Black Magician History Month

black-herman

I love researching topics for these posts. One of the ways I pick topics is to check the dictionary to see what words people are looking up currently. Through this process I get the experience of acquiring new knowledge. I have copied information here that I found “really” interesting and is a good fit for Black History Month.

I did a book reading at a local library this past Friday and while I was reading the first chapter of my book I was reminded that my father, Eddie Green, the subject of the book, had begun his entertainment career as a “Boy Magician.” Eddie left home at about age nine, taught himself to read, read books on magic and began performing around Baltimore in churches and halls. By the time he was sixteen he was hiring assistants and he performed his magic acts until he began appearing on stage at the Standard Theater in Philadelphia in 1917 and someone told him that his comedy act was so funny he should drop the magic part, which he did.

So I’m looking up words and I found the word “ruse” had been looked up quite a lot lately.  Hmmm. Ruse means a clever or artful skill, or artifice, i.e. trick. My personal opinion is that in these instances “ruse” was not looked up in regard to magic but I chose to use it that way because of this post.

I also found this article that states, “the methodology behind magic is often referred to as a science (often a branch of physics) while the performance aspect is more of an art form….Dedication to magic can teach confidence and creativity, as well as the work ethic associated with regular practice and the responsibility that comes with devotion to an art.  Hass, Larry & Burger, Eugene (November 2000). “The Theory and Art of Magic“. The Linking Ring. The International Brotherhood of Magicians. Magic is also a form of trickery, artifice or a ruse.

Eddie was very skillful in this art form. I believe magic is what helped Eddie hone his comedic presentation and also helped with his dedication to his career.

I decided to look up any other Black Magicians (cause I had never heard of any) and Lo and Behold I found a long list of men and one woman. I focused on this first guy Black Herman. So funny. He was born one year later than Eddie. And he was quite famous.

Black Herman was an African-American magician who combined magic with a strong separatist and militant political message, and became one of the most important Black magicians in history. His mission was to promote his view of Black power by attracting attention and support using stage magic, occult magic and superstition.
Born in Amherst, Virginia, Benjamin Rucker learned the art of illusions from a huckster named Prince Herman. The two ran a medicine show, performing magic tricks to attract customers for their “Secret African Remedy”, a tonic that was mostly alcohol with some common spices added for good measure. When Prince Herman died in 1909, Rucker, then only 17 years old, continued to travel with the show, focusing on the magic and dropping the medicine show.
Creating his own stage persona, Rucker took the name “Black Herman”, partially in honor of Prince Herman, and partly as an homage to Alonzo Moore, the famous African-American magician who was known as the “Black Herrmann”. (I never knew this.)

After 1910, Black Herman made Harlem, New York his home base. He was exposed to, and greatly influenced by, the radical racial philosophies of Marcus Garvey and others who were fighting to improve the lives of African Americans. He began to incorporate a political message into his shows, playing to all-Black audiences in the South, but to mixed crowds in the North, a very unusual and great achievement for his time.

Black Herman was an ethnic nationalist, a contemporary of activists Marcus Garvey and Booker T. Washington. Increasingly throughout his career, his shows promoted the message of Black pride. Garvey, Washington and Black Herman all offered talismans for sale to ward off racism. Benjamin Herman Rucker 1892-1934.

Thanks to  MagicTricks.com for providing this information.

Oh yea, one of the names on that list I found was, Eddie Green.

Hey, thanks, for stopping by. KCB

Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer, bearmanormedia.com

 

 

 

Obstacles….NOT!

obstacles-notLet 2017 be your year of overcoming the obstacles. In our world today there seems to be a lot of obstacles: racism, poverty, joblessness. But I have come to learn in my own life and through writing my father’s biography, that obstacles don’t signify stopping points. Unless you live in Chester’s Mill “Under the Dome.” (A fictional TV program that I loved-the town people couldn’t go under the Dome or around it or through it.) In real life obstacles can be overcome.

