What I could find out about 1949 from this blog:
In the US:
Things generally looked like this:
But with longer skirts, more styled hair and less streamlined cars.
White people: Many separate ideals from actions, dishonour curiosity, bow easily to authority, value power and money more dearly than human relations and love.
Stereotypes: coons, mammies, piccaninnies, black brutes, tragic mulattoes, Exceptional Negroes, eating watermelon, etc. Many Whites think people of colour have no inner life – that the stereotypes are true.
The Third Enlargement of Whiteness: The sons and daughters of Italian and Jewish immigrants are moving to White suburbia with government help. In time Whites will accept them as one of their own.
Puerto Ricans are coming to New York in large numbers, the beginning of a wave of Latino immigration that lasts to this day.
Charles Murray is six.
Chloe Wofford, 18, goes to Howard University.
Lorraine Hansberry, 19, is at the University of Wisconsin. There she becomes interested in left-wing politics, theatre, Ibsen and Strindberg.
Miles Davis, 23, is a jazz musician in New York.
Marilyn Monroe, 23, poses naked for photographer Tom Kelley. Four years later the pictures will appear in the first issue of Playboy, making her famous.
Malcolm Little, 24, a petty thief, is in prison. There he becomes interested in Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Mendel. He reads late into the night, learning as much Black history as any professor.
Lena Horne, 32, a Black beauty, is one of the best paid Black performers. She will soon be blacklisted by Hollywood.
Billie Holiday, 34, sings for Decca Records. She is arrested for possession of narcotics (heroin).
Paul Robeson, 51, one of the best known Black men in the world, speaks out against racism. The US government and Hollywood will soon come down on him.
The US dollar is worth 42 grams of silver.
- Lillian Smith, “Killers of the Dream”
- The Green Book adds Alaska, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda to its listing of businesses that will serve Blacks.
- Big Jay McNeeley, “Blue Jays: The Deacon’s Hop”
- Paul Williams: “Hucklebuck”
- Gene Autry, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
- race hustlers
The rest of the world:
Doris Lessing comes to London to become a writer.
Mao overthrows the KMT in China, raising the red flag of communism in Tiananmen Square. The KMT killed 10.1 million. Mao will kill 35.2 million. He completes the Chinese takeover of East Turkestan, ending Uighur independence.
- A Lesson Before Dying – set in 1948