Eubie Blake | 2nd Annual Digital Black History Month Education Campaign (Day XII)

We are pleased to share day XII of 540’s 2nd Annual Digital Black History Month Education Campaign

Eubie Banks | Composer & Musician

Name: James (Eubie) Hurbert Banks
Date of Birth: 2/7/1887- 2/12/1983
Place of Birth: Baltimore, Maryland
Education: NYU


  • Wrote the first broadway musical written by and for African Americans
  • Pioneer of the ragtime sound
  • Composed over 350 song throughout his career

About James Hubet Blake


James Hubert Blake was born in 1887 and raised in Baltimore. He began playing music at a young age, getting lessons from a local church organist while in grade school. At 15, Blake began breaking away from his family’s strong religious beliefs and playing at a local brothel. This led to other club gigs and a chance meeting in 1915 with fellow composer Noble Sissle changed his life. The pair would go on to create one of the first Broadway musicals written by and for African-Americans in “Shuffle Along,” which helped launch the careers of Josephine Baker, Paul Robeson, and others.

As the ragtime sound began to wan in the ‘40s, Blake entered a music program at New York University graduating at 67 years old. In the ‘50s, there was a resurgence of the ragtime sound and Blake was rightfully recognized as one of the forefathers of the genre. Blake would end up playing live shows well into his 90’s, composing over 350 songs at the end of his career.

“Mr. James Eubie Blake was one of the most popular pianists and composers of the early 20th Century, and helped usher in the ragtime sound of that era”

About the Campaign

Every day throughout the month of February 540Blog will devote space to sharing Little Known Facts About Black Americans Throughout History. For us every month is Black History Month but we recognize and support the continuous need to take time and space to put a special spotlight on the accomplishments of Black and brown Americans from all ethnicities that have literally changed the course of history and yet have legacies that are not know by the masses.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Black America Web


Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

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