The Blind Boys of Alabama (1939 – )

In 1939 during the Jim Crow era, baritone Clarence Fountain, bass Johnny Fields, baritone and guitarist George Scott, baritone Ollice Thomas, and tenor Velma Trayler, all elementary school students attending the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind and singing in its glee club, formed an … Read MoreThe Blind Boys of Alabama (1939 – )

José Manuel Jiménez Berroa (1855–1917)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Concert pianist, composer, and music conservatory director José Manuel Jiménez Berroa was born on December 7, 1855, into a musical family in Trinidad, Cuba, a city on the central coast known for its mainly African-descended population, sugar mills, and tobacco production. … Read MoreJosé Manuel Jiménez Berroa (1855–1917)

Negro Musicians’ Union, Local 493, Seattle

Also known as the Negro Musicians’ Union, Local No. 493 was formed in 1913 in Seattle. During this time period, locals across the country, under the banner of the American Musicians Federation (AMF), decided to encourage black musicians to form their own unions rather than … Read MoreNegro Musicians’ Union, Local 493, Seattle