black history month

  1. Eleanor Rose

    They Found Their Voice Through Their Writing

    When we think of 19th century America, the Civil War and slavery come to mind. American slavery was designed to break the spirits of black people even as they worked to make America a global economic superpower. A key in the oppression of black slaves was the slave-owners’ deliberate attempt...
  2. lelliott19

    From Slavery to Union Soldier: Pleasant Whitely Escapes Slavery in Virginia to Join the Union Army 43rd USCT

    * "When I enlisted I gave my name as Philip Pleasant. My slave name was Pleasant Whitely. I took the name Philip from my uncle, who was named Philip Thompson. Since the war I have been known and called Pleasant Whitely." Pleasant Whitely was born in Bedford County, Virginia, around 1845. He...
  3. Eleanor Rose

    Joseph Douglass: A Groundbreaking Musician

    Frederick Douglass with grandson Joseph. Circa 1893 from the Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American collection. Joseph Douglass was a groundbreaking African-American concert violinist and the grandson of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass. His talent is sometimes attributed to Frederick...
  4. luinrina

    Life of a Slave Girl - Harriet Jacobs

    "Patient in tribulation, fervent in spirit serving the Lord" Part 1 Harriet Ann Jacobs was born on February 11, 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina. Her mother was Delilah Horniblow, her father Elijah Jacobs, a skilled carpenter. She had a younger brother named John. They were all slaves...
  5. Eleanor Rose

    The Power of a Name

    Angel Oak Plantation, July 1849. Slaves typically remained nameless from the time of their capture until their purchase by American masters. To show contempt for Slaves, the captors used “Buck” and “Wench” for naming the genders till they became trade terms, like “Filly” and “Shoat.” Contempt...
  6. Eleanor Rose

    Jumping the Broom: Slave Ritual Meets Couture

    It is said that broom jumping comes from an African Tribal Marriage Ritual of placing sticks on the ground representing the couple's new home together. I have also read that the spray of the broom represents all of us scattered and the handle represents the Almighty who holds us together. Today...
  7. Eleanor Rose

    Groundbreaking Cinema In 1898

    Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown embrace in the 1898 film 'Something Good-Negro Kiss.' (Courtesy of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.) 'Something Good‑Negro Kiss' is the title of an 1898 film that was just recently discovered. Dino Everett, an archivist at the University of Southern California...
  8. Jimklag

    Been Working On The Railroad - New York Times Article

    For Black History month, here is a story from the NY Times of one man's railroad experience. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on New Year’s Day in 1838 on Vincent A. Marmaduke’s plantation in Westmoreland County, Va., about 80 miles south of Washington. The county was home to the Washington...
  9. JPK Huson 1863

    Sojourner Truth, " Ain't I A Woman? ", 6 Feet Of All Our Truths

    Sojourner's portrait from her 1853 book by Olive Gilbert, forward by Harriet Beecher Stowe, " Narrative of Sojourner Truth, Northern Slave " Sojourner Truth is a huge reason the later women's rights movement has never violently interested me. Her most famous speech " Ain't I a Woman ? " was...


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