Happy Birthday Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters

 

McKinley Morganfield was born, April 4, 1915, in a small town in Issaquena County, Mississippi.  This is the smallest populous county east of the Mississippi River with census count as of 2010 at 1,406 people. He grew up on the Stovall Plantation sharecropping.  Morganfield got his nickname “Muddy Waters” from playing in the mud puddles by the Mississippi River.  He started with the harmonica at 5 years.  By the time he was 17 years old he was playing the harmonica and guitar.

In1941 Morganfield was discovered by Alan Lomax and another music archivist from the Library of Congress, traveling the back roads of Mississippi looking for the legendary Robert Johnson.  They recorded two of Morganfield’s songs and lit a fire in the ambitious young man.  He will leave Mississippi for Chicago two years later to become a blues singer better known as “Muddy Waters.” He will join the ancestors on April 30, 1983 in Chicago,
Illinois.

 

Special Thanks: Munirah Chronicle

 

Pearl Bailey

bailey1

1918 – Pearl Mae Bailey is born in Newport News, Virginia.  She will
achieve tremendous success as a stage and film actress,
recording artist, nightclub headliner, and television
performer. Among her most notable movies will be “Porgy and
Bess” and “Carmen Jones” and she will receive a Tony Award
for her starring role in an all-African-American version of
“Hello Dolly.” Bailey will be widely honored, including
being named special advisor to the U.S. Mission to the
United Nations and receiving the Presidential Medal of
Freedom. She will join the ancestors on August 17, 1990.

Black History February 22 Black Postmaster Lynching

mrsfrazerbaker

This is the story of 40 year old Frazier Baker, a school teacher that was appointed postmaster of Lake City, SC who was lynched.  The federal government appointed Blacks in certain areas of the south as postmasters as part of the reconstruction period.  Unfortunately, this did not please the local whites.  White folks were so outraged; a white mob attacked Frazier and his wife and kids.  On February 22, 1898 Frazier and a daughter was killed.  His wife Julia and another child was wounded and barely escaped.

A white South Carolina senator made the statement that the fine white people of Lake City refused to receive their mail from a “nigger.”  So, those fine white folks at 1am decided to set the post office on fire that also was where Frazier and wife and children called home.  Frazier was unsuccessful when he tried to put out the fire and when they opened the door the white mob fired at them.  His wife Julia was holding their 2 year old in her arms when the child was shot and killed.  He was so furious that he swung the door open and died from a hail of bullets.  The rest of the family took flight and hide in bushes until the fire died down and the gun shots stopped.

Julia and the children who escaped went to a neighbor for help.  One daughter had been shot in the arm and Julia was wounded by the same bullet that killed her 2 year old daughter.  They went untreated for days.  The news of this lynching was received with condemnation.  Ida B Wells-Barnett argued that this lynching is a federal matter because Frazier was appointed to postmaster by President McKinley.  Federal government investigated and tried those involved but the all-white jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared and the men were never tried again.

The men who were tried for the lynching and murder of the Bakers is listed below:

Alonza Rogers

Charles D. Joyner

Edwin Rogers

Ezra McKnight

Henry Goodwin

Henry Stokes

Marion Clark

Martin Ward

Moultrie Epps

Oscar Kelly

W. A. Webster

 

Black History February 15th

shadrach_minkins_for_sale

 

1851 – African American abolitionists invade a Boston courtroom and
rescue a fugitive slave from federal authorities. The fugitive,
Shadrach Minkins was about his job as a waiter in Boston when
United States federal officers showed up at his workplace and
arrested him.  Minkins had escaped from slavery in Virginia
the previous year. An act passed by Congress in 1850, the
Fugitive Slave Law, had just been enacted, allowing slave
holders to enlist the aid of the federal government in
recapturing runaway slaves. The Minkins case is to be an
early test of the new law. Within a few hours of his arrest,
Minkins is brought before a federal commissioner. But as he
is being led from the courtroom, a group of Boston African
Americans overpower the guards and free him. He immediately
disappears and is never seen in Boston again. With the help
of the Underground Railroad, Minkins will travel north through
New Hampshire and Vermont, crossing into Canada six days after
his rescue. Out of reach of the U.S. government, Minkins will
settle in Montreal, marry an Irish woman and raise two children
before his death in 1875.  Minkins’s rescue will come to
symbolize the spirit of resistance to the legal institutions of
the slave system.

Charles Lenox Remond

Orator, Activist, and Abolitionist

 

remond

February 1, 1810 – Charles Lenox Remond is born in Salem, Massachusetts to free parents.  He will become one of the most prominent of the African American abolitionist crusaders. Charles Remond will begin his activism in opposition to slavery while in his twenties as an orator speaking at public gatherings and conferences in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New York and Pennsylvania. In 1838 the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, will choose him as one of its agents. As a delegate  from the American Anti-Slavery Society, he will go with William  Lloyd Garrison to the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London  in 1840. He will have a reputation as an eloquent lecturer and  reported to be the first Black public speaker on abolition. He will recruit Black soldiers in Massachusetts for the Union  Army during the Civil War, particularly for the famed 54th and  55th Massachusetts Infantry. He will also be active in recruiting  for the U.S. Colored Troops. After the Civil War ends, he will  work as a clerk in the Boston Customs House, and as a street lamp inspector. He will later purchase a farm in South Reading (now  Wakefield), Massachusetts. He will join the ancestors on December 22, 1873.