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Louisiana

Bertonneau, E. Arnold (1834-1912)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
“Image Courtesy of Thomas F. Bertonneau”
Sources: 
Eric Foner (ed.), Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders During Reconstruction (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996); James G. Hollandsworth, Jr, The Louisiana Native Guards: The Black Military Experience During the Civil War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998); and Charles Vincent, Black Legislators in Louisiana During Reconstruction (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1976).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Syracuse University

Rose, Edward (c. 1780- c. 1833)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History in the West
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"

Edward Rose, also known by the names Five Scalps, Nez Coupe and “Cut Nose,” was the son of a white trader father and a Cherokee and African American mother.  Little else is known about his early life including where he was born. He may have spent some years working on the Mississippi River between southern Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana

Sources: 
Bruce E. Johansen and Donald A. Grinde, Jr., The Encyclopedia of Native American Biography (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997); Daniel F. Littlefield,   Cherokee Freedmen  (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1978); Carl Waldman and Alan Wexler, "Rose, Edward," Encyclopedia of Exploration, Vol 1 (New York: Facts on File, Inc, 2004; LeRoy R. Hafen, ed., The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Vol. IX (Glendale, California: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1966).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
State University of New York at Buffalo

Bontemps, Arna (1902-1973)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Hoping for a much better life outside the racially oppressive South and Alexandria, Louisiana where Arnaud Wendell Bontemps was born, the middle class Bontemps family moved to the Watts community just south of Los Angeles.  They soon abandoned Catholicism and became devout Seventh Day Adventists.  Bontemps’ mother was a schoolteacher and his father, a bricklayer, was determined to have the family assimilate into the dominant white culture.  In 1923, Bontemps graduated from Pacific Union College, an Adventist school in California, and found work in the US Post Office.  He next used his church connections to secure a teaching job at the Harlem Academy in New York City in 1924.
Sources: 
Kirkland C. Jones, Renaissance Man from Louisiana: A Biography of Arna Wendell Bontemps (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992); Robert E. Fleming,“ Arna Wendell Bontemps (1902-1973): http://www.blacksdahistory.org/arna-bontemps.html.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
San Diego State University

Barnes, Emery (1929-1998)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Social worker, politician and professional football player Emery Barnes spent much of his life helping the disadvantaged in society and working for worldwide human rights and world peace.  Barnes was first elected to the British Columbia legislature in 1972 and was elected Speaker of the Legislature in 1994, serving in the provincial legislature until 1996. He was the first black person to hold the position of Speaker in any Canadian province.
Sources: 
The British Columbia Black History Society, A Resource Guide on Black Pioneers in British Columbia (Victoria: The British Columbia Black History Awareness Society, 1997); Lorraine Murray, "Reflections on Emery Barnes," http://www.darrenduncan.net/archived_web_work/voices/voices_v1_n3/emery_barnes.html.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Bell, Charles B., Jr. (1928-2010)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Mathematician Charles Bernard Bell, Jr., one of the leading African American mathematicians of the twentieth century, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in August 20, 1928.  At age 19 he graduated from Xavier University 1947 and earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Notre Dame University in 1953.  From 1951 to 1955 he worked as a research engineer at Douglas Aircraft Company.  An assistant professor at Xavier University for two years, he then spent a year at Stanford University as a research associate.  

In 1958 Bell became the second African American professor hired at San Diego State University, thus one of rare black professors at a predominantly white campus in that era.  He even served as advisor to the nearly all white student organization Interfaith Council.  On leave from SDSU between 1964 and 1966, Bell traveled abroad to the Mathematics Institute of Amsterdam, the University of Madrid, the University of Vienna, the Institute of Statistics at the University of Paris (France), the University of Erlangen (Germany), and the Mathematics Conference in Moscow (former USSR).  
Sources: 
American Men & Women of Science, 22nd Ed. Vol. 1 (New York: Bowker, 2005);
Robert Fikes, Jr., The Black in Crimson and Black: A History and Profiles of African Americans at SDSU (San Diego: SDSU Library & Information Access, 2004);
http://www.maa.org/summa/archive/Bell_CB.htm
http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/PEEPS/bell_charlesb.html
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
San Diego State University

Morial, Ernest Nathan (1929-1989)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Born in New Orleans, Ernest Morial grew up in the city’s Seventh Ward.  His father was a cigar maker and his mother was a seamstress.  Graduating from Xavier University, a historically black Catholic institution, he became the first African American to receive a law degree from Louisiana State University.  Battling segregation in the courtroom, he was elected president of the local NAACP chapter, and later elected to the Louisiana State legislature, becoming the first black member since Reconstruction.  Later, he became the first Juvenile Court judge, and the first Circuit Court of Appeals judge of his race in Louisiana.   
Sources: 
Edward M. Meyers, Rebuilding America’s Cities (New York, 1986); Arnold Hirsch and Joseph Logsdon, Creole New Orleans: Race and Americanization (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1992).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Montgomery College (Maryland)

Jackson, Mahalia (1911-1972)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Quintessential gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, often called the "Queen of Gospel" was born on October 26, 1911 to an impoverished family in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Her father, John A. Jackson, Sr., was a dockworker and barber who later became a Baptist minister.  Her mother, Charity Jackson, died when Mahalia was five.  Jackson began her singing career at Mt. Mariah Baptist Church in New Orleans.  She fondly recalled that when she joined the church she was baptized in the Mississippi River.   

While a child Jackson was exposed to the mélange of musical styles brimming throughout New Orleans. Though influenced by jazz and blues, she was drawn to gospel music and firmly established herself as a gospel singer.  In 1927, at the age of sixteen, Jackson moved to Chicago, Illinois and joined the Salem Baptist Church Choir.  She soon began tourning the city's churches with the Johnson Gospel Singers.   

In 1929, Jackson met legendary composer Thomas A. Dorsey and toured with him for fourteen years. One of Dorsey's compositions, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," became Jackson's signature song. Jackson made her first gospel recording in 1931.  In 1947 Jackson signed with the Apollo label and one year later recorded "Move On Up a Little Higher," a song that eventually sold eight million copies becoming to that point the most successful gospel recording in history.

Sources: 
Laurraine Goreau, Just Mahalia, Baby: The Mahalia Jackson Story (Waco: World Books, 1975); www.galegroup.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/jackson_m_htm
Affiliation: 
Tuskegee University

Louisiana Purchase and African Americans (1803)

Vignette Type: 
Events
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
It is ironic that the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France was instigated by one of the few successful slave rebellions. Toussaint L’Overture on St. Dominique (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) so bedeviled the French that Napoleon decided to sell the Louisiana Territory to the US.  This doubled the size of the infant United States and has been heralded as crucial to the American path to becoming the world superpower.
Sources: 
John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr., From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans (Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1994);
http://www.monticello.org/jefferson/lewisandclark/louisiana.html
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Lafon, Thomy (1810-1893)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Sources: 
Alecia P. Long, The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race, and Respectability in New Orleans, 1965-1920 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004); August Meier, Negro thought in America, 1880-1915: Racial Ideologies in the Age of Booker T. Washington (Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988); http://odyssey-house.com; http://realtytimes.com
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Marsalis, Wynton (1961- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Courtesy of the
University of Louisville
Wynton Marsalis was born on October 18, 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana to parents Ellis and Dolores Marsalis.  At an early age Marsalis exhibited a passion for music.  By age eight, he was already performing traditional New Orleans music in his local church band.  Four years later he began studying the trumpet and soon performed in local jazz and funk bands.  By the age of 14, he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic.  

In 1979, Marsalis entered The Julliard School in New York City to study trumpet.  However, he met jazz great Art Blakely shortly afterwards and by 1980 was the bandleader of Blakely’s band.  Marsalis became prominent when in 1981 at the age of 20, he became the first person to win Grammys for both a jazz recording and a classical recording.  Marsalis also wrote numerous pieces for various musicians including his “All Rise,” which is a composition he intended for jazz bands, symphony orchestras and gospel choirs.
Sources: 
Stuart Nicholson, Is Jazz Dead? (Or has it moved to a new address) (New York: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 2005); http://www.wyntonmarsalis.org/.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Brown, Hubert (H. Rap) /Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (1943- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
H. Rap Brown succeeded Stokely Carmichael as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was a prominent figure in the Black Panther Party. A leading proponent of Black Power and a polarizing media icon, Brown symbolized both the power and the dangers – for white Americans and for radical activists themselves – of the civil rights movement's new militancy in the late 1960s.

Brown was born in 1943 and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  In 1960 he joined the Non-Violent Action Group (NAG) and moved to Washington, D.C. In 1964 he became NAG chairman. His activities with NAG soon drew him to SNCC, which was then engaged in voter-registration drives in the Deep South. Brown quickly distinguished himself as a charismatic leader and effective organizer. He was appointed director of voter registration for the state of Alabama in 1966 and replaced Carmichael as national chairman a year later.
Sources: 
James Haskins, Profiles in Black Power (New York:  Doubleday & Co. 1972), 217-238; H. Rap Brown and Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, Die Nigger Die! A Political Autobiography (Lawrence Hill Books, 1969); Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, "H. Rap Brown/Jamil Al-Amin: A Profoundly American Story," The Nation, February 28, 2002; http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020318/thelwell
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Brimmer, Andrew F. (1926-2012)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

A writer, an economist and an advocate for affirmative action, Andrew Felton Brimmer is best known as the first African American to hold a governorship on the United States Federal Reserve Bank.

Born in Newellton, Louisiana, Brimmer moved to Bremerton, Washington in 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Army.  He served in the Army two years, rising to the rank of staff sergeant.  Upon his return, he enrolled at the University of Washington where he received his B.A. in Economics in 1950 and M.A. shortly thereafter in 1951. Brimmer then studied at the University of Bombay for a year and completed a Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard University in 1957.

First and foremost an economist, Brimmer promoted a monetary policy that sought to alleviate unemployment and reduce the national deficit.  He also argued that racial discrimination hurt the U.S economy by marginalizing potentially productive workers.   