If you have followed my blog for awhile you know that I have published a book about my father, Eddie Green. My intent was for this blog and the book to be inspirational. To maybe help motivate someone to follow their dreams no matter how difficult it may seem. My family laughs at the title of my blog Pin In The Tush. But I told them it is supposed to bring to mind what happens when someone is stuck in the tush (or butt, if you prefer) with a pin, they usually jump-they are motivated! Anyhow, the book talks about the fact that my father was a Black man born in 1891 in the most poverty-stricken, segregated part of Baltimore, Md. Jobs were few and far between. I think his mother took in washing and I have almost no knowledge of his father, except that maybe he worked the docks when he could. There was no sewage system then and the houses were falling apart alley houses.

Despite the racism, the lack of jobs, and the poverty, or maybe because of it, Eddie left home at nine years of age, taught himself how to read, through books learned the art of magic and performed magic acts in churches and halls in and around Baltimore. He found work as a handy man where he could and wound up working at a theater where they also let him perform. He wrote a song (a bestseller), and sold it for next to nothing. (It became a bestseller after he sold it.) He took himself and a group of ladies out on the road in the South with his song. He got more work in the Theater, wrote more songs and just climbed from there to become extremely successful in the world of entertainment. Racism did not stop him. He was one of the most sought after comedians on White radio programs. He played Eddie, the waiter on the Duffy’s Tavern radio program through the last ten years of his life. Poverty motivated him. The necessity of having money gave him the impetus to teach himself a skill.

Anyone can enjoy a good life despite the seeming let-downs or road-blocks. This year have faith in yourself, treat yourself well, put in the work, learn something new, love your neighbors and see how you can be an inspiration to someone else.

Hey, thanks for stopping by and please, share this with a friend.

And read: Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. Publisher: BearManorMedia.com

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS: YESTERDAYUSA

yesterdayusa

In September of 2016 I was interviewed on Walden and Patricia’s Open House on the above named internet radio program. Patricia sent me an email after the interview and following is a portion:

QUOTE FROM PATRICIA (Walden and Patricia’s Open House) INTERVIEWER FOR YESTERDAYUSA INTERNET RADIO, SEPTEMBER, 2016:
“We have had calls and emails from listeners telling us how much they enjoyed you and were feeling so good about learning about your father, his work, the culture at the time, the people in the entertainment industry who would otherwise be forgotten So from them, too, thank you.

I tried to explain to Walden (her husband) – and probably didn’t do a very good job of it – what a remarkable and seamless blend of personal thoughts and feelings you captured (which added such warmth and life to the book) while at the same time maintaining an objective distance that made the book impartial and educational and Eddie Green captivating. I will add my comments on the Amazon site this week.

I have a hard time helping people grasp how much I love and appreciate American history, overt and obscure, but most especially the stories and experiences we would never know about except for people like you who put in the time and love to share it. What you share in your book is more than a gift for all of us.”
It is so good to receive messages such as this one and I want to thank Patricia and Walden again for having me on their program.
Thanks for stopping by and may you be inspired.

 

 

SPREAD THE INSPIRATION

6765541_1_lThis movie, written, directed and produced by my father, Eddie Green, in which he also starred, prompted one journalist to refer to Eddie as the “comic movie making mogul”, because the movie proved to be quite popular.

Dress Rehearsal (1939) was Eddie’s first movie that was released under Sepia-Art Pictures Co. (which Eddie owned) at the 125th Street Apollo in New York on October 21, 1939. The film was also shown in the Lichtman chain of theaters in the South. Eddie’s sales manager reported that after the first showing of the movie the “White as well as the Black audiences grabbed at it greedily.” And that due to this unexpected phenomenon “the entire plant had to be reorganized.” The “plant” being Eddie’s movie studio in Palisades, New Jersey.

The next “first” for Eddie is that in December of 1939 the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) picked Dress Rehearsal for broadcast over their television station in New York, making this movie the first Black (Negro in those days) motion picture to be sent out over the air.

Unfortunately, I have yet to locate copies of this film, although I do have copies of a script. The original script is kept in the Margaret Herrick Museum which is a non-circulating reference and research collection devoted to the history and development of the motion picture.

