A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest; the Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually. It shares recognition of the music industry as that of the other performance awards such as the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Game Awards; the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor and respect the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Following the 2011 ceremony, the Academy overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012; the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018, were held on February 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Grammys had their origin in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the 1950s; as the recording executives chosen for the Walk of Fame committee worked at compiling a list of important recording industry people who might qualify for a Walk of Fame star, they realized there were many more people who were leaders in their business who would never earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
The music executives decided to rectify this by creating an award given by their industry similar to the Oscars and the Emmys. This was the beginning of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. After it was decided to create such an award, there was still a question of, they settled on using the name of the invention of Emile Berliner, the gramophone, for the awards, which were first given for the year 1958. The first award ceremony was held in two locations on May 4, 1959 - Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills California, Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City, 28 Grammys were awarded; the number of awards given grew and fluctuated over the years with categories added and removed, at one time reaching over 100. The second Grammy Awards held in 1959, was the first ceremony to be televised, but the ceremony was not aired live until the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971; the gold-plated trophies, each depicting a gilded gramophone, are made and assembled by hand by Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado.
In 1990 the original Grammy design was revamped, changing the traditional soft lead for a stronger alloy less prone to damage, making the trophy bigger and grander. Billings developed a zinc alloy named grammium, trademarked; the trophies with the recipient's name engraved on them are not available until after the award announcements, so "stunt" trophies are re-used each year for the broadcast. By February 2009, a total of 7,578 Grammy trophies had been awarded; the "General Field" are four awards. Record of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a single song if other than the performer. Album of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a full album if other than the performer. Song of the Year is awarded to the writer/composer of a single song. Best New Artist is awarded to a promising breakthrough performer who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording that establishes the public identity of that artist; the only two artists to win all four of these awards are Christopher Cross, who won all four in 1980, Adele, who won the Best New Artist award in 2009 and the other three in 2012 and 2017.
Other awards are given for performance and production in specific genres, as well as for other contributions such as artwork and video. Special awards are given for longer-lasting contributions to the music industry; because of the large number of award categories, the desire to feature several performances by various artists, only the ones with the most popular interest - about 10 to 12, including the four General Field categories and one or two categories in the most popular music genres - are presented directly at the televised award ceremony. The many other Grammy trophies are presented in a pre-telecast'Premiere Ceremony' earlier in the afternoon before the Grammy Awards telecast. On April 6, 2011, The Recording Academy announced a drastic overhaul of many Grammy Award categories for 2012; the number of categories was cut from 109 to 78. The most important change was the elimination of the distinction between male and female soloists and between collaborations and duo/groups in various genre fields.
Several categories for instrumental soloists were discontinued. Recordings in these categories now fall under the general categories for best solo performances. In the rock field, the separate categories for hard rock and metal albums were combined and the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category was eliminated due to a waning number of entries. In R&B, the distinction between best contemporary R&B album and other R&B albums has been eliminated, they now feature in general Best R&B Album category. In rap, the categories for best rap soloist and best rap duo or group have been merged into the new Best Rap Performance category; the most eliminations occurred in the roots category. Up to and including 2011, there were separate categories for various regional American music forms, such as Hawaiian music, Native American music and Zydeco/Cajun music. Due to the low number
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcast television network, a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building, But the network's second corporate headquarters and News headquarters remains in New York City, New York at their broadcast center on 77 West 66th Street in Lincoln Square in Upper West Side Manhattan. Since 2007, when ABC Radio was sold to Citadel Broadcasting, ABC has reduced its broadcasting operations exclusively to television; the fifth-oldest major broadcasting network in the world and the youngest of the Big Three television networks, ABC is nicknamed as "The Alphabet Network", as its initialism represents the first three letters of the English alphabet, in order. ABC launched as a radio network on October 12, 1943, serving as the successor to the NBC Blue Network, purchased by Edward J. Noble.
It extended its operations to television in 1948, following in the footsteps of established broadcast networks CBS and NBC. In the mid-1950s, ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres, a chain of movie theaters that operated as a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. Leonard Goldenson, the head of UPT, made the new television network profitable by helping develop and greenlight many successful series. In the 1980s, after purchasing an 80 percent interest in cable sports channel ESPN, the network's corporate parent, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. merged with Capital Cities Communications, owner of several print publications, television and radio stations. In 1996, most of Capital Cities/ABC's assets were purchased by The Walt Disney Company; the television network has eight owned-and-operated and over 232 affiliated television stations throughout the United States and its territories. Some of the ABC-affiliated stations can be seen in Canada via pay-television providers, certain other affiliates can be received over-the-air in areas within the Canada–United States border.
