African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Monday, February 28, 2005

Gerontology sleuths search for 'supercentenarians'

Monday, February 28, 2005 By Jeffrey Zaslow, The Wall Street Journal SEAL BEACH, Calif. -- Marion Higgins can recite the alphabet backwards, a skill she says her father taught her in the 1890s. She clearly recalls her first train trip, which she dates to 1895, and her first barnstorming airplane ride in 1923. Her memories are marvelous, but can she prove she's really 111 years 244 days old? It turns out she can, which for investigators at the nonprofit Gerontology Research Group makes her a real find _ what they call "a validated supercentenarian." To join this club, one must be 110 or older. As of today, there are 61 documented living members in the world. GRG's 40 volunteers _ a loose, international network of demographers, gerontologists, epidemiologists and self-styled "hobbyists" _ are dedicated to verifying the ages of the world's oldest people, and to learning the secrets of their longevity. But to do so, they must contend with dishonest schemers, governments that gleefully support false claims and what researchers call "the invisible barrier of 115." Full Story:

Hopes shrinking for theme park

By RODDIE BURRIS Staff Writer A thousand black schoolchildren visited the Battle of Aiken re-enactment over the weekend, learning about and experiencing the Confederate way of life during the Civil War. The odds that those black students will ever get to explore a thematic Reconstruction Era history park in Beaufort County have gotten much slimmer since last year. Legislation that would have given the green light to a $350,000 study of six unique historical sites associated with Reconstruction in the South died in Congress in December. Reconstruction was the immediate post-Civil War period between 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, and 1876, when the last federal troops were withdrawn from the South. It is one of the richest periods in black history. The Reconstruction Era saw passage of: • The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ending slavery • The 14th Amendment, granting blacks civil rights • The 15th Amendment, which gave blacks the right to vote. Full Story:

Friday, February 25, 2005

Tewksbury to celebrate role of its historic churches

By DENNIS O’NEILL Contributing Writer TEWKSBURY TWP – Four historic Tewksbury Township churches will be showcased this weekend as part of the township’s 250th anniversary celebration. This Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. the four churches- Zion Lutheran Church, Fairmount Presbyterian Church, Cokesbury United Methodist Church, and Fairmount United Methodist Church- will each host presentations celebrating the significant roles they have played in Tewksbury’s history. The program is part of Tewksbury’s yearlong series of events marking the township’s founding in 1755.“How do you tell the story of a community, without telling the story of its community of faiths,” said the Rev. Mark Summer, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in the Oldwick section of the township. “The two are bound together.”Historic TreasuresMary Elizabeth Young of Califon, who serves on the Celebrate Tewksbury in 2005 Committee, encourages visitors to discover the four historic treasures. “We all pass these buildings everyday, and so many people have never been inside these beautiful structures,” said Young. “This is a great opportunity to visit our churches and discover their rich history.”At Zion Lutheran Church, Rev. Summer will host a historical talk and walking tour of the building. Church artifacts will be on display, including a gallery of former pastors - most notably, Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, known as “the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America.” The church’s bell choir will also perform, led by parish musician Rod Briscoe.Among the church’s historic highlights is its compelling origin.Established on August 1, 1714, it is not only the oldest church in the township, but also the oldest Lutheran church in New Jersey. Its first worship was held in the home of Aree van Guinee, a freed slave from Dutch Guinea, Africa. Justus Falckner, the first Protestant minister ordained in America, led the first worship where he confirmed Guinee’s wife and children, and baptized Guinee’s first grandchild. “About a third of the initial membership of Zion Lutheran Church was freed slaves,” Rev. Summer said. Full Story:

CALL TO ACTION: Cosby wasn't first to urge blacks to work hard, mentor others and raise responsible children, but is the message getting through?

