Third in a series for the month of February
February is Black History month, an annual celebration of the achievements of African Americans. The 2022 theme is Black Health and Wellness, to explore the legacy of Black scholars in Western medicine and the traditional healing arts. Black History Month began in 1915, by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now the Association of for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Visit https://asalh.org
The organization is holding a virtual festival all month long, with workshops and seminars, author events, the announcement of the ASALH Book Prize, and more.
Most major networks will run special programming for Black History Month.
Learn more about these prominent African Americans and places of significance at the links provided.
Many of these came from https://www.stagesoffreedom.org.
Black RI Literature
Presentation on Black Rhode Island Literature and the African American Free Press.
Disappearing Ink: Rhode Island Black Literature & The Black Press in Rhode Island A Conversation with Robb Dimmick and Ray Rickman on Stages of Freedom’s Latest Project Broadcasted via Crowdcast February on 9, 2022
In this illustrated event we shared our new online Black Rhode Island bibliography and forthcoming project on the Black Press in Rhode Isalnd.
Watch for free at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOUJVnlfqro
After graduating at the top of his class from Classical High School, Rudolph Fisher (1897-1934) attended Brown University, where he gave the commencement oration for the Class of 1919 upon completion of a dual major in Biology and English.
A career in medicine and writing made him one of the pioneers in the use of radiation (exposure to which sadly took his life) and earned him a reputation as one of the Harlem Renaissance’s wittiest writers and the inventor of the Black detective novel.
Master Juba: Inventor of Tap Dancing
Charles Dickens called him the “greatest dancer known.”
Master Juba’s real name was William Henry Lane. He was a free black man in RI in 1825. He played banjo and tambourine in minstrel shows. He was the first black performer to get top billing over a white performer in a minstrel show.
Fritz Pollard: A Founding Father of the NFL
Playing for Brown University in 1915, he faced death threats and other abuse because he was not white.
His team at Brown did what they could to protect him and stand by him, once threateing to leave a hotel that would not let him stay. The hotel relented.
Pollard was the first Black player in Rose Bowl history, not the only barrier he broke. He signed on with the Akron Pros in 1920, “the inaugural season of the American Professional Football Association, the forerunner of the NFL,” according to the WBUR link below.
Dr. Moddie Daniel Taylor
He worked as an associate chemist for the Manhattan Project. He received a Certificate of Merit from the Secretary of War.
He served as a professor of chemistry; published chemistry book; and was recognized as one of the top six chemistry professors.
Rabbi Heschel became friends with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at a concference in 1963, where Rabbi Heschel gave a famous speech.
Best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, with 12 Grammys, 20 Dove Awards, 7 Steallar Awards.
Learn more at http://cecewinans.com/about/
Bishop Marvin Sapp
A preacher who is a “Passionate orator and biblical teacher,” according ot his website (below). He is the Co-Founder of the Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. He oversees more than 100 churches in his role as Bishop. He is a multiplatinum selling artist with 13 Grammy nominations, 24 Stellar Awards, and many other awards.
Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers
According to the link below: “African American Sacred Harp singing conventions in southeastern Alabama began near the last third of the 19th century. While singing, for the most part, the same repertory of Sacred Harp music as their Anglo American counterparts, a vocal stylistic difference is clearly apparent.”
Black Gospel Greats
The roots of Black Gospel music trace back to the spirituals sung by slaves. Slaves were not allowed to speak their native languages, or read or write. Spirituals were a way to communicate information.
Born in 1766, James Forten was the grandson of slaves. He became a wealthy businessman in Philadelphia, PA as owner of a sailmaking business. He used supported temperance, women’s suffrage, and equal rights for African Americans. He was a leader in organizing a petitiont to free all slaves in the US in 1800.
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