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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 29,534

About Me

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.

Journal Archives

Harlem scenes from Meropolis 1939. Restored outtakes.

From National Archives Youtube Channel. Restored outtakes from METROPOLIS 1939. This rare footage shows Harlem street scenes, residents of the Harlem River Houses, and construction of the Queensbridge Houses, circa 1939. Assumed to be in the public domain.

This is the whole documentry, only 18 minutes and well worth the viewing.


A View of Historic Harlem That's Not on the Walking Tour

A View of Historic Harlem That’s Not on the Walking Tour


Soldiers march in the Marcus Garvey Parade, 1924CreditCreditJames Van Der Zee/Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

By Rebecca Carroll

Feb. 28, 2019

It’s easy to think that you know Harlem — a place with an iconic history, where movements were born, parades were protested, and that black Americans called mecca. Even if there weren’t countless movies, poems, art, spoken lore and books about Harlem, you could visit it today and still feel a lingering sense of that history, despite the gentrification tsunami that has washed over all of New York City.

The Lincoln Grill, 1926.CreditJames Van Der Zee/Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Travelers Restaurant, circa 1935.CreditJames Van Der Zee/Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

James Van Der Zee was deft at capturing a kind of marriage between the place and the person.CreditJames Van Der Zee/Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Seventh Avenue, now known as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, circa 1941.CreditJames Van Der Zee/Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Members of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks participate in a parade in 1931.CreditJames Van Der Zee/Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

I get the impression that white hatred for A/A wasn't about A/A not becoming a part of American culture but that A/A had embraced the culture too well. A/A were not living down to racist stereotyplification.
Posted by marble falls | Sun Mar 3, 2019, 09:54 AM (6 replies)

In honor of the talks in Hanoi ...


Black History day 28 - Faces of courage: The Courageous 12

Faces of courage: The Courageous 12



ST. PETERSBURG –One Sunday morning while on patrol, Officer Leon Jackson of the St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) spotted a car barreling its way across Central Avenue, haphazardly swerving over the centerline, running red lights and even slamming against the curb.

Jackson flipped on his patrol car’s flashing lights and gave chase. The driver refused to stop, making Jackson pursue him all the way to the corner of Central and 66th Street, where the chase ended outside a strip mall.

As he stepped out of his cruiser and approached with caution, Jackson was aware that there wasn’t a soul stirring anywhere on the street—he was completely alone. So as to keep an advantage over whatever he was about to face from the driver’s side of the unknown car, Jackson stayed back and to the side, taking care not to walk up level to the window.

When Jackson came close enough to get a look inside, he observed a shiny object in the front seat by the driver. Shining his flashlight into the window, he saw it was a .357 magnum.
He kept his cool. He simply took his own gun out of the holster and instructed the man: “Don’t move. If you move, I’m going to shoot you.”

With his free hand, Jackson opened the car door and the man practically fell out. He was drunk.

Had this incident taken place only a few years before it did, Jackson, an African-American officer, would not have been allowed to arrest the law-breaking driver, simply because he was white. He wouldn’t even have been permitted to patrol Central Avenue.

In 1965, Jackson, along with black officers Adam Baker, Freddie Crawford, Raymond DeLoach, Charles Holland, Robert Keys, Primus Killen, James King, Johnnie B. Lewis, Horace Nero, Jerry Styles and Nathaniel Wooten filed a landmark lawsuit against the city for discrimination on the force.

For refusing to accept the status quo, for going head-to-head with the system and for ultimately opening the door of opportunity for future generations of black officers, they came to be known collectively as the courageous 12.


When Jackson was assigned to the police academy, it was the first integrated classroom he had ever attended with over 20 white cadets and two African Americans—Keys and Jackson. After graduating from the academy, Jackson began his career as a policeman. Though officers King and Crawford had warned Jackson of the segregation within the department, he soon saw firsthand the discrepancies between the way whites and blacks were treated.

African-American police officers could not work at the front desk. They couldn’t drink out of the same water fountains as the white officers. Black officers’ lockers were separate from those of the white officers, by the back door.

Black officers also could not take the sergeant exam for promotion, as promotions were “nonexistent” for black officers, Jackson explained. There was one black sergeant, he recalled, who was in charge of the black officers. And though a sergeant, he could not supervise the white officers.

“Half police officers”

“Black police officers could not investigate complaints from whites,” Jackson said. “Black police officers could not arrest whites.”

They were assigned to work only in the so-called “colored area” of the city and were only allowed to investigate complaints from the black community. They were never assigned to Central Avenue or the Williams Park areas.

For example, Jackson and his fellow black officers had to walk the beat on one of the roughest streets in the city, Jackson said, namely the 22nd Street South corridor, which was lined with bars and clubs, known as “Zone 13.” Sometimes the officers patrolled in pairs and sometimes by themselves. Altercations between them and rowdy residents were common. The violent weekend scuffles were so frequent that the officers had to change clothes more than once during a shift, as their shirts were at times torn right off.

When the monthly assignments were posted, many times the white officers would throw jabs at Jackson such as, “You don’t have to look at the monthly assignments because you know where you’ll be working,” Jackson recalled.

Sometimes the taunts were more direct.

“When you’d come into the locker room you’d hear all kinds of racial slurs, racial jokes, racial remarks and all that,” he said.