February 25, 2005 BY RUBY L. BAILEYFREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF A Southern preacher traveled the country in the 1950s, encouraging blacks to speak standard English, spend wisely and lower the black-on-black crime rate. Those things, said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., were the keys to integration and self-sufficiency. By the time King reached downtown Detroit in 1963 to preview his "I Have a Dream" speech, Tijuana Morris says, King had moved far from his message of hard work and self-dependence. "We need to stop asking about why other people aren't doing things for us," says Morris, 49, of Detroit. "We were never a people who had to lean so heavily on others, and we shouldn't be that now." Morris thinks the salvation for many African Americans who seem to be losing their way can be found in the history of a people who wore belts, spoke proper English, took any job and valued education above all. Her father, William Penn Morris, was a sharecropper in the South with a sixth-grade education. He moved to Detroit after serving in World War II. He supported his family on a city garbage collector's salary. In 1996, he died at age 87. Full Story:

The Appalling Indifference to the History of Free Blacks

By Anita L. Wills Ms. Wills is a writer, researcher, and genealogist, and author of the book, Notes and Documents of Free Persons of Color: Colonial Virginia, 1650-1850 (March 2003). "We reside among you and yet are strangers; natives and not citizens; surrounded by the freest people and most Republican Institutions in the world and yet enjoying none of the immunities of freedom though we are not slaves we are not yet free." -- Memorial of the Free People of Color, African Repository, December 1826, Baltimore MDAfrican American History month is a month in which Americans celebrate the history of people of African descent. It is a sharing of a culture long ignored by the dominant society. Yet much of the history begins and ends with the Civil War. Little is written about Free Blacks, or Free Persons of Color, a group who made significant contributions to American History. A country's unbiased history should include all of the players, not just those with whom society is comfortable. Black historians ignore this group claiming they made no significant contributions. While other historians treat them as if they were either white or black. The race issue continues to overshadow any achievement this group made. The racial designations in Colonial Virginia and Pennsylvania were many, Mulatto, Negro, Colored, Free Black, Free Person of Color. They were designations assigned by white male dominated courts to so-called minority populations. Full Story:

Monday, February 21, 2005

Author to reveal story of African slave’s journey to Aberdeen

By Cameron Simpson, February 21, 2005 HE worked as manservant for Sir Richard Burton. But Selim Aga is about to become a star in his own right.His remarkable story has been uncovered by James McCarthy, the Scots author of several works on Africa. He is close to completing a novel on Selim, a slave brought to live at Murtle House at Peterculter, just outside Aberdeen. Sir Richard in this adventurous tale is not the actor but the famous African explorer, notorious for his general contempt for Africans. Ironically, he called his manservant ''The most excellent Selim". McCarthy said: "I believe Selim's is the most remarkable of Scottish slave stories, given that it is not from the Atlantic trade, but uniquely from the Muslim world. One informed correspondent in California opines that it could make a film. There are acres of print on Burton, but no-one so far has pursued the story of his manservant and no-one has made the connection with a specific location in Scotland." Born in Sudan around 1827, Selim was captured at the age of eight by northern Arabs and endured a 2000-mile journey to a slave market at Cairo.McCarthy said: "What is astonishing is that 14 years later, while still in his early twenties, he was lecturing to fashionable audiences in the heart of London to accompany the very popular Panorama of the Nile, a moving tableau and precursor to the cinema, all in fluent English, albeit with a pronounced Aberdeenshire accent. Full Story:

Pastor aims to put church, community "on the map"

Published in the Asbury Park Press, 02/21/05


With the high-speed pace of modern suburban life, most of the residents living in the quiet and almost rustic southwest corner of the township, near the Millstone boundary never stop to consider the unassuming white building on the edge of Woodville Road they drive by every day.The Rev. Raymond E. Thompson Sr. wants to change that. But he is the first to admit it will not be an easy task.The one-room white building is the still-active St. James African Methodist Episcopal church, built by freed slaves in the 1830s. In Manalapan, only the Old Tennent Church is older. But St. James A.M.E. receives much less attention, as its congregation consists of about 50 people in the entirely black community of Woodville, once nicknamed "Little Africa."

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

Faith in the grove: Abolitionist's ideals tied future Eureka to Lincoln

By Guy C. Fraker Slowly over the next 20 years, additional settlers came to the area. These settlers scattered throughout the Grove. It was common for early settlers to settle in the groves for three reasons. First was shelter from the elements that were harsher out on the prairies. Second was access to the timber, the only source of building materials and fuel. Even later when bricks became a common building material, wood was required to fuel the kilns. Third was that the settlers surmised that the soil was better in the timber because trees grew there and they did not grow out in the prairies. There was no town in the Grove until the town of Eureka was platted in 1855 by John Darst, one of the original members of the Board of Trustees of Eureka College. Like so many other entrepreneurs around Central Illinois during this era, he located the town in anticipation of the coming of the railroad; the railroad being the Peoria and Oquawka. Full Story:

