Black History Month Day 11

An African American lawyer, publisher and newspaper editor. Robert Abbott founded the Chicago Defender, a black owned newspaper.

Abbott was born in 1870 to enslaved parents in Georgia. He attended Hampton Institute in Virginia then graduated from Kent Law school in 1899. He started publishing the Chicago Defender in 1905.

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The newspaper spoke against racial injustice and lynching in the south. The newspaper was banned in different places in the south. Abbott convinced African Americans to move north. He was able to get railroad porters to deliver the newspapers south.

Over one million blacks migrated north. Majority of them moved to Chicago.

Abbott became a millionaire from the sales of his newspapers.

After his death in 1940, his newspaper was still a success.

For more information, visit: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/abbott-robert-sengstacke-1870-1940

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Black History Month: Day 28

Well it is the last day of Black History Month, but that doesn’t mean the Black History research has to stop.

Dinah Washington was the “Queen of the Blues”. She was born Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as Ruth Lee Jones. Her family was musically talented, but they were poor.

In 1928, Washington and her family moved to Chicago. She began to play piano, and sing in church. As she grew older, she became attracted to Chicago’s nightlife music. She would perform secretly at different local clubs.

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Provided by Google

Ruth toured with a quartet called Colored Ladies Quartet in 1940. She struggled financially for three years, and decided to move back to Chicago.

Manager of the Garrick Lounge, Joe Sheridan, convinced Washington to change her name from Ruth Jones to Dinah Washington, because it sounded better for promotional business.

Washington and Sheridan began to perform together. She performed with Lionel Hampton’s orchestra, and with Mercury Records, the label company where she recorded for 16 years.

She released 45 Billboard hits. Some of her songs included: “What a Difference a Day Makes”, “This Bitter Earth”, and “You Got What it Takes”.

Washington used her fame to help launch the careers of others, and make contributions to the civil rights movement.

Washington died in 1963 due to an accidental overdose of pills.