“This is Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong,” the voice resounds, “talking to all the kids from all over the world at Christmastime.” With that, the trumpeter and singer tucks into a lyrical, buoyant reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” He hews to the words but makes them his own in a voice that glitters with joy. When the 69-year-old describes Santa’s “little round belly /that shook when he laughed like a bowl of jelly,” he breaks into a wheezy giggle that sounds like a truck rumbling to life at a green light.
Tag Archives: African American History
You Can Thank Horticulturist Booker T. Whatley for Your CSA
Last spring, farms across the country saw a surge in demand for their CSA programs, with signups and waitlists that flourished at rates not seen before. As families sheltered in place at home and farmers’ markets either closed or ran under tight restrictions, more people turned directly to local farms to guarantee food for the months ahead. Some farmers even introduced home delivery options to bring the boxes directly to consumers’ doors.
The History of Violent Attacks on the U.S. Capitol
On Wednesday, far-right insurrectionists stormed and occupied the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. The mob forced lawmakers to flee for safety, smashed windows, vandalized offices and posed for photos in the House chambers. One woman died after being shot by law enforcement, an officer with the U.S. Capitol Police died from injuries sustained during the fighting, and three other people died from medical emergencies during the riot, reports CNN.
How a Black Fireman Brought a Pole Into the Firehouse
In the 19th century, American firefighters had two ways of descending from their sleeping quarters to their horse-and-buggy conveyances on the ground floor: either by spiral staircase—installed to keep wayward horses from wandering upstairs—or through a tube chute, similar to the enclosed slides you see at playgrounds today. The stairs were cumbersome and the slides were slow, and in the 1870s, David Kenyon of Company 21, an all-African-American firehouse in Chicago, had an epiphany. Continue reading How a Black Fireman Brought a Pole Into the Firehouse
The Long, Painful History of Police Brutality in the U.S.
Last month, hours after a jury acquitted former police officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter in the shooting death of 32-year-old Philando Castile, protesters in St. Paul, Minnesota, shutdown Interstate 94. With signs that read: “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace,” the chant of “Philando, Philando” rang out as they marched down the highway in the dark of night. Continue reading The Long, Painful History of Police Brutality in the U.S.
For Turn-of-the-Century African-Americans, the Camera Was a Tool for Empowerment
Regal would be the best way to describe the photograph of Mary Church Terrell. Delicately swathed in lace, satin and crystals, the charismatic civil rights activist is seen in profile. The front of her tasteful Gibson pompadour is dappled with light and her face is illuminated as if a single ray of sun had parted the clouds in the sky. It’s a highly flattering image of the D.C. activist and suffragist, and Terrell thought so herself. Continue reading For Turn-of-the-Century African-Americans, the Camera Was a Tool for Empowerment
How Business Executive Madam C. J. Walker Became a Powerful Influencer of the Early 20th Century
For Madam C.J. Walker, a new life began when she decided to find a cure for her own hair loss. Her ailment would become the impetus for a large, multi-faceted, international company that sold hair care products—including an inventive vegetable shampoo that she developed—and that offered training to women both as hair stylists and as sales representatives. Continue reading How Business Executive Madam C. J. Walker Became a Powerful Influencer of the Early 20th Century