Slavery's Unchained Melodies

Spirituals, or 'Sorrow Songs,' Find a Reverent New Voice By Neely TuckerWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, February 20, 2005; Page D01 Tucked inside a rectangular folder, hidden in the deep recesses of the Library of Congress, rest a few crumbling pages of paper. Librarian Samuel Perryman sets the sheets on a table. "This is a first edition and I don't know if it was reprinted," he says. "When this one evaporates, that may be it." The yellowed rectangles of paper are one of the few remaining editions of 1872's "Jubilee Songs," one of the nation's first printings of slave songs, also known as Negro spirituals -- what folklorists call one of the most unique and enduring bodies of work in American music. The weathered songbook was published by Nashville's Fisk University for its Jubilee Singers, most of whom were freed slaves. Today, it has little or no binding left. Many of the few dozen pages are not attached to the rest, hence the folder. Full Story:

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Few African Americans in Solano 150 years ago

History column by Nancy Dingler The 1850 census listed 962 African Americans in California. Unfortunately, it does not break down how many were free or how many were considered slaves.Out of this number, 580 resided in Solano County.Many slave owners saw the California Gold Rush as a chance to extend slavery into Western territory. They felt little risk in bringing small numbers of slaves to California because they believed that the National Fugitive Slave Law, passed as part of the Compromise of 1850, would support their claims.Some slaves brought to California were given the opportunity to gain freedom through arrangements with slaveholders. Some were allowed to purchase freedom for themselves and family members, while others gained release from bondage by working for a specific period of time Full Story:

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Trail at Montpelier will offer tourists a unique walk back in time

New trail will give visitors to Orange's Montpelier a path to history Date published: 2/17/2005 MATTHEW REEVES picks his way through small saplings on the trail, stopping occasionally to mark a branch with red tape. It doesn't look like much on a winter morning dappled with snow, but by spring, this roughly mile-long loop at Montpelier will offer two new insights about the estate in Orange County that was once home to President James Madison. It will be called the McGowan-Gilmore interpretive walking trail, and will focus on two very different groups that occupied adjacent sites across State Route 20 from the Montpelier mansion. The first: Civil War troops, including Confederate Gen. Samuel McGowan's South Carolina brigade, which camped on the site in 1863 and 1864. The second: a restored cabin at the end of the trail that once belonged to George Gilmore, a slave born on the Montpelier plantation who later established a small farm there after being emancipated. After the Civil War, he eventually bought the property from Dr. James A. Madison. Full Story:

Black history in Florida, worldwide on display

By MILLIE LAPIDARIO, Staff Writer Last update: February 16, 2005 As a young girl in the pre-World War II era, Violet Gordon remembers sitting at the library, reading The Pittsburgh Courier and The Chicago Defender. They were two of the most popular black newspapers and in her generation, taking a firm stance for civil rights when many resisted. In the 1930s, The Pittsburgh Courier protested against the radio serial "Amos 'n' Andy," a comedy where two white actors mimicked black characters. And in the mid-twentieth century, The Chicago Defender's passionate editorials against Jim Crow laws seemed to play a major role in the black migration from the South to the North. When Gordon, now a Palm Coast resident, became a stenographer with the first black union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in the 1940s, she realized just how important those two newspapers were. Full Story:

Utah's black pioneers

Jill Fellow DAILY HERALD In 1838, a 10-year-old black boy was given as a wedding present to James and Agnes Flake in North Carolina. He went by the unusual name of Green and, according to custom, took the surname of his white slave owners. Later, after moving to Mississippi, Green Flake's life intersected with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the family converted to the faith. Green was a teenager when he migrated west with Brigham Young to settle in the Salt Lake Valley. Flake family folklore suggests that Green drove the very wagon from which Young is alleged to have uttered the famous words, "This is the right place. Drive on." After Green built a cabin in the valley, he walked back to Nebraska to guide the Flakes to their new home in the Utah territory. He was one of 100 black pioneers to make the historic journey west in the mid-1800s. Though he died in 1903, he will be among a group of five black pioneers who will be accepted as honorary members of the Brigham Young chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers on Thursday. Full Story:

