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Untitled Document
 
BLACK AMERICANA
Aunt Jemima, "Mammy", Amos and Andy, and other fascinating collectibles from the days before racial equality and political correctness
 
1946 Negro Baseball yearbook (Jackie Robinson cover)
1946 Negro Baseball yearbook (Jackie Robinson cover)
The first appearance of an official "color line" in baseball dates back to 1868 when the National Association of Baseball Players voted unanimously to bar "any club which may be comprised of one or more colored persons." When baseball attained professional status the next season, pro teams were not bound by the amateur association's ruling, and during the late 19th century, black ballplayers appeared on integrated teams, and some black teams played in integrated leagues. But gradually, black players began to be excluded, and by the beginning of the twentieth century there were no black players in organized baseball.

Black Americans, however, continued to play baseball. By necessity they played on all-black teams and eventually in all-negro leagues. In 1920, Rube Foster, the father of black baseball, founded the Negro National League. In 1933 a new Negro National League was formed and the Negro American League was chartered in 1937. During their existence, the Negro Leagues played eleven World Series and created their own All-Star Game that became the biggest black sports attraction in the country. The Negro Leagues showcased some of the greatest baseball talent of all time.

In 1947, major league baseball's "color barrier" was broken when Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to a Brooklyn Dodger contract. Almost daily during that baseball season, Robinson would receive hate mail and death threats from racist fans who wanted to keep baseball exclusively a white man's game. Incredibly and against all odds, Jackie Robinson was given the 1947 National League Rookie of the Year honors. He went on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

This 1946 "Negro Baseball" yearbook, featuring Jackie Robinson on the cover, holds tremendous historical significance. Nineteen-forty six would be Robinson's last year in "Negro" baseball. Actually it wouldn't be much longer before the Negro Leagues disbanded altogether. Jackie Robinson paved the way for other black men to play in the major leagues; the demise of the Negro Leagues (following the 1948 season) was inevitable as the younger black players began to be signed by the white major league franchises.
1275.00Sold
1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson baseball card
1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson baseball card
He made sports and civil rights history by breaking major league baseball's "color barrier" in 1947...

Offered here is Jackie Robinson's rookie card, made by the Leaf Bubble Gum Company, graded "8" [near mint - mint] by PSA [Professional Sports Authenticators], the experts that authenticate and grade valuable sportscards. Only five "9"s exist and these are valued in the fifty thousand dollar range. It is hard to imagine how these little pieces of cardboard, which were bought, handled, collected and traded by kids have survived the decades in such fine condition. This beautiful card has vivid colors, excellent focus, snow-white borders, and four sharp corners. The back of the card reads..."First Negro player in modern organized baseball..."

It is interesting to note that this particular series of baseball cards, the 1948 Leaf set, has been considered by connoisseurs a pop "art form" unto itself; an entire set of 1948 Leafs was on display at New York's Museum of Modern Art in the mid-nineties.
0.00Sold
"Negro" Halloween card
Outrageous ten-cent Halloween greeting card by Hallmark. The lively graphics, the rich colors, its minty condition, and the unabashed use of "ebonics" ("DOES AH WISH YO` ALL A HAPPY HALLOWEEN? WELL, SHO` NUFF!") make this a valuable memento for collectors of negro ephemera.
295.00Buy
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"Negro" postcard
two "Negro" children enjoying a huge slice of watermelon on this delightful vintage postcard
195.00Buy
Rent
1962 Topps Willie Mays baseball card
1962 Topps Willie Mays baseball card
beautiful near mint+ example of card #300 in the 1962 Topps set, the "say hey!" kid, Willie Mays
995.00Buy
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1963 Topps Peel-Offs Hank Aaron baseball card sticker
1963 Topps Peel-Offs Hank Aaron baseball card sticker
In 1963, Topps included these "peel-off" stickers as inserts in their packs of baseball cards. Most kids would peel off the protective paper backing and stick these on their notebooks. That is why these have become rarities in their original unmolested condition. This specimen has somehow survived in near mint/mint condition [graded 8 by PSA].