Black officers even found the word “NIGGER” spray-painted on their lockers. Jackson said the culprits wouldn’t have cared if they had been caught.

“And if you complained about it, there was nothing going to be done,” Jackson said, admitting that the white sergeants and lieutenants simply looked the other way.

And if they caught a white person in the act of breaking the law?

“Our hands were kind of tied,” Jackson stated, “because of how the system was.”

Some of the “old-timer” officers told Jackson even if they had tried to issue white motorists tickets for infractions such as running a stop sign and the motorist in turn complained about it at the station, the black officers would be reminded by their superiors that it was generally understood that they shouldn’t harass whites. Technically, the black officers were expected to radio for a white officer to come to the scene.

And with the system being what it was, Jackson and his fellow black officers garnered little if any respect from some of the white community. While cruising in his patrol car one day, he recalled pulling up next to white lady with her children in the car. The kids were waving at Jackson and talking to him and naturally he waved back at the youngsters. The lady, visibly unhappy that her children were speaking to a black officer, remarked that her children always speak to police officers and they even speak to the “nigger” ones.

Jackson said nothing to her comment, waited for the traffic light to change, and moved on.
Not only did black officers not receive the respect that was their due as lawmen from whites, but also a part of the very community they were assigned to serve regarded them with mistrust and contempt.

“A lot of them would say we were ‘half police officers,’” Jackson said. “Because they would say, ‘You can’t arrest whites, you can’t give white people a ticket, but you can give black people tickets. You’re half police officers!’”

And basically they were right, Jackson conceded, because his own authority as a policeman was limited. These same black residents even viewed the officers as turncoats to their own people. Jackson recalled arresting a black man once, only to hear him say with scorn: “You’re nothing but a traitor! You’re nothing but a snitch! You can’t arrest whites! I wouldn’t have the job if I couldn’t arrest whites!”

These black officers were caught in the middle. Between the derision from blacks and the disrespect from whites, it sometimes took its toll on them as human beings, as they were just trying to do their jobs.

“It wore on me,” Jackson admitted, “but then again, I didn’t think of quitting or anything because I expected that from them, and to me it became routine.”

In hindsight, Jackson believes it was lucky they had the jobs after all because of what they were
able to accomplish when they decided to take action.

Taking on the system

Of the 15 black officers in the department, Jackson and 11 other uniformed officers had been holding meetings amongst themselves in their homes, and had planned to take their complaints to the chief. Three of the officers—a sergeant and two detectives—had refused, saying they wanted no part of it.

“My theory is they didn’t want to rock the boat,” Jackson said. “And sometimes you have to rock the boat to get it started.”

The officers approached Chief Harold Smith with the complaint that they were only allowed to patrol the black area of the city and felt that they should be allowed to patrol all over St. Pete.

“We told him that it’s not that we didn’t want to work in the black area,” Jackson said, “but we wanted to be able to work in the entire city. We told him that white police officers could work any section of the city they wanted to work, but we were isolated to just a black neighborhood to work.”

The group of 12 officers also complained that promotion was nonexistent for them. Where white officers were promoted on a regular basis, black officers could not even take the sergeant’s exam. They complained that their arrest authority was limited to just one race, whereas white officers could arrest anyone. The black officers could only investigate complaints from one race, they also pointed out.

The chief told the officers that the reason they were always assigned to the same area was that the department believed they could handle the black neighborhood better than the white officers. But he failed to mention that white officers were also allowed to patrol Zone 13. These white officers didn’t walk the beat, but patrolled the area from their cruisers.

They met with Smith two separate times, and each time the chief told them that he’d get back with them. After getting no results, the group asked for a third meeting. Smith refused to meet with them anymore.


Baker said that they’d need to hire a lawyer, Jackson recalled. Baker had known James B. Sanderlin to be a good civil rights lawyer. So Crawford and Baker met with Sanderlin at a drug store and told him that they had all voted to file a lawsuit against the police department for discrimination, and wanted to know if he’d be their lawyer.


On May 11, 1965, the lawsuit was officially filed at the federal court in Tampa, and a group of black officers taking on the department did not sit well with some of the other white policemen.
“They were upset, they were angry,” Jackson said. “We lost friendships with some of those guys. Some of them stopped speaking to us.”

Some were more direct in their disgust, telling the black officers that they should be kicked off the force, or worse, that they never should have been police officers. They felt Jackson and the others were against them. Some white officers even went so far as to say that if Jackson and the others found themselves in trouble and calling for back up, they would simply not respond and leave them to their fate.

“We weren’t against them personally,” Jackson explained. “We were against the system.”
Yet some of the white officers, Jackson noted, were supportive even though very few were openly so for fear of retaliation or being ostracized themselves. Crawford agreed, saying “there were some good guys.”

Nearly a year after the officers put the suit in motion; they went to court on two different days, March 31 and April 1, 1966. Here they received support from fellow policeman Bob Stokes, a white officer who spoke on their behalf and testified—in front of the chief of police who was present in the courtroom—that the black officers were not being treated fairly.

Attorney Frank Peterman, Sr., who took on the intrepid lawsuit along with Sanderlin, couldn’t recall ever taking on a similar case up to that point.

