Ornette Coleman (1930-2015)

Image Ownership: Public Domain It may be impossible today to understand fully the shock and outrage which alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s 1959 arrival in New York caused within the jazz community.  Coleman’s innovations freed his quartet from traditional structures of form, chordal harmony, tonality, and … Read MoreOrnette Coleman (1930-2015)

Chloe Anthony Wofford “Toni” Morrison (1931-2019 )

Born Chloe Anthony Wofford on February 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio to parents George and Ella Ramah Wofford, novelist Toni Morrison grew up in a working-class family.  She received a B.A. from Howard University after majoring in English and minoring in the classics.  Wofford earned … Read MoreChloe Anthony Wofford “Toni” Morrison (1931-2019 )

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)

The 1928 Bunion Derby: America’s Brush with Integrated Sports

In the following account sports historian Charles Kastner describes the Bunion Derby, the 1928 cross country footrace that captured the nation’s attention in the spring of 1928 and the remarkable group of black runners who participated in that event. For a detailed discussion of the … Read MoreThe 1928 Bunion Derby: America’s Brush with Integrated Sports