Did you miss BlackProGen LIVE Episode 83? Don’t worry you can check out parts 1&2 below.
“In 2018, The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) opened the The National Memorial for Peace and Justice which memorializes more than 4,400 African American men, women, and children who were hanged, burned alive, shot, drowned, and beaten to death by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. Episode 83 will feature the family history of some of the victims documented in the memorial in an effort to humanize and bring light to their lives outside of a tragic event they have been associated with.”
I visited Galveston back in February and came across the Juneteenth plaque.
Photo obtained via Ancestry.com
Last night I was doing a research and came across the Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves; Volume: I; State: Alabama (click here )Compiled by the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, there are over 2300 individual accounts of slavery, and 500 photos of former slaves. Information may include surnames of interviewees, birthplaces, ages, parents names, former slave owners, and interview location.
I found Mr. Abe Whitess on page 423 he was born in Mississippi and worked on Colonel Rupert’s plantation in Butler County, Alabama after he was freed. Mr. Whitess moved down to Bay Minette, Alabama. I have a large portion of family down there so of course, I wanted to know a little bit more about him. Mr. Whites worked odd jobs and became the chairman of the republican party, according to his interview. Mr. Whitess even owned 14 acres of land, he donated part of his land to open a part Douglasville, the area of Bay Minette he resided in, for a public road. After doing that the people pf the community, mostly African American dubbed Mr. Whitess the “Mayor of Douglasville”. I plan to read more interviews, I find their stories really interesting and it gives me a glimpse into what life was like for an enslaved person.
Checkout Mr. Whitess’ interview below.
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves; Volume: I; State: Alabama
Missed the Who Do You Think You Are? Checkout these two full episodes
Aisha Tyler’s journey reveals an ancestor who, as a politician, struggled to keep his illegitimate son a secret. Against all odds, her 2x great-grandfather exemplifies bravery and determination during one of America’s most tumultuous eras of racism.
Tracing his patriotic roots, Scott Foley finds a relative who risked his life for one of America’s founding fathers, and an ancestor who suffered unspeakably during one of this nation’s darkest times.
Did you know? Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.(1912-2002) is remembered for many things: Being the first Black Air Force General, leading the Tuskegee Airmen flight squadron and standing up to the military establishment in advancing the cause of Black soldiers. For more information on Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. click here
Did you know? On this day February 23rd, 1979, Frank E. Peterson Jr.(1932-2015) Was named the 1st black general in the Marine Corps. For information on Frank E. Peterson Jr click here
Did you know? Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor (1878 – 1932) “was an American cyclist who won the world one-mile track cycling championship in 1899 after setting numerous world records and overcoming racial discrimination. Taylor was the first African-American athlete to achieve the level of world champion and only the second black man to win a world championship-after Canadian boxer George Dixon”. For more information on Marshall Walter Taylor click here
Did you know? Wendell Scott was a pioneer in the sport of auto racing as the first Black full-time driver on the NASCAR circuit. Acting as a driver and his own mechanic he gained the admiration of fans and fellow drivers through his grit and determination to be successful in a sport deeply-entrenched in the Jim Crow south.
Wendell Oliver Scott (August 29, 1921 – December 23, 1990) was an American stock car racing driver. He was the first African-American driver in NASCAR, and the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series, NASCAR’s highest level. For more information on Wendell Scott click here
Did you know? The African Company was the first known black theatre troupe. In 1816, William Henry Brown (1815-1884), a retired West Indian steamship steward, acquired a house on Thomas Street in lower Manhattan, New York. He offered a variety of instrumental and vocal entertainments on Sunday afternoons in his tea garden, attracting a sizeable audience from the five boroughs of New York City.
In 1821, Brown moved to Mercer and Bleeker Street into a two-story house with a spacious tea garden. He converted the second floor into a 300-seat theatre and renamed the enterprise The African Grove Theatre. Opening the season with a performance of Richard III (21 September 1821), the company mounted productions ranging from Shakespeare, to pantomime, to farce. Brown followed with Tom and Jerry; or, Life in London; The Poor Soldier; Othello; Don Juan; and Obi, or, Three-Finger’d Jack.
Brown also wrote and staged the first African American play, The Drama of King Shotaway (1823), a historical drama based on the Black Carib war in St. Vincent in 1796 against both English and French settlers. The Company’s principal actors were James Hewlett (1778-1836), the first African American Shakespearean actor; and, a young teenager, Ira Aldridge (1807-1865). For more information on the African Company click here