“I think it was precedent-setting for the nation, to some extent,” affirmed Peterman, Sr., now 78. Despite opposition that they knew would come their way—he admitted he even received threats from the Ku Klux Klan—he believed they could win because they had faith in the judicial system.

“We were dedicated to justice.”

In the end, they lost the case.

But Sanderlin wasn’t done. He urged them to appeal. The officers had bankrolled the lawsuit themselves and told him they simply didn’t have any more money. Here the attorney suggested they contact the NAACP for assistance in their plight. The organization indeed stepped up and took on the costs, and on August 1, 1968, the appeal was successful.

The court awarded them a victory.

A department unified

The result was integration in the police department, and black officers were allowed to patrol the entire city. Even lockers for black and white officers were side by side.

In November 1968, Jackson was the first black officer assigned to the police van that investigated accidents. The white officer whose job it was to train Jackson told him flat out that none of the other white officers would agree to work with him, a black man. But nonetheless, Jackson still managed to open the door that had been heretofore slammed shut to black officers.

In spring of the following year, Jackson became the city’s first black officer assigned to an all-white neighborhood in northeast St. Pete. He patrolled the area on his own and didn’t have any problems from the white residents who simply respected him as an officer of the law.

“I was firm,” he said. “I was fair.”


Jackson believes there is no doubt that the actions of the Courageous 12 helped black officers in the ensuing years reach many goals that were once thought unattainable. After the decision, black officers were patrolling neighborhoods all over the city and were in time earning promotions.

“That lawsuit paved the way for a lot of Africa-American officers,” he attested.

Peterman, Sr. believes that the suit served as a precedent for other officers to organize against racially biased systems that denied them equal opportunities.

A few years after the court decision, a group of black officers in Tampa filed their own lawsuit for discrimination.

In the late 1970s, Goliath Davis III was a young field-training officer with the SPPD. He had been mentored and trained by men from the Courageous 12 and worked his way up to the director of training.

When the department began recruiting for more officers in the early 1980s, Davis was in a perfect position to continue diversification efforts. He hired four young African Americans to join the police department: Cadets Cedric Gordon, Al White, Mike Washington and Lawanda Odom, the first black female cadet.

After 33 years of service, Gordon retired as an assistant chief of police and White retired as a sergeant on September 11, 2013. Washington later moved to another city to become a federal probation and parole officer and Odom just recently retired from SPPD.

Davis III went on to become St. Pete’s first African-American police chief in 1997. Four years later, Mayor Rick Baker appointed him deputy mayor. In 2014, Mayor Rick Kriseman appointed Anthony Holloway, the second African-American chief of police.

“The Courageous 12 did a lot for the organization, and many of today’s officers are standing on the shoulders of the ones that came before them. Those men blazed the trail for them to be accepted, and they need to appreciate that and always reach back to help others,” said Davis.
Baker once noted that through the watershed struggle it was always “us against the world, not us against them,” and Jackson agrees.


Crawford, who went on to work as Director of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations in Miami-Dade County, is quick to give much credit to Jackson, who continues to carry the torch by giving speeches and granting interviews about the Courageous 12 and their part in the civil rights struggle.

Jackson served on the force until 1972. He is honored to be one of the Courageous 12 and to be recognized by so many officials and organizations, such as Mayor Rick Kriseman, Faith Memorial Baptist Church and Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. He is also proud to have paved the way for not only African-American police officers in St. Pete, but African-American police officers in the entire nation.

“Those police officers are now standing on our shoulders,” Jackson said, “because of what we did.”

To reach Frank Drouzas, email fdrouzas@theweeklychallenger.com

Black History day 27 - The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis


The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male[a] was an infamous and unethical clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service.[1][2] The purpose of this study was to observe the natural history of untreated syphilis; the African-American men in the study were told they were receiving free health care from the United States government.[3]

The Public Health Service started working on this study in 1932 in collaboration with Tuskegee University, a historically black college in Alabama. Investigators enrolled in the study a total of 600 impoverished, African-American sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama. Of these men, 399 had previously contracted syphilis before the study began, and 201 did not have the disease.[2] The men were given free medical care, meals, and free burial insurance for participating in the study. The men were told that the study was only going to last six months, but it actually lasted 40 years.[2] After funding for treatment was lost, the study was continued without informing the men that they would never be treated. None of the men were told that they had the disease, and none were treated with penicillin even after the antibiotic was proven to successfully treat syphilis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told that they were being treated for "bad blood", a colloquialism that described various conditions such as syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. "Bad blood"—specifically the collection of illnesses the term included—was a leading cause of death within the southern African-American community.[2]

The 40-year study was controversial for reasons related to ethical standards. Researchers knowingly failed to treat patients appropriately after the 1940s validation of penicillin was found as an effective cure for the disease that they were studying. The revelation in 1972 of study failures by a whistleblower, Peter Buxtun, led to major changes in U.S. law and regulation on the protection of participants in clinical studies. Now studies require informed consent,[4] communication of diagnosis, and accurate reporting of test results.[5]

By 1947, penicillin had become the standard treatment for syphilis. Choices available to the doctors involved in the study might have included treating all syphilitic subjects and closing the study, or splitting off a control group for testing with penicillin. Instead, the Tuskegee scientists continued the study without treating any participants; they withheld penicillin and information about it from the patients. In addition, scientists prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs available to other residents in the area.[6] The study continued, under numerous US Public Health Service supervisors, until 1972, when a leak to the press resulted in its termination on November 16 of that year.[7] The victims of the study, all African American, included numerous men who died of syphilis, 40 wives who contracted the disease, and 19 children born with congenital syphilis.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, cited as "arguably the most infamous biomedical research study in U.S. history",[8] led to the 1979 Belmont Report and to the establishment of the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).[9] It also led to federal laws and regulations requiring Institutional Review Boards for the protection of human subjects in studies involving them. The OHRP manages this responsibility within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).[10]

On May 16, 1997, President Bill Clinton formally apologized on behalf of the United States to victims of the experiment.