ABC News provides news and features content for select radio stations owned by Citadel Broadcasting, which purchased the ABC Radio properties in 2007. In the 1930s, radio in the United States was dominated by three companies: the Columbia Broadcasting System, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the National Broadcasting Company; the last was owned by electronics manufacturer Radio Corporation of America, which owned two radio networks that each ran different varieties of programming, NBC Blue and NBC Red. The NBC Blue Network was created in 1927 for the primary purpose of testing new programs on markets of lesser importance than those served by NBC Red, which served the major cities, to test drama series. In 1934, Mutual filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission regarding its difficulties in establishing new stations, in a radio market, being saturated by NBC and CBS. In 1938, the FCC began a series of investigations into the practices of radio networks and published its report on the broadcasting of network radio programs in 1940.
The report recommended that RCA give up control of either NBC NBC Blue. At that time, the NBC Red Network was the principal radio network in the United States and, according to the FCC, RCA was using NBC Blue to eliminate any hint of competition. Having no power over the networks themselves, the FCC established a regulation forbidding licenses to be issued for radio stations if they were affiliated with a network which owned multiple networks that provided content of public interest. Once Mutual's appeals against the FCC were rejected, RCA decided to sell NBC Blue in 1941, gave the mandate to do so to Mark Woods. RCA converted the NBC Blue Network into an independent subsidiary, formally divorcing the operations of NBC Red and NBC Blue on January 8, 1942, with the Blue Network being referred to on-air as either "Blue" or "Blue Network"; the newly separated NBC Red and NBC Blue divided their respective corporate assets. Between 1942 and 1943, Woods offered to sell the entire NBC Blue Network, a package that included leases on landlines, three pending television licenses, 60 affiliates, four operations facilities, contracts with actors, the brand associated with the Blue Network.
Investment firm Dillon, Read & Co. offered $7.5 million to purchase the network, but the offer was rejected by Woods and RCA president David Sarnoff. Edward J. Noble, the owner of Life Savers candy, drugstore chain Rexall and New York City radio station WMCA, purchased the network for $8 million. Due to FCC ownership rules, the transaction, to include the purchase of three RCA stations by Noble, would require him to resell his station with the FCC's approval; the Commission authorized the transaction on October 12, 1943. Soon afterward, the Blue Network was purchased by the new company Noble founded, the American Broadcasting System. Noble subsequently acquired the rights to the American Broadcasting Company name from George B. Storer in 1944. Meanwhile, in August 1944, the West Coast division of the Blue Network, which owned San Francisco radio station KGO, bought Los Angeles station KECA f
Yvette Renee Wilson was an American comedian and actress. Wilson was best known for her role as Andell Wilkerson, the shopkeeper of the local hangout on the UPN sitcom Moesha, she had appeared in many comedy films such as House Party 3, on Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam. Wilson died from cervical cancer at the age of 48. Before she started her career in the entertainment business, Wilson attended San Jose State University and majored in communications. In 1991 she was a contestant on the game show Supermarket Sweep. Wilson first entered comedy when she lost a bet and had to perform as a stand-up comedian at a friend's club, she never turned back. Her big break came with Thea, a short-lived sitcom from 1993 to 1994. Thea was cancelled after 19 episodes but the show helped her get a role in House Party 3. In addition, Wilson had a minor role in the 1995 comedy movie Friday as Smokey's blind date and appeared in films such as Poetic Justice, starring Janet Jackson, the film parody Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.
In 1995, she got the most important role of her career: Andell Wilkerson, a supporting character on the sitcom Moesha, which starred one of her castmates from Thea, R&B singer Brandy Norwood. Wilson's Andell character was the owner of a local teen hot spot on the show. In 2000, she left Moesha for its spin-off The Parkers, where she played as Andell Wilkerson, the best friend of Mo'Nique's character Nikki Parker. After The Parkers ended, she went on to appear in shows like HBO's Def Comedy Jam and Fox Network shows. Wilson final acting role was in 2005's Ganked, she started her own company by the name Tigobitties Inc. Wilson was married to record producer Jerome Harry from 2001 until her death in 2012. Wilson battled cervical cancer as well as kidney disease, needed a kidney transplant. A friend, Jeffrey Pittle, created a website for people to donate money to help with her medical bills and help with transportation costs; the website raised 56% of the $25,000 needed. Wilson died on June 14, 2012, aged 48.
