~“Oh Yeah, We Did It First! – The First In Many Contributions By Blacks In The U.S.” Part Four~ (731 hits)
"What Is A Man/Woman Who Does Not Try And Make Things Better?"
In an attempt to introduce evidence that contradicts many who have claims to being the first at inventing, creating, and the illusion of being the first at anything, while Blacks have been displayed or described at doing absolutely nothing at all. This premise encourages me to share some insight into the truth of whom it is that was actually first.
It was the book “Black Firsts” Two Thousand Years of Extraordinary Achievements by Sister Dr. Jessie Carney Smith that actually planted the seed in my mind to publish something that adds heightened support to the contributions of Black People to the world at large.
~ Dr. Jessie Carney Smith ~
“Lead Us Not Into Temptation!”
Being “The First People” we have been placed in a position, a time, and a place of “Infinite Proportions” that only ‘GOD’ can undo!
We have survived every assault that man has afflicted upon us and survived. We have survived this current ‘MAAFA’ as we (a diversity of good people, God-Loving People) will survive this atrocity that is afflicted upon us today, tomorrow, and into infinity…with “The Grace of God!”
~ “An Infinite Place, An Infinite Purpose” ~
“We don’t know that things can be done, that dreams can be fulfilled, that great accomplishments can be realized, until somebody takes that first step and shows the way!”
~ Dr. Jessie Carney Smith ~
1949 - Daniel Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong (1900-1971), jazz trumpeter, was "The First Black" to preside over the 'New Orleans Mardi Gras.' Born in New Orleans, he learned to play the coronet and read music while in "The Negro Waifs Home for Boys." Armstrong moved to Chicago and became one of the most influential jazz artists. A superb showman, he was known for his gravelly, growling vocal style. He acquired the nickname "Satchmo" in 1932 from an editor of "The Melody Maker."
1988-The First National Black Arts Festival in the United States held in Atlanta.
1902-"The First appearance of Blacks in film" came in "Off To Bloomingdale Asylum." The slapstick comedy was made in France, and produced by George Melies. The Black characters were probably played by white actors.
1905-“The Wooing and Wedding of a Coon” is the earliest known American-made film with an "All-Black Cast." A derogatory one-reeler, the film presented undisguised mockery of a Black couple.
1914-Sam Lucas (Samuel Milady, 1840-1916) was "The First Black" to play the title role in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" on film. He had been "The First Black Man" to play Uncle Tom on stage in 1878. Born in Washington, Ohio, Lucas performed with major minstrel troupes, wrote one of the most popular minstrel songs of the 1870's (Carve dat Possum) appeared in vaudeville, and starred in musical comedies, including "A Trip to Coontown" (1898). He is also known as "The First Black Composer of Popular Ballads."
1915-Madame Sul-Te-Wan (1873-1959) was "The First Black American" to be hired by a major movie producer on a continuing basis. D. W. Griffith hired her after she worked on "Birth of a Nation."
1926-Stepin Fetchit (Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry, 1902-1985) and 'Carolynne Snowden' played in "The First On-Screen Black Romance" in the movie, "In Old Kentucky." Fetchit, an actor and comedian, was to appear in films with stars like 'Will Rogers' and 'Shirley Temple.' He appeared in films in the 1920's and 1930's. The 'Key West, Florida,' native took his stage name from a race horse on which he had bet in Oklahoma, before he left for Hollywood in the 1920's.
"The First Black Sound Film" was "Melancholy Dame," a comedy two-reeler, starring 'Evelyn Preer,' 'Roberta Hyson,' 'Edward Thompson,' and 'Spencer Williams' of "Amos and Andy' fame.
1929-"The First two full-length films with 'all-Black' casts" were "Hearts in Dixie," starring 'Daniel Haynes,' 'Nina Mae McKinney,' and 'Victoria Spivey;' and "Hallelujah," starring 'Clarence Muse,' 'Stepin Fetchit,' and 'Mildred Washington.' "Hearts in Dixie" was also "The First Black-Oriented All-Talking, All-Singing film from a major company.
1940-Hatttie McDaniel (1895-1952), singer, vaudeville performer, and actress, was "The First Black To Win An Oscar." She was named the best supporting actress for her portrayal of 'Mammy' in "Gone With The Wind." McDaniel made her radio debut in 1915, and is said to be the "First Black America Woman To Sing On Radio." Often called "Hi-Hat Hattie," she was born in Wichita, Kansas, and moved to Hollywood in 1931. She made her movie debut in "The Golden West" in 1932, and appeared in more than three hundred films during the next two decades. Her career was built on the "Mammy" image, a role she played with dignity. In 1947, she continued the role in "Beulah" on the radio.