Black History day 26 - Amelia Boynton: taking a stand, risking her life


103-year-old activist: I was almost killed fighting for freedom


It was the sickening image that woke up the world to the brutality that gave birth to the civil rights struggle: a God-fearing, middle-aged woman lying helpless and unconscious on the side of the road. She had been savagely beaten with clubs. Then, a helmeted law enforcement officer pumped tear gas into her throat before leaving her for dead. Or, as the racist sheriff callously put it, “for the buzzards to eat.”

Newswires flashed the shocking March 7, 1965, pictures of Mrs. Amelia Boynton across the globe. Every major newspaper and TV network carried them. And the message was loud and clear: This is what America does to blacks who dare make a stand.


“I wasn’t looking for notoriety [when we marched],” recalls Boynton Robinson, during an interview with The Post at her home. “But if that’s what it took [to get attention], I didn’t care how many licks I got. It just made me even more determined to fight for our cause.”

She might not have been well enough to attend the Atlanta preview of the film, but she’s confident it will accurately portray the tense period when the civil rights battle concentrated on her former town of Selma. At the time, even though they made up half of the population, only 1 percent of blacks were entitled to vote, because of literacy tests, the preposterous bureaucracy it took wading through to register, plus the payment of a poll tax well beyond their means. They also lived in fear of the murderous Ku Klux Klan, which ruled the surrounding area, victimizing anyone it believed was disrupting the status quo of white rule.


“The blacks would gather downtown from the outlying farms every Saturday, like it was a big picnic,” recalls Boynton Robinson, a native of Savannah, Ga., who settled in Selma after marrying in the 1930s. “But there were so many restrictions — you weren’t allowed to drink from the ‘white’ water fountain, and police officers would pace the streets, pushing the colored people with cattle prods.

“They were so frightened and conditioned to be subservient, they’d just move out of their way.”

In the spirit of King’s nonviolent approach to protest, Boynton Robinson helped organize the first of three marches from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery. The aim was to call for Gov. George Corley Wallace to loosen obstructions that prevented African-Americans from voting.


“There was this line of state troopers, like tin soldiers, with billy clubs, wearing gas masks,” remembers Boynton Robinson, who was 53 and newly widowed at the time of the protest. “And the order came: ‘Go back to your churches or your homes.’

“Then they charged. They came from the right. They came from the left. One [of the troopers] shouted: ‘Run!’ I thought, ‘Why should I be running?’ Then an officer on horseback hit me across the back of the shoulders and, for a second time, on the back of the neck. I lost consciousness.” She later found out that another cop stood over her body, pumping tear gas into her eyes and mouth from a canister. She was eventually left for dead. Mercifully, a young man in the crowd saw signs of life and dragged her to the safety of an ambulance.

Boynton Robinson was beaten unconscious by police officers during a civil rights march in Selma on March 7, 1965. “It had been raining, so I was wearing a plastic rain cover over my head, which slipped over my mouth,” says Boynton Robinson, who suffered throat burns but is convinced the plastic rain cover shielded her from the worst of the gas. Despite her injuries, she took part in the two subsequent marches, on March 9 (accompanied this time by King) and March 25, when the protesters finally achieved their goal of reaching Montgomery.


As for the future, Boynton Robinson is building up her strength to appear at the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in March 2015. “I’ll be there,” she says, determinedly. “And I’ll be holding my head up high.”

There is an ongoing appeal to help keep Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson in her own home and fund her round-the-clock caregivers. Donations can be made to Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson, P.O. Box 333, Tuskegee, Ala. 36087. For more information, visit villageofhopetuskegee.com.

Just saw Peter Frampton play the elevator version of this song and now I need the real doctor ...

Watch out where the Russkies go, don't you eat no greenish snow ...

What Russia's green snow reveals about the rise of pollution


Incidents of snow turning green and black are causing increasing alarm. So just how worried should we be about the world’s increasingly colourful snow?

Fiona Harvey

Mon 25 Feb 2019 11.26 EST
Last modified on Mon 25 Feb 2019 12.40 EST

Don’t eat yellow snow has always been good advice. To that we can now add warnings against green, pink, orange and black snow, as new evidence of our trashing of the planet is now being etched out on the most pristine of environments – our dwindling snow caps.

A spate of incidents in Russia has grabbed internet attention. Residents of Siberian towns watched with dismay as the snow around them turned green and black, with toxic emissions forcing some to wear masks. These seem to be connected to local factories, with a chrome plant in particular behind the green snow, and, as protests gather pace, the Putin government has come under pressure.