Yvette Wilson on IMDb Yvette Wilson at Find a Grave
Columbia Pictures Television
Columbia Pictures Television, Inc. was launched on May 6, 1974 by Columbia Pictures as an American television production and distribution studio. It is the second name of the Columbia Pictures television division Screen Gems. For 26 years, the company was active from 1974 until 2001, when it was folded into Columbia TriStar Television, a merger between Columbia Pictures Television and TriStar Television. A separate entity of CPT continues to exist on paper as an intellectual property holder, under the moniker CPT Holdings to hold the copyright for the TV show The Young and the Restless, as well as old incarnations from the company's television library such as What's Happening!!. The studio was suggested by David Gerber; as the successor in interest to Screen Gems, it assumed productions of the daytime soap operas Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless. Its first produced series is the sitcom, it was slated to be a Screen Gems production. On June 13, 1977, CPT acquired worldwide distribution rights to Barney Miller and Fish from Danny Arnold, Quinn Martin's Barnaby Jones and Soap from Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions.
On June 27, CPT bought domestic distribution rights to four series made by Spelling-Goldberg Productions including S. W. A. T. Starsky & Hutch, Charlie's Angels and Family from Metromedia Producers Corporation. From 1978 to 1986, CPT co-produced series with Spelling-Goldberg including Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, T. J. Hooker. On February 19, 1979, CPT acquired TOY Productions, whose output included What's Happening!! and Carter Country. On August 13, 1981, CPT acquired the television assets of Time-Life Films. On May 17, 1982, Columbia Pictures acquired Spelling-Goldberg Productions for more than $40 million; the 1980s brought significant changes to CPT. On June 22, 1982, The Coca-Cola Company bought Columbia Pictures for $750 million. In 1983, Coca-Cola formed CPT Holdings and demerged CPT from Columbia Pictures Industries in 1984 and transferred CPT to CPT Holdings. On January 30, 1984, CPT joined forces with Lexington Broadcast Services Company by creating a joint venture between the two companies called Colex Enterprises to distribute library shows such as Father Knows Best and The Monkees, while throughout the 1980s and 1990s, other shows such as Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Partridge Family were licensed to The Program Exchange.
The same year, CPT acquired distribution rights to Benson. On June 18, 1985, Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio sold their company, Embassy Communications, Inc. to Coca-Cola. The company gained the rights to such shows as All in the Family and Son, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Diff'rent Strokes, Archie Bunker's Place, The Facts of Life, One Day at a Time, Who's the Boss? and Silver Spoons, among others. AITF at the time under license by Embassy. Coke made plans to spin-off Embassy Pictures and Embassy Home Entertainment. Under Coca-Cola's ownership, Embassy Married... with Children. The same year, Columbia and LBS Communications launched What's Happening Now!! in first-run syndication. The show was a sequel to the 1970s ABC sitcom What's Happening!!. Major changes took place in 1986. On May 5, Coke acquired Merv Griffin Enterprises, producer of the popular series, Dance Fever, The Merv Griffin Show, the two game shows, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. In 1986, the former Lear units were merged to become Embassy Communications.
On the same year on August 28, CPT acquired Danny Arnold's Four D Productions, Inc. for $50 million. On November 24, 1986, Coca-Cola regrouped CPT, Embassy Communications, Merv Griffin Enterprises into Coca-Cola Television, Coke formed a new first-run syndication unit. Coca-Cola Telecommunications took some programs that were or slated to be distributed under the Columbia Pictures Television banner including What's Happening Now!!, The Real Ghostbusters and Punky Brewster as well as taking the US distribution rights of Hardcastle and McCormick from Colex. Punky Brewster, a former NBC in-house production, Columbia acquired the rights to Punky from NBC because fin-syn regulations prevented the network from producing more episodes for syndication after they cancelled it. During the fall of 1986, the sitcom Designing Women began a successful seven-year run on CBS; the same year, Tri-Star Pictures formed Tri-Star Television and produced the short-lived series Downtown. Tri-St
Blake Clark is an American stand-up comedian and actor, best known as Chet Hunter on Boy Meets World and Harry "the Hardware Store Guy" on Home Improvement. Clark is the present-day voice of Slinky Dog in the Toy Story franchise, since the death of his close friend Jim Varney in 2000. Clark was raised there, he graduated from LaGrange College in 1969 with a degree in the performing arts. Clark is a veteran of the Vietnam War, having served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army with the 5th Infantry Division, he is cast in numerous Adam Sandler films including The Waterboy, Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, Eight Crazy Nights, 50 First Dates, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Bedtime Stories, Grown Ups, That's My Boy, he has appeared in numerous television guest appearances including Home Improvement, Boy Meets World, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Drew Carey Show, Girl Meets World. He was Fred the chauffeur in Remington Steele. Starting with Toy Story 3, Clark is the current voice of Slinky Dog in the Toy Story franchise, in place of Jim Varney, Slinky's original voice actor in the first two movies, who died of lung cancer in 2000.
