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Black History Podcast
"Our History Doesn't Begin at Slavery"
Category: History
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The “Black History” podcast ventures to each week introduce an innovative topic, influential person or present interesting aspe...

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December 17, 2015 10:14 AM PST

George Alexander McGuire was born on March 26, 1866 at Sweets, Antigua, in the Caribbean West Indies. As a child, he studied in local grammar schools on the island, then continued on at the Antiguan branch of Mico College for teachers and eventually at the Moravian Miskey Seminary in the Danish West Indies. McGuire pastored a Moravian congregation at Frederikstad, St. Croix, but when he came to the United States in 1894, he chose to be confirmed in the Protestant Episcopal Church.

At the beginning of his career, McGuire led small mostly black Episcopal churches in Cincinnati, Richmond, Virginia and Philadelphia.
From 1905 to 1909, McGuire served as Archdeacon for Colored Work in Arkansas where he passionately worked to increase the number of missions from one to nine.

While involved with the Arkansas Diocese, McGuire wrote a crucial addendum to a book entitled, “The Crucial Race Question OR Where and How Shall the Color Line Be Drawn?” in it, McGuire revealed publicly for the first time, not only his eloquent and learned style, but also the pride of race that characterized his life and the way in which he taught. McGuire reflected that the Episcopal’s record of dealing with race issues left much to be desired and that the affairs of segregation within the sect were so bad, that publicly, both Black Methodists and Baptists openly would refer to them as a “black body with a white head”.

McGuire's experience in the Episcopal Church had been tainted with incidents of discrimination against himself and fellow black clergy.
He severed his ties with the Church and decided that only in a denomination of Blacks with a Black administration would equality and spiritual freedom be attained. Stating: “The white churches in America had drawn a circle to exclude people of color. Our vision is to draw a wider circle that will include all people.” At its inception the African Orthodox Church took strides to establish ecclesiastical and spiritual freedom for Blacks and people of color.

December 01, 2015 01:54 PM PST

Susie King Taylor was born a slave, the first of nine children at Grest Farm (35 miles south of Savannah) in Liberty County, Georgia on Aug. 6, 1848. Her mother was a domestic servant for the Grest family. At the age of about five she had mastered the skills of reading and writing. Taylor soon became a skilled reader and writer. Those abilities to read and write proved invaluable to the Union Army as they began to form regiments of African American soldiers.

Two days after Fort Pulaski was taken by Union forces, Taylor fled with family to St. Catherine Island, where they receive Union protection and a transfer to the Union-occupied St. Simons Island where she claimed her freedom.

Since most blacks were illiterate, it was soon discovered that Taylor could read and write. Five days after her arrival, Commodore Louis Goldsborough offered Taylor books and supplies if she would establish a school on the island. She accepted the offer and became the first black teacher to openly instruct African Americans in Georgia.

She would meet and eventually marry Sergeant Edward King while teaching at St. Simon Island, and the two would move to Port Royal Island off the coast of South Carolina. When Union officers raised the First South Carolina Volunteers of African American soldiers, Taylor signed on as a nurse, and soon started a school for black children and soldiers. Taylor would then serve for more than three years traveling with her husband's unit, the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops , as a doctor’s aid, washing, cooking, and burning or burying human limbs.

In 1890, after a trip to care for her dying son in Louisiana, Taylor wrote her memoirs which she privately published them as a book in 1902 as Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd US Colored Troops. Taylor spent much of the remainder of her life in the North, serving as a teacher, domestic servant and cook.

November 23, 2015 09:56 AM PST


Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. was born on August 17, 1887 in Saint Ann’s Bay, Jamaica to Marcus Garvey, Sr. and Sarah Jane Richards. After studying at Birkbeck College in London, in 1914 Garvey, and his first wife - Amy Ashwood Garvey - would organize and start the Universal Nego Improvement Association (the "UNIA") as a "social, friendly, humanitarian, charitable, educational, institutional, constructive and expansive society, and it being founded by persons desiring to do the utmost work for the general uplift of the people of African ancestry of the world. [The] members pledged themselves to dall all in their power to conserve the rights of their noble race and to respect the rights of all mankind, believing always in the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God." Its motto being, "One God! One Aim! One Destiny!"

November 19, 2015 08:46 AM PST

Seneca Village may possibly have been Manhattan, New York’s first stable community of African-American property owners ; and it is considered by historians as well to be one of Manhattan’s earliest communities of African-American property owners. Located from 81st to 89th Streets between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, the village is a terribly important part of the history of New York City.

November 09, 2015 06:37 AM PST

With certainty, we can only date Black hockey to the early 1870’s, yet we know that hockey and Black history in Nova Scotia have parallel roots, going back almost 100 years. The Colored Hockey League was like no other hockey or sports league before or since. Approximately half the players in the Coloured Hockey League were from families who came to Canada during the American Revolution; and another quarter had relatives who came across the border through the Underground Railroad.

Primarily located in a province, reputed to be the birthplace of Canadian hockey, the league would in time produce a quality of player and athlete that would rival the best of White Canada. Such was the skill of the teams that they would be seen by as worthy candidates for local representation in the annual national quest for Canadian hockey’s ultimate prize – the Stanley Cup.

November 02, 2015 07:21 AM PST

Betty Boop is one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time, a virtual sex symbol created during a time where bold women were often frowned upon. The character’s signature vocals stood out, but she wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for a Black woman in Harlem who inspired the style. Those famous words “Boop-Oop-A-Doop” that are so famously associated with Betty Boop, and the girlish “booping” style, were first sung and performed on stage in the Harlem Cotton Club by a jazz singer named Baby Esther.

October 27, 2015 06:46 AM PDT

Rastafari is a belief which developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, following the coronation of Haile Selassie I as Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), much in the same way as Jesus, or as God the Father. Members of the Rastafari way of life are known as Rastafari, Rastas, or simply Ras.
The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the title (Ras) and first name (Tafari Makonnen) of Haile Selassie I before his coronation.
Some Rastafari do not claim any sect or denomination, and thus encourage one another to find faith and inspiration within themselves, although some do identify strongly with one of the "Mansions of Rastafari"—the three most prominent of these being the Nyahbinghi, the Bobo Ashanti, and the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
By 1997 there were around one million Rastafari worldwide. In the 2011 Jamaican census, 29,026 individuals identified themselves as Rastafari. Other sources estimated that in the 2000s they formed "about 5% of the population" of Jamaica, or conjectured that "there are perhaps as many as 100,000 Rastafari in Jamaica".

October 18, 2015 10:19 PM PDT

Ras Tafari Makonnen rose to power in Ethiopia in 1930 and proclaimed him self "Might of the Trinity" (aka Haile Selassie). As an autocratic ruler, Selassie modernized Ethiopia and led the resistance against Italian colonial power.

October 10, 2015 01:10 AM PDT

Bantu Stephen Biko was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement.

September 17, 2015 04:06 PM PDT

The “Black History” podcast ventures to each week introduce an innovative topic, influential person or present interesting aspects of history related to the African diaspora to those seeking knowledge and enlightenment.

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