Snow pollution is not new. Campaigners have been warning for years of the dangers of dark snow, – black, brown and grey streaks across the ice that can be clearly seen from the air above Arctic regions – because of its effects on climate change. Dark snow is stained by black carbon, AKA soot – unburnt particles released by the combustion of fossil fuels in coal-fired power plants, factories and other sources, and carried to the ice caps on the wind. When soot falls on white snow, it is not only an aesthetic disaster: reflective snow and ice enhance the earth’s albedo ((the ability of a surface to reflect sunlight), bouncing light and heat back into space, but dark snow absorbs heat instead, accelerating global warming. Eliminating soot could slow climate change, helping to reduce temperatures by up to 0.5C.

Snow is sometimes stained by natural phenomena. Chlamydomonas nivalis algae can make it appear pink or red, an effect documented by scientists since the 19th century. Orange snow spreading across eastern Europe last year may have been from particles of dust and sand from the Sahara, though pollution was a more likely cause of orange snowfalls in Siberia a decade earlier.

As far as eating snow goes, don’t try the white stuff. Researchers in Canada found in 2017 that melting urban snow releases a cocktail of toxic chemicals, largely from car exhausts, trapped in the snow from polluted air. Snow in its beauty has always exercised a hold over our imaginations, symbolising purity and transcendence, harking back to a mythical state of innocence. As the snow around us stains black, grey, brown, green and the rest, there could hardly be a more potent emblem of our runaway global problem with pollution.

Black History day 25 - The Apollo Theater


The Apollo Theater is a music hall located at 253 West 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (formerly Seventh Avenue) and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (formerly Eighth Avenue) in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.[3] It is a noted venue for African-American performers, and is the home of Showtime at the Apollo, a nationally syndicated television variety show which showcased new talent, from 1987 to 2008, encompassing 1,093 episodes; the show was rebooted in 2018.

The theater, which has a capacity of 1,506, opened in 1914 as Hurtig & Seamon's New Burlesque Theater, and was designed by George Keister in the neo-Classical style.[2] It became the Apollo in 1934, when it was opened to black patrons – previously it had been a whites-only venue.[3] In 1983, both the interior and exterior of the building were designated as New York City Landmarks,[2] and the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is estimated that 1.3 million people visit the Apollo every year.[4]

Creation and rise

The building which later became the Apollo Theater was built in 1913-14[2] and was designed by architect George Keister,[5] who also designed the First Baptist Church in the City of New York. It was originally Hurtig and Seamon's New (Burlesque) Theater, which enforced a strict "Whites Only" policy.[6] The theatre was operated by noted burlesque producers Jules Hurtig and Harry Seamon, who obtained a 30-year lease.[5] It remained in operation until 1928, when Billy Minsky took over.[citation needed] The song "I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful)" by Harry Sullivan and Harry Ruskin, written in 1929, became the theme song of the theater.[citation needed].
Adelaide Hall 1929

During the early 1930s, the theatre fell into disrepair and closed once more. In 1933, it was purchased by Sidney Cohen, who owned other theaters in the area,[4] and after lavish renovations it re-opened as the "Apollo Theater" on January 16, 1934,[6] catering to the black community of Harlem.[3] On February 14, 1934, the first major star to appear at the Apollo was jazz singer and Broadway star Adelaide Hall in Clarence Robinson's production Chocolate Soldiers, which featured Sam Wooding's Orchestra. The show ran for a limited engagement and was highly praised by the press, which helped establish the Apollo's reputation.[6]

Managed by Morris Sussman, Cohen's Apollo Theatre had vigorous competition from other venues, such as the Lafayette, managed by Frank Schiffman, which presented acts such as Louis Armstrong, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Bessie Smith and Eddie Green. Leo Brecher's Harlem Opera House was another competing venue. To improve the shows at the Apollo, Cohen hired noted talent scout John Hammond to book his shows. However, the deal fell through when Cohen died, and the end result was the merger of the Apollo with the Harlem Opera House. The Opera House became a movie theater, but the Apollo, under the ownership of Brecher and Schiffman, continued to present stage shows.[4] Schiffman hired Clarence Robinson as in-house producer,[6]

Originally, a typical show presented at the Apollo was akin to a vaudeville show, including a chorus line of beautiful girls. As the years progressed, such variety shows were presented less often.[4]

During the swing era, along with bands such as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Webb, Count Basie, and Andy Kirk, the Apollo also presented dance acts such as Bill Robinson, the Nicholas Brothers, Carmen De Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, the Berry Brothers, and Buck and Bubbles.[4] Comic acts also appeared on the Apollo stage, such as Butterbeans and Susie, including some who performed in blackface, much to the horror of the NAACP and the elite of Harlem.[4]

The Apollo also featured the performances of old-time vaudeville favorites like Tim Moore, Stepin Fetchit, Moms Mabley, Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham, Clinton "Dusty" Fletcher, John "Spider Bruce" Mason, and Johnny Lee, as well as younger comics like Bill Cosby, Godfrey Cambridge, LaWanda Page, Richard Pryor, Rudy Ray Moore, and Redd Foxx.