He and Varney were good friends in real life. Clark has two sons, one of whom, Travis Clark, is a comedian. Clark was a close friend of Jim Varney; when Toy Story 3 was still in production, upon finding out that Varney had died, searched frantically for someone who sounded like Varney and were lucky to find Clark, who "very much captures the essence and spirit of Slinky Dog". During his time in the army, Clark was a member of the 101st Airborne division known as the "Screaming Eagles." St. Elmo's Fire – Wally Fast Food – E. G. McCormick Wired – Dusty Jenkins Johnny Handsome – Sheriff Monte Shakes the Clown – Stenchy the Clown The Dark Wind – Ben Gaines Ladybugs – Coach Bull Love Potion No. 9 – Motorcycle Cop Toys – Hagenstern Fatal Instinct – Milo Crumley The Mask – Murray Alone in the Woods – Sarge Nothing to Lose – Gas Station Cashier The Waterboy – Farmer Fran Tycus – Commander Scott Valerie Flake – Uncle Jack Critical Mass – Sheriff Borden Intrepid – Wayne Bread and Roses – Mr. Griffin Little Nicky – Jimmy the Demon Donut Men – Mr. Cellphone Joe Dirt – Old Cajun Man Corky Romano – Security Guard Back by Midnight – Farmer Mr. Deeds – Buddy Ward Eight Crazy Nights – Radio Shack Walkie-Talkie BachelorMan – Veteran Sportscaster Intolerable Cruelty – Convention Secretary 50 First Dates – Marlin Whitmore The Ladykillers – Football Coach The Benchwarmers – Umpire I'm Reed Fish – Irv Car Babes – Big Len Davis I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry – Crazy Homeless Man Strange Wilderness – Dick Leatherheads – Chicago Referee Wieners – Mr. Applebaum Get Smart – General Bedtime Stories – Biker American Cowslip – Grimes The Last Godfather – Captain O'Brian Toy Story 3 – Slinky Dog Grown Ups – Bobby'Buzzer' Ferdinando Rango – Buford Son of Mourning – Olde Fisherman Hawaiian Vacation – Slinky Dog That's My Boy – Gerald Toy Story 4 – Slinky Dog The Greatest American Hero – Sergeant / Policeman Tucker's Witch Remington Steele – Fred M*A*S*H - "2nd M.
P." in "Goodbye and Amen" Hot Flashes – Al Apt. 2C – Toki Moonlighting – Newsstand Man Newhart – Roby Long Time Gone – Bartender The Facts of Life Gimme a Break! – B. J. O'Brien Women in Prison – Assistant Warden Clint Rafferty It's Garry Shandling's Show – Blake Cumbers / Flashback Booth Repairman / Capt. Gordon Midnight Caller – Nelson Briles Who's the Boss? – Hoyt Designing Women – Skip Jackson Grave Secrets: The Legacy of Hilltop Drive – W. D. Marshall Roseanne – Vic Grace Under Fire – Gil Kelly / Jimmy Comedy: Coast to Coast Thea – Roy Bennett Tales from the Crypt – Jerry Home Improvement – Harry The Drew Carey Show – Jules Lambermont Boy Meets World – Chet Hunter Coach – Buffalo Billy Murphy Brown – Secret Service Agent Arliss – Mr. Griff Smart Guy – Mr. Petrasek The Jamie Foxx Show – Bob Nelson / Bob Unsolved Mysteries Sabrina, the Teenage Witch – Phil the Dog Lucky Lost at Home – Ralphie / Hotdog Vendor Cold Case – Tom Jaden Todd's Coma – Trina's Father My Name Is Earl – Buzz Darville Everybody Hates Chris – Russo Good Luck Charlie – Mel Community – Coach Bogner Fish Hooks – Chief Wander Over Yonder – Additional voices Girl Meets World – Chet Hunter Harvey Beaks – Roland Last Man Standing – Clark Little Mouse on the Prairie SMILF – Joe Toy Story 3: The Video Game – Slinky Dog Rango – Buford Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure – Slinky Dog Disney Infinity – Slinky Dog Toy Story: The Musical – Slinky Dog Blake Clark on IMDb
Brandy Rayana Norwood, known professionally by her mononym Brandy, is an American singer, record producer, actress. Born into a musical family in McComb and raised in Carson, she began her career as a child and performed as a backing vocalist for teen groups. In 1993, Norwood signed with Atlantic Records; the following year, she released her self-titled debut album, certified quadruple Platinum in the US, selling six million copies worldwide. Norwood starred in the UPN sitcom Moesha as the title character, which lasted six seasons and resulted in numerous other roles, she resumed her music career in 1998 with the wildly successful duet with fellow R&B contemporary Monica, "The Boy Is Mine", which went on to become the best selling female duet of all time, one of the longest running number one singles in history. Her second album, Never Say Never, sold 16 million copies worldwide, featured two number one singles, earned Norwood her first Grammy Award; this launched her into international stardom, with films, sold out concert tours, her own line of Barbie dolls.
