Tag Archives: Black History

Black History: Musicians & Singers

Black History: Musicians & Singers

More Homework Help

Sweethearts of Rhythm

The Sweethearts of Rhythm is the story of a real all girl band that traveled around the country in the 1930s and 1940s. The band was unusual because it was all girls and because it was integrated.

One reason the girls got this chance is World War II. A lot of men were fighting in the war so it was easier for a girl band to get gigs. Sometimes the band had trouble performing because the band was integrated. When the band played in the South they had to sleep on their tour bus because it was illegal there for black and white people to be in the same restaurant or hotel. Sometimes the girls had to wear disguises to hide the fact that their skin color was not all the same.

The author tells the story of the Sweethearts in poems. She uses the rhythms of jazz music in her poetry. Read the poems, look at the great pictures and then don’t forget to read the author’s note in the back.

From the 1870s to the 1950s, Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis served as the focal point of Indianapolis’s black community. The black population in Indianapolis surged in the early 1900s as blacks migrated to the city from the South. Indiana Avenue businesses included restaurants, saloons, grocery stores, clothing stores, hair stylists, barber shops, a hotel, and more. Some of the most well known businesses on the Avenue were the Indianapolis Recorder (a black newspaper) and the Walker Building (which housed a casino and theatre, offices, a beauty college, drugstore, and restaurant.) In the 1930s, the Avenue’s businesses were focused on food and entertainment. By 1940 there were more than twenty-five jazz clubs on the Avenue where both national talent and local legends played. (from The Indiana Historical Society 2011 Indiana Black History Challenge)

I wonder if the Sweethearts of Rhythm ever played there? Here is a movie poster of a different performer from the 1950s advertising a Rhythm and Blues show in Indianapolis. The poster is an Artifact at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Lula Reed Poster – Lula Reed began to demonstrate her singing ability in church in the late 1940s. With the help of well-known gospel singer Harold Boggs, Reed débuted with the Sonny Thompson Orchestra in 1951. Achieving two hits on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues Chart, she performed for audiences throughout the country. On one of these trips, she performed for African American audiences in Naptown, a nickname for Indianapolis, at the Rhythm and Blues Show in the late 1950s.

Listed below are more books, websites & databases that will help you learn about African American musicians and singers.


Websites:

Biography in Context is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home with your IndyPL Library Card. Login using your library card number and PIN. What’s My PIN? Biography in Context will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about The Sweethearts of Rhythm and other African American Musicians.​


eBooks:

IndyPLLibraryCard100
Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive

A Horn for LouisDuke EllingtonI'm Going to SingJazzJust a Lucky So and SoLil WayneRay CharlesTrombone ShortyWalk Together Children

Print Books:

Here are some more books that highlight African American music, composers, singers & musicians from slave work songs to spirituals to songs of the civil rights movement:

A Band of AngelsAin't Nothing But a ManAwesome African American Rock and Soul MusiciansBaby FloBessie Smith and the Night RidersDuke Ellington's Nutcracker SuiteElla FitzgeraldFree at LastHarlem's Little BlackbirdHow Sweet the SoundIn the Hollow of Your Hand Slave LullabiesIncredible African American Jazz MusiciansJazz A-B-ZJazz Age JosephineJazz Day the Making of a Famous PhotographJazz on a Saturday NightJosephine's DreamLike a Bird the Art of the American Slave SongLouis Armstrong King of JazzMister and Lady Day Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved HerNobody Gonna Turn Me RoundThe Voice That Changed a NationWhat Marian Sang

African American Music in Indiana

From the 1870s to the 1950s, Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis served as the focal point of Indianapolis’s black community. Originally called Indiana Street, the Avenue begins at the intersection of Illinois and Ohio Streets and extends northwest. While the Avenue was originally settled by German and Irish immigrants, by 1870 one-third of Indianapolis’s black population lived near Indiana Avenue. The black population in Indianapolis surged in the early 1900s as blacks migrated to the city from the South.