Gospel acts which played the Apollo include the Staple Singers, Mahalia Jackson, The Clark Sisters, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Clara Ward and Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers.[4] Performers of soul music on the Apollo stage included Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, and jazz was represented as well, by acts such as Art Blakey and Horace Silver.[4]

Although the theatre concentrated on showcasing African American acts, it also presented white acts such as swing bandleaders Harry James, Woody Herman and Charlie Barnet during the swing era, and, later, jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz and Buddy Rich, who was a particular favorite of the Apollo crowd. During the 1950s, several white rock and roll performers whose musical backgrounds were more country music oriented, such as Buddy Holly and Duane Eddy played the Apollo but scored with their audiences by playing blues-styled material. The theater's audience was often mixed: in the 1940s it was estimated that during the week about 40% of the audience was white, which would go up to 75% for weekend shows.[4] Jazz singer Anita O'Day headlined for the week of September 21, 1950, billed as "the Jezebel of Jazz".[7]
Amateur Nights

Schiffman had first introduced an amateur night at the Lafayette Theater, where it was known as "Harlem Amateur Hour", and was hosted by Ralph Cooper. At the Apollo, it was originally called "Audition Night", but later became "Amateur Night in Harlem", held every Monday evening and broadcast on the radio over WMCA and eleven affiliate stations.[4]

One unique feature of the Apollo during Amateur Nights was "the executioner", a man with a broom who would sweep performers off the stage if the highly vocal and opinionated audiences began to call for their removal.[8] Vaudeville tap dancer "Sandman" Sims played the role from the 1950s to 2000; stagehand Norman Miller, known as "Porto Rico" (later played by Bob Collins) might also chase the unfortunate performer offstage with a cap pistol, accompanied by the sound of a siren.[4]

The Apollo grew to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance of the pre-World War II years. Billing itself as a place "where stars are born and legends are made," the Apollo became famous for launching the careers of artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, who made her singing debut at 17 at the Apollo, on November 21, 1934. Fitzgerald's performances pulled in a weekly audience at the Apollo and she won the opportunity to compete in one of the earliest of its "Amateur Nights". She had originally intended to go on stage and dance, but intimidated by the Edwards Sisters, a local dance duo, she opted to sing instead, in the style of Connee Boswell. She sang Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy" and "The Object of My Affection", a song recorded by the Boswell Sisters, and won the first prize of $25.00.[9]

Vocalist Thelma Carpenter won the amateur night in 1938, returning several times later as a headliner and also for the 1993 NBC-TV special "Apollo Theater Hall of Fame," an all-star tribute hosted by Bill Cosby.[10]

Jimi Hendrix won the first place prize in an amateur musician contest at the Apollo in 1964. Amateur Night had its first tie on October 27, 2010, with guitarist Nathan Foley, 16, of Rockville, Maryland, and cellist and singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson, 25, a student at the Manhattan School of Music from London, sharing the $10,000 prize.[11]

Other performers whose careers started at the Apollo include Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown & The Famous Flames, King Curtis, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Parliament-Funkadelic, Wilson Pickett, The Miracles, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Rush Brown, Stephanie Mills, Dionne Warwick, Bobby Short, The Jackson 5, Patti Austin, Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Mariah Carey, The Isley Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Sarah Vaughan, Jazmine Sullivan, Ne-Yo, and Machine Gun Kelly.
The inside of the theater as seen from the stage

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In 1962, James Brown, who had first played the Apollo three years earlier with his vocal group The Famous Flames, recorded his show at the theater. The resulting album, Live at the Apollo, was a groundbreaking success, spending 66 weeks on the Billboard pop albums chart and peaking at #2. Brown went on to record three more albums (Live at the Apollo, Volume II, Revolution of the Mind, Live at the Apollo 1995) and a television special, James Brown: Man to Man, at the theater, and helped popularize it as a venue for live recordings. Other performers who recorded albums at the Apollo include Patti LaBelle, Clyde McPhatter, Marva Whitney, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Robert Palmer, and B.B. King.

In 2007, gospel recording artist Byron Cage played at the Apollo for his album Live at the Apollo: The Proclamation. Guns N' Roses visited the venue on July 20, 2017 for their "Not in This Lifetime" tour as part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the bands debut album "Appetite for Destruction". The show was recorded and was broadcast in its entirety on SiriusXM satellite radio. The concert was an invite-only event where subscribers to the satellite radio service were eligible to win tickets.In 2017, Bruno Mars recorded his first TV exclusive concert titled Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo.[12]
Decline and restoration

Although the 1960s was the venue's most successful decade, in the following decade, the drug problem in Harlem, with its attendant robberies and thefts, was the cause of its closing in 1976, after an 18-year-old was shot to death.[4] On April 1 and 2, 1976, Fred and Felicidad Dukes along with Rafee Kamaal produced two 90-minute television specials with Group W Productions as a way to help restore life to the theater, which re-opened in that year, featuring acts such as James Brown, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.[4] From 1975 to 1982, the theater was owned by Guy Fisher. In 1983, it was bought by Inner City Broadcasting, a firm owned by former Manhattan borough president Percy E. Sutton.[4] It obtained federal and city landmark status in that same year. In 1991, the Apollo was purchased by the State of New York, which created the non-profit Apollo Theater Foundation to run it.[4]