Sources: 
Kwame Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr., Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (New York: Basic Civitas Books, 1999); Charles Christian, Black Saga: The African American Experience (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1995); Colin Palmer, Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History (Missouri: Thomson Gale, 2006).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Andry’s Rebellion (1811)

Vignette Type: 
Events
History Type: 
African American History
Named after the owner of the plantation where the event originated, the revolt of 400-500 slaves in the parishes of the Andry plantation caused uproar in New Orleans. Led by a Saint Domingue slave named Charles Deslondes, the uprising was built on the fear generated by the Haitian Revolution of 1791, coupled with the large population of free Negroes to further accentuate the tension in New Orleans.
Sources: 
Mary Francis Berry, : Black Resistance White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America (Appleton Century Crofts: New York, 1971).
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Dunbar-Nelson, Alice Ruth Moore (1875-1935)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Courtesy of Manuscripts, Archives
and Rare Books Division, Schomburg Center
for Research in Black Culture,
The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox
and Tilden Foundations
Alice Ruth Moore, educator, author and social activist, was born on July 19, 1875 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Patricia (Wright) Moore and Monroe Moore.  She attended public school in New Orleans and enrolled in the teacher training program at Straight University in that city in 1890. Two years later she graduated and began teaching in New Orleans.    
Sources: 
Eleanor Alexander, Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow, The Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore (New York: Penguin Group, 2001); Patsy B. Perry, “Alice Dunbar-Nelson,”  in J.C. Smith, ed., Notable Black American Women (Detroit: Gale  Research, 1992); The Alice Dunbar-Nelson Papers, University of Delaware.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Armstrong, Louis Daniel (1901-1971)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Image Ownership: Public Domain

Louis Armstrong is perhaps the most important and influential person in the history of jazz music, swing music, and jazz vocal styling.  His virtuosic ability with the trumpet, his distinctive gravelly low vocal style, his bright personality, and his band leadership abilities helped to build jazz into a popular musical genre and influenced nearly every jazz musician after him.

Louis Armstrong was born August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana into an impoverished family.  In 1912 he fired a pistol in the air during a New Year’s celebration, was arrested, and sent to a waif’s home.  It was here that he learned how to play the cornet.  He immediately began playing in various jazz bands in and around New Orleans.  From 1922 to 1924 Armstrong was a member of King Oliver’s band in Chicago, Illinois which was the most popular jazz band of the time.  By 1924 as his playing abilities surpassed Oliver’s, Armstrong’s wife Lillian persuaded him to join Fletcher Henderson’s band in New York to move beyond Oliver’s shadow.

Sources: 
Michael Erlewin, All Music Guide to Jazz (San Francisco: Backbeat Books,  1998); Sam Tanenhaus, Louis Armstrong (Danbury, Connecticut: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989);  Thomas Brothers, Louis Armstrong In His Own Words (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Deacons for Defense and Justice

Vignette Type: 
Organizations
History Type: 
African American History

Charles Sims holding Ku Klux Klan Clothing
© Bettmann/Corbis

On July 10, 1964, a group of African American men in Jonesboro, Louisiana led by Earnest “Chilly Willy” Thomas and Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick founded the group known as The Deacons for Defense and Justice to protect members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) against Ku Klux Klan violence.  Most of the “Deacons” were veterans of World War II and the Korean War. The Jonesboro chapter organized its first affiliate chapter in nearby Bogalusa, Louisiana led by Charles Sims, A.Z. Young and Robert Hicks. Eventually they organized a third chapter in Louisiana. The Deacons tense confrontation with the Klan in Bogalusa was crucial in forcing the federal government to intervene on behalf of the local African American community.  The national attention they garnered also persuaded state and national officials to initiate efforts to neutralize the Klan in that area of the Deep South.
Sources: 
Lance Hill, The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004); Deacons for Defense and Justice in Africanaonline.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
East Tennessee State University

Ledbetter (Leadbelly), Huddie (1888-1949)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Huddie Ledbetter was born January 15, 1888, on the Jeter Plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana. He was an only child who quickly became interested in music when he received his first instrument (an accordion) from his uncle Terrell. In 1903at the age of 15, Ledbetter he began playing guitar at local parties and found his way into performing in dance halls in a section of Shreveport, Louisiana called St. Paul’s Bottoms and known for its saloons, brothels and dance halls. After traveling through Louisiana he settled in Dallas, Texas until 1908 when he became ill and returned to Louisiana to stay with his parents for two years.

When recovered he went back to Dallas where he encountered for the first time the  instrument that would become the most integral part of his music, a 12 string guitar which he named “Stella.”  Ledbetter also reputed to have worked with Blind Lemon Jefferson in this time, although some accounts suggest that he may have exaggerated their close friendship. Later in life Ledbetter would record Lemon’s song “hot dogs” as a tribute to him.
Sources: 
Keith Shadwick, The Encyclopedia of Jazz and Blues (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Quintet Publishing, 2001); http://www.leadbelly.org
http://www.nps.gov/history/delta/blues/people/leadbelly.htm
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Gaines, Ernest James (1933- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Ernest J. Gaines was born on January 15, 1933 on River Lake Plantation near Oscar, Louisiana, in Point Coupee Parish.  His parents, Manuel and Adrienne worked as sharecroppers on the same plantation their ancestors had labored as slaves. Ernest was the oldest of seven children Adrienne had with Manuel Gaines, who abandoned the family in 1941 when Ernest was eight years old.  Adrienne would remarry and have five more children with her new husband, Raphael Norbert Colar, Sr.

In 1948, at the age of fifteen, Gaines moved from southern Louisiana’s bayou country to Vallejo, California to join his mother and stepfather, who had relocated to California after World War II in search of work.  In California, Gaines took advantage of educational opportunities he had been denied in Louisiana and graduated from high school in 1951.  After graduation from Vallejo Junior College in 1953 Gaines was drafted into the U.S. Army where he spent the next two years serving in both the U.S. and Guam.
Sources: 
Karen Carmean, Ernest J. Gaines: A Critical Companion (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1998); Valerie Melissa Babb, Ernest Gaines (Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers, 1991); http://www.louisiana.edu/Academic/LiberalArts/ENGL/Creative/Gaines.htm
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Pinchback, Pinckney Benton Stewart (1837-1921)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback was born on May 10, 1837 to parents William Pinchback, a successful Virginia planter, and Eliza Stewart, his former slave. The younger Pinchback was born in Macon, Georgia during the family’s move from Virginia to their new home in Holmes County, Mississippi.  In Mississippi, young Pinchback grew up in comfortable surroundings on a large plantation.  At the age of nine, he and his older brother, Napoleon, were sent by his parents to Ohio to receive a formal education at Cincinnati’s Gilmore School. Pinchback’s education was cut short, however, when he returned to Mississippi in 1848 because his father had become seriously ill.  When his father died shortly after his return, his mother fled to Cincinnati with her children for fear of being re-enslaved in Mississippi.  Shortly thereafter, Napoleon became mentally ill, leaving 12 year old Pinckney as sole-provider for his mother and four siblings.  
Sources: 
James Haskins, Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1973); Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1982).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Bechet, Sidney (1897-1959)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Soprano saxophonist and clarinetist Sidney Bechet was one of the most important soloists of early jazz.  Together with Louis Armstrong, he was the first to develop the loose, fluid rhythmic style that set jazz apart from ragtime and that came to be known as “swinging.”  

Sidney Joseph Bechet was born on May 14, 1897 to a middle-class Creole family in New Orleans.  He began playing clarinet at age six, and although he studied briefly with such legendary early New Orleans clarinetists as George Baquet and Lorenzo Tio, Jr., he was mostly self taught.  By the age of twenty, when he left New Orleans for Chicago, Bechet had played with nearly every major figure in early jazz, including Joseph “King” Oliver, Bunk Johnson, and Freddie Keppard.

In 1919, composer and conductor Will Marion Cook asked Bechet to join his Southern Syncopated Orchestra on a tour of Europe.  Upon hearing Bechet for the first time, Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet called him “an artist of genius.”  While in London with Cook’s group, Bechet purchased a soprano saxophone, which soon became his primary instrument, although he continued to play clarinet as well.
Sources: 
Gunther Schuller, Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968); James Lincoln Collier, “Bechet, Sidney”, Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (Accessed 7 January 2008), http://www.grovemusic.com ; http://www.sidneybechet.org
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Carnegie Hall

Grandfather Clause, The (1898–1915)

Vignette Type: 
Misc
History Type: 
African American History
Harper's Weekly Editorial on 
The Grandfather Clause
Image Ownership: Public Domain
The Grandfather Clause was a statute enacted by many American southern states in the wake of Reconstruction (1865-1877) that allowed potential white voters to circumvent literacy tests, poll taxes, and other tactics designed to disfranchise southern blacks. Following the American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Fourteenth Amendment (1868), which extended citizenship to blacks, the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) was ratified, providing a mandate that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged…on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” But after a brief period of relatively open voting, southern states and, especially, Democratic legislators began enacting poll taxes, literacy and property tests, and understanding clauses, which they claimed would exclude the poor and uneducated, in a thinly veiled attempt to eliminate the black vote. Many Southern states, however, had to rely on the cunning of voter registrars to ensure that poor and uneducated whites were not disfranchised by these tests.
Sources: 
R. Volney Riser, Defying Disfranchisement: Black Voting Rights Activism in the Jim Crow South, 1890-1908 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 2010); Michael J. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Economic Equality (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004); http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/10/21/239081586/the-racial-history-of-the-grandfather-clause.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Bolden, Buddy (1877-1931)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Buddy Bolden Band
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Charles “Buddy” Bolden is said to be the first musician to play jazz music. While this is debatable, it is clear that Bolden’s music helped form the jazz movement. Bolden was born on September 6, 1877 in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the age of six, Bolden’s father died of pneumonia, leaving behind wife, Alice, daughter Cara and young Bolden.  The father’s death led the family to remain close for the rest of their lives.

Bolden began playing the coronet as a teenager.  He joined a small New Orleans dance band led by Charlie Galloway. It was at Galloway’s barber salon that Buddy honed his technical skills as a musician.  By the age of 20 he left the band to begin his own group.
Sources: 
Donald M. Marquis, In Search of Buddy Bolden: First Man of Jazz (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006); Danny Barker, Buddy Bolden and the Last Days of Storyville (New York: Continuum, 1998); David Perry, Jazz Greats (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Nash, Charles Edmund (1844-1913)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Republican Charles Edmund Nash served in the 44th Congress as Louisiana’s only black representative. Nash was born in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, on May 23, 1844. Before his time in Congress Nash attended common schools, was a bricklayer in New Orleans, and had enlisted as a private for the U.S. volunteers in July of 1863. He was later promoted to Sergeant Major, but his military service proved to be disastrous as he lost the lower third of his right leg just before the Civil War’s end.

As a result of his military service and strong support of the Republican Party, he was appointed to the position of night inspector in the New Orleans Customs House – a powerful post in the local political machine. In 1874 he was elected, uncontested, to the House of Representatives from the 6th Congressional District.

Despite his easy election, Nash made little political impact during his time in Congress.  He was assigned to the Committee on Education and Labor.  On June 7th, 1876 Nash made the only major address during his term as Congressman.  His speech condemned the violent and anti- democratic actions of some Southern Democrats, called for greater education among the populace, and also for increased racial and political peace especially in the South.