Hank Aaron, of course, is the baseball hall-of-famer who broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record in the 1970s and is considered by many the "true" home run king even though his record was broken by Barry Bonds in the modern [steroid] baseball era.
250.00Buy
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1963 Topps Peel-Offs Willie Mays baseball card sticker
1963 Topps Peel-Offs Willie Mays baseball card sticker
In 1963, Topps included these "peel-off" stickers as inserts in their packs of baseball cards. Most kids would peel off the protective paper backing and stick these on their notebooks. That is why these have become rarities in their original unmolested condition. This Willie Mays specimen, a highlight of the set, has somehow survived in excellent/mint condition [graded 6 by PSA]. This example is the rarer blank-backed version. The more common variety has printed instructions on the back.
250.00Buy
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1963 Topps POWER PLUS baseball card
1963 Topps POWER PLUS baseball card
another awesome combo [combination] card from the 1963 Topps set - card #242 - Power Plus featuring Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks
395.00Buy
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1964 Topps GIANT GUNNERS baseball card
1964 Topps GIANT GUNNERS baseball card
you gotta love the combo card!! 1964 Topps card #306 Giant Gunners with Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda
295.00Buy
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1964 Topps TOPS IN NL baseball card
1964 Topps TOPS IN NL baseball card
another great Topps combo [combination] card, card #423 in the 1964 set, with Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves and Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants; one of only a handful of cards to feature both diamond immortals together during their playing days
1195.00Buy
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black Americana WE NEEDS? grocery list board
black Americana WE NEEDS? grocery list board
vintage black Americana “WE NEEDS?” wooden grocery list board sign for the kitchen with Mammy or Aunt Jemima graphics
250.00Buy
Rent
CAKE WALK playing cards
CAKE WALK playing cards
two decks of playing cards in decorative orange and black pedestal-style box with silhouetted image of a fashionably attired "Negro" couple doing the "Cake Walk"
295.00Buy
Rent
Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker "Limbo Party" LP record
Chubby Checker "Limbo Party" LP record. Parkway SP 7020 in the rare Stereo format. Includes "Limbo Rock" and 11 more limbo and calypso songs. A must for your next limbo dance party!

150.00Buy
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Jackie Robinson NAACP
Jackie Robinson NAACP "Time To Score For Civil Rights" advertising poster
Presented here is an extraordinary and historically significant Jackie Robinson display item, an exceedingly rare "Time To Score For Civil Rights" poster, circa 1957, featuring Jackie Robinson "going to bat" for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). This is the first we've seen in over 30 years of collecting and trading and may, in fact, be the only surviving example. This poster had been saved by the Jackie Robinson family and was offered by Robinson's widow, Rachel, at an auction about ten years ago.

The poster displays a large image of Jackie Robinson in a batting pose as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The text reads "Time To Score For Civil Rights." Below that is Robinson's facsimile signature and his title: "Chairman, NAACP 1957 Fight for Freedom Fund Campaign." The larger text at the base, all in red lettering, reads "Give - Join NAACP." In addition to this poster's extreme rarity and historical significance as a relic of an important and turbulent time in America, it symbolizes the dichotomy of Robinson's involvement in the civil rights movement.

When Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 he did so with the full understanding that he could not fail. Not on the field, or, equally important, off the field. After Dodgers president Branch Rickey had settled on Robinson as the player to shoulder that responsibility, he admonished Robinson that he was not looking for a man with the guts to fight back. He was looking for a man with guts enough NOT to fight back. Rickey knew that if Robinson retaliated in any way to the insults, threats of violence, and other indignities he suffered from opponents, fans, and even some of his teammates, then his noble experiment would fail. Right from the outset, Rickey had warned Robinson of just how difficult it would be: "We can’t fight our way through this, Robinson. We’ve got no army. There’s virtually nobody on our side. No owners, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I’m afraid that many fans will be hostile. We’ll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I’m doing this because you’re a great ballplayer and a fine gentlemen." Remembering that time, Robinson was later quoted as saying, "Could I turn the other cheek? I didn’t know how I would do it. Yet I knew that I must. I had to do it for so many reasons. For black youth, for my mother, for Rae, for myself. I had already begun to feel I had to do it for Branch Rickey."