Today, I am looking forward to my first “First,” my upcoming book signing event. On November 9, 2016 at 7:00PM PST I will be at Book Soup in Los Angeles signing Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. When I started this book writing venture I concentrated only on research and writing. I intended to present this book to my grandson as inspiration to go forward with his life. It turns out that my father’s story has provided inspiration for me and a lot of other people who have read the book or seen this blog. During this process, however, it never dawned on me that I would have book signings.

To paraphrase Norma Desmond, after this book signing there will be another one and another one! I already have two invites. This first one though has become a sort of celebration for me so I am having snacks, and a comedy clip and a reading and a raffle. And of course my marketing continues. I have become a part of a couple of social media sites and I am beginning to be a bit more outgoing in regard to “selling” the book.

One thing I know is that if I have a desire to do something, I can. And if the something I want to do gives me pleasure I will take the necessary steps to get it done. My father was a good example of that. Anyone can do the same. I appreciate my followers on this site because they help me to keep writing.  I hope you will mention this blog to others so that we can spread the inspiration.

Thanks, for stopping by and KCB.

 

Book Reviews – so far so good

importfromphonejuly-151
L to R: My mom, Atty. Walter Gordon, Jr., Kay Seeley, Eddie, Mrs. William Dickerson, unidentified guest, Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Rev. Clayton Russell and Rev. George Garner (oh, and I am in the middle!)

When I began this post I got a little teary eyed, and I think it is because it is just beginning to soak in that I have actually had a book published. Me. A book about my father (with a chapter on my mom). People have read the book and have posted reviews in newsletters, online and have sent their thoughts through email. So far the reviews are good.

For those new to this blog I have written a rags-to-riches biography about my father, the legendary Eddie Green, filmmaker, movie and Broadway star, old time radio icon and composer, who died when I was three.  Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. The idea occurred to me back in 1996. With help from my mom, a lot of research and determination and love, the book was published in July, 2016.

Below is a excerpt from an email I received from Patricia, the lady that interviewed me during my second appearance on the YesterdayUSA internet radio program:

What a remarkable and seamless blend of personal thoughts and feelings you captured (which added such warmth and life to the book) while at the same time maintaining an objective distance that made the book impartial and educational and Eddie Green captivating.

Kudos are marvelous, darling! So I am trying with this post to learn a bit more about setting up a site that includes more than just my posts. I am attempting to have Category pages, for instance: Reviews, Book Info, Events.

When I started out my idea of writing a book was small. With time the idea and my realizations grew.

Maybe Eddie was thinking about the future of his daughter as he looked at me at my christening. He looks very contemplative. Bet he never thought I would grow up and write a book about his life that would bring him from out of the shadows back into the light of acknowledgement he deserves.

Book reviews were not something I considered during this book writing process, but, boy and I glad to see them, so far. But even if I only get one star instead of five stars, this journey continues to lift my spirits. I hope you are inspired, uplifted and encouraged to soar.

Thanks, for stopping by.

 

 

BLACKARTMATTERS-A Good Man is Hard to Find

Out of necessity I am getting better and better at cutting and pasting on my posts and I have posted a GREAT link.

A while back I submitted a story to an online electronic magazine Unlikely Stories Mark V. Unlikely Stories Mark V is the new incarnation of the electronic magazine, Unlikely Stories, which has been published on the Web, more-or-less continually, since 1998 publishes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, especially firsthand accounts of sociopolitical activism. They publish galleries of visual art, music, spoken word, other forms of aural art, and audiovisual presentations.