Sources: 
Bruce A. Ragsdale and Joel D. Treese, Black Americans in Congress, 1870-1989 (Washington, DC; U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990); Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1982).
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Antoine, Caesar Carpenter (1836-1921)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Image Ownership: Public Domain

Caesar Carpenter "C.C." Antoine is best known as a leading African American politician in Louisiana during Reconstruction (1863-1877). Antoine was born in New Orleans to a Black father who fought the British as an American soldier at the Battle of New Orleans (1815), and to a West Indian mother. His father’s mother was from Africa and the daughter of a captured African chief. Her reputed self-purchase from slavery and accumulation of a minor fortune allowed C.C. Antoine and his father to live out their lives as free blacks.  Prior to entering politics, Antoine ran a successful grocery business in New Orleans.

In 1862, one year after the Civil War began, New Orleans was captured and occupied by Union troops, Antoine joined the Union Army and quickly rose to the rank of Captain.  From 1862 to 1865 Captain Antoine was attached to one of the nation’s first all-black regiments, the Louisiana Native Guards. As Captain, Antoine recruited former bondsmen for service and developed Company I of the Seventh Native Guard primarily stationed at Brashear (now Morgan City) about 85 miles southwest of New Orleans.

Sources: 
John Andrew Prime, “Lt. Gov. C.C. Antoine: Louisiana's 3rd Black Lieutenant Governor”http://home.earthlink.net/~japrime/cwrt/antoine.htm; Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harpers Perennial, 2002); W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (New York: Touchstone, 1995).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Syracuse University

Dunn, Oscar J. (ca. 1825-1871)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Sources: 
Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper’s Perennial, 2002); W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (New York: Touchstone, 1995); “Lieut.-Gov. Oscar J. Dunn—Cause of His Death—Some Reminiscences of His Career” The New York Times, November 28, 1871.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Syracuse University

Rillieux, Norbert (1806-1894)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Sources: 
George Meade, “A Negro Scientist of Slavery Days,” Negro History Bulletin (April 1957, pp.159-164); James M. Brodie, Created Equal: The Lives and Ideas of Black American Innovators (New York: Bill Adler Books, Inc., 1993); http://www.blackinventor.com/pages/norbertrillieux.html
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Albert, Octavia Victoria Rogers (1853-1890)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Sources: 
Octavia V. Rogers Albert, The House of Bondage or Charlotte Brooks and Other Slaves (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988); Darlene Clark Hine, ed., Black Women in America: The Early Years, 1619-1899 (New York: Facts on File, Inc, 1997); Frances Smith Foster. "Albert, Octavia Victoria Rogers" American National Biography Online (Feb. 2000); Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1982)
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Plessy, Homer (1863-1925)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Homer Plessy Memorial, New Orleans
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Plaintiff for a landmark Supreme Court case, Homer A. Plessy was born on March 17, 1863 in New Orleans. He was a light-skinned Creole of Color during the post-reconstruction years. With the aid of the Comité des Citoyens, a black organization in New Orleans, Homer Plessy became the plaintiff in the famous Plessy v. Ferguson case decided by the US Supreme Court in May 1896. The decision established the “separate but equal” policy that made racial segregation constitutional for the next six decades.  

In order to challenge the 1890 Louisiana statute requiring separate accommodations for whites and blacks, Homer Plessy and the Comité des Citoyens used Plessy’s light skin to their advantage. On June 7, 1892 Plessy bought a first class ticket on the East Louisiana Railway. He took a vacant seat in a coach reserved for white passengers. When Plessy was ordered to leave, he disobeyed. Policemen arrived and threw Plessy off the train and arrested him and threw him into jail. He was charged with violating the Louisiana segregation statute of 1890.

Sources: 
Otto H. Olsen, ed., The Thin Disguise: Turning Point in Negro History, Plessy v. Ferguson (New York: Humanities Press Inc., 1967); Rayford Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W.W. Norton, 1982).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Evergreen State College

Adams, Henry [Louisiana] (1843 - ?)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

Henry Adams was a Louisiana leader who advocated the emigration of southern freed blacks to Liberia after emancipation. Born a slave in Newton County, Georgia on March 16, 1843, Henry Adams was originally born as Henry Houston but changed his name at the age of seven.  His enslaved family was relocated to Louisiana in 1850 and lived there until 1861. 

Adams married a woman named Malinda during his enslavement and the couple had four children. Unlike most enslaved people, Adams and his wife were able to acquire property during the Civil War. 

Sources: 
Henry Adams Testimony, Senate Report 693, 46th Cong., 2nd Sess., part 2, pp. 101-111; Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South, from Slavery to the Great Migration (Harvard University Press, 2003); Neil Irvin Painter, Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction (New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Russell, Bill (1934- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Legendary basketball star William Felton (Bill) Russell was born on February 12, 1934, in Monroe, Louisiana. His family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where he attended McClymonds High School in Oakland.  Russell was a center on his high school basketball team.  Towering in height at 6’10”, he earned a scholarship to attend the University of San Francisco (USF) in 1954. At USF Russell developed into a defensive powerhouse and led his team to two National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships in 1955 and 1956. Russell averaged 20.7 points and 20.3 rebounds in his three-year varsity career.  He was also on the U.S. Olympic Team where he and teammates won gold medals in 1956.
Sources: 
Zander Hollander, The Modern Encyclopedia of Basketball (New York: Dolphin Books, 1979); http://www.nba.com/history/players/russell_bio.html
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Savary, Joseph (? — 1800's)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Joseph Savary, a hero at the Battle of New Orleans, was a native of Saint-Dominque (Haiti) who had fought with the French during the Haitian Revolution.  When Haiti became independent, Savary and his family fled and settled in New Orleans.  Savary’s occupation in New Orleans between 1809 when he arrived and the War of 1812 is unknown.  There is some evidence that he may have worked with Pierre and Jean Lafitte, notorious pirates who operated off the coast of Louisiana and Spanish Texas.   

By the time of the War, General C.C. Claiborne, the U.S. military commander in Louisiana, who was familiar with Savary and other former Haitian soldiers, suggested to Commanding General Andrew Jackson that they be incorporated in the United States Army against the British.  Jackson extended the offer to Savary who single-handedly raised a battalion from among the Free Negro emigrants from Santo Domingo, most of whom had fought as loyalists under the French flag in their native land.  
Sources: 
Robert Ewell Greene, Black Defenders of America, 1775-1973 (Johnson Publishing Company Inc. Chicago: 1974); Roland C. McConnell, Negro Troops of Antebellum Louisiana: A History of the Battalion of Free Men of Color (Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge: 1968).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Thierry, Camille (1814-1875)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Camille Thierry was a prolific Francophone poet, born to a French father and octoroon mother in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1814. Thierry’s family had significant holdings as wholesale liquor merchants. This wealth provided Thierry with advantages in education and the opportunity to pursue his own interests instead of working as a laborer.

Although his family had wealth, their lives were not without prejudice. Thierry eventually moved France, where he spent much of the rest of his life in Paris and Bordeaux. His brief returns to the United States were primarily to handle his family’s investments and property.

Thierry published his first poem “Les Ideés,” in L’Album Littéraire, a short-lived review of black writers who sought to inspire others to fight racial discrimination. He and Armand Lanusse were the primary contributors of poetry to that volume. Thierry and Lanusse worked on other projects including Les Cenelles, a collection of black verse containing 82 poems.  Fourteen poems were by Thierry including the popular “To the One I Love” and “The Corsair’s Sweetheart.” His poetry was also published in La Chronique in 1848.
Sources: 
Rayford Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W. W. Norton, 1982); Williston H. Lofton, “Review: Colored Creoles and Others,” The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jan., 1939).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Roudanez, Louis Charles (1823-1890)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Physician and newspaper publisher, Louis Charles Roudanez was born free in June of 1823 in Saint James Parish, Louisiana. He was the son of a French merchant named Louis Roudanez and a black woman named Aimée Potens. Though his baptismal record registers him as white, Roudanez identified as a person of color throughout his life. He received his early education in New Orleans, where he also worked in a shop and invested his money in municipal bonds.

Like many “gens de coleur libre” (free people of color) in New Orleans, Roudanez went to France for higher education. At twenty-one years old, Roudanez was living in Paris where he studied medicine. He completed his degree in seven years and returned to the United States in 1851. The New Orleans Tribune lists his enrollment into Dartmouth’s medical school to continue his study of medicine, but other sources list Cornell University.
Sources: 
Rayford Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography  (New York: W.W. Norton, 1982); http://www.neworleanstribune.com/roudanez.htm.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Evergreen State College

Séjour, Victor (1817-1874)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Victor Séjour was a playwright born in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 2, 1817. His parents were Louis Victor Séjour Marou, a free colored man from Saint-Domingue (Haiti), and Héloise Philippe Ferrand, a quadroon from New Orleans. Although Victor was born in 1817, and his older brother in 1811, his parents did not marry until 1825, thus legitimizing their two children as well as the daughter born the following year, 1826.

Victor’s father had previously served in D’Aquin’s Battalion of Free Men of Color during the defense of New Orleans in December of 1814 and January of 1815. By trade, however, Louis owned his own tailor shop on Chartres Street. His income was substantial enough to send Victor to be taught by Michel Seligny at his Saint-Barbre Academy in New Orleans.
Sources: 
Rayford Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W. W. Norton, 1982); Williston H. Lofton, “Review: Colored Creoles and Others,” The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jan., 1939).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Callioux, Andrew (1820-1863)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Black Louisiana Troops at Port Hudson, 1863
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Andrew Callioux, Captain of the First Louisiana Native Guards Regiment, Union Army, became a hero while leading his troops at the Battle of Port Hudson in 1863. Callioux was born a free man in New Orleans.  A cigar maker with an elite clientele, Callioux was a Catholic creole of color that had attained considerable affluence.  He was also a skilled horseman, boxer and athlete who often boasted that he was “the blackest man in America.” Callioux had received his civil and military education in Paris, which enabled him to speak both English and French fluently. By his 40th birthday Callioux was considered a pillar in the free black community of New Orleans, having earned the respect of both blacks and whites.

When the Civil War began Callioux organized Company E of the First Louisiana Native Guards, a unit of 440 Creoles who became the first black troops to be accepted into service in the Confederate Army.  Callioux received a commission as Captain.  Never used in battle by the Confederates, Company E remained behind when Union forces occupied New Orleans in April 1862.  Within weeks Union General Benjamin F. Butler persuaded Captain Callioux and the First Louisiana Native Guards to join Federal forces. Initially Union commanders, like their Confederate predecessors, used the First Louisiana Native Guards only for garrison duty.  
Sources: 
Robert Ewell Greene, Black Defenders of America, 1775-1973 (Johnson Publishing Company Inc. Chicago: 1974); Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the Civil War (Little, Brown and Company) Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers (The Free Press: A Division of Macmillan, Inc. London: 1990)
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Trévigne, Paul (1825-1908)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Creole New Orleans newspaper editor Paul Trévigne, the biracial son of a Battle of New Orleans veteran, was born in New Orleans in 1825. Trévigne was part of the free people of color community in Louisiana that protested racial injustice before the Civil War and helped establish Republican politics in the state after 1865. 

Trévigne taught at the Catholic Indigent Orphan School in New Orleans, a school dedicated to providing free education to African American orphans.

Sources: 
Rayford Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W.W. Norton, 1982); http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/exhibits/creole/Institution/institution.html
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
The Evergreen State College

Domino, Antoine "Fats" (1928- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Antoine "Fats" Domino, early rock and roll musician, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 26, 1928 to Antoine Domino, a former plantation worker, and Donatile Gros, a Creole of light complexion.  Fats, as he was soon called because of his weight, was raised in a large family of seven children including his four brothers and two sisters.  From a young age Fats was influenced by his father, a musician who played the banjo and fiddle.

At the age of ten, Domino began to play an old piano the family purchased, learning the instrument from his older brother-in-law Harrison Werrett, who had played in a New Orleans band.  Fats' passion for and expertise with the piano continued to grow.  When he was fourteen he quit school and went to work as a musician.  Learning songs from jukeboxes, Domino began playing at local bars and nightclubs.

Sources: 

Rick Coleman, Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ‘n’
Roll
(Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2006); Rolling Stone, December 1, 2008,
http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/fatsdomino/biography

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Bridges, Ruby (1954 - )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Ruby Bridges with U.S. Marshals
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Ruby Bridges became famous in 1960 as the six-year-old who, escorted by Federal marshals, integrated a formerly all-white school in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Bridges was born on September 8, 1954 in Tylertown, Mississippi, to Lucille and Abon Bridges. She was the firstborn of eight children. Her parents worked as sharecroppers then when she was four they moved to New Orleans in 1958. One year later Ruby began kindergarten at Johnson Lockett Elementary, a segregated school.

Two years after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that called for integration of public schools, Federal District Court Judge J. Skelly Wright ordered that the New Orleans School Board formulate an integration plan for public schools. After four years of opposition, the school board chose to integrate two formerly all-white schools in the fall of 1960. Both schools, William Frantz and McDonough 19, were located in New Orleans's Ninth Ward. Bridges was one of a handful of African American children chosen to attend William Frantz Public School.

Sources: 

Ruby Bridges, Through My Eyes (New York: Scholastic, 1999): Jessie
Carney Smith, Black Firsts (Canton, Michigan: Visible Ink Press, 2003);
http://crdl.usg.edu.

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Knights of St. Peter Claver (1909- )

Vignette Type: 
Organizations
History Type: 
African American History
Knights of St. Peter Claver, Orlando Florida, 2007
Image Ownership: Public Domain

The Knights of Peter Claver organization was founded in 1909 in Mobile, Alabama. It is the largest African American Catholic lay organization in the United States. The organization was founded by the Josephites, a Catholic order whose mission was to serve Catholic African Americans. Josephite leaders were concerned that the Church would lose its African American members to other organizations, such as the Elks and the Masons, who had black lodges, if they did not have their own fraternal Catholic organization.

By 1910, the Knights of Peter Claver had branches in Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee; and several towns in Mississippi. They later spread to the North as well and became a national presence by 1946.

Sources: 

Nina Mjagkij, Organizing Black America (New York, NY: Garland
Publishing Inc., 2001); Charles D. Lowry and John F. Marszalek,
Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights: from Emancipation to the
Present
(Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992); www.kofpc.org.

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Jackson, Lisa Perez (1962-- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Courtesy of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
Lisa Perez Jackson, the first African American Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), brings a wealth of experience to that agency.  A scientist by profession, she has spent more than 20 years working as an advocate for the better use and awareness of the environment.

Jackson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 8, 1962, and was adopted two weeks after her birth.  She grew up in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, which became infamous during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Her adoptive mother continued to live in New Orleans until the hurricane flooded the city.  Jackson, who had planned to become a doctor, instead switched her studies to engineering and graduated summa cum laude with a BS in chemical engineering from Tulane University’s School of Chemical Engineering in 1983.  She received a masters degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University in 1986. Jackson was one of only two women in her engineering class at Princeton.

Sources: 
Biography, Administrator Lisa Jackson (2009), United States Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov/administrator/biography.htm; "Lisa P. Jackson," Encyclopedia Britannica Online (2009) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1502192/Lisa-P-Jackson; “Another woman scientist on the Obama team: Lisa Perez Jackson of the EPA,” Women in Science: Past, Present, and Future, (February 23, 2009) http://sciencewomen.blogspot.com/2009/02/another-woman-scientist-on-obama-team.html;
“Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet,” The Library of Congress Webcasts (March 5, 2009), http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=4536; Twenty-five Most Influential African Americans in Politics, BET.com (2009) http://www.bet.com/NR/exeres/E23833F3-7E28-43AE-9F06-3838EC3B5813.htm
Affiliation: 
University of Wyoming

Benjamin, Regina Marcia (1956– )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Dr. Regina Marcia Benjamin, President Barack Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General of the United States, is an accomplished physician whose professional and personal  roots are planted deeply in rural  America.  Dr. Benjamin was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1956 and grew up in nearby Daphne, Alabama.  

Regina Benjamin’s parents divorced when she was a child and her mother worked as a domestic and waitress to support Regina and her older brother.  Although the family owned land, financial necessity forced them to sell it.   She recalled that her family often fished in the Gulf of Mexico to catch their evening meal.    

Despite her family's poverty Regina Benjamin set her sights on college.  She enrolled in Xavier University in New Orleans where she met an African American physician for the first time.  This encounter persuaded her to pursue a career in medicine.  Earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Xavier in 1978, she then attended  Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta  between 1980 and 1982 but completed her medical degree at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.  

Sources: 
Gardiner Harris, “A Doctor From the Bayou, New York Times, July 14,
2009; Rick Bragg, “Poor Town Finds an Angel in a White Coat,” New York Times, April 3, 1995; Ebony Magazine, March 1997, January 1998; Catholic News Service, “Nation Called ‘Fortunate’ to Have Alabama Physician as Obama Nominee,” News Briefs, July 13, 2009; The Catholic Transcript Online, July 14, 2009; Answers.com, “Black Biography: Regina Benjamin Physician Personal Information.”
Affiliation: 
California State University, Sacramento

Menard, John Willis (1838-1893)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Image Ownership: Public Domain

John Willis Menard, abolitionist, author, journalist and politician, was born in 1838 in Kaskaskia, Illinois, to French Creole parents. He was the first African American elected to Congress, but was not seated after a dispute over the election results. Menard attended Iberia College, an abolitionist school in Iberia, Ohio.  

Twenty-two year old Menard expressed his abolitionist views in his widely read 1860 publication, An Address to the Free Colored People of Illinois. During the Civil War, he became the first African American to serve as a clerk in the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.  While there, President Abraham Lincoln dispatched him to research British Honduras (now Belize) as a possible colony for the African American population. 

Sources: 
Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008); "John Willis Menard," Notable Black American Men Book II (Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2006); John Willis Menard, Lays in Summer Lands, edited by Larry Eugene Rivers, Richard Matthews, & Canter Brown, Jr. (Tampa, FL: University of Tampa Press, 2002); John Willis Menard, Black and White. No Party—No Creed: A Lecture. (Philadelphia, no date); John Willis Menard, An Address to the Free Colored People of Illinois (no city, ca. 1860).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Berea College

Grambling State University (1901-- )

Vignette Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
African American History
Grambling State University Band
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Sources: 
Mildred B. G. Gallot, A History of Grambling State University (Boston: University Press of America, Inc., 1985); History of Grambling State University, http://www.gram.edu/about/history/ (official website); Grambling State University, http://www.stateuniversity.com/universities/LA/Grambling_State_University.html; Grambling State University, Louisiana, http://www.citytowninfo.com/school-profiles/grambling-state-university.
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Jefferson, William J. (1947-- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
William J. Jefferson is a former Democratic politician who represented Louisiana’s Second Congressional District from 1991 to 2009. He was the first African American congressman elected from the state since Reconstruction. His career ended in a bribery scandal that resulted in his conviction in November 2009. 

William Jefferson was born in 1947 in Lake Providence, Louisiana. He was one of ten children in his family, one of the few black landowning families in an area inhabited mostly by black sharecroppers and white plantation owners. Jefferson earned a BA degree from Southern University A & M College in 1969, and then earned a JD from Harvard Law School in 1972. From 1973 to 1975 he was a legislative assistant to Louisiana Senator J. Bennett Johnston.  

In 1978, Jefferson ran for a seat representing New Orleans’ Uptown section in the Louisiana State Senate, defeating a white incumbent candidate. He remained in the State Senate for twelve years, although twice he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New Orleans. In 1990 Jefferson ran for and won the hotly-contested congressional seat of retiring Representative Corinne (Lindy) Boggs.
Sources: 
United States House of Representatives, Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 2008); Jonathan Tilove, "William Jefferson Sentenced to 13 years in Prison,” Louisiana Politics & Government (November 13, 2009); “William Jefferson Verdict: Guilty on 11 of 16 counts,” New Orleans Times-Picayune (August 5, 2009).
Contributor: 

Fields, Cleo (1962- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Cleo Fields, politician, lawyer, and United States Representative from Louisiana's Fourth Congressional District (1993-97), was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on November 22, 1962.  At four years old, Fields lost his father, Isidore Fields, a dockworker, in a car crash. His mother, Alice Fields, supported her ten children by working as a maid and taking in laundry.  Fields started working at a young age to help his family and save for college.

In 1980, Fields graduated from McKinley High School.  He attended Southern University, where he majored in mass communications and then enrolled in its College of Law.  In his final year of law school, he ran for the Louisiana State Senate. At twenty-four years old, Fields became the youngest elected state senator in Louisiana’s history. Fields championed environmental issues, job creation for minorities, and the elimination of illegal drugs.

In 1990, Fields ran for the House seat from Louisiana's Eighth Congressional District, but he lost to Republican Clyde Holloway.  After Louisiana redrew district lines, Louisiana's Fourth Congressional District elected Fields to the House of Representatives in 1992.  Fields became Louisiana’s second African American congressman.  

During his two terms, Fields served as parliamentarian as well as on the Small Business, Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs Committees.  His main legislative goals included job creation, affordable health care, and decreasing the deficit.  
Sources: 
Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 2008); Kristen L. Rouse, “Cleo Fields,” in African American National Biography, ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Brooks-Higginbotham (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); Joanna Weiss, “Cleo Fields Emerges as a LA Political Force,” New Orleans Times-Picayune, 16 November 1998.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Keppard, Freddie (1890–1933)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Image Ownership: Public Domain

Pioneer jazz musician Freddie Keppard was one of the most famous cornet players of the early 20th Century.  Born February 27, 1890 in New Orleans, Keppard came from a musical family which included his brother Louis Keppard, who also became a professional musician playing the piano and tuba. Freddie Keppard began his musical career with the mandolin, followed by the violin, accordion, and finally finding his passion with the cornet.  At the age of 16 he organized the Olympia Orchestra to showcase his talents and perform throughout New Orleans. 

Keppard became part of the migration of Creole jazz musicians to the West Coast in the first two decades of the 20th Century.  After traveling to Los Angeles, he founded the Original Creole Orchestra in 1912.  The Orchestra introduced New Orleans jazz to a wider audience and quickly became one of the most popular acts on the West Coast.  By 1919 it had a following in large cities across the United States.  As his popularity rose, the Victor Talking Machine Company eventually offered Keppard the chance to be one of the first to record the new jazz sound. Keppard refused the recording offer saying he was fearful people would “steal his stuff.”   

Sources: 
David Dicaire, Jazz Musicians of the Early Years, to 1945 (North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc., 2003); Eileen Southern, Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African American Musicians (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1983); http://www.redhotjazz.com/keppard.html (Accessed November 20, 2009).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Dillard University [New Orleans] (1869- )

Vignette Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Dillard University is a private, Historically Black liberal arts college located in New Orleans, Louisiana.  It is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.  Dillard University is a result of the merger between Straight College and New Orleans University in 1930.
Sources: 
Louise Bernard and Radiclani Clytus, Within These Walls: A Short History of Dillard University (New Orleans: Dillard University Office of the President, 2000); Dillard Heritage, http://www.dillard.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55&Itemid=63 (Official site).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Southern University [New Orleans] (1956-- )

Vignette Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
African American History
Sources: 

Valera T. Francis and Amy E. Wells, “On Opposite Sides of the Track: New Orleans’ Urban Universities in Black and White,” in Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Triumphs, Troubles, and Taboos, edited by Marybeth Gasman and Christopher L. Tudico (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Jewel L. Prestage, “The Role of Black Colleges and Universities in Graduate Education,” in Black Colleges and Universities: Challenges for the Future, edited by Antoine Garibaldi (New York: Praeger Special Studies, 1984); Julian B. Roebuck and Komanduri S. Murty, Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Their Place in American Higher Education (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 1993); Southern University New Orleans Official Website, www.suno.edu; Southern University System Official Website, www.sus.edu.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Xavier University [New Orleans] (1915- )

Vignette Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Xavier University is a private, four-year coeducational historically black university located in New Orleans, Louisiana; the campus is located one mile from downtown New Orleans.  Xavier University is the only historically black college or university (HBCU) affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Xavier was founded in 1915 by Sister Katherine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a Catholic order established to serve African Americans and other racial minorities.

Sources: 

Xavier University Webpage; Toni Hodge-Wright, The Handbook of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Seattle: Jireh and Associates, 1992); Julian B. Roebuck and Komanduri S. Murty, Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Their Place in American Higher Education (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1993).

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Cook, Samuel DuBois (1928- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Courtesy of 
Clemson University
Samuel DuBois Cook is a retired Dillard University president and, with his appointment to the Duke University faculty in 1966, was the first African American professor to hold a regular faculty appointment at any predominantly white college or university in the South. Cook also served as a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1993. In 1993, Dillard University honored Cook by naming the school's new fine arts and communication center after him. That same year, Cook was elected by Duke University's Board of Trustee as a Trustee Emeritus.

Born on November 21, 1928 in Griffin, Georgia, Cook's father was a Baptist minister who instilled a passion for education in all of his children. Samuel DuBois Cook entered all-male Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1943 with his friend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) when they were both 15 years of age.  Both boys participated in the Morehouse early admission program during World War II that sought to fill the college's classrooms when many older students were in the U.S. military. At Morehouse, Cook became student body president and founded the campus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He earned a BA degree in history in 1948. He went on to earn an MA (1950) in political science and a Ph.D (1954) from Ohio State University.
Sources: 
F. Thomas Trotter and Charles E. Cole, Politics, Morality and Higher Education: Essays in Honor of Samuel DuBois Cook (Franklin, Tennessee: Providence House Publishers, 1997); Samuel DuBois Cook, Dilemmas of American Policy: Crucial Issues in Contemporary Society (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, 1969); “Biographical Note”, Samuel DuBois Cook Society, http://www.duke.edu/web/cooksociety/cook_Brochure2007.pdf.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Southern University ][Baton Rouge] (1880- )

Vignette Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Southern University, Baton Rouge,the largest historically black university in Louisiana, was chartered in 1880 in New Orleans, Louisiana as a state supported institution for the education of black Louisianans.   It was founded in response to the efforts of African American political leaders such as former governor P. B. S. Pinchback, T. T. Allain, Erick J. Gilmore, and Henry Demas. At the time Louisiana had three private colleges, Straight University (1868), Leland University (1870) and New Orleans University (1873). All three schools were located in New Orleans as was Southern University initially. Southern provided a welcome alternative for those who could not afford to attend private institutions.

Twelve students entered Southern University in 1881. Like most black institutions at the time, the first courses were at the pre-college level. Slowly college level instruction was added as well as vocational training.  The 1890 Morrill Act allowed Southern to be designated a land grant institution and established an Agricultural and Mechanical department.   
Sources: 
Charles Vincent, A Centennial History of Southern University and A&M College, 1880-1980 (Baton Rouge: Southern University Press, 1981); Charles B. Rousseve, The Negro in Louisiana: Aspects of His History and Literature (New Orleans: Xavier University Press, 1937);“Southern University and A&M College official website, www.subr.edu; Southern University System Official Website, www.sus.edu.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Southern University [Shreveport] (1964 -- )

Vignette Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Southern University is a historically black university with a main campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Originally founded in 1880 in New Orleans as Southern University in New Orleans, it began its mission of providing post-secondary education for African Americans with 12 students and 5 faculty members. In 1890 the school’s name was changed to Southern University, and in 1892 it was recognized as a land grant college. In 1912 the school awarded its first baccalaureate degree, and in 1914 the campus was moved to the state capitol in Baton Rouge.

The new campus in Baton Rouge included 884 acres of land, which now supports the Agricultural Experiment Farm, the site of the school’s agricultural teaching and research programs. Other programs at this campus include arts and humanities, home economics, business, education, law, nursing, public policy and urban affairs, the sciences, and Army and Navy ROTC. In 2009 the Baton Rouge campus had 10,300 students. This campus focuses on research and classic liberal arts training for students to prepare them for careers. 
Sources: 
Valera T. Francis and Amy E. Wells, “On Opposite Sides of the Track: New Orleans’ Urban Universities in Black and White,” in Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Triumphs, Troubles, and Taboos, edited by Marybeth Gasman and Christopher L. Tudico (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Jewel L. Prestage, “The Role of Black Colleges and Universities in Graduate Education,” in Black Colleges and Universities: Challenges for the Future, edited by Antoine Garibaldi (New York: Praeger Special Studies, 1984); Julian B. Roebuck and Komanduri S. Murty, Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Their Place in American Higher Education (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 1993); Southern University New Orleans Official Website, www.suno.edu; Southern University System Official Website, www.sus.edu.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Southern University Law Center [New Orleans] (1947-- )

Vignette Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Southern University is a historically black university with a main campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Originally founded in 1880 in New Orleans as Southern University in New Orleans, it began its mission of providing post-secondary education for African Americans with 12 students and 5 faculty members. In 1890 the school’s name was changed to Southern University, and in 1892 it was recognized as a land grant college. In 1912 the school awarded its first baccalaureate degree, and in 1914 the campus was moved to the state capitol in Baton Rouge.
Sources: 
Valera T. Francis and Amy E. Wells, “On Opposite Sides of the Track: New Orleans’ Urban Universities in Black and White,” in Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Triumphs, Troubles, and Taboos, edited by Marybeth Gasman and Christopher L. Tudico (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Jewel L. Prestage, “The Role of Black Colleges and Universities in Graduate Education,” in Black Colleges and Universities: Challenges for the Future, edited by Antoine Garibaldi (New York: Praeger Special Studies, 1984); Julian B. Roebuck and Komanduri S. Murty, Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Their Place in American Higher Education (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 1993); Southern University New Orleans Official Website, www.suno.edu; Southern University System Official Website, www.sus.edu.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Doley, Harold, Jr (1947- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Harold and Helena Doley and Son in Front of
Madam C.J. Walker Mansion.
Image Courtesy of
Ambassador Harold E. Doley, Jr.


Ambassador Harold E. Doley, Jr is the founder of Doley Securities, LLC, the oldest African American owned investment banking firm in the nation. Doley is the only African American to have owned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

Born on March 8, 1947 Harold Doley was one of two boys born to Harold, Sr., a grocer and Kathryn Doley in New Orleans, LA. The Doley family has lived in Louisiana since 1720. The Doley’s had been free people before the Civil War and enjoyed the relatively liberal racial atmosphere of New Orleans as compared to other parts of the Southern United States.  Nonetheless they were always well aware of the disadvantages they faced. Amb. Doley attended segregated schools in the Louisiana area before matriculating at Xavier University in New Orleans where he majored in Accounting and Business Administration and started an investment club. He graduated from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business’s Owner/President Management Program an Executive Education Program.

Sources: 
New York Times, December 26, 1976, p. 13, September 18, 1994, p. F3, April 11, 1996, p. C1; David Oblender, Contemporary Black Biography, Vol.26 (Farmington Hills, Michigan: Cengage Gale, 2001); Lawrence Otis Graham, Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class (New York: HarperCollins, 1999).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Vignette Type: 
Events
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Hurricane Katrina began as a Category 1 hurricane in Florida, before striking the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. By the time Katrina had run its course, more than 1,700 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others displaced. Causing billions of dollars of damage, Hurricane Katrina ranks as one of the costliest storms in American history. The damage took place in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

On Monday, August 29, Katrina made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane backed by 145-mile-an-hour winds. From there, Katrina pounded New Orleans, as water poured over the levees and eventually they were breached. By the afternoon, parts of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward were inundated by floodwaters of up to 12 feet, rising to the rooftops. By Wednesday, August 31, the flood waters had crested with parts of the city under as much as 20 feet of water.

Thousands of New Orleans residents remained stranded in their houses and on rooftops waiting for help. Others made their way to the Superdome and the Convention Center, both of which became the main evacuee centers, along with the Interstate-10 expressway and the Louis Armstrong International Airport.
Sources: 
Jed Horne, Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City (New York: Random House, 2006); http://www.nola.com/katrina/; http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/hurricane_katrina/index.html?scp=1-spot&sq=hurricane%20katrina&st=cse.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of New Orleans

New Orleans Massacre (1866)

Vignette Type: 
Events
History Type: 
African American History
New Orleans Race Riot, 1866
Image Ownership: Public Domain
The New Orleans Massacre, also known as the New Orleans Race Riot, occurred on July 30, 1866.  While the riot was typical of numerous racial conflicts during Reconstruction, this incident had special significance.  It galvanized national opposition to the moderate Reconstruction policies of President Andrew Johnson and ushered in much more sweeping Congressional Reconstruction in 1867.

The riot took place outside the Mechanics Institute in New Orleans as black and white delegates attended the Louisiana Constitutional Convention.  The Convention had reconvened because the Louisiana state legislature had recently passed the black codes and refused to extend voting rights to black men.  Also on May 12, 1866, four years of Union Army imposed martial law ended and Mayor John T. Monroe, who had headed city government before the Civil War, was reinstated as acting mayor.  Monroe had been an active supporter of the Confederacy.

As a delegation of 130 black New Orleans residents marched behind the U.S. flag toward the Mechanics Institute,  Mayor Monroe organized and led a mob of ex-Confederates, white supremacists, and members of the New Orleans Police Force to the Institute to block their way.  The mayor claimed their intent was to put down any unrest that may come from the Convention but the real reason was to prevent the delegates from meeting.
Sources: 
James G. Hollandsworth, An Absolute Massacre: The New Orleans Race Riot of July 30, 1866 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004); Gilles Vandal, The New Orleans Riot of 1866: Anatomy of a Tragedy (Baton Rouge: Center for Louisiana Studies, 1984); John Kendall, History of New Orleans (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1992).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

The Colfax Massacre (1873)

Vignette Type: 
Events
History Type: 
African American History
Drawing of Survivors Leaving the Scene of the Colfax Massacre
Image Ownership: Public Domain
The Colfax Massacre occurred on April 13, 1873. The battle-turned-massacre took place in the small town of Colfax, Louisiana as a clash between blacks and whites.   Three whites and an estimated 150 blacks died in the conflict.  

The massacre took place against the backdrop of racial tensions following the hotly contested Louisiana governor's race of 1872.  While the Republicans narrowly won the contest and retained control of the state, white Democrats, angry over the defeat, vowed revenge.  In Colfax Parish (county) as in other areas of the state, they organized a white militia to directly challenge the mostly black state militia under the control of the governor.  

Colfax Parish reflected the political and racial divide in Louisiana.  Its 4,600 voters in the 1872 election were split between approximately 2,400 hundred mostly black Republican voters and 2,200 white Democratic voters.  One incident however, touched off the Colfax massacre.   On March 28, local white Democratic leaders called for armed supporters to help them take the Colfax Parish Courthouse from the black and white GOP officeholders on April 1.  The Republicans responded by urging their mostly black supporters to defend them.  Although nothing happened on April 1, the next day fighting erupted between the two groups.  
Sources: 
Charles Lane, The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2008): LeeAnna Kieth, The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008;  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/grant-colfax/
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

The Opelousas Massacre (1868)

Vignette Type: 
Events
History Type: 
African American History
The Opelousas Massacre occurred on September 28, 1868 in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. The event is also referred to as The Opelousas Riot by some historians. There is debate as to how many people were killed.  Conservative estimates made by contemporary observers indicated about 30 people died from the political violence.  Later historians have placed the total as closer to 150 or more.

While most Reconstruction era violence was sparked by conflicts between black Republicans and white Democrats, the initial catalyst for the Massacre was the attempt by some Opelousas blacks to join a Democratic political group in the neighboring town of Washington.  White Democrats in Opelousas, mainly members of the Seymour Knights, the local unit of the white supremacist organization Knights of the White Camellia, visited Washington to drive them out of the Party.   In response Emerson Bentley, an Ohio-born white school teacher and editor of The Progress, a Republican newspaper in Opelousas,  wrote what many local whites thought was a racially inflammatory article which described the violence that the Seymour Knights had used against  the African American Democrats in Washington.  Bentley argued that such violence should persuade the blacks to remain loyal to the GOP.

Shortly after the article appeared, Bentley was assaulted by a group of whites while he taught his class.  He was severely beaten and whipped although he survived the assault.  In response he fled the town, literally running for his life for nearly three weeks before escaping back to the North.
Sources: 
Ted Tunnell , Crucible of Reconstruction (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984); John Ficklen, History of Reconstruction in Louisiana (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1910).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

1st Louisiana Native Guard, CSA (1861-1862)

Vignette Type: 
Organizations
History Type: 
African American History
Map of New Orleans and Vicinity, 1861
Image Ownership: Public Domain
The 1st Louisiana Native Guard was the first official black regiment in the Confederate Army. The Guard was formed when Louisiana Governor Thomas Overton Moore accepted into the state militia a regiment of approximately 1,100 free African American men. When Governor Moore called for troops to defend Louisiana on April 17, 1861, a committee of ten prominent New Orleans free blacks called a meeting at the city's Catholic Institute on April 22 to pledge their loyalty to the Confederate cause. About 2,000 people attended the meeting including 1,500 free blacks who signed a militia muster roll.  
Sources: 
"America's Civil War: Louisiana Native Guards » History Net." History Net – From the World's Largest History Magazine Publisher. http://www.historynet.com/americas-civil-war-louisiana-native-guards.htm; Donald E. Everett, "Ben Butler and the Louisiana Native Guards, 1861-1862," The Journal of Southern History 24.2 (1958): 202-17. JSTOR. http://http://www.jstor.org/pss/2208874; James G. Hollandsworth, The Louisiana Native Guards: the Black Military Experience during the Civil War (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1995).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

1st Louisiana Native Guard, USA / Corps d’Afrique (1862-1863)

Vignette Type: 
Organizations
History Type: 
African American History
Louisiana Native Guard Picket Protecting the
New Orleans, Opelousas, and Great Western
Railroad, March, 19863
Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress
The 1st Louisiana Native Guard (USA) was one of the first all-black regiments to fight in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The Guard originated in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1862, during its occupation by Union forces. On September 27, 1862, Major General Benjamin  F. Butler, the Union military commander, organized the Union Army's 1st Louisiana Native Guard regiment of 1,000 men that included some men who had earlier served in the Louisiana Confederate Militia under the same name.  

Most of the initial volunteers were "free men of color." They were organized under the command of Captain Andre Cailloux who had previously served as a lieutenant in the Confederate regiment of the same name. Soon escaped slaves from surrounding plantations joined the regiment, and by November 1862 Union commanders created two new regiments. All told nearly 4,000 men were in the Louisiana Native Guard. Line officers (lieutenants and captains) in these regiments were black although higher ranking officers were white. One of the line officers was Pickney Benton Steward Pinchback who in 1871 would serve briefly as the first black governor of Louisiana.  
Sources: 
"America's Civil War: Louisiana Native Guards » History Net." History Net – From the World's Largest History Magazine Publisher. http://www.historynet.com/americas-civil-war-louisiana-native-guards.htm; Donald E. Everett, "Ben Butler and the Louisiana Native Guards, 1861-1862," The Journal of Southern History 24.2 (1958): 202-17. JSTOR. http://http://www.jstor.org/pss/2208874; James G. Hollandsworth, The Louisiana Native Guards: the Black Military Experience during the Civil War (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1995).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Desdunes, Rodolphe Lucien (1849-1928)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Image Ownership: Public Domain

Rodolphe Lucien Desdunes was a prominent editor, author, and civil rights activist from New Orleans, Louisiana.  He is best known for his work in Plessy v. Ferguson, the most important civil rights case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 19th Century, and a book he authored about the history and culture of Creoles in Louisiana. 

Desdunes was born November 15, 1849 in New Orleans.  His father was a Haitian exile, and his mother was Cuban.  Desdunes came from a family that owned a tobacco plantation and manufactured cigars.  He was a law student at Straight University in the early 1870s.  He also worked for the United States Customs House in New Orleans first as a messenger from 1879 to 1885, and as a clerk from 1891 to 1894, and again from 1899 to 1912.

Sources: 
Sharlene Sinegal DeCuir, Attacking Jim Crow: Black Activism in New Orleans 1925-1942 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 2009); Rebecca J. Scott, “The Atlantic World and the Road to Plessy v. Ferguson,” The Journal of American History 94:3 (December 2007); Rodolphe Lucien Desdunes, Our People and Our History: Fifty Creole Portraits (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1973).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Pratt, Geronimo (1947-2011)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt was a high ranking Black Panther Party (BPP) leader in Los Angeles who was targeted by the United States federal government’s domestic surveillance COINTELPRO program. He was accused and convicted of a murder and spent twenty-seven years in prison but the conviction was later vacated and he was released.

Geronimo Pratt was born on September 13, 1947 in Morgan City, Louisiana and had six siblings. His parents, Jack and Eunice Pratt, earned a living by operating a small scrap metal salvaging business. Geronimo was an exceptional student and played quarterback for the high school football team. In 1965, Pratt joined the army and was sent to Vietnam. He served two tours in Vietnam with distinction, earning two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts. He was honorably discharged in 1968.
Sources: 
Jack Olsen, Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt (New York: Knopf, 2001);
http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-geronimo-pratt-20110603,0,6307630.story
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Laveaux, Marie (1801-1881)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

Image Ownership: Public Domain
Few lives in African American history are surrounded by more myth and misinformation than the life of Marie Laveaux. Although she is best known today as the "legendary Creole voodoo priestess of New Orleans," Laveaux was in fact a 19th century hairdresser, confidant, and community leader in New Orleans, who tended the sick and financed charitable and benevolent organizations.

Marie Laveaux was born a free woman of color on September 10, 1801, to free blacks Marguerite D’Arcantel and Charles Laveaux. She was described as a quadroon, a term which meant one quarter African. In antebellum New Orleans, she and other part-African people were privileged because of the three-tier racial system that dominated the city. She lived long enough however to see that three-tier system evolve into a two-tier system (white and black) in the post Civil War period.

Laveaux was baptized as a Roman Catholic when she was only six days old and despite her embracing voodoo practices, remained a devout Catholic until her death.  Unlike other black Creoles, however, Laveaux never learned to read or write.

In 1819 she married Jacques Paris who was originally from Santa Domingo (now Haiti) in the St. Louis Cathedral, the largest and oldest church in the city.  Paris was also a quadroon.  Their marriage was brief.  Paris disappeared after one year, giving rise to the idea of Laveaux's mysterious powers.  
Sources: 
Ina Johanna Fandrich, The Mysterious Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveaux : A Study of Powerful Female Leadership in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans (New York: Routledge, 2005); Carolyn Morrow Long, A New Orleans Voudou Priestess : The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau (Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 2006).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Pitre, Clayton (1924- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History in the West
Clayton Pitre (right) with Fellow Montford Point Marine
at White House Ceremony, June 2012
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Clayton Pitre is a long time Seattle, Washington-based community activist, former Chief Housing Developer for the Central Area Motivation Project (CAMP), and a retired Montford Point Marine.

Born on June 30, 1924 to Gilbert Pitre and Eugenie Lemelle, Clayton Pitre was the fourth child of seven siblings. He was born and raised in Opelousas in Saint Landry Parish, Louisiana. His father was a cotton and yam farmer, and his mother was a homemaker.  Pitre attended Catholic schools until the 9th grade when he gave up his education to work in various defense plants in early World War II Texas.

