National Day of Mourning

_National Day of Mourninbwg.jpg

"Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole's Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture. Participants in a National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today.

It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience." Text of Plaque on Cole's Hill Most school children are taught that Native Americans helped the Pilgrims and were invited to the first Thanksgiving feast. Young children's conceptions of Native Americans often develop out of media portrayals and classroom role playing of the events of the First Thanksgiving.

The conception of Native Americans gained from such early exposure is both inaccurate and potentially damaging to others. Therefore, most children do not know the following facts, which explain why many American Indians today call Thanksgiving a "Day of Mourning". Traditional hospitality and generosity have and continue to be constant Tribal virtues to be practiced at all times.

National-Day-of-Mourning.jpg

Before the Pilgrims arrived Plymouth had been the site of a Pawtuxet village which was wiped out by a plague (introduced by English explorers looking to grab a piece of the New World land) five years before the Pilgrims landed These Native peoples had met Europeans before the Pilgrims arrived. One such European was Captain Thomas Hunt, who started trading with the Native people in 1614. He captured 20 Pawtuxcts and seven Naugassets, selling them as slaves in Spain.

Many other European expeditions also lured Native people onto ships and then imprisoned and enslaved them. These expeditions carried smallpox, typhus, measles and other European diseases to this continent. Native people had no immunity and some groups were totally wiped out while others were severely decimated. An estimated 72,000 to 90,000 people lived in southern New England before contact with Europeans.

One hundred years later, their numbers were reduced by 80%. It was the English Captain Thomas Hunt's expedition that brought the plague, which destroyed the Pawtnxet. . The nearest other people were the Wampanoag. In modern times they are often simply known as the Indians who met the Pilgrim invasion, their lands stretched from present day Narragansett Bay to Cape Cod.

Like most other Tribal peoples in the area, the Wampanoag were farmers and hunters. Ironically, the first official "Day of Thanksgiving" was proclaimed in 1637 by Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop. He did so to celebrate the safe return of English colony men from Mystic, Connecticut. They massacred 600 Pequots that had laid down their weapons and accepted Christianity. They were rewarded with a vicious and cowardly slaughter by their new "brothers ...

Walter Moses Burton:

The First Black Elected Sheriff in the United States

Walter Moses Burton ( former slave turned  sate senate turned first black  elected Sheriff in America)

Walter Moses Burton ( former slave turned  sate senate turned first black  elected Sheriff in America)

Walter Moses Burton, born into the Maafa (slavery) in North Carolina was brought to Fort Bend County, Texas as a slave from North Carolina in 1850 at the age of twenty-one. He was taught how to read and write by his enslaver Thomas Burke Burton .

After the Civil War, his former slave master sold Burton several large plots of land for $1,900, making him one of the wealthiest and most influential Blacks in Fort Bend County. In 1869, Burton was elected sheriff and tax collector of Fort Bend County, whee Blacks outnumbered Whites. 

He was the first African- American elected to public office in Fort Bend County. He served as Sheriff and Tax Collector until 1873 using a white deputy to arrest any law breakers. In 1873 Burton campaigned for and won a seat in the Texas Senate, where he served for seven years, from 1874 to 1875 and from 1876 to 1882. He was one of only four African- Americans to be elected to the Senate in the 19th century. Burton is best known for opposing county convict labor and helping to found Prairie View A&M University (which remains today as an one of America's Historic Black Colleges and Universities or HBCU) 

Burton also served the Republican Party as a member of the State Executive Committee at the state convention of 1873, as vice president of the 1878 and 1880 conventions, and as a member of the Committee on Platform and Resolutions at the 1892 state convention. Burton left the Senate in 1882 . He remained active in state and local politics until he died in 1913.

He and his son Horace are buried in Morton Cemetery in Richmond. At the time, they were the only African-Americans laid to rest in Morton Cemetery, which had previously been a whites-only cemetery.

The East St. Louis Massacre Remembered

The city of East St. Louis, Illinois was the scene of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 20th century.  Racial tensions began to increase in February, 1917 when 470 African American workers were hired to replace white workers who had gone on strike against the Aluminum Ore Company.

The violence started on May 28th, 1917, shortly after a city council meeting was called.  Angry White workers lodged formal complaints against Black migrations to the Mayor of East St. Louis.  After the meeting had ended, news of an attempted robbery of a White man by an armed Black man began to circulate through the city.  As a result of this news, White mobs formed and rampaged through downtown, beating all African Americans who were found.  The mobs also stopped trolleys and streetcars, pulling Black passengers out and beating them on the streets and sidewalks.  Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden eventually called in the National Guard to quell the violence, and the mobs slowly dispersed.  The May 28th disturbances were only a prelude to the violence that erupted on July 2, 1917.

In response to the rioting, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sent W.E.B. DuBois and Martha Gruening to investigate the incident.  They compiled a report entitled “Massacre at East St. Louis,” which was published in the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis.  The NAACP also staged a silent protest march in New York City in response to the violence.  Thousands of well-dressed African Americans marched down Fifth Avenue, showing their concern about the events in East St. Louis.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) also responded to the violence.  On July 8th, 1917, the UNIA’s President, Marcus Garvey said “This is a crime against the laws of humanity; it is a crime against the laws of the nation, it is a crime against Nature, and a crime against the God of all mankind.”  He also believed that the entire riot was part of a larger conspiracy against African Americans who migrated North in search of a better life: “The whole thing, my friends, is a bloody farce, and that the police and soldiers did nothing to stem the murder thirst of the mob is a conspiracy on the part of the civil authorities to condone the acts of the white mob against Negroes.”

A year after the riot, a Special Committee formed by the United States House of Representatives launched an investigation into police actions during the East St. Louis Riot.  Investigators found that the National Guard and also the East St. Louis police force had not acted adequately during the riots, revealing that the police often fled from the scenes of murder and arson.  Some even fled from stationhouses and refused to answer calls for help.  The investigation resulted in the indictment of several members of the East St. Louis police force.

Sources:

Allen D. Grimshaw, “Actions of Police and the Military in American Race Riots,” Phylon 24:3 (3rd Qtr, 1963); Robert A. Hill, ed., The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Vol. I, (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1983); Elliot M. Rudwick, Race Riot at East St. Louis: July 2, 1917 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1964).

   

Bessie Coleman 

BESSIEJPG.jpg

Bessie Coleman, (January 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926), was an American civil aviator. She was the first woman of African American descent, and the first of Native American descent (her father was African American and Cherokee) , to hold a pilot license.She achieved her international pilot license in 1921.Born to a family of sharecroppers in Texas, she went into the cotton fields at a young age but also studied in a small segregated school and went on to attend one term of college at Langston University. She developed an early interest in flying, but because neither African Americans, Native Americans, nor women had flight school opportunities in the United States, she saved up money to go to France to become a licensed pilot. She soon became a successful air show pilot in the United States, and hoped to start a school for African American fliers. She died at age 34 in a plane crash in 1926 while testing her new aircraft. Her pioneering role was an inspiration to early pilots and to the African American and Native American community.

*The image of Bessie Coleman is from the African Heritage Streetscape along Fillmore Avenue between E. Ferry and Parade. 

Malcolm X

African-American leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X articulated concepts of race pride and Black nationalism in the 1950s and '60s.

Born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm was the fourth of eight children born to Louise, a homemaker, and Earl Little, a preacher who was also an active member of the local chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and avid supporter of Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Due to Earl Little's civil rights activism, the family was subjected to frequent harassment from White supremacist groups including the Ku Klux Klan and one of its splinter factions, the Black Legion. In fact, Malcolm X had his first encounter with racism before he was even born.

Malcolm X was a prominent Black nationalist leader who served as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam during the 1950s and '60s. Due largely to his efforts, the Nation of Islam grew from the time he was released from prison in 1952 to 40,000 members by 1960. Articulate, passionate and a naturally gifted and inspirational orator, Malcolm X exhorted Blacks to cast off the shackles of racism "by any means necessary," including violence. The fiery civil rights leader broke with the group shortly before his assassination on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, where he had been preparing to deliver a speech.