The Indiana Avenue businesses included restaurants, saloons, grocery stores, clothing stores, hair stylists, barber shops, a hotel, and more. Some of the most famous businesses on the Avenue were the Indianapolis Recorder (a black newspaper) and the Walker Building (which housed a casino and theatre, offices, a beauty college, drugstore, and restaurant.) In the 1930s, the Avenue’s businesses were focused on food and entertainment. By 1940 there were more than twenty-five jazz clubs on the Avenue where both national talent and local legends played. I wonder if the Sweethearts of Rhythm ever played there?

(from The Indiana Historical Society 2011 Indiana Black History Challenge)


More Info Guides about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

Print This Post Print This Post

Black History: Authors & Illustrators

Black History: Authors & Illustrators
Words to My Life's Song AshleyBryan Elijah of Buxton Brown Girl Dreaming The Rock and the River Martin's Big Words
Alexander, Kwame  Website Interview Video Interview
Barnes, Derrick   Interview Video Interview
Bryan, Ashley Website Interview Video Interview
Collier, Bryan Website Interview Video Interview
Curtis, Christopher Paul Website   Video Interview
Davis, Tanita Website Interview Interview
Dillon, Leo & Diane Website Interview  
Draper, Sharon Website   Video Interview
Flake, Sharon Website Interview Video Interview
Giovanni, Nikki Website Interview Video Interview
Grimes, Nikki Website Interview Video Interview
Hamilton, Virginia Website Interview Video Interview
Johnson, Angela Website Interview Video Interview
Lewis, E.B. Website Interview Video Interview
Magoon, Kekla Website Interview Video Interview
McKissack, Frederick   Interview Video Interview
McKissack, Patricia   Interview Video Interview
Myers, Christopher Website Interview Video Interview
Myers, Walter Dean Article Interview Video Interview
Nelson, Kadir Website Interview Video Interview
Nelson, Vaunda   Interview Video Interview
Nolen, Jerdine Website Interview Video Interview
Pinkney, Andrea Website Interview Video Interview
Pinkney, Brian Website Interview Video Interview
Pinkney, Jerry Website Interview Video Interview
Reynolds, Jason Website Interview Video Interview
Rhodes, Jewell Parker   Interview Video Interview
Rhuday-Perkovich, Olugbemisola Website Interview Video Interview
Smith, Charles Website Interview Video Interview
Williams, Rita Garcia Website Interview Video Interview
Woodson, Jacqueline Website Interview Video Interview
The Lion and the Mouse Nelson Mandela Eliza's Freedom Road 8th Grade Super Zero Jazz

More Info Guides about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

Print This Post Print This Post

Black History – Images & Artifacts

Black History – Images & Artifacts

The Indianapolis Public Library has a collection full of digital images that will give you a good look at black history in America and right here in Indiana. These items are the real thing. The collection includes photographs, photographs of artifacts and documents which would be great resources for school reports.


tcm_walker

Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – A collection of photographs of 1,000 artifacts from the museum collection. The objects would be good for Social Studies, Science and Geography homework. Many of the objects have a tie to Indiana. Take a look at the African-American artifacts.


African American Firefighters Collection – This is a collection of photographs and artifacts that document the history of African American Firefighters in Indianapolis. On May 19, 1876 Fire Chief W. O. Sherwood appointed the first black men to the Indianapolis Fire Department on Hose Company 9, located at 31 West Saint Joseph Street. This station, eventually renumbered as Station 1 and relocated to 441 Indiana Avenue, grew to become an all-black double company firehouse, with approximately 24 firefighters who rotated through two 24-hour shifts. Black firefighters remained segregated from the rest of the Fire Department until the practice was officially ended on Jan. 1, 1960. Hired before integration in 1955, Joseph Kimbrew became the first black Fire Chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department on January 19, 1987.


free_soil

 

Free Soil Banner – This is a collection of old newspapers you can read online. The Free Soil Banner was a newspaper in Indianapolis from 1848 to 1854 published by the Free Soil Party. The Free Soil Party thought that slavery should not be extended to the territories newly gained in the war with Mexico, but should be “free soil”, worked by free (as opposed to slave) labor. They stopped short at advocating the abolition of slavery, preferring to contain it to the areas where it was already allowed, believing that it would eventually die out. “Free soil, free speech, free labor, free men.”


