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*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 […]learn more
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.learn more
Amanda Randolph was born on this date in 1896. She was an African American actress.learn more
This date marks the birth of Ethel Waters in 1896. She was an African American entertainer, vocalist, and actress.
Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, Waters went to New York City in 1919 after singing and dancing on the East Coast and the Southern vaudeville and cabaret circuit. Due to her slender appearance, she was billed as Sweet Mama String-bean. In 1921, she cut two songs for Cardinal Records and became the first artist to release a blues record on the Black-owned Black Swan label, recording “Down Home Blues” and “Oh Daddy.”learn more
*Tressie Souders was born on this date in 1897. She was a Black maid and film director. Theresa Ann Souders was born in Frankfort, Kansas, the only child of Robert Souders and Leuvenia Ann Bryant, African American natives of Kentucky who emigrated to Kansas, like others from the South to the American West due to […]learn more
*This date marks the birthday of Moms Mabley, born in 1897. She was a Black vaudeville performer and comedian, the first Black woman to establish herself as a single act in standup comedy in America.learn more
*Black history in American cinema is celebrated on this date in 1898. These are films made by, for, or about Black Americans. Historically, African American films have been made with African American casts and marketed to African American audiences. The short movie Something Good – Negro Kiss was created in 1898. Early commercial films often depicted minstrel […]learn more
Lillian Randolph was born on this date in 1898. She was an African American actress.
Born in Louisville, KY, she and her older sister Amanda were very successful stage and film performers. Her guest star roles include: “Here Comes the Bride” and “There Goes the Bride” (1972); “Sanford and Son” as Aunt Hazel; “Tenafly”as Aunt Gertrude (1973); “The Six Million Dollar Man” as Landlady; Clark Templeton O’Flaherty (1975); “The Jeffersons” as Emma — Mother Jefferson’s Birthday (1976).learn more
Ruby Dandridge was born on this date in 1899. She was an African American entertainer.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Ruby Jean Butler was the daughter of Nellie Simmons and George Butler. Her father was born in Jamaica in 1860 and came to the United States when he was a child. George Butler was a janitor at the Union National Bank, as well as a minister, a grocer, a school principal, and an entertainer, appearing before both Black and White audiences. Not much is known about her mother, Nellie, except that she was born in 1870, and had a mixed heritage of Spanish and Indian.learn more
*Elmer Snowden was born on this date in 1900. He was a Black jazz musician and bandleader. Elmer Chester Snowden was born in Baltimore, MD. to Gertrude Snowden, and had a brother, James. His mother worked as a laundress, but by the time of the 1917 World War I draft registration of 1917, a month before his 17th birthday, he was […]learn more
*On this date in 1901 Mantan Moreland was born. He was an African American actor.
From Monroe, Louisiana, Moreland ran away to join the circus at age 12, had success for many years in vaudeville. Eventually his career came to Hollywood, where he appeared in hundreds of movies. Moreland’s artistry and face are familiar to most fans of classic Hollywood. “Charlie Chan” TV fans know him as Birmingham Brown, chauffeur to the great detective in a number of pictures for the Monogram studio but those films are but a small portion of his creative output.learn more
*This date recalls the birth of Louise Beavers in 1902. Known for her character roles, she was an African American film and television actress.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Beavers first drew attention as part of an act known as the “Lady Minstrels.” Despite her theatrical abilities and inclinations, she went to Hollywood, not as a performer, but as the maid of actress Leatrice Joy. She soon, however, appeared on the silver screen, making her feature debut in Gold Diggers (1923). She continued to act in such other silent films as Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1927).learn more
On this date in 1902, Step’n Fetchit was born. He was an African American actor known for his stereotypical film portrayal of Black minstrel characters.learn more
*Vivian Harris was born on this date in 1902. She was an African American Comedian, Chorus Girl and Longtime “Voice of the Apollo.”learn more
*Dick Campbell was born on this date in 1903. He was a Black actor, theater advocate, and community activist. Born Cornelius Coleridge Campbell in Beaumont, Texas. Orphaned at the age of six, he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Pauline Snow. He worked as a janitor at his local high school, prior to attending […]learn more