Throughout the 2000s, Norwood held a precarious position in the pop industry. In 2002, she starred in the reality series Brandy: Special Delivery, documenting the birth of her daughter, her third and fourth albums, Full Moon and Afrodisiac, were released to critical and commercial success. She served as a judge on the first season of America's Got Talent before being involved in a publicized car accident in 2006. After several lawsuits stemming from the accident, Norwood's fifth album, was released to commercial failure. In the 2010s, Norwood received a commercial resurgence. In 2010, she returned to television as a contestant on the eleventh season of Dancing with the Stars and starred in the reality series Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business. In 2012 she became a series regular in the BET series The Game, released her sixth album Two Eleven to critical praise. In April 2015, Norwood made her Broadway debut in the musical Chicago, she starred in and executive produced a new sitcom Zoe Ever After on the BET network in January 2016.
As of July 2018, she has sold over 40 million records worldwide, with over 10.5 million certified album sales in the U. S. making her one of the best selling female artists of all time. The Recording Industry Association of America lists Norwood as one of the top selling artists in the United States, with 10.5 million certified albums. Her work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award, an American Music Award, seven Billboard Music Awards, she has become known for her distinctive sound, characterized by her peculiar timbre, voice-layering, intricate riffs, which has earned her the nickname'The Vocal Bible' from industry peers and critics. Norwood was born on February 11, 1979, in McComb, the daughter of Willie Norwood, a gospel singer and choir director, his wife, Sonja Norwood, a district manager for H&R Block. Brandy is the older sister of entertainer Ray J, as well as a cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg and WWE wrestler Sasha Banks. Raised in a Christian home, Norwood started singing through her father's work as part of the local church choir, performing her first gospel solo at the age of two.
In 1983, her parents relocated to Los Angeles, where Norwood was schooled at the Hollywood High Performing Arts Center. Norwood's interest in music and performing increased after becoming a fan of singer Whitney Houston at the age of seven, but at school, she experienced trouble with persuading teachers to send her on auditions as she found no support among the staff. Norwood began entering talent shows by the time she was eleven, and, as part of a youth singing group, performed at several public functions. In 1990, her talent led to a contract with Teaspoon Productions, headed by Chris Stokes and Earl Harris, who gave her work as a backing vocalist for their R&B boy band Immature, arranged the production of a demo tape. In 1993, amid ongoing negotiations with East West Records, Norwood's parents organized a recording contract with the Atlantic Recording Corporation after auditioning for the company's director of A&R Darryl Williams. To manage her daughter, Norwood's mother soon resigned from her job, while Norwood herself dropped out of Hollywood High School and was tutored from tenth grade on.
During the early production stages of her debut album, Norwood was selected for a role in the short-lived ABC sitcom Thea, portraying the daughter of a single mother played by comedian Thea Vidale. Broadcast to high ratings, the series' viewership dwindled and ended up running for only one season, but earned her a Young Artists Award nomination for Outstanding Youth Ensemble alongside her co-stars. Norwood recalled that she appreciated the cancellation of the show as she was unenthusiastic about acting at the time, the taping caused scheduling conflicts with the recording of her album, she stated, "I felt bad for everybody else but me. It was a good thing, because I could do what I had to do, because I wanted to sing." Williams hired producer Keith Crouch and R&B group Somethin' for the People to work with Norwood, within eight months the team crafted Brandy. A collection of street-oriented rhythm-and-blues with a hip hop edge, whose lyrical content embraced her youthful and innocent image in public, Norwood summed up the songs on the album as young and vulnerable, stating, "I didn’t know a lot—all I wanted to do was sing.
You can just tell that it’s a person singing from a genuine place, a place of no experience. I was singing about being attracted to the opposite sex, but I had no experience behind it." Releas
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c