Black Composers and Musicians in Classical Music History

Utilizing the research of Professor Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, historian William J. Zick in the article below provides vignettes which comprise an overview of various composers and musicians of African ancestry who performed in Europe, North America, and Latin America … Read MoreBlack Composers and Musicians in Classical Music History

Working the Quincy Mill: African American Lumber Mill Workers in Northern California, 1926-1955

Economic opportunity motivated millions of early 20th Century African Americans to leave the segregated South.  Most of the people of the Great Migration found better jobs and better pay in northern factories in World War I and western defense industries in World War II.  However, … Read MoreWorking the Quincy Mill: African American Lumber Mill Workers in Northern California, 1926-1955

Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback (1837-1921)

Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback was born on May 10, 1837 to parents William Pinchback, a successful Virginia planter, and Eliza Stewart, his former slave. The younger Pinchback was born in Macon, Georgia during the family’s move from Virginia to their new home in Holmes County, … Read MorePinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback (1837-1921)

Huddie (Leadbelly) Ledbetter (1888-1949)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Huddie Ledbetter was born January 15, 1888, on the Jeter Plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana. He was an only child who quickly became interested in music when he received his first instrument (an accordion) from his uncle Terrell. In 1903at the age … Read MoreHuddie (Leadbelly) Ledbetter (1888-1949)

Deacons for Defense and Justice

Charles Sims holding Ku Klux Klan Clothing © Bettmann/Corbis On July 10, 1964, a group of African American men in Jonesboro, Louisiana led by Earnest “Chilly Willy” Thomas and Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick founded the group known as The Deacons for Defense and Justice to protect … Read MoreDeacons for Defense and Justice