In 2001, the architecture firms Beyer Blinder Belle, which specializes in restorations of historic buildings, and Davis Brody Bond began a restoration of the theater's interior.[3] In 2005, restoration of the exterior, and the installation of a new light-emitting diode (LED) marquee began. In 2009–10, in celebration of the theater's 75th anniversary, the theater put together an archive of historical material, including documents and photographs and, with Columbia University, began an oral history project.[4]

The Apollo Theater draws an estimated 1.3 million visitors annually.[4]
Hall of Fame

The Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame has inducted such renowned performers and music-industry figures as Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Michael Jackson, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, Mymoena Davids, Little Richard, Hall & Oates, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Billy Eckstine, Gladys Knight, The Pips, The Jacksons, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, D'Angelo and Prince.[13][14]
See also

Black History: day 24 - America's Forgotten Mass Lynching, 237 A/A Murdered In Arkansas

237 Black People Were Murdered In Arkansas:America’s Forgotten Mass Lynching



In 1919, in the wake of World War I, black sharecroppers unionized in Arkansas, unleashing a wave of white vigilantism and mass murder that left 237 people dead.


The visits began in the fall of 1918, just as World War I ended. At his office in Little Rock, Arkansas, attorney Ulysses S. Bratton listened as African American sharecroppers from the Delta told stories of theft, exploitation, and endless debt. A man named Carter had tended 90 acres of cotton, only to have his landlord seize the entire crop and his possessions. From the town of Ratio, in Phillips County, Arkansas, a black farmer reported that a plantation manager refused to give sharecroppers an itemized account for their crop. Another sharecropper told of a landlord trying “to starve the people into selling the cotton at his own price. They ain’t allowing us down there room to move our feet except to go to the field.”

No one could know it at the time, but within a year these inauspicious meetings would lead to one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. Initiated by whites, the violence—by any measure, a massacre—claimed the lives of 237 African Americans, according to a just released report from the Equal Justice Initiative. The death toll was unusually high, but the use of racial violence to subjugate blacks during this time was not uncommon. As the Equal Justice Initiative observes, “Racial terror lynching was a tool used to enforce Jim Crow laws and racial segregation—a tactic for maintaining racial control by victimizing the entire African American community, not merely punishment of an alleged perpetrator for a crime.” This was certainly true of the massacre in Phillips County, Arkansas.

Bratton agreed to represent the cheated sharecroppers, who also joined a new union, the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America. Its founder, a black Delta native named Robert Hill, had no prior organizing experience but plenty of ambition. “The union wants to know why it is that the laborers cannot control their just earnings which they work for,” Hill announced as he urged black sharecroppers to each recruit 25 prospective members to form a lodge. Hill was especially successful in Phillips County, where seven lodges were established in 1919.

It took a lot of courage to defy the Arkansas Delta’s white elite. Men such as E.M. “Mort” Allen controlled the local economy, government, law enforcement, and courts. Allen was a latter-day carpetbagger, a Northerner who had come to Arkansas in 1906 to make his fortune. He married well and formed a partnership with a wealthy businessman. Together they developed the town of Elaine, a hub for the thriving lumber industry. Allen and the county’s white landowners understood that their continued prosperity depended on the exploitation of black sharecroppers and laborers. In a county where more than 75 percent of the population was African American, this wasn’t a task to be taken lightly. In February 1919, the planters agreed to reduce the acreage of cotton in cultivation in anticipation of a postwar drop in demand. If they gave their tenants a fair settlement, their profits would shrink further. Allen spoke for the planters when he declared that “the old Southern methods are much the best,” and that the “Southern men can handle the negroes all right and peaceably.”

There was nothing “peaceable” about the methods used to demolish the sharecroppers’ union. Late on the night of September 30, 1919, the planters dispatched three men to break up a union meeting in a rough hewn black church at Hoop Spur, a crossroads three miles north of Elaine.

Prepared for trouble, the sharecroppers had assigned six men to patrol outside the church. A verbal confrontation led to gunfire that fatally wounded one of the attackers. The union men dispersed, but not for long. Bracing for reprisals from their landlords, they rousted fellow sharecroppers from bed and formed self-defense forces.

The planters also mobilized. Sheriff Frank Kitchens deputized a massive white posse, even setting up a headquarters at the courthouse in the county seat of Helena to organize his recruits. Hundreds of white veterans, recently returned from military service in France, flocked to the courthouse.

Dividing into small groups, the armed white men set out into the countryside to search for the sharecroppers. The posse believed that a black conspiracy to murder white planters had just been begun and that they must do whatever it took to put down the alleged uprising. The result was the killing of 237 African Americans.

None of the perpetrators—participants in mass murder—answered for their crimes. No one was charged, no trials were held, at least not of those who had killed blacks. In the early 20th century, state-sanctioned collective violence targeting African Americans was a common occurrence in the United States. 1919 was an especially bloody year. By September, the nation had already experienced seven major outbreaks of anti-black violence (commonly called “race riots”). Riots had flared in cities as different as Knoxville, Omaha, and Washington, D.C. In Chicago, a lakefront altercation between whites and blacks escalated into a week-long riot that took the lives of 38 men (23 black, 15 white). To restore order, Illinois Gov. Frank Lowden called in thousands of state militia.

