George L. Brown

George L. Brown

George L. Brown

George Leslie Brown (July 1, 1926 – March 31, 2006) was an American politician. He served in the Colorado Senate from 1955 to 1974 and as the 40th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado from 1975 to 1979. He was also a Sr. Vice President with Grumman Corporation. During World War II, he served as a Tuskegee Airman. Together with California’s Mervyn Dymally, he was one of the first two Black lieutenant-governors sinceReconstruction and outside of any southern state.

Growing up on a farm in Kansas, Brown was a star athlete in basketball, football and track before graduating from Lawrence Liberty Memorial High School in 1944. Brown graduated from the University of Kansas in 1950 with a B.S. in journalism. He also did graduate work at Harvard Business School, the University of Colorado and the University of Denver.  Continue reading

William ‘Count’ Basie

William James "Count" Basie

William James “Count” Basie

William James “Count” Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984[1]) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By 16, he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924, he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten’s band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten’s death in 1935.  Continue reading

Medical School at Howard University

howard uOn November 9th, 1868, Howard University opened their medical school with eight students and five faculty members.

Among the eight students, seven were black and one was white. Out of the five faculty members, just one was black, Dr. Alexander Thomas Augusta — the first black Lieutenant Colonel and first Black surgeon in the U.S. Army.  Continue reading

Charles L. Reason

charlesreasonCharles L. Reason was born July 21, 1818 in New York City to West Indies immigrants Michiel and Elizabeth Reason. Charles attended the African Free School along with his brothers Elmer and Patrick (both who are important historical figures in their own right).

An excellent student in mathematics, Reason became an instructor in 1832 at the school at age fourteen (this became a striking matter for the news), receiving a salary of $25 a year. He used some of his earnings to hire tutors to improve his knowledge.

Later, he decided to enter the ministry but was rejected because of his race by the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal church in New York City. Continue reading

The Vesey Revolt – Denmark Vesey & Peter Poyas

vesey 2The Vesey Revolt was led by Denmark Vesey (1767-1822) and to a lesser extent, by his accomplice, Peter Poyas (Higginson, 229). Vesey was a literate and very intelligent black man who had purchased his freedom in January of 1800; he was the only free black to take part in the revolt. The revolt was planned to occur on an unknown date in May of 1822 near Charleston, South Carolina (Sylvester, bio 231).

Vesey’s views and ambitions were spurred by his work with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the only independent black church in Charleston at the time. Within the church, Vesey gave sermons and led lessons. As a literate man, he was looked upon as a teacher. Continue reading

Upcoming Black History Posts

  • Reuben V. Anderson
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • March On Washingtion – 1963
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