He would have been 92 years old this week had he lived.

African American Firsts

Licensed Pilot: Bessie Coleman, 1921.

Millionaire: Madame C. J. Walker.

Billionaire: Robert Johnson, 2001, owner of Black Entertainment Television; Oprah Winfrey, 2003.

Portrayal on a postage stamp: Booker T. Washington, 1940 (and also 1956).

Miss America: Vanessa Williams, 1984, representing New York (Buffalo roots). When controversial photos surfaced and Williams resigned, Suzette Charles, the runner-up and also an African American, assumed the title. She represented New Jersey. 

Explorer, North Pole: Matthew A. Henson, 1909, accompanied Robert E. Peary on the first successful U.S. expedition to the North Pole.

Explorer, South Pole: George Gibbs, 1939–1941 accompanied Richard Byrd.

Flight around the world: Barrington Irving, 2007, from Miami Gardens, Florida, flew a Columbia 400 plane named Inspiration around the world in 96 days, 150 hours (March 23-June 27).

She Was The Richest Black Girl in the World

And We Barely Know Her Name....

Sarah Rector received international attention at the age of eleven when The Kansas City Star in 1913 publicized the headline, “Millions to a Negro Girl.” From that moment Rector’s life became a cauldron of legal and financial maneuvering, and public speculation.  

Sara Rector was born to Joseph and RoseRector on March 3, 1902, in a two-room cabin near Twine, Oklahoma on Muscogee Creek Indian allotment land.  Both Joseph and Rose had enslaved Creek ancestry, and both of their fathers fought with the Union Army during the Civil War. When Oklahoma statehood became imminent in 1907, the Dawes Allotment Act divided Creek lands among the Creeks and their former slaves with a termination date of 1906.  Rector’s parents, Sarah Rector herself, her brother, Joe, Jr., and sister Rebecca all received land. Lands granted to former slaves were usually the rocky lands of poorer agricultural quality. Rector’s allotment of 160 acres was valued at $556.50. 

Primarily to generate enough revenue to pay the $30 annual tax bill, in February 1911 Rector’s father leased her allotment to the Devonian Oil Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1913, however, her fortunes changed when wildcat oil driller B.B. Jones produced a “gusher” that brought in 2500 barrels a day.  Rector now received an income of $300 per day.  Once this wealth was made known, Rector’s guardianship was switched from her parents to a White man named T.J. Porter, an individual personally known to the Rectors. Multiple new wells were also productive, and Rector’s allotment subsequently became part of the famed Cushing-Drumright Field in Oklahoma. In the month of October 1913 Rector received $11,567. 

Once her identity became public, Rector received numerous requests for loans, money gifts, and even marriage proposals from four Germans even though she was 12.  In 1914 The Chicago Defender published an article claiming that her estate was being mismanaged by grafters and her “ignorant” parents, and that she was uneducated, dressed in rags, and lived in an unsanitary shanty. National African American leaders such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois became concerned about her welfare. None of the allegations were true. Rector and her siblings went to school in Taft, an all-black town closer than Twine, they lived in a modern five-room cottage, and they owned an automobile.  That same year, Rector enrolled in the Children’s House, a boarding school for teenagers at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. 

When Rector turned eighteen on March 3, 1920, she left Tuskegee and her entire family moved with her to Kansas City, Missouri.  By this point Rector, who now owned stocks and bonds, a boarding house and bakery and the Busy Bee Café in Muskogee, Oklahoma, as well as 2,000 acres of prime river bottomland, was a millionaire.

The family moved into what would be known as the Rector Mansion.  Legal wrangling over Rector’s estate and some mismanagement continued until she was twenty.  That year Rector married Kenneth Campbell, and the couple had three sons, Kenneth, Jr., Leonard, and Clarence. Much was publicized about her “extravagant” spending on luxuries. Her marriage to Campbell ended in 1930, and in 1934 she married William Crawford. When Rector died at age 65 on July 22, 1967, her wealth was diminished, but she still had some working oil wells and real estate holdings. Sarah Rector was buried in Taft Cemetery, Oklahoma.  

