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Writer | Storyteller | Poet | Historian | Entrepreneur | M.A. History • Modern American and Modern European Studies | Writing about History, Culture, and more.

And then set his body aflame in the fireplace

Photo by Joël de Vriend on Unsplash

On June 24, 1855, Robert Newsom was officially a missing man. Newsom, a middle-aged farmer in Missouri, had snuck out of his house on the night of June 23, 1855. This was a common practice of Mr. Newsom. He would leave the main house and saunter off to a cabin just 50 feet away. However, the 23rd of June would be the last time Mr. Newsom would ever creep out of his house in the middle of the night. As dawn approached on the 24th of June, Newsom’s grown children rose for the day ahead. …


Born just 30 years after the first photograph was ever captured, “Nebraska’s First Photographer” dedicated his life to documenting the history of white settlement in central Nebraska and the Great Plains region.

The Rawding family sod house located in Sargent, Custer County, Nebraska. Photo taken by Solomon Butcher in 1886. — Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

On January 24, 1856, a baby boy named Solomon was born to Thomas and Esther Butcher in Wetzel County, Virginia. During the Civil War, this region became part of West Virginia. However, by the time of this territory change, the Butcher family was already settled nicely into LaSalle County, Illinois. Solomon Butcher would spend his formative years in Illinois, moving there as a 4-year-old in 1860 with his family and staying in the region until around 1880.

After spending 20-years planting roots in the Illinois area, Thomas Butcher was once again restless and looking for a change. The west was…


Or was it the white Josh Gibson?

The Negro League’s Homestead Grays 1930–31 team. Josh Gibson is pictured standing in the back row, the fourth man from the right. — Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Baseball historians widely agree that the greatest power hitter of all-time is a man by the name of Josh Gibson. In 1930, Gibson began his baseball career with the Homestead Grays. He would continue to play his beloved sport of baseball until 1946. While Gibson achieved a batting average of .359 and hit almost 800 home runs throughout his career, he was never allowed to play in a game of Major League Baseball. Through the gentlemen’s agreement of 1887, racial segregation had firmly been established in the professional leagues. The color line in baseball prevented one of the greatest power…


The profound thinking of Mary Oliver.

A photo of Mary Oliver taken by Molly Malone Cook in 1964. — Image courtesy of and copyright to the Mary Malone Cook Collection

On September 10, 1935, a future poet was born in Maple Heights, Ohio. The couple that welcomed this child into the world was Edward and Helen Oliver. They gave their little girl the name of Mary Jane Oliver. While growing up just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, little Mary endured a difficult childhood. Mary went through a hardship that no child should have to endure, sexual abuse.

This abuse and trauma lead Mary to experience recurring nightmares throughout her youth. Nature ended up being Mary’s saving grace. Throughout her childhood, she spent a great deal of her time outside, either reading…


A Poem

A photo of protesters in the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. — Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

On March the seventh, nineteen sixty-five,
Over six-hundred would march in protest.
Not everyone would make it out alive,
But equality would remain the quest.

As marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge,
Alabama state troopers attacked them.
Cops never let up, not even a smidge.
For the protesters, it looked rather grim.

But the march from Selma was well worth it.
The protesters had a story to tell.
The violence forced the nation to admit
That Jim Crow was indeed alive and well.

When the once peaceful march turned violent,
The nation could no longer be silent.

Note:

On March 7…


Breaking the NBA color barrier

Photo by TJ Dragotta on Unsplash

Looking at the current landscape of the NBA, nearly 75% of the league’s players are Black. While Black players have dominated the league for the past few decades, things haven’t always looked this way. When the league was founded in 1946, Black players were actually barred from participating. Things began to change when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball on April 15, 1947. This moment caused a shift in American society, the world of professional sports, and the perception of Black athletes across the boards. …


Becomes an internationally recognized poet

Paul Laurence Dunbar (standing in the back right corner) in the Howard University class photo. (1900) — Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Paul Laurence Dunbar was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. He rose to fame in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His life was short, but Dunbar found a way to make the most out of the years he was given.

The Birth of a Literary Legend

On June 27, 1872, Paul Laurence Dunbar was welcomed into the world in Dayton, Ohio. Both of Dunbar’s parents were enslaved in Kentucky before the American Civil War. Growing up in the Reconstruction era was difficult, especially for a young black boy. Dunbar endured many difficulties throughout his youth. His mother and father divorced when he was…


The story of the first black man in the NBA.

Photo by MontyLov on Unsplash

Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier when he stepped onto the field for the Dodgers on April 15, 1947. The NBA’s color barrier was broken the same year when Wat Misaka was drafted by the Knicks in the 1947 BAA Draft (later known as the NBA). Wat Misaka was Japanese American and became the first non-white player in professional basketball when he stepped onto the court for the Knicks during the 1947 season. While Misaka’s appearance was historic, he was still the only non-white player able to enter the league. …

Danielle Gibson

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