Posts Tagged ‘Slavery’

The First Memorial Day: Celebrating Fallen American Soldiers & the Freed Slaves Who Honored Them

May 27, 2013 1 comment

by Denene Millner

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Well yes, there will be barbecues galore and lots of beer passed about and some kick-ass sales at the mall and everyone will enjoy their long holiday weekend. That’s what happens on Memorial Day. But on this day, in the din of mindless eating and drinking and shopping, perhaps we should take a moment—a solemn beat—to remember exactly what Memorial Day is supposed to be: a solemn, sacred day of observance for those who fell in war.

This, after all, is what freed slaves intended when they gathered in Charleston, South Carolina on May 1, 1865, to commemorate the death of Union soldiers, the end of the American Civil War, their own emancipation and the many slaves and new freedmen who died during and after the war. Some 10,000 mostly black people—3,000 of them children who were students in then-newly-created freedmen’s schools, plus black preachers, mutual aid societies, Union troops and white northern missionaries—marched down Charleston’s main street to remember and thank the fallen and take their place as newly recognized citizens of the United States of America. Read more…


#WarriorPoet- Free Head?!?

April 3, 2012 Leave a comment
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By Kel Spencer

Webster’s defines a Slave as; 1.) a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant. 2.) a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person: ie “a slave to a drug.” So I ask you… What are you a slave to? What are you influenced by? What do you serve? What’s that thing that when it calls, you go running?

“Yalwz could stay ’round here if ya wants to but I’ze a going fa muh freedomz, even if I gotsta die!” Read more…

Aint No More Charles Hamilton Houston’s

March 24, 2012 Leave a comment

By Torrance Stephens

Once upon a time there were activist warrior scholars who served the needs and protected African Americans against the onslaught of laws designed to subjugate, marginalize and mass incarcerate this population disproportionately to their representation and the occurrence of such crimes. Most of these involved rights proclaimed under the constitution and dealt with receiving an equal education.

As many know, during slavery, a slave was not allowed to learn to read; it was illegal. Whites didn’t want black slaves to read and write because they might be encouraged to run away. In addition, People feared that slaves who could read would be more rebellious. At the time of the Civil War, only 1 or 2 percent of slaves were able to read and write meaning that Illiteracy was one of the worst handicaps of being a slave. In most cases, outside of having hands or tongues cut out or being blinded, death was the punishment for a slave learning to read.
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How Obama and Black Politicians Have Reinvented the Negro

March 22, 2012 1 comment

 By Torrance Stephens
Politicians of African descent in America, in concert with the non-concern of their voting constituency have reinvented the Negro, or better yet made the Negro retro chic. What do I mean by this? Well from an etymological perspective, the word Negro is Spanish for black. The Spanish language comes from Latin, which has its origins in Classical Greek. The word Negro is derived from the Greek root word necro, meaning dead. It was a reference to the state of mind for millions of Africans. Politicians thrive and live on the fact that folk are negro as opposed to self determined individuals with the ability to reason and problem solve, thus ensuring their hold in politics. But what they fail to understand that if they truly want to deal with the economic plight of African Americans, they need to face the fact that economic improvement cannot be accomplished within the context of mass incarceration and the environment of the criminal justice arena that foster incessant Jim Crow-like practices. For the same dynamic that led to Jim Crow after the Civil war and emancipation proclamation has led to the present day mass incarceration of African Americans.
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Dr. Boyce: Getting Out of Your Own Private Prison

July 21, 2011 1 comment

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action

I just spoke to my friend Ryan Mack about our “Never Going Back” initiative to attack the problems of mass incarceration and recidivism in America. During the conversation, I had a revelation: Most of us are just a step away from being incarcerated, or have yet to understand what it truly means to be free. Sure, the US incarcerates more of its citizens than any country in the world, but it might be deeper than you think.

The United States Constitution doesn’t abolish slavery for everyone. Actually, if you’ve been convicted of a felony, the 13th Amendment actually says that it’s OK to force one into slave labor (please go take a look). Given that we are slapping felony convictions on individuals like Kelly Williams-Bolar, the otherwise law-abiding mother in Ohio who was sent to jail for sending her kids to the wrong school district, we can see just how easy it is for that arbitrary label to be applied. Read more…

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