Sources:Tonya Bolden, Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America, (New York: Abrams Books, 2014); http://african-nativeamerican.blogspot.com/2010/04/remembering-sarah-rector-creek.html.

Sojourner Truth - "Ain't I A Woman? " 

Sojourner Truth was a prominent abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Born a slave in New York State, she had at least three of her children sold away from her. After escaping slavery, Truth embraced evangelical religion and became involved in moral reform and abolitionist work. She collected supplies for Black regiments during the Civil War and immersed herself in advocating for freed people during the Reconstruction period. Truth was a powerful and impassioned speaker whose legacy of feminism and racial equality still resonates today. She is perhaps best known for her stirring “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, delivered at a women’s convention in Ohio in 1851.

An evangelist, abolitionist, and feminist,  she was born Isabella Baumfree. Sojourner Truth was her self-given name, from 1843 onward.  She is remembered for her unschooled but remarkable voice raised in support of abolitionism, the freedmen, and women’s rights. Tales of her aggressive platform style, for example, of her baring her breasts before a crude audience who had challenged her womanhood, grace the pages of abolitionist lore.

Truth was six feet tall, blessed with a powerful voice (she spoke English with a Dutch accent), and driven by deep religious conviction During the Civil War, Truth tramped the roads of Michigan collecting food and clothing for black regiments. She traveled to Washington, D.C., where she met with Abraham Lincoln at the White House, and immersed herself in relief work for the freed people. During Reconstruction, Truth barely supported herself by selling a narrative of her life as well as her “shadows,” photographs of herself. She lent her unique skills to the women’s suffrage movement and initiated a petition drive to obtain land for the freed people, even suggesting the idea of a “Negro state” in the West. Truth’s most important legacy is the tone and substance of her language. ” She died of old age and ulcerated legs in 1883; her funeral and burial in Battle Creek was the largest that town had ever seen

MLK's Mother Was Also Shot toDeath

Martin Luther King and his mother Alberta Williams King

Martin Luther King and his mother Alberta Williams King

   Alberta Williams King(September 13, 1904 – June 30, 1974) was shot to death just 6 years after her son Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee. On June 30th, 1974 Mrs. King was playing the organ in Ebenezer Baptist Church - the very church her son was baptized and later became co-pastor in along with his father- when Marcus Wayne Chenault killed her.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.  

Marcus Wayne Chenault, a 23-year-old Black man from Ohio, fired two Handguns into Mrs. Kingas she sat at the organ of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Chenault claimed that he had decided that Black ministers were a menace to Black people. He said his original target had been Martin Luther King, Sr., but he had decided to shoot his wife instead because she was close to him. One of the church's deacons, Edward Boykin, was also killed in the attack, and a woman was wounded. Chenault was sentenced to death. Although this sentence was upheld on appeal, he was later re-sentenced to life in prison, partially as a result of the King family's opposition to the death penalty. On August 3, 1995, he suffered a stroke, and was taken to a hospital, where he died.

New Kwanzaa Forever Stamp Unveiled for

50th Anniversary of Celebrated Holiday

With a vibrant new stamp design, the U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa by dedicating a new Kwanzaa Forever stamp . The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony took place recently in Marion Square in Charleston at the MOJA Art Festival celebrating African-American and Caribbean arts.

Enslaved Africans and the Lincoln Myth

A careful reading of Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation proves that it did not free all of America’s enslaved Africans. In the surprisingly short document only the slaves of “rebellious” states are ordered to be freed; those states who were loyal to America got to keep their Africans—as slaves! The “Emancipation Proclamation” lists a whole slew of places to be “left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.” At that time in history, Lincoln actually had no authority over the states where he “freed” the slaves. They were part of another country—the Confederate States of America—with an altogether different president, Jefferson Davis. Lincoln himself was never hesitant to express his hatred of Black people, like when he said: “As the negro is to the White man so is the crocodile to the negro and as the negro may rightfully treat the crocodile as a beast or a reptile so may the White man treat the negro as a beast or a reptile.”  And in 1862 he wrote in part: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it...”  White historians and Hollywood mythmakers have made Lincoln into something he never was or wanted to be—a martyr on behalf of Black people.

