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Dr. C.D. Coleman – Jet Magazine Oct 28, 1954

6 Jan
Jet Magazine October 28, 1954

Jet Magazine October 28, 1954

While reviewing old issues of Jet Magazine I came across an entry for Dr. C.D. Coleman. In October of 1954 he was elected as Notary of Lauderdale County, TN. I looked Dr. Coleman up on and discovered that he was born in 1883 in Mississippi. His full name was Charles David Coleman. His mother, Francis, was born into slavery in 1852 in Alabama. Dr. Coleman worked as a physician and owned his own practice. He was married to Gertrude Love Coleman on September 30, 1915 in Lauderdale County, TN. According to information found on Dr. Coleman passed away March 10, 1966. It’s unclear how he ended up in Halls, but I personally am glad he chose Halls and chose to break racial barriers in Lauderdale County by becoming an elected official.


– Tiffany

– Jet Magazine October 28, 1954


Fannie Clay – Honorable Mentions

18 May

Fannie Clay was born in Ripley, TN in 1891, the daughter of former slaves Elen Gilliland Clay and Hugh Clay. In 1910 she graduated from Lauderdale County Training School and relocated to Memphis, TN with her family. Fannie soon relocated to Chicago, Illinois where she met Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in an ice cream parlor. They were married January 27, 1922. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was famous for being a professional tap dancer and actor of stage and film. He got his start dancing in local bars as a child. Bojangles was most famous for the series of movies he starred in alongside Shirley Temple. He was the first African-American to appear on film dancing alongside a White girl, Shirley Temple. During this time his wife, Fannie Clay, worked as his business manager. She is credited as playing a significant role in his success by working behind the scenes. Bill Bojangles affectionately nicknamed her “Lil Bo”. Unfortunately, they divorced June 25, 1943 due to his gambling, womanizing, and Fannie’s desire to have him slow down due to his heart condition. When they divorced Fannie is quoted as having said they “agreed to disagree and would still remain the best of friends”. In the 2001 movie titled “Bojangles” Bojangles was played by Gregory Hines and Fannie Clay was played by Kimberly Elise.

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Fannie Clay

Source:  Image –  Google Images Archive

Source: Greenfield, Phil. “‘Mr. Bojangles’ Is Well-acted History Play Recounts Vaudeville Days.” Baltimore Sun. 11 June 1993. Web. 18 May 2012.

Source: Mancini, Ralph. “Day Of Remembrance For Tap Dance Pioneer.” Times Newsweekly. 24 May 2007. Web. 18 May 2012. <2007/052407/NewFiles/ROBINSON.html>.

– Tiffany

Honorable Mentions – Who’s Who of the Colored Race 1915

23 Aug

While browsing the book Who’s Who of the Colored Race published in 1915 I came across an entry mentioning Ripley, TN. The entry belongs to Edward Bailey, son of Edward and Peggy Bailey of Brownsville, TN. Edward left Brownsville, attended Fisk University and became very successful in the field of education. He married Fannie Virginia Perdue of Ripley, TN in 1894. Together they had 4 children. Edward Bailey went on to become the principal of Bruce High School in Dyersburg, TN. He also worked at Lane College, was principal of Covington Grammar School in Covington, TN, and also worked as principal of Gibbons High School in Paris, TX. He was a member of the National Teachers Education Association and the Tennessee Teachers Association.

– Tiffany


Who’s Who of the Colored Race Volume One 1915. Ed. Frank L. Mather. University of Michigan, 1915. 15. Google Books. Web. 23 Aug. 2011. <;.