Blog Updated

The new picture (of William Leroy Blake and members of the Jenkins Orphanage Band) and blog title (“Not Just in February”) of the Avery Research Center’s blog represents the fact that we at the Avery  Research Center promote and document African-American history all-year around. Our collections demonstrate that the African-American experience cannot be limited to just one month. The individuals and organizations within the repository signify the fact that our legacies need to be celebrated and remembered not only so we do not forget them, but also to empower and encourage us to continue onward.

The Jenkins Orphanage was created in 1891 by Rev. Daniel Jenkins because he saw that there was a need for one in the African-American community. The band was created by Jenkins to raise money for the land for the orphanage due to the lack of support from the city and limited public will. It was eventually built at 20 Magazine Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Jenkins sought instruments for them to play and hired P.M. “Hastie” Logan and Francis Eugene Mikell to tutor the children. It is reported that the uniforms worn by the youth were hammy-downs from the

Lonnie Hamilton. Obtained from

Citadel. The band was composed of the children from the orphanage and they were given the opportunity to play around world such as at the London Expo and the St. Louis World Fair. The profits from the shows went to the upkeep of the orphanage.  Mo

Cat Anderson. Obtained from

re about the Jenkins Orphanage can be found in John Chilton’s book A Jazz Nursery: The Story of the Jenkins’ Orphanage Bands. 

Some well-known band players are Lonnie Hamilton (we have his papers), Jabbo Smith (hear him play), Cat Anderson, and Freddie Green.

The band reflects the fact that Charleston, South Carolina played an important role in the creation of Jazz music as we know it today.

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