Posts tagged "African American men"

Sunday Best: Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990) with Gregory Hines (1946-2003) in a promotional photo for their 1989 film, TAP. 

Cecil Williams in the 1950s - and today. I am taking the liberty of posting Mr. Williams again so people can see him now. From my original post: I thought about this searing, beautiful picture today in light of recent events in the United States. I, like many others, shared it a few years ago on my blog, but it was only today that I finally found the name of the man in the photograph! His name is Cecil Williams and, he happens to be a photographer himself. The photo was probably taken by Mr. Williams mentor, John Goodwin, who joined him for a talk at Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina in September 2013 about their experiences as black photographers in South Carolina during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era. Mr. Williams, an Orangeburg, South Carolina native was a correspondent for Jet Magazine when he was only 15 and made national news after shooting some crucial pictures after the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre. This picture of Mr. Williams currently hangs over the water fountain on the Garden level of the Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina.

I thought about this searing, beautiful picture today in light of recent events in the United States. I, like many others, shared it a few years ago on my blog, but it was only today that I finally found the name of the man in the photograph! His name is Cecil Williams and, he happens to be a photographer himself. The photo was probably taken by Mr. Williams mentor, John Goodwin, who joined him for a talk at Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina in September 2013 about their experiences as black photographers in South Carolina during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era. Mr. Williams, an Orangeburg, South Carolina native was a correspondent for Jet Magazine when he was only 15 and made national news after shooting some crucial pictures after the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre. This picture of Mr. Williams currently hangs over the water fountain on the Garden level of the Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina.

I thought about this searing, beautiful picture today in light of recent events in the United States. I, like many others, shared it a few years ago on my blog, but it was only today that I finally found the name of the man in the photograph! His name is Cecil Williams and, he happens to be a photographer himself. The photo was probably taken by Mr. Williams mentor, John Goodwin, who joined him for a talk at Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina in September 2013 about their experiences as black photographers in South Carolina during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era. Mr. Williams, an Orangeburg, South Carolina native was a correspondent for Jet Magazine when he was only 15 and made national news after shooting some crucial pictures after the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre. This picture of Mr. Williams currently hangs over the water fountain on the Garden level of the Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina.

Charles “Tarzan” Cooper, shown circa 1939, was a member of the New York Rens basketball team - one of the first all-Black basketball teams in the United States. All-Black teams existed up until around 1950 when the NBA integrated their teams The New-York Historical Society is sponsoring a scholarship contest that was inspired by their upcoming exhibition on The Black Fives, which is about the history of early 20th-century African American basketball teams. Photo: The Black Fives Foundation/New York Historical Society.

Harold Jackman (1901-1961) the public schoolteacher and patron of the arts best known as a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance, in an undated photograph (likely 1920s) by Max Ewing and in 1940 by his friend Carl Van Vechten. Mr. Jackman was born in London to a mother from Barbados and a German father and arrived in the United States as a toddler. He earned a bachelor’s degree from New York University in 1923 and a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1927. Mr. Jackman is usually noted for his relationships with Harlem Renaissance writers and artists, especially Countee Cullen. Mr. Jackman and Mr. Cullen met while attending DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City and remained friends until Mr. Cullen’s death in 1946. Arna Bontemps once noted how they were commonly referred to as the “David and Jonathan of the Harlem Twenties” because of their close relationship and Langston Hughes famously wrote Mr. Bontemps that he was still laughing at the headline in a black newspaper that ran after Mr. Cullen and Mr. Jackman sailed to Paris just two months after his lavish wedding to Yolande DuBois, daughter of W.E.B. DuBois, “Groom Sails With Best Man.”

Mr. Jackman maintained his position as a high school social studies teacher in the New York public school system for more than thirty years. During that time, he built an impressive memorabilia collection which theater programs, sheet music, manuscripts and audio tapes. He began donating portions of his collection to Atlanta University in the 1920s and encouraged influential friends like Langston Hughes to do the same. The collection Mr. Jackman amassed along with his vast personal letter collection have been invaluable to later scholars of African American culture and the Harlem Renaissance. He also helped Mr. Van Vechten build the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at Yale University. He was also a member of the executive board and the historian for the Negro Actors Guild, an organization co-founded by Fredi Washington (best known for her role in the 1934 film version of “Imitation of Life”) for the benefit of black performers. When Mr. Cullen died at the age of 42 in 1946, Mr. Jackman requested that his collection be named the Countee Cullen Memorial Collection. It was renamed the Countee Cullen-Harold Jackman Collection when Mr. Jackman died in 1961. Photos: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Dr. Ralph Bunche (far right) with some of his friends at Harvard University, circa 1930. Dr. Bunche (1904-1971) was born in Detroit but raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Los Angeles, where he was valedictorian and graduated summa cum laude from UCLA. He earned a master’s degree in political science from Harvard in 1932 and taught at Howard University as he earned his doctorate from Harvard. Dr. Bunche played a critical role in the founding of the United Nations even as he maintained his duties as chair of the Political Science department at Howard, a position he held from 1928 to 1950. As Undersecretary General of the UN, his successful negotiation of four armistice agreements that ended the first Arab-Israeli war in 1949 led to him being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. He was the first African-American - and the first person of color anywhere in the world - to be awarded the prize. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Percy Verwayne (1895-1968) was the original Sportin’ Life in the 1927 Broadway DuBose and Dorothy Heyward play, “Porgy,” the precursor to the iconic 1935 George Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess.” Mr. Verwayne was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) and appeared on Broadway, on radio and in several films for at least thirty years, but he was best known in his day for originating the role of Sportin’ Life. He was also a former athlete and that came in handy in 1941 when he was robbed of 75 cents by a very unwise 18-year-old within two blocks of his Harlem home at 400 West 128th street. The incident was gleefully reported in the New York Amsterdam News on August 9, 1941 under the headline, “Mugger Gets Wrong Victim.” According to the paper, when the mugger tried to run away, “Verwayne chased him for a block, grabbed him by the seat of his trousers and socked him into submission. When the cops arrived, Verwayne was in complete control of the situation.” I’ll bet he was… haha! Photo: New York Public Library, Billy Rose Theater Collection.

Percy Verwayne (1895-1968) was the original Sportin’ Life in the 1927 Broadway DuBose and Dorothy Heyward play, “Porgy,” the precursor to the iconic 1935 George Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess.” Mr. Verwayne was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) and appeared on Broadway, on radio and in several films for at least thirty years, but he was best known in his day for originating the role of Sportin’ Life. He was also a former athlete and that came in handy in 1941 when he was robbed of 75 cents by a very unwise 18-year-old within two blocks of his Harlem home at 400 West 128th street. The incident was gleefully reported in the New York Amsterdam News on August 9, 1941 under the headline, “Mugger Gets Wrong Victim.” According to the paper, when the mugger tried to run away, “Verwayne chased him for a block, grabbed him by the seat of his trousers and socked him into submission. When the cops arrived, Verwayne was in complete control of the situation.” I’ll bet he was… haha! Photo: New York Public Library, Billy Rose Theater Collection.