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

USING ROOTSWEB: In Search of African American Root

One wintry February evening James ROBINSON decided to rent a DVD (Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) to watch. The weather forecast was for more than a foot of snow, so he decided on the mini- series "Roots." Based on the book by Alex Haley, it first appeared on television in 1977 -- before James was even born. After all, February is Black History month in the U.S. and James figured it would be a good chance to learn about the experiences of his ancestors. He knew the storm could result in his being snowbound long enough to warrant his investment of time in viewing the mini-series as opposed to a shorter movie. There was a strong oral tradition that had been passed down from generation to generation in James' family but until the night he gathered his young family together to watch "Roots," he'd never really considered attempting to supplement the family stories with actual documentation. The family watched the mini-series with intense attention and were deeply moved by what could have been their ancestors' life stories. To say that James was now motivated to learn the facts surrounding his own family history would be an understatement, but he didn't know where to begin. This looked like it might be a starting point but would there be any special help there for tracing African American roots? James suspected his search would not be an easy one. He knew he might be dealing with finding slave owner names and that he'd be attempting to trace a history when often only first names would have been used by his ancestors. Moreover, James really didn't know how his family had come to use the surname ROBINSON but he wanted to find out. James clicked on a link for African American information in the RootsWeb Guide:

Monday, February 14, 2005

Building Blocks

The 1100 block of Good Hope Road, in the heart of Anacostia, is a scarred piece of land. A broken clock hangs above the entrance of a boarded-up liquor store. Weeds and graffiti have overtaken the dilapidated row houses next door. Around the corner, barbed wire and a chain-link fence protect a hodgepodge of vehicles at a small construction company. But this rundown tract is also being watched as one measure of whether a hoped-for revival of Anacostia is finally taking root -- something D.C. officials insist will follow from the proposed new baseball stadium in Southeast, development of the Anacostia River waterfront, and construction of a new building for the D.C. Transportation Department Source:

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A community in transition

Freedmen's Town, an area settled by emancipated slaves, is trying to reconcile progress with preserving its history By LORI RODRIGUEZ Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle On Sundays in what was once called Freedmen's Town, blacks across Houston stream into churches that have held sway since the Civil War. Ladies wear hats. Worshippers belt out hymns. Preachers tend flocks that have dwindled in size if not spirit. One parish is down to eight congregants. Emancipated slaves settled this area, now prime real estate west of downtown, and built a thriving, self-contained community. But its face has changed. Today, the neighborhood is no longer all black. But even with a steady influx of middle-class white residents, neither will it totally gentrify. After decades of passionate political debate, a new Fourth Ward identity is emerging. Some think the change is for the good. Others feel a loss. Everyone knows it's inevitable. Full Story:

Indiana ancestors

February 13, 2005 The fourth edition of "Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina from the Colonial Period to about 1820," by Paul Heinegg, is an expansion of the third edition. That work won the American Society of Genealogists' Donald Lines Jacobus Award for the best work of genealogical scholarship published between 1991 and 1994. His works have been honored as this generation's greatest achievement in black genealogy. This two-volume edition contains 1,045 pages, has 350 detailed genealogies in alphabetical order, traces about 20 families living in South Carolina (where original source materials are scarcer than in the other two states), furnishes documentation for primary and secondary sources, and lists 10,000 African-Americans in the full-name index in Vol. 2. Full Story:

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Black soldiers in WWII broke down racial barriers

February 12, 2005 By the 1940s, several singular figures had upset the myth of racial superiority in the United States. The intellect of W.E.B. DuBois, the rhymes of Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes, and the athletic grace of Jack Johnson and Jesse Owens were hard to ignore. But for ordinary blacks, life was not improving. Jim Crow laws had disenfranchised the three-quarters of blacks who lived in the South, the Ku Klux Klan was thriving, and many careers were still closed to minorities. Only with World War II did things finally begin to change. Complete Story:

Friday, February 11, 2005

Army rights wrong to first African-American chaplain

By Eric Cramer. February 10, 2005 WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 10, 2005) -- More than 100 years after the court-martial of Chaplain Capt. Henry Vinton Plummer, the Army redressed a wrong and issued an honorable discharge to the first African-American to be commissioned a chaplain in the Army.Maj. Gen. David H. Hicks, U.S. Army chief of chaplains, said it was time the Army corrected its error.“I am personally gratified that the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records, after 114 years, has restored Chaplain Capt. Henry Plummer to his rightful and deserved place in the history of the United States Army Chaplaincy,” Hicks said. “This action makes me proud of the Army in its willingness to right former injustice by granting his honorable discharge in recognition of his many years of selfless service, both before and after 1894.” Complete Story:

