Category: black history

Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks to reporters at the Operation PUSH Soul Picnic at the 142nd Street Armory in New York on March 26, 1972. 

Left to right are: Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X; Jackson; Tom Todd, vice president of PUSH; Aretha Franklin; Miriam Makeba and Louis Stokes, rear right. PUSH stands for People United to Save Humanity.  

Malcolm X in Rochester, New York on February 16, 1965.

In Rochester,

Malcolm met with the Commission on the Negro and Theological Education, a student and faculty group at Colgate Divinity School. He then held a press conference at the Manger Hotel where he discussed the Civil Rights Movement, his split with the Nation of Islam and expressed his hopes to achieve “a society in which everyone can live as human beings.” In the evening he spoke at the Corn Hill Methodist Episcopal Church on Edinburgh Street. Standing in front of a packed house of black and white audience members, he delivered a speech entitled “Not just an American problem, but a World Problem.” He touched on a variety of topics including Rochester’s recent race riots and the mass media’s depiction of African Americans, but above all emphasized the need to re-conceptualize the American civil rights movement as part of a global struggle. Malcolm’s lecture in Rochester would be the last public speech he gave,

he was assassinated

five days later on February 21, 1965.

1/11/1963-New York, NY: Malcolm X, head of the New York branch of the Black Muslim religious sect, talks with newsmen during a demonstration before the trial of two members of the

Nation of Islam. Two members of the sect were selling the Black Muslim newspaper “Muhammad Speaks” in Times Square on December 25th, when police told them to move on because they were blocking a subway entrance.

Joe Louis and Jesse Owens in the 1930′s

Joe Louis

(May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981) and Jesse Owens

(September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) were both born in Alabama. They were the grandsons of slaves and the sons of sharecroppers. They both stammered as kids before their families migrated north in the 1920’s, where they began their athletic careers; Owens as a runner in Cleveland and Louis as a boxer in Detroit. 

Both Owens and Louis became heroic figures at a time when baseball, basketball and football were still segregated. Owens defied Hitler and Brundage; Louis defeated Schmeling and fought his way to victory in the 1930’s and 40’s.  

After the 1936 Olympics, the US track and field team was scheduled to compete in Sweden. Owens opted to return to the U.S., thinking he would get lucrative endorsement offers. The US Olympic Committee was furious that he returned home to capitalize on his success. They stripped him of his amateur status and banned him from further competitions.

Unlike Owens, who had been banished so young, Louis fought for years. He held the world heavyweight title from 1937 to 1949 and made 25 successful championship defenses.Owens and Louis remained friends for 45 years, and both died at the age of 66.

Georgette Harvey, Ethel Waters and Fredi Washington on set of the Broadway play “Mamba’s Daughters”

at the Empire Theatre, 1939.

Miles Davis and his wife, funk singer, Betty Davis in front of one of his paintings at their home in New York City, October 1969.

Photos by Baron Wolman

Ike & Tina Turner (1966)

Pop culture and history are two of my favorite topics to discuss, learn about and read about. For Black History Month I will be sharing a different historical moment related to African Americans in the entertainment world. Here’s today’s fact, Aretha Franklin was not only the first black women inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but was the first woman period! Come back tomorrow for another black history fact!

Pop culture and history are two of my favorite topics to discuss, learn about and read about. For Black History Month I will be sharing a different historical moment related to African Americans in the entertainment world. Here’s today’s fact, Aretha Franklin was not only the first black women inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but was the first woman period! Come back tomorrow for another black history fact!

Malcolm X at the National Memorial African Book Store in Harlem on March 12, 1964.

(Original Caption) Negro nationalist Malcolm X, during press conference in offices of the National Memorial African Book Store here on March 12th, urged America’s 22 million Negroes to learn how to use shotguns and rifles, apparently by establishing and joining rifle clubs. Brother Malcolm, as he now calls himself since resigning as New York leader of the Chicago-based Black Muslim movement, said 1964 would be the bloodiest year in the civil rights fight.