|first Black pianist to win national fame, Thomas Greene Bethune.|
The first Black pianist to win national fame was Thomas Greene Bethune, [Blind Tom]. He was also the first black artist known to have performed at the White House. Then about ten years old, he played the piano for President James Buchanan. Born a slave near Columbus, Georgia, Bethune’s talent as a composer and a pianist was soon recognized by Colonel Bethune, who had purchased him in 1850.