Queen Charlotte, Britain’s First Black Queen

After the overwhelming “hate Meghan Markle” reaction to the rumored Black girlfriend of Prince Harry, following British media’s reports of their love affair, NewsOnepointed out the African ancestry of Britain’s royal family––directly embodied by Queen Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Britain’s first BlackQueen.

Here are a few things you may or may not know about Queen Sophia Charlotte:

1. Queen Charlotte, the eighth child of Duke Charles Louis Frederick and Elizabeth Albertine, was born on May 19, 1744, according to PBS Frontline. She descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a Black branch of the Portuguese Royal House, the report says. Queen Charlotte eventually married King George III and bore 15 children, 13 of whom survived, African-American Registry writes. She is the great, great, great-grandmother to Queen Elizabeth II.

2. Artists who depicted the Queen were told to downplay her African features for fear of revealing the monarch’s history of intermixing and inbreeding, 

3. Queen Charlotte died on November 17, 1818, but her legacy lives on in America-––the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, or the “Queen City,” is named in her honor, according to the Atlanta Black Star.

SOURCE: PBS Frontline, African-American Registry,Atlanta Black Star

Nat Turner’s Alleged Remains 

Returned to His Family After Almost 200 Years

Thanks to Nate Parker’s controversial film, “The Birth of a Nation,”  the story of Nat Turner has once again pricked the popular imagination of America.

For those who don’t know, Turner led one of the bloodiest slave rebellions in American history in the year 1831. When it was all said and done more than 55 White men, women and children lay dead.

Retribution against the Black community was swift and fierce. More than 200 African Americans in Virginia lost their lives as payback, but Turner was able to initially escape. After two months on the lam he was captured, tried, executed by hanging on Nov. 11, 1831 in the town of Jerusalem, now Courtland, Va.

What happened to his remains was a mystery. Until now.

A recent report by National Geographic confirms that Turner’s descendants finally recently received Turner’s skull this weekend from a former mayor of Gary, Ind.—83-year-old Richard Gordon Hatcher, who served as the first African-American mayor of Gary from 1968 to 1987.

Shannon Batton Aguirre and Shelly Lucas Wood, both great-great-great-great grand-daughters of Turner, flew in from Washington D.C. to receive the remains.

National Geographic outlined the history of Turner’s vestiges and says that Hatcher received his skull from Franklin and Cora Breckinridge, civil rights activists in Elkhart, Ind., who donated the skull to Hatcher in 2002.

The Breckenridges received it from Bob Franklin, also of Elkhart, Ind., who says the skull was passed down in his family for three generations.

Franklin’s grandfather, Dr. Albert Gallatin Franklin, was a physician in Richmond, Va., who in around 1900 received the skull from a female patient who inherited it from her father—one of the doctors who handled Turner’s body after he was executed, according to National Geographic.

Franklin’s father apparently tried to actually donate it to the Smithsonian, but the museum said it did not accept human remains, and so he gave it to the Breckenridges, who eventually donated it to Mayor Hatcher who was building a Civil Rights Hall of Fame project in the state.

“The legacy of Nat Turner has had enduring impact not simply upon our family, but upon American history,” Aguirre said. “Certainly, this fragile fragment holds enormous emotional value for me, for my family. But it is of immeasurable value because it is a poignant reminder of the price of freedom. In a very tangible way, it asserts the humanity of people who were systemically dehumanized. Its incredible existence demands acknowledgement that, yes, this Black life mattered.”

Plans call for the skull to be temporarily housed at a secure location where forensic anthropologists, in cooperation with National Geographic Studios, will conduct a full study, including isotope analysis and DNA testing. The Turner family will provide genealogical information as well as DNA samples in hopes that the skull matches their genetic profile. If it is confirmed as Turner’s, it will be laid to rest alongside other descendants.