The root cause of 1919’s violence was the reassertion of white supremacy after World War I. Disfranchisement, Jim Crow laws, and biased police forces and courts had stripped African Americans of many of their constitutional rights and created deepset economic, social, and political inequities. Blacks who defied the rules and traditions of white supremacy risked personal ruin (being banished from their hometowns was one punishment), bodily harm (beatings and whippings), and death. In just five months in 1919, from January to May, more than 20 lynch mobs murdered two dozen African Americans. One of these victims was a black veteran killed for refusing to stop wearing his Army uniform. Lynchers took pride in their actions, often posing for photographs at the scenes of their crimes; few were ever charged, let alone convicted. Mob violence helped protect the racial status quo.

What made 1919 unique was the armed resistance that black Americans mounted against white mobs trying to keep them “in their place.” During the United States’ brief but transformative involvement in World War I, almost 370,000 black men served in the military, most of them in the Army. On the homefront, African American men and women bought war bonds, volunteered for the Red Cross, and worked in defense factories. They were fighting to make the world safe for democracy, as President Woodrow Wilson defined the war’s purpose, yet they didn’t have equal rights and opportunities at home. When the war ended, African Americans resolved to make America safe for democracy. In May 1919, civil rights activist and prolific writer W.E.B. Du Bois declared, “We return from fighting. We return fighting. Make way for Democracy! We saved it in France, and by the Great Jehovah, we will save it in the United States of America, or know the reason why.”

Whether they had served in the military or not, African Americans answered Du Bois’s clarion call. When a white mob in Longview, Texas, tried to seize a black man named S.L. Jones to lynch him for insulting the honor of a white woman, a self-defense force organized by Jones’s friends opened fire, dispersing the mob and saving Jones’s life. When police in Chicago failed to stop white gangs from attacking blacks, veterans of the 370th Regiment, 93rd Division (an all-black unit recently returned from France) put on their uniforms, armed themselves, and took to the streets. And when white servicemen and veterans joined with civilians to form mobs in Washington, D.C., hundreds of black Washingtonians lined the streets of Uptown (now called Shaw) to prevent these mobs from marauding in the neighborhood known for its black-owned businesses and theaters.

The Arkansas sharecroppers who stood up against the white planters of Phillips County were a major part of black resistance during 1919. Their courage came with heavy costs. As word of the trouble spread, white vigilantes from Mississippi crossed the river and began attacking blacks. The posse organized by Sheriff Kitchens scoured the canebrakes and fields, firing on blacks. Meanwhile, Arkansas Gov. Charles Brough cabled the War Department to request the deployment of infantry units. Almost 600 white troops and officers soon arrived from Camp Pike. Told that a black uprising was underway, the soldiers rounded up African Americans and, like the Mississippi vigilantes and local posse, killed indiscriminately. A special agent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad who led a force of approximately 50 white men later said the Mississippi mob “shot and killed men, women and children without regard to whether they were guilty or innocent of any connection with the killing of anybody, or whether members of the union or not.” One of the county’s richest white men, Gerard Lambert, observed soldiers shoot a black man who had tried to run from a hiding place. Let that “be a lesson,” the troops told blacks who were also present. Vigilantes killed a black woman, pulled her dress over her head, and left her body on a road, another brutal “lesson” of what happened when African Americans forgot their “place.”

The sharecroppers did the best they could to defend themselves and their families and neighbors. A group of sharecroppers and a black veteran in uniform shot back when part of the posse opened fire. Hearing the shots, union member Frank Moore rallied the men with him. “Let’s go help them people out,” he shouted. But the sharecroppers were outgunned and outmanned. By October 3, most had been captured and jailed. Sheriff’s deputies and special agents for the Missouri Pacific Railroad tortured them to extract false confessions to a conspiracy to murder whites. Rigged trials brought swift convictions and death sentences for 12 men whose only crime was their attempt to obtain fair earnings for their labor. Protracted appeals, supported by the NAACP, resulted in a Supreme Court decision (Moore v. Dempsey, 1923) that helped free the men. The ruling also established the federal government’s obligation to ensure that state trial proceedings preserve the Constitution’s guarantee of due process and equal protection of the laws, a standard the Arkansas trials certainly had not met.

This legal victory couldn’t give back the lives of the black residents killed by the posse, vigilantes, and troops in Phillips County. The death toll of 237 reported by the Equal Justice Initiative is a new figure, based on extensive research. In 1919, sources as varied as the NAACP and the Bureau of Investigation (forerunner of the FBI) estimated the number of killed African Americans at 25 to 80. Writer Robert Whitaker, who has identified 22 separate killing sites of African Americans during the massacre, put the death toll at more than 100. NAACP official Walter White, who risked his life in October 1919 to investigate the killings, stated that the “number of Negroes killed during the riot is unknown and probably never will be known.” In contrast, just four whites died, all of them posse members; one or two may have died as a result of friendly fire.

Say the number of African Americans killed in Phillips County in 1919 was 25. Or 80. Or 237. The very fact that, almost one hundred years after the massacre, we are still trying to pinpoint the death toll should lead us to a larger reckoning: coming to terms with one of the most violent years in the nation’s history, bloodshed that resulted from efforts to make America safe for democracy.
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