December 0

Blog Archive

Sat, 10.04.2021

Linda Hopkins, Singer,and Actress born

*Linda Hopkins was born on this date in 1924. She was a Black actress and blues and gospel singer. Born Melinda Helen Matthews in New Orleans, Louisiana, the second child of the Reverend Fred Matthews, Sr. and Hazel Smith, Hopkins grew up in the section of New Orleans known by the locals as “Zion City”. […]

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Wed, 31.03.2021

Williams and Walker debuts

*Williams and Walker stage show is celebrated on this date in 1898. The twosome George Walker and Bert Williams were two of the most renowned figures of the minstrel era. They debuted in New York at the Casino Theatre. Their act, “The Gold Bug” consisted of songs, a dance that focused on Walker trying to […]

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Wed, 31.03.2021

The ‘Howard Players’ are formed

*On this date in 1911 “The Howard Players” began.  They are the on-campus theatrical organization at Howard University.   Historically, their groundwork began years before that by Coralie Franklin Cook who taught elocution at Howard in the 1890s. Such was the beginning of the intensive study of public speaking and been a voice for the […]

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Sat, 27.03.2021

James Hewlett, Stage Actor and Singer born

*The birth of James Hewlett is celebrated on this date in 1778. He was a Black actor, a tailor and waiter who also performed on-man shows.  From the British West Indies, he was a servant boy for actor George Frederick Cooke and learned to imitate his actions and attitude.  He was principal actor in and […]

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Thu, 25.03.2021

Mamie Hilyer, promoter of classical music born

*Mamie Hilyer was born on this date in 1863.  She was a Black pianist and promoter of classical music.   Mamie Elizabeth Nichols was born in the District of Columbia.  An accomplished pianist she was an ‘active member of the city’s Black upper class‘. Hilyer became a devoted champion of ‘good music’ and its cultivation […]

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Thu, 25.03.2021

Lawrence Winters, Opera Vocalist born

*Lawrence Winters was born on this date in 1915.  He was a Black opera singer who had an active international career from the mid-1940s through the mid-1960s.   Lawrence Lafayette Whisonant was from King’s Creek, South Carolina.  He began to study singing privately before entering Howard University in 1941, where he studied singing with Todd […]

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Sun, 21.03.2021

Martina Arroyo Classical Vocalist born

*Martina Arroyo was born on this date in 1936.  She is an Afro Puerto Rican operatic soprano and educator.  She was born in New York City, the younger of two children of Demetrio Arroyo, originally from Puerto Rico, and Lucille Washington, a native of Charleston, South Carolina. Her older brother is a Baptist minister. The family lived in Harlem near St. Nicholas Avenue and 111th Street. Her […]

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Sun, 21.03.2021

Julia Perry, Classical Composer born

*Julia Perry was born on this date in 1924.  She was a Black classical composer and teacher. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Julia Amanda Perry studied voice, piano and composition at the Westminster Choir College 1943–48. It was there that she received her B.M. and M.M. She continued on to her graduate studies at Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood and then later studied at the Juilliard School of Music. […]

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Tue, 16.03.2021

The Ethiopian Serenaders begin

*The Ethiopian Serenaders are noted on this date in 1840.  From Boston, they were a white-American blackface minstrel troupe successful in the 1840s and 1850s. Through various line-ups they were managed and directed by James A. Dumbolton and are sometimes mentioned as the Boston Minstrels, Dumbolton Company or Dumbolton’s Serenaders.  The group was formed in […]

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Tue, 16.03.2021

Master Juba, Minstrel pioneer born

*The birth of Master Juba is celebrated on this date in 1825.  He was a Black stage entertainer specializing in dance and was one of the first publicly recognized Black performers in America.  Born William Henry Lane in Providence, RI, he began his career in the saloons and dance halls of the Five Points neighborhood […]

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

North of Dark North of Shango In kangaroo jungle of West Lost Dressed in hide of fox Dressed at last to kill Thirteen grains of sand Seven memories ... MEDICINE MAN by Calvin Hernton.
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