Below is a link to the magazine. Once there scroll down till you see “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, (the title of my article) By: Me. I wrote a good article but Unlikely Stories put a spin on it that you will love, I know I do.  Check it out and enjoy! The article begins thus:

Eddie Green, legendary filmmaker, star of movies and Broadway, Old Time Radio Icon and composer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1891 and died in Los Angeles, California in 1950. He achieved fame as an actor and comedian, and was well-known as an entrepreneur as the owner of two movie studios and a string of restaurants. As a composer of music, Eddie wrote over twenty songs. His first song “A Good Man is Hard to Find” written in 1917, is still being recorded almost one hundred years later.

http://www.unlikelystories.org/

Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer

Eddie Green -Social MediaOk, let’s see, how can I put this? I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR. Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer is now available for public consumption. Of course, I let family members know first and now I am announcing to my wonderful blogging family. Woo hoo!!!

On November 12, 2014 I wrote these next two paragraphs on my first post on my brand new laptop:

Bestsellng author, Dean Koontz said, “I really believe that everyone has a talent, ability or skill that he can mine to support himself and to succeed in life.”

I found this quote while doing some research for a book I will eventually complete.  I began my research in about 1998 because my then small grandson’s favorite words seemed to be “I can’t”.  Usually in regard to why he did not finish his homework.  His homework was always too hard.  I came up with the bright idea to enlighten him on what a person can accomplish by telling him about, and by writing a book for him about my father, his grandfather, who was a black man born in poverty in 1896 and who rose to prominence despite many obstacles.

Well, it is now 2016 and eventually has arrived. My original idea of writing a book was small. I mean, you know, you gather the information and type it up and you have a little book. And then you give him, your grandson, this little book. Once I began the research my knowledge of the true progression of my father’s life from poverty to prominence grew. I knew Eddie was a radio star, had written a song, had made a movie, had appeared in a movie. But since Eddie died when I was three and he had only been married to my mom for five years, I never really learned half of the things my father had accomplished. My little book grew.

One thing I discovered which I could not share with my mom because she had passed on by 2010, was that my father lied about his age. She thought Eddie had been born in 1896, but according to his Social Security Application from 1937, Eddie was actually born in 1891. So when my twenty-two year old mother married Eddie he was actually fifty-four, not forty-nine. I learned that not only had Eddie written one song “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, he wrote twenty-nine songs. Not only did he make one movie, he made wrote, produced, directed and acted in five all-black cast movies. He had appeared on and co-hosted radio shows, he had appeared on Broadway and on and on and on. My little book became a BOOK. And the progression has been documented on this blog.

I have loved every minute of sharing my journey here through WP, and I am very happy that I have a loyal group of followers (which I acknowledged in my book). This journey is not over. I have the job of marketing to do. I will continue to post regarding progress, and I will continue to share other items of interest to keep the spark of inspiration going. Thank you all so much for being a part of this journey. Check me out at http://www.bearmanormedia.com.

and we have a Facebook site for the book:

https://www.facebook.com/EddieGreenBook/?view_public_for=1134428443290744

As always, Thanks, for stopping by, and Spread The Word!

Tooting My Own Horn

websizephototopublisher
Me

Hi, this post will be short and sweet. This is me, Elva Diane Green. This is the photo that will be used on one-page brochures, postcards and flyers by the publisher of the biography I have written on my father Eddie Green. To announce, report, notify, no Broadcast that by the end of this year this visage will be visible all over! Me. Who woulda thunk it?

 

Must be in my genes. Eddie being a songwriter, movie, Broadway and radio star with his picture in the papers back in the day, and my mom pictured alongside of him all dolled up. 3rd set with new pictures 277Maybe it was inevitable that I write the book and have my picture added to the mix.

Stay tuned, more to come.

Thanx, for stopping by.

ANTICIPATION

eddieinoffice
Eddie and his secretary signing talent

 

Hi. So I have posted a picture of my father, Eddie in his office back in 1939 greeting young ladies who showed up for a chance to appear in one of his movies, produced by his Sepia Art Pictures Company movie studio. Eddie’s office was located on 7th Avenue in New York, which is where a good part of his career took place. He spent some time in Hollywood during 1936-38 appearing on various radio programs, but he did not have a home in California until 1945. Sepia Art Pictures had gone out of business by 1945, but that did not mean his movie making days were over.

