Trials of the Century: 19th Century Edition

There are some cases that capture the public’s imagination and cause a media frenzy. There’s the political trials, which cover treason, spying, dissidents, and radicals. Celebrity trials that involve high-profile people, whether victims or defendants. And the “whodunit” trials that are surrounded in mystery. Whatever the case, 19th century America has its share of legendary trials that captivate the public interest and newspapers deliver all the sensational details.

Gertrude “Ma” Rainey in Newspapers

This year’s celebration of Pride Month wrapped up this week and we wanted to highlight an important figure in the history of blues music whose story has often been overlooked. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey was hailed as the “Mother of the Blues” and was a bisexual Black singer who has and continues to inspire generations of musicians. […]

Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919) was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire through her company, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing. Though she had no formal education, she gained a wide reputation as an African American entrepreneur in the cosmetics industry and manufacturer of a hair remedy, which she coined the “Walker System.” […]