Bush Urges End to Racism, Celebrates Black History Month

Published: Friday, February 11, 2005 President Bush welcomed Black leaders to the White House Tuesday and said as the nation celebrates Black history month, the United States cannot effectively promote freedom abroad if it continues to hold "the baggage of bigotry" at home. Bush made his remarks in a ceremony celebrating black history month. The event marked the second time Bush has made an effort to reach out to the African-American community since winning re-election.Last month, Bush met with the Congressional Black Caucus and vowed to work with the group on its agenda for closing racial disparities, fighting HIV/AIDS in the Black community, and securing more economic opportunity for the poor. Activists Dorothy Height, the great great grandson of Frederick Douglas, Frederick Douglas IV, actress Cicely Tyson and members of the original Tuskegee Airmen attended Tuesday's event. During his speech, Bush harked back on many of the themes from his inaugural address, in which he vowed to help spread freedom and democracy across the globe. "As I said in my inaugural address, we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time," Bush said. "Success of freedom on the home front is critical to its success in foreign lands." Bush spoke of the importance of Black History Month and said it is important for today's children to understand this nation's past struggles with granting equality to all its citizens. Full Story:

Ford program will honor local African Americans

February 11, 2005 BY MELANIE D. SCOTT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER Ford Motor Co. and the Ford Employees African Ancestry Network are sponsoring their 24th annual Black History Month program honoring several prominent local African Americans. Ester Gordy-Edwards, founder and chief operating officer of the Motown Museum, and Booker T. Dozier, a community leader and youth mentor, will receive Heritage Awards. The event begins at 6 p.m. today with the presentation and a keynote addresses from Juan Williams, an editorial writer for the Washington Post, and Ford Motor Co. Chief Operating Officer William Clay Ford Jr. Complete Story:

Black History Month a multicultural affair

By Christie Ileto February 11, 2005

The Northwestern Community Ensemble was created in 1971 after a long push to create the Gospel group -- and Tiffany Beard wants the NU community to remember this struggle. "Our goal is to keep as much passion and commitment as when it was first established in 1971," said Beard, a Communication junior and president of NCE. The gospel choir will perform its winter concert with various artists March 5 at Cahn Auditorium as part of Black History Month. The concert is just one way NU will celebrate this year's theme for Black History Month, "Black Movements, Looking Back While Reaching Forward."

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Uncle Tom was a real person; his cabin is in Canada

Feb 07, 05 11:12 am DRESDEN, ONTARIO - 'When my feet first touched the Canada shore, I threw myself on the ground, rolled in the sand, seized handfuls of it and kissed them and danced around, till, in the eyes of several who were present, I passed for a madman.'- Josiah Henson Harriet Beecher Stowe, a small-town Connecticut woman whose family was known as the "Beecher preachers" for their long lineage of ministers, was so appalled by slavery, she penned a story about one fugitive slave's life and called it "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Her novel was based largely on the autobiography "The Life of Josiah Henson Formerly a Slave." Full Story:

Celebrating African-American churches and their contributions

By Catherine Hudgins 02/08/2005 In last month's column I spoke about the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and emphasized the relevance and importance the church played in his life. While King was a minister, so were his father and brother. And through his life experiences, both America and the world were positively affected by the legacy of the African-America church. The African-American church has played a pivotal role for social progress and organization among African Americans and has provided a vehicle to develop a circle of support. Because of its center as a meeting place, the African-American church, early on, functioned as more than a "House of God." The church was forced to assume additional responsibilities and, thus, became a central institution. Full Story:

TV Series Explores Impact of Slavery on US History

By Barbara Schoetzau New York11 February 2005

In honor of Black History Month, public television stations across the United States are showing a new series chronicling the history of slavery and its economic impact on the United States. Much of the new information in the series grew out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The four hour series, Slavery and the Making of America seeks to dispel myths and highlight little known facts by interweaving scholarly commentary with narration by movie star Morgan Freeman as actors dramatize scenes from history. The opening hour of the series focuses on Africans brought to the colony of Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. James Horton, professor of American Studies at George Washington University, is co-author of the companion book to the series. He says many people are surprised to discover the first African immigrants were not slaves, but were indentured servants.

