Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe “Jelly Roll” Morton (1885-1941)

Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe Morton, more popularly known as “Jelly Roll” Morton, was an influential early 20th Century composer and pianist. Jelly Roll, the son of Creole parents, E.P. La Menthe and Louise Monette, was born in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1885. His father, E.P. Morton, … Read MoreFerdinand Joseph La Menthe “Jelly Roll” Morton (1885-1941)

Augustus Granville Dill (1881-1956)

Augustus Granville Dill, sociologist, business manager, musician, and colleague of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) co-founder W.E.B. Du Bois, is best known for his work overseeing the publication of Du Bois’s journal, The Crisis, between 1913 and 1928.  He also helped … Read MoreAugustus Granville Dill (1881-1956)

Muddy Waters [aka McKinley Morganfield] (1913-1983)

Blues singer, songwriter and musician Muddy Waters was born McKinley Morganfield on April 4, 1913 in Issaquena County, Mississippi. Waters acquired his nickname (and later stage name) because as a young child he liked to play in the mud.  When he began his musical career … Read MoreMuddy Waters [aka McKinley Morganfield] (1913-1983)

Claude Albert Barnett (1889-1967)

Claude Albert Barnett, entrepreneur and founder of the Associated Negro Press (1919-1967), was born in Sanford, Florida to William Barnett and Celena Anderson. At nine months he was brought to Mattoon, Illinois to live with his maternal grandmother.  Barnett grew up in Illinois, attending schools … Read MoreClaude Albert Barnett (1889-1967)