Another really stunning photo collection is at The National Museum of African American History and Culture. You can explore their full collection online by topic:


More Info Guides about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

Print This Post Print This Post

Black History: Cowboys, Pioneers & the West

Black History: Cowboys, Pioneers & the West

Bad News for Outlaws

Bass Reeves grew up as a slave in Texas. Even as a young boy he was good with a gun. His master used to take him to shooting contests to show him off. One night though, when Bass was a young man, he and his master got in a fight and Bass punched his owner. Hitting a white man was punishable by death – so Bass ran, and he ran as a fast and as far as he could – all the way to Indian Territory in the West.

The frontier wasn’t called the Wild West for nothing. It was rough country with outlaws roaming around. The West was a great place for bad guys to hide. In 1875 the government hired 200 deputy marshals to help bring order to the frontier and Bass Reeves was one of them. He was also the best one. He could fight and he could shoot when he had too, but mostly, he was smart. He was also known for his honesty and integrity. One time, he had to arrest his own son! Author: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

The Legend of Bass Reeves

Another great book about Bass is The Legend of Bass Reeves. Gary Paulsen, the author of this book, calls it “the true and fictional account of the most valiant marshal in the West.” Mr. Paulsen adds a little here and there to fill in the places where history left gaps…but for the most part, this is the story of Bass the real guy – the first African-American U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi – and this was in the 1870s! Bass became a legend, even in his own time. Some outlaws turned themselves in once they heard it was Bass that would be looking for them! Bass Reeves – an American original! Look at the websites and books below to learn more about other African-Americans and the roles they played settling the American West.

Websites:

Pinterest Logo 25 IndyPL Kids Pinterest Board: Black History – Cowboys & Pioneers

Books:

Nat Love BlackIndians BestShot Pickett
Nothing Thunder Buffalo Hurry
OldWest Nicodemus Frontiers

More Info Guides about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

Print This Post Print This Post

Black History: The Civil Rights Movement

Black History: The Civil Rights Movement

Claudette ColvinFeatured Civil Rights Activist: Claudette Colvin grew up in Alabama in the 1940s and 1950s. At that time, Jim Crow rules dominated her life. Jim Crow rules were designed to keep black people and white people separated. These are the rules that said black people could not eat in certain restaurants or sit in certain seats on a city bus. When Claudette was 15 years old she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person, so she was arrested. You’re probably thinking, no, that was Rosa Parks. It’s true, Rosa Parks did the same thing, but Claudette did it too! A lawsuit was filed on behalf of several people, including Claudette and Rosa, to end bus segregation, and eventually, they won. Rosa is more well known, but Claudette was right there too, and she was just a kid! Reading her story helps you understand that it took lots of people, young and old, to change the Jim Crow rules. A lot of people were brave enough to stand up and say, “no more!”

This book includes interviews with Claudette herself, so you get the story straight from her. She talks about what it felt like to live with Jim Crow; to constantly be told, “you can’t”. When you hear a real person talking about it, it seems much more real than reading a plain description. Claudette was there and she can speak for herself. If you like reading about Claudette, try Marching For Freedom. That one tells the story of kids who marched in Selma, Alabama to help win black people the right to vote. It’s really good too and includes interviews with people who were kids back then and were actually there.


Indiana History and Civil Rights:

FocusOnIndianaSmall

If you like Claudette’s story you might like finding out about a strong Hoosier woman who fought for her rights. When Indiana became a state in 1816, the constitution stated, “there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude.” In early 1816, Mary Bateman Clark, a slave in Kentucky, was sold and brought to Knox County, Indiana, as an “indentured servant.” In 1821 Clark filed suit for her freedom. The Knox County Circuit Court ruled against Clark’s petition to end her indentured servitude. Clark appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, which ruled that Clark’s status was clearly not voluntary. The court awarded Clark her freedom and in doing so set a precedent for freedom for other indentured blacks held in Indiana.


Websites:


Books:

We've Got a JobTwo FriendsSit InThe Civil Rights Act of 1964She Stood for FreedomSeeds of FreedomMiles to Go for FreedomMartin's Dream DayMarching for FreedomBlood BrotherI Have a DreamPreaching to the Chickens

More about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

Print This Post Print This Post
1 2 3 4