The Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York, became a major entertainment center for Blacks throughout the country.


The first Black owned and operated record company was the Pace Phonograph Company.


The Charleston, a dance craze, was first introduced to a non-Black audience during a Black performance of "Running Wild."

The first Black performer to appear at Carnegie Hall in New York was the opera singer Roland Hayes.

Bessie Smith, "Queen of the Blues," recorded her first song.


A harmonica player, DeFord Bailey, Sr., became the first Black musician to perform at "The Barn Dance," later known as the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.


The first Black woman to achieve prominence as director of a professional choral group was composer, musician, writer, actress and educator Eva Jessye.


Edward Kennedy ("Duke") Ellington made his debut at the Cotton Club in Harlem.

Howard University student, singer and composer Lillian Evanti, was the first Black American to sing opera with an organized European opera company.


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February 2001