Harriet Ann Jacobs (February 11, 1813 â€“ March 7, 1897) was an African-American writer who escaped from slavery and became an abolitionist speaker and reformer. Jacobs’ single work, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent, was one of the first autobiographical narratives about the struggle for freedom by female slaves and an account of the sexual harassment and abuse they endured.
Harriet Jacobs, daughter of Delilah, the slave of Margaret Horniblow, and Daniel Jacobs, the slave of Andrew Knox, was born in Edenton, North Carolina, in the fall of 1813. Until she was six years old Harriet was unaware that she was the property of Margaret Horniblow. Before her death in 1825, Harriet’s relatively kind mistress taught her slave to read and sew.
In her will, Margaret Horniblow bequeathed eleven-year-old Harriet to a niece, Mary Matilda Norcom. Since Mary Norcom was only three years old when Harriet Jacobs became her slave, Mary’s father, Dr. James Norcom, an Edenton physician, became Jacobs’s de facto master. Under the regime of James and Maria Norcom, Jacobs was introduced to the harsh realities of slavery. Though barely a teenager, Jacobs soon realized that her master was a sexual threat.Â Continue reading
Benjamin Brawley (1882-1939) was a prominent African American author and educator. He studied at Atlanta Baptist College, University of Chicago, and Harvard, and he taught at Atlanta Baptist College, Howard University, and Shaw University. Women of Achievement (c1919) is one of Brawley’s numerous books and articles on African American culture. Brawley also published widely in literary studies.
Several of his books were considered standard college texts, includingÂ The Negro in Literature and Art in the United StatesÂ (1918) andÂ New Survey of English LiteratureÂ (1925).
Born in 1882 in Columbia, South Carolina, Brawley was the second son of Edward McKnight Brawley and Margaret Dickerson Brawley. He studied at Atlanta Baptist College (renamed Morehouse College), graduating in 1901, earned his second BA in 1906 from the University of Chicago, and received his Master’s degree from Harvard University in 1908. Brawley taught in the English departments at Atlanta Baptist College, Howard University, and Shaw University.Â Continue reading
The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenagers accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial. The case included a frameup, an all-white jury, rushed trials, an attempted lynching, an angry mob, and is an example of an overall miscarriage of justice.
On March 25, 1931, several people were hoboing on a freight train traveling between Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee. Several white teenagers jumped off the train and reported to the sheriff that they had been attacked by a group of black teenagers. The sheriff deputized a posse, stopped and searched the train at Paint Rock, Alabama, arrested the black teenagers, and found two young white women who accused the teenagers of rape.
The case was first heard in Scottsboro, Alabama in three rushed trials, where the defendants received poor legal representation. All but thirteen-year-old Roy Wright were convicted of rape and sentenced to death, the common sentence in Alabama at the time for black men convicted of raping white women. But with help from the American Communist Party, the case was appealed.Â Continue reading
Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright) lived from 1867 to 1959. During most of these years, from 1885 to 1959, he was a prolific architect, with close to 500 of his designs built (and hundreds more remaining unbuilt) – a career lasting three quarters of a century, and unequaled in output.
Mr. Wright worked for architects J. Lyman Silsbee and Louis Sullivan, and he later himself trained many architects at his Taliesin School. Frank Lloyd Wright expoused “organic architecture” and is responsible for the Prairie and Usonian residential styles.Â Continue reading
Born on November 9, 1731 near Elliott City, Maryland, Benjamin Banneker was one of America’s greatest intellectuals and scientists. Benjamin Banneker was an essayist, inventor, mathematician, and astronomer.
Because of his dark skin and great intellect he was called the “sable genius.” Benjamin Banneker was a self-taught mathematician and astronomer. While still a youth he made a wooden clock which kept accurate time past the date that Banneker died.
This clock is believed to be the first clock wholly made in America. In 1791, he served on a project to make a survey for the District of Columbia, helping to design the layout for our Nation’s capital. Continue reading
What is cool? At its very essence, cool is all about what’s happening next. In popular culture, what’s happening next is a kaleidoscope encompassing past, present and future: that which is about to happen may be cool, and that which happened in the distant past may also be cool. This timeless quality, when it applies to music, allows minimalist debate with few exceptions, that which has been cool will always be cool.
For nearly six decades, Miles Davis has embodied all that is cool â€“ in his music (and most especially jazz), in his art, fashion, romance, and in his international, if not intergalactic, presence that looms strong as ever today. Continue reading