Eddie was signed on to play “Eddie, the waiter” in a new radio program titled Duffy’s Tavern in 1941, and when Paramount decided to produce a movie version of the radio program in 1945, Eddie was signed for the role in the movie. Eddie’s movie making money had run out, but I do believe financial difficulties took a turn because he married my mom in 1945, bought his house in Los Angeles and started a new movie/television studio on Western Avenue in 1946.

Today I decided to make this a short post about Eddie because I want to write about me and my book writing journey.  I have a writer friend who is well versed in the etiquette of book writing. Meaning this friend has offered to help make sure I have not printed material that might show someone in a bad light. So my friend is reading my book. The book about my father is the first book I have ever written so I take all the help I can get. But……..the waiting is difficult. Even though I am perfectly aware of the time frame called for. My book is approximately 48,000 words in length. And people have other things to do. My friend has a family, a job, book signings. I am blessed to have this help. I am sharing this because maybe someone else is having the same issue. Learning how to wait with anticipation.

I was reminded today of the last opera I saw with my mom. It was Madama Butterfly. In one scene Madam Butterfly is waiting for her love to come back from the sea. She sits on the floor and waits.waiting 3And waits. And waits. Pretty soon some of the people in the audience at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion start getting a little fidgety. Madame Butterfly hasn’t moved. She’s waiting. After a while we, the audience, begin to understand that we have been invited to participate in order to understand how long Madama Butterfly waited for this man. We were waiting too. By the time her wait was over I had begun to question whether the producer of this play was a genius or a nut for making the audience wait so long. And when I thought of this today while I was standing on the bus stop, I laughed out loud. Which relieved some of the pressure that had begun to build up in me.

After all, judging by the past few years of this endeavor, everything I have needed I have received. I have no complaints. My grandson told me to remember, that no matter how things turn out, to remember that I said I was going to write a book and I did. I just need to sit back, relax and be prepared for the next phase of marketing this bad boy. Thank you, Jeremy.

Hey, thanks, for stopping by.

Untitled Post

eg

Hello there. If you are new to my blog Welcome and if you are a follower Welcome Back. I wrote early on in 2014 that I had been procrastinating in writing this book and that I needed to either start writing or get off the pot.  My sister-in-law, Christal, sent me a message: Write the book!! Well, once I got started it was full steam ahead, and now today I am working on setting up the cover page for the book. So, I have actually made a decision on which photo of my father to use for the cover of my book. Eddie’s photo in white tux will be the main photo. I still have to order the photo (when I get the $50), which will be soon.

new eddie

The stage picture of Duffy’s Tavern radio program and one or two poster’s of  movies that Eddie produced and starred in will be featured also. Duffy’s Tavern radio program is where Eddie rise took him on his journey from the alley house he lived in as a child in Baltimore. On his way to Duffy’s though he made movies, wrote songs (A Good Man is Hard to Find) owned a string of Barbecue restaurants, and even performed on the very first demonstration of television in 1936. In 1940 Eddie’s movie Dress Rehearsal was the first all-black cast movie to be shown on television, a short (20 mins) which came on right after a film about the World’s Fair.

courtesy live auctioneers
courtesy live auctioneers

I have put these elements together as a book cover, but I can’t figure out how to paste it into this post.  Of course, when the whole thing is put together, I will announce it here with pictures.

My father’s life is a true inspiration to me, especially as he started out in the early 1900’s when it was a truly difficult world for people of color, but Eddie took the bull by the horns and ran with it. Eddie’s faith in himself and his process secured him his break into burlesque theater in New York.  He was in Tampa, Florida in 1920 touring with his company when he noticed an advertisement in the Billboard for a comedian.  Eddie had an engraver make him a letterhead with a fancy border and big letters that read “De Luxe Players”. There were 18 players in his company so he listed himself as “Eddie Green, owner-comedian-manager-director-organizer”.   He got the job.  He also got the job because he was truly funny. He put in the work to get where he got. Eddie was quoted as saying “You get respect, if you know your business.”

Have faith in yourself, know your business and do the work, and great things will happen in your life.

Thanks, for stopping by.