The Afro-Beat in Russia: The Influence of Black Music on Russian Popular Culture, 1890-2002

In the following article, Russian DJ Ivan Tchijevsky describes exclusively for BlackPast.org the long history of black music and black musical performers in Russia. Writing from a musical festival in Odessa, Ukraine in June 2019, he outlines his views below. As I visit festivals of … Read MoreThe Afro-Beat in Russia: The Influence of Black Music on Russian Popular Culture, 1890-2002

Moneta Sleet, Jr. (1926-1996)

Image Ownership: Public domain Moneta Sleet, Jr., a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer involved in the Civil Rights movement, was born on February 14, 1926. His parents, Ozetta Allensworth Sleet and Moneta Sleet, Sr., raised him in Owensboro, Kentucky. At a very young age, his parents gave him a small box camera, … Read MoreMoneta Sleet, Jr. (1926-1996)

Pearl Hobson (1879- ?)

Image Ownership: Public domain In the decades prior to the Russian Revolution, Pearl Hobson became the most popular African American dancer and singer in Imperial Russia.  Known by various names but mostly by her Russian stage name which translated into English was “Mulatto Sharpshooter,” Hobson captivated elite audiences from St. Petersburg … Read MorePearl Hobson (1879- ?)

Langston Hughes’ Visit to the Soviet Union (1932-1933)

Langston Hughes (Left) With Two Unidentified People in Turkmenistan, 1932 Image Ownership: Public domain In June of 1932, poet Langston Hughes, political activist Louise Thompson, and 22 other African American artists, filmmakers, and actors, traveled to the Soviet Union (USSR) to create a film about African American life in the American south. The film, … Read MoreLangston Hughes’ Visit to the Soviet Union (1932-1933)

James W. Ford (1893-1957)

Communist Party Presidential Campaign Poster, 1932 with image of James Ford as the Vice Presidential Candidate. Image Ownership: Public domain James W. Ford was Special Organizer of the Communist Party’s Harlem, New York section and the most prominent black Communist in the nation during the 1930s and early … Read MoreJames W. Ford (1893-1957)

Afro-Asian Writers’ Conferences (1958-1979)

W.E.B. DuBois Greeting Unidentified Delegate, Afro-Asian Writers’ Conference, Tashkent, Soviet Union, 1958 Image Ownership: Public domain The Afro–Asian Writers’ Conferences were a series of gatherings of literary figures from Asia and Africa that took place over two decades to denounce imperialism and to establish cultural … Read MoreAfro-Asian Writers’ Conferences (1958-1979)

Zhou Enlai’s African “Safari” (1963-1964)

Zhou Enlai’s first tour of Africa, popularly known as Zhou’s “Safari,” was a series of state visits to ten independent African countries, undertaken between December 1963 and February 1964 by the Chinese Premier. These visits, which occurred during a period when many countries were gaining … Read MoreZhou Enlai’s African “Safari” (1963-1964)

Rosângela Cristina Oliveira Santos (1990- )

Image Ownership: Public domain Rosângela Cristina Oliveira Santos is a track and field sprint athlete who competes internationally for Brazil, specialising in the 100 and 200 meter sprints. Born to Brazilian parents in Washington D.C., on December 20, 1990, she contracted pneumonia as a baby and was one year old … Read MoreRosângela Cristina Oliveira Santos (1990- )

Mohammed Ali “Nicholas” Said (1836-1882)

Image Ownership: Public domain Mohammed Ali “Nicholas” Said, an enslaved African from Bornu in what is now northeastern Nigeria, traveled through Europe to the United States. He was born in Kouka, Bornu, the thirteenth of nineteen children to Barca Gana and his wife, Dalia, in … Read MoreMohammed Ali “Nicholas” Said (1836-1882)