For the first two years of his professional career Robinson was true to his word. He resisted the urge to fight back against players who baited him, or be outspoken off the field with regard to segregation and civil rights. And it worked. Robinson's play on the field, where he helped lead the Dodgers to the pennant in his first season, along with his silence off the field, did more for the advancement of civil rights than any series of public campaigns, marches, or protest rallies.

After his second season, Rickey released Robinson from his promise and he was free to stand up for himself on the field, but the difference was that now he was doing so as an equal, as a professional who had earned his spot on the roster, and one who had the backing of his teammates. It made all the difference in the world, both on and off the field. Now, free from his promise, Robinson was finally able to speak his mind publicly about the questions of race equality in the United States. When he retired after the 1956 season Robinson became an outspoken supporter of the NAACP. Earlier, the time demands of his baseball career made his active participation in the NAACP difficult. Once his career ended, he was able to fully commit his time to the cause, as evidenced by this poster.

The NAACP's Fight for Freedom Fund, which began in 1953, aimed to raise one million dollars per year for the NAACP’s anti-segregation efforts. It had never met that goal, but in 1957 Robinson volunteered to chair the fund, with the hopes that he could meet or exceed that dollar expectation. That year Robinson worked tirelessly for the fund, including a cross-country speaking tour that helped raise thousands of dollars at each stop. Robinson's appearances drew huge crowds wherever he went, and his speeches so motivated people that many spontaneously donated money from their pockets at the events. Robinson's efforts paid off and the fund finally met its $1 million goal that year.

This poster was issued in conjunction with that yearlong campaign headed by Robinson, and, as mentioned earlier, is the only example we have ever seen. It is truly a museum-caliber piece in all respects. The poster (17 x 22 inches) has been mounted on board and displays horizontal and vertical mailing folds as issued. Tape residue appears in each corner, and a few light stains are also evident throughout. The poster has been matted and framed (hiding the tape residue in the corners) to total dimensions of 25 x 26.5 inches.
11985.00Buy
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Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali fight program (Leroy Niemann cover)
racial equality blotter
racial equality blotter
Interesting and important blotter distributed by the Committee on Racial Equality during the height of the civil rights movement in America using baseball metaphors to preach tolerance. The spokespeople here are the famous sportscaster Mel Allen (Jewish), Joe DiMaggio (Italian-American), Jackie Robinson (African-American), Sid Gordon and Bob Feller. I assume the piece was made sometime between 1947 (year of Jackie’s debut) and 1949 (Gordon’s last season with the Giants).
395.00Buy
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Sonny Liston vs. Cassius Clay boxing program
Willie Mays ALAGA SYRUP advertising sign
Willie Mays ALAGA SYRUP advertising sign
A large 10" x 20" full color store advertising poster for Alaga Syrup that features a black & white photo of Willie Mays - the "say hey!" kid - proclaiming "Say hey! Love that real ribbon cane flavor". The heavy paper stock sign is in beautiful condition and is professionally matted and framed.
1500.00Buy
Rent
Willie Mays CHESTERFIELD cigarettes advertising sign
Willie Mays CHESTERFIELD cigarettes advertising sign
A large 30" x 30" full color store advertising poster for Chesterfield cigarettes featuring a young Willie Mays - the "say hey!" kid - proclaiming "SAY HEY! THESE CHESTERFIELDS ARE GREAT" - and signed [printed facsimile signature] "Willie Mays N.Y. GIANTS' STAR". Madison Avenue clearly recognized the talented and charismatic Mays, along with Jackie Robinson, as the first highly marketable African-American athletes of their era. The heavy paper stock sign is in near mint condition and is professionally matted and framed. Very few of these are known to exist.
7500.00Buy
"JET" Magazine (Martin Luther King, Jr. cover)
the great civil rights leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan. 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968), is memorialized on the cover of this "JET" magazine
295.00Buy
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"Negro" matchbook cover
delightful matchbook cover advertising a motel in Honolulu with incredible graphics of a 'stereotypical' black man proclaiming "Man dat sho was good!"
195.00Buy
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Beatles magazines, sports magazines, and Yoo Hoo!
kitchen countertop
kitchen countertop
Multiple Items
   
Untitled Document
"investment grade collectibles, art, antiques, and memorabilia..."
 
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