BN-W HISTORICAL TIMELINE
MINI-TIMELINE OF SOME OF THE MAJOR SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND LEGAL MILESTONES IN AMERICAN HISTORY CULMINATING WITH THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY (1954-2004) OF THE LANDMARK CASE OF BROWN VS. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
INTRODUCTION – #10A
CHART – #10B
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NUMBERS AND LETTERS ABOVE WILL BE EXPLAINED AS YOU READ THE INFORMATION BELOW AND IN BN-W #10B
INTRODUCTION – #10A
BN-W thanks everyone, including individuals and the media, for your numerous inquiries and overwhelmingly positive feedback to BN-W. Following is a [very]mini timeline of some of the major social, political, and legal milestones in the history of the United States of America (U.S.A.) that played crucial roles in this country’s development and how it operates. [ NOTE: When referring to America, that’s specific to North America; and we’ll use African, African American, and Black interchangeably, with the latter being used most often because of its more inclusive nature ofall African descendants.] As usual, BN-W highly encourages everyone to simply use these events as a starting point in doing your own research and seeking the facts about America’s history; facts which are, very often, not fully or properly told in school, resulting in mass miseducation of practically everyone – and thus denial – by many of the American people about the true story of America and the foundation of its rise. For those individuals who hate to talk about and face the unmatched cruelty of America’s legacy and just want to “forget the past” and focus on the present and the future – remember the [Jewish] holocaust (1933 – 1945) and credit must be given to the Jewish people for the undeniable fact of the way they make sure that those brutal crimes on humanity committed against their ancestors, lead by the Germans across Europe, is kept front and center on a regular basis here in America. Their suffering and oppression officially lasted for 12 years in Europe, but they’ve successfully lobbied for billions ofAmerica’s dollars to go to Israel every year. The pros and cons of how those American dollars are being spent run deep, very deep, on both sides, particularly in relation to the Palestinians. Nevertheless, this is an example of the importance of how we all must never forget and never be ashamed of the physical, mental, and emotional torture and injustices that were consciously, conscientiously, willfully, and wrongfully committed by one group of peopleagainst another group of people. Never forget! Never be ashamed! [TOT-PRB]
You may be wondering what’s the connection between BN-W and this timeline we’re doing. It’s quite simple, we’re willing to gamble that most people simply don’t know these facts about history – Black history (in America) particularly – which is this timeline’s focus. Based on that theory, we’re willing to also gamble that that’s one of the primary reasons – lack of historical knowledge and facts – for the excessive use, acceptance, and little to no discipline or discouragement when the N-word is used not only by youth and entertainers (rappers/hip-hoppers, comedians, etc.) but also by the parents, the socio-economically deprived adults, the so-called “professionals,” and, especially, by the “educators” who should know – and share – these facts unconditionally, continually, and regularly (again, remember the consistency of the repetition of the Jewish holocaust). But, as it is clear to see, most people just don’t know about Black history here in America because, and we’re very confident about this fact, that if they knew better, they’d do better. Therefore, having said that, we feel the connection is the presumption that most people are smart and wise enough to know that knowledge is power and that intelligence always supersedes ignorance, thus resulting in enlightenment and empowerment for not only themselves but also for those individuals (from young to old) who need the wisdom that those of us who seek to learn and grow are capable of sharing and passing on as is required of us. Do you agree?
BN-W chooses to say they don’t know as opposed to the possibility of some just not caring because as you read the facts below, you’ll realize that without Black people, America, known as the land of opportunity, would not be what it is today. Blacks not only built the foundation of this country through free labor, but through the millions who fought – bitterly, diligently, and relentlessly – for freedom (physical, social, political), America (at least until the November 2004 election anyway) stands as the role model of what a society and humanity should look like, strive for and stand for throughout the world. America does, indeed, owe a big debt to Black Americans. Overall, everyone has benefited from the struggles that Blacks were forced to take on. It must be clearly understood that nothing wasgiven to Blacks, but only achieved as concessions after many fierce battles – physical, legal, and otherwise – as well as major loss of life by many, many who were truly brave and by others who just got caught in the crossfire.
As indicated in its title, this BN-W timeline is focusing only on the major social, political, and legal milestones because those are the fundamentals of the strength of America that laid the groundwork for the moral-building aspects of what the persistent and nonstop pursuit of justice and “equal rights” by Blacks did for America and, for those reasons, how it’s perceived, fairly or unfairly, as the ideology of civil and human rights worldwide. The scientific, medical, mathematical, educational, business, religious, military, explorative, literary, artistic, entertainment, athletic contributions as well as untold/countless inventions (of which for a very long time many could only be legally patented by, and therefore improperly credited to, the enslavers) of Blacks are so very extensive and monumental that they not only require separate timelines, but this e-mail as well as possibly yours, literally, couldn’t handle the factually explosive load. [TOT-PRB]
Before going into the timeline chart, we’re going to give you a brief historical background on where the enslaved Africans were taken from, what they lost, what Africa lost, a small slice of what the journey on the infamous Middle Passage was all about, and just a little on the sufferings the enslaved had to endure once in America. Here we go…
The enslaved Africans were stolen from Africa, “a land of many firsts and the birthplace of all humans.” (B1) In fact, it’s the home of The Great Pyramid, which “is as tall as a 45-story building, with enough stone to build 30 Empire State Buildings. It is the largest, oldest, and only remaining of the Seven Wonders of the World. If its 2.5 million stones were cut into one-foot blocks and lined up end to end, they would reach two-thirds the distance around the Earth’s equator. With its 201 stair step tiers, it is the most perfectly aligned building facing true North in the world.”(B1) This and many other “firsts” were done long before the concept of an “ America” was even on the horizon. The wonders of Africa as well as its “many firsts” are too tremendous for this BN-W timeline – it is so significant that it also requires its own. So, we’ll have to reluctantly leave you with that fact for now and hope you continue with your own research.
The primary location of the organized enslavement raids and kidnappings occurred along the coastal villages of West Africa between Senegal and Angola during the years of the early 1500s through the early 1800s. The enslavement traders were selective about who they captured. They sought males and females between the ages of 14-30, children under 14, and no adults over 30. Most of the individuals stolen were in their prime years of physical and emotional development, not only in or into adulthood, but also as far as reproduction and growing families. These victims lost not only their individual growth and development, but they were taken from their family, friends, cultural traditions, and careers – people and environments they loved and knew – and literally forced, through devious means, including murder and torture, to act as if that aspect of their lives never existed. Over time, the consistency of that deviousness worked so effectively as to cause a lack of pride and shame for many – but by no means all – descendants of Africa that continues centuries later – even now, in the 21st century. [ NOTE: A perfect example is Tiger Woods describing himself as a “Caublinasian” – was it really worthy of that much thought? can you see him ever getting engaged to a Black nanny? do you think she’d even get one-quarter of a chance?] Many Blacks are definitely not taught about their vibrant history (prior to enslavement) through the school curriculum; if they don’t have some on-point teachers, they must do the research themselves. And although there are many exceptions, too often, they’re even discouraged by their own adult relatives, influences, and role models from doing historical research because of how effective the hundreds of years of condemnation about the African culture and history was beat into, both literally and verbally, the enslaved by the enslavers, and then, naturally, that brainwashing continued (and continues today) into the mindset of many of their descendants. How could it not, especially when education and all forms of former cultural self-expression were forbidden, and often by any means necessary, including brutality and death if necessary? [TOT-PRB]
We know Blacks have much to be proud of, including diversely natural beauty and a rich historical background, so we say if you’re going to be an unhealthy (note the “un”) admirer and follower of another, don’t let it be someone who innately has major insecurity and self-confidence issues; in fact, much more so than you do. Don’t let it be someone who has a constant need – due to those insecurities – to have facelifts; plastic surgery; breast implants; liposuction; tanning; lip injections/enhancements; Botox injections; collagen treatments; dyed blond hair ad nauseam; unhealthy dieting habits to maintain an unnatural, albeit socially acceptable, weight and size; and on and on (oh, and let’s not forget the penis enlargements). Is it possible not to have another movie starring Angelina Jolie where the movie’s entire marketing campaign revolves around her lips? Can we be spared the billboard posters playing up her full lips? We already know those are the most desired kind, but give us consumers a break. Can we also throw in a request that everything chocolate NOT be made into white chocolate? Not only because chocolate is chocolate, but because white chocolate always tastes like a milky vanilla. Who came up with this idea of turning everything chocolate into a white chocolate version? Why would anyone think white chocolate is a better option for chocolate? Let chocolate be!! Let it be!! [ NOTE: For those interested in tips, styles, and just a great wealth of information on maintaining that which is unique only to people of African descent, go to www.nappturality.com. Be sure to also read the interviews with Tempestt Bledsoe and T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh; they’re both very interesting pieces. Another interesting piece in relation to this topic is at www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0818041beyonce1.html, which shows the price an entertainer sometimes has to pay to make that money and flow better with fitting in with whatever’s supposed to be considered mainstream. The dichotomy of these two situations and the distinctly different thought process that must be followed for both is amazing. ]
What did Africa lose? Africa lost its youth! Africa lost the ability to continue its population growing productively and effectively with skilled and educated people! Africa lost between 10 million and 100 million people! We think the following two passages excellently and best describe what Africa lost, beginning with a brief reference to those Africans who actively participated in the enslavement trade (particularly noted for those individuals whose first instinct would be concerned with that minute aspect of the whole picture):
From the Schomburg Center for Culture Research in Black Culture New York Public Library’s African American Desk Reference (p.28) (B2) :
“Though the slave trade provided short-term gains for some Africans, the ultimate effect on Africa was disastrous. Slave raiding by warlords and state-sponsored wars designed to gain captives created an atmosphere of violence and lawlessness that led to social disintegration. In addition, Africa suffered a devastating population decline and loss of productivity compared with the growing European and American populations and economies. On the west coast ofAfrica as a whole, the population declined from 25 million in 1700 to 20 million in 1850. The removal of captives, whose number exceeded 70,000 per year by the mid-18th century, was a major factor. Also, many of the captives, in fact one third of the total, were women in their childbearing years. And because most of the captives were males age 14 to 30, who would normally have been starting families, the effect was even more severe – in some areas, sex ratios fell to a level of 60 men to each 100 women. The loss of skills and knowledge that went to America with those millions of captives was also keenly felt. Toward the end of the 19th century, Africa’s relative weakness led to the onset of European colonialism.”
From the African American History: A Journey of Liberation (p.56) (B1) :
“Disadvantages to Africa: As Europe was gaining an economic advantage from the slave trade, Africa was undergoing one of the greatest declines in development of any region in the world. For Europeans, Africa was a vast treasure, which they exploited for their own national growth and economic benefit. For Africans, the slave trade undercut the natural economic growth of the continent. It removed Africa’s greatest resource, its youth. It also crippled African industry by encouraging a dependence on manufactured goods from Europe.
Many historians estimate that as many as 100 million Africans were uprooted during the slave trade. That number would be equivalent to losing twice the workforce of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta, San Diego, Milwaukee, Baltimore, San Jose, and Dallas. Such a loss of labor as this would have a disastrous effect on the U.S. economy and would set the nation back for many years, if not centuries.
The slave traders preferred Africans between the ages of 15 and 20. They shipped the healthiest Africans because they were more likely to survive the disease-ridden voyage across the Atlantic. Africans who had already had smallpox, which was one of the greatest killers of the 16th and 17th centuries, were likely to be highly prized because they were immune to the disease.
Vast regions of Africa were depopulated by the slave trade, halting the development of many budding industries, such as mining, tool-making, rice farming, and metallurgy. The slave trade deprived African nations of people who had skills in many professions. Africa was robbed of its future by losing the very segments of the population that may have led the way in science, technology, medicine, and farming; or in the textile, shipping, and financial industries. The European slave trading disaster was so great that many African societies still have not recovered from it today.”
And now, onto the enslavers taking the enslaved on a sadistic journey through the Middle Passage, which is the second leg of the Triangular Trade (also sometimes known to be called the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Atlantic Slave Trade, or the European Slave Trade). It was called the Triangular Trade because of its three-fold purpose, which consisted of (1) departing European ports with manufactured goods and products to sell, then (2) traveling to Africa to kidnap and load captives – the horrific Middle Passage portion – to head to the New World or the Americas, which was North America, South America, and the Caribbean, to make the money transaction by dropping off the captives as human cargo to be sold along with the rest of the manufactured goods and products, and then (3) the return trip to Europe. So, yes, those who are wondering if your ancestry is African and you’re from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, etc., etc., etc. – the chances are very high that you are of African descent, even if you think you don’t look like you are. Learn to be proud of that fact. [TOT-PRB]
The Middle Passage was a brutally long and seemingly never-ending trip on a ship across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the New World (again, North America, South America, and the Caribbean) that lasted on average from 21 to 90 days. These ships were “chambers of horror” for the uprooted Africans. They were packed like sardines into the bottom deck of a filthy ship that was built for about 200 people, but due to the nature of the enslavement traders’ cruelty and economic greed, they very often squeezed in an additional 600-800 people. Captains were known as “loose packers” or “tight packers” based on how they crammed the captives into the spaces. We’re sure you could imagine what it would be like for 800-1000 people to be packed together in all types of weather conditions (hot, cold, rain), at the bottom deck of a ship, in chains to prevent mutiny, in the dark, no toilet facilities, very little food, people suffering from seasickness and vomiting, having diarrhea, various diseases, including smallpox and ophthalmia (a disease that causes blindness), and not even enough room to turn sideways – in fact, much less space than a coffin has. That horrible picture and much, much more is what Africans had to endure on the hapless voyage to American enslavement, which turned out to be even more horrendous.
During this doomed journey to enslavement in America, many died from diseases and poor health from the deplorable conditions; others were murdered outright, while others were thrown overboard due to sickness or the boat being overloaded; rape and sexual abuse (yes, it didn’t take any time for the raping to begin – funk and all!) were the norm; and, of course, brutality and terrorism were nonstop. There were, as always, uprisings and rebellions. How could there not be? After all these are people who had a life and lived and would not go down without some kind of fight, regardless of the advanced weaponry the slave traders’ utilized. Some who attempted to starve themselves to death were cruelly force-fed in numerous ways, including placing coal or fire near their lips. Many captives also chose death over the bondage and brutality by jumping overboard, while others managed to cut their throats. A most effective description of the devastation is superbly described by Dr. John Henrik Clarke in the Juneteenth Pictorial for the Middle Passage: “It was not atypical to see a massive school of sharks darting in and out of the wake of the ships filled with human cargo plying the Atlantic. For miles they followed the battered and moldy vessels, waiting to attack the disease-ravaged black bodies that were periodically tossed into the ocean…If the Atlantic were to dry up, it would reveal a scattered pathway of human bones, African bones marking the various routes of the Middle Passage.” (W1)
More on the challenging research process for this Middle Passage Pictorial from the artist, Tom Feelings: “Enthusiastically, I started reading everything I could find on slavery and especially the Middle Passage. I searched out and wrote down all of the factual incidents in sequential order, reading some personal accounts by former slave-ship captains, slave traders, and various European historians. I expected the descriptions of horror of the slaves forts and inhumane treatment on the journey aboard the slave ships. But some of the writers’ overbearing opinions, even religious rationalizations and arguments for the continuance of the slave trade made me feel, the more words I read, that I should try to tell this story with as few words as possible, if any. Callous indifference or outright brutal characterizations of Africans are embedded in the language of the Western World. It is a language so infused with direct and indirect racism that it would be difficult, if not impossible, using this language in my book, to project anything black as positive. This gave me a final reason for attempting to tell the story through art alone. I believe strongly that with a picture book any African in this world could pick up and see and feel what happened to us on those ships.” (W1)
The enslaved Africans that managed to endure and survive the Middle Passage were truly symbolic of only the strong surviving. Many, many did not make it. In fact, numerous historical documents indicate that for each shipload of human cargo sent to the New World, only one-third to one-half of the captives actually made it. Upon arrival, we all know what awaited them – the despicable system of American enslavement. Although various forms of enslavement, primarily indentured servitude, had been around for a long time, what made American enslavement the most vile and destructive, is that America turned it into a color issue of “black skin color” being inferior and “white skin color” being superior. Ridiculous, of course, but that’s where the root of the problem stems from. [Some even say there may be some manhood issues, especially considering the castrations that were done to many of the enslaved males when lynched.] [TOT-PRB]
Once in America, enslavement entailed mental and emotional cruelty and physical brutality on a massive scale. Their names were changed and they were denied the right to continue their traditions and pass that on to their children; whatever they wanted to maintain of their traditions had to be done secretly. They were treated as if they had no feelings, sensitivity, or sensibilities. They were also forced to deal with beatings, whippings, rapes, sexual harassment and assaults (heterosexual and homosexual, from the enslavers and their wives toward the enslaved), child abuse, brandings, amputations, being sold at auction blocks, family separations, lynchings, hangings, castrations, convict lease prison sentences, chain gangs, and, needless to say, centuries of verbal and emotional abuse that have left mental scars on their descendants that, for some, are too deep to remove. One story of child abuse as told by Sojourner Truth, a staunch antislavery activist: “My master used to throw me in a buck and whip me. He would put my hands together and tie them. Then he would strip me naked. Then he would make me squat down. Then he would run a stick through behind my knees and in front of my elbows. My knee was up against my chest. My hands was tied together just in front of my shins. The stick between my arms and my knees held me in a squat. That’s what they call a buck….He would whip me on one side till that was sore and full of blood and then he would whip me on the other side till that was all tore up….” (B1) She was only 14 years old – and the reason for the abuse was that she couldn’t speak English yet because her previous enslaver had been Dutch. Harriet Tubman, another unrelentingly brave antislavery activist, also suffered severe child abuse, including being “whipped mercilessly” when she was seven years old for tasting sugar and being hit in the head by a two-pound iron weight that was hurled by an enslaver when she was 16 years old. From this latter incident, she had a deep scar, but also suffered from sleeping spells, dizziness, and headaches for the remainder of her life. Despite these abuses and many others, these women got actively involved not only in antislavery issues but also women’s rights issues. As for bravery, however, Harriet Tubman stands out; she led at least 15 rescue operations through the Underground Railroad and became known as “Black Moses” because of these daring rescue missions. Southerners hated her so much that they put out a “dead or alive” reward for $40,000 for her capture. [TOT-PRB]
Based on the levels of abuse the African enslaved endured (the above examples are only snippets), why would anybody doubt or be surprised about what American soldiers were and are capable of doing to the Abu Ghraib prisoners in Iraq? Why would people even act shocked and amazed at the lynchings that happened earlier this year in Iraq? After all, isn’t that part of the American culture and what Americans did to African Americans for years and years? It was so much a part of the American culture in fact that people would actually get dressed up to see somebody get hanged and then watch his body become engulfed with burning flames. Women watched their husbands lovingly and with total support when they hanged and burned a Black man or woman. Parents took their children to see this. They would praise the Lord while seeing and participating in this. They would be standing there smiling while a Black person’s body was literally hanging and burning to a crisp. What kind of people would tolerate that and – very often – all in the name of the Lord? The year 1952 was the first time in about 71 yearsthat no lynchings were reported in the U.S.
We thought it might also be helpful to give some statistical data on U.S. Census population numbers, just as background information on exactly the kind of data and numbers the government, and therefore the corporations and many others, rely on to make decisions for the country and those of us who are living in it. Information for the following chart was taken from the African American Desk Reference (p. 97) : (B2)
[NOTE: The first U.S. Census started in 1790 and it’s updated every ten years. Also, the year 1860 is five yearsbefore slavery officially ended throughout the entire U.S. and the year 1870 is five years after slavery ended.]
From the U.S. Census bureau, we obtained the following information for the 2000 Census results (www.census.gov):
Total Black: 36,419,434 (12.9% of the total U.S. Population)
Total U.S. Population: 281,421,906
Also from the U.S. Census, as of 9/13/04, the U.S. and World Population Clocks – POPClocks:
U.S. Population Estimate: 294,260,363
World Population Estimate: 6,392,483,059
Our question is since the Black population is and has been such a small part of the U.S. total population (still not even 15% yet) why then is there such a fear of Black power, stamina, and continuous success? Why are so many direct and indirect efforts made to halt it? Anytime there’s a steady thriving in the Black community, it is brutally and fatally destroyed by an evilness and vindictiveness (in the form of human beings) that’s so powerfully enraging, it’s hard to call it your average envy and jealousy. What is it that causes this kind of hateful and vengeful behavior from one group of people toward another group of people? Why are Black men so vilified and hated on the one hand, yet so revered, admired, desired, and followed on the other? Could it be because Blacks are really the only ones who have stood up against injustices and for fair and equal rights here in America or could it be something else? Should Blacks be somewhat flattered by this power, which too many of them obviously don’t even realize they have, or should they simply start to utilize it more properly, efficiently, and effectively? If anyone has the answer to any or all of these questions, please share it with us.
Folks, there’s just so much to read, learn, and know. We couldn’t possibly fit it all in the BN-W chart timeline that will follow as BN-W #10B . But we’ve tried to fit as much as possible in an order that makes sense. Whether you’re a parent, childfree (by choice), childless (not by choice), employed, unemployed, or whatever combination thereof, this is your opportunity to show that you can make a difference. If you don’t know these facts or don’t know enough about or as much as you should know about them, here’s your chance to get started on educating yourself and then educating those around you, so you can all strive to not only be and become more educated and knowledgeable than you are now, but also to share your newfound knowledge with young people and others you may have a direct or indirect possibility of influence on. This BN-W timeline is only a start, a beginning that’s focusing on the Black experience in America upon arriving here as captives stolen from Africa. What you do with this information and how you choose to go forward, share with others, and develop your own written and mental database is up to you. As long as silence and the lack of acknowledgment on the issue of the depravity of enslavement here in America remains, there will always be underlying and surface problems with race in this country because, unfortunately, that color line division is what America was built on. And that’s just a plain and simple fact. An interesting Web site is one listing the insurance policies held on slaves in the State of Illinois. It was just released there, making Illinois and California the only two in the United States to make it mandatory for insurance companies to provide this information. www.ins.state.il.us/Consumer/SlaveryReporting.nsf.
Since the whole objective and concept of this timeline is with the purpose of banning the N-word, we couldn’t possibly leave this BN-W Historical Timeline introduction without providing some quotes with that word in full effect from the people who started it – the oppressors. Before we send you Part 2 of the BN-W Historical Timeline – #10B, following are some quotes from White individuals in all professions and at all levels who so freely, hatefully, lovingly, despicably, adoringly, threateningly, and cheerfully uttered the N-word not only to denigrate and belittle Blacks but while chasing them down to attack and kill them – and that was usually in mobs or packs with guns. These quotes are taken from the stories as told on the Web site www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events.html as well as in the “ The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow ” video and book (V1/B8) . [ NOTE: The bold emphasis on the N-words below were added by BN-W.]
(1) “What’s that nigger doing on the stage?” [the audience referring to Booker T. Washington during his Atlanta Compromise speech in 1895]
(2) “ Mississippi’s constitutional convention was held for no other purpose than to eliminate the nigger from politics; not the ignorant – but the nigger .” [stated by future governor James Kimble Vardaman in 1898]
(3) “It will be the meanest, vilest, dirtiest campaign since 1876. The slogan of the Democratic party from the mountain to the sea will be but one word… Nigger .” [stated by Daniel Schenck, party leader]
(4) “Kill the niggers .” [member of a White mob crowd during the Atlanta Riot in 1906]
(5) “A call for men to ‘hunt’ Mr. Nigger in his lair.” [stated by a local sheriff during the summer and fall race riots of 1919]
(6) “No jobs for niggers until every White man has a job.” [sign carried by a member of the “Black Shirts,” a Klan-like group during the Great Depression – 1929-1939]
(7) “ Niggers back to the cotton fields. City jobs are for White men.” [shouted by Northerners during the Great Depression]
(8) “Put them back in their place.” “Let me tell you one thing don’t you forget…you’re still a nigger .” [comments made when Black soldiers returned from World War II in 1945]
(9) “Ballplayers and fans would shout epithets of ‘ nigger ’ at him when he came to bat. He also was aware that a few rabid racists might try to kill him – or at least scare him with death threats.” [what Jackie Robinson experienced being the first major league African American baseball player in 1947; he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers]
(10) “Although he once held strong racial biases – he had used the word ‘ nigger ’ freely in his speeches – in 1947 he decided to make civil rights a national issue.” [on Harry S. Truman and his push for civil rights for two reasons (not necessarily in the following order): (1) it was the right thing to do and (2) he needed the Black vote to win a second election, which, by the way, he did win]
(11) “This Nigger Voted” [a sign that was posted on a lynched body to keep Black people from voting]
(12) Theodore Bilbo, a U.S. Senator from Mississippi in 1946, described as a “diminutive” racist who felt Blacks had no right to vote, “once boasted that he used the word ‘ nigger ’ 77 times in a 20-minute speech.”
[ NOTE: Nigger, nigga, niggah – bottom line, same meaning just a different spelling. Do you really think using it now as “my nigga” truly turns it into a term of endearment or a form of brotherhood, especially when it was and still is used with the venom as the quotes above clearly show? Additionally, oppressors started calling Blacks that name. Does it make sense – is it smart or wise – to continue calling yourself, your family, and your friends a derogatory name that was started by your oppressor?]
Now, in conclusion of Part 1, onto the breakdown of all of the aforementioned (including the complete list of our sources and the significance of “385-246-99-40” and “TOT-PRB”) in the BN-W Historical Timeline, which will follow as#10B . Read it, but don’t weep, start your own journey of self-educating to empowerment and enlightenment of yourself and those within your inner and outer circles. Remember, there are only a selected few who can save the world, but there are many who can save their own community. [TOT-PRB]
CHART – #10B
|1619||First enslaved Africans brought from Africa to the United States – to Jamestown , Virginia . They were stolen from their country and brought to an unknown country by ship under absolutely abysmal and horrendous conditions, known as the Middle Passage. Many killed themselves, preferring that over bondage, by jumping overboard, others died from dehumanizing conditions of filth, disease, and unbearably negligent treatment by captors, and others were murdered. Women were also regularly raped (called “bedwarming”) by the enslavement traders. Once here in America , these enslaved individuals were not only stripped of their family, friends, language, and cultural lifestyle and surroundings, but they were considered property, forced to work as enslaved laborers, and any type of formal education or schooling was totally and absolutely legally forbidden!|
|1776||The Declaration of Independence is adopted, separating the 13 British colonies in North America (U.S.A.) from Great Britain , thus making Americaindependent. The United States declares July 4th of this year as U.S. Independence Day. The enslaved, however, are not free, so this is not a date that many descendants of the enslaved who are knowledgeable about their history choose to celebrate. As stated by Frederick Douglass, the famous Black abolitionist, in a July 1852 speech he was asked to give for a July 4th “celebration”: “Go search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.” (W2) Many European authors and journalists found it odd and contradictory that a nation such as the U.S. , which was so deeply mired in enslavement, would be so insistent about having its freedom from Great Britain .
Excluded from this Declaration of Independence, at the insistence of Georgia and South Carolina as well as Northern delegates, was a portion written by enslaver Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S. President) harshly condemning enslavement. Again, however, 8 years later, another instance of racism always rising to the forefront – in 1784, Jefferson wrote a scathingly racist piece entitled “Notes on the State of Virginia,” which pretty much nullifies and makes one doubt his sincerity in the omitted Declaration of Independence piece. Another paradox here is that he fathered numerous children with Sally Hemings, an individual enslaved by him, but who herself was the enslaved daughter of Jefferson’s father-in-law, thus she was the half-sister of Jefferson ’s wife, Martha. As mentioned in BN-W BN-W #10A, as long as silence and the lack of acknowledgment on the issue of the depravity of enslavement here in America remains, there will always be underlying and surface problems with race in this country because , unfortunately, that color line division is what America was built on.
The two preferred holidays for celebration by Blacks who are more aware of their history – Juneteenth and Manumission Day. Continue reading the timeline for historical data on these special days. For those, however, who choose to celebrate July 4th, enjoy it to the fullest because your forefathers and foremothers built this country.
|1787||The Constitution of the United States (the “supreme law of the land” and “We the people”) is framed during the Constitutional Convention, which was held in Pennsylvania and lasted from May through September. It was based on the English Bill of Rights (1688). The writers and signers of the Constitution include delegates from 12 of the 13 U.S. colonies ( New Hampshire , Massachusetts , Connecticut , New York , New Jersey ,Pennsylvania , Delaware , Maryland , Virginia , North Carolina , South Carolina , and Georgia ). Rhode Island did not send a delegate. The first ten amendments to it become known as the Bill of Rights. Ironically, these amendments were supposed to protect the rights of all U.S. citizens, but blatant violations of Blacks’ rights were the norm – definitely during enslavement, but it continued very overtly for a long time after as well. The Constitution also established that, for purposes of representation and taxation, the enslaved were to be considered “three fifths of all other Persons.” What body part(s) do you think didn’t make the cut?|
|1790||The U.S. Census Bureau conducts its first Census, applying the “three fifths of all other Persons” rule to counting the enslaved Africans. For every three Whites, five enslaved Africans are counted. [ NOTE: Other races, such as Native Americans and Asians don’t get counted in the Census until 1870; and the question asking if a respondent is of Spanish or Hispanic origin begins in 1970.]|
|1808||Importation of the enslaved from Africa is prohibited. The catch here though is that during the May 1787 Constitutional Convention, delegates made the decision that the importation of the enslaved would continue for another 20 years, until 1808. So, this wasn’t done out of a sense of fairness or justice, it was following a Constitutional decision made 20 years prior. It’s interesting to note that when the Constitution was written up, they intentionally did not use “slaves” but instead used “such persons” and “person held to service or labor” (see Article I-Section 9 and Article IV-Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution). The reason for the decision to wait until 1808 was the economics of taxation and representation – more voting power, of course, meant more money. [ NOTE: Importation of the enslaved from Africa ended legally, but smuggling continued until around 1820.]|
|1827||Manumission Day is celebrated on July 5 for the first time this year in New York City , one day after enslavement is officially abolished in the State of New York . The newly freed Africans were warned not to celebrate their freedom on July 4 because that was the “American” Independence Day. [ NOTE: The downtown and Wall Street areas were built by the enslaved.]|
|1850||The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 goes into effect giving broader powers to slavecatchers and penalizing anyone assisting runaways and fugitives more stiffly. The fact that there were so many laws and rewards put in place to catch enslaved runaways and fugitives is proof that resistance to enslavement was a major problem for enslavers – one that was steadfast and never ending. While the most common form of direct resistance was “flight” by runaways who regularly “voted with their feet” against enslavement, the widespread occurrence of a lower-level type of resistance was also successful, “…This included ‘silent sabotage,’ or foot dragging, by slaves who pretended to be sick, feigned difficulty understanding instructions, and ‘accidentally’ misused tools and animals.” (W5) Slaveholders and their families knew the enslaved did not want to be in that predicament, but economic greed, selfishness, convenience, enjoying the superficial “superior” status, and just not giving a damn kept the vast majority of them silent on the wrongs of slavery.|
|1857||In Dred Scott v. Sanford, Scott, who was born enslaved in Virginia , traveled to a free U.S. territory and then sued for his freedom. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled that neither the enslaved nor their descendants were citizens of the U.S. and therefore could not sue in federal court.|
|1861||The Civil War begins and lasts for four years (1861-1865). This war was a battle between the North (Union) and the South (Confederate) U.S.states. It was primarily a war about enslavement and the continuance of it. Free Africans in the North as well as White anti-slavery activists spoke out against enslavement fervently and constantly, while enslaved Africans in the South continued to challenge and resist their bondage. Southerners strongly wanted enslavement to continue, while that attitude wasn’t as strong with the Northerners, they did fear losing their jobs and felt their way of life might be at risk with a possible influx of the formerly enslaved Blacks coming to the North. Overall, however, the majority of the Whites in the U.S. , North and South, were not sympathetic to the Blacks plight and whether or not they would ultimately be free, which is why a Civil War that lasted four years had to take place.|
|1863||Abraham Lincoln (16th U.S. President) issues the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed only the enslaved fighting for the states that were rebellious against the Union, but it did not free all of the enslaved. In fact, this issuance did not do much for the ones freed either because “the states in rebellion would not allow enslaved people to be free anyway.” It is important to note that while Lincoln may have personally been somewhat against slavery, he was no savior to the enslaved as standard U.S. history books would have students, who ultimately become miseducated adults, believe; he DID NOT necessarily care if the enslaved were ever freed, it was a matter of saving the Union, as he stated in an 1862 letter to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley: “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; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union .” (B3)|
|1865||The 13th Amendment is passed and enslavement is officially abolished in all of the United States , but Blacks were not given equality. Ending enslavement was met with much resistance and hatred throughout the U.S. , although many White abolitionists, including the Quakers, were sincerely thrilled. On June 19th of this year, those enslaved in Texas were the very last to be notified about their freedom, thus resulting in the popular annual celebration known as Juneteenth. Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.
Black Codes are created by Southern Whites as a way to continue controlling and seriously inhibiting the freedom of the formerly enslaved. They found it very difficult to find cheap labor after having 246 years of free enslavement labor and were fearful that their economic status would be in serious jeopardy. They also truly viewed the Blacks as being inferior to them and didn’t want to accept the fact that Blacks wanted to have their equal rights as U.S. citizens. In 1866, however, Federal officials deemed the codes too harsh and suspended them.
The Freedmen’s Bureau is set up as “a bureau of refugees,
freedmen, and abandoned lands” to assist the displaced formerly enslaved Blacks. To assist these Blacks, giving them forty acres and a mule was presented as a proposal to Congress by two of the Radical Republicans (known then as the liberal wing of the Republican Party), but Congress rejected it. The vast majority of the formerly enslaved never got anything “handed” to them for their years of enslavement. Whereas, White indentured servants who served out their contractual agreement received “a plot of land and a weapon.”
QUICK OVERVIEW ON THE EFFECTS OF ENSLAVEMENT
246 years of FREE labor and the enslaved building the foundation for what has now become known as the United States of America (U.S.A.), the so-called greatest nation in the world and the only Superpower that exists currently (as of September 2004). [ NOTE: These are the years when the use of the N-word became extensive, steadfast, and nonstop by enslavers, as well as others around them, including family, friends, business partners, paid workers, etc. Its use continued after slavery and still continues today (Mark Fuhrmann is an example only of someone who got caught; the effective “infiltration” of its use by some (too many) in the Black community definitely shows a form of backsliding due to lack of education).]
TODAY’S EXAMPLE : Imagine if EVERYONE (excluding the owners, their family, friends, and a few individuals that they hire for pay) at the company you currently work for were forced into enslavement and working for FREE for just one year (12-hour workdays, no salary, no benefits, no pension, no stock options, no bonuses, no vacation, no personal days, no sick days, no compensation time – nothing other than leftover food, used clothing, and shacks or run-down cabins for housing! Let’s not forget the “overtime” duties of rape, sexual harassment, and sexual assault as well as verbal and nonverbal threats of your family members being sold, hurt or murdered.). Not only would you be totally stressed out, your self-esteem hugely shot, and your basic human spirit seriously deflated, but the company you work for would have tremendous profits from not having to pay workers and they’d also have the ability to buy and invest in more businesses, land, and real estate, as well as having access to the best in education, health care, employment, entrepreneurial ventures, and untold luxuries for themselves and their families. To put it simply, they’d have the uninterrupted ability to build tremendous wealth for the long term. “Today’s Example” is for only one year. Just imagine how a group of people could reap major losses or gains in 246 years if it were to go into effect today – the enslaved (and their families) would overall lose for generations to come and their enslavers (and their families) would overall gain for generations to come. Interesting – nonprivilege vs. privilege!
QUESTIONS : Dealing strictly with American historical facts, overall, who benefited the most and who lost the most from the 246 years of forced enslavement/free labor right here in America from 1619 – 1865? Enslavers and their families did no to very little chores, while the enslaved worked from sunrise to sunset in the fields and in the houses, including, very often, even breastfeeding the enslavers “legal or legitimate” children – how, then, did some Blacks get falsely stereotyped with a reputation for laziness when they were the ones who did all the work? The enslaved females were raped (and impregnated) regularly by enslavers, and other males within the enslavers’ circle – is this the unfair and “taken” way that Black females got falsely labeled as loose, through routine rapes, sexual harassment and assault by these male enslavers and their brethren? On the opposite end, is this why the faux fantasy of all Black males desiring and wanting to rape White females got started – because of what enslavers did to the Black female enslaved? Is this the reason for so many false accusations (even now, the Marcus Dixon case in Georgia and whatever the true situation with Kobe Bryant is we may never know, but her accusations are very suspect), causing the lynching, castration, and jailing of Black men, thus Black men being falsely labeled as violent and sexual predators, when, again, that was what the male enslavers and their brethren, as well as many of their descendants were provably guilty of being and doing? Is this what’s called a guilty conscience? Is it fear of all the evil you did coming back to haunt you? Everything done to the enslaved somehow turned into the majority of the enslaved being the ones doing these criminal acts. How did those falsehoods get reversed? Can it be called master manipulation by the ones with control over the majority of the media? Has getting away with rape, murder, and other forms of brutality for centuries produced this constant sense of entitlement and preferential treatment that is always expected and on display when it comes to schools, jobs, housing, loans, etc.? OK, OK so that explains the entitlement mentality a little.
|These years were part of the Reconstruction era – the years after slavery when the newly freed Blacks started on their road to recovery only to find, as usual, many people putting up roadblocks. Although “most scholars now agree that Reconstruction was a period of progressive politics in which newly emancipated blacks, with the help of the federal government and sympathetic whites in the South, helped build a more democratic society,” (B4) there was serious resistance on the part of most Southerners who wanted no parts of the new set-up and were adamant about going back to the “old order.” They could not and refused to see themselves as being equal to Blacks or participating in any type of “Negro Rule,” so they actively sought ways to destroy the gains made by Blacks, which included voting, actively participating in the political process (and attaining high positions in state and local governments, such as Congressional and Senate seats), using public accommodations, and acquiring land from former enslavers. [ NOTE: During Reconstruction, there were two African American Senators elected to office, which is why it is sometimes said/written that if Barack Obama – who is currently running for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois – wins, he will be the “fifth” African American to hold that position. There have only been two African American U.S. Senators since Reconstruction ended in 1877.] Some of the formerly enslaved in the South had to continue working for their former enslavers (for pay) and had to work at sharecropping, which is considered work for the “poorest of the poor” that left one “trapped in a culture of poverty,” but overall Blacks were advancing and many Whites, in the North and South, were very hostile and did not welcome it.|
|1866||Civil Rights Act of 1866 is passed by Congress giving Blacks full U.S. full citizenship. Andrew Johnson (17th U.S. President) vetoes it because he feels that Blacks do not qualify for citizenship and that the bill would “operate in favor of the colored and against the white race.” Congress overrode his veto, passing the bill immediately and overwhelmingly. The world was also now looking at the U.S. through a magnifying glass, which was also a factor in Congress passing it with such expediency. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other White supremacist groups are started in the South and begin a campaign of terror against the newly-emancipated Blacks.|
|1868||The 14th Amendment takes effect, ending the “three fifths of all other Persons” taxation and representation counting rule in the Constitution, and giving Blacks citizenship to protect their civil liberties.|
|1870||The 15th Amendment is passed giving Black males the right to vote. The Black population was so large in many parts of the South that it outnumbered the Whites. This, of course, made Whites extremely fearful of Blacks participating in the political process because they knew Blacks could vote them out of power and change laws, which Blacks did. “Many were able legislators who worked to rewrite the state constitution and pass laws ensuring aid to public education, universal male franchise, and civil rights for all.” (W13) [ NOTE: Women of all races were not allowed to vote until 1920.]|
|1875||Civil Rights Act of 1875 is passed guaranteeing Blacks equal rights in public accommodations and jury duty, but it’s overturned as unconstitutional in 1883 (see 1883 below for more information).|
|1877||Because there was an election impasse with the Democrats and Republicans for the Election of 1876 regarding electoral votes, to win the Presidential election, Rutherford B. Hayes (19th U.S. President) secretly works out a deal with the Southern Democrats to, among other things, withdraw Federal troops from the South. This “Compromise of 1877,” or the “Great Betrayal,” as it is sometimes referred, is what ended Reconstruction for the freed Blacks in the South. Without protection from the troops and enforcement of the laws, they were at the mercy of the White Southerners and the KKK. The positive progress and quick advances that had been made by the Blacks in such a short period of time since the 1865 end of enslavement were despised by the White Southerners and they were determined to bring the Blacks back under their control – by any means necessary. “What had alarmed the white South during Reconstruction was not evidence of black failure but evidence of black success, evidence of black assertion, independence, and advancement, evidence of black men learning the uses of political power. The closer the black man got to the ballot box, one observer noted, the more he looked like a rapist. That suggests the magnitude of the problem. Even as whites scorned black incompetence, they feared evidence of black competence and independence. Even as whites derided blacks for their ignorance, they resented educated, literate, ambitious, and successful blacks. The Negro as a buffoon, a menial, a servant, was acceptable; that kind of Negro threatened no one. The violence inflicted on black people was often selective, aimed at educated and successful blacks, those in positions of leadership, those determined to improve themselves, those who owned farms and stores, those suspected of having saved their earnings, those who had just made a crop – that is, black men and women perceived by whites as having stepped out of their place, ‘trying to be white.’” (B11) [NOTE: This whole voting process – electoral and otherwise – is a slight reminder of the Gore/Bush 2000 election debacle. We can only hope there are not too many shenanigans coming up with the voting in November 2004. What happened in 2000 is very reminiscent of tactics that were applied during Reconstruction and afterwards to ambush the Black vote.]|
|1883||The U.S. Supreme Court regularly dealt legal setbacks to Blacks and their constant struggle for human, civil, and equal rights. In the Civil Rights case of 1883, the Supreme Court ruled the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was unconstitutional based on the defense that the 14th Amendment forbadeStates, not citizens, from discrimination. So it was all right for the “laws of the State” to reflect equal rights on paper, but the citizens (i.e., the people) could discriminate freely. “African Americans would have to wait until 1964 before Congress would again pass a civil-rights law, this time constitutionally acceptable, that would forbid discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and unions.” (W10) And so it goes, the fighting, struggling, battling – in every way – continued for Blacks on that journey to making America appear today (2004) to be the “model” of human rights and decency. Isn’t that ironic?|
QUICK OVERVIEW ON JIM CROW LAWS AND LYNCHINGS
After the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was overturned by the completely racist 1883 U.S. Supreme Court decision that it was unconstitutional, it was carte blanche on unjust treatment from pretty much any White person against Blacks with no backup or safety net expected (legally or humanely) from law enforcement personnel or the judicial process. The term “Jim Crow,” which developed from a White minstrel show entertainer named Daddy Rice who performed in blackface (White actors portraying Blacks with black polish or cork on their faces) to mimic and make fun of a “silly Black person,” became the official term for segregation, including blatant signs of “White Only” and “Colored Only.” Jim Crow laws kicked in nationwide to include these public accommodations and more – water fountains, hotels, restaurants/lunch counters, theatres, movies, bathrooms, public/reform schools, buses, trains, railroads, toilet facilities, hospitals, parks, prisons/jails/juvenile delinquent facilities, housing, military, teaching, telephone booths. A few basic examples of the extent of the inequality of this segregation: the White schools got pencils with erasers, the Black schools got pencils without erasers (seemingly a minor issue, but oh how it is NOT); the White schools got new crayons, the Black schools got old crayons; the White schools got new books, the Black schools got the Whites’ used books, which often had derogatory slurs about Blacks in them, including that word – yes, “nigger”; the White schools were very often two-story, made of brick, and well maintained, the Black schools were one-story, made of wood, broken down, and poorly maintained. We focus on the schools because the funding for the schools came from the government – so separate but equal was not happening there, at that basic level of schooling, so it for damn sure wasn’t happening anywhere else. From the outset, Blacks were set up to fail. Yet another hurdle to overcome, but that’s the history of Blacks here in America . Hurdles and obstacles, bring ‘em on! The resilience may run a little thin sometimes, but it’ll revive again.
Lynchings became even more prominent after this Supreme Court decision. Although lynchings had happened during slavery, they weren’t the preferred method because – take a guess – the enslaved meant money to the enslavers, intentionally killing them didn’t make financial sense. So, lynching the enslaved would usually be done to those who participated in or organized uprisings and revolts – lynching these “militants” would set an example of what could happen to others if they attempted any such activities. Once the enslaved were legally free, however, lynchings were like how people watch TV today in 2004, just a part of everyday living – from planning one, to reading about one, to actually participating in one, either physically or visually – it was a major part of living. “For thousands and indeed tens of thousands of African Americans, Jim Crow was met with resistance and determination to win back the civil rights that had been stolen from them after 1876. Often this resistance took the form of individual acts of defiance, and often it took the form of organized challenges. It is impossible to know, for example, how many of the nearly 4000 (recorded) African Americans lynched (mutilated and burned alive) from 1882 to 1968, were men and women who had challenged Jim Crow by some overt act of defiance.” (W11)
From Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (p. 14) (B11):
“Returning from one such occasion, a nine-year-old white youth remained unsatisfied. ‘I have seen a man hanged,’ he told his mother; ‘now I wish I could see one burned.’….The story of a lynching, then, is more than the simple fact of a black man or woman hanged by the neck. It is the story of slow, methodical, sadistic, often highly inventive forms of torture and mutilation. If executed by fire, it is the red-hot poker applied to the eyes and genitals and the stench of burning flesh, as the body slowly roasts over the flames and the blood sizzles in the heat. If executed by hanging, it is the convulsive movement of the limbs. Whether by fire or rope, it is the dismemberment and distribution of severed bodily parts as favors and souvenirs to participants and the crowd: teeth, ears, toes, fingers, nails, kneecaps, bits of charred skin and bones. Such human trophies might reappear as watch fobs or be displayed conspicuously for public viewing. The severed knuckles of Sam Hose, for example, would be prominently displayed in the window of a grocery store in Atlanta .”
[ NOTE: There’s another story we found too heartbreaking to put in writing through this timeline in its present stage. Look up the story of Mary Turner and the cruel act that was done to her and her unborn child because she spoke out against the lynching of her husband.]
|1895||Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute, made a speech at the Atlanta Exposition, which became known as the Atlanta Compromise. In it, he advocated Black self-reliance and encouraged Blacks to forget about fighting for voting, civil rights, and equal justice but, instead, to focus on economic empowerment and accommodating segregation and segregationist attitudes. Many Whites, of course, loved this because it meant they could continue with the desire to feel superior and keep Blacks in “their place.” Having this viewpoint elevated Washington to the forefront of race relations for the Black community on a national level. He wielded enormous influence on political and economic decisions regarding Blacks. He also had major clout with what the media decided to put out as well as keep in about the happenings within the community. There were, however, many critics of this passive attitude, including William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (W.E.B. Du Bois), who felt that without voting rights and the ability to learn more than basic trades, Blacks were doomed to a life of menial and limited jobs, thus a very limited and unfulfilling existence.|
|1896||In the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson case, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that “ separate but equal” is constitutional, giving segregation the “OK” and making it the law of the land. In this case, Homer Plessy, a Black man, intentionally sits in a Whites only section on a train, refuses to move when asked to do so, and is then arrested. The lone Supreme Court dissenter on this decision, Justice John Marshall Harlan, clearly saw the inequity of this ruling and stated: “The thin disguise of ‘equal’ accommodations…will not mislead any one, nor atone for the wrong this day done.” (B3) This ruling sets the stage for the Jim Crow laws to continue and expand across the country, including into the Northern states, thus going into full effect. This ruling made it possible for racism to continue with no serious legal interference or police enforcement for nearly 50 more years. During this period, lynchings became even more commonplace – one every 2-4 days according to various historical documents and reports.|
|1903||W.E.B. Du Bois publishes his first collection of essays, “The Souls of Black Folk,” (B9) a highly acclaimed book where he makes his famous “color line” statement and he also explains the reason for his disagreement with Booker T. Washington on the “accommodationism” Washingtonadvocates. As quoted from this book, on the color line, he states: “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line…” Also quoted, on Washington’s accommodationism stance: “Mr. Washington distinctly asks that black people give up, at least for the present, three things – first, political power, second, insistence on civil rights, third, higher education of Negro youth – and concentrate all their energies on industrial education, and accumulation of wealth, and the conciliation of the South….As a result of this tender of the palm-branch, what has been the return?….(1) The disfranchisement of the Negro. (2) The legal creation of a distinct status of civil inferiority for the Negro. (3) The steady withdrawal of aid from institutions for the higher training of the Negro….Is it possible, and probable, that nine millions of men can make effective progress in economic lines if they are deprived of political rights, made a servile caste, and allowed only the most meager chance for developing their exceptional men? If history and reason give any distinct answer to these questions, it is an emphatic No. And Mr. Washingtonthus faces the triple paradox of his career: (1)…it is utterly impossible, under modern competitive methods, for workingmen and property-owners to defend their rights and exist without the right of suffrage. (2)…counsels a silent submission to civic inferiority such as is bound to sap the manhood of any race in the long run. (3) He advocates common-school and industrial training, and depreciates institutions of higher learning; but neither the Negro common-schools, nor Tuskegee itself, could remain open a day were it not for teachers trained in Negro colleges, or trained by their graduates.” Du Bois was 35 years old when this collection of essays was published. It is considered his most popular book out of a collection of more than 2000 published pieces. [ NOTE: Washington and Du Bois both had excellent approaches that, if brought together, would have co-mingled perfectly, but it never happened. Booker died somewhat disillusioned about his approach in 1915; and Du Bois died disillusioned about America in 1963 after becoming a Ghanaian citizen.]|
|1905||W.E.B. Du Bois starts the Niagara Movement, an organization started in opposition to Booker T. Washington’s “Tuskegee Machine,” which is seen as being too conciliatory with the White power structure and also as having too much of a controlling influence over the media that gave no room for alternate viewpoints or ideas. The group grew to about 170 members and consisted of members known as “the talented tenth,” so called by Du Bois because they “were educated and understood the social, political, and economic problems facing African Americans.” (B1) Although the group had novel ideas, people weren’t quite ready for this type of militant resistance and protest. The group is forced to begin its closure and in 1909, Du Bois starts asking the remaining members to join the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), for which he was an organizing member. Ironically, the NAACP ended up taking many of the same positions that the Niagara Movement was founded on. Du Bois believed in and loved being an agitator. He thought it was very important to agitate, agitate, agitate.|
|1906||Although Booker T. Washington considered Atlanta a city that was “a model for racial harmony,” the Atlanta Riot of 1906 proved otherwise. There was a slow unraveling that started occurring when the anti-Black play, “The Clansman” by Thomas Dixon, opened in Atlanta in 1905. It depicted the KKK as saviors to the White Southerners from Black dominance, rule, destruction, and “raping” of the White women. Then, in 1906, a race-baiting gubernatorial campaign brought the racial tensions to a head, when the usually false “rape” charges were made in the local paper, setting off the inevitable attack of the Black man. “Someone shouted, ‘Kill the niggers,’ and….Some 10,000 men and boys in the mob began to search for African Americans. Whenever the whites would see one, someone would cry, ‘There is one of the black fiends’; minutes later, the ‘fiend’ would be dead or beaten senseless.…The mob rampaged for several days before the militia restored order. Officially 25 blacks and one white died. Unofficially, over 100 may have died.” (W10)|
|1909||NAACP is founded and its organizing members are prominent Black and White civil rights activists, including W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois also becomes editor of “The Crisis,” NAACP’s magazine, and remained so for more than 20 years. The NAACP becomes the backbone for many legal battles and social justice movements. Some of the legal battles took years of tireless devotion and nonstop campaigning, but many of the efforts ultimately paid off. “Among the attorneys who led the legal assault on Jim Crow were Charles Hamilton Houston and his assistant, Thurgood Marshall. Houston devised the strategy that led to a series of victories that ultimately enabled the United States Supreme Court to overthrow segregation, and Marshall – who earned many of those victories – went on to become the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court.”(W10) [ NOTE: We can only hope that the 2004 version of the NAACP will start to show some of the passion and dogged determination that W.E.B. Du Bois, Charles Hamilton Houston, and Thurgood Marshall displayed regularly during their tenure. Civil rights activism is still very much needed today. If you don’t think so, look at the school systems, the jail systems, the housing and loan issues, the job discrimination, etc. And everything is not always about working hard to get what you want and “fairness” – George W. Bush proves that fact.]|
|1915||D.W. Griffith’s movie – “The Birth of A Nation” – is released nationally. It’s a film adaptation of “The Clansman” by Thomas Dixon (see 1906 above). The movie version stays true to the original in its outrageous racial stereotypes, making Black men look like criminals and rapists – literally having Blacks running around doing what Whites had been doing to Blacks for centuries. Most of the “Black” actors are actually White actors in blackface (reminiscent of the “Jim Crow” caricature). Woodrow Wilson (28th U.S. President) states: “It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” (W10) This movie causes massive mayhem and sets race relations, which were already shaky, back again. Mobs and packs of Whites go out and, literally, kill Blacks, predominately males (but females, children, and senior citizens were not always spared) sometimes at ratios as high as 100-to-1, and usually for absolutely no reason or made-up reasons – very often the very lame “raping” a White women. (Did Black women ever get any legal justice or monetary settlement for the rapes, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse they truly endured for centuries? What about all those children born through this sexual violence? How are they doing?) Oddly enough, or is it really typical, with all of its extreme racial hatred, bias, and prejudice, the White establishment has assured a way to keep it in the forefront and actually honor it in three distinct ways. (1) In 1993, it was voted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress (www.filmsite.org/filmreg.html ). (2) In 1998, the American Film Institute compiled a list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time “as determined by more than 1500 leaders from the American film community” and “The Birth of A Nation” is perched at No. 44. (www.filmsite.org/afi100films.html ). (3) As a mark of “excellency” in filmmaking and cinematography, there is an annual D.W. Griffith Award that is still given out today. Talk about finding ways to justify promoting a movie that, at its core, does nothing but promote racism and hatred – here you have it in these three distinct “honorable” mentions that the citizens of the U.S. backed, supported, and made happen. The only thing we can say is see it for yourself!|
|The Harlem Renaissance is born. This was a period of time when Blacks thrived artistically, from writing poetry and books to playing music, writing music, dancing, and performing. During this period, the wonderful sound of jazz is born along with all of its energy and vibrancy. Blacks started to not only open and expand their minds through the fantasies of the artistic lifestyle, but they also find a way to relieve and release some of the thoughts and issues (sometimes called Black protest literature and the literary movement of resistance) about Jim Crow and the American racism that was ubiquitous, yet somehow seemed, if only for a little while, to exist outside of this Harlem enclave. The Renaissance was a time when “its greatest artists explicitly expressed the deepest feelings of African Americans about racism, segregation, and discrimination. The essays, poems, and novels of the Harlem Renaissance rejected sentimentality, romanticism, and escapism to focus directly on the root causes of the crippling plight of black America : white racism.” (W11)|
|1921||Greenwood was a town in Tulsa , Oklahoma , that was a model of an extremely prosperous town built and run by Blacks – it became known as the “Black Wall Street.” In fact, the community was so financially in order, that “the dollar circulated 36 to 1000 times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the community.” Due to the Jim Crow laws of segregation, they were able to build their town and financial wealth because they only had one another to depend on and work with. Blacks in this town (and many others) had their own stores, hospitals, restaurants, schools, churches, libraries, mass transit, and more. Unfortunately, after false accusations of what else – “raping” or “assaulting” a White woman – were rumored around town, the town of Greenwood was destroyed in less than 24 hours. Blacks attempted to defend their homes, property, and businesses but were outnumbered by Whites in all income ranges and from all over Tulsa who “descended upon the Greenwood community with weapons, machine guns, and at least one airplane.” (B1) When the intentional destruction was all over, approximately 6000 Blacks had been chased out of town, 300 were dead, and all the properties, including homes and businesses (covering a 35-block business district), were cruelly, ruthlessly, and joyously burned to the ground by these White mobs. “In February 2000, a commission established by the state legislature of Oklahoma recommended reparations, or payment for damages, be made to the aged survivors of the Tulsa riot who had watched as people were shot, burned alive, or tied to cars and dragged to death. The Tulsa Race Riot Commission, as it was formally called, believed that there was ‘a compelling legal and moral justification’ for reparations. In the decades immediately after the riot, no rebuilding of the community ever took place. Insurance companies refused to pay fire policies and whites ultimately took over the land. The Tulsa campus of the Oklahoma StateUniversity now sits on the ground where the African American community of Greenwood once thrived.” (B1)
The primary underlying reason for this total destruction by mobs of Whites was envy and jealousy at the rapid and, for them, totally unexpected progress that Blacks were making, which was still inconceivable to many Whites. They just could not (and did not want to) believe Blacks were able to thrive so quickly after being enslaved for so long, especially since they truly still believed that Blacks did not deserve to be free and would not be able to handle being free. They also could not accept the fact that Blacks were doing better than they were. Deep jealousy, deep envy,deep resentment, and deep hatred (racial and otherwise) toward Blacks by Whites were constant and unrelenting.
|1923||Rosewood, Florida was another prosperous Black town that was flourishing and then destroyed by White vicious mobs based on false accusations of, take a guess, “raping” or “assaulting” a White woman. Director John Singleton’s movie – “Rosewood” – tells the story of this particular riot. In 1994, Florida made an attempt to correct this injustice by awarding $2.1 million to survivors and creating scholarships for descendants.
[ NOTE: These incidents – the Greenwood and Rosewood riots – are just two of many such incidents of mob violence that occurred based on jealousy and hatred. There were also the Wilmington (NC) riot, the Red Summer riots in 1919, and other outright riots, but there were many more in the form of mobs showing up en masse at courthouses, jails, schools, etc. to threaten, frighten, intimidate, and kill. They usually carried all types of weaponry, including rifles and machine guns.]
|The Civil Rights Movement lasts for about 14 years. This was an eventful 14 years of protests, marches, sit-ins as well as violence and murder. Police would water hose, sic dogs, club, beat, and arrest protesters. There’s murder and assassination of prominent figures, including civil rights leaders and popular activists, as well as political figures, including the President of the U.S. Students would need police escorts to go through the front door of a newly desegregated school. Students would stage sit-ins at Jim Crow food counters. There would be a yearlong bus boycott to force desegregation of public transportation. It was a very necessary, but very chaotic and very volatile time in history. Nevertheless, the fight for equal rights and social justice since the end of enslavement in 1865, and then during the Civil Rights Movement, formed what is the crux of America being able to call itself the “land of opportunity” today.|
|1954||The U.S. Supreme Court votes on Brown v. Board of Education, banning segregation in public schools. This decision kicked off the Civil Rights Movement. This was a landmark decision because it essentially reversed the Plessy v. Ferguson decision resulting not only in school desegregation but marking the beginning of the end of the Jim Crow laws for public and private establishments throughout the U.S. It took another ten years of political activism before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 officially changed all the laws, but the Brown decision was the turning point. The years-long campaign of steadfast and nonstop determination of the NAACP, Thurgood Marshall, and the vision of Charles Hamilton Houston, finally saw this landmark change take effect.|
|1955||Martin Luther King Jr. organizes the Montgomery , Alabama bus boycott, which stemmed from Rosa Parks, a Black female, refusing to give her seat up to a White person on the public bus. Emmett Till is lynched.|
|1956||The Montgomery , Alabama bus boycott ends and the city agrees to integrate public transportation. The city lost so much money due to this boycott, they were forced to concede due to the economic ruin on the horizon – but they most certainly did not WANT to make any concessions whatsoever to Blacks.|
|1960||The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded to coordinate civil rights efforts in the South.|
|1961||The first reference to “affirmative action” is made in Executive Order 10925 signed by John F. Kennedy, Jr. (35th U.S. President). It “mandated that projects financed with federal funds ‘take affirmative action’ to ensure that hiring and employment practices are free of racial bias.” (B7) Since this order took effect, there has been an unrelenting and constant battle to get affirmative action policies destabilized. Accusations of “quota” get thrown around without the realization that, in fact, what most people are fighting against when they battle affirmative action is, in actuality, what they feel they are “entitled” to and what they improperly feel others are getting “handed” to them. So, yes, it’s a sense of, again, entitlement and what’s been the status quo for centuries no longer being that way. If you doubt that, look at the police (city and state) and fire departments. How difficult of a battle has it been for Blacks – and now other “minorities” – to get in? The system is set up where these departments are used to bringing in family and friends – and other people who look like them – and have been very resistant to change. In fact, only legalized “forced” change has been successful. Otherwise, they would not have done so on their own on any grand scale. And things are still nowhere near where they should be. We won’t even get into contract bidding to do work on the interstate highways and the other real big government jobs (some call it “corporate welfare,” which is so much bigger than “welfare moms”). But that’s on a different level altogether – making serious inroads into the truly closed doors of that bidding process will be a monumental task. But, nothing’s impossible…
[ NOTE: In 1997, California (Proposition 209), and in 1998, Washington (I 200) both abolished state affirmative action programs. Florida is well on its way with trying to do the same thing.]
|1963||The famed March on Washington takes place and Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. John F. Kennedy, Jr. is assassinated. Medgar Evers is assassinated – he becomes the first of several civil rights leaders to be assassinated.|
|1964||The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed and signed by Lyndon B. Johnson (36th U.S. President), who succeeded JFK after his assassination. The passing of this act came after a bitter battle that included a two-month filibuster in the Senate, which also included a major 14-hour filibuster from Senator Robert Byrd – who’s still in the Senate now, in 2004. The Economic Opportunity Act is also passed. These acts ban discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and education. [ NOTE: Only 40 years ago!] Martin Luther King, Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (and COINTELPRO – see more on this program below – did everything in its power to prevent this from happening, including sending him mail stating he should commit suicide).|
|1965||After the event known as “Bloody Sunday” occurs, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is passed, prohibiting the discriminatory and illegal voting practices that Whites used for nearly 100 years to control the political system by creating ways to deny the right to vote to African Americans. There was a massive surge in Black registration after years of voter intimidation by Whites from threats, violence, and murder to White primaries, unfair literacy tests that Whites (even the many illiterate ones) were not required to take, and the grandfather clause (which stated that you could only vote if your grandfather did so before 1866 – a time when, obviously, most Blacks were enslaved and prohibited from voting). Malcolm X is assassinated.|
|1966||Black Panther Party for Self-Defense is founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, both of Oakland , California . This organization best symbolized the Black Power movement with its popular “raised fist.” The Panthers focused on community improvement by establishing a ten-point plan as follows: “(1) We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black and oppressed communities. (2) We want full employment for our people. (3) We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our Black and oppressed communities. (4) We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings. (5) We want decent education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society. (6) We want completely free health care for all Black and oppressed people. (7) We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of Black people, other people of color, all oppressed people inside the United States . (8) We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression. (9) We want freedom for all Black and oppressed people now held in U.S. Federal, State, County, City and military prisons and jails. We want trials by a jury of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country. (10) We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace and people’s community control of modern technology.” ( www.blackpanther.org ) The Panthers also pioneered the concept of free social service programs that included breakfast programs, medical centers, and a health services program for sickle cell testing. They also reached out to gang members to encourage a crime-free life. The Panthers “practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against theU.S. government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs.” (www.marxists.org/history/usa/workers/black-panthers/ ) In 1968, J. Edgar Hoover, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, publicly called the Panthers the “greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” The Panthers managed to stay around for a while, but not without serious attacks from Hoover and his COINTELPRO destruction (see 1976 below for more on this operation). The assault on the Panthers was so great that “police bragged that 1969 would be the year of the ‘dead Panthers.’ Before the year was over, the police had killed more than 25, and 749 were jailed or arrested. This intense assault on the Panthers only served to make them more admired by some African Americans. Financial support for their breakfast program came from many sources. Later, the federal government started similar programs.” (B1)|
|1968||Civil Rights Act of 1968 is passed prohibiting discriminating in the sale, rental, and financing of housing. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated. Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated.|
|1972||U.S. Government reveals that hundreds of poor Black men were intentionally denied proper treatment during the U.S. Public Health Service’s 40-year Tuskegee Institute syphilis experiment – from 1932-1972 – called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” There were 600 “participants” – 399 who had syphilis and 201 who did not. Of those, 28 died directly from syphilis, 100 died from related complications, 40 of their wives became infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis. The unbelievable fact here is that a cure for syphilis – penicillin – was discovered in the 1940s. [ NOTE: In 1997, 25 years after the admission of this undercover operation, William Clinton (42nd U.S. President) makes a formal apology for the exploitation and medical abuse of Black patients during the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.]|
|1976||FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) officially disbands after secret files are removed from an FBI office in Media , PA. These documents reveal that the agency waged a massive campaign against the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s. The purpose of the program according to its director, J. Edgar Hoover, was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit and otherwise neutralize” specific groups and individuals. These documents revealed COINTELPRO was in official operation from 1956-1971. Although White “hate groups” such as the KKK are listed as one of the targets, the KKK actually received support (financial and otherwise) from the FBI to not only continue their hate group campaigns of “racist murder and terror,” but to actually go out and attack the other – real – COINTELPRO targets, such as the Black Nationalist Groups, American Indian Movement, Groups Seeking Independence for Puerto Rico, Communist and Socialist Worker parties, New Left, and others. Additionally, they targeted individuals, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Dick Gregory, Fred Hampton, and many, many others. Some of the disruption activities used by COINTELPRO include the following: infiltration, intimidation, forgery, internal dissension, murder/assassinations, disinformation campaigns to confuse the public, deception, harassment (direct and through the legal system), dissemination of bogus leaflets and pamphlets, planting of false media stories, anonymous letters, psychological warfare from outside, extralegal force and violence, illegal wiretaps, paying informants and agitators, attempting to incite peaceful groups to violence, burglary, vandalism, and much, much more. ( www.forests.com/cointel.html ) (( www.dickshovel.com/coin.html ) [ NOTE: The Native Americans have had a different, but nevertheless very oppressive, existence here in America as well. Hopefully someone will bring the proper attention to their plight.]
Alex Haley’s “Roots,” reconstructing the history of his African-American family during enslavement, becomes a national best-seller and wins a Pulitzer Prize. [ NOTE: In 1977, it was made into a television miniseries and drew record-setting audiences and swept the Emmy awards. Its 25-year DVD anniversary edition can be bought or rented.]
|1978||Another landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision was the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, which “imposed limitations on affirmative action to ensure that providing greater opportunities for minorities did not come at the expense of the rights of the majority – affirmative action was unfair if it led to reverse discrimination.” (B7). The Court was split, 5-4, on this decision. In this case, a White applicant, Allan Bakke, was rejected twice for admission to the University of California at Davis Medical School even though, he claims, there were minority students with significantly lower grades than his who were admitted. How does he know this? Why couldn’t it have been an economically disadvantaged White student who “took” the spot that he thinks he’s entitled to? Could it be that his complete package, including grades, essay, references, etc., just didn’t stand up to those who got in? Why couldn’t it be that? If you’ve been conditioned to think or believe that you’re “entitled” to acceptance at any school or job of your choice, then that’s probably why he would think it’s automatic for him to get in – even after getting rejected twice. If you’re really “all that,” you won’t get rejected once, nevertheless twice. But, according to him (or maybe his ego) it can’t be him and his academic credentials, it has to be the minority applicant, right? But that’s OK, right?
Bakke’s attitude is reminiscent of William F. Buckley’s attitude regarding legacy preference (admission to college based on a family member who is an alumnus). According to a September 13, 2004 article written in The New York Times’ opinion section by Jerome Karabel, in 1967, Buckley“declared that Yale had ceased to be the ‘kind of place where your family goes for generations’ and had been transformed into an institution where ‘the son of an alumnus, who goes to a private preparatory school, now has less chance of getting in than some boy from P.S. 109 somewhere.” That speaks volumes on the mentality we’re dealing with. Although it’s 2004 now, odds are high that Buckley’s opinion hasn’t changed much. ( www.nytimes.com/2004/09/13/opinion/13karabel.html ) We know all Whites don’t have this kind of thinking, so Tim J. Wise, a White, Jewish, and anti-racist activist does a good job explaining his viewpoint on this topic: ( www.alternet.org/module/printversion/15223 )
What’s significant about this decision is that after centuries (or 246 years to be exact) of Blacks not being allowed an education or much of anything else and then the whole issue of Jim Crowism (another nearly 100 years), then, in 1978 – only 14 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – White privilege and the belief of “entitlement” is so embedded that just because things, such as school choice and jobs, are no longer automatically and unconditionally just “handed over” to Whites – they may actually have to qualify for it just a little at least some of the time – that it’s then somehow looked at as reverse discrimination. But that’s OK, right?
|1981||Over 300,000 demonstrators gather in Washington , DC in protest of the Reagan administration’s (Ronald Reagan – 40th U.S. President) attack on affirmative action, school desegregation, and other civil/human rights programs. Again, the significance here is that affirmative action is only seen as a problem when it’s “helping” Blacks who, for centuries, were legally denied all rights while everything was just “handed over” to Whites whether they qualified for it or not. But that’s OK, right?|
|1982||Michael Jackson becomes the first Black artist to have a video, “Billie Jean,” played on Music Television (MTV), a cable station that made its debut in August 1981. Prior to “Billie Jean” finally airing, the recently deceased Rick James was in a public battle with MTV over the issue of not playing Black artists. They claimed their focus was on rock and roll. MTV refused to play any of James’ songs, calling them “funk.” Interestingly, MC Hammer sampled James’ “Super Freak” song, which was heavily played on MTV and is considered one of rap’s biggest songs.|
|1988||Congress passes mandatory prison sentencing drug abuse law for possession rather than dealing. The type of drug they specifically targeted was “crack,” which at that time was prominent in many large cities, wreaking havoc in many poor Black communities. This mandatory sentencing for possession destroyed the structure of many families and individuals because drug users needed help, not prison time. This law was also unfair because it specifically and intentionally only applied to crack, not powdered cocaine, which more Whites used at that time as well as now. The effect of so many young males going to prison for long terms based on possessing and/or dealing such small amounts and the young crack-addicted women who lost children or had children during the “crack epidemic” is still felt throughout society today. Many of those crack kids have gone through or are in the foster care system and many young males are still in prison. Who’s profiting? We know there’s big money in private companies setting up prisons – was that the underlying reason for the sudden onslaught of crack in the Black community? Who made crack available in the neighborhood? We know it wasn’t the drug dealers because they’re probably still in prison, right? Again, who planted those drugs into the neighborhood, then made arrangements to get it to the low-level neighborhood drug lord, who then put it into the even lower-level drug dealer’s hands for distribution? We want to know who’s the real big chief, the one making the real money? Does that person even live in the U.S.A. ? If not, how are the drugs getting into the country?|
|1991||The Civil Rights Act of 1991 is reluctantly passed by George H.W. Bush (41st U.S. President). As a replacement for the retired (and first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice) Thurgood Marshall, he appoints Clarence Thomas, who is the antithesis of nearly everything Marshall stood and fought for. To date, he in no way has even slightly matched the legacy of Marshall . Marshall was passionate about civil rights and truly cared about uplifting the civil, social, legal, and political condition of Blacks. So far, Thomas appears to be almost the exact opposite, which is probably why Bush chose him from the start.
An interesting fact about the senior Bush: in 1964, he ran for Senator against then incumbent, Ralph Yarborough. Bush ran his unsuccessful landslide-losing campaign against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the fact that his opponent supported it. This mentality probably explains why his sons (George W. Bush – currently considered our country’s “selected” 43rd U.S. President [see 2000 below]; and Jeb Bush, current Governor of Florida) continue to be actively against affirmative action – they grew up in a family that was staunchly against it for Blacks but not for themselves or others who look like them. Bush Sr. was born in 1924 and Bush Jr. was born in 1946, but the same fundamental views of yesteryear are shared by both in 2004 – and they’ve both been or are in a position of pinnacle power here in America – President of the United States . Time and time again, it keeps coming back to the same old song and dance – entrenched and institutionalized racism is always there, either underlying or on the surface. Can we live our lives in paranoia, defeatism, and wallowing in or about the issue of racism? Of course not! It’s just a fact. It exists and will continue to do just that – exist! But knowing your history, sharing it with your children (or children within your environs), focusing on the importance of education, and supporting and building within and for your community, not just your household, is pivotal to being able to combat this problem, which will probably get worse before it gets better. So being proactive and getting involved is the only solution to this ominous situation of racism that won’t change any time soon here in America . [TOT-PRB]
|1996||Proposition 209, barring the state of California from pursuing affirmative action policies is approved by the voters of that state. Once again, need we say the significance of this (see years 1978, 1981, and 1991 above if necessary).|
|2000||The 21st century begins. The November 2000 Presidential election is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in a close 5-4 decision (choosing Clarence Thomas definitely paid off for the Bushes). George W. Bush is, in actuality, technically “selected” over Al Gore by the Court’s decisionnot to continue counting the Florida votes, thus letting the current electoral count stand as is, and thereby effectively “handing” the presidency over to Bush (he lucks out again through Dad’s connections – wonder if he has ever had to work hard for, or for that matter, earn anything like he thinks so many others should do?). The accusations of voter suppression and intimidation, largely and particularly towards Blacks, that took place in Florida is totally reminiscent of what happened after slavery and up through the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. What’s so frightening today is that issues of voter suppression and intimidation are once again surfacing as the November 2004 election is quickly approaching. We’ll see what happens.|
|2003||George W. Bush announces his opposition to affirmative action on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which many thought was insulting to King’s legacy. Need we say more on the significance of this (see years 1978, 1981, 1991, and 1996 above if necessary). Only 40 years later and still fighting to get back that privilege and entitlement. This proves what an impact 246 years of anything can have on any group of people. Some continue to have inferiority complexes, while some others continue to have superiority complexes. It appears that, for better or for worse, brainwashing and conditioning can happen to anyone, right?|
|2004||Brown v. Board of Education celebrates its 50th anniversary and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 celebrates its 40th anniversary. Both are significant milestones not only because of the number of years that has passed since their occurrence and because we’re in the New Millennium, but also due to the fact that so little has changed in terms of the separate and unequal conditions of the still largely segregated public school systems and the continued lack of equal protection and civil rights for all U.S. citizens. In other words, although we’re in a new century, the same racial prejudices that existed so overtly in previous centuries, still exist this century, but just more covetously, more covertly, and more subtly than ever before. “Indeed, the lack of equal access by African Americans to adequate and rewarding jobs, quality education, and affordable housing strongly suggests to many observers that the spirit of Jim Crow still haunts the social and economic landscape of the American nation.” (W11) [ NOTE: Even though a formal apology was finally made regarding the Tuskegee experiment (see 1972 above) by a U.S. president (Clinton in 1997); to date, neither he nor any of the other 43 U.S. presidents, have made a formal apology for the enslavement of African Americans here in the U.S. and its own appalling behavior in the treatment of human beings for 246 years. Why such denial and lack of acknowledgment of this major U.S.atrocity toward the enslaved African Americans? We know it can be done – as we’ve seen with the Jewish and Japanese people. Again, why such denial and lack of acknowledgment of this major American disgrace when it comes to the descendants of enslaved African Americans?]|
B1: African American History: A Journey of Liberation by Dr. Molefi Kete Asante (www.journeyofliberation.com)
B2: African American Desk Reference [ Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture]
B3: The African-American Archive: The History of the Black Experience in Documents – edited by Kai Wright
B4: Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience – edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
B5: Race Matters by Cornel West
B6: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
B7: Time Almanac 2003
B8: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow by Richard Wormser
B9: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
B10: The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes
B11: Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (www.twinpalms.com)
C1: Beyond Diversity: Challenging Racism in an Age of Backlash by Tim J. Wise (firstname.lastname@example.org)
D1: The Weather Underground
D2: Searching for Debra Winger
V1: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
V3: The Birth of A Nation
Web Sites :
W19: www.alternet.org/election04/log/ [Go to “Recognizing Who Served”]
W20: www.stormfront.org [For another viewpoint]
385 years (1619-2004) that Blacks have been in and built the structural and social foundation of the United States
246 of those 385 years (1619-1865) have been under the United States’ brutal enslavement, oppression, and institutionalized racism
99 of those 385 years (1865-1964) have been in continued oppression, societal racism, and legalized Black Codes/Jim Crow laws
40 of those 385 years (1964-2004) have been under continued racism and “equal rights” with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Turn Off the Television-Pickup and Read a Book