Things Other Than Sports, Singing & Dancing

That Black People Have Been Great At

                                                  University Of Timbuktu

                                                  University Of Timbuktu

Mathematics

Black people were the first to develop mathematics in Africa 37,000 years ago, as it was the first method of counting. Africans in the region known as modern-day Egypt scripted textbooks about math that included division, multiplication, algebraic equations, fractions and geometric formulas to calculate the area and volume of shapes.

Business/Economics

The richest man to ever live was a Black man named Mansa Musa. Musa, who was an emperor of the great African empire Mali from 1312 to 1337, was one of the most influential leaders the world has ever known. Mastering commerce and trade, Musa accumulated an estimated $400 billion during his reign, according to a new inflation-adjusted list by Forbes.com, making him the richest man in the history of the world. Source: Huffington Post

Education

Blacks built the first universities in the world. In particular,  the University of Tombouctou, also calledTimbuktu, which is in Mali, was considered the oldest thriving university in the world. Students came from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and all over the world to study at Timbuktu. Source: Timbuktuheritage.org

Metallurgy and Tools

The first advances in metallurgy and tool-making were made by Black people all across ancient Africa. Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda made advances between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago, which surpassed those of the Europeans at that time. Ancient Tanzanian furnaces could reach 1,800 degrees Celsius — 200 to 400 degrees warmer than those of the Romans.Source: asbmb.org

Medicine/Doctors

Before the European invasion of Africa, Black people had developed a medical system based on plants and herbs to cure illnesses. Egypt,  Southern Africa, West Africa and parts of East Africa were more advanced in medicine than Europe at the time. They used plants with salicylic acid for pain, kaolin for diarrhea, and other extracts to kill bacteria.The achievements by doctors in ancient Egypt were incredible. Findings obtained by archaeologists have produced evidence that in 3000 B.C., the Egyptians performed successful brain surgeries. 

Navigation

Black people were the first to navigate the ocean. There is evidence that ancient Africans sailed to South America and Asia hundreds of years before Europeans.

Shipbuilders in the Mali and Songhai empires built boats 100-feet long and 13-feet wide that could carry up to 80 tons of cargo. Source: asbmb.org

Silent Protest 48 Years Ago

On October 17, 1968, Black athletes make a silent protest before a world audience.

Two Black American athletes made history at the Mexico Olympics by staging a silent protest against racial discrimination. Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medallists in the 200m, stood with their heads bowed and a black-gloved hand raised as the American National Anthem played during the victory ceremony. The pair both wore black socks and no shoes and Smith wore a black scarf around his neck. They were demonstrating against continuing racial discrimination of Black people in the United States. As they left the podium at the end of the ceremony they were booed by many in the crowd.

‘Black America will understand

At a press conference after the event Tommie Smith, who holds seven world records, said: “If I win I am an American, not a Black American. But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro’. We are Black and we are proud of being being Back.

“Black America will understand what we did tonight.” Smith said he had raised his right fist to represent Black power in America, while 

Carlos raised his left fist to represent black unity. Together they formed an arch of unity and power. He said the black scarf represented black pride and the black socks with no shoes stood for lack poverty in racist America. Within a couple of hours the actions of the two Americans were being condemned by the International Olympic Committee. A spokesperson for the organization said it was "a deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit.

'Dirty negro'

Smith said: "It is very discouraging to be on a team with White athletes. On the track you are Tommie Smith, the fastest man in the world, but once you are in the dressing rooms you are nothing more than a dirty Negro."

 The Afro-Turks

Although this is unknown to many, there are up to 100,000 people of African descent in the nation of Turkey. A legacy of the Ottoman Empire and of the African slave trade, Afro-Turks, as they are called, have lost their language and have a renewed interest in discovering who they are and from whence they came.