1944-The first United States Army Training film favorably depicting Blacks was made. It was designed to introduce Black and White Soldiers to the contributions of Black in military history. Frank Capra (the producer), among those who created "The Negro Soldier."
1955-Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965) was "The First Black Woman Nominated For An Oscar" in a leading role for her portrayal of 'Carmen' in "Carmen Jones," a role she acted while someone else sang for her.
She was born on November 9, 1922, in Cleveland, and later moved to Los Angeles From 1937 to 1964, Dandridge appeared in a number of films, often typecast in the stereotypical roles commonly given to Black actresses. In 1951 she was "The First Black" to perform in 'The Empire Room' of New York's Waldorf Astoria. "Island In The Sun," a 1957 film in which she appeared opposite white actor 'John Justin,' marked the first time the theme of interracial love was explored in movies. 'Harry Belafonte' and 'Joan Fontaine were also paired in this film. Dandridge returned to night club performances when her film career ended.
1958-"The First Black Male Nominated For An Academy Award For Best Actor was 'Sidney Poitier'" (1924-) for his performance in "The Defiant Ones." He was born on February 20, 1924, in Miami, and later moved to the Bahamas with his family. At age fifteen, Poitier returned to Miami, then went to New York City. He made his Hollywood debut in 1950 and won an Oscar for best actor in the film "Lillies of The Field" in 1963, becoming "The First Black" to win an Oscar for a starring role. In 1967 Poitier became "The First Black" to have his hand and foot prints placed in front of 'Grauman's Chinese Theater.'
1971-Richard Roundtree (1942-) became "The First Black Private Detective and Superhero" in a motion picture role in the trend-setting movie, "Shaft.”
Born in New Rochelle, New York, he attended Southern Illinois University on a football scholarship, but became interested in acting in a campus theater. In 1967 he was a model for the "Ebony Fashion Fair" and later advertised hair care products for Black Men in "Ebony Magazine." After 'Bill Cosby' advised him to study dramatic arts in New York, Roundtree joined the "Negro Ensemble Company" and appeared in three off their productions.
1989-Euzham Palcy was "The First Black Woman Director" of a full-length film, "A Dry White Season," for a major United States studio. Starring 'Donald Sutherland' and 'Susan Sarandon,' the film deals with apartheid in South Africa. Palcy was born in 'Martinique.'
1992-Julie Dash (1952-) became "The First Black Woman Writer and Director" to have a feature-length film in national distribution. The film, "Daughters of The Dust," is the story of one day in the lives of a Black Family living in "Ibo Island, South Carolina."
John Singleton was "The First Black Film Director Nominated For An Academy Award" for the box office hit "Boys N The Hood," starring rap artist 'Ice Cube,' 'Cuba Gooding, Jr.,' 'Laurence Fishburne,' and 'Morris Chestnut.'
Although the film presents an anti-drug and anti-violent message, is sparked violence when it opened in several cities in the United States on July 12,1991.
Woody Strode, known for his groundbreaking roles in films, was "The First Black Inducted Into The Walk of Western Stars" at a ceremony held at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Strode acted in such films as "Sergeant Rutledge," "Posse," and "The Ten Commandments," with 'Charleton Heston.'
...The History Goes On and On and On as "We" continually CONTRIBUTE, PROSPER, and GROW!
Brother Doctor Gregory Boulware, Esq. I first had to Acknowledge the chemistry that was going on in the remark section of this blog this morning between Sister Moss and yourself. Those few words took me back a place where I felt save.
Now getting to the subject of this blog: ~“Oh Yeah, We Did It First! – The First In Many Contributions By Blacks In The U.S.” Part Four~. Now when I started reading about the mark that Black People made in the field of movie entertainment took me back through my life. Many of the events and Blacks in movies made in history, I saw in the movie theaters or on the T.V. throughout my life time.
As I was reading your words, sparked some interest to revisit some of those movies since I have the time now, movies like -The Wooing and Wedding of a Coon, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Hearts in Dixie just to mention a few.
Thanks Brother Doctor Gregory Boulware, Esq. for this blog, I too appreciate this blog and the look back in movie history in the mood of Martin Luther King birth and what will happen to Civil Rights and the advancement of people of color in this country.
Many thanks 'Good Brother,' I'm always warmed with your kind and wise interpretations. As usual, I do try to do my part, what is right, just, and worthy in the spirit of "Our Dear Dr. King' and Many Others" who have sacrificed and gave of themselves to and for "The People."
Speaking as a descendant of the "First People" I say I light of all that is set before us in our continuing journey, "We Shall Surely Over Come!"