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People, Locations, Episodes

Fri, 09.12.1873

Madame Sul-Te-Wan, Actress born

Madame Sul-Te-Wan, an African American actress, was born on on this date in 1873. Wan was the first Black woman contracted to appear in one of the most controversial films in American Cinematic history, “Birth of a Nation.”

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Fri, 01.22.1875

D. W. Griffith Film Director born

*On this date in 1875, “D. W.” Griffith was born.  He was a white-American film director.   David Wark “D. W.” Griffith was born on a farm in Oldham County, Kentucky, the son of Jacob Wark “Roaring Jake” Griffith and Mary Perkins.  His father was a Confederate Army colonel in the American Civil War who was elected as a Kentucky state legislator.  Young Griffith was raised as a […]

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Sat, 05.25.1878

Bill Robinson, Dancer born

On this date in 1878, Bill Bojangles Robinson was born. He was an African American tap dancer and entertainer.

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Tue, 05.04.1880

Richard S. Roberts, Photographer born

The birth of Richard Samuel Roberts in 1880, an African American still photographer, is celebrated on this date.

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Sun, 08.22.1880

George Herriman, Cartoonist born

*George Herriman was born on this date in 1880. He was an African American cartoonist whose comic strip Krazy Kat has been said by many to be America’s greatest cartoon.

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Mon, 04.18.1881

Noble Johnson, Actor, and Producer born

Noble Johnson was born on this date in 1881. He was a nineteenth century African American actor and producer.

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Wed, 01.02.1884

Filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux born

On this date we recall the birth of Oscar Micheaux in 1884. He was an African American novelist, businessman, and pioneer filmmaker who was best known for his dramatic movies about Black life.

He was born near Murphysboro, Illinois. At the age of 17, Micheaux traveled to Chicago, where he worked as a shoeshine boy and Pullman porter. In 1904, he bought a homestead in South Dakota where the frontier environment gave him a generous amount of material for several of his most important books and movies.

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Fri, 12.09.1887

Tim Moore, Actor born

On this date we celebrate the birth of Tim Moore, an African American actor and entertainer, in 1888.

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Mon, 10.14.1889

Clarence Muse, Pioneer Film Actor born

On this date, we mark the birth of Clarence Edouard Muse, born in 1889 in Baltimore. He was an African American lawyer, writer, director, composer, and actor.

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Fri, 07.14.1893

Spencer Williams, Jr., Film Actor Director and Producer

Spencer Williams Jr. was born on this date in 1893. He was an African American film and TV actor and director.

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Mon, 06.10.1895

Hattie McDaniel, Actress born

This date marks the birthday of Hattie McDaniel in 1895. She was an African American actress, one of the greatest American character actresses.

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Sun, 10.20.1895

Rex Ingram, Stage, Film and TV Actor born

Rex Ingram, an African American actor, was born on this date in 1895.

He was born on a houseboat on the Mississippi River near Cairo, IL, when his mother, who was on her way home from a visit with relatives in Natchez, MS, went into labor.

The son of a riverboat fireman, Ingram is said to have grown up working with his father on the steamer Robert E. Lee. He enrolled in Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, in 1912, where he became the first black man to earn a Phi Beta Kappa key at the school.

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Tue, 10.29.1895

George P. Johnson, Media Pioneer born

*George P. Johnson was born on this date in 1885.  He was a Black businessman, journalist and pioneer in Black cinema.  George Perry Johnson and his brother Noble Johnson were raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  George attended Hampton Institute, in Hampton, Virginia, before moving to Oklahoma, where he worked at one of the region’s early […]

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Sun, 07.19.1896

Juano Hernández, Actor born

*Juano Hernández was born on this date in 1896.  He was an Afro Puerto Rican stage television and film actor.   He was born Juan G. Hernández in San Juan, Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican father and an Afro Brazilian mother. With no formal education, he worked as a sailor and settled in Rio […]

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Sun, 07.26.1896

Evelyn Preer, Black Actress born

Evelyn Preer was born on this date in 1896. She was an African American actress and singer.

She was the oldest of three children born to Frank and Blanche Jarvis in Vicksburg, MS. When her father died, she and her mother migrated to Chicago where she completed grammar and high school. Vaudeville provided her early training as a performer as well as “street preaching” for her Apostolic mother who was trying to help raise funds to build an Apostolic Church for Blacks.

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

When Willie Mae went down to the barber shop to visit her boyfriend who cut hair there I went with her. Walking beside her on the street the men said... CHOOSING THE BLUES (for S. Brandi Barnes) by Angela Jackson.
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