As The Global Dispatches reported in 2010, while slavery existed in the Ottoman Empire from the 14th century until the 19th century, enslaved people came from the Balkans and the Caucasus until the late 1800s, with the abolition of “white” slavery in these regions after pressure from the European nations.

Before that time, the trading in Black people had been limited, but then, the trading of enslaved Africans to the Ottoman Empire grew, particularly from Kenya and Sudan. Between 1860 and 1890, around 10,000 enslaved Africans were sent into the Ottoman Empire each year, a total of about 250,000 people, with many freed at some point. Many enslaved people were sent to the cotton fields near Smyrna (now known as Izmir) on the coast of the Aegean Sea.

But it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the end of slavery came, as enslaved people were replaced by paid servants. And in 1924, the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk established laws of equal citizenship in the country’s new constitution. Further, as the BBC reported, Afro-Turks are called “Arab,” a term denoting someone who is dark enough to be Arab or African — in a country where Blackness is often negatively associated with inferiority. These days, in light of the refugee crisis, their identity has come to light in large cities, where Afro-Turks are often mistaken for Somali or Eritrean refugees, although these Black people have lived in Turkey for generations.

It’s a shame we have lost our African language, the language our great-grandparents spoke. Every minority in Turkey has its language – the Kurds, the Zaza, even the Laz. But we have only Turkish, and we don’t know anything about our ancestors” an Afro-Turk man named Orhan told the BBC.“

Like elsewhere, Black people in Turkey face discrimination. For example, African soccer players have faced racist chants from fans, including some who were called monkey and one who had a banana pointed in his face. In addition, Turkey has not been welcoming to African migrants. According to the International Business Times, there are at least 50,000 African migrants in Turkey, 

Fearless Black Female Warriors Throughout History

Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia in 1849, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family.

She subsequently made more than 19 missions to rescue more than 300 slaves with the help of the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. One of her famous quotes: “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

She later helped recruit men for John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry October 16-18, 1859, to free enslaved Blacks.

 In June 1863, Tubman became the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the Civil War. She guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 enslaved Blacks in South Carolina: the largest liberation of enslaved Black people in American history.

The Harriet Tubman Home preserves the legacy of “The Moses of Her People” in the place where she lived and died in freedom. The site is located on 26 acres of land in Auburn, New York, and is owned and operated by the AME Zion Church. It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman.

Amanirenas (died c. 10 B.C.)

Amanirenas (also spelled Amanirena) was one of the greatest kandakes, or queen mothers, who ruled over the Meroitic Kingdom of Kush in northeast Africa. She reigned over the kingdom between c. 40 B.C.-10 B.C.  When Roman emperor Augustus levied a tax on the Kushites in 24 B.C., Amanirenas and her son, Akinidad,  led an army of 30,000 men to sack the Roman fort in the Egyptian city of Aswan.They also destroyed the statues of Caesar in Elephantine.

Under orders from Augustus, the Roman general Petronius retaliated, but met strong resistance from Amanirenas and her troops. After over three years of harsh fighting, the two parties agreed to negotiate a peace treaty. The Romans agreed to return their army to Egypt, withdraw their fort, give the land back to the Kushites and rescind the tax.

The brave warrior queen, Amanirenas is remembered for her loyal combat, side-by-side, with her own soldiers. She was blinded in one eye after she was wounded by a Roman. However, the full extent of the Roman humiliation has yet to be disclosed since the Kushite account of the war, written in the Meroïtic script, has not been fully decoded.

Nyabingi Priestesses Muhumusa (died 1945) and Kaigirwa (unknown)

Muhumusa and Kaigirwa were feared leaders of the East African Nyabingi priestesses group that was influential in Rwanda and Uganda from 1850 to 1950. In 1911 Muhumusa proclaimed “she would drive out the Europeans” and “that the bullets of the Wazungu would turn to water against her.”

She organized armed resistance against German colonialists and was eventually detained by the British in Kampala, Uganda, from 1913 to her death in 1945. She became the first in a line of rebel priestesses fighting colonial domination in the name of Nyabingi, and even after being imprisoned she inspired a vast popular following. The British passed its 1912 Witchcraft Act in direct response to the political effectiveness of this spiritually based resistance movement.