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Lambert, Charles Lucièn, Sr. (1828-1896)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Charles Lucièn Lambert, Sr., also known as Lucièn Lambert, Sr., was an internationally prominent classical musician and composer, and part of the middle generation of acclaimed Lambert musical artists.  Both his father, Charles-Richard Lambert, and his son, Lucièn-Léon Guillaume Lambert, had distinguished careers in classical music.

Charles Lucièn Lambert was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1828 to Charles-Richard, a native of New York, and an unidentified free Creole woman of color. After Charles Lucièn’s mother’s death, Charles-Richard married Coralie Suzanne Orzy, another free woman of color. They had a son, Sidney, who was born in 1838. Charles Lucièn and Sidney received their first piano lessons from their father who was by then a prominent early 19th Century New Orleans musician and composer.

Charles Lucièn Lambert was a contemporary of the soon to be famous white Creole composer and musician, Louis Moreau Gottschalk.  In fact the two enjoyed a friendly artistic rivalry as aspiring virtuoso pianists and composers in New Orleans in the late 1840s and early 1850s.

Sources: 
Lester Sullivan, Charles Lucièn Lambert Sr. (c. 1828-1896) (Hong Kong: Naxos 8.559037, 2000);
http://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/Lambertsr.html.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Brazile, Donna (1959 - )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Donna Brazile, author, campaign manager, adjunct professor, political analyst, and current vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was born December 15, 1959 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Lionel and Jean Brazile. Brazile was the third of nine children, and her father (a janitor) and mother (a domestic worker) often had a hard time making ends meet. Brazile became interested in politics at age nine when she heard that a local candidate for city council had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood. The young Brazile volunteered for the campaign and passed out pamphlets to her neighbors. The candidate won, the neighborhood got a playground, and Brazile discovered her new passion for political activism.  At age 17 Brazile volunteered for the Carter-Mondale campaign in 1976, stuffing envelopes at the local campaign headquarters.

Brazile attended Louisiana State University where she earned her degree in industrial psychology in 1981. After graduation Brazile worked as a lobbyist for the National Student Education Fund in Washington, D.C. During the same time period Brazile was hired by Coretta Scott King to help plan a re-enactment of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington in 1983. Brazile worked with the Dr. Martin Luther King Foundation to help establish Dr. King’s birthday as a national holiday.
Sources: 
Donna Brazile, Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005); Ashyia Henderson, “Donna Brazile,” in Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 25 (Farmington Hill: Thomson/Gale, 2004); http://www.democrats.org/about/bio/donna_brazile
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Dede, Edmund (1827-1903)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Musician and composer Edmund Dede was born on November 20, 1827 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His parents were free Creoles of color who moved to New Orleans from the French West Indies around 1809. Dede took his first music lessons from his father who was a bandmaster for a local military group.

Dede soon became a violin prodigy after studying under Italian-born composer and theater-orchestra conductor Ludovico Gabici, and conductor of the New Orleans Free Creoles of Color Philharmonic Society Christian Debergue. Dede advanced his technique studies in New Orleans under Eugene Prevost, French-born winner of 1831 Prix de Rome and conductor of Orchestras at the Theater d’Orleans, and Charles Richard Lambert, who was a free black musician, music teacher, and conductor from New York who had moved to New Orleans.

In 1848 Dede moved to Mexico, as did many free Creoles of color after race relations in New Orleans worsened following the end of the Mexican-American War. Dede returned to New Orleans in 1851 where he wrote and published “Mon Pauvre Coeur” (My Poor Heart), which is considered the oldest piece of sheet music published by a New Orleans free Creole of color.
Sources: 
"Edmund Dede," AfriClassical, http://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/dede.html; Sybil Kein, "Composers of Nineteenth-Century New Orleans," in Sybil Kein, ed., Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana's Free People of Color (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000); Eleanora E. Tate, Black Stars: African American Musicians (New York: Wiley, 2000).
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

Richmond, Cedric Levon (1973- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Courtesy of the
U.S. House of Representatives
Cedric Richmond is the U.S. Representative for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes much of New Orleans. Richmond, a Democrat, won the post after more than a decade of service in the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Born September 13, 1973, his mother was a public school teacher and a small business owner, and his father died when he was seven years old.  Growing up in East New Orleans he played baseball at Goretti playground and was inspired by his coaches there, which later influenced him to coach Little League Baseball at Goretti starting in 1989, at the age of 16.

Richmond graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in 1991, and earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He completed his Juris Doctorate at Tulane University School of Law, passed the Louisiana Bar Exam, and worked as an attorney at the New Orleans law firm of Gray & Gray. During this period he was elected president of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Foundation. Richmond also graduated from the Harvard University Executive Education Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997.
Sources: 
Douglas Brinkley, The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (New York: Morrow, 2006); Ebony magazine, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Co. January 2001); http://richmond.house.gov/about/full-biography ; http://www.cedricrichmond.com/about-cedric
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Waller, Lt. General Calvin (1937–1996)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Calvin Augustine Hoffman Waller was a United States Army officer who rose to prominence as the Deputy Commander-in-Chief for military operations with United States Central Command (Forward), during the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991).  He became at that time one of the highest-ranking African American officers in the U.S. military.

Lt. General Waller was born on December 17, 1937 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He attended both Shippensburg State College then Prairie View A&M University in Texas.  After graduating in 1959, Waller enlisted in the United States Army and served for 32 years.  He served in the Vietnam War for one year as a junior officer and later commanded the Eighth Infantry Division in Germany during the 1980s.  His career also included a variety of staff assignments and commanding posts during his career.  He also earned numerous awards and decorations including: the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal (two awards), the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, and the Master Parachutist Badge.
Sources: 
Godfrey Hodgson, “Obituary: General Calvin Waller,” The Independent, May 13, 1996;
Calvin A.H. Waller, Lieutenant General, United States Army at the Arlington National Cemetery Website, http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/cawaller.htm
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Verrett, Shirley (1931-2010)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Shirley Verrett was a distinguished mezzo-soprano and soprano opera singer. Born in New Orleans on May 31, 1931, one of five children to strict Seventh Day Adventists, her father was a successful building contractor. She came from a musical family, her mother often sang in the house and her father occasionally worked as a choir director. Her parents encouraged her talent, but they disapproved of opera and hoped that she would pursue other interests.  The family moved to Los Angeles where Verrett grew up.

Verrett was passionate about music but after high school, with her father’s support, she became a real estate agent. After selling houses for few years, Verrett realized that her life could only be fulfilled by pursuing singing. With help from her vocal instructor, she appeared on Arthur Godfrey’s program Talent Scouts in 1955. From this appearance she was awarded a scholarship at The Julliard School, where she studied for five years with Anna Fitziu and Marion Szekely Freschl.  Verrett made her operatic debut in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia in 1957.  The following year she made her New York City Opera debut as Irina in Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars.  Her European debut came in 1959 when she performed in Nabokov’s Rasputin’s Tod in Cologne, Germany.

Sources: 
Elizabeth Nash, Autobiographical Reminiscences of African-American Classical Singers (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2007); Anthony Tommasini, “Shirley Verrett, Opera Singer of Power and Grace, Is Dead at 79,” New York Times (November 6, 2010); Barry Millington, “Shirley Verrett Obituary,” The Guardian (November 8, 2010); Shirley Verrett dies at 79; acclaimed mezzo-soprano," Los Angeles Times, Associated Press (November 7, 2010), retrieved November 7, 2010; http://www.shirleyverrett.com/
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Lemon, Don (1966- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Don Carlton Lemon is a prominent, award-winning black television anchor in the United States. In 2011, he publicly came out as a gay man. In so doing, he became the most prominent African American journalist to announce his sexual orientation and was immediately considered a major role model for other gay men of color.

Lemon was born on March 1, 1966 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to a single working mother. His father, known only as Mr. Richardson, played a positive role in Lemon’s young life. He and his sisters, Yma and Leisa, grew up in west Baton Rouge and Port Allen. They lived there with their mother and grandmother until 1976 when his mother married Lemon’s step-father. As an adult, Lemon reported that at the age of five he was sexually abused by a teenage male neighbor.

Lemon enrolled at Louisiana State University in 1984 but did not complete his studies. He moved to New York City in 1990 and entered the broadcasting field. His first job there was as a reporter for the Fox Affiliate, WNYW. Lemon graduated from Brooklyn College in Broadcast Journalism in 1996. He then moved to Birmingham, Alabama to anchor the news at Fox’s WBRC. St. Louis, Missouri was his next stop where he anchored and reported for KTVI.
Sources: 
David Taffet, “Don Lemon: Gay rights are civil rights,” Dallas Voice (January 25, 2013), http://www.dallasvoice.com/don-lemon%E2%80%88gay-rights-civil-rights-10137593.html; http://www.lgbthistorymonth.com/don-lemon.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Henderson, Freddye Scarborough (1917-2007)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Freddye Scarborough Henderson, entrepreneur, columnist, and educator, was born on February 18, 1917 in Franklinton, Louisiana. She was educated in her hometown and graduated valedictorian from Booker T. Washington High School in Franklinton.  In 1937, Scarborough earned a B.S. in home economics from Southern University.  Four years later, on July 4, 1941, she married Jacob Robert Henderson in Atlanta, Georgia. Freddye Henderson continued her educational pursuits, becoming the first African American to earn a M.S. degree in fashion merchandising from New York University in 1950.

In 1944 Henderson opened a custom dress store in Atlanta. She operated the store until 1950 when she became an associate professor of applied art and clothing at Spelman College. She also held an adjunct position during the summer months at Atlanta University. Along with her teaching duties, Henderson became fashion editor for the Associated Negro Press where she reached a national audience with her syndicated column which appeared in black newspapers throughout the country.  

Sources: 
Kay Powell, “Freddye Henderson, 89, Let Blacks Travel En Vogue,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 22, 2007); Jessie Carney Smith, Notable Black American Women: Book II  (Detroit, MI: Gale Research, Inc., 1996).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Berea College

Johnson, Tone, Jr. (1944-- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History in the West
Tone Johnson (left) and Fellow Vietnam War Era Veterans,
Joe Pena and Vince Cantu
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Tone Johnson, medical doctor, Vietnam hero, and civic leader was born on November 9, 1944 to Lyzer (Elizabeth) Marks Johnson and sawmill worker and farmer Henry Johnson.  After graduating from Carrie Martin High School in Plain Dealing, Louisiana in 1963, he went to Vietnam as part of company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment of the First Cavalry Division.  His unit, assigned to West-Central South Vietnam, Ia Drang Valley near the Cambodian border, met the North Vietnamese on November 14, 1965 at the base of a limestone mountain, Chupong Massif.

