Freedom Bank of Finance (1969-2000)

Freedom Bank Interior With Portland Mayor Terry Schrunk and Others, 1970 Image Courtesy of City of Portland (OR) Archives In 1968, a group of businessmen in Portland, Oregon saw the recently founded Bank of Finance in Los Angeles, California as a model for their creating the first black-owned commercial bank in the Pacific … Read MoreFreedom Bank of Finance (1969-2000)

Freedmen’s Hospital/Howard University Hospital (1862– )

Image Ownership: Public Domain The Freedmen’s Hospital was founded in 1862 in Washington, D.C.  It was the first hospital of its kind to aid in the medical treatment of former slaves.  Later it became the major hospital for the African American community in Washington, D.C.  The … Read MoreFreedmen’s Hospital/Howard University Hospital (1862– )

Fats Waller (1904-1943)

  Image Ownership: Public Domain Jazz pianist virtuoso, organist, composer and grand entertainer, Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was born on May 21, 1904 in Harlem, New York.  He became one of the most popular and influential performers of his era and a master of stride piano playing, finding … Read MoreFats Waller (1904-1943)

The 13th Street Colored Branch Library, Meridian, Mississippi (1913-1974)

Image Ownership: Public domain The 13th Street (St.) Colored Branch was a segregated public library established by the city of Meridian, Mississippi, in 1912 and opened in March 1913. It was one of the first free public libraries for African Americans in the state of … Read MoreThe 13th Street Colored Branch Library, Meridian, Mississippi (1913-1974)

Peter Davis (1887?-1971)

Peter Davis and Louis Armstrong, New Orleans, 1963 Image Courtesy of Robert Mikell Peter Davis is best known as the music teacher of Louis Armstrong.  Much of his life story is found in interviews. The exact date of his birth is uncertain but he recalled … Read MorePeter Davis (1887?-1971)

Sophia Angeli Nelson (1967- )

Image Ownership: Public domain Sophia Angeli Nelson is an author, journalist, lawyer, and political strategist. Nelson was born on January 5, 1967, in Munich, Germany, where her father served overseas in the U.S. Army. She was raised in Somerdale, New Jersey, and attended San Diego … Read MoreSophia Angeli Nelson (1967- )

Freedmen’s Town Houston, Texas (1865- )

Freedmen’s Town is a nationally registered historical site. The site was originally a community located in the fourth ward of Houston, Texas that began in 1865 as the destination for former enslaved people from surrounding plantations in Texas and Louisiana after the Civil War. Freedmen’s … Read MoreFreedmen’s Town Houston, Texas (1865- )

Jr., Clarence Acox (1947- )

Image Ownership: Public domain Clarence Acox, Jr. is an award-winning American jazz drummer and band director. Born in October 1947, he is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.  Since his arrival in Seattle in 1971 he has become one of the most influential musical directors … Read MoreJr., Clarence Acox (1947- )

Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas (1875- )

Image Courtesy of Gloria Lawsha Smith Following emancipation in 1865, former slaves across the South detached themselves from white-controlled congregations and established independent churches. In Fort Worth, Texas, historic Mt. Gilead Baptist Church was one of those new congregations. Over time it would serve the … Read MoreMt. Gilead Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas (1875- )

Sebastian’s Cotton Club Culver City, California (1926-1938)

The prohibition of alcohol in the United States during the early 20th century didn’t really affect the nightclubbing scene in Los Angeles, California, especially in the Culver City area during the 1920s. Sebastian’s Cotton Club, at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and National Street, was … Read MoreSebastian’s Cotton Club Culver City, California (1926-1938)