In August 1917, the “Nyabinga” Kaigirwa followed in Muhumusa’s footsteps, and engineered the Nyakishenyi revolt, with unanimous public support. British officials placed a high price on her head, but no one would claim it. After the British attacked the Congo camp of Kaigirwa in January 1919, killing most of the men, Kaigirwa and the main body of fighters managed to evade the army and escape.

The Life and Death of Dr. Sebi

There are those who believe that Dr. Sebi, born Alfredo Bowman—a world-renowned vegetarian herbalist, healer, pathologist and biochemist—had the cure for many of the diseases such as AIDS - that bring devastation and an altered existence before snatching the lives of those who don’t break free.

There are many who believe that Dr. Sebi, who was not a licensed physician, became a threat to a multibillion-dollar medical industry that not only relies on continued sickness but also needs it and profits from it..    

Dr. Sebi rose to cult like fame pushing a simple dietary premise: that food is alkaline for the body, and dead foods kill your body’s natural ability to heal and regenerate healing. By eliminating what Dr. Sebi considered toxic foods—like meat, poultry, all processed or synthetic items, alcohol, sugar, fried food and iodized salt—the body could begin detoxing. Replacing those foods with plain ripe fruit; non starchy vegetables, especially leafy greens; raw nuts and nut butters; and grains like quinoa, rye and kamut promotes the body’s natural healing properties. In doing so, he claimed to have cured several patients of AIDS, cancer, diabetes and blindness.

On May 28, 2016, Dr. Sebi was arrested at Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport in Honduras for carrying some $37,000 in cash. He was released pending a court hearing, only to be rearrested June 3 by the Ministerio Público, Honduras’ version of the FBI, and charged with money laundering. 

Dr. Sebi remained in custody until Aug. 6, when he was rushed to a local hospital reportedly suffering from complications of pneumonia. Dr. Sebi died en route. He was 82.          -The Root

                               Shirley Chisholm

                               Shirley Chisholm

*Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American ever elected to the United States Senate. He represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.

*Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives. She was elected in 1968 and represented the state of New York. She broke ground again four years later in 1972 when she was the first major party African-American candidate and the first female candidate for president of the United States She resided in Buffalo after she married Arthur Hardwick, Jr., a former local New York State Assemblyman.

The Black population of the United States in 1870 was 4.8 million; in 2007, the number of black residents of the United States, including those of more than one race, was 40.7 million.

In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American performer to win an Academy Award (the film industry`s highest honor) for her portrayal of a loyal slave governess in Gone With the Wind.

In 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to go into space aboard the space shuttle Endeavor. During her 8-day mission she worked with U.S. and Japanese researchers, and was a co-investigator on a bone cell experiment.

VOTING RIGHTS ACT: SIGNED INTO LAW ON AUGUST 6, 1965

VOTING RIGHTS ACT: SIGNED INTO LAW ON AUGUST 6, 1965  

VOTING RIGHTS ACT: SIGNED INTO LAW ON AUGUST 6, 1965  

The Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson (1908-73) on August 6, 1965, aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment (1870) to the Constitution of the United States.

-BACKGROUND-

After the U.S. Civil War (1861-65), the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, prohibited states from denying a male citizen the right to vote based on “race, color or previous condition of servitude.” Nevertheless, in the ensuing decades, various discriminatory practices were used to prevent African Americans, particularly those in the South, from exercising their right to vote.

During the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, voting rights activists in the South were subjected to various forms of mistreatment and violence. One event that outraged many Americans occurred on March 7, 1965, when peaceful participants in a voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery were met by Alabama state troopers who attacked them with nightsticks, tear gas and whips after they refused to turn back.

Some protesters were severely beaten, and others ran for their lives. The incident was captured on national television.

The voting rights bill was passed in the U.S. Senate by a 77-19 vote on May 26, 1965. After debating the bill for more than a month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 333-85 on July 9. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders present at the ceremony.