Black History Month 2017 – Life Through Art – Post 2

Welcome back!  Today we are talking about Scipio Moorhead.  He was the earliest significant Black fine artist.  Moorhead was born in 1773 and was a slave who was owned by Reverand John Moorhead from Boston.

Moorhead was most famous for being commissioned by Phyllis Wheatley to paint a portrait of her that she used as the frontispiece to all her books.

Phillis Wheatley by Scipio Moorhead (c. 1773):

Phyllis Wheatley, who was the first African American to publish a book of poems, dedicated her poem “To S.M., a young African Painter, on seeing his Works” in her book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.

For more information on Scipio Moorhead look at the links or book below:

Marvin’s Black History Timeline Part I

Hello everyone! The next three posts will be from my good friend Marvin Dangerfield. Besides having the greatest name of all time he is a Funk/Soul DJ from Detroit who has been living in Japan for awhile. He was a US Marine and found his niche in Japanese Radio and the English Conversation School industries. He is an incredible man who constantly mentors me and makes me sit down when I need it. 🙂 Love you Marvin and thank you for always being willing to contribute to my blog.

Disclaimer: Marvin’s thoughts will be in italics below.


Black History in America, land of the free, home of the brave!!

When it all began!

Hello brothers and sisters may peace and joy be with you and yours. My little sister Heather has asked me to make some comments about Black history in the 60’s, 1965 to be exact, or current Black American history, so I felt it would be best to do a timeline, go back to the roots, and summarize different eras of importance, so please follow me as I try to do this in a simple and hopefully informative fashion.

1619 First slave arrives in Virginia
1793 Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor
1857 The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.

What if the cotton gin had never been created? What if the first slaves brought to the US had been weak and fragile, un-trainable, and violent to the point of death? Would more slaves have been brought to replenish and replace them? What if?


Free at last, free at last, thank you Jesus, free at last!! Hold up! Wait a minute! Not, so fast?

The Civil War was fought and won by the North and Lincoln freed the slaves. Free to do what? Free to prosper and live a fair equal life as all other Americans? Or, free to choose your own poison? Stay in the South, work on a plantation and be treated as a slave, but only making a penny for your back breaking effort; or move to the North to only find out that they don’t like you too much there as well and although you’re bailing hay or picking cotton you’re still a third class citizen gathered in the worst areas and treated like animals. It’s an all new hell for us to adapt to.

1863 President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the Confederate states “are, and henceforward, shall be free.”

1865 Congress establishes the Freedmen’s Bureau to protect the rights of newly emancipated blacks (March)

•The Civil War ends (April 9)

•Lincoln is assassinated (April 14)

The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by ex-Confederates (May)

•Slavery in the United States is effectively ended when 250,000 slaves in Texas finally receive the news that the Civil War had ended two months earlier (June 19)

Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery (Dec. 6)


My vote should count; if only I could read, write, know where to vote, and had candidates that actually represented my interests!

Ok, darky don’t get so high and mighty, yeah so your kind are doing well and moving on up to the big leagues, but the man, still controls it all and don’t forget that, so shut up and get back in your place. This here table is for White folks only! Same as this bus, this school, this neighborhood, this everything, casting your little nigger vote ain’t gone change a damn thing!!

1870 Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote

Hiram Revels, of Mississippi, is elected the country’s first African-American senator

・During Reconstruction, sixteen blacks served in Congress and about 600 served in states legislatures

1955 Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger (Dec.1).

・In response to her arrest, Montgomery’s black community launch a successful year-long bus boycott. Montgomery’s buses are desegregated on Dec. 21, 1956.

It’s time for us to unite and stand up for what we know is right. We see now that to win the battle it has to be a team effort and there has to be a negative economical effect on the white community before the white man will listen to our demands. Power in numbers! If we don’t work together nothing moves. We can do this if we follow our strong and wise leaders into battle. We can and we shall overcome, if not peacefully, then by any means necessary!

Tune in for Part II tomorrow! Thank you for reading! –Heather–

Black History Month 2011-Day 14

Tom “Blind Tom” Wiggins

Introducing one of the nineteenth century’s most famous and perplexing pianists, Blind Tom. Born a slave in Georgia, Blind Tom died an international celebrity in 1908. He had an encyclopedic memory, an all-consuming passion for music and a mind boggling capacity to imitate – both verbally and musically – any sound he heard. These extraordinary savant powers rocketed him to fame and made his name a household word, a byword for eccentric, oddball genius.


Read an excerpt of the book The Ballad of Blind Tom, Slave Pianist.

Find out more information about Blind Tom here:

To hear one of his compositions and to see a short video about him look here: