Author Topic: Black History  (Read 95291 times)

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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2006, 03:24 PM »
Once again Black History month is upon us. I invite all to join me.
I would like to start with the hall marks of a warrior.
A warrior takes part in the conficts thrusted upon him never flinching in the face of danger.
A warrior runs the gauntlet with dignity and a fierce determination to keep fighting toward the goals of indisputable rightness.
A warrior exhibits the kind of courage and leadership that beckons fellow warriors to follow regardless of indignities, insults, injuries, or even death.
A warrior need not display mass weapons, but can lead, fight, and conquer using nothing more than truth.
Even in death a warrior leads by leaving a legacy of courage, honor and truth that forever exposes the hypocrisy of the system and powers that be.

We lost two such warriors recently. Rosa Parks and Coretta Scout King.
Mrs. King led a life of quiet dignity. She was the first victim of racist violence at the beginning the King era fighting for equality.  She suffered her home being bombed and had it not been for her and the children being in the back of the house, she would have been the first martyr.  
 Rosa Parks led a life long battle for equality, freedom, dignity and education. Her impetus? She was tired being treated with disrespect. Her courage to sit down gave America the backbone to finally stand up.
There's just too much to say about these two for this small forum.

Let us not forget their examples, for the struggle is not over.




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Offline cafeRg

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Re: Black History
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2006, 09:34 AM »
Thanks Earl for doing another series for Black History Month. Maybe we can rope ya down and keep you here and Splash around with us.

':bnik'
Disclaimer: cafeRg could be wrong.

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2006, 03:07 PM »
Good to be back RG. I have so many things pulling me in different directions now, but I'm honored to lead this journey.

During the Revolutionary war many blacks fought for America.
Harriet Beecher Stowe commented on this:

"It was not for their own land they fought, nor even for a land which had adopted them, but for a land which had enslaved them, and whose laws, even in freedom, oftener oppressed than protected. Bravery, under such circumstances, has a peculiar beauty and merit. "

At this time there were black freemen, but even they were not accorded the status of being full human beings.
Which brings us to Colonel George Middleton, black freeman.
It is not know when or where he was born and not much is known of his early life, but it is known he was a commander of one of the two all black units that served the Continental army. His command was known as the "Bucks of America".

As is the case with many blacks who fought in America's battles, the historical records of their deeds are minimal and/or absent.

What is known is   Colonel George Middleton and his Bucks of America fought bravely recieving a flag from John Hancock honoring him and his militia for outstanding military service.

George Middlteon became the first black to build a house on Boston's Beacon Hill.

For more on his later life:
http://www.nps.gov/boaf/georgemiddleton.htm




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Offline Allen

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Re: Black History
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2006, 08:05 PM »
It is nice to meet you A-FRIEND.

I was not around when you posted in prior years, but, I certainly appreciate your leadership in this very important forum.

I was greatly saddened when both Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King died.  I wanted to share with you that my 5th grade daughter studied both women in school, and seemed to be genuinely very impressed with what she learned about them.  She even completed a major project on Martin Luther King.

Anyway, for my part, I wanted to assure you that I will most certainly read everything that you are gracious enough to share with us, and thank you in advance, for your greatly appreciated efforts.
Allen

An action promulgated out of desperation will inevitably end in tragedy; for as its anagram so aptly foretells:  A rope ends it. �

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2006, 08:45 PM »
Nice to meet you too Allen. I really appreciate your comment. We all can learn from each other so feel free to contribute. Last year Witt pulled a few factual surprises on me, which was most pleasant.

Now meet Isabella Baumfree born to slave parents James and Betsey. As there are no records of her birth, Isabella calculates, as best she can, her birth to be between 1797 and 1800.
She and her parents, being human chattel, became the property of one Charles Ardinburg upon the death of his father.

One of her earliest recollections is about all the slaves of Master Charles being move to
their new sleeping quarters, which was a cellar dug under a new hotel that Charles converted into his new home. All the slaves slept there, young old, both sexes. The only light was from a couple window panes. Isabella shudders as she tells of the loose boards on the uneven floor that was oft as not filled with water and mud.
She wonders not at all at the accompanying illness suffer by them. Here is a most remarkable quote about here attitude toward this cruelty:
Still, she does not attribute this cruelty“for cruelty it certainly is, to be so unmindful of the health and comfort of any being, leaving entirely out of sight his more important part, his everlasting interests,“so much to any innate or constitutional cruelty of the master, as to that gigantic inconsistency, that inherited habit among slaveholders, of expecting a willing and intelligent obedience from the slave, because he is a MAN “at the same time every thing belonging to the soul-harrowing system does its best to crush the last vestige of a man within him; and when it is crushed, and often before, he is denied the comforts of life, on the plea that he knows neither the want nor the use of them, and because he is considered to be little more or little less than a beast.

At nine years of age Isabella was sold on the action block. Isabella's masters up to this time were Dutch and as such she could only speak dutch, but the ones that bought her spoke English. She suffered terrible beatings for that lack of understanding.

Fast forward to Isabella's adulthood. She bore thirteen children, work in the fields and worked in the slave master's house.

Eventually Isabella ran away becoming a preacher, lecturer, and abolitionist.
Hugh crowds came to hear her oratory.She travled all over the country, had audience with President Grant and was befriended by Harriet Beecher Stowe and other famous abolititionists. She preached from memory and spoke from her experiences and heart as she never learned to read.
One of her greatest oratories is entitled, Ain't I a woman?
Isabella Baumfree...We know her well. She is none other than Sojourner Truth.

Riveting reading:
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/truth/1850/1850.html[/url]]


 
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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2006, 09:08 PM »
I found an accounting of Sojourner Truth's  "Ain't I a woman?"
She was speaking before a white audience on the merits of women's suffurage. It is an outstanding oratory given by a completly illiterate exslave.

Several ministers attended the second day of the Woman's Rights Convention, and were not shy in voicing their opinion of man's superiority over women. One claimed "superior intellect", one spoke of the "manhood of Christ," and still another referred to the "sin of our first mother."
Suddenly, Sojourner Truth rose from her seat in the corner of the church.

"For God's sake, Mrs.Gage, don't let her speak!" half a dozen women whispered loudly, fearing that their cause would be mixed up with Abolition.

Sojourner walked to the podium and slowly took off her sunbonnet. Her six-foot frame towered over the audience. She began to speak in her deep, resonant voice: "Well, children, where there is so much racket, there must be something out of kilter, I think between the Negroes of the South and the women of the North - all talking about rights - the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this talking about?"

Sojourner pointed to one of the ministers. "That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody helps me any best place. And ain't I a woman?"

Sojourner raised herself to her full height. "Look at me! Look at my arm." She bared her right arm and flexed her powerful muscles. "I have plowed, I have planted and I have gathered into barns. And no man could head me. And ain't I a woman?"

"I could work as much, and eat as much as man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne children and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain't I a woman?"

The women in the audience began to cheer wildly.

She pointed to another minister. "He talks about this thing in the head. What's that they call it?"

"Intellect," whispered a woman nearby.

"That's it, honey. What's intellect got to do with women's rights or black folks' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half-measure full?"

"That little man in black there! He says women can't have as much rights as men. ‘Cause Christ wasn't a woman. She stood with outstretched arms and eyes of fire. "Where did your Christ come from?"

"Where did your Christ come from?", she thundered again. "From God and a Woman! Man had nothing to do with him!"

The entire church now roared with deafening applause.

"If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right-side up again. And now that they are asking to do it the men better let them."


 link to some of her other speaches:
http://www.kyphilom.com/www/truth.html
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brokenbutterfly

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Re: Black History
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2006, 07:47 PM »
The information provided is incredible, not to mention the time it must've taken to pull it all together and post.  Applause to A-Friend and Witt for the the time and effort.   ':sun'  I don't really have any information-just a suggestion to those who may be interested to read
The Classic Slave Narratives edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. .Its a collection of four narratives about Frederick Douglas, Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs, and Mary Prince.  It's well worth the time.

Offline Allen

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Re: Black History
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2006, 07:54 PM »
A-FRIEND ~ I found your above two posts both fascinating.  What is even more important, is that I learned something of importance.

THANKS
Allen

An action promulgated out of desperation will inevitably end in tragedy; for as its anagram so aptly foretells:  A rope ends it. �

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2006, 06:39 AM »
Pssssst...BrokenButterf ly, don't tell anybody this, but I strongly disagree with your statement you don't have any information to add.  Your suggestion to read the slave narratives was a tremendous contribution and I thank you.

Allen I have found that different people learn different things from the same information. Would you share with us what it is you've learned? You may very well teach me something with your prospective.
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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2006, 03:47 AM »
Some notable inventions by African Americans that changed our lives.

Phillip B. Downing invented the drop mailbox with a hinged door. pat# 462096

Geroge Crum invented the potato chip in 1853. He was a chef in a resort in Saratoga Springs, NY.and one day a customer complained of his french fries being too thick.Even though Crum made a thinner batch, the customer still was not satisfied. Crum finally made some fries that were too thin to eat with a fork hoping to annoy this iritable customer, but to his surprise the customer loved them.

Sarah Goode, business woman and inventor. she invented a cabinet bed that, when folded against the wall, could be used as a desk complete with compartments and supplies. she owned a furniture store in Chicago and invented the small apartment bed. pat#322177 July 1885.  Her patent was the first ever obtained by a African American woman.

Norbert Rillieux,1806-1894. Rillieux invented and patented (1864) a vacume sugar evaporator. It made the processing of sugar faster, safer and more eficienty. The sugar was also of superior quality. His invention was used by sugar plants all over the world.

Benjamin Banneker, in 1770 of Maryland, invented the first American clock that struk off the hours.

More on Benjamin Banneker later.




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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2006, 03:19 PM »
The First Rhode Island Regiment, the only all-black American unit at the siege on Yorktown, Va., formed part of Major General Benjamin Lincoln's division. The soldiers were among the 4,300 men who dug the first parallel on the evening of October 6 about 550 yards from the enemy. They were in the trenches on the 9th, when the first American artillery shells hit Yorktown. And they were in the trenches again on the night of the 15th, when Lord Cornwallis made his only serious sortie against the Franco-American siege lines.
Two days later, surrender negotiations began; in the early afternoon of the 19th the defeated British army and German allies laid down their arms.

The slaves and free blacks that were in this line of defense are of particular importance. They were recruited after George Washington realized the major, major, mistake of  refusing to recruit blacks into his army, thereby giving the British the advantage of offering freedom to the slaves that fought for them. Coming to his senses, Washington changed his position and offered  the same deal.
Also the First Rhode Island Regiment was hand picked by Washington. This was a tremendous testament to their gallantry. Remember, they were slaves and free blacks not even accorded full human status, but their sacrifice in blood and lives gave birth to this nation.
When Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, the United States of America was born.

The 1st Rhode Island was demobilized at Saratoga in June of 1783 after having fought valiantly as a part of the Continental Army for over 5 years. The troops were left to find their own way home and in later years often had to resist efforts to re-enslave them. Colonel Olney assisted his former troops in their efforts to remain free and also supported their claims for pensions from the U.S. government.



Sadly neither the British nor America held true to the promise of granting freedom to the blacks.




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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2006, 02:18 PM »
Meet Mary Fields born a slave in Tennessee the year 1832 died in 1914.
She grew up an orphan, never had children, never married and had no education.

At the tender age of 52 she moved west to Cascade County, Montana to care for the ailing Mother Amadeus (nun) that had cared for her and with whom she had a strong bond. The convent took her on as a hired hand and she did all kinds of physical chores from chopping wood to picking up supplies.
Mary tenure at the convent was short lived at best. She got into a gun fight with another employee and that just would not do at the convent.

Here is an accounting of the gunfight:
"Once a 'hired hand' at the mission confronted her with the complaint that she was earning $2 a month more than he was ($9 vs. $7), and why did she think that she was worth so much money anyway, being only an uppity colored woman? (His name, phonetically, was Yu Lum Duck.) To make matters worse, he made this same complaint and general description in public at one of the local saloons (where Mary was a regular customer), and followed that up with a (more polite) version directly to Bishop Filbus N.E. Berwanger himself (to no avail).

This was more than enough to boil Mary's blood, and at the very next opportunity the two of them were engaged in a shoot-out behind the nunnery, next to the sheep shed. (Actually it turned into a shoot-out, because when Mary went to simply shoot the man as he cleaned out the latrine -- figuring to dump his body in there -- she missed. He shot back and the fracas was on.)

Bullets flew in every direction until the six-guns were empty, and blood was spilt. Neither actually hit the other by direct fire, but one bullet shot by Mary bounced off the stone wall of the nunnery and hit the forlorn man in the left buttock, which completely ruined his new $1.85 trousers. Not only that, but other bullets Mary fired passed through the laundry of the bishop, which was hanging on the line, generously ventilating his drawers and the two white shirts he had had shipped from Boston only the week before. What his laundry was doing at the nunnery is not clear.

That was enough for the bishop; he fired Mary, and gave the injured man a raise."



You see Mary was her own person. Her life as a slave made her well suited for the rugged life out west. She stood six feet tall, was known to be gritty, drank whiskey, had a temper and toted two six guns and a shotgun.
She needed no one to fight her battles. The Great Falls Examiner, the only newspaper at the time, reported that Mary had broke more noses than any other person in Montana.

The nuns set her up with a restaurant, but that was short lived because Mary, in spite of her temper, was kind hearted and would feed all who came hungry without regard to ability to pay. Other accounts say she was not a very good cook and no one would eat there.

In 1885 Mary, and her mule Moses, found the perfect job for her temperament. She took a job driving a mail coach in the Cascade county region of central Montana. Mary and Moses plugged through any and all kinds of conditions to deliver the mail to mining camps, cabins and other outposts. She was so reliable she was known all over as Stagecoach Mary. Her efforts helped greatly to advance the development of a large part of Montana.
 
Stagecoach Mary retired in her seventies and opened a laundry. She remained true to her reputation and it's reported she decked a guy for cheating her out of a laundry bill.

Stagecoach Mary, a true pioneer in many ways.


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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2006, 11:54 AM »
25, August, 1944, after a thirty-six hour brain storming session, The Red Ball Express was conceived and put into service.
Patton's army was advancing across France and Belgium, about twenty eight division, each division needing 700-750 tons of supplies a day. That was a daily consumption of around 20,000 tons. Patton's tanks and army soon was grinding to a halt for lack of ordinance and fuel.

The Red Ball Express, whose name came from a R/R term ˜Red Ball which meant to ship express, 'or priority freight, had the job of keeping Patton supplied as he raced across France.

In July, 1944 the German seventh army front broke at the Seine river. Allied forces rushed through in hot pursuit, but had not anticipated the speed of the German retreat.
The key to trapping the Germans was a continuous supply of fuel and ordinance. There were strict rules governing convoys, but because of the desperate needs of Patton's divisions these rules were quickly ignored.
At its peak the Red Ball Express operated 5,958 trucks that ran 24 hours a day and made 700 mile long round trips.

This unit was not a combat unit, but was always in danger of being strafed by German aircraft.
 
Colonel John S.D. Eisenhower wrote: "The Spectacular nature of the advance [through France] was due in as great a measure to the men who drove the Red Ball trucks as to those who drove the tanks." "With out it the advance across could never had been made."

The Red Ball Express was officially terminated on November 16, 1944, after 81 days, when it had completed its mission. New Express lines were formed with different names.

In 1952 the movie Red Ball Express was made to honor the courage and tremendous accomplishments of this transportation unit. Problem was the movie didn't give credit were credit was due, as was the case even in the heat of the war.
You see, the Red Ball express was a majority black transportation unit. A fact left untold and unheralded.

<a href="http://www.fatherryan.org/blackmilitary/redball.htm" target="_blank">http://www.fatherryan.org/blackmilitary/redball.htm[/url]</font>



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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Black History
« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2006, 10:04 PM »
A heckler once called out to Sojourner Truth, "Old woman...I don't care any more for your talk than I do for the bite of a flea." Truth replied, "Perhaps not, but the good Lord willing, I'll keep you scratching."
So it was in the days of slavery, civil war, reconstruction, Jim Crow, separate but equal, segregation . Truth be told those days are still with us, but I digress.

Down through time there were many such fleas that kept the public conscience scratching. One such fle was Ida B. Wells. Born to slave parents in Holly Springs, Mississippi the year 1862.  She lived as a slave for only the first six months of her life, but spent her entire life fighting the affects of slavery, the injustices against former slaves and Jim Crow laws.

At the age of 16 (14 in some accounts) she lost both her parents and a sibling to yellow fever and she assumed the responsibility of raising five younger siblings. Both parents were literate and taught Ida to read and write, which gave her a head start in life.   She was able to secure a job as a teacher and managed to continue her education at Rust College.

After moving to Memphis in 1884 Ida  began her fight for racial and gender equality. Needless to say she took the word fight quite literally. Here's an accounting of her experience while riding in the lady's car on the Chesapeake Ohio Railroad:

She was asked by the conductor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company to give up her seat on the train to a white man and ordered her into the smoking or "Jim Crow" car, which was already crowded with other passengers. Despite the 1875 Civil Rights Act banning discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or color, in theaters, hotels, transports, and other public accommodations, several railroad companies defied this congressional mandate and racially segregated its passengers.     
I refused, saying that the forward car [closest to the locomotive] was a smoker, and as I was in the ladies' car, I proposed to stay. . . [The conductor] tried to drag me out of the seat, but the moment he caught hold of my arm I fastened my teeth in the back of his hand. I had braced my feet against the seat in front and was holding to the back, and as he had already been badly bitten he didn't try it again by himself. He went forward and got the baggage man and another man to help him and of course they succeeded in dragging me out.

You see, before Plessy v. Ferguson in 1886, when the U.S. Supreme court in its false wisdom made racial segregation legal, it was perfectly legal for blacks to sit anywhere they wanted in public conveyances. Ida sued the railroad and won in the lower court, but lost when the railroad appealed to the Tennessee  Supreme court.
This incident gave rise to her career as a journalist. In 1889 Ida became a partner in the Free Speech and Headlight.

In 1892 three of her friends were lynched. These black men owned the People's Grocery and were in direct competition with the white store. Not wanting to tolerate this, a group  of white men attacked the People's Grocery, but the black owners fought back and shot one of the white attackers. For the atrocity of defending themselves, they were lynched.
These kinds of injustice kept Ida B. Wells fighting her whole life.

Ida B. Wells was one of the founders of the NAACP and the NACW, she worked tirelessly for women's suffrage starting the first suffrage club for black women, she ran for the Illinois State Legislature, she started the first kindergarten for black children, she advocated for economic boycotts, and when anti lynching laws failed to pass in Tennessee, she advocated for mass exodus.

Ida's courage and exposure of the racist society so enraged her enemies they burned her press and put a price on her head.
 
Ida B. Wells...one powerful flea that kept the whole of the U.S.A. scratching.
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