The Ia Drang battle—named after the river which flowed through the valley—was immortalized by CBS news footage and later a movie, We Were Soldiers, based on Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway’s book, We Were Soldiers Once … And Young. This battle marked the first time the United States Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam clashed during the Vietnam War.  During this combat, American forces killed over 1,400 Vietnamese, and the United States casualties amounted to more than 120 over the next few days.  The 1st Battalion, 7th cavalry fought hard for three days, but with the arrival of B-52s, they rested. The 2nd Battalion with Tone Johnson was sent in to help.
Sources: 
William E. Swan, Jr., M.D., “Tone Johnson, Jr., M.D. Physician Hero,” Coastal Bend Medicine (February/March 1997); communications and newspaper clippings from Geraldine Johnson collection.
Affiliation: 
University of Texas, El Paso

Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft (1902-1985) and the Long Civil Rights Movement in Texas

Portrait by Judith Sedwick from the Women of
Courage Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College,
1984. Courtesy of the Craft Foundation, Dallas Texas
Summary: 
<i>A small but growing number of black women are slowly being recognized for their contributions to the “long” civil rights movement, the nearly century-long struggle by African Americans against all forms of racial discrimination.  In the account below University of Texas-El Paso historian Cecilia Gutierrez Venable describes Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft, one of the most important of these activists in 20th Century Texas history.</i>
Sources: 
Rachel Northington Burrow, “Juanita Craft” (Master’s thesis, Southern Methodist University, 1994); Amilcar Shabazz, Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle for Access and Equity In Higher Education in Texas (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004); Robert J. Duncan, "George Francis Porter," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpo76), accessed October 04, 2013; Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney, “Craft Historic Community Planned Development in the Wheatley Place National Historic District: Dallas,” by the Juanita Craft Foundation, G. Chandler Vaughn, and Bruce Glasrud.
Affiliation: 
University of Texas, El Paso

Northup, Solomon (1808- ? )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Solomon Northup in his Plantation Suit,
Illustration from the Book, Twelve Years a Slave
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Solomon Northup was a free black man who was illegally held in bondage for twelve years before he regained his freedom.  Northup was born to free parents in Minerva, New York in 1808. Little is known of his mother other than she was born a free mulatto.  His father Mintus Northup, an emancipated slave, was a farm owner, voted in local elections, and valued education for his sons, Solomon and elder brother Joseph.

On December 25, 1829 Solomon Northup married Anne Hampton and the couple had three children:  Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. The Northup family sold the family farm and moved to Glens Falls, New York where he worked numerous seasonal jobs around their county of residence.  His wife also contributed to the family’s income as a part-time cook at various taverns in rural New York State.  Northup eventually gained a reputation as a brilliant violinist who entertained large audiences throughout rural New York.

Sources: 
Solomon Northup. Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841 and Rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana (Buffalo: Derby, Orton, and Mulligan, 1853); David Fiske, Solomon Northup: His Life Before and After Slavery. (Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, 2012); Michael Cipley. “Escape From Slavery Now a Movie, Has Long Intrigued Historians,” New York Times. (September 23, 2013). B4.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Eastern Kentucky University

The African American Experience in Italy, 1852 to 2013

Ralph Ellison at the American Academy in Rome, 1957
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
In the following article longtime BlackPast.org contributor and San Diego State University Librarian Robert Fikes discusses African American emigrants to and visitors in Italy.
Summary: 
In the following article longtime BlackPast.org contributor and San Diego State University Librarian Robert Fikes discusses African American emigrants to and visitors in Italy.
Sources: 
Robert Fikes Jr., “When in Rome: African American Experiences and Perspectives on Italy and Italian Culture.” Unpublished manuscript, 39 pages.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
San Diego State University

Ferbos, Lionel Charles (1911- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership, Public Domain
New Orleans, Louisiana trumpeter Lionel Charles Ferbos was born in in the city’s Creole 7th Ward on July 17, 1911.  His father was Louis Ferbos, a tinsmith, and his mother was Rosita Ferbos. Lionel had two siblings.  As a child, he had asthma and was advised not to play any wind instrument.  However, in 1926 he saw Russian orchestra leader Phil Spitalny’s all-girl orchestra and decided to become a musician.  Ferbos studied with Professor Paul Chaligny, who taught him to read music, and he subsequently continued to study with trumpeter Albert Snaer.  Ferbos was enumerated as a musician in the 1930 census and like most musicians of that time he always kept a manual job.  At Haspel’s Clothing Factory he met seamstress Marguerite Gilyot, who became his wife in 1934.  They had two children, actor Lionel Jr, (1939–2006) and Sylvia Schexnayder (b. 1941).  He later joined his father’s business and became a master tinsmith.
Sources: 
Al Rose & Edmond Souchon, A Family Album (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1967); Lionel Ferbos: 100 Years Young, http://www.myneworleans.com/My-New-Orleans/April-2011/Lionel-Ferbos-100-Years-Young/; Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census about Lionel Ferbos.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Robinson, Eddie (1919-2007)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
With 408 career victories at Grambling State University, Eddie Robinson is the most successful football coach in Division I history. In 1985 he surpassed Paul William “Bear” Bryant’s record set at Alabama with 324 wins.  Under Robinson, the Grambling Tigers posted three undefeated seasons, seven single-loss seasons, and set an all-time NCAA Division I-AA record 27 consecutive winning seasons from 1960 to 1986.  Robinson’s teams won 17 championships in Southwestern Atlantic Conference and 9 Black College National Championships. Under his tenure, more than 80 players joined the National Football League (NFL) including Charlie Joiner, Willie Brown, and Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to lead a National Football League (NFL) team to a Superbowl victory (the Washington (D.C.) Redskins over the Denver (Colorado) Broncos in 1988).
Sources: 
Michael Hurd, Black College Football, 1892-1992: One Hundred Years of History, Education, and Pride (Virginia Beach, Va.: The Donning Co. Pub., 1993); James Haskins, "Eddie Robinson" in James Haskins, ed., One More River to Cross: The Stories of Twelve Black Americans (New York: Scholastic, 1992); "National Football Foundation, “College Football Hall of Fame,” http://www.footballfoundation.org/Programs/CollegeFootballHallofFame/SearchDetail.aspx?id=70042; David L. Porter, "Eddie Robinson,” in James D. Whalen, ed., African American Sports Greats: A Biographical Dictionary (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Rodman, Dennis Keith (1961- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman, 2013
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Dennis Keith Rodman, hall of fame basketball player, actor, and self-appointed political emissary, was born in on May 13, 1961 in Trenton, New Jersey to Philander and Shirley Rodman. Shortly after Dennis was born, Philander left the family and eventually settled in the Philippines. After moving to the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas, Shirley Rodman worked numerous jobs while struggling to provide for Dennis and his two older sisters, Kim and Debra.

In high school both Kim and Debra Rodman developed into standout basketball players, earning college scholarships. Kim attended Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas and Debra played on two national championship teams at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. Both Rodman sisters were All-Americans in college.

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Seattle Central Community College

06/26-27/2009: Summer Family Conference (Baton Rouge, LA)

06/26/2009 - 08:00
06/27/2009 - 08:59
Etc/GMT
Conference Dates: June 26 - 27, 2009
Location: Embassy Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
National Black Home Educators
13434 Plank Road, PMB 110
Baker, La. 70714

06/16-20/2009: National Association of Black Accountants Annual National Convention (New Orleans, LA)

06/16/2009 - 01:00
06/20/2009 - 01:59
Etc/GMT

NABA Convention38th Annual National Convention
& Diversity Recruitment EXPO
June 16 - 20, 2009
Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, LA

"40 Years, One NABA:
Honoring Our Past, Investing in Our Future"

Who Should Attend?

1811

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Andry's Rebellion on January 8-11. A slave insurrection led by Charles Deslondes, begins on the Louisiana plantation of Manual Andry.

1814

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Six hundred African American troops are among the U.S. Army of 3,000 led by General Andrew Jackson which defeats British forces at the Battle of New Orleans. The black troops were led by Major Joseph Savary, the highest ranking black officer in the history of the U.S. Army.

1864

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On October 4, La Tribune de la Nouvelle Orleans (the New Orleans Tribune) begins publication. The Tribune is the first black-owned daily newspaper.

1866

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Police in New Orleans supporting the Democratic Mayor storm a Republican meeting of blacks and whites on July 30, killing 34 black and 3 white Republicans. Over 150 people are injured in the attack.

1868

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Opelousas, Louisiana is the site of the Opelousas Massacre on September 28, in which an estimated 200 to 300 black Americans are killed by whites opposed to Reconstruction and African American voting.

1868

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On November 3, John Willis Menard is elected to Congress from Louisiana's Second Congressional District. Menard is the first African American elected to Congress. However, neither he nor his opponent will be seated due to disputed election results.

1872

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
Lt. Governor Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback of Louisiana serves as governor of the state for one month from December 1872 to January 1873. He is the first African American to hold that position.

1895

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
White terrorists attack black workers in New Orleans on March 11-12. Six blacks are killed.

1898

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
In January the Louisiana Legislature introduces the Grandfather Clause into the state's constitution. Only males whose fathers or grandfathers were qualified to vote on January 1, 1867, are automatically registered. Others (African Americans) must comply with educational or property requirements.

1900

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
The New Orleans Race Riot (also known as the Robert Charles Riot) erupts on July 23 and lasts four days. Twelve African Americans and seven whites were killed.

1953

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
On June 19, Baton Rouge, Louisiana African Americans begin a boycott of their city's segregated municipal bus line.

1978

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
On September 15, Muhammad Ali becomes the first boxer to win the heavyweight championship three times when he defeats Leon Spinks at the Superdome in New Orleans.

1803

Timeline Type: 
AAW
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On April 30, Louisiana is purchased from the French. The new territory nearly doubles the size of the United States.

2005

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
2001-
Timeline Entry Description: 
On August 30, Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast, taking an estimated 1,700 lives.  The vast majority of the deaths are in Louisiana including heavily African American New Orleans.

1861

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On May 2, black men in New Orleans organize the First Louisiana Native Guard of the Confederate Army. In doing so they create the first and only military unit of black officers and enlisted men to pledge to fight for Southern independence. By February 1862, after New Orleans is occupied by Union forces, the Louisiana Native Guard becomes a military unit in the United States Army.

1873

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1801-1900
Timeline Entry Description: 
On Easter Sunday more than 100 African Americans were killed in northwest Louisiana while defending Republicans in local office against white militia. The incident became known as the Colfax Massacre. Later that year in what would be known as the Coushatta Massacre 30 people including white and black Republican officeholders and their supporters were killed by white militia.

1716

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
The first enslaved Africans arrive in Louisiana.

1718

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
New Orleans is founded by the French. By 1721 the city has more enslaved black men than free white men.

1985

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1901-2000
Timeline Entry Description: 
Grambling State University's football coach Eddie Robinson becomes the coach with the most wins in college football history.

1724

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
The French colonial government in Louisiana enacts the Code Noir, the first body of laws that govern both slaves and free blacks in North America.
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