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Wanda Bennett
Wanda Bennett • 38 weeks ago

"CAKEWALK" | It's origins in slavery, the cakewalk mocked the rich folks in the "Big House," and southern high-society. Bowing, bending and a high-stepping promenade were characteristic of the dance. In many instances the Cakewalk was performance, and even competition. The dance would be held at the master’s house on the plantation and he would serve as judge. The dance’s name comes from the cake that would be awarded to the winning couple.

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While performing with the group, Aida met her future husband, prominent vaudeville performer George Walker.

"Gens de Coleur Libres" Free People of Color New Orleans has a rich and significant legacy of being a city that once had 10's of thousands of Free Blacks, also known as "Gens de Coleur Libres". This rich and thriving Afro-French community was a noteworthy class of people. They were land owners, doctors, teachers, business owners, plantations owners, and artists. This unique social development can be attributed to the tradition of French colonialism.

WILLIAM ADAMS, age 93. "When I's little, my mammy and other folks used to talk about de signs. I hears dem talk about what happens to folks 'cause a spell was put on 'em. De old folks in dem days knows more about de signs dat de Lawd uses to reveal His laws den de folks of today. It am also true of de cullud folks in Africa, dey native land. Some of de folks laughs at their beliefs and says it am superstition, but it am knowin' how de Lawd reveals His laws." (Texas Slave Narratives c.1936-1938)

BEN HARMON, was born a Slave and is buried on a former plantation in Tennessee. The Great-grandfather of Sandra Arnold, a student at Fordham University, he served as the inspiration for Sandra's Project: she is working on the first National online database of sites where Enslaved African-Americans were buried. The database is being built with a team of advisers from Fordham and Yale University. (They are taking submissions at VanishingHistory.org.)

Patented in the United States in 1922 and popular in 1930’s London, the baby cage was intended for city folk whose kids weren’t getting enough fresh air and sunshine. WHAAAAAAT??????

GUS JOHNSON, age 90 years or more, was born a Slave. "I used to hear somethin' 'bout rabbit foot. De old folks used to say dat iffen de rabbit have time to stop and lick he foot de dog can't track him no more and I allus wears de rabbit foot for good luck. I don't know if it brung me dat luck, though." (c. 1936-1938)

Little Ballerinas by Black History Album, via Flickr

Young Slave During Civil War

James Baldwin, Joan Baez and an unknown activist • Selma to Montgomery march

ELLEN POLK, Ex-Slave, born in Gonzales County, Texas. Age, 83. | "I had to feed de children while dere mudders was in de fields. De plantation was on de Guadalupe River and when dere was no meat de Slaves went to de river and killed wild hogs end turkeys and ketched fish. We groun' de co'n for cornbread and made hominy. And, O Lawd, de sugar cane, and what good 'lasses we used to make." (Library of Congress) (between 1937 and ca. 1938)

Image: a translated copy of the newspaper article from the New Orleans "Abeille" announcing a bounty for 6 Slaves who had escaped from the Duparc (Laura) Plantation, La.,1816.

  • I2 America

    This I'd the longest runaway slave advertisement I've ever seen!

  • Angie

    By the onset of the Civil War, 186 workers were enslaved on this farm.