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Steven J. Niven

the first woman executed by electric chair in Georgia, was born in Cuthbert, Georgia, to Queenie Baker, a sharecropper, and a father whose name is unknown. Little is known about her early life. If typical of the African American experience in southwestern Georgia in the early 1900s Baker's childhood was probably one of long working hours and low expectations. Indeed, it was in the debt-ridden and desperate Georgia black belt of the early 1900s that W. E. B. Du Bois discovered the Negro problem in its naked dirt and penury Litwack 114 In an attempt to escape from that world of debt and desperation Baker began working at an early age at first helping her mother chop cotton for a neighboring white family the Coxes Like other black women in the community she also worked as a laundress and occasional domestic for white families in town Despite the legacy ...

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Regina N. Barnett

hip-hop and DJ pioneer, was born Jason William Mizell, the youngest of Connie and Jessie Mizell's three children. The family lived in Brooklyn, New York, where his mother Connie was a teacher and his father Jessie was a social worker. Moving to the Hollis neighborhood of Queens from Brooklyn in 1975, Mizell quickly became a respected and powerful force in that small neighborhood. While Mizell was a student at Andrew Jackson High School, teachers and students alike would ask him to stop altercations between students because of his dominating presence and amiable nature. Mizell dropped out of high school but eventually obtained his equivalency diploma. Drumming, playing the guitar, and socializing with friends took up most of Mizell's free time. Mizell credited a desire to be “part of the hottest thing” as one of the main reasons for becoming a DJ in an interview with DJ Times ...

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Emily Landau

a madam in Storyville, the infamous red-light district of New Orleans, was born Louise Hendley in Dallas County, Alabama, near Selma. Her mother, Amanda Tipton, was an African American housekeeper, and her father, Robert Hendley, was white. Her sister Della was the mother of the jazz composer and musician Spencer Williams.

Storyville was created by city ordinance in 1897 White was Storyville s most notorious madam in part because of her brilliant self promotion as the Diamond Queen of the demi monde and the Queen of the Octoroons and also the Handsomest Octoroon in America Octoroon is an outmoded racial designation technically meaning one eighth black The term however had a particular resonance beyond this crude blood calculus dating back at least to the antebellum period when abolitionists created a literary genre themed around the tragic octoroon quadroon or mulatta The precise heritage of the girl was unimportant ...