Def Jam Records (1984- )

Def Jam Records, created by hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons, is one of the most successful black-owned record labels in the history of the United States.  Its success and influence on music and popular culture are paralleled only by Motown Records in the 1960s and 1970s. … Read MoreDef Jam Records (1984- )

Jermain Wesley Loguen (1813-1872)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Jermain Wesley Loguen was born into slavery on February 5, 1813, in Tennessee.  His mother was owned by Loguen’s father and master.  In 1834, Loguen escaped from bondage and fled to St. Catherine’s, Ontario, where he stayed there briefly before finding … Read MoreJermain Wesley Loguen (1813-1872)

African Company / African Grove Theatre

The African Company was the first known black theatre troupe. In 1816, William Henry Brown (1815-1884), a retired West Indian steamship steward, acquired a house on Thomas Street in lower Manhattan, New York. He offered a variety of instrumental and vocal entertainments on Sunday afternoons … Read MoreAfrican Company / African Grove Theatre