, Abajo Al Centro, Al Dentro...Have a great day with Hope and Peace!
Scott
 ':sun'  ':yin:'
“Some circumstantial evidence is very strong as when you find a trout in the milk”

Henry David Thoreau

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #137 on: December 27, 2006, 03:46 PM »
September 11, 1777 , a fog shrouded day with enemies facing each other, one looking to Philadelphia as a prize, one looking to defend her.

The enemies; George Washington and his rag tag army of the revolution facing  British General Howe and his well equipped, experienced, disciplined army accompanied by the fierce Hessian forces.

The place; the high ground called Chadds Ford at the Brandywine River.

General Howe advanced using the fog shroud to his advantage. General Washington had mistakenly believed the Bristish would send the entire force to Chadds Ford, but he was out maneuvered by a split Bristish force and flanked on his right.
Caught by complete surprise General Washington ordered his men to take the high ground around Brimingham Friends Meeting House as a last defense, but the British, alas, were already there.

Cannons fireing, the report of muskets completing their bloody missons, red coats and Hessians screaming their war cry and charging with gleaming bayonets, the drum and fife adding to the fearsome charge.
The rag tag revolutionaries fought gallantly, but to no avail.
Finally all heard the order to abandon horse, wagons and guns and save yourselves.

The revolutionaries fled for their lives, save but one, Edward "Ned" Hector.
Hector was a wagoneer in Captain Courtney's Company of Colonel Proctor's 3rd Pennsylvania Artillery Regiment. He was born about 1744 and started his service March 10, 1777.
Upon hearing the order Hector was reported as saying, "The enemy shall not have my team! I will save the horses or perish myself!"  He gathered some of the abandoned arms, being a mule skinner he likely had no weapone of his own, and fought with  fierceness being the only one to save the much needed equipment from falling into enemy hands.

Not much more is known of this revolutionary hero. He lived to be 90 dying on January 3, 1834.

Edward  Hector, a little known black revolutionary fighter. As was the case with most of the Black Soldiers, he was denied a pension, but was awared a one time $40 gratuity for his service.




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Offline Kay

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Re: Black History
« Reply #138 on: December 28, 2006, 05:24 PM »
I grew up in an African American neighborhood and didn't really know there was a label for anyone, until we moved.
All I knew, at age 11, was I was losing my friends.
My favorite poet is Rita Dove. Thank  you for the thread and all the information in it. '<img:'>

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #139 on: December 29, 2006, 10:09 PM »
You were indeed blessed at that early age, Kay, and thank you for reading the thread.
How unfortunate that everyone didn't have that.
I was 14 before it was legal for me to walk in a front door, 16 before it was actually enforced in my small town.

Still live with the labels and stereotypes to this day.


 link to some of Rita Dove's poems:
http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/dove/onlinepoems.htm

And a short bio:
http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/185




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