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Students learn black history through reading

A group of Easton elementary and middle school students received quite an education Monday about the contributions of African-Americans to today's society. Helen Keller Middle School, Samuel Staples Elementary School and the Easton Public Library participated in the 16th National African-American Read-in-Chain, an initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English. The purpose of the event was to introduce students to African-American culture and its literary contributions. The library staff brought a large selection of books by and about African-Americans to the Helen Keller media center. Along with the Media Center's collection, students had more than 500 titles to browse. Full Story:

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Series on slavery deftly demystifies a complex issue

The four installments provide good balance and nuance while keeping the story moving in a clear fashion Sunday, February 06, 2005 MARTY HUGHLEY S lavery was bad. That seems so obvious a point, one so widely accepted among the people of the world today, that to think it needs reiterating is nearly comic. But it isn't enough for us to know that there was injustice and brutality at the heart of slavery. To have a real understanding of America -- its history and its values, its economic growth and social order -- it's important to know more about slavery in America and its development and dimensions. In the words of James Oliver Horton, a professor at George Washington University, "Slavery was no side show in American history -- it was the main event." Horton is one of more than two dozen respected scholars weighing in on that main event in "Slavery and the Making of America," a four-part PBS series. Full Story:

History: Doubly Divided: The Racial Wealth Gap

Doubly Divided: The Racial Wealth GapBy Meizhu Lui, Executive Director of United for a Fair EconomyOriginally Publiched by BlackCommentator.comThe vast racial gap in wealth is the product of centuries of easily documented U.S. public policy, yet willful denial of this history allows the debate over wealth disparities to revolve around bogus questions of culture. In effect, the myriad crimes of the U.S. government against Native Americans, Blacks, Latinos and Asians – policies designed to transfer wealth to whites – are to be forgiven, while the consequences of those crimes are laid at the feet of the victims. United for a Fair Economy annually documents existing disparities in wealth, most recently in its report, State of the Dream 2005. Meizhu Lui, a former president of Boston’s AFSCME Local 1489, is executive director of United for a Fair Economy. We are honored to present her thorough and compelling article, first published by her group’s Racial Wealth Divide Project. – Full Story:

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Companies launch historic collaboration to digitize black newspapers, create portal

By Hays Goodman Associate Editor The raging tornado that clawed its way up the banks of the muddy Mississippi river on May 7, 1840, couldn’t have hit at a worse possible time. River traffic was high on a Friday afternoon and the massive storm was wide enough to deal death on both sides of the water. The “official” death toll is listed at 137 to this day, but it’s extremely doubtful that even one African American death was noted in the tally for the day’s newspapers. Even 50 to 80 years later, in many parts of the country, white newspaper owners did not record the deaths of African Americans. So-called “black newspapers” have since grown up over the years to become powerful record keepers of a segment of society sometimes relegated to the sidelines by the mainstream media. Full Story:

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Web site traces African-American migration

NEW YORK (AP) -- At the start of Black History Month, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture announced the creation of an education project focusing on black migration over the past 400 years. The project, which includes a new Web site, will give the public access to articles, photographs, maps and historic documents -- including a letter from President Lincoln in which he writes about sending blacks to Haiti. Entertainer Harry Belafonte, who got his start in a basement theater at the original Schomburg center in Harlem, said Tuesday that the "In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience" project will help people learn about the "profound impact the African-American has had in shaping the culture and history" of the United States. Full Story:

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

In the name of Equality: Lowcountry honors Black History Month

By GEOFF ZIEZULEWICZ The Beaufort Gazette Bernie Wright has watched Black History Month evolve during his 57 years and remembers when the monthlong celebration of achievement in the black community was observed during more perilous times. In the middle of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Wright, now Penn Center's executive director, and countless others were so busy securing rights for future generations that honoring the black icons of America who came before them took a back seat. "There wasn't as much emphasis placed, because we had so many other issues to deal with," Wright said Monday. "There were sit-ins and demonstrations and more pressing matters." More than 30 years after the 1960s, a decade that marked the blossoming of the civil rights movement, Black History Month has evolved into a time for Americans across the country to learn and take pride in the black heroes of the past, who overcame countless adversities in the name of equality. Source: